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by Robyn Trubey
Jennifer Cox has over 18 years of experience in tech and in the Cyber Security industry. She supports her team who work with techies across all of...
Jennifer Cox has over 18 years of experience in tech and in the Cyber Security industry. She supports her team who work with techies across all of EMEA in enabling best practices and cyber exposure prevention.
Jennifer is a multi-award-winning advocate for Diversity in Tech. She is the Head of Communications for Cyber Women Ireland, an Ambassador for Wentors global mentorship programme, an active member of WITS Ireland (Women in Technology and Science Ireland), WomenTech Community and WiCyS Global (Women in Cyber Security) and works hard to insure diversity and inclusion within her industry by partaking in roles such as Judging at the Coolest Projects event for kids in the RDS, launching a mentoring project in Tenable, speaking at events such as BSides Dublin, WomenTech Global, BBWIC, CWiCS (Cisco Women in Cyber Security), CBF Fest (Coding Black Females Fest) HexCon, UK CyberWeek, WiCyS Global and more.
Jennifer is not your typical STEM candidate, with a background in theatre and media studies, and we were able to get Jennifer's perspective on how and why she got into tech, how she is supporting women in tech and cybersecurity, and why not being afraid to speak out has served her well throughout her career in her quest to breaking down barriers for women in tech.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and your current role
I am a Mum to four boys and have worked in tech for 17 years. My experience was very general prior to joining Tenable in 2016 when I focused solely on Cyber Security. At Tenable I manage three teams globally — one is post-sales, one ius pre-sales and then a team of global architects. It makes for some really interesting conversations and often a steep learning curve. I love it!
I’m involved in a lot of things outside of Tenable too. I began mentoring with Wentors back in 2019 and have continued to mentor through a number of different programs since such as WiCyS (Women in Cyber Security Global), WomenTech and of course Tenable, among others. Mentoring is one of my favourite hobbies outside of work. It’s so rewarding.
Besides mentoring, I am an Ambassador for WiCyS UK’s Affiliate. I love to speak publicly and have done so recently at events like ZeroDayCon Dublin, Wicked6 Global, PlayCyber, UK Cyber Week & Womentech Global
How did you begin your career in tech?
My first tech job happened accidentally. I took an admin role with a tech company logging support cases and over time began answering and resolving some of the issues when people called in.
That led to a role in the support team, which led to a specialist software support role, which led to leadership and eventually I was the IT Coordinator for the company and its multiple sites. I then wanted to specialise in cybersecurity and moved to Tenable. I haven’t looked back since. At Tenable I began, again, in support before moving through the ranks, joining the security engineering team and eventually to my current leadership role. If you had told me when I started that this would lead to where I am now I would certainly have not believed you.
You work for Tenable, as a Security Engineer Manager, what is the most exciting thing about working in cybersecurity?
It changes constantly and quickly. Whilst the pace can be fast, and that is challenging, it’s also one of the best things about this industry. This is not a skill you learn and then rinse and repeat for the rest of your working life. There is constant upskilling, learning and teaching others. I read, listen to podcasts and participate in events across the globe. With colleagues that do similar things, the exchange of information is high quality and we are in a great position to keep on top of it all when we work together, which is something that we do exceptionally well in Tenable.
Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?
There have been plenty. For me the biggest challenge was the lack of a Degree. It meant that I had to wait until I had 10 years experience before I could confidently make the move. Knowing what I know now, it didn’t matter and I actually held myself back. I didn’t believe I could do it because I didn’t have a piece of paper validating my skills.
I kept ignoring all the experience I’d gained through living and working that were way more relevant. I did actual study and get certifications in Theatre Studies and Psychology over the years but again, because it wasn’t the career I was in, I deemed them invalid. If I could go back now I’d tell myself to get over it and push harder, earlier and trust in the skills I’d obtained on the job.
You didn’t come from a tech background but made a career change into tech; how can we convince women that they, too, can choose to work in technology and change the common misconception that a career in tech is just for men?
In the past tech was far more static than we appreciate. There were less coding languages, less operating system flavours, only a handful of network device brands. This meant that you could dedicate years to being an expert in all these things and your role and salary would reflect that over time. And also, speaking historically, women were deemed the primary care-givers, whether raising children or taking care of other family members, , which meant theircareer path would be interrupted or delayed, if progression was possible at all. I don’t believe that is true today.. Now everybody is valued equally, with life experience also seen positively.
In truth, nobody can know everything anymore, technology is moving so quickly with new things to learn almost daily. That means, if you did take a career break for whatever reason, the skills you had will still be relevant and can be adapted and manipulated to suit your current situation and career direction. Nothing you have learned has no value, and that includes if you’ve spent time raising kids or travelling - these life lessons are still valuable to the right employer. Courses are shorter, training is easier and more dynamic. The way we work has changed too, allowing more flexibility in where and when we work. Tech, and cybersecurity especially, is an industry that allows people to dip in and out of it as their life demands.
You can change direction in your tech career within a very short time. If you choose to become a developer and learn a variety of different coding languages and after a few years decide it’s not for you anymore; changing direction is easy to do. Especially if you are already in a tech company or in a tech role.
What has been your biggest career achievement to date?
In 2019 I was asked by Women in Tech Ireland to speak at their event in the Convention Centre in Dublin. I spoke about work/life balance, something that is really important to me. When I stepped on the main stage in front of 1200 people I had a wow moment that I’ll never forget. I’ve spoken at a lot of events and in front of a lot of people that I admire but that one always sticks with me.
My sister was in the audience and seeing her big proud grin, knowing that she was there when things weren’t so great was a wonderful moment for me. I think career achievements don’t always have to be about earning big money, getting the big title or a specific qualification but, feeling, in a moment, like it’s all starting to come together. That was it for me.
We are seeing more women in IT and cybersecurity than ever before, yet there is still a gender gap in the tech business. Do you believe there are still barriers to success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?
There are of course still barriers for success. If there weren’t we’d see equal representation. This extends beyond women in tech and includes all the other diverse groups also. Overcoming barriers comes with great communication.
If a company truly wants Diversity, Equality and Inclusion then this is something that should be clearly communicated to those who work for the company, those who are customers of the company and their public persona. If you are truly behind equality then why keep it a secret or only talk about it in-house? If you want to drive diverse groups towards your workforce then you need to show them that you are truly supportive of them and not just pay lip service because it’s considered cool to be talking about that today.
Why is it essential to have diverse teams in teams in the tech industry and why is it important for tech companies to truly support and progress diversity as opposed to simply viewing it as a tick box?
Having diversity in a workplace is vital, especially in tech. As importantly is recognition that diversity is not just limited to gender, ethnicity or sexual preference but all minority groups. If you mix the people working on a new product to ensure that there is true diversity — with various age ranges, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, different lifestyles, experience and interests, neuro diverse and a-typical, and more — then you will create a better product.
You will have a roomful of people that think differently and anticipate any use case. You will have a bunch of minds that are considering better and easier ways to solve problems. Embracing true diversity means throwing linear thinking to the side and pushing forward with changes that fit everyone.
What is a key piece of advice you would give to those individuals considering the decision to start a career in tech?
Just go for it. Start with some short courses on something like Udemy, YouTube or free training via Google, Veeam, AWS or Microsoft. There are always free short courses on offer somewhere. See if you like it. Try a bunch of different things. Don’t just focus on the one you think will make you the most money because if you hate it you’ll be miserable and the money won’t matter. Choose something that intrigues you, that you find fun.
When you’ve done the tasters and find an area you like, then push harder. Do more training, get a mentor, talk to people in that industry, try and get some work experience or an internship. The most important thing here really is the mentor. It’s amazing how useful this can be to someone starting out their career and helping them navigate so many options.
A huge thank you to Jennifer Cox for dedicating her time for this interview.
More information about Jennifer can be found on her LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifermcox/
If you would like to find out more about the tech programmes that Jennifer has mentioned within the article please find below:
Women In Tech: https://www.womentech.net/en-ie
by Matthew Bell
Millions of employees from various industries throughout the world have left the job in the last year and a half. Many have attempted to explain the...
Millions of employees from various industries throughout the world have left the job in the last year and a half. Many have attempted to explain the mass exodus, but reports indicate that it may be due to inadequate pay, limited career advancement, poor work-life balance, general dissatisfaction with management or the company, and a variety of other factors.
In competitive employee markets, a comprehensive employee retention programme is a critical differentiation. It is common in today's war for talent to focus on acquiring talent to counteract any turnover an organisation may have experienced. While this approach is critical, managers must also identify the root cause of the problem and consider why their best employees quit in the first place.
Today's IT jobs impact virtually every aspect of a company, therefore it's essential to have effective retention strategies to reduce turnover. How do you keep your employees?
Employers are having to revaluate what makes their company worth working for as employees decide what's best for them. If you believe your company is at risk of losing top talent, or if you have already begun to lose your best employees due to the Great Resignation, it is important to examine some employee retention techniques. We've 10 retention techniques to reduce the risk of turnover based on years of developing and managing high-performing technology teams.
1. Hiring For Cultural Fit
Hiring the proper individuals is frequently the first step in retaining employees. And, having a recruitment process that ensures you're hiring the right people is the best way to ensure you're hiring the right people. People can gain knowledge and skills. Hiring someone who understands your cultural values, on the other hand, will result in more loyal and engaged staff. New personnel can integrate more quickly into the team. They are more at ease and can contribute more quickly.
It is recommended not to subject candidates to a lengthy and time-consuming process because it may send them away. More importantly, conducting interviews in a way that allows you to better understand the prospect and if they have the necessary abilities for the post or will be able to develop them on the job.
Bad hiring decisions account for 80% of all employee turnover. One should try to think outside the box and go beyond the standard interview questions. Pose questions about your company's core values. Describe how the role links to the values. It will help them understand what is expected of them.
2. Make an effort to create welcoming work environments
Employees must work in surroundings where they feel supported; this is critical to employee retention. As a result, seek to create an environment in which people may thrive and perform to the best of their ability.
Some of the most effective ways to accomplish this are to provide enough on-the-job training, to practise good and clear communication, and to offer benefits and bonuses.
Employees frequently depart because they believe they are not sufficiently compensated for their efforts. For example, according to LinkedIn's Global Talent Trends Report 2020, firms rated highly in offering fair compensation had a 56% reduced rate of turnover.
As a result, one best practise for enhancing employee retention is to ensure that employees are adequately compensated, beginning with a base pay. Consider giving increases, promotions, or taking on new tasks.
Offering benefits can attract new employees, re-engage current employees, and improve employee morale. Employee retention relies heavily on benefits and bonuses. Offering them demonstrates to employees that you actually care about their well-being and may provide them with a sense of security in their lives. For example, perks such as health insurance ensure that employees may obtain adequate care if they become ill.
Fitness discounts, access to corporate promotions, or even delivering coffee in the workplace might be added advantages. If you want to include perks that are directly tied to employee wishes, solicit feedback from employees on what they would like to see presented.
5. Professional Development Opportunities
Employee retention relies heavily on training and development.
Employees who are not appropriately trained for their employees may feel underprepared for their jobs or underperforming. If employees believe they are unable to do their duties, they may seek options that provide full onboarding and on-the-job training.
94% of employees surveyed by LinkedIn for its annual Workplace Learning Report said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their professional development. Businesses that do not give these internal training opportunities are passing up a great opportunity to alleviate the global skills shortage. 75% of businesses who cite recruiting challenges say it's difficult to locate applicants with the capabilities they require. As a result, many businesses are providing internal training opportunities to upskill their existing employees.
Employee retention relies heavily on communication. People are more likely to feel prepared for their employment and to ask questions if they are unclear when they understand what is expected of them and there are open lines of communication.
As a team leader, you must also ensure that you are contributing positively to the overarching goal of the team, which is to create timely, constructive, and effective communication. Make sure you actively engage with each team member on a regular basis to measure their workload and degree of job satisfaction.
The yearly performance review is being replaced with more frequent meetings with team members by many businesses. Discuss your employees' short- and long-term professional goals during these one-on-one meetings, and assist them in imagining their futures with the business.
Working with employees to construct a career path at work is an excellent method to increase retention. It provides people with a goal to strive for and can be a strong motivator.
Quarterly, bi-annual, or annual career discussions in which managers sit down with employees and discuss where they want to go, how they may get there, and what possibilities are available are excellent ways to put this into practise.
While it's never a good idea to make promises you can't keep, work through prospective professional progression scenarios with a colleague and develop a practical strategy for achieving your objectives.
Employees who believe they are expected to be in work mode 24 hours a day, seven days a week may experience stress and burnout. They may also choose to work somewhere else where they know it is encouraged to have a life outside of work.
Instead, promote work-life balance and establish boundaries. For example, you could argue that people should set aside time to do work and then set aside time to put everything away and pick it up the next day.
Encourage staff to take time off when needed or even take breaks during the workday to promote this
Since the lockdown, hybrid workplaces have become a hot topic. It is the ability to work in the office or remotely, depending on one's preferences. However, some employers are wary of the idea of a virtual workforce. However, the option to work remotely can benefit both employees and employers. Yet, some employers are not entirely all-in with the idea of a virtual workforce. But the option to work remotely can be a win-win situation for both employees and employers.
Employees save time and money by not having to commute. They've got a better work-life balance and fewer distractions. Working from home is also a lot safer alternative. Employers, on the other side, can save money on infrastructure and overhead, eliminate office politics, and reduce absenteeism.
The best thing is that there are no geographical restrictions when it comes to employing employees. As a result, you have access to a larger pool of talent.
9. Foster a culture of diversity and inclusion
Employees are increasingly appreciating workplace diversity, particularly in the technology industry. According to Built In, three out of every four employees want to work for diverse companies, giving employers who prioritise diversity a significant competitive advantage. Unfortunately, the tech industry still has a long way to go before its teams are more diverse.
It is critical to look beyond colour, language, and gender to guarantee that employees are treated properly and that businesses have access to the best talent. Furthermore, diversity influences inclusion and higher levels of team satisfaction.
10. Provide Actionable Feedback
Employees want to know how they are doing, so offering feedback is essential. They will be aware of areas of strong performance as well as specific talents that require development.
Providing this feedback demonstrates to employees that you are concerned about their performance and how it affects the organisation. When you provide actionable feedback, you demonstrate that you care about their progress and aren't merely telling them to do better without providing any extra guidance.
Employees who aren't given feedback are left puzzled about their performance and wondering if they need to make changes. They may seek employment elsewhere where they may learn more about how they're doing.
The value of staff retention strategies cannot be emphasised in today's tight labour market. Because a few employees leaving an organisation can quickly result in low morale and unmanageable workloads, it is critical to be proactive by implementing effective employee retention strategies such as compensation reviews, recognition programmes, and opportunities for upskilling and reskilling.
Employees who feel appreciated and believe their organisations are invested in their development are happier, more productive, and more loyal—a win-win situation for everyone.
Are you a candidate interested in finding a job opportunity that is aligned to your aspirations or goals or a client looking for to build out your technology teams but need help when it comes to recruitment planning, processes, attraction, and retention? Get in touch today with one of our recruitment consultants today.
by Freddie Fulk
As companies compete for specialised professionals, discussions on the future of work are increasingly focusing on the advantages of blended...
As companies compete for specialised professionals, discussions on the future of work are increasingly focusing on the advantages of blended workforces. While many businesses have typically preferred permanent employees over contract labour, this is changing. More executives and hiring managers have discovered they need to explore beyond standard resourcing strategies in a tight employment market caused in large part by the pandemic.
The scarcity of available computer specialists is one of the most urgent challenges for companies. The demand for technological products and services is increasing in the digital age. However, according to IT Nation's People and Skills Report, IT job prospects have reached a 10-year high and now account for approximately 14 percent of the overall UK workforce. According to the Office for National Statistics, job opportunities in the UK will outnumber unemployment for the first time in 2022.
If you're having trouble hiring qualified permanent employees, is it time to consider how contractors can help your company? These choices may appear expensive on paper, but there is a wider picture to examine.
It is challenging to optimise the amount of employees in your workforce. It is about balancing the amount of employees so that they do not exceed the budget while also not becoming understaffed. Using contractors gives your company the flexibility to avoid these extremes.
Contractors will quickly assist you in meeting your needs. In the tech industry, you may be given enormous assignments or unique projects that require your organisation to rapidly expand up. Contractors provide your organisation with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to be flexible, which is critical in the tech era.
Some businesses are hesitant to engage with contractors because they believe it would prevent great talent, but this is not the case. Because of how quickly in-demand talents can change in the computer business, many highly talented individuals choose to work as contractors.
Furthermore, the tech industry often requires a fairly specific set of talents. These specialised skills are usually only necessary for a brief period of time. Using contractors to address these skill gaps within your company for certain projects and business goals is an easy option.
New Ideas and Abilities
Contractors generally have a lot more exposure to diverse firms and working settings because of their expertise working with multiple clients. As a result, they frequently add new perspectives and insights to the initiatives in which they are involved.
Their lack of ties to the company also provides them with the advantage of being able to examine an issue objectively and propose effective ideas that go beyond the status quo. A contractor's independence from a company also allows them to facilitate decision-making and adopt new methods without fear of internal bias.
Hiring a new permanent team member is a significant investment. In the fast-paced world of technology, finding and acquiring the appropriate talent can cost your company a lot of money. Even so, you can't be confident that they'll be a good fit. Utilise tech contractors to reduce the use of those resources.
A trial run will be important in determining whether or not that person is a good fit. It will also help you determine whether the position is something you will require in the long run. With the current increase in IT employment, how can you be certain that your firm has the correct tech position? Using contractors is a great way to test new positions you are considering acquiring for the long run.
Contractors are cost-effective resources for meeting project-driven demands as well as unforeseen upticks in internal operations and systems. Working with a contractor can help you save money on initial hiring costs if your budget is a barrier to employing fresh talent.
When compared to hiring permanent employees, outsourcing is an excellent way to save money. Take a look at the following:
- No holiday, sick, or overtime pay
- Only compensated for the exact set of hours you require them to work
- Reduced overhead costs
- Insurance covered by the agency
- Tax and pension dealt with by the contractor
- Controlled staffing budget
Many businesses have begun to reconsider their employment practises in the present economy, particularly in the fast-paced area of technology. Using contractors allows your firm to be more flexible, save money, gain access to a broader range of capabilities, and test the waters with tech jobs and people.
Has your organisation considered maximising on the trend by utilising contractors? Or do you require further assistance in navigating the world of contracting? Our team of recruiting professionals is ready to talk about the opportunities that contractors can bring to your firm. Contact us right away to learn more about how we can help you.
by Beth Marron
Naomi Timperley is the Co-Founder of Tech North Advocates, a support system for helping startups and scale-ups with promotion, investment, and...
Naomi Timperley is the Co-Founder of Tech North Advocates, a support system for helping startups and scale-ups with promotion, investment, and new talent and GSI, short for Growth Strategy Innovation who specialise in helping businesses grow, develop strategy, and innovate for success.
She is proud to be in the top 50 Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK IT 2018, 2019, 2020, 3rd most influential woman in 2021 and 4th in 2022. Naomi is an experienced growth and innovation consultant with established relationships across the UK.
She has extensive experience working with start-ups and growth businesses particularly in the tech, digital and creative sectors. Naomi has been a mentor for 8 years and mentored several hundred businesses. She is an Honorary Industry Fellow at the University of Salford Business School and chair of the Industry Advisory Board. Naomi also sits on the board of charity Digital Inc and Social Enterprise PIE and she was previously chair of Future Everything.
Please can you introduce yourself and your roles?
I am Naomi Timperley. I am a co-founder of Technical Advocates and co-founder of GSI Limited, which stands for Growth Strategy and Innovation. I hold a number of different board positions and I am an honorary fellow at the University of Salford Business School.
So, can you tell us about your background, your journey into tech, what inspired you, and how you got to where you are?
It's all accidental and I'm not lying. My first two careers were in the travel industry and in tech recruitment in the late nineties. That was my first foray into tech. Then I took about four years out to have my two daughters and then came across an American events company that was aimed at parents and kids and I brought the concept to the UK. Within two years, we grew in nine cities across the UK. I got offered an investment through Dragons Den, turned it down, and then started getting involved with Entrepreneurship, women's entrepreneurship, and youth entrepreneurship. I came away from the events company after about four years and set up a youth enterprise and employability company called Enterprise Lab with two guys whom I met on Twitter. We did have obviously lots of discussions before we set up the business and the main focus of the business was to bridge the gap between education, employment, and enterprise which is something I am very passionate about.
I left there and have been consulting ever since. I concentrated on very early-stage startups, have created and conducted numerous entrepreneurship programs, and have worked with a variety of organisations, but they have all been in the digital, tech, and creative industries. In 2016, I founded Tech North Advocates after meeting Russell Shaw from Tech London Advocates. Russ was doing some amazing work, and he came to Manchester in search of someone to establish Tech North Advocates.
I was seated next to Volker Hirsch, and what Russ spoke about TNA was comparable to what we were doing, which was connecting individuals. So we decided to do it together, but Tech North Advocates, however we don't tend to produce our own events, we speak at events, and it's basically reinforcing what we were doing already, which is connecting the links.
As it's now Global Tech Advocates, it enables us to link northern-based firms with a much wider network that they might not have had access to previously. In the past, if we go back around 10, or 12, years, we didn’t have the accessibility or the initiatives to give the opportunities to people like we do now. For example, I didn't attend college university until I was 44 years old. Without having any A Levels or a degree to begin with, I was persuaded to pursue a Master's degree. I graduated and received a post-graduate certificate of which I'm really proud.
Over the years, I’ve worked with academics and scale-up enterprises, I've worked with thousands of businesses and personally mentored about 500 of them, so there isn't a business problem I haven't seen. So that's my planned history; everything happened by chance.
One thing it did teach me—and a lot of the skills I've acquired working with the Advocates and the companies I've worked with—is the importance of forming strong communities and relationships, I think it's an incredibly powerful skill to have developed.
