Navigating two decades of tech transformation

Sep 11, 2023 by Elena Goryunova


In brief

  • Over the past two decades, technology has rapidly evolved, from desktop computing to mobile, cloud, AI and IoT
  • Adapting HR strategies to meet the dynamic skill requirements and talent retention challenges is a necessity
  • Building a strong employer brand is essential to attracting top tech talent


Explore the tech industry's past and future with Elena Goryunova, Luxoft's CHRO. In this interview, she discusses the influence of AI, automation and the changing tech hiring landscape. 

Learn how building a strong employer brand is key to attracting top talent and how diversity and inclusion can drive innovation. And discover the latest trends shaping the tech job market and the ways that Luxoft is leading in remote work, ensuring a seamless experience for its global workforce. 


You have been in the industry for more than 2 decades. What are some of the transformations you have witnessed throughout your career?


One of the most prominent changes has been the rapid advancement of technology itself, from the early days of desktop computing to the emergence of mobile, cloud, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The shift from on-premises infrastructure to cloud-based solutions has been particularly transformative. Additionally, the whole industry has been influenced by the rise of data analytics and its impact on decision-making and business strategies. I have also observed a shift in the nature of work, with remote and flexible work arrangements becoming more prevalent, especially in recent years. 


As a CHRO, what are the key challenges you have faced in aligning HR strategies with the rapidly evolving tech industry?


Keeping pace with the ever-changing skill requirements and job roles can be quite demanding. Additionally, attracting and retaining top tech talent is an ongoing challenge due to the competitive nature of the industry. The IT field is highly dynamic, and HR strategies must continuously adapt to meet the needs of the business and its people. 


Could you share your insights on the importance of building a strong employer brand to attract tech talents? What strategies have you found to be effective in this regard?


Building a strong employer brand is crucial in the IT industry. Tech professionals often seek workplaces that offer exciting and innovative projects, career growth opportunities, a positive work culture, and a reputation for being at the forefront of technological advancements. One effective strategy to build a strong employer brand is showcasing the company's technology-driven projects and highlighting the impact they have on society.Participating in industry events, hackathons, and local initiatives can also help raise the organization's profile in the tech community.However, success depends on having a work culture that's innovative, collaborative and people centric. Only when these elements are in place,a strong employer brandcantruly flourish. 


With the increasing demand for tech talent, how do you approach attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive market?


In our industry, it's essential to adopt a multi-faceted approach to talent acquisition and management. Competitive compensation packages, flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and a stimulating work environment are some strategies that I find effective. Moreover, we have built a culture of innovation, where employees are empowered to contribute ideas and are recognized for their achievements – this helps us significantly enhance employee retention. 


Can you share a specific example where you or your team successfully implemented a talent development program that significantly impacted the growth and performance of your organization's tech people?


We have developed a comprehensive Career Development Framework, providing equal opportunities and helping all Luxoft people build their careers. From Day 1 and the first career conversation, we support the aspirations of Luxofters and guide them to their desired result. Additionally, we continue to enhance our goal-setting processes and run an internal mentoring program to advance the personal and professional development of our colleagues around the world. Luxoft helps its people grow through 11 specialized communities where around 11,000 professionals use opportunities to develop themselves and connect with fellow experts through around 20 live and virtual events per month. Our High Performers Club and Leadership Academy programs support the growth and empower career transformations of Luxoft Leaders. Our Learning Management & Development team provides 350+ professional training courses on various technologies, along with 28,500+ training hours in custom learning programs and a plethora of self-learning resources to help Luxoft people improve their professional skills and share knowledge on a variety of topics.  


In your experience, what role do diversity and inclusion play in fostering innovation and driving success within tech companies? How have you worked to promote diversity in your organization?


At Luxoft, Diversity & Inclusion are among our key company focuses. It underlines our dedication to treating people fairly, being accessible and valuing various perspectives. 

