Finding the Tech Employer of the Year

    As a business whose growth strategy is to attract, nurture and develop the best talent in the industry, creating a strong employer brand is everything. It builds trust, connection and affinity in every touchpoint, from your clients through to your partners. It’s at the heart of our success. Right now, it’s an exciting time to be a business within the Thames Valley’s fast-growing digital and tech economy, writes James Jordan, Thames Valley and South West technology manager.

    A shifting landscape

    The tech market Austin Fraser launched into over 10 years ago has transformed. Back then, it was the original global Silicon Valley arrivals building the region’s economy and reputation. Dell, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco all dominated our landscape as employers. This in turn influenced the tech ecosystem as the region became a hotbed for talent.

    The result? We have home-grown scale-ups like Artesian thriving and an ever-growing grassroots layer of exciting start-ups agitating their markets. Initiatives like those led by Austin Fraser’s partner, ConnectTVT, the initiative accelerating the growth of the digital ecosystem in the Thames Valley, has been fundamental to this. Last year’s Tech Nation report showed that, outside of London, Reading had the highest digital turnover in the UK, at £12.5 billion. This was ahead of the Bristol and Bath and Manchester tech hubs.


    The report put the number of digital tech economy jobs at 45,269. It’s a figure that will inevitably grow. Already we’re seeing new pillar tech scale-ups like Carbon Black, the global leader in endpoint security, and Workday, the enterprise cloud platform for HR and finance, recognising the benefits Reading – and the wider Thames Valley offers – as a tech hub, with great connectivity and transport.

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    War for talent

    And yet, the war for talent is rife. Our clients repeatedly cite their biggest frustration as getting great people – whether it’s finding those people in the first place, keeping them or pulling people back out of/losing them to London. Great employers need to offer great opportunities, values and environment to ensure they are bringing the best people into their organisations. It’s about building an authentic employee-first culture. It’s at the centre of what Austin Fraser does and why we’re passionate about supporting the Tech Employer of the Year category at the Thames Valley Tech Awards.

    People as a global strategy

    Our model has always been to establish great local teams and invest in its communities. It started with our Reading HQ and it’s a strategy we’ve successfully rolled out in Munich, Berlin, Austin and Denver. More European and US offices will follow this year.

    For us, this means investing heavily in the business community, supporting existing programmes and events – from Glug Reading here in the Thames Valley through to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Our specialist teams proactively build dynamic, high-quality candidate pools through a range of innovative initiatives so that we can ensure our clients have access to market-leading talent. We’re also invested in building our own employer brand so that Austin Fraser is synonymous with being a great place to work.

    Being a top tech employer

    Partnering with The Business Magazine’s first-ever Thames Valley Tech Awards is another way for Austin Fraser to encourage and celebrate success in the region – building on our people-first ethos.  

    So what does it take to be a top tech employer? For us, it’s about creating a genuinely innovative and inclusive culture, having a clear brand identity as an employer, with employees truly aligned to business values, and a leadership team that leads by example. Can you show us how you invest in your people and cultivate a growth mindset through personal and professional development, training and progression opportunities and tailored incentives schemes? How are you giving back to your community, in a way that engages your employees and supports future generations?

    We’re looking forward to highlighting how our tech colleagues in the region are defining their businesses as great employers. Simply follow this link and fill out the Tech Employer of the Year award nomination form to apply: