By Max Clarke
The majority of mid-sized technology companies in Britain consider themselves at risk of losing key employees, research suggests.
The fear is most acute for businesses turning over between £25 and £100 million, according to research published today by Zurich Insurance.
Companies also fear growth may be retarded by the difficulty of hiring new staff members with the appropriate skills, say Zurich, mirroring the concerns over the health of the UK economy as a result of the growing skills shortage bemoaned by business organisations including the Confederation of British Industry.
Zurich's new Technology Hazard Warning Report is an in-depth study of owner-managers within the mid-market sector — companies with a £5m-300m turnover — combined with qualitative analysis that highlights the key concerns for UK technology companies and, most importantly, the opportunities and challenges they face in the years ahead.
“From the television to the computer, the UK has always had a strong foundation in technology," said Geoff White, Senior Market Underwriter TechMedia in Zurich’s UK General Insurance business, "and the companies within this sector are of great importance to the growth of the UK economy. This sector provides the opportunity for us to make Britain a highly competitive, or even leading, business nation on a global scale."
“However," continued White, "the research shows that employers in the technology industry are suffering from brain drain and fear this even more for the future, losing skilled employees to overseas competitors, which provide a richer, more challenging environment for them to work in."
When questioned about growth strategy — against a backdrop of rapidly increasing IT salaries - competition for skilled employees is again shown to be a concern with nearly half saying that retention is their top priority. For smaller companies, the biggest issue for growth strategy is the need to keep up with technological evolution. 49% listed this as their top growth priority.
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