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Ideal Employer The guide to tech professionals’ most desirable employers and why

Ideal Employer Report DICE

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Table of contents Introduction

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Google: Ideal Employer winner

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Top 10 Ideal Employers

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Ideal Employers: Strengths

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What’s important to Tech Pros

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Employer Strengths vs. Importance

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Ideal Employers: Generational insights

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Ideal Employers: The takeaways

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Appendix

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Ideal Employer Report DICE

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Introduction Welcome to the Dice Ideal Employer survey report. This study explores which companies are most admired by technology professionals. The responses have allowed us to explore the professional, demographic, and psychographic nuances that power these professionals’ opinions about the workplace.

Survey Fast Facts

JUNE AUGUST

2017 2017

The survey ran between June 2017 and August 2017.

Took respondents 10-15 minutes to complete.

Responses from 464 tech professionals who cast 1,344 votes in the UK.

Respondents were asked to provide their top three Ideal Employers in an open text box with a predictive entry, rather than a drop-down menu. This ensured the greatest possible variety of responses.

Our research included responses from 464 technology professionals in the United Kingdom, who cast 1,344 votes for ideal employers with a total mention of 501 different companies. In this report, we analysed tech professionals’ interests and desires, with additional breakouts for age.

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Google is the winner

Among Millennials Google Rank: 1

For many technology professionals, Google is the gold standard for an ideal employer. Not only is it one of the most recognisable names in tech, but it also does a good job of keeping its employees happy through a mix of competitive salary, perks, benefits, and interesting work.

Among Gen X Google Rank: 1

A strong majority of our 5,000+ respondents across the UK and US said that Google was their number one choice of places to work. The company's offices, including its massive headquarters campus on Giles High Street, Central London, include attractive perks such as cafeterias and on-site amenities. What tech pros really care about are innovative, stable companies that do a lot to build positive, transparent environments; things like yoga and colourful office furniture are only the most visible manifestations of the strong culture that Google has spent years (and a lot of money) cultivating.

Among Baby Boomers Google Rank: 1

Google has also devoted substantial effort to ensuring its employees represent a broad mix of experiences, education, and skills.

“Who doesn’t want to be Googley? Known for fostering talent and keeping burn-out at bay.” — Tech Pro about Google

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Ideal Employers These top 10 Ideal Employers have spent years cultivating brands, ideals, employee benefits, and working environments conducive to productivity and happiness. UK Technology professionals voted for these top 10 firms as their Ideal Employers. The top 10 Ideal Employers in the UK include the top tech employers you’d expect to see, but also house-hold names with innovative product ranges such as Virgin, a news hub with the BBC and a forward-thinking Bank, showing that it’s not only the tech giants that can attract top tech talent.

In the event of a tie, companies shared a rank and subsequent rankings were skipped.

1

Google

2

Microsoft

3

Apple

4

Amazon

5

Facebook

5

IBM

7

Virgin

8

Hewlett Packard

9

BBC

9

Barclays

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IDEAL EMPLOYER

What are the strengths of Ideal Employers We asked tech professionals to rate the strengths of their Ideal Employers across a number of categories, including competitive salaries and bonuses, open/transparent communication, opportunities for promotion, and much more. Tech professionals felt the top companies delivered challenging and interesting work, and were perceived to be established leaders with stable financial performance. They also provide the opportunity to work with key industry players.

In other words, the Ideal Employers come to the table with competitive salaries, financial stability, and culture that supports growth and innovation. But when it comes to things like work-life balance and volunteering, they often have some ground to make up.

“Six weeks paid paternity leave, 50% salary paid to [spouse] for 10 years [if you die], nap pods, and tons of other perks.” — Tech Pro about Google

Despite all the “buzz” over cool company perks at large tech firms such as Google and Apple — fancy cafeterias loaded with snacks, paid-for gym memberships, and more — less than a quarter of the top 10 Ideal Employers earned a collectively strong perception in the ‘perks’ category. In addition, these companies displayed some weaknesses when it came to equity awards, sabbatical time, open/transparent communication, and manageable working hours.

