Beat the post-Brexit IT talent shortage: Leveraging remote development teams

Post brexit

In an age of overpriced hand sanitiser and safety screens, one can easily be forgiven for confusing real life with a dystopian science fiction film. And, one can also be forgiven for forgetting about Brexit. Before a global pandemic took centre stage, there was barely any other subject talked about with more frequency and passion on Britain’s shores. 

If the transition period doesn’t get extended, the new year will see freedom of movement ending. EU and non-EU citizens will be treated the same way under the government’s new immigration policy. As outlined by a government policy paper, under the proposed points-based system, anyone wishing to work in the UK will need to be sponsored by an employer in a middle-skilled job or higher and be paid a minimum of £25,600 salary.

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“We know that there's already a skills shortage within technology in the UK and globally, so CIOs will be fighting to make sure that they retain their tech talent and that they also attract the best available.”
Lily Haake,
Head of CIO Practice, Harvey Nash Group

If negotiations with the EU don’t lead to an alternative solution, this is a complete game-changer for the world of software engineering. With a tech skills shortage already present in the UK, IT decision-makers (ITDMs) need to assess alternative avenues to get the people and talent they need to innovate.   

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Navigating uncertain waters: prepare for Brexit

A survey by British company Pivotal highlighted the fears among CIOs and other ITDMs; a concern that they simply won’t have the developers available to operate effectively after December 31st. 59% of the CIOs surveyed said they felt a lack of access to talent would hinder their organisation’s success. And, 77% said they planned to have staff outside the UK assist in the development and deployment of software after Brexit.

Life after Brexit survey

In these post-Covid times of remote teams as a new normal, businesses are better able than before to tackle some of these challenges head on. Essentially, companies can choose to innovate themselves by leveraging remote teams, or be shaped by the circumstances brought about by the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Are tech employees swimming to more certain shores?

With the clouds of uncertainty hovering, we aren’t just seeing business leaders pondering their next moves. Research published by Top CV at the beginning of this year shows 16% of UK tech employees are planning on leaving the UK and their current job with the aim to advance their career due to Brexit. This puts the Brexit impact on IT services in tangible terms. 
Covid has indeed altered perceptions of business leaders regarding remote teams, but the employees too.  An April 2020 Gallup Panel found the highest percentage of people stating a preference for continuing to work remotely are employed in technology.

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“Organisations can pick the route of innovation over submitting to the status quo, but it requires technology, culture, and the right people working together in ways that foster agility and create business value.”
Robbie Clutton,
Senior Director, Pivotal

Preparation for plain sailing: combating the post-Brexit IT talent shortage

Planning the next 12 months of your development team and the overall strategic priorities of the business — particularly as technology becomes a key driver of value (as we explore in our report, Scaling Beyond Borders) — is incredibly tricky with the end of the transition period looming ahead. 

However, there are certain measures businesses can take to sail as plainly as possible. Whether it’s monitoring workforce nationalities (with an eye on skills, of course) or moving to new offices within the newly-drawn EU borders, there’s both smaller and more significant procedures businesses can undertake. One which we’re particularly fond of is utilising dedicated remote teams.

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Leveraging remote teams: minimising the Brexit impact on IT services

After the December 31st deadline, visas may be required for developers, both from mainland Europe and further afield, aspiring to work on British soil. If we do indeed frame it as ‘before Covid’ and ‘after Covid’ when we talk about attitudes of businesses toward remote work, then it’s important to note that in a survey of 317 CFOs by Gartner in April this year, 74% said they will now move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote and that they “recognize that technology and society has evolved to make remote work more viable for a wider variety of positions than ever before”.

It would seem, perhaps, that the increased digitalisation of workforces has perhaps provided a solution to the complications of the Brexit impact on the IT sector. With remote development teams, businesses are able to acquire the skills they need to innovate, gain access to untapped pools of global talent… without the complication of visas, permits, and the challenges of relocation — both practical and cultural. 

IT decision makers can leverage technology to protect their businesses from any possible Brexit-related economic downfalls — in a similar fashion to how they’ve leveraged it against the problems of Covid. It would appear that at times of instability, the ability to best harness tech becomes a key differentiator.

Building tech teams in a post-Brexit business landscape

Inspired by a drive to transform quickly and innovate with minimal disruption to core business, in 2020 and beyond we will see: the pursuit of expertise by sourcing talent and skills in global pools, remote-ready technology infrastructure, fluidity between ITDM roles, and a clear vision and understanding of how remote teams can enable organisations to scale swiftly. 

We recently released an in-depth report on how the Covid crisis has led a tidal shift in attitudes toward remote work and building global development teams — and what we uncovered is applicable to a post-Brexit landscape also.

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What will you learn?

  • How new operating models are making businesses more resilient, and able to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
  • How to innovate without disrupting core processes — technology as a key driver of value, not merely a support.
  • How establishing remote-ready technology infrastructure is key to becoming more ‘pandemic proof’.
  • How to harness talent in worldwide talent pools, scaling beyond borders in a ‘new normal’ of recruitment and delivery.

To beat the post-Brexit IT talent shortage, and find out more about Offshore 2.0 and how CTOs, CIOs, and VPs of Engineering will be building their tech teams beyond 2020, download our latest report: Scaling Beyond Borders.

If you want to leverage Bangalore’s IT ecosystem, and transform your business, feel free to reach out to us by filling out the contact form. As experts in building the best engineering teams in India, we can help you build your A-team.