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Crewe Software Company Plays ‘Santa’ as it Launches Search for Technical Talent

A software company owner has increased pay and holidays for employees as part of a drive to attract more top technical talent to South Cheshire.

Information Catalyst CEO Stuart Campbell

Stuart Campbell, CEO at Crewe software, data, and services company Information Catalyst (ICE) surprised his 40-strong team of scientists and software engineers with a bumper Christmas pay packet and the promise of 12 extra vacation days in 2022.

He has increased salaries by generally 15-20% in line with other areas of the country, such as London, where skilled engineers have traditionally been paid more.

Information Catalyst CEO Stuart Campbell and employees in Haslington

Mr Campbell, who founded ICE 10 years ago, said: “For many years there has been a shortage of software developers and related skills not just in the UK but across Europe. 

“What tech talent there is here is often lured South where salaries are higher. To overcome this, we previously offered a reasonable salary package for South Cheshire plus the added benefit of being able to work from home.

“Employees typically spent two or three days in our Haslington office providing them with a good work-life-balance and the flexibility to work round family commitments.

“Roll on nearly two years and our USP has disappeared. ICT sector pay has risen dramatically in the pandemic, holidays have gone up and now everyone can work from home!

“We had to do something creative to remain attractive to skilled personnel, so we have permanently increased the salaries of all existing employees, not just developers, by 15-20% on average.

“On top of this we have implemented a ‘Free Friday’ where in addition to the typical 28 days of holiday staff can take an additional 12 Fridays as paid holiday.

“Cheshire East is rated as one of the country’s best places to live and work and we hope this will encourage existing talent to remain, and new technical talent to join us.”

Information Catalyst, based on Crewe Road in Haslington, helps companies improve their business activities through cutting-edge research, innovation and custom software development.

He added: “Previously ICT workers in London were expected to live ‘locally’ and were paid significantly higher salaries. The large corporates have resolved shortages by offering high salaries to people in the low-cost regions such as Crewe.

“I had to do something both for existing employees and to attract new talent after several seniors left in the past months. The salary increases, and ‘Free Friday’ scheme was announced just before Christmas and there were smiles all round.

“It was good to be able to reward hard-working colleagues and put ICE in a good state to face future challenges and continue our growth.

“We look forward to hearing from software developers who would like to join us in the New Year.”

For more information go to Information Catalyst.