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The Tech Recruitment Timebomb London – 4 Key Takeaways


Last month, Oscar Technology partnered with IT and Tech Magazine, Business Cloud to host the Tech Recruitment Timebomb. An evening event which brought together key figures from London’s thriving tech scene to discuss one of the biggest challenges facing them today: Recruitment. 

The Challenge

Repeated news reports and surveys have revealed that the tech skills shortage in London has reached chronic levels and there is an increasing challenge in retaining top talent. As consequence salaries have spiralled in recent years, with over a third of digital tech businesses reporting that candidates want more money than they can afford to pay. 

The Event
Over 80 people attended to hear panellists from a number of London based organisations, including Perkbox, Oval Money, Vibe Tickets, Final Stage, Venatrix and Beamery, all sharing their own insights on how they are overcoming their own recruitment challenges. 

Client Solution Director for tech recruitment business, Oscar Technology; Sam Mikkelsen kicked things off by sharing insights on how the recruitment industry has changed and how Oscar partner with their clients to help them build and retain tech teams. 

“Our clients rely on us to go the extra mile, to attract and engage with the very best tech talent. It’s not enough to simply advertise a role and put together a shortlist. We have to constantly review how we attract and engage passive and active candidates.  People want to know about the company culture, and the future job and training prospects, what kind of product or service that they will be helping to develop or support, so they can see themselves working there. We act as an extension of our client's recruitment team and ultimately we represent their brand and this helps to deliver best in class service 

There were so many great insights, but here are the 4 main takeaway pearls of wisdom that came from the event.


1. Culture – Perkbox

The importance of culture was highlighted by the co-founder and CMO of Perkbox, Chieu Cao. 

Perkbox works with thousands of companies across the UK to provide fun and engaging benefits to help them with staff retention. However, giving away free coffees and cinema tickets doesn’t work in isolation. 

Addressing the delegates, Cao said: "The key to a truly authentic business is to have a clear company vision, mission and values that are broken down and articulated to employees in a way that relates to them. Without this, employees have no guiding principles to understand a company's authenticity and where they're aiming to go”. 

“Authentic businesses have a clear and well-defined culture. This goes back to having values that employees are fully behind and that occur in practice, not just in theory. For example, at Perkbox one of our key values is We don’t know ‘It’s impossible’, it's a value that the team have created themselves, and they truly live and breath every day."

2. True Diversity – techUK

Vinous Ali, Head of Policy for techUK, reminded us of the importance of embracing Inclusion and Diversity and not seeing it as a simple ‘box ticking’ exercise. 

techUK represents 950 companies, which collectively employ 700,000 people - approximately half of all tech sector jobs in the UK. 

Ali said: "If the UK wants to remain at the cutting edge of innovation we absolutely need diversity of thought around every table. This means moving past simply seeing diversity as a tick-box exercise and instead really understanding and embracing the value of having diversity of thoughts and opinions represented all the way through your business."

3. Embracing Tech - Beamery

Organisations that embrace tech can win the war for talent, both in terms of candidate attraction and retention. 

Product Marketing Manager of software company Beamery, Craig Brown had this to say about the critical role of tech innovation in recruitment and how candidate engagement has evolved past simple advertising. 

"Our Talent Engagement Platform helps enterprises attract, identify and engage candidates on one unified platform, to deliver better talent acquisition at scale". 

4. The Candidate Journey – Vibe Tickets 

Often overlooked, the quality of the candidate journey plays a huge role in any recruitment strategy, but where do you start? And what are candidates really looking for? Luckily, commercial director of Vibe Tickets, a company dedicated to providing a seamless ticket-buying process, Hannah Morris was on-hand to offer some essential guidance when it comes to creating a winning candidate journey. 


Morris said: "It's important to make candidates feel welcome and comfortable in the first stages of interviewing.  By putting a candidate at ease, you give them the opportunity to show their true personality and potential.  Being approachable makes the candidate feel like they can ask lots of questions which often they may be too nervous to do.  This approach benefits both the candidate and the hiring manager in finding the right fit for the role. A mutual level of respect is key.

“Making the interview process an enjoyable and positive experience is vital in setting a good first impression.  If you're a fun, honest, friendly company with a great culture then why not let your interview process reflect that?" 


Summary

Many of our clients experience the same challenges highlighted above. When it comes to innovative tech, our unique Video Interviewing Platform, Oscar Live! helps save internal hiring managers time and reduces the overall time taken to hire. With Culture, we help our clients gain a clearer picture and understanding of their own unique culture. By using our Culture Mapping Tool our clients can ‘map’ their own culture and see how newly employed team members will fit best within individual tech teams and overall within their organisation.  

As for ‘Candidate Journey’, we recognize that it doesn’t just start with an interview at our clients’ site, it starts with us, the first email, phone call or LinkedIn message. We spend time understanding everything about our client's culture, working environment, tech stack, team breakdown, hours, benefits, social events and more. We also create co-branded ‘Candidate Info Packs’ that go beyond simply directing someone to a website. This truly consultative approach helps us deliver a better overall service and improves the candidate journey. This means fewer interview dropouts and improved offers to acceptance ratio.

Diversity and Inclusion is something that seems to be top of everyone’s agenda right now, but we’ve been active on this subject for over a year. We hosted three educational workshop events earlier this year on Diversity and Inclusion in Tech, focusing on Education, Recruitment and Retention. https://www.oscar-tech.com/Diversity-and-Inclusion-What-Next. We went on to help set up the Inclusion Coalition https://theinclusioncoalition.com/, which will be a central repository for organisations who want to become more diverse in their recruitment strategy. We are also members of the Tech Talent Charter https://techtalentcharter.co.uk/ another community-led initiative that focuses on gender diversity in the Tech Industry.

Furthermore, we are also partnering with ‘Recode’ https://recode.org.uk  a ‘not for profit’ organisation that helps people from all backgrounds to learn to code and secure their first role in tech.   

Whatever recruitment challenges you’re facing Our Client Solutions Team at Oscar are on hand to listen and deliver. Our suite of products, help many of our clients to reduce overall recruitment costs and save time. If you would like to have an informal chat to see how we can add value to your recruitment strategy please get in touch with Sam Mikkelsen – Client Solutions Director – sam.mikkelsen@oscar-tech.com – 0161 828 8140 / 07854 245 390 

Stay tuned to our blog and social channels to get insights and updates regarding the key issues facing the tech industry.