The ability to offer flexible working conditions is giving employers a winning edge when it comes to attracting the top IT talent, a report has found.

Released by DevOps and cloud transformation consultancy Contino, The Voice of Talent 2019 report interviews almost 300 Australian IT professionals working across a range of industries.

Amongst the key findings was one resounding message – employees want flexible working conditions.

“We are living in a technologically-advanced time, with multiple devices, project management and collaboration software tools, wide-spread wifi and data accessibility, and affordable travel possibilities,” says the report.

“Alongside trying to find the right work-life balance and juggle competing life priorities, the increasing feasibility of flexible working is becoming a requirement for many engineers and developers.”

More than three quarters (76%) of respondents indicated that flexible working arrangements are either very important or extremely important when it comes to considering a job role.

And the research suggests employers should be doing everything they can to gain the edge over competitors when it comes to attracting workers from what is what is a very limited talent pool.

Almost all (96%) of the respondents said that it was difficult to attract top talent.

Head of Talent APAC at Contino, Gerhard Schweinitz, said companies cannot afford anything but the best when it comes to talent.

“Throughout my career in the talent industry, I have interviewed thousands of candidates and hired several hundred,” he said.

“The competition for top talent is aggressive and an organisation’s reputation is critical to attract the right people.

“An organisation that settles for mediocrity will tarnish its reputation. Our research is a reminder that organisations must set the bar high when bringing on new people, as talent really does attract talent.”

The value of culture

Company culture – including a lack of politics and the opportunity to work in a talented team – is another important factor for IT talent in choosing their next workplace.

“When a basketball team has a star player, other players aspire to play alongside them. This is true in sport, and also true in the workplace,” the report says.

“Talented developers who are performing well in their career, tend to spend time with other developers who are also talented. And developers who have a yearning to improve their skills will want to work with the best so that they can continue to grow.”

The vast majority (87%) of respondents said it was either very important or extremely important to work with a highly talented team.

And when it comes to leaving a company, internal politics was revealed to be the top cause of pushing workers out the door.