HR · 25 September 2015

Dublin trumps London as a better city for top tech talent

Dublin's “legendary social scene” cemented its position as a major global tech player
Dublin’s “legendary social scene” cemented its position as a major global tech player

The Irish capital is a better location for the best of tech employees than London, according to new research from Savills.

The estate agent compiled its Tech Cities research to see how 12 locations ranked when it came to quality of life, with Austin, Texas coming out top here. Being home to SXSW festival – a key date in the tech and creative calendar helped, as did its affordable real estate costs and “vibrant communities”.

Savills said the city has also seen recent population, house price and GDP growth, with its stand out economic growth rivalling the bigger cities, while the median average age is 31 years. Smaller cities outperformed the likes of London and Hong Kong, partly due to lower levels of crime and pollution, as well as buzzing nightlife and shorter trips to work.

The average commute for employees in the 12 tech cities was 31 minutes, while those in Austin’s central tech districts took an average of just ten minutes to get to work.

Ireland’s corporation tax rate of 12.5 per cent was a draw for bigger US names, setting up European headquarters in Dublin. The research noted that while a business-friendly, low-tax environment may have drawn those like Apple and LinkedIn to the city, it was its “legendary social scene” that cemented its position as a major global tech player and contributed to it coming fourth in the quality of life rankings.

Savills said the second placing of San Francisco also reflected tech companies moving south from Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, Berlin, the top-placed European city in third, led the cafe culture which the research said was “vital to a successful tech city attracting talent”. The city tops the Flat White Index for its quality and quantity of cafes and informal meeting places.

Jon Hutt, of Savills worldwide occupier services, said: “Location decisions are predicated on far more than simply the cost of property and in today’s world it is fundamental that companies look closely at how they retain their existing talent pool, attract new talent and keep themselves ahead, in what is an increasingly competitive employment market.”

He added that all businesses should consider “the nature of their space, the areas in which they locate, the quality of life that they can offer their teams and the access they have to talent, as they grow” as this significantly outweighs “saving a few dollars on rent”.

Hutt mentioned this was particularly important to tech firms, looking to get ahead.

Quality of life rankings for the Tech Cities

(1) Austin

(2) San Francisco

(3) Berlin

(4) Dublin

(5) Singapore

(6) New York

(7) London

(8) Tel Aviv

(9) Hong Kong

(10) Stockholm

(11) Mumbai

(12) Seoul

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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