As you said, you are the co-founder of Tech North Advocates. Can you tell us what it is and what it's trying to achieve?
So essentially, it’s all about bridging the gap.
Making sure that, that we've got connections with a worldwide, audience rather than just being in the north. We’re able to bridge the gap between the independent sector groups such as the tech leaders, experts, and investors, and the wider tech community.
As I said, we operate very differently. We don't do events, but we are part of lots of events and it's private sector-led rather than attached to anything to do with the government. It's a mix of technology entrepreneurs, government figures, and vital suppliers to the tech sector and Tech North Advocates allows us to be connected to that much bigger network. I think what we're doing is assisting, we're championing, and we're connecting.
So what impact do you think Tech North Advocates is having?
It's creating a greater understanding of how small the world is and how important it is to make connections, engage in conversations, and absorb knowledge from others. As I previously stated, we don't organise many events; instead, we prefer to be a voice and speak at other events.
To have a voice in a space where there are occasionally only people from the South of the UK voicing their opinions is important to me. Although I was born and raised in the South of the UK, I have lived in the North of the UK for the past 25 years.
When we talk about levelling up, there aren't always a huge amount of instances where it truly happened because we don't get a voice, in my opinion, because there are so many loud people from the Southern voices. So I think the impact we are trying to have is it ensures that we get a voice.
Every time there is a big Global Tech Advocates event or a London Tech Advocates event, I make sure to attend and bring along other members of the Tech North Advocates so we can network. I believe it is crucial for them to participate and get in on the action.
You do a lot of work with young people and schools. Why are you passionate about helping and developing youth digital skills?
Essentially, I believe that’s how we're going to fix the digital skills gap and build a talent pipeline. We've got to be going into schools, and supporting teachers and students to know that actually, the roots of tech are not just about coding and that there is a plethora of different types of roles.
There is a lot going on in the north. Manchester is the hub for many technology enterprises, while Liverpool and Newcastle are also home to large, creative digital environments. I think that it’s important that we develop some homegrown talent. I’m an enterprise advisor at two schools in Manchester and the problem is that the careers advisors don’t know about all the many opportunities available. They are aware that there are roles in tech, but they are unaware of all the positions available.
One of the things I’ve done is advocate for digital skills through organisations like the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, which is free for schools and combines tech skills with entrepreneurial abilities. It’s the digital equivalent of the Duke of Edinburg scheme, where students can hit bronze, silver, and gold awards.
It’s evident that fewer students are enrolling in computer science courses at the GCSE and A-level levels. I feel one of the causes of that is that the course materials still refer to floppy discs and need to be updated. I think it’s essential to make sure that children are challenged. I serve as a trustee for a non-profit organisation called Digital Inc.; among the many things they do, they operate a college called Desk that is dedicated to helping young people with autism into the tech industry.
I think that is one of the ways to fix the digital skills gap, but also we need to ensure that we are looking at transferrable skills. Looking at people that perhaps have different types of jobs, but have made the career move into a role in tech and are able to use these transferable skills in tech. I work in the tech sector, but I don’t know how to code, but I could probably do lots of other different roles within the tech sector and it’s about educating individuals to be aware that tech touches every point of our life.
What can be done to be encouraging the younger generation, specifically women, to take an interest and enter a career in the tech industry?
A few years ago, I worked with one of the schools to determine how to include entrepreneurship education in the curriculum. I’m very passionate about entrepreneurial education, and I believe that it should run through the veins of schools.
Making real-world issues relevant to education is crucial, in my opinion, because it helps students develop life skills. Problem-solving, collaboration, teamwork, negotiation, persuasion, communication, commercial awareness, perseverance, motivation, and organisation are some of the top 10 abilities that employers seek. When I say the education system, I mean primary school, high school, college, and university. We need to make sure that young people are getting those skills.
I believe that the curriculum needs to include a few highly important skills. Little emphasis is placed on the development of these skills, and it appears to be nothing more than an exam factory. If you were teaching maths and included real-life problems, it would be 10x more engaging since then the students would understand its importance. There are some excellent teachers who do that, but the educational system is overloaded, which is why they tend to lose individuals between the ages of 12 and 18.
Of course, there is also another side to the coin, and that is the development of T levels, and they have a strong focus on careers. We need to make sure that there are opportunities for people from the industry to go into schools and teach some of the curriculum from T levels in real-life situations, rather than merely for academic purposes. Making sure that the industry understands we have a role as well, in my opinion, is important. Everyone is aware that we have a significant skills gap and are having trouble recruiting, but we need to take some responsibility for how we can help the issue. We need to realise that teachers need support around careers, but also it’s about making them more enterprising and the young people more enterprising.
You’ve been consecutively named by Computer Weekly in their most influential women in tech list, why do you think this is great for young females to look at role models like the women on this list?
If we go back to the late 1990s when I worked in recruitment, reading Computer Weekly when it was a physical magazine was something I used to do, so for me, it’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of.
Women, in my opinion, require role models, and I believe they should have a variety of them. There are some highly technical individuals on that list, but there are also some that provide significant support to the tech industry in different functions. I think it’s about making sure that women are heard and have a voice, as well as including people from all walks of life because we’ve all had different journeys. As I said, I went to university when I was 44 but I think you’re never too old, and you are always constantly learning as well. So I think it’s really important to have role models.
What do you feel is the biggest obstacle for individuals today who are interested in technology as a profession?
Um, I think they are unaware of the different types of roles.
I’ll share a remarkable story from my experience working with the IDEA Awards, which are open to everyone and are not just for young people.
One of them was when with a community group, which was supporting people that had fallen by the wayside and lacked confidence. There was one particular guy who hadn’t been out of the house for six months. With the community group that he was attached to he slowly built his confidence. He came into the community centre, he started reskilling, he did the bronze award, did it very quickly, and then became a champion of it. I remember him being on a stage with our mayor, Andy Burnham, and six months previous, he couldn’t leave the house.
Another story was of a young mother in her early 30s who had young children and had struggled in school learned about the IDEA Award through her local community group and quickly earned the bronze award. She had technical competence and flew through the mini-coding challenges. Now, what is she doing? She has a 3D printing company. These are some of the incredible things that can happen through these initiatives and what people can do when given the opportunity.
Shows like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ don’t accurately represent what people who work in technology are like, despite popular belief. I think everybody has the ability to learn how to code it's just about reprograming your own brain.
It involves being aware of the variety of roles. We can't just have a room full of coders. You need other people that have diverse skills. It's important to ensure that this is supported and this goes back to the importance of transferrable skills and role models. People need role models. I think if they can't see people like them, they're not going to go into that field.
What advice would you give to anyone who is looking to enter the tech sector?
My tip would be to see what networks are out there. There are some really brilliant community groups, just a couple that I'm part of, for example, Women in Leeds Digital, I'm also on the Tech London Advocates, and Women in Tech groups. There are loads of similar ones up in Manchester and all across the country.
I would also say make sure that you educate yourself because there are loads of really short courses such as Google which have got loads of brilliant courses that you can do online to get skilled up.
I believe it's important to consider your transferrable talents and reframe your prior experience in light of the technological world. If you've worked in project management in another industry, for instance, those project management skills can be transferred to the tech industry. I believe the same thing about other people looking at the sector and also having that perspective that actually most businesses have technology in them. So you might not think you're working in tech, but actually, technology touches everything at the moment so change that mindset and you will be surprised what incredible opportunities you will discover.
Thank you Naomi for taking the time to answer the questions for this series. Your insights and experience is invaluable and we hope it can help to advise and inspire the next generation into tech. If you would like to find out anymore information about Naomi Timperley or Tech North Advocates please feel free to check out their socials and website.
by Dominik Bart
Operations in cybersecurity are a simple concept. Operations in business refers to everything a company does to carry out its objective. Yet, in...
Operations in cybersecurity are a simple concept. Operations in business refers to everything a company does to carry out its objective. Yet, in order to do that, the business must also safeguard the assets required to achieve its objectives, and that's where cybersecurity comes into play.
Cybersecurity operations are the organisational activities required to secure the total company — and, in particular, its information assets — against cybersecurity threats. Internet information and resources need to be protected.
Protecting the organization's information, websites, databases, business processes, and communications is the primary objective of cybersecurity operations. In order to achieve this, they keep an eye on both internal and external activities on the network in order to spot any potential dangers or malicious conduct.
As a result of new technologies and shifting consumer needs, numerous networks grew, leaving cybersecurity without a centralised blueprint to follow. The disruption caused by the internet made it imperative for businesses to strengthen their security operations and assemble them under one roof. Companies were forced to examine their security architecture more closely as a result of the volume of alarms produced by intrusion detection/prevention systems, firewalls, and other systems.
Companies concerned not just that alerts weren't being examined due to a lack of educated personnel, but also that the volume of alerts was simply too high for prompt diagnosis. Organizations were frightened of what they didn't understand in terms of threat monitoring.
Outsourcing or internal development are the two options available to these firms for building security operations centre (SOC) capabilities. Monitoring network alarms is an acceptable technique to outsource cybersecurity tasks. Outsourcing cybersecurity operations essentially entails signing a contract with a managed security service provider to have them examine network alarms for any harmful activity. Those that are not malicious are discarded by the MSSP, while those that might actually be damaging are reported.
Trained personnel: Having experienced personnel immediately available, saves an organisation time and expense of hiring and training the dedicated people needed to do the analysis
Infrastructure: The MSSP (managed security service provider) already has the facilities and tools required to do the job, saving more time and the upfront expense of building out an Internal SOC
Continuous threat monitoring: MSSPs should provide SIEM capabilities that filter false alerts so forensics are only conducted on legitimate threats. This is proactive and continuous threat hunting and monitoring may be difficult for a company’s cybersecurity team to conduct on its own.
Planning ahead: Outsourcing cybersecurity operations can provide security analysis capabilities while an organisation builds its own in-house SOC.
How much analysis is the MSSP going to provide?: Outsourcing cybersecurity operation functions does not usually provide features such as multi-tier analysis of alerts or an incident response service. Instead, many outsourced cybersecurity operations only provide the equivalent of a Level 1 cybersecurity operations analysis.
What happens to alerts that the MSSP cannot clear? : The MSSP may only be able to analyse a subset of alert logs generated by an organisation. Alerts from certain applications such as databases and web applications may be outside of its area of expertise. If the MSSP is also a tools or hardware vendor, it may only be able to analyse logs from its own products.
Detailed analysis of potential threats: An organisation still needs some internal analysis capabilities to deal with the smaller number of alerts that cannot be easily cleared by the MSSP and thus returned to the client.
Compliance management: the SOC must operate in compliance with regulations and standards that the company must conform with. The MSSP should provide templates for required recommended compliance processes and consider regulatory standards when developing vulnerability assessments for the company.
In-House SOC Pros:
Tailors the operation to meet demand : design the security operations and monitoring capabilities that best meet the organisations requirements.
On-site storage: Storing event log data internally lessens the risks that come with the external data transfer required to report security incidents.
Improves communication: Breach transparency and coordinating incident response are typically much easier and faster when the processes are conducted in-house
Builds a unified security strategy: An in-house cybersecurity operations centre can be the foundation for a comprehensive security, threat and incident response capability
In- House Cons:
Planning and implementation: The time required to get an in-house cybersecurity operations centre up and running can easily be a year and is likely longer. CISOs and other security personnel will face a significant time investment in planning and implementing the SOC.
Costs: Establishing an in-house SOC requires a significant budget, with upfront IT and personnel investment
Finding good personnel: Hiring people who have the right skills, training and experience or developing and training existing in-house staff can be time-consuming and expensive
Acquiring multiple security technologies: Continuous threat detection and compliance monitoring across several departments likely will require purchasing several AI-driven security tools. This may be out of reach for security departments budget-wise, especially in smaller organisations.
The best course of action for many firms, as with many cybersecurity decisions, is to strike the perfect balance between managing the cybersecurity operations function internally and outsourcing it to an MSSP.
Using the speed that outsourcing offers while the company develops its own cybersecurity operations is a fair alternative, especially for businesses that want to construct an internal cybersecurity operations unit. The company can benefit from the qualified, experienced people that an MSSP has available while building the services that it wishes to offer on its own by outsourcing at least some of the cybersecurity services that are now required.
At Franklin Fitch, we are aware that information security is becoming increasingly mainstream and we've got it covered. We routinely monitor this ever-changing environment of InfoSec and it's no surprise that the demand for talent in this area is at an all-time high. Contact one of team members today if you're looking to hire into your security team, as we cover the main areas of focus in terms of our technical expertise and experience.
by Matthew Bell
The latest version of the OpenAI language model system, GPT-4, was officially launched on March 13, 2023 with a paid subscription. Overall,...
The latest version of the OpenAI language model system, GPT-4, was officially launched on March 13, 2023 with a paid subscription. Overall, GPT-4 appears to be more functional, responsive, and secure than GPT-3 or GPT-3.5. However, since Microsoft's Bing Chat uses the GPT-4 language model and the company has faced many complaints and criticisms about some of Bing Chat's strange responses, it's fair to say that these limitations dampen any expectation that GPT-4 represents an immediate "revolution".
Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, admitted in an interview that some users will be unhappy when the GPT-4 comes out, because it won't contain anything revolutionary. However, we believe the technology is on the right track and its capabilities across multiple business areas have the potential to both advance and transform a variety of industries. We are now in a time where opinions about AI development vary widely and are now being challenged by individuals and even AI experts.
What does the tool offer?
The latest model, unlike GPT-3.5, accepts input of both text instructions and graphics. For example, users can enter a hand-drawn sketch into the AI chatbot, which turns it into a usable web page.
The image processing function can also be used by companies:
- Improving customers' buying experience through customized visual searches and recommendations.
- Increase chatbot interaction to improve customer service.
- Improve your material and quickly flag offensive photos.
- Adding captions and improving accessibility in other ways.
Processing longer texts
The context window of large language models like GPT is limited. This context window is very restrictive as GPT makes it difficult to generate an entire novel at once.
The long form mode of the new GPT-4 model offers a context window of 32,000 tokens (52 pages of text). That's significantly more than the 2,049 tokens offered by the old GPT-3 API (three pages of text).
For example, you can enter a website's URL in GPT-4 and ask it to perform text analysis and generate interesting long material. Or you ask them to evaluate a 30-page lawsuit that you provide them with.
In addition, organizations can use GPT-4 to assess business planning, uncover vulnerabilities in cybersecurity systems, provide cost-effective medical diagnostics, and analyze financial data. The ability to follow the "system" message, which allows you to direct the model to behaving differently was one area where GPT-4 was particularly improved. With this you can ask GPT to do a similar task as a software engineer to improve the performance of the model.
According to OpenAI, GPT-4 is said to be more secure and responsive than previous versions. In the company's tests, it was "60% less likely to invent something".
However, there are certain limitations. Like its predecessors, GPT-4 is still capable of confidently providing "hallucinating" facts and committing several logical errors. This is problematic because consumers can assume that the model is correct in most cases.
I advise organizations to put in place reliable procedures to verify and validate data in GPT-4 generated content before publishing or distributing it to get around this.
Another limitation is the ignorance of developments after September 2021. Users are thus deprived of the most recent data. Those responsible in the companies must be aware of this possibility in order to be able to use the latest update efficiently.
How can companies use this technology?
In order for companies to compete with this or a similar AI technology, they need to build a team with deep AI skills to optimize the use of the tool. To compete in this AI-driven world, companies can do the following:
1. Stay up to date: As a company, keep an eye on the latest GPT-4 developments. To improve your overall performance, you're constantly experimenting with new features to see how you can get more accurate answers and integrate them into your business processes.
2. Prioritize users: Any customer-centric company places the highest value on the user experience. Therefore, make sure your AI chatbot has a simple, user-friendly interface that provides users with useful information. You can improve chatbot responses by using user feedback.
3. Check your work: Based on your clues, GPT-4 can generate accurate answers. With his improved mathematical skills, he is able to interpret results from data sheets. Have them examine papers and code to see if there are ways to improve your finished output.
On March 29th, in an open letter warning of possible dangers to society and humanity, Elon Musk and a group of artificial intelligence specialists and business executives are calling for a six-month freeze on development of systems more powerful than the recently released one GPT-4 by OpenAI. They want to ensure that there is enough time to ensure that these systems are secure and do not harm the security of society and its infrastructure.
"AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can bring profound risks to society and humanity."
"Powerful AI systems should only be developed when we are sure that their impact is positive and their risks manageable."
A number of authorities are already working to regulate high-risk AI tools. The six months proposed by the industry experts will be used by governments to develop security protocols and AI governance systems, and to refocus research to ensure AI systems are more accurate, safer, more trustworthy and more loyal. They also want to prevent the spread of disinformation and the potential for creating false narratives on certain issues that could be picked up by the AI systems. However, several people also liken the AI industry to temporary hype, arguing that both the potential and the threat posed by AI systems are massively overstated.
The IT industry is constantly changing, and in order to keep up with it, companies need to stay current. Whether it's about security or management, it's always important to secure the next hire in a beneficial manner.
If you're looking to expand your IT practice or strengthen your existing teams, don't hesitate to contact one of our many specialised consultants who have IT industry experts waiting for their next opportunity.
by Jack Brameld
Every job applicant has a sizable social media presence, regardless of the position. including a wide range of services, from more specialised ones...
Every job applicant has a sizable social media presence, regardless of the position. including a wide range of services, from more specialised ones like gaming websites to well-known ones like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok. These stories reveal a variety of details about a candidate's opinions, attitudes, and behaviors.
An applicant's social media activity and profiles can reveal a lot about them. It should come as no surprise that businesses are increasingly checking applicants' social media profiles as part of the hiring process. A business's inventory of risk-prevention tools must include social media monitoring as it develops its working cultures and procedures.
Your personal social media profiles can seriously affect your professional life. In a 2020 survey by The Harris Poll, 70% of employers surveyed said they believe every company should screen applicants' social media profiles during the hiring process. Additionally, 78% of employers believe current employees should maintain a work-appropriate social media profile.
Since we tend to think of our personal social media accounts as "personal," chances are that looking at an applicant's profile can provide insight into their personality that goes beyond their resume. But are these reviews being done correctly, fairly and compliantly?
What is a social media screening?
Social media screening is typically conducted prior to hiring when an applicant applies for a job. It examines an applicant's social media profiles and activities, including what they post, like and comment on. Some of the platforms they are likely to check are LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and WhatsApp.
The check identifies a candidate’s online presence to look for negative behaviours such as bullying, racism, nudity and excessive bad language. It also identifies potential privacy issues, such as leaking information, and content that could potentially damage your organisation’s reputation.
A social media check is designed to complement the range of standard recruitment checks that employers usually carry out, from CV screening and references, to ID and criminal record checks. The checks complete the picture of an applicant, giving the employer valuable insight into how a person is likely to behave in the workplace.
In general, employers pay attention to all warning signs. This could include sharing illegal activity, offensive comments, violent or aggressive behavior, sexually explicit material, or confidential information.
Follow these tips to increase your chances of getting a job with potential employers when they look at your social media:
Don't delete your profile.
Some candidates may be tempted to completely remove their internet identities out of fear of finding something humiliating or unfavorable, but employers warn that this tactic can backfire. If they couldn't find a candidate online, about 1 in 5 employers indicated they wouldn't interviEw them.
Not only would it appear as though you are trying to conceal something, but deleting your profile won't necessarily ensure that the data is gone forever.Instead, make sure that your social media accounts are updated and tidy.
Use social media to your advantage.
Contrary to popular belief among job seekers, most employers look for reasons for hiring someone. More than 1,000 companies were questioned by Harris Poll, and the results showed that 67% of them are seeking proof of an applicant's qualifications before hiring them. This demonstrates to potential employers that you value your online presence by including your social media accounts on your resume.
Maintain the accuracy of your social media profiles, particularly LinkedIn, so that they accurately reflect your most recent employment history and achievements.
Google yourself for a minute once every few weeks or months. It's wise to anticipate what may surface since this is probably where your employer will start when looking at your web presence. By doing this, you can make sure that the top search results reflect what your employer wants to see.
You might also think about enabling Google notifications for yourself so that you'll be alerted as soon as something new appears. You're good to go if everything continues to be positive. There are businesses you may work with to enhance your web profile if there is something you'd prefer to remove.
Make your social media profiles private
You should create at least one social media account just for business and keep personal accounts private because it is acceptable for employers to look at public social media accounts.
Be cautious of recruiting managers that ask for details that aren't readily available online. This should raise a red signal for the organisation because it is comparable to employers asking inappropriate questions during interviews.
Does background check show social media?
Background checks often do not reveal social media accounts .Most background checks contain information on credit history, legal difficulties, and job history. On a background check, social media accounts could occasionally surface, though.
There are businesses that perform background checks based on social media, but it is a different paid service.
What to avoid on social media
The study found that a whopping 55% of employers who use social media screenings said they found content that made them not hire a candidate.
Follow these guidelines to keep your online presence professional:
1. Avoid posting anything that may be offensive.
2. Be purposeful in your posts. Ask yourself: What is my goal with this post? Is this best for a private or public site?
3. Keep it simple: remember that less is more on your public profiles.
4. Never complain about employers or colleagues on social media
Even if you have found a job, you should not neglect your online presence. The study found that 78% of employers use social media to find out about current employees.
If you're looking for help throughout the hiring process, our team of experienced consultants are here dedicated to helping you through the process, from advising you on your social media presence, to interview preperation. Get in contact with us today to speak to one of our team.
by Beth Marron
Lauren Mathurin is a Senior Vice President in Silicon Valley Bank's Early-Stage Practice (SVB).
Lauren previously worked as a Relationship...
Lauren Mathurin is a Senior Vice President in Silicon Valley Bank's Early-Stage Practice (SVB).
Lauren previously worked as a Relationship Manager at Metro Bank for two years and at Lloyds Bank for ten years before joining SVB. With over 15 years of experience in Business Development and Portfolio Management, she is working with exciting fast-growing Tech and Innovation companies across the UK and EMEA, assisting them on their journey to International and Financial growth.
