When you have to make taxes exciting to IT talent

When you have to make taxes exciting to IT talent

Sovos CTO John Landy has to get - and keep - employee attention in the work of tax compliance. He says you must respect individual motivators

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August 17, 2018

[ Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series in which we ask CIOs and IT leaders about their toughest talent challenges – and their best retention tips. ]

Hiring and retaining key talent in this competitive market is very challenging for all companies. At Sovos, our main challenge is explaining how exciting “tax” can be to prospective hires. So we focus on the exciting things happening in IT.

[ Are you a DevOps job seeker or a hiring manager? Get our free resource: The Ultimate DevOps Hiring Guide. ]

Our products are delivered in a Software-as-a-Service model using the latest technologies delivered on top of a hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure. We are dealing with complex rules delivered in a solution that has the underpinnings of workflow and business process management while interfacing with tax authorities across the globe. We utilize agile software development processes and a user-centric design process, and we’re constantly seeking feedback from our customers who use us for mission-critical services. What could be more exciting than that?!

How I retain the rising stars in my IT organization

We like to think about the following aspects for retention of our technical talent:  

  • Be smart about hiring to keep the peer group on par with intelligence and technical capabilities.
  • Keep the environment fun while working on the latest technologies.
  • Keep pushing new opportunities to top performers. As we continue to grow, we also need employees that are willing to step up and grow their careers. However, we know we also have to support people through these changes.
  • Invest in training for individuals. Whether from a technical, professional, or personal standpoint, all should be covered and offered to employees through a variety of classes and formats. 

Bonus tip: Spend time finding each individual's motivators

Learn what motivates individuals and keep feeding them more of it. We spend a lot of time learning about each other’s personalities and motivators so we can create environments that are fulfilling and continue to challenge individuals.

[ Why is adaptability the new power skill? Read our new report from HBR Analytic Services: Transformation Masters: The New Rules of CIO Leadership ]

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As Chief Technology Officer at Sovos, John leads ongoing product development to ensure customers have access to the most updated compliance solutions needed and that their sensitive data is completely secure as they navigate today’s business-to-government regulatory landscape. John is also responsible for ensuring the company’s product offerings are stable and scalable for enterprise organizations and financial institutions that leverage the Intelligent Compliance Cloud via the Sovos platform.

Harvard Business Review: IT Talent Crisis: Proven Advice from CIOs and HR Leaders

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