Great staff want top gear

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14 March 2018 | 0

Billy MacInnesJust how important is technology to you in your working life? Would you make a decision on a job based on the standard of technology at a potential employer? Would technology be a higher priority for you than flexible working, your working environment and staff discounts?

According to a recent UK survey, a large number of people would answer ‘yes’ to the last two questions, suggesting that their reply to the first would be ‘very’. The survey, conducted for found that 53% of people identified the standard of technology as a key consideration when it came to accepting a new job role. More than a third (37%) said they would refuse a job if they thought the hardware was poor at a prospective employer.

Imagine that. I find that intriguing because I’m not sure how you would define hardware as ‘poor’. For example, would Mac users refuse to join a company that used Windows laptops and tablets? Would Samsung smartphone users knock back an offer from a business that had standardised on iOS? In both instances, the definition of ‘poor’ isn’t truly objective, especially if the hardware has been chosen because it provides a better fit for the company in question. But people who have chosen to use a specific hardware platform (or grown accustomed to doing so) will probably feel justified in considering it to be better than the alternative, irrespective of the suitability of the hardware to the company offering them the job.

It’s also strange that people would value technology above flexible working, in particular. If you are unable to get to the office for some reason, does it make the slightest difference if you prefer a Samsung smartphone or an iPhone or a MacBook Pro to a Dell XPS? No. But it definitely does make a difference if you have flexible working in place.

One reason for the focus on the quality of technology when looking for a new job could be that almost three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed believed technology made them productive at work. So obviously, if you’re moving job, you don’t want to end up with worse technology than what you’re leaving behind. But, by the same token, it may well be that the ‘inferior’ technology is better suited to the way your potential new employer does its business than the superior IT you’re leaving behind. It’s not something you can make a decision on in isolation.

The survey also finds there’s a distinction between job roles and the type of technology people are looking for. No surprise that people in marketing attach the highest value to technology, followed by creative and photographic, information and communications and professional services (such as law and accountancy).

But is there a completely objective gauge of which technology is ‘better’? Probably not in the minds of the people trying to decide whether to take a particular job or not. And that’s the interesting thing: we’ve reached a point where people’s decisions on technology are probably more ’emotional’ than they used to be because they use more devices in their daily lives and they have made their choice as to which platforms they think are the best.

Does that particular technology make them more productive? That’s the big question. They might think it does but it’s not something they can be completely objective about. And if they don’t take the job, they’ll never find out.

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