She co-chairs the Racial Equity Employee Resource Group for Silicon Valley Bank EMEA in addition to her role as Senior Vice President in the Early Stage Practice. The Racial Equity Employee Resource Group is dedicated to creating a more inclusive culture and focuses on increasing racial, ethnic, and gender representation within SVB.
Lauren is a catalyst for change in her field, and within this article, she discusses her career in finance, her work to increase greater inclusion in what is traditionally a very white cis male-oriented industry, and her leadership advice for women.
Could start with you telling me about who you are and your background.
I’m Lauren Mathurin, Londoner born and raised. I have a 3-year-old daughter and I’ve been working within the banking industry for the last 19 years.
I’m extremely passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and I Co-Chair the Racial Equity Employee Resource Group for Silicon Valley Bank EMEA. I am also passionate about financial education and coaching. I have a company called Insight Money Management which provides workshops to 16–25-year-olds providing overviews of different financial products to enable them to feel confident when making decisions on general financial products. I am currently studying to become a qualified coach.
You are a senior Vice President at Silicon Valley Bank; can you talk about your journey to get to this position?
I started my Banking career as a part-time cashier when I was at university, it was one of the 3 part time jobs I did to get by. I found that as time went by, I really enjoyed speaking to clients and recommending suitable products based on what I saw on their account. After doing various roles including being a business relationship manager, I was approached for a role at Silicon Valley Bank. Once I saw how niche they were, their values and their dedication to help companies succeed I knew that it was the role and company for me. I started as a Senior associate, managing a large portfolio of Early-stage companies and over the last 5 years I have built my network in the Tech ecosystem, created value add events and joined various initiatives across the bank to enable me to move into the Senior Vice President role, now specialising in managing a portfolio of Consumer tech companies from Seed stage through to Series A.
What have been the biggest barriers you have faced in your career in financial services?
In the early days of being a relationship manager, due to being in my 20’s at the time, it felt like some colleagues and clients wouldn’t take me seriously or would second guess my judgement because at the time I looked really young. I was the “only one of” in a team that was mainly made up of the typical older male bankers which at time made it difficult to be my authentic self, always having to try and act differently. I never felt like I was held back in job roles, but I do feel like I was never my true self which I think may have prevented me from really excelling and perhaps going further earlier in my career, as it has really worked for me over the last few years.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My daughter and how smart, charismatic, and confident she is. Although she is only 3, I have encouraged her to be vocal about how she feels and to show her abilities rather than shying away from them. In my career my biggest achievement to date would be the trajectory that I have had in my career, especially over the time I have been at Silicon Valley bank. I have worked hard and it’s been rewarded by allowing me to be recognised for what I do and what I am passionate about. I also recently won a Contribution to DE&I award and was nominated by my colleagues which I am also very proud of.
Whom was an inspiring woman leader to you growing up and who inspires you now?
Growing up I was inspired by Oprah, she was and is an amazing media mogul and that was my interest prior to banking. She is wise, ambitious and has a lot of the values that I have now such as living a life of dedication to others, sharing your knowledge to allow others to prosper and to just be a kind person to others and yourself and to practice gratitude daily.
I can’t say I have one woman who inspires me now, I meet and know so many inspirational women doing great things in their own fields, and I would like to think that I take something away from each interaction, interview or podcast that I try to implement into my own life. Right now, I have real admiration for mothers, especially my own who balance successful businesses or careers with motherhood because that is really, really hard!
What do you feel the finance industry is doing in terms of gender equity and embracing the power of diversity?
I am seeing more women being placed or promoted into senior roles within the finance industry and that’s a great start, but there is still a long way to go. Women have so much to offer, and it’s been proven time and time again the great outcomes that come from women in senior positions. Financial services who don’t adopt flexible working and parity of pay or those who don’t embrace diversity and only do lip service will really struggle to get and keep great talent. Gender pay gap reporting, and ethnicity pay gap reporting are forcing the hand of companies who are struggling to keep up. I know women who are now asking for these data points to see if they want to join the company they are interviewing for. Financial services have a legacy issue of hiring people who all look the same and I think it will take years before women are on an even playing field.
There is a lot going on and a lot of companies are trying to move forward and are taking diversity and inclusion a lot more seriously. But do you think the finance industry is moving in the right direction in terms of making it more accessible?
I don’t think getting through the door is necessarily the problem, you can definitely see more diversity in financial services. However, it stops when you get to certain level of seniority, and I think that is where the problem lies. There needs to be more diverse senior leaders and Executives to really enforce the changes that need to be made.
What do you think can be done by industries to actually start attracting more people from different genders, races, and backgrounds?
Organisations need to invest in building the most inclusive leaders and colleagues they can. And they must build organisations that are massively adaptable and flexible. Leaders need to get to know their staff, understand what they like and what they don’t, understand what environment will get the best out of them and try and create that by being as inclusive as possible and offering support through Employee resource groups for example. One of the greatest tools to attract more diverse individuals is referrals from your existing employees. So, ensuring their employees feel included will allow them to attract people for you.
What are some strategies that you think can help women grow within their organisation? Is there a single piece of advice you would give to the next generation of female leaders?
I think that organisations need to invest in women by providing all the tools to create great leaders. Whether it be career development courses, benefits to help with childcare and women’s health, ensuring there are women are at the decision making table can all contribute to helping other women grow through the organisation.
My single piece of advice would be to really focus and double down on your strengths and what makes you unique. Keep upskilling yourself to give you more confidence to be part of the conversations and to not shy away from voicing your opinions or giving suggestions.
In your experience, what do you think makes a great leader, in particular female leaders?
I think being authentic, transparent, and having good Emotional Intelligence is paramount. Humanising yourself is also very powerful as leader. Women tend to try and overcompensate to prove they can do the job well, when in fact they do the job great in the first place. Studies have shown that women tend to suffer from imposter syndrome more than men so I think having good mentors and coaches are also useful to have to give you a confidence boost when you may be doubting yourself. It can also be daunting to speak out at times, but if you look around the room there maybe someone that your inspiring, so always be true to yourself and concentrate on the leadership legacy that you want to leave behind.
What are some leadership lessons you have learnt along the way?
You cannot do it all, and there is nothing wrong with delegation. Be adaptable, and have a growth mindset and continue learning from others around you and make sure that you put yourself in positions that are out of your comfort zone as that is when the real growth happens.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would say, do something you are passionate about, and it will never feel like work. It may take a while to get there but you must keep trying. Don’t settle for what doesn’t bring you joy. Always listen to your gut and be true to yourself and you will find the right path and when you don’t know what to do. Do nothing. You will find answers in the stillness.
Thank you Lauren taking the time to answer the questions for this series. Lauren's perspective is invaluable, and we appreciate her sharing her experiences and thoughts on female leadership and DE&I in the financial services industry. We are aware of the importance and impact of sharing these insights and we hope this can inform, inspire, and educate.
by Ryan Evans
Do you have a tech job interview coming up? Are you considering applying to tech positions? These interview tips will help you land the...
Do you have a tech job interview coming up? Are you considering applying to tech positions? These interview tips will help you land the job.
Standing out in a job interview can be a challenging task, especially in a competitive job market. A new job can unlock a whole world of possibilities, but the pressure to favourably present your skills, experience, and your ability to make a good first impression can make any job search an intimidating endeavour. However, with proper preparation and a strong understanding of what the employers are looking for, you can increase your chances of impressing the interviewer and landing the job.
Learn how to ace an interview with our steps that will help you stand out and succeed:
1. Conducting Research
This is one of the most basic yet effective interview preparation tips. You'd be surprised at how much research on the company, role, and interviewers can help.
Educating yourself on the company for which you are interviewing serves two purposes. For instance, it ensures that the company's mission and culture align with your personal interests, career goals, and values. Second, your ability to authentically incorporate this knowledge into an interview demonstrates that you are thoughtful, well-prepared, and genuinely interested in joining their team.
Prepare by thoroughly reading the website, following their social media feeds, searching Google for any interesting or relevant results, searching GlassDoor for reviews, and reviewing the LinkedIn profiles of anyone participating in the interview. Take notes to assist you in developing questions that demonstrate a genuine interest in the company and what they do.
Another area to research which again is a very popular question within in an interview is based upon the role your applying for. In every job you apply for you should read through the job specification to help understand the requirements of the role and the desired skills your potential employer is seeking. An in depth understanding of this will allow you to highlight and prepare your applicability for the role, therefore enhancing your likelihood of being successful within the process.
Researching the interviewer is generally underused, however can be so beneficial. A quick scan of the interviewers LinkedIn profile can allow you to understand the individual and perhaps presents an area of relatability. Therefore, this illustrates you’ve gone that extra mile to prepare for the interview which will set you apart from other candidates.
2. Closely study the job description
Before an interview, head back to the job posting. Go through the description with an eye toward interview questions. Note key phrases or skills mentioned in the job description and pick examples that show your expertise in those areas. For example, if the posting mentions project management skills, list specific times you effectively led projects. You can take these concrete examples and integrate them into your answers to interview questions.
3. Make sure your formal and professional
Yet again, such a simple tip that so many candidates fall down upon. In every interview you conduct you should always make sure you attend on time and are dressed accordingly. It is always better to overdress rather than underdress as once again it show you’ve made more of an effort with the process. This is particularly important in first stage interviews and first impressions, as they are key to an individual’s perception of yourself and this professional manner should be retained throughout the whole process.
If it’s a remote interview, be fully dressed and set up to test your equipment well before the interview starts. Phone or video interviews often precede in-person interviews lately. Although everyone is familiar with the frustration of technical difficulties, a bad connection, dim lighting, or a noisy background can distract from the great impression you’re hoping to make. Ace an interview (even from a distance) with our remote interview tips.
4. Prepare for the typical job interview questions
The number-one way to learn how to ace an interview is to come prepared with strong answers to interview questions. While you won’t know exactly what will be asked, you can increase your odds of doing well by researching common job interview questions such as 'Why do you want this job’ and coming up with 50- to 100-word answers.
5. Practice your answers to technical questions
Tech job interviews often come with technical questions. The specific questions depend on the role and job title. In addition, interviewers want to know how you approach problems, where you go for information, and how you work with others.
Common technical questions include:
Brush up on technical skills relevant to the job. And don't worry if you can't immediately answer the question. With technical questions, your approach and problem-solving often matter as much or more than the specific answer.
6. Ask Questions
It's also crucial to ask relevant questions. Avoid walking into the interview without questions for the company. Even if you've done your homework, not asking questions can suggest you aren't invested in the job. Show your interest in the company and the position by inquiring about the company's history, culture, and values. Ask them what tech stack they use, what tools you will get the opportunity to be hands-on with. This will demonstrate your research and preparation, as well as your desire to learn more about the company and the role. If you’re struggling for ideas on questions check out our blog about the best questions to ask in an interview.
7. Showcase Your Value
During the interview, make sure to highlight how your skills and experiences can benefit the company. Use specific examples from your past experiences to demonstrate how you have added value to previous employers. For instance, if the job requires experience in Linux administration, refer to specific times in your past where you have been involved with that.
8. Be Honest
We’ve all been there when a difficult question arises within an interview or a difficult topic you’re unsure of comes up. In this situation, although it may be tempting to provide a satisfactory answer, it is more important to remain truthful so if you lack experience, or think your potentially weaker in a certain area, it is okay to admit this! Employers will respect your honest and transparency with them and it keeps the relationship authentic with themselves. There is no point lying regarding something in an attempt to get further within a process as this will ultimately come back to bit you in the end.
9. Ask Questions
Even though you may feel like you’re being interviewed, ultimately it is a great chance for you to ask questions and gain further insight in to the company and the role. So many candidates fail to do this, but is so important to ask questions throughout and at the end of the interview. This can help clear up any uncertainty on the role and make sure your 100% committed to the role and the process. Furthermore, discussing the company and role with the employer will help build rapport and shows you care about the next move in your career. Normally, I would suggest preparing around 8-10 questions to ask, some of these may be answered by the interviewer throughout anyway.
Overall, by following these tips, you can increase your chances of standing out in a job interview and impressing whoever it is that you’re speaking with. Remember that the key to standing out is to be well-prepared, confident, and enthusiastic about the opportunity. With the right attitude and approach, you can increase your chances of landing the job.
I understand these may seem like simple tips but these tips are so effective and can be used to in every interview at any stage!
by Lewis Nelson
Ageism, another name for age discrimination, is one of the most prevalent types of unfair treatment at work. Even when it's inadvertent,...
Ageism, another name for age discrimination, is one of the most prevalent types of unfair treatment at work. Even when it's inadvertent, discriminating against an employee based on their age can have serious practical and legal repercussions for your company.
One of the nine protected characteristics included in the Equality Act of 2010 is age. The others are age, colour, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, and others.
Despite regulations like the Age Discrimination in Employment Act 2010, this problem still exists and has negative repercussions on the person. People expect to be able to work for longer because they are enjoying longer, healthier lives. There are still about one million persons over 50 who want to work but are unable to find employment, despite the fact that around a third of those who are already employed are between the ages of 50 and 64 and another 1.2 million are over 65.
Understanding Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination essentially means you will judge an individual’s fit for a job based on their age rather than their skillset and ability. This can occur when employers will deny a candidate a role if they are too old or too young or they will get denied a promotion based on their age.
Here are a few signs of age discrimination to look out for in the workplace:
- Young workers are automatically given learning opportunities, but not older ones. This can involve attending professional or industry conferences, receiving funding for continuing education, or taking part in educational coursework.
- Being overlooked or passed over for challenging assignments. This may also look like an unfair share of unpleasant or tedious assignments given to older employees.
- Being excluded from customer meetings or work events.
- The assumption, whether explicit or implicit, is that because you don't have young children at home, you are not entitled to take time off for family obligations.
- Insulting remarks and statements about age. This may be presented as subtle and light-hearted, with others making jokes about things like your age, retirement plans, slow typing, gasping for air as you climb the stairs, etc. Or, it could be outright hostile (such as sarcastic remarks that corner you or pressure you to leave your job to make room for another qualified candidate).
- Being passed over for promotions and pay raises. This one can be challenging, just like in our example above. Different raises and promotion decisions may indicate age-based discrimination, or they might be a reflection of individual performance.
What Is the Impact of Age Discrimination on employers’ duties and an employee’s rights?
According to the law, an employer is prohibited from treating employees or job applicants less favourably or disadvantageously in any way on the basis of their age. Additionally, they have a responsibility not to victimise or harass someone because of their age.
In turn, the employee or prospective employee is protected from unfair treatment because of how old they are or, in some cases, how old they are thought to be or the age of someone they are associated with.
No minimum length of employment by an employee, or any employment at all for a job applicant, is required to claim age discrimination. It is potentially unlawful to discriminate against someone from the point a job role is advertised through to the last day of employment and even beyond, including references.
The law protects the job applicant or employee in relation to various key areas, including the following:
- Training & promotion
- Pay or other terms & conditions
- Performance management
- Termination of employment
How can you ensure your recruitment processes don’t discriminate on grounds of age?
Look at your job advert
Do the words "recent graduate," "dynamic personality," "lively and energetic," or "three to five years' experience" reflect an age bias? This kind of wording implies that you're searching for a young worker, thus an older worker with more experience is probably not going to apply. Or, perhaps more accurately, wouldn't be taken into account even if they did apply.
Does your job posting mention that you offer flexible scheduling or that you have a sizable pension plan? The size and age range of the applicants are likely to rise with this type of phrasing.
Look at your application form
You may not ask for date of birth, but does it ask for ‘full work history’? This will clearly indicate the approximate age of the applicant. Would ‘relevant work history’ be a better phrase?
Look at your interview process
Does your interview panel have CV’s or application forms with the information which can identify the applicant removed? Does your interview panel have a list of questions which are asked of every applicant? Does your interview panel consist of people of varying ages? Are you sure your interview panel doesn’t base their opinions on stereotypes of older workers?
Look at your workplace culture
Does your company actively look to build an age inclusive workforce? This should be an attitude which comes from the top down and applies to everyone.
If you can get this right and have a more age inclusive recruitment process, giving you a multi-generational workforce, you are likely to benefit in a number of ways:
- Increased productivity
- A workforce who shares their knowledge and experience
- You’ll avoid discrimination on grounds of age for both older and younger workers and job applicants
- Increase your reputation as a company which is not only committed to the principles of equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion, but also goes the extra mile to ensure that all age groups are represented in your company.
Remember – older workers can be good for business
It has been found that companies which have a 10% higher share of workers over the age of 50 are 1.1% more productive. This is mainly due to lower job turnover and the general work experience of older workers. They help in knowledge and skill sharing meaning that younger workers benefit from their expertise, ultimately helping the business to thrive, with approximately 75% of employers in England declaring that utilising the skills and experience of older workers is crucial to their success
This is a serious issue that occurs throughout the workplace and does affect individuals both older and younger. To tackle this issue employees and employers will have to work together to come up with strategies to successfully address this issue to create a fairer environment for all. With increased education on this issue in workplaces it can help lower the rate and increase equality.
by Emily Jones
Elena Sinel, FRSA, is a multi-award-winning founder of Teens in AI and impact-driven social entrepreneur on a mission to inspire young people across...
Elena Sinel, FRSA, is a multi-award-winning founder of Teens in AI and impact-driven social entrepreneur on a mission to inspire young people across the world to explore a future in tech and AI through collaborative hands-on learning experiences. Officially launched at the ITU’s AI For Good Global Summit to democratize AI and create pipelines for underrepresented talent, thereby improving diversity and inclusion in Artificial Intelligence. It offers young people aged 12-18 early exposure to AI for social good through a combination of expert mentoring, talks, workshops in AI/ML, human-centred design and ethics, hackathons, accelerators, company tours and networking opportunities. The vision is for AI to be developed by diverse thinkers and doers advancing AI for humanity’s benefit.
Elena Sinel is a sought-after keynote speaker and policy adviser with a passion for diversity in tech focusing on female empowerment. Trusted by global FTSE 100 companies and governments to integrate the skills of tomorrow into educational systems today.
She is the recipient of many awards and achievements such as: Winner CRN UK Entrepreneur of the Year 2022, Winner GLOMO 2020 - Diversity in Tech, Winner GLOMO 2020 - Women4Technology –Industry Leadership Award and 50 Computer Weekly most influential women in UK tech 2019.
Please introduce yourself and give us a bit of a backstory as to what you do.
My name is Elena Sinel. I'm the founder of Teens in AI. We launched Teens in AI back in 2018 at the United Nations, AI for Good Global Summit. The intention behind this global movement was really to improve diversity in AI.
We have less than 22% of women in AI and it’s less than 26% of women in data roles across the globe which is not representative. We have very little data when it comes to various minority groups or even people of colour. We have less than 4% of Latinx in AI and less than 2% of black people of colour in some of the biggest companies in the world. These statistics are poor, and I won't even mention the data released on LGBTQ+ or neurodiversity- there is a severe lack of data published.
The mission we are driving is about raising awareness about some opportunities and careers in AI, which don't necessarily have to be technical. By raising this awareness among teenagers (12-18 years old) we are looking to bridge the gap in the industry which is not improving as fast as we would like it to.
What does this mean for the technology industry?
We’re building technology with very limited resources when it comes to diversity. It's very homogenous, white males who are still very much represented in the world of AI and data science, and they seem to be building technology that's being used by everyone.
Hence why we are constantly seeing, technology that has got various biases, particularly, facial recognition technology that's not detecting various skin tones and colours and various other tools that are being released, which have had limitations when it comes to various biases and other risks. These have been ingrained historically because they are not being developed by representative teams. There is a lot that needs to be done to address and improve this, and that is the mission we are driving with teens in AI.
You are targeting 12-18 years old with Teen in AI a hard demographic to get interested in a career in technology, what was the reason for targeting this age demographic?
The reason behind targeting the 12 to 18, age group is very simple. When my daughter was 12, I realised that the career information and advice she was receiving in her school was very limited. Even her, own teacher said “why would you want to study computer science? It's boring. It's for the boys.” By giving this kind of advice and telling this to the girls, we are limiting their opportunities and options. I feel a lot of teenagers are not receiving a positive narrative about opportunities and careers in AI and data science.
This was the motivation for Teens in AI as at the age 12 to 18 is when we lose teenagers to technology and anything related to STEM, and that has been proven by so many reports that show young people aren't being exposed to what opportunities there are in AI, thus they are choosing traditional pathways such as doctors, lawyers. What they aren't realising is that every single one of these sectors will be affected by AI and technology in one way or another. There needs to be more demystification, awareness, and exploration of the topic among teenagers.
We need more focus on the demographic we are losing every year. Education has turned into a ‘death by examination’ where teenagers become more focused on passing an exam that they don’t even look at the wider world and look at the news or read the papers.
We teach in our hackathons, how to ideate, how to brainstorm and how to find out the problem that exists before we dive into solving a problem. We also teach entrepreneurship skills, pitching skills, and just generally working together skills, which is something a lot of young people do struggle with because they're just constantly in front of screens.
We encourage them to think about how innovative it is, what it is that they're developing, and how different it is from everything else that's out there. It's always a fun environment where there is a lot of connection that happens. It allows these teenagers to network with role models whom they admire in the industry and want to be. We want to teach them life skills that they normally wouldn't be exposed to in a classroom, and offer them to start thinking about the opportunities to work at these companies.
It’s clear to see that you have created an incredible network and community through Teens in AI. You are working with people globally, some in 3rd world countries, with a huge emphasis on diversity in terms of gender, race, experience, and background. Is this the case and can you tell me how did you manage to find, connect and bring all these people together and what impact you think you are having?