Talking about specific actions, we are very proud of our She’s in IT program for the development and empowerment of women, as well as our Leadership Academy. Throughout the last quarter of the Financial Year 2023, we have run a company-wide Diversity & Inclusion week to learn more about the role of D&I in our business, the IT industry, and leadership. Luxoft also launched the Disability Inclusion program, aimed at fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, and runs Women in Technology activities, actively encouraging and promoting the participation of women in IT careers. Apart from that, we celebrated Black History Month and International Women's Day, and worked with various charity projects globally.  I’m proud to say that our executive management team actively engages with and participates in these initiatives, along with many members of our global Luxoft population. 


How do you stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in HR practices specifically tailored to the tech industry? Are there any resources or communities you would recommend for HR professionals in this field?


I regularly follow industry-specific conferences, webinars, and networking events. Online resources like tech-focused HR blogs, LinkedIn groups, and HR-related forums have been valuable for keeping me up-to-date on emerging trends and best practices. Additionally, collaborating with other HR professionals in the tech sector through industry associations has been a great way to exchange insights and learn from one another. We are proud to partner with the WomenTech Network organization, including membership in the WomenTech community as well as speakership and engagement in their networking events and global tech conference. In particular, I was honored to deliver a keynote speech on ‘Leadership in the New Normal’ at the WomenTech Awards online ceremony in 2021. 


Could you provide some insights into the future of work within the tech industry? How do you think hiring will evolve in this changing landscape?


I think the future of work within the tech industry will likely be shaped by continued advancements in automation, artificial intelligence, and the increasing use of data analytics in HR practices. Hiring will emphasize technical skills and adaptability to change. We can expect an increased focus on flexible work arrangements, which have become more widely accepted following the recent global shift toward remote work. Virtual collaboration tools and technologies will play a more significant role in managing and communicating with distributed teams. 


With the rise of remote work and distributed teams, how have you adapted your talent acquisition and management strategies to effectively address the challenges and opportunities presented by this shift?


We expanded our talent pool beyond geographical constraints and leveraged online communication tools to conduct virtual interviews. Luxoft also invested in robust remote work policies, digital onboarding processes, and virtual activities for our teams to ensure a seamless transition to remote work and promote team cohesion. I would like to specifically mention the concept of Digital employee journey — an idea developed by the members of Luxoft’s High Performers Club, which helps Luxofters access all corporate applications and systems through a single, unified platform called MyHome. But this goes beyond mere accessibility; it's about digitally guiding employees through every phase of their Luxoft journey. The realization of this project greatly enhanced the user experience of working with internal systems, and I’m very proud of my colleagues who helped make this project a reality for all Luxoft people globally. 


As an industry thought leader, what advice would you give to aspiring professionals who are looking to build a career within the tech industry?


I would suggest the following guidelines that can help you position yourself for a successful career in IT: 

  • Continuously focus on learning and upskilling 
  • Seek internships or entry-level positions in reputable tech companies to gain hands-on experience 
  • Build a strong network by attending industry events, joining tech communities, and connecting with experienced professionals 
  • Showcase your passion for technology and innovation through personal projects, open-source contributions, or relevant certifications 
  • Embrace a growth mindset and be open to taking on new challenges and roles to advance your career 
  • Be adaptable and ready to embrace change 
  • Cultivate soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, as they are equally essential in the tech industry 
  • Be ready to go the extra mile, advancing your project, your team and your own professional development. 


Elena Goryunova , Luxoft's CHRO

Elena Goryunova author linkedin

Luxoft's CHRO

As CHRO, Elena’s responsible for the strategic and operational management of Luxoft’s talent acquisition and management lifecycle, including the HR, Learning Management and Employer Branding teams. She oversees the development of Luxoft’s talent acquisition and management strategy to match the objectives of the company and its clients, as well as the professional development goals of Luxoft employees. She oversees an organization built upon sophisticated, modern, agile career development practices, frameworks for retention management, and other business aspects which help make Luxoft a top-tier talent company.