How to find young Czech IT talents?

The increasingly prominent trend of information technologies that have recently expanded into the area of “smart devices” and the frequently discussed BYOD, cloud computing and mobile applications requires for its development new IT talents who have been prepared for the task at high-quality universities.

Successful completion of a study programme in an IT-related field, particularly programming, information systems or security, is the initial prerequisite for gaining a prestigious and well-paid job in the ICT sector. The second prerequisite is the quality of graduates themselves.

Generation Y

Current IT talents are members of Generation Y, also frequently referred to as “Millennials”. As they will comprise 75% of the overall workforce in 2025, it is important for employers, HR managers and team leaders to consider what these young people expect from life and from their work environment. It is necessary to bear in mind that they have grown up in an environment of constant praise and permanent reassurance of their specialness. They accept binding rules only when such rules make sense to them and their motto is “Life begins after work”. Enjoyment of life is not a matter of only their personal lives, but also of their work environment. They expect their employers to be accommodating in terms of working from home, flexible scheduling, a broad range of benefits, relaxation zones with game consoles and wellness centres, among other things.

How to deal with them?

This is the fundamental question that makes the personnel specialists’ and managers’ hair stand up. If a company wants to have IT talents under its roof, it must adapt the work environment according to their ideas of helpfulness on the part of the employer, i.e. the company must give them a free hand in choosing when and where they will work, ensure access to modern technologies and professional and technical development. As personnel specialists, we should be aware that this generation lives on the internet and social networks, so we must target our search for and recruitment of IT talents there, while promoting a friendly corporate culture at career fairs, organising open houses and offering them internships and part-time jobs.

Universities are striving to flexibly respond to the demand for ICT specialists, increasing the capacity of their informatics departments, expanding specialisations and collaborating with the commercial sphere. However, this effort is not “good” for all IT talents. In practice, we encounter two types of young IT talents. The first type is aware that the knowledge acquired during their studies provides a strong foundation for further professional growth, whereas the other type does not see any value added in their studies and live by the motto “What I don’t know, I can Google”, the result being that those of this type do not even finish university and would rather develop themselves by starting their own businesses.

Location is decisive

In the Czech Republic there are many universities that offer informatics study programmes. For employers, the location of these universities is important so that they have future graduates close at hand. Examples of this are Brno (Brno University of Technology and Masaryk University) and Prague (Czech Technical University and Charles University), where companies require a large number of ICT specialists. However, in terms of the per-capita number of positions, Prague lags behind Brno, which is reflected in the fact that Brno has a large concentration of IT firms. On the other hand, Prague maintains the principle of higher average wages, which in the case of Czech Technical University graduates amount to roughly EUR 1,257 per month as compared to their colleagues from Brno University of Technology, who earn approximately EUR 1,006 per month on average.

The Czech Statistical Office has presented the percentage demographic distribution of informatics students according to their place of permanent residence (for 2012), which is usually their hometowns. However, students do not have a problem with moving from their hometowns, leaving their families and relying on themselves. Graduates often stay to work in the cities where they spent their student years, made friends, found their partners and gained experience.

In the graph, it is apparent that the strongest representation of informatics students is the Hradec Králové region with 2.5%, with Prague in third place with 1.7% and South Moravia coming in fifth with 1.3%. The Karlovy Vary and Ústí regions are the weakest in this respect with only 0.8%.

The Czech Republic as a whole has a wealth of IT graduates. The approach taken by companies is the key to attracting these young, self-confident and demanding junior specialists and thus capturing the best IT talents.

 

Author: Denisa Janatová

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