It is very global, Teens in AI are in more than 33 countries, and our next campaign is in February/ March and will take place in 24 countries around the world this all started during COVID. For us, it was the situation that is often described as ‘innovate or die’. My colleague and I said we either need to pivot and figure out a way to do this online or wait for two years and then we just don’t know what will happen. So we decided to do something online and create one of our programmes, which is called a hackathon and is normally very face-to-face and very reliant on communication. We weren’t sure if we could recreate this kind of rich experience online but we thought we would try it anyway.
Armed with 14-15 teenage volunteers and no budget, I trained them in everything I knew about social media to help find these incredible people and mentors and found people who were very keen to get involved. We had Lord Clement-Jones from Parliament give a keynote speech, and phenomenal AI ethicists, amazing machine learning mentors, and data scientists either studying or already working in the field from all over the world came to join as mentors. With the help of word of mouth, we ended up with almost 300 kids and 70 projects were developed from just one hackathon. These children joined globally from the USA, Latin America, Pakistan, and India.
They connect people and bring people together in times when there was very little. And that's just how it started. The first hack, I think we had about 12 countries then and now we have grown bigger; we've had kids from as many as 140 cities around the world once join from countries as far as Fiji and Brunei and they have found us online and they join to meet other teenagers who are equally curious in this subject and build projects together. It is incredible to watch the global collaboration.
AI is such an emerging and cutting-edge technology that is reshaping the world we live in, however, to build truly powerful AI-driven solutions, the tech sector needs “diversity of thought.” Why is diversity so important for the tech industry?
Diversity to me is not just a need for more women, but the need for diversity of thoughts. We need diversity of all who give their voice and add value to a technology that's being built. What happens when we don't have that diversity of voices from different backgrounds, we end up with technology that is not representative of all of these voices, views, and differences. It's the difference that needs to be embraced. We are creating technologies that are used by large demographics of society, but not everyone's opinions are being considered. As a result, we end up with products like the Apple Watch, which lacks a period tracker because the team that created it was male-dominated, or facial recognition technology, which cannot recognise people with dark skin tones because the team that created it was exclusively made up of white people and didn't think it was important to include data that is representative. We need diverse groups included in the very initial stage of product development so that their views are taken into account and they're part of building that product.
There are so many other examples of failures within technology, particularly when it's related to AI because AI does learn things very fast. The algorithms that are being built, are learnt from the dataset. If historically, an ethnic group or segment of a population has been disadvantaged then these biases are going to be reproduced in technology. Historically, if certain groups have not been given certain rights, then when we use old datasets, they will then be reproduced in so many different biases within the technology that we are building.
These are the kind of mistakes that we should be able to avoid by, adhering to some of the AI ethics frameworks that have been developed that are to do with transparency, accountability, making sure it's fair and just and does not infringe some of the fundamental human rights.
Looking to the future with teens in AI, what are you most excited about?
We are launching some very interesting courses to make them accessible for everyone, with the courses we are designing optimized for different kinds of languages globally. We are currently on a mission to develop some simple courses that will introduce teenagers anywhere in the world to some of the fundamentals of artificial intelligence, which will have some elements of AI ethics and will have a very strong emphasis on why this is needed and the very importance of diversity in AI.
This is something I'm driving at the moment behind the scenes and will be soft launching in spring, then hopefully getting traction and a lot of interest from schools directly. We want to make the lives of computer science teachers easier, particularly when it comes to some of the more complex subjects like artificial intelligence and data science.
We're hoping by doing this, we are again going to inspire teenagers into becoming curious about this subject and take the courses. We want to make it accessible; all you need is Wi-Fi, a laptop, or even a mobile, and you can learn. We made it accessible in terms of teaching as well. We're working with some PhD students in the US, and scientists who are designing those courses in a way that will be quite easily explained, to teenagers and that they can resonate with. The courses can be tailored at beginners’ and intermediate levels with some added challenges for those who want to push themselves.
We’re at a really exciting stage at Teens in AI where we are running our global campaigns to raise awareness and to bring hackathons into any city where we can find keen individuals to host our program or universities. We’ve grown our network to 30,000, people, many of whom are young, university students. It's a huge, pool of talent to tap into and to hire from so it's something that we really hope will help the industry, particularly when it comes to this diversity gap that we are desperately trying to reduce.
You’ve had an illustrious career; you have built up this initiative from nothing- can you tell us the most important lesson you have learned?
I think it's about being resilient and not giving up on something that you are passionate about. Not taking no for an answer. During COVID I could have just furloughed myself and waited it out but I thought, no, I'm not going to do that, I am still going to persevere.
Another thing, that even I sometimes fail at even after doing this for 8 years, is asking for help. Having done this for now for almost seven or eight years, I still struggle to ask for help. When you need help, don’t hesitate to just go out there to your network or other people's networks and just ask for help because out of 10 people, maybe one will say yes and that is a big win already. The worst answer you get is a no. But without asking, you won’t get any response. It’s very important to have that courage and go out there and say, I need help.
A huge thank you to Elena Sinel for dedicating her time for this interview.
In celebration of and solidarity with International Women’s Day, Teens in AI will be hosting its sixth annual IWD Global Hackathon from February to March 2023. This global initiative aims to highlight the need for diversity and equitable representation within the tech and AI industries. For more details visit www.teensinai.com/global-hack/ or simply follow along on social media! #IWD2023 Global Hackathon by Teens in AI
Connect with Teens in AI online
Social Media: linktr.ee/TeensinAI
by Manuel Osaba
In my time recruiting for Franklin Fitch, I’ve largely specialized in server-specific roles. Whether it’s been cloud architects, storage...
In my time recruiting for Franklin Fitch, I’ve largely specialized in server-specific roles. Whether it’s been cloud architects, storage architects, virtualization engineers, or others, I’ve enjoyed learning about the technology. One of the components of the technical discussion that I’ve enjoyed having the most with my candidates is the difference between on-premises and cloud infrastructure systems.
Obviously, there are even hybrid cloud solutions for specialized security measures – these are especially present in healthcare storage solutions. On the whole, I thought it would be an interesting topic to explore and dive into: the differences in these infrastructure types.
On-premises infrastructure refers to a company's IT resources and systems that are hosted and managed in-house, while cloud-based infrastructure refers to a company's IT resources and systems that are hosted and managed off-site, typically by a third-party provider. Both options have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice for a company will depend on its specific needs and goals.
One major advantage of on-premises infrastructure is that it gives a company full control over its IT resources and systems. This can be particularly important for companies that handle sensitive data or need to adhere to strict regulatory requirements. With on-premises infrastructure, a company can implement its own security measures and have full visibility into how its systems are being used. Additionally, an on-premises setup can be more predictable in terms of costs, as a company can more accurately budget for hardware, software, and maintenance expenses.
However, on-premises infrastructure also has several disadvantages. For one, it requires a significant upfront investment in hardware and software, which can be expensive. It also requires a dedicated team to manage and maintain the systems, which can add to labor costs. Additionally, on-premises infrastructure can be inflexible, as it is difficult to scale up or down quickly in response to changing business needs. Finally, on-premises systems are vulnerable to physical disasters, such as fires, floods, or power outages, which can disrupt business operations.
Cloud-based infrastructure, on the other hand, offers a number of advantages that make it attractive for many companies. For one, it is typically more scalable and flexible than on-premises infrastructure, as companies can easily add or remove resources as needed. This can be particularly useful for companies with fluctuating workloads or that are growing quickly. Cloud-based infrastructure is also generally more cost-effective than on-premises infrastructure, as companies only pay for the resources they use and do not have to worry about the upfront costs of hardware and software.
In addition, cloud-based infrastructure can be more reliable than on-premises systems, as it is typically backed by robust infrastructure and redundancies. This means that companies can experience fewer outages and downtime, which can be critical for businesses that rely on their systems to operate. Finally, cloud-based infrastructure is generally easier to manage, as it is the responsibility of the third-party provider to maintain and update the systems.
However, cloud-based infrastructure also has its own set of disadvantages. One major concern is security, as companies are entrusting their data to a third party. While reputable cloud providers have robust security measures in place, there is still a risk that data could be accessed or compromised. Additionally, while cloud-based infrastructure is generally more cost-effective than on-premises infrastructure, it can still be expensive, particularly for companies with large or complex workloads. Finally, companies may have less control over their systems with cloud-based infrastructure, as they are relying on the provider to manage and maintain the systems.
In conclusion, both on-premises infrastructure and cloud-based infrastructure have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The right choice for a company will depend on its specific needs and goals. On-premises infrastructure offers full control and predictability but requires a significant upfront investment and is vulnerable to physical disasters. Cloud-based infrastructure is more scalable, flexible, and cost-effective, but carries security risks and may be less customizable. It will be intriguing to see what the larger trends will be regarding which industries chose to move into the cloud or on-site with the traditional options.
The world of technology is the most powerful and growing industry, with the potential to grow to unimaginable heights. However, it is one of the...
The world of technology is the most powerful and growing industry, with the potential to grow to unimaginable heights. However, it is one of the industries that lack diversity and inclusion, gender and race specifically. Due to this very apparent lack, it can often be seen as a deterrent for women or ethnic minorities to feel comfortable entering these environments or even believing they’d have a chance at success. Why is that?
Here is a personal account of a Black woman in tech
Q. How and what made you get into tech?
“I’ve always been interested in the growth of technology and the potential it has to change the world, I decided to study computer science at university and begin my career “
Q. What have been your biggest struggles?
“Choosing a particular path after finishing university has been a struggle and trying to find a specific role that I love at a company where I am comfortable. I’ve worked at three different fintech firms and find that I tend to be the only woman or very few women within my team, especially being in my mid-twenties.
Everyone has always been much older than me which makes social events and socializing at or outside of work sometimes awkward or boring. As you spend the majority of time at work / working, I think it’s important to have some friends or people you can relate to. It helps with motivation which in turn links to productivity and creates a safety bubble.
When you need help or make mistakes, it’s easier to approach the situation rather than approaching team members who may not be able to relate to the issue, and could potentially overreact to the mistake made. To conclude, I tend to be the only young black woman working in tech and find that the biggest struggle of this is finding someone to relate to.”
Also, here are some statistics for you to have a look at:
- 17% tech students are female
- 26% of people in tech are women
- Less than 3% of those women are black
- More than 50% of women in tech report gender inequality or discrimination in male dominated environments
- At Facebook, only 2.1% of tech jobs are held by Black employees
- At Microsoft, only 6.6% of employees are Black
Having diversity in tech is important for businesses to stay relevant to their customers and stay competitive in their market as it provides an opportunity for growth. Although companies are aware of this importance, 68% of business leaders still report a lack of diversity in the workplace, even after spending billions on diversity and inclusion efforts such as workshops, seminars or spreading awareness for the minority in tech. While there has been an increase in diverse hires of the years, it’s simply not increasing quickly enough and it is still something that is very much an issue.
Diversity in tech is also important as it can help businesses to understand their customers better and be more relatable to them if they have a diverse workforce. Would an all-male workforce be able to create products that can relate to or benefit a woman? There are various examples of companies who have created products without input from women of colour, which is essentially bad for business as statistics show that women control about £16.2 trillion in consumer spending. If the company promoted diversity, and spent more time trying to hire and hire women or people of color in their workforce, it would lead to better business engagement and an increase in their customer base, as they can relate to the product more, and even better, the people behind the product.
Though women are unrepresented in the tech industry, it is even worse for women of color. Not only are they misrepresented in the workplace, but they are more likely to be subject to discrimination, and often feel intimidated, especially in all male environments. They also experience things such as being underpaid, not having career progression opportunities, being misunderstood, and receiving less support from senior leaders. These factors, lead to women/people of color find tech jobs less appealing and less accessible, as they recognize it as an industry that is simply not made for them.
Some statistics show that 61% of tech employees worldwide believe diversity and inclusion initiatives can be effective in the workplace, but 14% think it is not effective at all, for CEOs and founders, 51% of them think D&I initiatives aren’t effective. Could this be because they aren’t implementing the right practices?
Understandably, as it’s been an issue for so long, it may be hard for businesses to know where to begin when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. But here are a few ways that diversity can be included in tech:
Focusing on improving company culture
Developing an inclusive culture and allowing minorities to feel a sense of belonging, as well as recognizing inclusive holidays such as black history month and ensuring employees have undergone inclusivity or bias training. It is also important to show the misrepresented groups such as women or people of color on the company website, on the company’s social media or at conferences etc.
Changing the recruiting strategy
Perhaps working with organizations who support and develop diverse tech talent.
As well as hiring diverse talent, put an emphasis on developing diverse talent within the company
Support the growth of employees by creating training programs, giving opportunities for employees to learn new skills, and allowing growth opportunities to be more accessible and attainable. Developing a leadership training program for unrepresented employees would also be beneficial.
As written in this blog, diversity and inclusion is beneficial for those who are unrepresented to have a presence in tech and with minorities becoming more apparent in the tech world, it would encourage more people to strive for a career in tech, as they will have people to relate to, and are seeing programs and initiatives that would mean they’d be supported. It is also beneficial for companies to invest in these initiatives as it would improve their businesses and customer relationships and retention, and therefore strengthen their brand.
There is still a long way to go with diversity in tech, but it is important that it is recognized and the commitment to changing and improving it starts now.
At Franklin Fitch we are committed to raising awareness, tackling bias, and giving people a voice through our Inclusive Infrastructure. To read more about this please click here or feel free to speak to one of our team about finding a new opportunity.
by Charlotte Drury
Lisa Ventura is an award-winning cyber security awareness consultant, writer, and speaker. She is the Founder of Cyber Security Unity, a global...
Lisa Ventura is an award-winning cyber security awareness consultant, writer, and speaker. She is the Founder of Cyber Security Unity, a global community organisation that is dedicated to bringing individuals and companies together who actively work in cyber security to help combat the growing cyber threat. Lisa is also a mindset and mental health coach and offers help and support to those affected by stress, burnout, and mental health issues in cyber security and Infosec.
She is passionate about raising awareness of the growing cyber threat to prevent cyber-attacks and cyber fraud, and actively supports women and those who are neurodiverse into careers in cyber security. Her books “The Rise of the Cyber Women: Volume 1 and Volume 2” were released in 2020 and 2021 to great acclaim.
Lisa sits on the Advisory Group of the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre, sits on the board of Think Digital Partners as their Cyber Security Advisor and is a member of the Advisory Council for the International Security Expo event. In 2021 she was named as one of IT Security Guru’s “Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Security” and won the “Positive Role Model for Gender” award in ITV News’s National Diversity Awards in 2020. She has also won numerous other awards for her work including SC Magazine’s “Outstanding Contribution to Cyber Security” award.
Please can you introduce yourself, and tell us about your career/ what does job role entail and what led you to pursue a career in cybersecurity?
My name is Lisa Ventura and I’m the Founder of Cyber Security Unity, a global community organisation that exists to help unite the cyber security industry to help combat the growing cyber threat. The industry is stronger together to beat cyber crime. I’m also a writer/blogger, keynote speaker and a cyber security awareness consultant.
Can you tell us about a moment in your career that made you proud?
I think the proudest moment was when I found out I’d won ITV News’s National Diversity Award for my work in cyber security in the “Positive Role Model” category in 2020. I couldn’t believe I had won, there were far more worthy candidates and my imposter syndrome went through the roof that day! My trophy sits proudly in my office and it is a reminder of how far I’ve gone in my career despite some significant challenges.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles that a woman working in the technology sector faces? And with respect to your professional career, what have been yours?
While there has been some positive progress with encouraging more women into careers in cyber security, such as programs aimed at getting girls and women into the field, there is still much to be done to encourage them to join.
Retention is a key problem. Many often leave the industry due to burnout, lack of career progression and the toxic culture often found in the industry. Many efforts to address more inclusion and diversity in cyber security don’t go much further than a few PR pitches and lack anything substantial. Sadly, women are still paid less, promoted less and deal with discrimination and harassment, which leads to the pursuit of other career paths away from cyber security. Equally, with such technical terminology often being used this can be very off putting to women looking to enter the industry.
In terms of challenges I’ve faced in my career, I have been a victim of the gender pay gap where I discovered that male counterparts doing exactly the same role as me were paid far more, and I now campaign heavily to stop this outdated practice. I’ve also been subjected to bullying and abuse throughout my career.
You’re a business mentor for Women in Business, Women in Cyber Security, Women in Tech and more. How does your own personal journey into tech help you when mentoring?
I think my lived experiences help when it comes to mentoring others in cyber security as I can provide real world examples of what I have been through to hopefully help others understand that they are not alone. This is especially true for things like dealing with imposter syndrome, bullying and abuse, the gender pay gap and mental health in the workplace.
We’re witnessing more women in tech and cybersecurity than ever before however there still is a lack of women in the tech sector. Do you think enough is being done by businesses to address the gender imbalance in cybersecurity and the technology industry as a whole and how would you encourage more women to join the ever-evolving industry?
The media and popular culture often portrays cyber security as being done by a socially inept young guy in a hoodie, this began in the 1980s and is still prevalent today. This is not the right image to attract a more diverse workforce into the industry, and even for companies and academic programs that have tried to overcome this image, the perception that it exists and that cyber security is hostile towards women deters many girls and women from entering it. Combatting this misconception is a must to attracting more women into the industry.
I also think we need much greater representation of under-represented groups in cyber security across all aspects of society and media. There are many strong female role models in cyber security who deserve to have their voices amplified. News outlets need to stop citing male cyber security experts, industry conferences should include more female speakers and demonstrate their commitment to having inclusive codes of conduct. If women and girls don’t see it, they won’t want to be it. Women must e visible and seen as experts in cyber security but ufortunately when women are contacted for their insights it is often to talk about gender issues and not about their technical skills and capabilities. Therefore, when girls see female role models in cyber security, they often only hear awful statistics and not the great work that women are doing in the industry.
What are you doing to support other women, and/or to increase diversity, in the tech/cyber industry?
Part of my work with Cyber Security Unity is to provide safe spaces for women, those who are neurodiverse and those from minority groups to be able to share their challenges and meet and network with others who may be going through similar challenges. Cyber Security Unity is all about greater collaboration to not only combat the growing cyber threat but also support each other in cyber so we feel listened to and included.
How has the tech industry changed for women since you started in tech and what do you think the future hold for women in cyber?
When I started out in cyber security in 2009 it was extremely male dominated, there were very few women. I think this is partly because women often don’t apply for promotions and other high-level jobs as they feel they don’t stand a chance of being considered, but promoting men ahead of women is holding us all back. Diversity delivers better financial results, a better culture and better business decision making. There are fewer women in executive positions compared to men across the board and not just in cyber security; recent research has shown that while women comprise 73% of the workforce in entry and junior level roles, female representation drops to 42% at the level of senior management. When it comes to director-level posts, just 32% of these are held by women across the board.
Women aren’t the only underrepresented group in tech – what can be done to encourage more neurodiverse and autistic individuals to enter the cybersecurity industry?
While many neurodiverse people may find some parts of work and socializing more difficult, conditions that fall into the category can also give them particular strengths. There are many skills associated with Autism, such as pattern-spotting, attention to detail and problem-solving. Autistic people may approach problems differently and can provide extremely creative solutions. Many of these characteristics can be particularly useful in technical disciplines, and security roles in particular. The Infosec Institute lists IT and networking skills, analytical skills and auditing skills among the top five that are most important for Cyber Security professionals.
Sadly while neurodiverse candidates bring many benefits to the workforce, many interview processes do not give them the best chance of success. Davies warns that some assessment tools in particular can be challenging for neurodiverse individuals, such as group interviews. Improving the interview process is not enough though, organisations must also ensure that neurodiverse colleagues are given the right platform to perform once they begin work.
You are a strong advocate for all things related to neurodiversity, and are vocal about being autistic and neurodiverse, how did you navigate your journey in the cybersecurity industry and how has this inspired you to help others who are on the spectrum?
I wasn’t diagnosed as autistic until 2018 so quite late in life, but it explained so much about why I am the way I am, and why I struggled in the workplace so much. It enabled me to make some positive changes such as working from home in my own space and being able to control things like lighting, sound and noise, even things like having my desk and workspace set up a certain way, as this all helped to reduce the amount of sensory overload I experienced in the office. I also build in “down” time in between video calls which also helps.
What advice would you pass on to anyone from a minority background to help them progress in this industry?
Not wanting to sound too much like the Nike ad slogan, just do it! The industry is very welcoming and there is a strong community in cyber security and tech who are willing to help you every step of the way in your career.
A huge thank you to Lisa Ventura for dedicating her time for this interview.
More information about Lisa can be found on www.lisaventura.co.uk.
Lisa’s twitter - @cybergeekgirl and @cybersecunity
Lisa’s LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisasventura/
by Beth Marron
Despite substantial progress toward LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion over the years, the community’s self-reported experiences show that complete...
Despite substantial progress toward LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion over the years, the community’s self-reported experiences show that complete employment equality is still a distant dream.
It’s arguable that employees today feel more comfortable sharing their identities and pronouns at work. But it’s still quite dangerous for many. Some individuals still worry about being ostracised or marginalised. Employees might not want to be treated indifferently for things like, career development or promotional opportunities. Because of this, employees may refuse to disclose their labels to maintain their comfort level at work.
Today's leading corporations have invested in processes and initiatives to promote inclusive cultures for workers of all identities. Most businesses understand the value of recruiting a diverse staff. However, despite the efforts of these businesses, many employees continue to feel that they are unable to be fully present at work. As a company, you must actively support staff who come out and openly identify and encourage an equal, inclusive, and diverse workplace for all.
According to a 2018 survey from the HRC Foundation, nearly half of LGBTQ+ workers remain closeted at work, and 1 in 5 reports that they’ve received negative comments about how they should appear more feminine or masculine. A 2019 survey from Glassdoor found similar results – 43% of LGBTQ+ respondents reported not being fully out at work, and 47% of all LGBTQ+ respondents believe that being out at work could cause harm to their careers, including job loss or missing out on a promotion or project.
That same Glassdoor survey found that 70% of LGBTQ+ employees surveyed would not apply to work at a company that does not support its LGBTQ+ employees, and 46% of all respondents (including non-LGBTQ+) said the same. That means that crafting a hiring process through the lens of LGBTQ+ inclusivity is not only the right thing to do, but it’s essential for talent acquisition strategies.
When it comes to your recruitment process, it should host the ultimate sanctum of equality and fairness. And this goes for all protected characteristics, like gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Recognise that LGBTQ+ involves a wide range of backgrounds and populations
First, ensure that your company understands that the LGBTQ+ community is a diverse group. This group of people is diverse in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation across the board.
Utilizing the label "gay" or even "queer" exclusively could exclude individuals who are transgender, asexual, or intersex. Because your LGBTQ+ candidates will come from a variety of racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds, it's crucial to keep this in mind while developing your strategy and to draw inspiration from other elements of your D&I plan to strengthen the work you are doing with LGBTQ+ candidates.
Remove gendered language and coding from your career page and job descriptions in your application process
Making a false assumption when you first meet someone is one of the worst things you can do, and interviews are one of the worst places to do this! So, throughout your hiring process, be careful to utilise terminology that is gender-neutral.
When speaking with candidates face-to-face during your interview meetings, you should utilise gender-neutral terminology. It ought to be extended to textual materials including job postings, application forms, and other hiring requirements.
When creating your job descriptions and recruitment marketing materials, avoid utilising gendered language or images, either directly or implicitly. Enforcing conventional gender norms in the office, whether through a clothing code, employee photographs, or wording, may reflect a company that is inflexible and intolerant of all forms of gender expression. It is simple to use gender-neutral language like "team members" rather than "men and women at our organisation," but you can also use free tools like this one to examine your job descriptions for implicitly gender-coded language.
Provide training of LGBTQIA+ awareness
All businesses need to have standard knowledge, understanding, and acceptance for LGBTQIA+. One of the simplest ways to do this is to provide awareness training. It's crucial that employees' differences are valued and that they aren't solely characterised by their identities.
During interviews, avoid asking people about what their ‘labels’ are and why they identify in said ways. But on the same note, employees should also not be asked to hide their identities, either.
Through awareness training, these types of situations should be sufficiently manageable. Ensure that the training is offered to other staff and that all managers participate in it (through online or in-person sessions). Everyone will be aware of the proper language, limits, and behaviour in this way.
Create appropriate LGBTQIA+ policies
You will have rules and procedures in place as an employer that safeguard your employees' welfare, health, and safety. To do this, proper LGBTQIA+ policies must be developed.
You may choose to group your regulations under equality or anti-discrimination laws. Highlight how crucial it is to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to being reiterated in handbooks and contracts, this should be made explicit during interviews.
You could also elect to include these guidelines in your LGBTQIA+ policy. Keep in mind to be inclusive and refrain from excluding certain groups. Use the abbreviation; that is why it was created.
Take part in LGBTQIA+ charity events and causes
While it's great to see postings about inclusivity, it's critical to remember the past.
People underwent traumatic, challenging experiences that made it possible for us to celebrate openly today. It is crucial to give back by supporting LGBTQIA+ charitable initiatives and events.
You can accomplish this by taking part in fundraising campaigns, local celebrations, or (if you're feeling very courageous) by planning your own event. Participating is a fantastic way to increase your brand's recognition in the LGBTQIA+ community. Therefore, it fosters respect and reduces turnover when candidates perceive your company’s principles in this way.
Make the workplace safe for LGBTQ+ employees
Promoting diversity, equality, and coherence for LGBTQIA+ employees in the workplace is crucial. Everyone can then stand as recognised and valued employees in a workplace. It is crucial to take into account candidates who identify as LGBTQ+ and their safety at work. Studies show that 20% of LGBTQ+ workers have encountered hostility at work. Additionally, we have the ability as corporations to influence societal changes and attitudes. Therefore, it is crucial to take decisive action to stop discrimination in the workplace.
Highlight your organization's LGBTQ+-inclusive policies and benefits, demonstrate how you work with groups that are concerned with LGTBQ+ problems, describe your employee resource groups, and encourage team members who identify as LGBTQ+ to share their personal experiences with others.
Individual team members can show their commitment to diversity on a smaller scale by simply using pronouns in email signatures.
It takes more than just putting a rainbow image on your company's LinkedIn page to make your recruitment and hiring process more welcoming of LGBTQ people. Making strides toward greater diversity and inclusion at work is the first step in taking concrete action, which will unavoidably improve your capacity to engage with other communities and recruit more candidates from diverse backgrounds.
Need some extra help appealing to more diverse candidates and understanding how to ensure your hiring procedure doesn't exclude LGBTQ+ applicants by making it LGBTQIA+-friendly: and employer branding? We’ve got you covered! Get in touch with us today by clicking here or alternatively look at our Inclusivity Infrastructure to see what we are doing within our own company to encourage diversity and inclusivity in the IT Infrastructure and recruitment industry by clicking here.
by Curtis Phillips
Imagine if Siri could write you a long essay or any other system was able to spit out a movie review in the style of poems. The options are endless....
Imagine if Siri could write you a long essay or any other system was able to spit out a movie review in the style of poems. The options are endless. OpenAI gave the public access to ChatGPT which does exactly this. The system has the ability to interact with users in an almost real-life manner through language processing tasks such as text generation and language translation.
The tool quickly went viral with it’s many natural language processing tasks and people quickly started using it across all industries. Users became transfixed by its abilities, and it quickly spread across multiple industries. But the language processing model also brought up a lot of fears. The outrage was triggered by concerns of redundancy on the part of people whose employment requires the ability to write workmanlike content. As the machine is able to mimic human-like conversation and text, one can only imagine how it could take over industries with ease.
But before analysing these concerns and the possibility of industry takeovers, it is important to understand the Nature of ChatGPT, what technology it offers and how it is applied.
ChatGPT can be used for a wide range of natural language processing tasks. Some of which are:
Language translation : If provided with a text prompt in one language and through specifying the target language, the model can generate accurate and fluent translations of the text.
Text Generation : Generates human-like text responses to prompts. This can be useful for costumer service or generating responses to online forums or even creating social media posts for marketing purposes. The options are limitless.
Text summarization : When given, the processing system is able to summarize long texts or documents.
Sentiment analysis : ChatGPT is even able to analyse a text and determine the overall tone and emotion of the piece of writing.
Overall, ChatGPT can be used for many language processing tasks. The specific applications of the model will depend on the needs and goals of the user.
ChatGPT is based on the GPT-3 architecture, which is a model that uses self-attention mechanisms to process and generate text. As of earl 2021, GPT-3 is the largest neural network ever produced. As a result, GPT-3 is better than any prior model for producing text that is convincing enough to seem human. However, there are limits to the system. Even though it is powerful, its biggest issue is that it is not consistently learning. It is pre-trained and doesn’t have an ongoing long-term memory that learns from each interaction made. There is also a lack of the systems' ability to explaining and interpreting why certain inputs result in specific outputs.
There are further concerns about GPT-3 revolving around machine learning bias. Since the model is trained to observe internet text, it similarly exhibits many human biases that are shown in online text. This can lead to texts and discourses being predominantly linked to theorists or even white supremacists. This indicates that the system can be abused and used to create hate speech, or fake-news articles which can take the media by storm and cause distress.
ChatGPT disrupting industries
New AI systems such as ChatGPT consistently create disruption in several industries. The key to adjusting is figuring out how to redesign our economic systems to fully engage these systems and the working population. We may soon have machines that can take over the work of writing out ideas fully. This will enable millions of people to now write well and upskill themselves. But in retrospect, it also calls for change and industries have no choice but to adjust to these rapid changes.
These recent advances in AI will surely usher in a period of hardship and economic pain for some whose jobs are directly impacted and who find it hard to adapt — what economists euphemistically call “adjustment costs.” However, the forward march of technology will continue, and we must harness the new capabilities to benefit society. To do so, we must ask what new systems can be built with these new tools and how can we implement it.
Being specialised IT consultants, we surround ourselves daily with the changing industry and new opportunities being created according to technological advances. If you want to stay on top of your game and stay ahead of the job market, then don’t hesitate to contact one of our many recruiters. Discuss the current job market and industry trajectory, or discuss new opportunities to further your career.
by Gareth Streefland
We have experienced remarkably high volatility over the past three years, including supply chain disruptions, historically high inflation,...
We have experienced remarkably high volatility over the past three years, including supply chain disruptions, historically high inflation, geopolitical unrest, and of course an unprecedented worldwide pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns.
It has never been more difficult for many business leaders and entrepreneurs to navigate this environment. Fortunately, new technological solutions are being developed in concert with these issues to support forward-thinking executives in positioning their firms to succeed in the tumultuous years to come.
Knowing the top tech trends expected for 2023 is probably the most important step you can take to make sure your company is prepared for near-term success. After all, if you don't start preparing your business for the newest technological advancements as soon as the year starts, you'll already be behind!
In light of this, let's examine some of the major technological trends for 2023 as identified by Gartner Research, and consider how you may use them to prepare your company for a better, more prosperous future.
1. Digital Immune System
The past few years have seen an unparalleled focus on risk, both in the physical and digital world. Cybersecurity concerns are increasingly acute, as data breaches and other cybersecurity concerns are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
Fortunately, methods for protecting against online criminals, spammers and other unwanted online pests are improving in sophistication as well. Through observation, automation and the latest developments in design, a robust digital immune system can significantly mitigate operational and security risks.
As the utility of these tools becomes more established, expect to hear many more questions about the health of your organization’s digital immune system in the year to come, and what you’re doing to strengthen and protect it.
2. Applied Observability
The 2010s saw an abundance of tools and methods of capturing more data than anyone knew what to do with. Thus, with seemingly endless quantities of client data now available, it’s likely that the next step will be toward creating new uses for data that’s been collected.
Applied Observability uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze and make recommendations for greater efficiency and accuracy based on an organization’s compiled data. It optimizes data implementation by placing more value on use of the right data at the right time for rapid response based on confirmed stakeholder actions, rather than intentions. This can lead to real-time operational improvement, and a tangible competitive advantage for your business.
3. AI Trust, Risk and Security Management (AI TRiSM)
We’ve all heard a lot about AI over the past several years, but believe it or not, many industries are still in the early stages of AI implementation.
With the focus on risk throughout every industry post-pandemic, it’s no surprise that AI Trust, Risk and Security Management (AI TRiSM) will be a major focal point in the tech space next year. AI TRiSM combines methods for explaining AI results, new models for active management of AI security, and controls for privacy and ethics issues, all in support of an organization’s governance, reliability, security, and overall health.
4. Industry Cloud Platforms
Cloud adoption has been a major component of digital transformation for over a decade, and 2023 will almost certainly prove to be another year for more sophisticated, industry and organization-specific cloud adoption strategies. By combining SaaS, PaaS and IaaS with customized functionality, Industry Cloud Platforms may prove to be the most consequential step toward cloud adoption to date.
5. Platform Engineering
As adoption grows and digital platforms mature, expect to see an increased emphasis on customization. That’s what platform engineering offers: a set of tools and capabilities that are developed and packed for ease-of-use. For development teams and end-users alike, this could mean increased productivity and simplified processes.
6. Wireless-Value Realization
We’re still only beginning to scratch the surface of the value gained by the integration of wireless technology through a broad, interconnected ecosystem.
In the coming years, we’ll see wireless endpoints that are able to sense, e-charge, locate and track people and things far behind traditional endpoint communication capabilities. Another step towards optimization of collected data, wireless-value realization networks provide real-time analytics and insights, as well as allowing systems to directly harvest network energy.
Combining the features of an app, a platform and a digital ecosystem within a single application, superapps offer a platform from which third parties can develop and publish their own miniapps. An end user can activate micro or minapps within the superapp, allowing for a more personalized app experience.
8. Adaptive AI
Using real-time feedback to new data and goals, adaptive AI allows for quick adaptation to the constantly evolving needs of the real-world business landscape. The value provided by adaptive AI is apparent, but implementing these systems requires automated decision-making systems to be fully reengineered, which will have a dramatic impact on process architecture for many companies.
As noted above, you’re likely familiar with the term “metaverse” by now thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. However, if the lackluster performance of Meta’s stock is any indication, you’re one of the many who has yet to be sold on the benefits of the metaverse.
Regardless, metaverse technologies that allow for digital replication or enhancement of activities traditionally done in the physical world should certainly not be dismissed. There is far too much at stake, and the possibilities are far too intriguing for too many people to write off metaverse technologies quite yet, even if the pilot versions fail to impress.
10. Sustainable Technology
Until recently, the tech world has been single-mindedly fixated on boosting the power of new technologies. But as tech becomes increasingly integrated into every facet of our lives, we’re seeing new investments in energy efficient tech and tech that promotes sustainable practices.
Emissions management software and AI, traceability and analytics for energy efficiency are all allowing both developers to build sustainability-focused tech, and allowing business leaders to explore new markets and opportunities for sustainable growth.
by David Annable
Franklin Fitch is proud to announce that we have achieved the Good Business Charter Accreditation for our ethical and business practices, an...
Franklin Fitch is proud to announce that we have achieved the Good Business Charter Accreditation for our ethical and business practices, an initiative that promotes the importance of responsible business practices.
The charter encourages responsible capitalism in the UK, by publicly accrediting organisations that prioritise responsible business and good business practice. The initiative measured Franklin Fitch over ten components including a real living wage, fairer hours and contracts, employee well-being and environmental responsibility. By recognising businesses that meet their high standards, the Good Business Charter aims to inspire other organisations to follow suit.
The Good Business Charter is a simple accreditation that organisations in the UK can sign up for in recognition of responsible business practices.
The charter measures behaviour over 10 key components: real living wage, fairer hours and contracts, employee well-being, employee representation, diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility, paying fair tax, commitment to customers, ethical sourcing, and prompt payment of debts.
A qualifying organisation must meet all ten commitments to receive GBC accreditation. Open to the private sector, public sector and charities of all sizes including a simplified version for organisations with 50 employees or less.
The GBC consists of 10 components and more details for each of these components can be found on their website: www.goodbusinesscharter.com
- We are a Living Wage Employer who pays directly employed staff and regularly contracted staff the regular living wage.
- We commit to a fair approach to zero or minimal hours contract including giving at least two weeks’ notice for scheduling shifts and still paying for shifts cancelled at less than two weeks’ notice. We commit to considering providing contracts with guaranteed hours. Both of the above are necessary unless requested otherwise by the employee of their own free will.
- We will have clear, fair and transparent policies that support and encourage employee well-being and ban unreasonable penalties for legitimate sickness.
- We will engage with worker representatives and ensure there is a voice that represents employees around the boardroom table.
- We will commit time and money to create an inclusive workplace. We will monitor the diversity of our workforce, committed to closing the gender, disability and ethnicity pay gaps and narrowing the CEO/worker pay gap.
- We care about the environment and have an environmental policy which demonstrates the ways in which we are committed to reducing our environmental impact and continually improving our environmental performance.
- We commit to pay our taxes, not engage in tax avoidance and be transparent in our relationship with HMRC.
- We recognise our commitment to our customers. We publish this commitment on our website and gather and monitor customer feedback, reporting to the board and addressing concerns.
- We commit to the standards set out in the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code where relevant to our organisation.
- We are signatories of the government’s Prompt Payment Code.
This recognition serves to endorse Franklin Fitch’s strong ethical culture across all areas of its business as well as its commitment to customers. It will also provide an additional platform to ensure that Franklin Fitch continues to develop and promote good business practices, now and in the future.
by Alice Lelli
Taking breaks and vacations from work is extremely important, both for our health and our well-being. The reduction of burnout and stress through...
Taking breaks and vacations from work is extremely important, both for our health and our well-being. The reduction of burnout and stress through time off can be very meaningful for a person’s overall metal and physical state. But getting back into the rhythm of working and getting organised may not always be so easy…
Especially after the Christmas season and the festivities that it brings, it may seem like a struggle for most to get back behind their desk. Luckily, a little pre-vacation strategic plan can help you prepare yourself more for your first few days back and help you accomplish a smooth exit and re-entry! Here are some tips to help guide you into a relaxed holiday and then right back into the work life.
Make a running list of your projects before you leave
Being away from your work causes you to forget and get out of the daily details of tasks and projects. We therefore recommend making 2 lists which you can use upon your return. First, make a list of all the projects you are currently working and their corresponding status level. Second, a list noting down all projects and tasks you want to start at your return. Your priorities might change, but starting a list will give you a good starting point once you return.
Delegate the things that can't wait until you return
One project which you are working on, may need to be completed or worked on during your leave. Be sure you are clear on who is covering your urgent tasks and give your co-workers an overview of the deadline and all the information they need to succeed.
Set up an out of the office email
Don’t wait until the last second to set up your out-of-office email – Email services allow you to pre-schedule your vacation notice days in advance. Set the expectation whether you will be checking your email while you are away and leave an alternate contact if anything urgent has to be discussed.
Clean up before you leave
Organise any files or documents you have lying around your desk and create some order in your workspace! This includes cleaning up your Hard drive on your computer as sorting out your email. This step does not guarantee to come back to perfection, but you will have a better starting point.
Give yourself a buffer day
Giving yourself a buffer day between the day you return from vacation and going back to work, you allow yourself to be able to relax and be able to complete all the little tasks without being under pressure. Taking care of small tasks at home and settling in properly can make your re-entry into work much smoother.
Block time on your calendar for emails
Blocking time out on your first day back to go through your email allows you to identify what has been going since you have been gone. Alongside this, it allows you to prioritise again and determine what projects are important and which ones can be waited on.
Make a to-do list
Create a clear to-do list when returning from a longer vacation. This helps you get back into the rhythm of prioritising and checking off tasks which could range from small to large. Small tasks are good to complete on your first day as it makes you feel accomplished and will give you motivation for the days ahead.
Schedule catch-up meetings
Scheduling meetings or catch-ups allows you to not only follow up on the people who covered your work while you were gone, but also allows you to book some time out of your calendar. Talking with your colleagues and team members as well allows you to get back into the rhythm of working and setting your priorities with projects and tasks.
Resume your usual routine
To get back into your work routine, it is also essential to get back into your usual routine after work as well. This includes waking up at the same time you usually would, go through your typical morning routine and end your day the way you usually would. Getting back into your typical routine allows you to feel more balanced in your transition.
Get lots of sleep
After being on vacation, you might feel a bit of a vacation hangover! In response to this, sleeping and getting a lot of rest can help ease the tress of starting to work again. Don’t work crazy hours to make up for the time you lost while on vacation and keep your sleeping pattern the same as usual.
Now that you have settled into the working rhythm again, it’s time to plan your next holiday! It’s always nice knowing when you will have another trip or some time off. That anticipation will you keep you driven for weeks, and helps you stay on track at work.
Taking time off to recuperate and enjoy other aspects of life than work such as travel or other activities can have a great impact on your well-being. If you are looking for a new exciting position which allows you to create such a life/work balance, then don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our many specialised consultants for a confidential conversation!
by Heather Wilkins
Even though the split between women and men in the tech industry has become a lot more diverse, there is still an obvious divide. The main cause of...
Even though the split between women and men in the tech industry has become a lot more diverse, there is still an obvious divide. The main cause of this is a lack of diversity, awareness, and unconscious biases. The awareness of the IT profession among students and unconscious biases are just the start of a deep-rooted issue. This issue must be overcome before women's representation in software development teams can improve.
Discussions about diversity in the IT industry, include the challenges to greater gender diversity, and how having role models, and support systems, and building both competence and confidence is vital for women to succeed in the tech industry.
The lack of role models is a key challenge that has to be focused on to increase the number of women in Tech. There are many successful and respected male software developers and men in IT. Seeing the lack of women makes one think, are there even actual career paths for women that will last 20 or 30 years? Especially when you look at company hierarchy, and how the amount of women in positions decreases drastically when moving higher up the cooperate ladder, it is shocking how few women you find. Archana Manjunatha, executive director and head of platform transformation and DBS Bank, explains that it gets lonelier at the top because there are even fewer women as you climb the corporate ladder. Having more role models means that other females won't feel so lonely and don’t feel that they can’t do it. To some extent, it is hard to become what you cannot see. Because that is how people choose careers and paths – when they see somebody, then it's easier for them to say “I want to become like this person”.
At the moment, when you think of an engineer or a similar role, most of the time you will think of a male in such positions. This mindset needs to be replaced with more female images so that women entering the industry are not deterred at all. However, even though this backward mindset is still very much present, there are a lot more movements and initiatives today to highlight female role models and encourage women to enter the IT industry.
Another challenge is an unconscious bias that sets in early, where even primary school children view math and science-related fields as being more suited for men. Through changing education by families and schools, this mindset could be changed. A lot of people also identify the path to a tech career as exciting and sudden. This is because most people don’t think of this field from an early age. If it is implemented properly, it can become an extremely rewarding field for several women.
Have support systems
Another challenge for women is to thrive in their careers through the different life stages, where they have to juggle bringing up children and work, or even taking some time off for family before re-entering the workforce. Support systems in these instances will help women through these difficult stages. Most of the time, people are also very open to giving you the help and support that you need. Just have the courage to ask for it and you’d be surprised how much help you will be given. This will help you be able to not drop off entirely, but give you the opportunity to make a comeback at a certain point in time.
Key elements to succeed
Regardless of gender, it all comes down to competence and confidence. Building competence is extremely important, and with that competence comes confidence. When someone is an expert in a subject matter, the agenda is almost invisible at the table because people are listening to you for your expert opinions, and your knowledge in the area. In return, respect will be gained. This means that women still are encouraged to upskill themselves. Technology is constantly evolving. What may have gotten you into technology, will not be there the next day. So one always has to keep themselves up to date. The growth mindset and the ability to want to keep learning are very important in the IT industry.
To show skills and benchmarks, certification can be completed which will help not only secure a position but also required to show your acquired skills.
