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Simon Raymer has a problem. The chief information officer of Fraedom, a global company specialising in payments and expenses systems, is perpetually hunting for technology talent.

西蒙•雷默(Simon Raymer,见文首照片)遇到了一个问题。专门提供支付和报销系统的跨国公司Fraedom的这位首席信息官天天都在招揽技术人才。

To innovate and grow, the company must hire experts. It needs workers who understand technology — developers, systems architects and people with coding skills — with a record of solving problems.


Yet many other companies all over the world are looking for the same expertise.


“The scarcity is global,” says Mr Raymer. “As soon as you start talking tech, especially fintech talent with good experience, it is very rare.” The London-based company employs 200 developers. Such is the scale of the competition that at any one time it is trying to fill between 50 and 100 vacancies.


Conventional recruitment methods do not cut it in this market. “You can’t just put out an advert and expect people to come clamouring for the job,” says Mr Raymer. “We have three dedicated recruiters working full-time, scanning LinkedIn and going out and spreading the word.”


While it has a San Francisco office, Fraedom is not a large, cash-rich Silicon Valley company. Neither is it a lean, scrappy start-up, offering the stirring possibility that it may change the world and make employees with stock options very rich. It is a mid-sized, privately owned company founded in 1999, and it must find a way to persuade the best technology talent to choose to work there. If it does not, it risks falling behind.


As some of the world’s biggest companies bet on technologies like self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, demand for tech talent is escalating — and so are the salaries and perks commanded by those who can build and run those technologies.


How likely a company is to attract that talent depends on where in the world it is. In Japan, with its relatively restrictive immigration laws, more than 86 per cent of businesses struggle to recruit talent, according to data from ManpowerGroup, the US recruiter. This compares with a global average of a little less than 50 per cent.


The global data cover all roles, but the technology industry was cited as the second-most difficult to recruit for. The US and Europe fare somewhat better on the tech front.


Technology is a well-paid sector and salaries vary depending on specialisms. At Fraedom, says Mr Raymer, joiners earn “market salaries” of between £40,000 and £200,000 a year, with PhDs and other specialists commanding “scary salaries”. For Harvard Business School MBA graduates who work in technology, median salaries have risen from an annual $115,000 to $130,000 in just five years. At the other end of the scale, start-ups with limited funds for high salaries must find creative ways to lure talent.

科技行业薪资丰厚,而薪资因专业领域而不同。雷默表示,在Fraedom,按照“市场行情”,新加入者的年薪在4万英镑至20万英镑之间,博士和其他专业人士要求的“薪资高的吓人”。对于进入科技行业工作的哈佛大学商学院(Harvard Business School)MBA毕业生而言,短短5年内,他们的年薪中值就从11.5万美元升至13万美元。另一方面,没有太多资金用于提供高薪的初创企业,必须找到创造性的方法吸引人才。

A nimble, creative company with a sense of mission and disruption is a big draw for workers, but only up to a point.


Many expect rewards for risk in the form of stock options — where the worker forgoes a high salary in lieu of a stake in the company.


In the US, employee stock options have helped attract the world’s best talent to early stage ventures, but in Europe and Asia, such perks are less common.


Research by Index Ventures, the tech-focused venture capital firm, suggests that employees in Silicon Valley receive double the reward for risk of their European counterparts, where such benefits are often reserved for the most senior executives. It says on average, employees own 20 per cent of late-stage start-ups in the US, versus 10 per cent in Europe.

专注科技的风投公司Index Ventures的研究显示,硅谷员工获得的风险报酬是欧洲同行的两倍,在欧洲,这种福利经常只有最高层管理人员才能享受。研究称,在美国,员工平均持有处在后期发展阶段的初创企业的20%股权,而欧洲为10%。

The authors say this uneven state of affairs holds back the European technology sector as it tries to compete for workers. Index produced a league table of European countries that showed how, in terms of broad equity ownership by employees, the UK has created the most favourable conditions, with Germany’s and Spain’s the least favourable.


Europe’s founding investors are less keen to accept a diluted return than their US counterparts, says Dominic Jacquesson, director of talent at Index. Diluted return “is short-term pain but you could have a share of a bigger pie in the long run,” he says.

Index人力主管多米尼克•雅凯松(Dominic Jacquesson)表示,与美国相比,欧洲的创始投资者不那么愿意接受收益被稀释。他说,稀释的收益“是一种短期痛苦,但长期来看你可能会参与瓜分更大块的蛋糕”。

Mr Jacquesson says even a relatively straightforward ecommerce venture needs a complicated and expensive set of skills, including some roles that he describes as “semi-tech”.


“As you scale up, you need a world-class team around you. Hyper-growth is a skill set in itself. How do you build brands in the superfast timescales of technology?” In Silicon Valley, he says, “even the office manager will negotiate a salary with stock options”.


One tech company that offers reward for risk to all staff is Farfetch, the London-based fashion retail platform, through a scheme called Farfetch for All, started this year. The company has 2,000 employees in 11 offices around the world, with employees from 57 nationalities.

有一家科技公司为全员提供风险报酬,那就是总部位于伦敦的时尚零售平台Farfetch,今年该公司启动了一项名为“Farfetch for All”的计划。该公司在全球11个办事处拥有2000名员工,员工来自57个国家。

Sian Keane, executive vice-president of people, says that, in the context of hyper-growth — Farfetch grew more than 70 per cent over the 12 months to the end of 2016, based on the value of goods traded — the scheme fosters cohesion. “We are trying to create a sense of community across different markets — London is no more of a headquarters than Portugal,’ she says.

负责人事的执行副总裁希安•基恩(Sian Keane)表示,在超高速增长的背景(根据交易商品总额计算,在截至2016年底的12个月里,Farfetch的规模增长逾70%)下,该计划增强了凝聚力。她表示:“我们正努力在各个不同市场之间营造一种团体感,伦敦作为总部的地位并不高于葡萄牙。”

Meanwhile, Fraedom’s hunt continues. The company may be neither a start-up nor a member of the Fang group (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google), but it does have some old-fashioned advantages.


“If you work for a start-up, you are never sure your pay cheque is going to arrive,” says Mr Raymer. “And if you work for a big company, there is surface glamour and perks, but it is hard work.” So the company positions itself as a friendly employer with a limited hierarchical structure, where tech teams are given autonomy to solve problems. It also helps that the company has been around for 20 years. As Mr Raymer points out: “Young people in their late 20s and early 30s often want a house, a family — and a bit of stability.”


It’s not just money: skills, flexibility and brand matter, too

延伸阅读: 不只是金钱:技能、灵活性和品牌也很重要

A recent survey by ManpowerGroup found that while 59 per cent of job candidates around the world identified compensation as a primary concern shaping their career decisions, work type (53 per cent), flexibility (38 per cent) and company brand (20 per cent) are increasingly important, writes David Robinson.


“People now prioritise learning and new skills,” explains Becky Frankiewicz, the recruitment company’s North America president. As technological innovation forces many employees to develop skills to stay at the cutting edge of their sector, Ms Frankiewicz says: “In the future, the haves and the have-nots will be divided up by who has the skills.” In the UK, Australia and parts of Scandinavia, type of work has eclipsed pay as the most important consideration.

万宝盛华北美总裁贝姬•弗朗基维茨(Becky Frankiewicz)表示:“人们现在很看重学习和掌握新技能。”科技创新迫使很多员工掌握新技能,以站在所在行业的前沿。弗朗基维茨表示:“将来,贫富将由是否具备技能来划分。”在英国、澳大利亚和斯堪的纳维亚部分国家,工作类型已超过薪资,成为择业时最重要的考量因素。

In another survey conducted by the company, four out of five millennials said they would change jobs for a role with the same pay that offered better training opportunities. Meanwhile, 87 per cent of respondents said they would consider gig economy roles such as contract, temporary and freelance positions for their next job.

在该公司开展的另一项调查中,在千禧一代中,有五分之四的人表示,如果一份工作薪资一样高但有更好的培训机会,他们愿意换工作。与此同时,87%的受访者表示,他们下次换工作会考虑零工经济(Gig economy)领域的工作,例如合同工、临时工和自由职业。


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