Location and Lifestyle: How to Attract Tech Talent

March 15, 2022 4 Minute Read


If you’re a tech business, it’s likely you’ve had a good few years. Great, even. But if you want to keep evolving at the same rate, how do you attract the best talent into your business to fuel the growth? People are the scarcest resource for every business right now and knowing where to find them is crucial.

CBRE’s latest report, Tech Cities, can help. It shines a light on the regional cities, outside of London, ranking them as employment destinations for tech businesses. Looking at factors including local universities, graduate population, and availability of offices, it showcases the best places to locate your business if you’re looking for the best talent.

Many predicted a Great Exodus and a Great Resignation of talent, with employees moving away from big cities, supported by emerging hybrid workplace strategies. We have undoubtedly seen increased talent mobility, as people relocated during the pandemic to more affordable locations which could also offer them a better lifestyle. Many Tech occupiers have responded to this challenge by further investing in establishing a smaller number of amenity rich environments to entice their teams to return to the office, to promote increased collaboration and to retain their loyalty to the brand.

A shift from hub and spoke portfolio strategies to hub and hub ‘destinations’ has opened up new opportunities for the UK’s secondary markets. But, while there’s more attention on regional cities, London and the South East have remained incredibly resilient as a global and regional Tech Hub, with the highest supply of diverse talent and a significant concentration of real estate assets. Many of the established tech occupiers in London have committed to additional space, not less, in recent months. We have also seen some of the next generation of tech occupiers commit to some significant acquisitions in the capital.

Tech clustering also remains a relevant locational consideration resulting in a concentrated but growing group of cities driving the market, often reflecting a city’s ability to offer appropriate skills, talent availability, access to R&D and ecosystems, digital infrastructure as well as access to finance and trade.

The gaming sector exemplifies this refocusing of location strategy outside of London. Our recent report, Game Changers, showed how the sector was surprisingly distributed across a diverse range of towns and cities. The nuances of tech talent and the hunt for specific skills and early mover advantage will also continue to offer opportunities for the UK’s smaller towns and cities to compete against the bigger tech clusters to attract emerging tech occupier demand.

As head of the tech sector at CBRE, I talk to clients every day who simply can’t get enough great people into their business fast enough. My advice to them is to start with the graduate talent pool – look at the best universities specialising in teaching and R&D around the targeted skills and the cities that keep graduates after graduation. Ensure there is a sustainable pool of existing and emerging talent and focus on those cities. Then, create a workspace that’s even better than being at home; a place that promotes creativity and collaboration, somewhere which helps businesses to grow and their employees to thrive. This is what will you attract and retain the best talent and encourage your teams to actively want to come into the office

If you’d like to explore our Location Advisory services, or talk about your tech company business strategy, please get in touch.