Through the further integration of women into the tech industry, it is noted that there will not only be a more balanced gender representation in tech teams, but there will also be better delivery of code, products, and technology. We are definitely living in much better times, but there is still a long way to go. If there are only 20% of women are trying to solve the problem, it won't be solved or will take longer. The remaining 80% must become part of the solution. Otherwise, it's just women talking about needing equality and not taking any action.
While challenges exist, many opportunities exist for women in the tech industry. It is understandable that a lot of women feel unsure about getting into the industry due to self-doubt. But instead of asking if you are smart enough, put in the hours, be willing to learn, really try, and give it a go!
by Lauren Greene
When you, as an IT leader, are able to foster innovation, it not only benefits IT itself, but the business it serves and you personally. It...
When you, as an IT leader, are able to foster innovation, it not only benefits IT itself, but the business it serves and you personally. It shows that you are an internal agent of change and a valuable asset. Companies that recognize this build their culture and processes in a way that encourages innovation. You have realized that waiting for prompting is not the right way to move forward.
Put simply, innovation is what your business needs to bridge the gap between where it is now and the future you envision in which it will thrive. So how can you encourage this innovation and drive it forward in the workplace? Below we give you some tips on how to do just that and increase the success of your teams and your company in the innovation process.
1. Define your definition of IT innovation and recognize the opportunities
First, you need to determine if there is a culture of innovation in your company. Whether your employees can come to you with new ideas or whether suggestions are perceived as annoying. When employees have the opportunity to innovate and contribute to your organization's mission and goals, their engagement increases. They feel part of a whole and see how their work advances the company. That's a great motivator.
But you can't just go to your employees with a vague idea to innovate. That's too broad a spectrum to give to anyone. You will not feel motivated or encouraged. Asking a team to innovate is like asking an athlete to play better. So if you want your employees to innovate and encourage that culture, you first need to define what IT innovation means for your business. It can be anything: the successful development, implementation, extension, or improvement of a technical process, a business process, or a software or hardware product. It can even revolve around cultural factors that reduce costs, increase productivity, increase the company's competitiveness or bring any other business benefit. As you may be able to tell, the range of IT innovations is very wide. So we encourage you to expand your goal and pitch this idea to your IT teams.
2. Know the difference between project management and research and development
IT projects are inherently very project management oriented. This means they are clearly defined by deadlines, specific cost estimates, deliverables, and calculated/expected returns on investment. However, with research and development, you cannot plan into your plan that the big discovery and breakthrough will happen on a specific day. Instead, the big breakthrough will come when it does, or possibly not at all. Therefore, it is difficult to calculate the return on investment for this type of project. As an IT executive, you must decide whether the project is worth investing in or whether you want to use project management techniques instead.
3. Building an innovative/productive pipeline
Building an innovative culture is not only people-oriented but also process-oriented. You need to develop a formalized process that identifies, collects, evaluates, and implements innovative ideas. Without this process, great ideas and potential innovations die in the bud. It must also be recognized and understood that innovative ideas can come from many directions, e.g. B. from your employees, internal business partners, customers, suppliers, competitors, or through accidental discoveries. The reason it is important to define the most likely sources of innovative ideas is that you can develop idea-collection processes for each source.
4. Accept the unfair expectations of others of IT
Any software or service you develop will be compared to purchased software and services. It's not fair, but people do it anyway. Consequently, the evaluation of new processes and software must be done in this unfair sense and expectations must be set accordingly. Incorrect or excessive expectations can damage the IT team's overall reputation and make it difficult for the business to agree to fund the team's innovative ideas.
5. Note form and content
This doctrine states that all outcomes, no matter how large or small, must have both form and content. The shape means how it looks. The content is what it says or how it works. This applies to documents, systems, processes, and everything else that is shared with others. A form with no content is a new system that looks perfect but doesn't do what people want it to do. Content without form shows that the person or group delivering it offers too little and doesn't take pride in their work to make it look good. From the point of view of promoting innovation, all implemented ideas must follow this doctrine, otherwise, the new innovations will not be well received by your department and thus jeopardize your entire innovation goal.
6. Create a safe environment when innovation fails
When you are presented with an innovative idea, good or bad, commend the person's effort, interest, and initiative. When good ideas are presented, they are included in the aforementioned innovation pipeline. Less attractive ideas can become lessons in which you explain to the employee why they won't work and give them hints about which ideas are more likely to win. And should you approve an idea and allow the employee to spend time implementing it, and it fails, praise the effort and don't blame the employee, or they may never propose an innovative idea again.
But how do you get your employees to be creative, innovative, and risk-taking? And what exactly does it mean to be creative or innovative? These terms are thrown around so often that it can be difficult to keep track. As a result, many leaders don't know how best to encourage their employees to look at problems and processes differently. Here are some tricks to motivate your employees throughout the innovation process.
- Be clear about what you want
- Show employees that it's worth taking the risk
- Celebrate successes and learn from failures
- Provide mentoring and training
- Create a culture where people care about each other.
If you have experience in the IT industry or are new to this field and want to explore possible ideas, you can get in touch with us and have a confidential interview with one of our recruiters! If you are looking for new vacancies, follow the link to the current vacancies page.
by Ryan Evans
Professionals today have a wide range of employment possibilities, so businesses must step up their hiring practises. The competition gets tougher...
Professionals today have a wide range of employment possibilities, so businesses must step up their hiring practises. The competition gets tougher every day. Even while we are unable to forecast what will occur in five years, we do know that this tendency won't be abating anytime soon.
Leaving candidates with a positive impression of you is the ultimate goal. How? Through candidate experience, that is. To convince candidates to trust you with their job possibilities, you must provide a positive candidate experience. Before getting into the details of how to improve the candidate experience. First, let's discuss what candidate experience is and how significant it is.
What Is Candidate Experience?
The entire hiring process that a candidate goes through is referred to as the candidate experience. It simply refers to how candidates are made to feel during their interactions with you. As more and more businesses realise how important it is to establish a healthy relationship with potential employees, it has gained a lot of ground recently.
Why Is Candidate Experience Important?
Candidate expectations are rising and will continue to do so in the upcoming years, thus candidate experience is crucial. Within 60 seconds of discovering a company online, candidates have already made up their minds about it. This implies that you have less than a minute to make an impression on candidates searching for your business, and first impressions matter.
Candidate Feedback Spreads Quickly and Far
Nowadays, everyone shares everything online. 60 percent of respondents surveyed, according to a Forbes article, had unfavourable candidate experiences at some point, and 72 percent of them shared those experiences online or with friends, family, and coworkers. Because of this, it's more crucial than ever to make investments to ensure that candidates have a pleasant experience from beginning to end.
The Job Market Is Oversaturated
Finding excellent applicants is now more straightforward than ever thanks to the growth of online recruiting and remote employment. That's excellent news for businesses that need to fill positions. Today's candidates are motivated and eager to work, so you have more opportunities than before. Contrarily, this signifies that the competition is fierce!
Businesses are known for their hiring procedures and organisational climate almost as much as for the calibre of their services and goods. As a result, in a crowded job market, your ability to draw candidates and deliver a great candidate experience will have a significant impact on your competitive edge.
First Impressions Have a Ripple Effect
The first impression a candidate has of your business will stick with them throughout the entire hiring process, so make the most of it! Candidates typically conduct their due diligence prior to your initial contact. However, the first email or meeting a candidate has with you will set the tone for all subsequent communications.
A favourable candidate experience may also contribute to a favourable perception of your goods and services. Additionally, it affects the reputation of your brand. Focusing on the candidate experience will benefit your business and brand in addition to making applicants feel welcome and respected.
Candidates Will Give as Much as They Get
The good news is that applicants are now more concerned with what they learn from an event. Forbes claims that young professionals are not afraid to change professions if the career development options offered by their current employers do not fulfil their expectations. This is particularly relevant to millennials.
Work-life balance, organisational branding, and candidate experience are no longer just trendy buzzwords. They are necessities for business. How would you like to be treated if you were the candidate and went through your hiring procedure from beginning to end? By responding to this, you'll be able to connect with your candidates and beat out the competition.
Ultimately, when you focus on the experience you provide, the returns will be in the form of committed, loyal, and passionate employees.
The Key Is Transparency
You may discover a good amount of statistics and methods for enhancing the candidate experience online. But ultimately, from the perspective of the candidates, it all comes down to your openness and authenticity.
Be as honest and transparent as you can when communicating. Never ignore emails for weeks or months at a time. Be truthful and proactive. No matter what news you have to provide, your candidate will be happy to hear from you rather than being left in the dark.
Finally, a strong organisation brand will be created for you by combining an effective hiring process with a strong emphasis on the candidate experience. You will receive all the assistance you require in order to scale your business and recruit and keep top performers.
by Lewis Andrews
Over the years, as hybrid and remote work has increased, so has the proliferation of data. This is referred to as "data sprawl" where...
Over the years, as hybrid and remote work has increased, so has the proliferation of data. This is referred to as "data sprawl" where sensitive data and information is stored in different locations through the scattered and unmanaged use of cloud apps. It is said that one in five employees uses personal apps to create, share, store or upload sensitive data from work. That is far too much personal and sensitive data in different places, which is usually even forgotten by the user.
As apps, services, and tools that enable hybrid or remote working penetrate corporate networks, attackers are increasingly exploiting the numerous blind spots. However, there are some actions security teams can take to better understand this trend and mitigate the impact of data proliferation.
Understand the use of apps in the workplace
To properly understand and protect the flow of data, security teams need to know where the data resides and who can access it. When sensitive files are spread across different cloud platforms, visibility is not very possible. However, when the data is distributed across multiple external applications to share and store it, problems arise. It is therefore advantageous to store sensitive files centrally using special applications.
The average company uploads, shares and creates over 138 external apps in total as part of its daily work. Many of them have similar functions, which poses a great opportunity for cyber criminals and a major problem for security teams.
Capitalize on growing app usage
As the use of apps in the workplace increases, cybercriminals gain access to applications that are not as secure as others. They can easily disguise themselves as such applications and infiltrate systems, making it more difficult for security teams to catch them individually.
This happens more often than one might think. Microsoft recently endured an extensive security investigation after employees uploaded sensitive credentials to GitHub that gave attackers access to the company's internal systems. The information was linked to an official Microsoft tenant ID and could be used to access other points in Microsoft's internal system.
Even though incidents like these actively encourage companies to focus more on their security, which includes transparency and monitoring of data. But once a person has penetrated the systems, it may already be too late.
Industry control over data dissemination
When it comes to limiting the spread of data in the workplace, organizations can consider several variables to mitigate this issue. For example, the corporate finance sector is much more stringent in terms of security controls and regulations. This restricts the use of other external applications in the workplace.
In other sectors, it is more difficult to limit data proliferation due to remote companies and less stringent industry regulations. Retail workers, for example, regularly use a variety of cloud applications in the workplace. In fact, 40% of retail users upload data to personal apps. Not only in this sector, but in all industries, it is important for IT security teams take proactive measures to minimize the risk of data proliferation.
Data Spread Limitation Practices
With the right security strategies and policies in place, security teams can confidently leverage cloud services and hybrid workspaces without worrying about data proliferation. This will look different for each company depending on factors such as size, security maturity, and goals. However, some basic security best practices remain constant, including:
1. Use single sign-on (SSO) for internal applications.
This enables central user management and ensures that if employees leave the company, you have a central place to remove their access to any cloud resources containing sensitive company data.
2. Configure controls to restrict the movement of sensitive data
Implement app and instance-specific security controls to prevent users from storing sensitive data in unauthorized locations. For example, security controls should be able to distinguish between a user's personal Google Account and corporate Google Workspaces account and prevent users from uploading sensitive data to the former. Policies can be configured based on a user's device, location, or risk.
3. Monitoring risky user behavior
User behavior analysis can complement the security controls described above by identifying risky user behavior, e.g. B. A sudden increase in downloads from managed apps and app instances or uploads to unmanaged apps and app instances. This behavior can be used to identify areas where tighter controls are needed or users who need more training.
4. Train employees
With the right policies and controls in place, the next step is to effectively communicate those policies to employees. Work closely with Human Resources to make safety training a regular part of onboarding and annual training. Make sure your policies include threats from departing employees to ensure they don't upload company information to personal apps before they leave the company. This practice can pose a major threat to businesses, especially at a time when layoffs are on the rise.
With the shift to hybrid working, it is becoming increasingly difficult to protect data, especially when it comes to the increasing use of cloud applications. Enterprises' journey to the cloud must be accompanied by strict security policies and an appropriate security infrastructure to deal with the uncontrolled use of apps and the resulting massive data proliferation. Hybrid working will only succeed if organizations, and particularly their security teams, take a proactive approach to limit data proliferation.
If you're looking to hire your team to help you protect your security to limit data exposure for a growing company, we're trusted experts in the I.T Infrastructure industry so contact us to gain help hiring the best specialists in the field. Check out how to contact us today by clicking here
by Dominik Bart
The year is slowly drawing to a close. While many are likely to be getting to overindulge and celebrate, there are a select few motivated job...
The year is slowly drawing to a close. While many are likely to be getting to overindulge and celebrate, there are a select few motivated job seekers out there, taking advantage of this time of year by getting those valuable applications ahead of the masses.
Many people suspend their job hunt over the holiday season thinking that this time of year is slow for hiring. In reality, it’s anything but.
There are boundless articles online that suggest you avoid the end of the year period for applying for jobs, with most reasons attributed to company personnel on leave over the popular holiday period, or general activity in most workplaces declining. These opinions often overlook the fact that now can be an excellent time to update your CV and start your job hunt.
This article will help to shed some light on the myths around end-of-year recruitment and explain why you should begin job hunting right now, rather than waiting until January.
Nevertheless, entering before the holiday rush might be very beneficial:
1. Businesses still have hiring budgets to spend
Many articles suggest that hiring budgets will be drained by the end of the year and you should wait for the new year to begin job hunting.
The truth is, heads of departments within any company will project what their hiring plans will be for Q1 - Q4 well in advance so that the yearly budget for hires can be approved by the Finance Director. Any hard-won hiring budget will need to be utilised at year-end to ensure a similar hiring budget can be secured for the following year.
Companies often have wish lists when it comes to positions they'd like to fill, but often those positions aren't listed during the course of the year because it's not clear whether there will be enough wiggle room in the budget to bring on another salary.
As the year draws to a close, however, the dollars left over from the original budget become clearer. This allows companies to consider opening up those positions that would be highly beneficial to them, but which they previously were unsure they'd be able to afford. Keep an eye out for these types of positions that open up as the end of the year looms.
2. You can be ready to start work in January
If you’re planning on leaving your job hunting until January, you may want to reevaluate that decision. January is often a very busy time of year for many companies and so managers may struggle to fit in interviews and training of new staff members.
The end of the year, especially just before the holiday period, can often be calmer in terms of workload, making it easier for teams to consider their recruitment for the year ahead. This makes it an ideal time for you to get in touch with companies and start applying for jobs.
Many employers would like to hire new starters using a carefully planned hiring process that would ensure the right candidate is sourced the first time. Training can be conducted following a well-structured induction plan that will allow for new starters to be brought up to speed quickly and effectively.
If recruitment takes place at the end of the year, you can then be fully trained and inducted, so you’re ready to hit the ground running in January, just like the rest of the workforce.
The benefit to you of applying now, rather than waiting until the new year, is that the hiring process can be much speedier. You can expect a lower applicant rate and clearer calendars make it easier for interviews to be scheduled with the hiring manager.
3. You can beat the competition
If you wait till January to start job hunting, along with everyone else, your CV will be joining the hoard of other job hunters’ CVs on a hiring manager’s desk.
Use the myth that job hiring stops during the festive holiday period to your favor. While everyone else waits to start their job search in January, start your job hunt in earnest now. Fewer applicants mean more chances of your CV being noticed and a quicker hiring process. So, make sure you craft the perfect CV, cover letter and get job hunting now.
4. Businesses don’t stop just because it’s Christmas
Christmas is a huge national holiday, and it is easy to believe that most employers will be winding down and not interested in conducting interviews during the festive season.
While this may have been the case in the past, in the digital 21st Century, businesses don’t come to an abrupt stop just because it’s Christmas. Resist your own temptation to stop completely over Christmas and New Year and start job hunting now.
Get job hunting now
Ignore the myth that hiring managers are not looking for candidates at the end of the year.
Businesses are still recruiting and are looking to get talent in place now for 2023. Put yourself ahead of everyone by updating your CV. You may even be able to secure a new job before the end of the year and start your new role in January – a new job for a new year. Get in ahead of the rush and apply for your next role now and contact us today. There's still time to brush up on those interview skills too, to really impress your future manager - see our tips on how to prepare for an interview here.
by Jamie Fitzgerald
IT service management often referred to as ITSM, is simply how teams manage the end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers. This includes all...
IT service management often referred to as ITSM, is simply how teams manage the end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers. This includes all the processes and activities to design, create, deliver and support IT services.
Information technologies now encompass and incorporate tasks and responsibilities from across the entire organisation. Managing these services is an ongoing challenge and customer expectations are high. ITSM is, therefore, necessary to coordinate countless tasks and processes, while ensuring that they are providing real value to the customer.
IT Departments and users often debate over the best framework, technology solution, implementation strategy, and other details. However, improvements in ITSM often require business executives and IT to take a step back and observe the opportunities for improvement and the associated challenges from a strategic perspective as they aim for their digital transformation goals. So how do we achieve these goals?
Define IT strategy
The first step is to sort out your vision and strategy. By developing a comprehensive roadmap for your ITSM initiatives, you are allowing provisions for potential improvements down the line. Find the success factors and define the KPIs, metrics, guiding framework, and desired state at every stage of implementation. This type of roadmap should cover all three domains of IT in service management, business operations as well as the enterprise-wide strategic vision:
Front-end IT: includes all software or hardware that is part of a user interface. Human or digital users interact directly with various aspects of the front-end program, including user-entered data, buttons, programs, websites and other features
Middle IT: The processes and operational workflows defined by frameworks and automation capabilities
Back-end IT: refers to parts of a computer application or a program’s code that allow it to operate and that cannot be accessed by a user. Most data and operating syntax are stored and accessed in the back end of a computer system.
Develop business-focused IT services
Service management allows business organisations to transform their operations by taking advantage of advanced technology solutions. Digital transformation requires technologies to be not only more efficient but also support the business-focused needs of the organisation. Understanding how It services are therefore delivered and how your users interact with the technology can help organisations map and correlate their ITSM strategies to business outcomes.
Hyper automation is defined as a business-driven, disciplined approach that organisations use to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Sophisticated technology solutions help create a digital twin of the ITSM organisation that is responsible for key ITSM tasks such as:
Hyper automation is all about continuous intelligence. In the domain of ITSM, it is focused on deriving insights from the IT environment, service delivery, and user behavior. The insights are then delivered in real-time and can be used across all subset domains of the ITSM organisation.
Consider customizations vs. off-the-shelf
Many organisations invest in new technologies and like to use them the way they come ‘out of the box’ or off-the-shelf. It departments generally prefer to use products in this way, since any customisation is likely to introduce integration concerns, complexity, and bugs – an operational and maintenance nightmare for IT.
However, if the technology is used ‘out of the box it doesn’t always materialize into tangible business value. Even the most well-defined technologies can and must be configured and often customized to suit the specifications and requirements of the business, its technology or the service they are providing.
Business leaders, IT executives, and other agents should therefore support efforts that ensure all ITSM technology investments have a positive impact on the business, despite the higher implementation of costs and resources incurred.
Prioritize and align governance
Organisations that are running on a tight budget, often forget or dismiss the importance of investing in governance areas. Inadequate governance gives rise to discrepancies between the planned ITSM framework and policy implementations – and what actually happens. As an example, users might find ways to bypass organisational protocols for using a new tool or product, due to convenience or to access technology capabilities lacking in the companies existing solution portfolio.
When this happens, it results in shadow IT and misalignment of IT service management resources to the business objectives.
Companies are able to avoid issues as such happening if they:
Adopt the right policies and framework guidelines in their work routine
Take advantage of the flexibilities of the framework implementation and alternate technology solutions through systematic approval from the IT
Overall, these methods will have to be tested out by organisations separately, to analyse what works for them. There are numerous best practices that might or might not work best for your organisation. If you are interested in seeing how we can help you find the best talent to set up your organisation's ITSM infrastructure, visit our client's page, or get in contact with us!
by Matthew Bell
In our world where there is a lot of travel, migration, union, and communication going on, there is no doubt that we are continuing to witness and...
In our world where there is a lot of travel, migration, union, and communication going on, there is no doubt that we are continuing to witness and experience cultural diversity. It is such an enriching experience, but there is no denying that such diversity can also be also challenging.
Many employers say that their biggest asset is their staff, and what often makes a great team is diversity. Everyone brings something unique and valuable to the table in different ways. Cultural diversity should be embraced, because with it comes a myriad of benefits.
What is cultural diversity?
Culture is considered to be the underlying values that direct how people behave. Cultural diversity in the workplace is a result of the practices, values, traditions, or beliefs of employees based on race, age, ethnicity, religion, or gender.
Economic globalization is one of the driving forces of cultural diversity in the workplace. The modern workforce is made up of people of different genders, ages, ethnicity, religions, and nationalities. Employers have realized that workforce diversity provides both material and intangible benefits. In order for employers to reap the benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace, they must communicate their commitment to addressing the challenges of a diverse workforce. Employers must be seen to be celebrating their employees’ diversity to avoid workplace issues, as awkwardness and hostility.
Why is cultural diversity important?
We’ve touched on the idea of the benefits cultural diversity offers, but equality and diversity are something that hasn’t just received lip service within the media. There’s been extensive research into its positive effects and the importance of business inclusivity.
Studies looking at why cultural diversity is important to give us solid stats to work from when thinking about its benefits. For instance, economically, research shows that the 43 most diverse public corporations were 24% more profitable than the S&P 500. Other studies show that almost 95% of directors agree that diversity brings unique perspectives.
