The importance of saying ‘I don’t know’

By Phil Borge

15th June 2017

Can we fix it?
For a while now, I’ve been asking our team a question:

If every tech company has adopted the ‘sleep pod and foosball table’ approach to creating an appealing working environment (or at least, media story), how do businesses differentiate? Further, where – and how – do they tell that story?

Skilled people in tech are famously hard to come by—an issue often cited as the single biggest problem within the industry.

We know this, the media knows it, our clients certainly know it. If we can answer this question, I thought, we can lead the conversation. We can provide the business value we promise to clients which – while steered by the comms discipline – is not constricted by it.

Months passed and the question continued to bug me, particularly as giants like Deliveroo began to speak out about their unending quest for new talent. I found I could discuss issues on the periphery of the problem – quick fixes and broad-brush suggestions – with some confidence. But it wasn’t until we happened on the idea of bringing together those at the coal face, to discuss this subject, did I truly understand not only the challenge, but the central role reputation and communications play in delivering the solution.

Great minds

Listen to our Behind the Headlines podcast as the team jump out of their day jobs and put their investigative skills to good use—all in pursuit of uncovering the solutions to the tech talent squeeze.

In this special edition we speak to Matt Soane at Ocado Technology and Luke Coleman at Argos, to discuss their winning strategies for attracting talent. Both agree on the importance of creating and promoting a culture of transparency across the entire business and argue that tech recruitment is crying out for a more sophisticated media strategy.

We also meet Mark Di-Toro of Glassdoor, who maintains that employers can no longer simply play the remuneration game. Di-Toro underlines how crucial the two-way market vision of Glassdoor itself has become, in a world where candidates enjoy the power of advocacy and employers are held to account.

This podcast may not provide the answer to the recruitment problem wrapped up in a big red bow. But, I am incredibly proud of the spark we have managed to light with the simple and sharp policy of asking questions and collaborating.

I hope you too enjoy what we have produced and – more importantly – are inspired to join the conversation yourself. Even if you start that process with the phrase: ‘I don’t know’.

You can listen to Behind the Headlines below: