Human Capital & The Importance of Company Culture


Human Capital & The Importance of Company Culture

By Rich Tehrani, Group Editor-in-Chief, TMC  |  March 30, 2016

As Paula Bernier (News - Alert) wrote in the January/February cover story for CUSTOMER magazine, employees are now taking a more active role in their jobs. Indeed, to a growing degree, workers are controlling what hours they work, from where they work, and the tools they use to get their jobs done.

Tech workers such as developers and engineers would seem to have even greater flexibility, considering they are so keenly sought after both by companies in the tech space and by businesses in general as so many organizations undergo digital transformations in an effort to be more agile in our interconnected world.

It’s becoming clear that programmers are in short supply, and demand is increasing rapidly, leaving small and medium companies struggling to compete in a space where giants rule. To be successful, an organization must differentiate its culture from others.

“We allow pets.” “We have superior daycare.” “We offer flexible work hours.” These are just some of the basic benefits being offered to accommodate today's workforce. 

There are many reasons for increased tech worker demand. As tech industry analyst Om Malik points out, in Silicon Valley all sorts of monopolies have sprung up, meaning virtually unlimited resources at Google, Amazon, Facebook (News - Alert), and others. Then there is the absolutely miniscule cost to launch a new tech company compared to just a decade or two ago. Using the cloud, an organization can pay only for the resources needed. It can outsource HR, accounting, and more. The growth of ecosystems, which allow seamless and limitless distribution via platforms such as iOS or Android (News - Alert), means immediate access to paying customers and freemium models with reduced marketing costs. 

Then there is the emergence of the API economy, which has grown so fast recently that companies such as Uber need programmers to open up their architectures to outside developers, and companies like Starbucks need to hire developers to leverage them. 

Even though the U.S. has a record 95 million people out of work, according to Rachel Lerman at the Seattle Times:  “At any one time, there are more than 25,000 open jobs in Washington [state] that go unfilled, and 90 percent are in health care and science, technology and engineering fields, according to the Washington Roundtable.”

She adds that: “The Washington Technology Industry Association estimates that every year there is a 3,000-person shortage in filling such core technology jobs as software developers and engineers.”

Perhaps the most important part of the article is that the average tenure of a developer in Silicon Valley is nine months. This is a shockingly small amount, as companies can spend three or more months just getting programmers up to speed on how to do their jobs. Assuming they spend two months interviewing for something new, this means programmers have perhaps four months or so to contribute to the organization in a focused and fully productive manner. 

This is where TMC’s Tech Culture Awards come in. This program is designed to become the resource tech workers use to determine where they want to work. We hope to help developers, engineers, and others figure out where they should apply and hope to get hired. We also aim to raise the bar in tech hiring and work cultures in general.

The deadline for the awards is fast approaching. Please be sure to alert your HR, management, or related department to ensure your benefits and differentiators are chronicled for the right workers to see. For more information, visit

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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