Ultimately, workplace diversity and inclusion allow businesses to build teams that bring different viewpoints and talents to the mix, increasing innovation and driving higher revenues.
Six benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace
1. Cultural diversity helps develop and maximise skillsets
A culturally diverse workplace empowers people to develop their talents and skills. A range of ideas and expertise enables those to learn from a more diverse collection of colleagues.
It can also boost problem-solving capabilities and increase happiness and productivity. In an environment where all voices are heard, this spirit of innovation and encouragement to contribute can drive business success.
2. Cultural diversity improves the recruitment process
Surveys show that two-thirds of candidates cite diversity as an important consideration during a job hunt. By developing a strategy for cultural diversity, you can broaden your appeal to prospective employees, and reach out to more high-level candidates across the globe. Research shows that 67% of job seekers advised that a company’s diverse workforce is a key factor when evaluating job offers. These findings demonstrate that diversity is a key aspect when recruiting the best talent. Job seekers are aware of the importance of a diverse workforce and want to be part of a company that will value and appreciates their difference.
3. Cultural diversity can help you to retain talent
Aside from attracting a broader talent pool in the first place, cultural diversity is the key to building the ideologies of respect between company and employee, and cooperation. In turn, this makes you a more attractive proposition to valuable candidates making you stand out in the marketplace.
4. Cultural diversity improves your team’s creativity
When everyone in a company is from the same background, they’re likely to have similar ideas. In order to remain competitive, companies need new ideas and concepts. A diverse workforce brings unique perspectives on how to solve problems and innovate to gain a competitive edge. A more diverse workforce allows you to bring new ways of thinking into the business that can be applied in many different ways. By listening to each employee's voice and way of thinking, a company will no longer be pigeonholed in one direction.
A company that actively encourages diversity in the workplace will see more perspectives being discussed and more solutions being thought of than ever before. This can inspire employees to perform to the highest of their abilities.
5. Cultural diversity can help increase employee engagement
The best way to learn about other cultures and ethnicities is by talking to someone with that background. Research can only get you so far and has a far less personal touch. By communicating with someone with a different culture or background you not only gain first-hand knowledge, but also connect with someone directly.
Employees who engage with others about their background during lunches or out-of-hours drinks will feel better connected to a company, feel truly listened to, and in turn engage further with their colleagues and the business.
Employee engagement helps build trust, starting from the very top and moving all the way down throughout the company. Engagement is always positive for the company, it can lead to greater motivation, collaboration, and loyalty.
6. Cultural diversity will improve your company’s reputation
A company that employs people from all different types of cultures and backgrounds will be considered a good employer. This reputation amongst employees will elevate a company’s standing and attract more people to come and work there. A commitment to diversity demonstrates that a company values fairness and equality. These characteristics have a positive effect on its reputation with suppliers and consumers. A company that openly recruits the best candidates for a job, irrespective of which group they are in, will gain customer loyalty and a good reputation.
The importance of cultural diversity in the workplace can’t be understated. Having diverse employees increases the bottom line and also assists in staying on the right side of the law. Companies that have a clear diversity and inclusion policy (and are seen to enforce this policy) benefit from happier and more productive employees and a great reputation.
by Ben Makepeace
It might be challenging to find the perfect candidate for the job, and many various aspects must be taken into account. Here, we examine the effects...
It might be challenging to find the perfect candidate for the job, and many various aspects must be taken into account. Here, we examine the effects that experience, cultural fit, and certification may have on hiring decisions for the technology sector.
Professional credentials vary in terms of purpose, educational requirements, rigor and industry, and those who earn certification typically cite multiple benefits. At the top of the list are relevance and staying current, personal accomplishment, career advancement and marketability, and increased earnings.
Today, a wide range of independent organisations and IT vendors, such as Amazon, Cisco, CompTIA, and Microsoft, provide hundreds of IT certifications.
Certifications can cost up to several hundred pounds. Taking the CompTIA A+ certification exams (two are required), for example, costs a total of £233 as of June 2022. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) costs £588.
Although an exact relationship between certification and job performance is difficult to measure, surveys show that earning a credential increases certificants’ confidence in critical thinking and professional abilities. According to the Global Knowledge and Tech Republic 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report, employees do view certification as a worthwhile career investment. Two-thirds of respondents who were certified within the previous five years reported they felt efforts to obtain a certification were worth the additional commitment. The report also noted that more than half of the respondents said employers support and recognise the value certifications provide.
Numerous research has been done to support the idea that selecting people with professional certificates will be advantageous for hiring managers. A 2021 CompTIA research study aimed at gaining insight into how IT hiring managers evaluate job candidates and the role of certifications in the hiring process, found credentials, such as IT certifications, are factors in decision-making.
This preference for certification is largely based on improved effectiveness, as noted in the Global Knowledge 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report, which states that more than half of IT managers surveyed reported their staff was “more effective” or “significantly more effective” on the job after attaining certification.
Despite the points made above, there are still a number of reasons why IT certifications are not a reliable measure of an employee's performance.
The first of these is that the technology sector develops so quickly that, as a result of the market's shifting dynamics, a certification obtained the year before can become all but outdated the following year. Furthermore, since anybody may start a certification firm and issue certificates, the legitimacy of certifications has frequently been questioned.
The professional certification sector has been working hard in recent years to address concerns like test score validation, cheating, and other challenges that raise the question of whether a certification is, in fact, a reflection of the candidate's abilities at all.
Let's now think about the topic of experience. Without a doubt, while qualifications are helpful, nothing beats actual work experience.
According to a Foote Partners poll, experience far surpasses credentials because non-certified IT employees receive bigger bonuses than their less experienced, more certified peers. A hiring manager might judge a candidate's ability to use skills they have learned in the workplace based on experience.
Highlighting instances from the actual world shows that people can put their technical knowledge to use.
Contrary to what was previously stated, emphasizing experience also has disadvantages. Work experience can help someone get ready to perform certain tasks, but it does not mean they have learned anything.
An IT professional who has merely picked up skills on the job cannot determine whether the procedures learned at a company are "best practice"; they can only perform the task. As a result, people who have learned on the job may not be as valuable as those who have expertise and credentials since they may not be able to see the potential for development, which would lead to greater organizational efficiency.
For example, when programming an application, the code can be written in many different ways. An IT professional who is strictly learning on the job, can’t tell whether the processes learned at one organization is the ‘best practice’ for another. At the end of the day, their work may create a functioning application, but their approach to coding may be difficult to transfer to other companies.
The last aspect to take into account is cultural fit. After all, the hiring manager is going to spend a lot of time with the employee, therefore it's vital how they interact and come across throughout the interview process. Indeed, others contend that the most crucial element is cultural fit because, unlike talents, personalities cannot be changed.
LinkedIn claims that after three months, most employees are comfortable in their new roles. Personal attributes, on the other hand, are far more deeply embedded and cannot be altered; if they could, it would take more than three months to do so.
Sometimes, a candidate's work ethic, honesty, and openness to learning are valued more highly than any technical expertise they may have. For instance, if a solutions provider needed to add someone to their pre-sales team, would they rather hire a person with a great personality who is outgoing and positive to win business or a pre-sales guru with 15 years of experience who is so bored with the field that he struggles to muster a smile when speaking to potential new clients?
Furthermore, because few tasks are completed entirely in isolation, the formation of teams within organisations can have a huge impact. Teamwork is therefore seen as essential for delivering high levels of customer satisfaction.
Despite this, many argue that using a person's personality to evaluate their suitability for a profession is seriously wrong. Hiring managers typically need a few minutes to form a solid impression of a candidate's personality. Hiring based on selecting candidates who are "like-minded" can have a lot of negative effects. "Good fit" in an organisation might become "the same as," which causes recruiting managers to put people on IT teams more for their interpersonal skills than for any technical advantages they might have to offer.
The research seems to indicate that employing people only based on their credentials, backgrounds, or personalities has both advantages and disadvantages. In light of the research done for this post, I think it would be foolish to claim that there is only one "best-fit" hiring strategy.
Depending on a number of variables, a hiring manager may give each of the three dimensions more weight.
1) Keeping the hire's seniority in mind: When evaluating candidates for a junior support position, a hiring manager will give the applicant's personality a lot of weight. They will be looking for someone who is eager to learn, receptive to new ideas, and passionate about technological advancement.
2) The duration of the position: In contrast, the same recruiting manager will give personality much less weight when selecting a temporary senior engineer to implement a certain technology. This time, they will give more weight to the experience the applicant has gained thus far in his or her career.
The fact that many hiring managers in contemporary markets will not even consider candidates for a position if they do not hold specific certifications further complicates the situation. Accordingly, they contend that the two factors mentioned above are completely irrelevant if the candidate does not possess the necessary certification.
At Franklin Fitch all of our consultants are equipped to assist you through the hiring process and assess which role would be best suited for you, check out our opportunities available here, or alternatively speak to one of the consultants here.
by Dominique Lianos
Workplace inclusion helps employees of all ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, and sexual orientations thrive and feel safe in the modern workplace,...
Workplace inclusion helps employees of all ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, and sexual orientations thrive and feel safe in the modern workplace, but not only that. The best talent is attracted to and retained by diverse teams because they deliver greater results.
Developing diversity and inclusion initiatives at work is essential if a company wants to succeed in today's business climate. In order to thrive in the corporate world, you must have both because lacking one can create uproar. Diversity and inclusion may help a business in many ways, including attracting and keeping more top talent, fostering creativity, and increasing employee engagement.
Fostering diversity and inclusion strategies can sometimes be easier said than done in certain businesses, especially those that already are suffering from a lack of talent and a diverse workforce. Although having a diverse workforce can enable your business to become more creative and perform better, they can struggle to implement effective strategies that will help them do so.
Below, we look at 10 strategies on how to improve DEI in your workplace:
1. Using inclusive language
If you want to recruit more women into your organisation, you must use inclusive language in your job descriptions. Avoiding gendered language, such as using specific pronouns or masculine terms like dominant and challenging, can deter women and LGBT individuals from applying for your job openings. Not just in job descriptions, but also in other written communications, inclusive language should be used. In emails and letters, for instance, you should make sure to use inclusive language because people in the workplace will want to be addressed in the way they see fit.
2. Challenging unconscious biases
Being mindful of unconscious biases is a great idea since it will help you realise that even after implementing specific techniques inside your organisation, you will continue to view the world in a particular way. By challenging them and implementing successful tactics inside your organisation, you may help to eliminate any unconscious bias that the company may be experiencing. Unconscious bias in the hiring process is reduced by hiring managers receiving training, gender-neutral job descriptions, anonymized CVs, and a systematic interviewing procedure.
3. Educating leadership
Educating leadership and management and requiring them to attend diversity and inclusion programmes are both advantageous for a number of reasons. An organization's leadership must give a DEI plan room to grow and be held accountable for its success. The tech business is undoubtedly dominated by white men, and this is considered as one of the least diverse parts of a corporation. Second, leaders have a significant influence on the creation of corporate values and the selection of organisational strategy. Therefore, it is likely that company-wide implementation will be possible if diversity and inclusion goals are established via a top-down strategy.
One of the best diversity and inclusion methods to use is to talk about chances for mentorship that can assist your organisation attract and retain varied talent. Most women and members of underrepresented groups don't feel like they have the chance to advance, and as a result, they quit their jobs in the middle of their careers because they don't feel appreciated or challenged. Therefore, implementing a mentoring programme for people who wish to advance can aid employees in achieving personal growth and delivering success to the company. Having a mentor can aid someone in overcoming obstacles and advancing toward leadership or senior positions.
5. Cultural events
Retaining varied talent can be facilitated by designating a day to honour each of the ethnic groups that make up your organization's current diversity culture. Additionally, it guarantees that you are fostering inclusivity within your organisation because everyone will cherish and respect one another's nationality. Events like International Women's Day, Gay Pride, and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities should all be observed. By doing this, you may attract more talent by demonstrating to potential employees that your company values and promotes diversity and inclusion.
6. Diversity training
Giving your staff diversity training will increase their understanding of what makes a diverse and inclusive workplace. It is the ideal technique to show how each person can contribute to the success and growth of the company. Additionally, it teaches your staff that everyone is equal and that they should respect one another regardless of their age, gender, or race. This will not only assist your company in fostering more inclusive and varied tactics, but it may also inspire others to come up with fresh ideas for boosting workplace diversity.
7. Core company values
As long as your company values represent an inclusive workplace, communicating your fundamental principles can aid in attracting diverse talent to the tech industry. Before determining whether to apply for a job or not, candidates will always want to access and view your company's values. Today's workforce is seeking a great place to work with prospects for advancement and a healthy work-life balance. Therefore, displaying your inclusivity and diversity or showing how you are using diversity and inclusion techniques to advance will help you succeed when applying.
8. Create an environment that is suited to everyone
The leadership team and communication are primarily responsible for fostering a climate that is suitable for everyone. Leadership must be devoted to making sure that everyone in your organisation, at all levels, can operate in an inclusive environment. The working environment will be accommodating for everyone if new diversity and inclusion rules are communicated both internally and internationally and training is offered. Since workplace diversity is inevitable, it's crucial to be inclusive when establishing a welcoming workplace culture.
9. Listen to employees
One of the most important things a leader in an organisation needs to do is listen to the people. Although leadership roles will need to debate implementing diversity and inclusion policies, it is the employees who will gain or lose from such choices. A fantastic method to collect the opinions of employees on what they would want to see in their company is to create anonymous surveys for them to complete.
10. Involve employees in the hiring process
One strategy to improve diversity and inclusion within your organisation is to involve some employees in the recruiting process. Employees can provide you a more comprehensive perspective on what new hires might contribute, and they might identify skill sets that you would not. Employees will feel more appreciated and that their opinions matter when making critical decisions for the company if they are included in the hiring process.
Fostering workplace diversity and inclusion doesn’t just happen. You need to have a specific plan and devote the right resources to implementing changes that impact hiring and day-to-day team interactions. Employers can start by surveying existing employees to get a sense of their feelings and what can be done to improve DEI. Putting more effort into cultural programs will not only make the workplace a better environment; it will also improve productivity and add to the bottom line of the company in a positive way.
If you want to check our Inclusivity Infrastructure at Franklin Fitch then please click here to find out more about what we are doing.
by Oliver Boulton
Application tracking systems (ATS) are nowadays being frequently used by companies and recruiters to streamline their hiring process. There are...
Application tracking systems (ATS) are nowadays being frequently used by companies and recruiters to streamline their hiring process. There are multiple controversies as well as multiple praises to be found online about the system and its success rate. This system does allow recruiters to keep track of candidates throughout the recruiting and hiring process while having the system function on automated administrative tasks.
This means that the scanning and viewing of resumes are taken over by a system rather than the recruiter themselves. One can imagine that this stirs some controversy, as your skills and CVs are being reviewed and judged by technology (which has room for errors), rather than by humans.
Before identifying the positives and negatives of ATS, and determining whether they are more beneficial or harmful to companies hiring processes, we want to understand how they work.
4 basic steps to understanding how an ATS works:
1. A job requisition enters into the ATS. This requisition (CV) includes information about the candidate’s position, desired skills, past experience, etc.
2. The ATS uses this information to create a profile for the candidate
3. As applicants submit their CVs, the ATS sorts and rank them based on how well they match the company profile.
4. Hiring managers then quickly identify the most qualified candidates and move them forward in the hiring process.
Some key features which ATS operates:
- Resume parsing: The process of extracting data from resumes (contact information, work history, etc.).
- Advanced search: enables you to filter applicants by specific keywords.
- Candidate sourcing: Allows you to actively search for, identify and reach out to potential candidates.
- Advanced analytics and reporting: This allows you to generate detailed reports on job seekers, hiring trends, and other data.
- Ability to schedule interviews: By automating interviews, you won't have to waste time rescheduling, sending out reminders, or coordinating multiple calendars.
- Automation based on certain events and conditions: the ATS will only be triggered to do something if a specific scenario occurs.
All in all, an ATS seems too good to be true for recruiters. However, A study by Harvard business review revealed that 88 percent of recruiters felt that qualified candidates were ignored by an ATS because they did not match the exact criteria established by the job description. This leads us to question the effectiveness of ATS and whether it is more efficient, or if traditional methods of recruiting show more promising end results. To analyse this we will list the benefits and disadvantages of ATS and create a judgment upon the following statements.
1. Streamlines the hiring process
ATS software allows you to automate various tasks of the hiring process can save you a lot of time and free up your recruiting personnel for other high-value tasks. Posting to multiple job boards, tracking candidate applications, notifying candidates individually, and scheduling interview feedback can all be automated. Not only will it speed up the time it takes to do all of those tasks, but it will also increase the overall quality through standardization.
2. Resume and CV scanning
With recruiters who have to scan up to hundreds of resumes per role, even just scanning can take a lot of time. ATS software can be used to review applications and filter out candidates according to keywords and key searches based on the available position. Therefore, the number of resumes a recruiter has to review is a lot less, which opens up more time redirected to higher value items of the business.
3. Speeds up the recruitment cycle
Having candidates’ information centralized on a single platform gives recruiters access to organized information allowing them to review and compare candidates more easily and quickly, which leads to a lower cost-per-hire. All communications, including notes, interviewer ratings, cases, and more can be stored and viewed in one location, which simplifies and speeds up the evaluation process.
4. Reduce unconscious bias
As ATS is automated and runs on information and data rather than human conception, there is definitely a reduction in unconscious bias when starting the hiring process. This makes way for individuals to not be judged on appearances or any other external factors, and have more focus put on their skills and assets.
5. Enhance reporting and compliance
Keep management up-to-date on the candidate pipelines for each job and the effectiveness of different job boards. Easily capture track, and report voluntary EEO data, while remaining in compliance with the guidelines set forth by the EEO/OFCCP.
1. Job-Seekers do not like them
Studies have been conducted, identifying that 75% of clients use ATS, and 94% say that it improves the hiring process. However, this is a stark difference from what candidates are saying. They describe this type of hiring process as frustrating and full of bugs and glitches. On top of this, there is the argument that they aren’t sure their application will ever get reviewed by a human. Alongside this, most ATS also require the candidate to create a new account with the system, upload their resume and cover letter, and then also fill out exhaustive questionnaires that ask for the very same information in the resume. All in all, the user experience proves to be lacking and only aids the client.
2. Additional cost
The annual price tag of setting up an ATS isn’t presented as transparent as it can be. Some other costs that most ATS providers include which they don’t tell you about are:
-Implementation time and cost
-Integration with other systems which already exist in your company is time-consuming and resource-intensive
-Recruiters and upper management need to change their workflow to adapt to the new systems. Several times this is not embraced easily and proves to bring in a lot of challenges.
3. Possibility of filtering out optimal candidates
Applicant tracking systems use optical character recognition (OCR) to “read” documents like resumes and cover letters. These systems often fail, without you being notified. And when they do work, they look for cookie-cutter resumes that most closely match the wording of your job description. Therefore, recent college graduates, borderline candidates, career-switchers, and even people that just didn’t practice good resume SEO will be at a disadvantage. It will leave extremely qualified people behind and the loss of those candidates may very well offset the positive impact of this function of an ATS.
4. Prone to manipulation
It is a known fact that an ATS, just like any other tool, is open to manipulation. Candidates who are well-versed with the filtering technology of the Applicant Tracking Systems can misuse the same and take advantage of the recruitment procedure. Irrespective of whether the candidate is qualified or not, he/she can simply stuff a resume with the right set of keywords to get selected. Such manipulation of the ATS can be extremely detrimental to businesses and deserving candidates.
5. Use of keywords
Applicants can be dismissed simply because they don’t have the proper wording on their resume/application or they did not include the preferred industry keyword in their experience description.
ATSs can make the often-tedious practice of hiring more manageable and efficient. While potential hires may occasionally feel uneasy about the automated process, Applicant Tracking Systems can make it easier for those clients who have learned how to handle the automated system. Of course, as with many technologically based systems, removing some of the human judgment and leaving complex decisions to be made mechanically can result in an error.
The decision on whether or not to adopt an ATS rests on the specific needs, desires, and demands of the company. For instance, If the company has hundreds of applicants on a regular basis, then implementing an ATS might make sense. But if a company is hiring in a skills shortage, or wants to pay attention to detail when hiring the best talent, then an ATS would not be recommended. Furthermore, attention to detail is vital, which is what ATS is programmed to do, but including human emotional input and judgment when hiring is still an important aspect to have when interacting with candidates and clients.
If you are currently looking for a new position and do not want to be filtered out by an ATS, get in contact with us and talk directly to one of our recruiters. You can also visit our blog page for more topics on recruitment, IT, inclusive infrastructure, and more.
by Gareth Streefland
Today, cyberattacks are attempted every 40 seconds, and the number of ransomware attacks is increasing by 400% annually. That's why it's...
Today, cyberattacks are attempted every 40 seconds, and the number of ransomware attacks is increasing by 400% annually. That's why it's imperative that companies and businesses take cybersecurity very seriously. But have you checked off all the boxes on the checklist to make sure you are truly secure? Do you know which data assets/systems are most vulnerable, and do you know the potential financial cost of a security breach? These are questions that need to be asked in a business of any size. That's why every company should conduct an IT risk assessment.
What is an IT risk assessment?
A risk assessment is about identifying the threats to which your information systems, networks and data are exposed. By assessing the potential consequences a company could face, it is able to prepare in advance in the event of a security breach. These assessments should be conducted on a regular basis, such as annually or when the company experiences a major change.
Cyber or IT risk can be defined as any risk of financial loss, disruption, or damage to an organization's reputation due to a failure of its information technology systems. Examples include theft of confidential information, hardware damage and resulting data loss, malware and viruses, compromised credentials, corporate website failure, and natural disasters that can damage servers.
Why do you need to conduct an IT risk assessment?
Smaller businesses in particular may think that conducting an IT risk assessment would be too big a task. But in reality, it is something that should not be missed. In order to ensure the well-being of a business, it is always good to take extra measures and make sure that it is protected. Some reasons to conduct a risk assessment are:
- It gives you a detailed list of vulnerabilities that need more attention and resources.