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Strengths Weaker attributes

• • • • • • • •

Challenging work Financial performance Established leader in industry Innovator in industry

Question asked: For the company or companies you selected earlier, which of these do you feel has strength in the following areas (check all that apply)? rs

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What’s important to Tech Pros What do technology professionals value in an employer? In order to find out, we asked our survey respondents to name the most important attributes of their Ideal Employer. In a completely unsurprising twist, “competitive salary” topped this particular list. However, salary was closely followed by attributes that relate to both workplace environment and opportunity to learn. Challenging work and positive culture easily outweighed company perks. Tech pros highly value manageable working hours and the office environment both indicating the focus on work/life balance. Offering a flexible working approach with attractive office space could set you apart as an employer in the race to recruit tech talent.

Innovation ranks fourth in importance with no surprise - with technology moving fast, tech pros are looking for opportunities to try out something new and exciting and hone their skills for their next step. As an employer, think about how you can empower creativity to help talent shine.

“[Facebook is known for] flexibility, high salaries, stability, creative environment, great benefits and good core values.”

At the very bottom of the list, only a third of tech pros thought it was important that an Ideal Employer offer sabbatical/volunteer time. (This is interesting, as a number of large tech firms— including Salesforce and Cisco—have begun offering time off to volunteer.)

— Tech Pro about Facebook

In summary, tech professionals seem to highly prize their pay and company culture. A firm that offers a combination of interesting work, flexible working options, positive organisational culture, training, and financial stability is likely to prove one that employees (and prospective employees) love.

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What’s important What’s less important

• • • • • • • •

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Ideal Employer Report DICE

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Employer Strengths vs. Importance We’ve compared the strengths of the top Ideal Employers in the UK with what’s most important to tech professionals to understand how well Ideal Employers meet the expectations of tech pros. There are certainly some huge differences in what tech pros are looking for and what even their Ideal Employers are able to offer. The most significant attributes valued by tech pros are competitive salary, challenging work, positive culture, and manageable working hours. However, aside from challenging work with a difference of just 2%, the remaining attributes are not perceived to be a strength according to respondents. The trend continues with open/transparent culture, opportunities for promotion and office environment, none of which are perceived to be meeting the needs of tech professionals.

The opposite can be said for company perks. The top brands offer them and are perceived to be a relative strength but perks aren’t perceived to be important to tech professionals. In fact, nearly two thirds of the attributes that we asked tech pros to name as most important to them when choosing an Ideal Employer were not considered to be strengths of the UK’s top 10 employers.

“There isn’t an end to where Amazon is going. A company that started selling just books from a garage has turned into so much more. I want to be part of that.” — Tech Pro about Amazon

Employers should take a look at what they can offer in the workplace to tap into the priorities of tech professionals looking for their next career opportunity.

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Importance vs. Strengths What’s important to tech pros

Ideal Employer Strengths

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Employers need to focus on what is most important to tech pros • Competitive salary • Challenging work • Positive organisational culture

• Manageable working hours • Office environment

Question asked: For the company or companies you selected earlier, which of these do you feel has strength in the following areas (check all that apply)?

Ideal Employer Report DICE

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IDEAL EMPLOYER

Generational insights For technology professionals between the ages of 18 and 35 (i.e. the Millennials), the Ideal Employer was Google, followed by Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook. This certainly makes sense: tech pros in this demographic highly value a positive and dynamic workplace culture, and all of those companies deliver on that front. Younger workers, like their older peers, also enjoy a competitive salary and challenging work — which these firms deliver. Tech pros in all age groups voted Google and Microsoft as their top employers. The table shows that everyone wants to work for companies that are not only innovative, but also provide a mix of great benefits, strong workplace culture, and financial stability.

As a group, Millennials, Generation Xers and Boomers cared about competitive salaries and challenging work, which came in first and second, respectively, on their lists of important attributes. Recruiters and executives should use that data to inform their outreach and retention strategies.

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Millennial (18-35)

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4

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IBM

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3

“Apple’s marriage of software and hardware is beautiful.” — Gen X Tech Pro about Apple

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IDEAL EMPLOYER

Generational insights What different generations value The top attributes that matter most to different generations of tech professionals.

Millennials Value...

Gen Xers Value...

Boomers Value...

1

Competitive salary

1

Competitive salary

1

Challenging work

2

Challenging work

2

Challenging work

2

Competitive salary

3

Opportunities for promotion

3

Positive organisational culture

3

Positive organisational culture

4

Manageable working hours

4

Open / transparent communication

3

Strong executive leadership

5

Positive organisational culture

4

Manageable working hours

3

Open / transparent communication

6

Office environment

6

Office environment

6

Manageable working hours

6

Solid training & development

6

Strong executive leadership

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Financial performance

8

Innovator industry

8

Solid training & development

8

Office environment

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Open / transparent communication

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Opportunities for promotion

8

Flexible working options

10

Strong executive leadership

10

Flexible working options

10

Innovator in industry

10

Financial performance

11

Financial performance

11

Is a good corporate citizen

Question asked: When thinking about your ideal employer, how important are each of these attributes? In the event of a tie, attributes shared a rank and subsequent rankings were skipped.

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IDEAL EMPLOYER

The takeaways For employers that aren’t Google, Apple, Amazon, or another gigantic tech firm, what’s the takeaway here? No matter what the size of your firm (either in revenue, market cap, or employee count), it’s clear that professionals under your roof value a combination of strong salaries, challenging/interesting work, and an equally robust culture. Salaries, benefits, and perks are probably the easier parts of that equation for a business to achieve, provided it has sufficient monetisation. Creating the right culture, however, is a lengthy process often filled with trial and error. It starts with companies listening to their employees: What do they want? What do they value? What could be done better, or differently? Once a company establishes a powerful feedback loop with its employees (and prospective employees), it can take the necessary steps to make its culture more responsible and transparent. This isn’t just a job for the CEO and other c-suite

executives; managers must listen and ensure that their direct reports not only feel supported, but also challenged (in a good way) by their work. Challenging work and solid training ranked high on our respondents’ lists of valued attributes, so employers can demonstrate that they invest in opportunities to do so and communicate through different channels to position themselves well in a tech professional’s mind. Last (but certainly not least), companies need to be holistic in their approach to employee hiring,

retention, and attention. It’s not just a matter of throwing money and snacks at professionals until they say they’re happy, or even ensuring that they have the right kind of work to do. Companies must strive to present an image of innovation and honesty (i.e. being a good corporate citizen) in order to compel employee loyalty. Accomplishing all of that takes a lot of time and energy, but the results are surely worth it to drive growth through innovation.

5 ways to attract Tech Talent when you’re not the Cool Kid 1

Use insight to build a picture of what matters to tech professionals.

2

Define an Employer Brand proposition to ‘talk’ to tech professionals.

3

Create a culture where tech pros can develop their skills and careers.

4

Build your brand by talking about yourself and backing it up.

5

Get people talking about how you build an organisation for success.

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Appendix Appendix


Respondent profile

8%

7%

24%

27%

Male

85%

Millennials (18-35)

Female

Gen-X (36-50)

Prefer not to answer

Boomer+ (51+) 49%

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Methodology

About Dice

Our Ideal Employer research was conducted via an online survey tool between June 2017 and August 2017. In total, the survey garnered 464 respondents across the United Kingdom. 1,344 valid votes for ideal employers were cast with a total mention of 501 different companies.

Dice is a leading tech career site for the UK, Germany and US. Dice quickly delivers the opportunities; insights and connections technology professionals and employers need to move forward. uk.dice.com connects employers with relevant tech professionals at different stages of their career path.

The main question asked respondents to identify their top three ideal employers and was an open-text field with predictive data entry. Respondents were then asked to rank 21 company and role attributes based on importance. Finally, respondents rated their ideal employers on these same attributes. To ensure statistical validity of the results, 30+ votes per company were required for major rankings (e.g., region) and 10+ votes per company were required for minor rankings (e.g., company sector). 65+ votes per company were required for deeper analysis into company ratings across attributes, including key strengths. Where companies had divisions or acquisitions that received too few votes to stand alone, they were combined into the parent company. An example would be YouTube, which was rolled up under Google.

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