At Godel’s Manchester’s Moving Market networking dinner at King Street Townhouse last week, 12 IT Leaders got together to discuss the issues and challenges they face in Manchester and more widely across the UK. Here we consider some of the wide-reaching topics and challenges they’re facing in terms of legislation, skills and retention. There were three key takeaways that are top of their minds currently.


  • IR-35 compliance

Although the IR-35 tax legislation has now been delayed until April 2021, it is still a major concern for CTO’s in terms of ramping down reliance on those who are deemed by the government to be ‘disguised’ employees. The topic will no doubt gain ground again as both companies and contractors have been given a window of opportunity to explore their options further over the next twelve months. For CTOs it requires a strategy to either employ or replace the resource in other ways. If you’d like to know more about IR35 and how it might affect you, read our blog here.


  • Misaligned expectations

Many of our CTO’s talked about the disconnect between salary expectations of software developers based on their level of experience in the marketplace.  Candidates who are fresh out of university with relatively little experience in the job market are expecting in the region of £50-60k p.a. as a salary which it was agreed is an elevated expectation against reality. Further, those with between two- and three-years’ experience are also applying for positions advertised as ‘senior’ and expecting to rise through the ranks of the profession with the matching job titles and salaries. From the CTO’s perspective ‘senior’ it was agreed, looks more like four to six years plus of experience.  Salary alone is driving the expectations of a job market which can to some degree at least, name their price.


  • Beware the Rockstars

Every CTO has those in his/her department that are considered ‘Rockstar’s’ – those developers who are so talented and productive that work revolves around them. It’s great to have such talent on the team, but essentially, it’s akin to having all your eggs in one basket. If it’s gone, you’re left with a huge hole in the team. The CTO’s point was that in order to mitigate these risks it’s important to show value towards them but not to over celebrate or enable them internally or they may leave a department with issues when they inevitably move on. Build a team around them that can continue to be effective if they move on – and the consensus was that most Rockstar’s and other able developers leave within eight months of being hired.

In all three of the above issues, the relevant advantages of nearshoring in delivering a consistent skill set to tap into was discussed. A nearshoring partner can help alleviate the issues of working with contractors, the fluency of the job skills market and the competition and matching salaries within it and of course, the ability to retain Rockstar developers over a number of years.


If you’d like to discuss how these issues are affecting your organisation, please contact