Glasgow Tech Week Event

 Our Neil Ferguson recently attended an excellent event during ‘Glasgow Tech Week’ which was expertly coordinated by Glasgow City Innovation District. The event centred around recruitment challenges and considerations for start up/scale up businesses in the tech sector. The format was an open discussion with a panel of expert advisors including two tech business founders – one of whom was Allan Cannon, who co-founded Gravitate HR client Krucial.

Here, Neil discusses the key points raised during the event, and his thoughts on those:

Setting out

It was great to hear stories from each of the business owners about setting up the organisations, the early recruitment activities to begin building a team and establishing the culture they wanted to embed. This of course came with varying challenges and successes when trying to maintain that culture as the organisation grows.

The discussion involved challenges with attracting the right talent, Brexit and restrictions on immigration and the business outgrowing those who joined it when it was just starting out. Each business owner had encountered these difficulties and the entrepreneurial spirit of embracing them, remaining agile and creative problem solving was evident.

Growing into it

This made me think and reflect on over 12 years of providing HR support to SMEs across Scotland and the UK. We regularly engage with clients who are preparing for a growth journey and need to put the HR infrastructure in place to support that growth.

I have always offered the same advice to such businesses in that it is much easier to establish this infrastructure whilst small and grow into it, rather than reverse engineer it once the growth has happened. Organisations run aground when they focus too much on getting people in the door just to have extra pairs of hands, rather than establishing good practices and processes for their people management as they bring people in.


A key feature of the discussion was talent retention and how the scaling organisations managed to keep the key skills they needed whilst adding more skills and personalities into the team. Other factors contributing to successful retention were highlighted. Those included keeping close to the existing team and listening to their views on how the business is run, what the benefits offering is, and maintaining a flexible attitude towards working.  It was noted also that some ‘churn’ of individuals who perhaps no longer fit with the direction that the business is taking and decide to move on, more skilled and experienced than when they joined, was not necessarily a negative.

All industries, all sectors

Whilst the events itself was for Glasgow Tech Week and the growing tech sector rightly gets an increasing amount of attention, the principles for successful growth apply to organisations in all industries and sectors. Gravitate HR has a diverse client base for whom we are the trusted HR department, providing a knowledgeable and responsive support service for all stages of the employee lifecycle.

To discuss further how we can help your business grow, book a 20-minute call with one of our team.