Sep 17, 2008

War for talent

Many engineers I talk to hate the enterprise. They crave for start-ups... their environment, their fun, their energy, their perks. They find enterprises boring... and why not... that's exactly what most of them are!

How can enterprises address this?
  1. To begin with... recognize the issue! Most enterprises are boring. What do you expect with all legacy technologies, overcomplicated systems, old school thinking, bureaucracy, corporate structures/controls etc.?

  2. Don't throw money at it. Most talented IT engineers don't work just for the money. They see software as a community activity, a benevolent act (heard of open source yet?)

  3. Understand that, to hire and retain top talent in the industry, you need to offer -
  • competitive environment: Will the new talent find your engineers at their intellectual level? What can you offer to grow them as professionals - paid conferences, ?

  • flexibility: go the Google way. Let your developers dream on you money. Give them a day to follow their dreams

  • insulate them from your mess: handle it yourself. What are FTEs for anyway? :)

  • break artificial corporate boundaries: let them contribute back to the open source world, let them take stuff outside the corporate boundaries (blog etc.) - that Drupal fix doesn't give you competitive edge, after all. In essence, enable cross-pollination with external world, don't stop it!

  • keep pace with technology: if you run mainframes, fuggetabout attracting top IT talent

  • provide an exciting work environment:

  • ?

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