- It increases productivity because your security team can respond directly to problems, rather than just reacting to random issues that arise. Risk assessments also show you which areas your team should focus more on and which can be completed at a later date.
- It improves communication across the organization because the security team has to interact more with other employees in different areas. Not only does this foster collaboration, but it also creates an understanding among other employees of the importance of cybersecurity and how they can contribute to security and compliance goals.
How to conduct an IT risk assessment: a comprehensive overview
To start, you can conduct either a quantitative or qualitative risk assessment. However, it is most effective if you use both to achieve the best results.
1. Identify and prioritise assets
First, create a comprehensive list of all the company's information assets. This includes servers, customer data, sensitive documents, trade secrets, etc. As a technician, you must communicate effectively with upper management to determine which assets are important and which are not. After creating a list, gather all the necessary information about software, hardware, data and other relevant information for each asset. This will create a detailed list of all the items to focus on.
2. Identify threats and vulnerabilities
A threat is something that can cause harm to your organization. There are 3 types of threats:
- Natural disasters.
Some natural disasters can destroy data, servers and devices. Pay attention to whether any of these risks apply to your assets and whether they need to be changed to ensure security.
- Hardware failure
No matter how large or small your business is, hardware failure should be considered. Make sure all assets are up to date and not at risk of crashing.
- Malicious behavior
Disruption, interception and impersonation can target your data and servers. Determine which areas are most at risk from outside malicious behavior.
3. Analysis of technical and non-technical controls and determination of the probability of an incident.
Technical controls include encryption, intrusion detection mechanisms, and identification/authentication solutions. Security policies, administrative measures, and physical/environmental mechanisms must also be analyzed and fall under non-technical controls. These controls must be used to assess the possibility that a vulnerability can be exploited. This can be assessed using simple categories that rank the potential occurrence from high, medium, and low.
Assessing the impact the threat could have also helps prioritize your security risks across teams. You are now able to delegate which issues require immediate action and which can wait until they are resolved.
4. Design controls
Once you have prioritized and detailed all of the potential risks, you can begin to create a plan to mitigate the most pressing risks. Senior management and IT should be heavily involved in this part of the assessment to ensure that the controls address the risks and align with the overall plan and goals of the organization. You may also need to engage professional services to develop a new set of controls. Don't be afraid to enlist the help of IT and security experts!
5. Document the results
Risk assessment reports can be very detailed and complex, or they can be a simple overview of risks and recommended controls. Ultimately, your report will reflect both your audience and your organization's information security posture. Documenting all findings and their analysis is intended for senior management to communicate the issues and methods to address them in a clear and concise manner.
It should also be noted that a risk assessment as such should not be a one-time exercise, but an ongoing process. As your system environment changes, so do the chances for potential security breaches, data loss, etc.
by Leonie Schaefer
A personal brand has been a buzzword for some time now. So does that make it an actual ‘thing’?
In reality, it’s just a snazzy...
A personal brand has been a buzzword for some time now. So does that make it an actual ‘thing’?
In reality, it’s just a snazzy word for your reputation. Everyone has a reputation whether online or offline – some people are known for being experts in a particular field, others are known for having a humorous approach to how they communicate and in other cases, it’s a combination of several things. It really is who you are.
Having a solid and respected personal brand is beneficial at the best of times, but in this almost exclusively digital world, it could be the difference between nabbing your dream job and not. Being able to showcase your personality and allowing people to “get to know” before they meet you can be a huge advantage.
Your personal brand could be your biggest tool for ensuring you stand out. If you are an expert in something (and everyone is an expert in their chosen career, right?) or feel passionate about a topic, trend or issue you can use your personal brand to showcase yourself.
On that note, we’re here to give you five tips on how to build a successful personal brand.
Why and what you do are both explained through your own brand. Developing a personal brand helps others feel more at ease and like they know you. It builds trust with your target audience, staff, future customers, or anybody else you interact with. Additionally, having a personal brand makes it apparent what your true intentions are, which is crucial when establishing trust.
A person's connection with you can be facilitated by personal branding. You can also narrow your focus to those who work in your field. Personal branding has no boundaries. It is not limited to the online world.
As your reputation grows, you will be exposed to more people, which will have a good influence and generate excellent referrals. You are, after all, the finest at what you do. Create a network of people you value and care about, and establish connections with them. They will begin to care about you if they see that you are concerned about them.
When recruiters/hiring managers are looking over job applications, LinkedIn is likely to be one of the first places they’re going to look to verify your level of expertise. Do you claim to be an expert in cloud migration? If you’ve recently written, shared, or engaged with an article about it, that’s a pretty good indication that you know what you’re talking about.
Doing the above is a great way to virtually network. Given that we can’t network in person yet, engaging with others online and adding value to their conversations is a great way to get your name out there and maximise your connections. You don’t always need to be the conversation starter but you should try and be involved in them. You never know who might have the next job opportunity for you!
Personal branding allows you to establish your name as a thought leader or expert in your field. It helps in gaining recognition in your area of specialty and is able to build a lasting impression on those you come into contact with both online and offline. Admiration, respect, and trust will go a long way with a person's name.
This might go without saying, but LinkedIn is the perfect space to be able to show your level of expertise and knowledge. Write articles, make videos, record podcasts, host a virtual workshop, engage with content from others, have an opinion – you get the idea.
If you’re an IT infrastructure professional, make sure your content is focused on this space alone. You don’t want to be known as someone who has an opinion on everything, but you do want to be known as someone who has an opinion on all things IT infrastructure – you want to be that guy. But don’t be robotic, be you, and make sure your personality shines through.
As you build your personal brand, you'll become more confident. The strengths and positive traits you share in public will give you confidence. However, it's critical to keep in mind that everyone is a human.
Your network might respond very well to your hardships and difficulties. A strong personal brand will highlight your personal qualities and point you in the direction of how and where to apply them.
This is the big one. A personal brand comes from passion, skills, goals, and values. It will help you grow from something you believe to something you live out day to day. This isn't a chance for you to create something you're not. Nobody wants to meet your fake persona. It's so easy to do when we compare ourselves to others, but people want to meet YOU.
Do you think you’ve got an awesome personal brand? We’d love to see it! If you need help building your own personal brand, or have any other ideas on ways to do this, feel free to get in touch and speak to one of our consultants here.
by Martin Rennison
Ransomware is one of the biggest cybersecurity issues on the Internet and one of the biggest forms of cybercrime facing businesses today. It involves...
Ransomware is one of the biggest cybersecurity issues on the Internet and one of the biggest forms of cybercrime facing businesses today. It involves the creation of malicious software that encrypts files and documents on a PC up to an entire network and its servers. Those affected are left with few options: They can either pay a ransom to get their encrypted files back, restore the data from their backups, or hope that they can decrypt them themselves.
Ransomware attacks start very quickly, sometimes even with someone in an organization clicking on a seemingly innocuous attachment and then encrypting the system's files. Much larger ransomware campaigns, however, use software exploits and vulnerabilities in software to access files. The attackers secretly scan the network until they can control as much as possible before encrypting all the data they can.
Some attackers also publicly announce that they are holding corporate data hostage. They even publish the data on the Internet until the company pays the ransom to get it back. Because of the simplicity and multitude of these incidents, ransomware is now considered the most immediate cybersecurity threat to businesses and a problem that needs to be taken more seriously.
How did ransomware evolve?
Early ransomware was a relatively simple construct, using a simple code that mainly changed the names of files, making it easy to defeat. However, this evolved into a new form of cybercrime that slowly developed into advanced code that targeted corporate networks and ordinary Internet users. One of the most successful types of ransomware at the time was police ransomware, which attempted to extort victims by claiming that the PC had been encrypted by law enforcement. This way, victims were supposed to be tricked into paying the ransom, thinking that it was the police who demanded the ransom. Meanwhile, they were actually criminals who took advantage of innocent people. However, at that time, their systems were not that good, and users could simply restart their computers, after which the message disappeared. However, criminals have learned from this approach, and most ransomware programs now use advanced cryptography to truly lock down a PC or network and the files on it.
How much will a ransomware attack cost you?
The immediate costs associated with ransomware depend on the hackers themselves. But after those initial costs, which can run into the millions, money is also lost if the company can't do business. Every day, perhaps even every hour, revenue can be lost if the network is unavailable. If the company decides not to pay a ransom, hiring a security company would also incur additional costs. In some cases, these costs may be even higher than the ransom demand, but companies would rather give their money to security companies than to criminals. There is also a risk that customers will lose trust in the company due to poor cybersecurity and look elsewhere.
Why are small businesses targeted by ransomware?
Smaller businesses are more likely to be targeted because they tend to have poorer cybersecurity practices than larger organizations. Many people believe that because they are so small, they are less likely to be targeted. However, for cybercriminals, any money they can capture is good money.
What do Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have to do with the rise of ransomware?
The rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has increased the activity of cybercriminals, as they can use this type of malware to receive payments secretly. This way, there is no risk of authorities identifying the perpetrators. Many cybercriminal ransomware groups even offer "customer services" to teach victims how to use cryptocurrencies. This is because many victims do not know how to transfer the ransom to the perpetrator. Some companies even hoard some cryptocurrencies in case they get infected and need to pay quickly in Bitcoin to get their files back.
How can you prevent a ransomware attack?
Most hackers start by exploiting insecure Internet ports and remote desktop protocols. Therefore, one of the most important measures an organization can take to prevent this is to ensure that ports are not opened to the Internet if they are not necessary. However, if they are necessary, the company should ensure that they are protected with complex credentials. Applying multifactor authentication to these accounts can also serve as a barrier against attacks. Ensuring that the network is updated with the latest security updates should also be done, as hackers will attack commonly known vulnerabilities. Employees should also be trained on how to recognize attacks via email, as many attacks target employees who don't know any better. Antivirus software can also be downloaded to the PC to avoid potentially malicious files.
Ransomware and the Internet of Things
As much as the Internet of things improves connectivity, they have a bad reputation when it comes to security. As more and more of this type of technology comes to market, it also creates more attack opportunities for cybercriminals. This can lead to hackers taking your connected home or even your connected car hostage. The shocking thing is that even medical devices can be hacked, putting human lives at direct risk. There are also constant warnings that the growth of smart cities could be tempting for cyber attackers.
Because ransomware is constantly evolving, it's vital that your employees understand the threat it poses and that organizations do everything they can to avoid infection. This is because ransomware can be crippling and decryption is not always possible.
In the ever-changing world of InfoSec, Franklin Fitch ensure that we have the main areas of focus covered in terms of our technical expertise and experience, please click here to find out more information about the current vacancies available.
by Beth Marron
Ashleigh Ainsley is the co-founder of Colorintech, the UK's leading non-profit focused on Diversity and Inclusion in technology backed by...
Ashleigh Ainsley is the co-founder of Colorintech, the UK's leading non-profit focused on Diversity and Inclusion in technology backed by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Atomico, and eBay. Throughout his career, Ashley has held many senior roles within the tech industry and has been continuously recognised for his industry influence.
More recently, Ashley has successfully been named on the UK’s top 100 BAME technology leaders list by the Financial Times, has been featured in Forbes 30 under 30, and voted as one of BBC 1Xtra's future figures for the history in honour of Black History Month 2022.
We spoke with him in an interview to learn more about the value of racial diversity in technology and to find out why he created his organisation after observing a lack of diversity in the tech firms he had previously worked for. We also discuss how he is promoting diversity in the UK tech sector, how you can help reduce the digital skills gap, and what businesses can do to foster an inclusive workplace culture and hire and retain a more varied pool of talent from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
My name's Ashleigh Ainsley, I'm the Co-Founder of Colorintech, which is a not-for-profit based here in London. I set it up about five years ago, with my co-founder called Deon Mackenzie, with the objective to try and get more people from underrepresented backgrounds into tech. We do that by running programs, bringing out lots of content and several different types of events to bring our community of over 20,000 people together, to achieve that objective. I've previously worked for Google, and KPMG alongside some advisory work. I studied Geography at Oxford University and grew up in London.
You've held many senior roles within the tech industry. Was there a point which inspired you to enter the tech industry and was there a break that allowed you to enter?
To be honest, I've only ever really worked in the tech industry. If I go back to my background, I grew up in a diverse part of London and I didn't really see the world because I wasn't financially able to, when I was younger, I effectively just assumed the rest of the world was as diverse as where I lived. When I went to Oxford University and discovered it wasn't diverse, I was like, whoa, okay, this is, the microcosm of an element of society, but surely like the real world wasn't really like that. Then I went to Google, having got a role because I went to Oxford, frankly. I love the company, it's a great organization, but you know, it’s the same across the whole industry, I could have gone to Microsoft, I could have gone to Facebook, and it will have all been the same. It wasn't as diverse as the broad number of employees that they have. Whether that’s gender, whether that's ethnicity, whether it's a disability. That's in all companies, they needed to do a lot more than what was being done at the time. I then went to a startup after that and everywhere I've been, it's been the same, frankly. So, there wasn't one moment, I'd argue that there's never not been the moment if that makes sense.
You are the co-founder of ColourinTech, which is an organisation orientated around increasing access, awareness, and opportunities in underrepresented groups in the technology industry, tell us about how this came about and why it was important for you to do?
Fundamentally, if we don't improve the diversity of the tech industry, we're probably going to build products, services, and tools and use them in a way that excludes people, for moral and social reasons, and probably isn't the best thing, but also, has real-world ramifications for productivity, equity and frankly just the function of the economy. If we build tech that can't be used or understood by a wide variety of people, then they're probably not able to take advantage of the benefits of that and that's just got an economic consequence to it, let alone a moral one. Essentially, if we build bad products, bad services, bad tools, that's not really a good thing to be doing. You know, I, I don't think any business would go be happy with this, however, this ultimately is what will happen if we don’t have representation of the entire community.
From that perspective, it is obvious that more work needs to be done, as evidenced, for instance, by the fact that, according to technical data, the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities in the UK workforce is just 20% overall and only 15% in the technology sector. Although it's not as bad as it once was, there is still work to be done.
There is a lot going on and a lot of companies are trying to move forward and are taking diversity and inclusion a lot more seriously. But do you think that the tech industry is moving in the right direction in terms of making it more accessible?
To be fair I think that the tech industry is in a way, probably one of the more pioneering companies in this fundamentally. It reports quite widely and has been doing that for some years in the USA, however, we don't see that necessarily in Europe in the same vigor. They spent a lot of time and energy hiring people and trying to create more inclusive and welcoming work environments because ultimately that's what talent wants and if they don’t do it then they don't get the best people. From that perspective yes, I do think it is progressive in making it more accessible and making better changes than some industries that we see.
That being said, there's clearly there's more to be done; there's a heterogeneous picture across the tech industry. As I mentioned, I used to work at Google or work with them, so I know that they do a lot of work and spend a lot of time and energy on this, whereas there are a lot of companies that do far less and that's not right. Give people credit where it's due, but for instance, I read the UN report which states that the gender gap has gone backward across society and female representation in terms of the pay gap and in positions in business it’s going to take another 132 years for the gender gap to totally close. Realistically my children and probably their children won't see that, and I think; how are we in this situation? And the broader point is therefore if we people just continue to do what they're doing now, it won't make enough of a difference.
Within the tech sector what are the primary reasons for companies stopping them from attracting diverse talent and what can they actually do to start attracting more ethnic minorities?
In some instances, companies have never actually made an effort to do anything in this space. Look at it just as a business challenge. You've got a consumer segment and if your potential market and customers aren't buying your product, what would you do to them? You'd probably make sure your product works for them and is marketed to them. It’s very similar for talent, and there's a range of companies out there that have never done anything to that extent. Why would they expect anything different, they’ve not created an environment where people evangelize about them in the workplace. They say it's a great place to work and they have representation of individuals who are diverse in their companies however, we generally see retention rate, especially for black colleagues is particularly low.
This is probably because they don't like where they are, not because they are less qualified to execute the positions. There are still issues, and I believe that there have been instances of sexism, homophobia, racism, and discrimination in the workplace. I believe generally that the workplace represents society as well, and our society has these problems. Again, I believe that businesses that wish to portray themselves as existing in a bubble or safe haven free from the influences of these problems must confront and resolve these problems to ensure that they have processes in place, that they communicate effectively, that they have values, and that you are aware of what tolerance is.
Organisations haven't done that. Organisations haven't spent a lot of time, energy, or effort really engaging with the communities or people outside of their own networks. It’s been years of benefiting people who refer people like the.
Take a simple reward scheme, you refer somebody into a role, that by itself, could be a good or a bad thing, but does the same effort or reward come into encouraging or incentivizing employees to interact or meet new people that they don't already know? If they find somebody or find an organization that might enable them to, reach new people, whether that's talent or consumers is that reward? In a lot of organisations, it's not, so then you think, why would we do it if no incentives are there? Do leaders have diversity targets linked to their promotion, their pay, and their rewards? In the most progressive organisations you do see that, in those who aren't, you don't. So, you know, it's always nice to have, never essential, if it is good for business, then it should be treated, that way.
We talk a lot in the industry about the attraction of ethnic minorities into the tech industry and companies, However, when we look at the statistics, they are significantly lower based on retention and progression of this talent. Do you think that sometimes it can be seen as a diversity tick box exercise for companies, for example, if you hit hiring four diverse people into your team, you will then get a promotion?
I think there are a couple of things to that. The system needs to be cohesive. For context on that, you can't just reward and incentivize hiring without thinking about how that relates to retention and enabling people within the organization to thrive.
You can't just have a tap, turn it on and not put the plug in the sink. From that perspective, you need to think about it a bit more cohesively. You also need to not incentivise the tick box. We've seen instances in the USA where, you know, loads of people had targets to present a diverse shortlist or something similar so therefore you incentivise those recruiters to frankly, waste people's time by ringing them up for roles that they were never able to get or seriously considered for. Just so that they tick the box and say we've spoken to 50% women, or we've spoken to 20% ethnic minorities just so they can say they've done it when what’s the result of the decision.
While that's helpful, because at least these people are getting the opportunity to potentially get the information or even to be involved in the conversations, if that's just optical and just a tick-box, and is that real genuine progress? I don't want someone to waste my time interviewing me for a role that I've got no prospect of getting and saying that that's an opportunity for me when it's not. We need to make sure we're rewarding and incentivising the right types of behaviour. Not just behaviour.
So, in terms of addressing the issue digital skills gap, if we look to the beginning of the pipeline in terms of creating pathways into tech. Are there enough people from minorities coming through from choosing STEM subjects at school, and choosing technology-focused degrees at university?
There are three stages, in my opinion. What are we doing with the talent we already have? Accordingly, 40% of my friends and those who are like me are unemployed today, just as I was around 10 years ago when I was a young black man in London. That has now spanned the entire spectrum. You are therefore still more likely to be unemployed even after taking into account economic outcomes, degree class, and other factors. Making ensuring part of the available working capital in terms of human capital is used efficiently could be a simple equitable solution—I say simple, but it's not as simple as me saying it. Some people were able to get employment, work their occupations, and do them very effectively. Before we even think about how do we address the pipeline? We need to know if we can stop the pipeline from leaking.
Some of the people who are still seeking employment or who are working in positions they are not necessarily qualified for may need more training or skill development. I'm not arguing that everyone is the finished product, but when you're paying someone less than the average income, it might be simpler, more affordable, and more effective to invest in that for an additional three or six months. Ten years later, you hire highly expensive recruiters since your board is concerned as to why you can't locate enough diverse people. There is long-term thinking regarding that.
The second point, in my opinion, is that while there are more opportunities than there are people who are fully qualified to fill them, we are aware that there is a talent shortage. We are not preparing our youth, particularly those attending universities. I have a good understanding of the industry because I serve on several advisory boards, and I can see that many new graduates lack the necessary training, instruction, assistance, coaching, mentoring, and support to help them secure the roles or some of the hard skills that may need to, to, to be fit.
And I believe that a more extensive discussion about who and what our educational system is for, as well as how to best make it effective for the goals we have for it, is necessary. Great if the goal is to prepare people for academic careers. But if students don't wind up in academics, should we be promoting and allowing them to pursue those kinds of careers? I think they then have an issue about how you improve the quality of the pipeline.
The third thing I'd suggest is probably to go back to the beginning and ask: What are we teaching the pipeline? Less than a quarter of computer science graduates are women, as you may be aware. From where does that begin? There is probably not much of a gender disparity when you ask people in primary school whether they like math in English or physics or chemistry, but by the time you reach the end of GCSEs, the figures are pitiful in comparison to the men.
Therefore, I believe that as a society, we must address this issue while also improving the educational value of our curriculum. Teachers' abilities need to be improved. We need to encourage young people to recognise that, well, whatever it is, there are enormous chances open for entrepreneurs should they perhaps study any of these things. We need to improve the subjects taught and the applicants for such courses. And it begins very early on. But again, we don't really have any of those discussions about that.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get involved in the tech industry?
Before learning anything about them, they should ask themselves, "Where do they feel they can add value?" Tech offers a wide range of opportunities. You might say, "I want to study law, but I'm interested in intellectual property. If you work in technology, for example, you can be a software developer who wants to really improve user interfaces for people. You could be a designer or a recent graduate in sales, for example. I think the first thing is don't rule tech out as an industry just because it sounds like tech, you don't have to be, like Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates to be part of the industry and if you are one of them and you like them, that's fine as well.
The next step, in my opinion, is to consider what you can be doing and how you fit into that structure to contribute value. You have the chance to demonstrate that from there. If you're an engineer and you want to be building things, why don't you build some stuff in your spare time, put it on GitHub, get some feedback, and then use what you've learned in your portfolio to talk about what you're doing in your application? The number of students and young people I see who don’t really surprise me because the ones that do are almost always successful. It's important to identify areas where you can provide value and then consider ways to show others that you can do so. If you can do this, others will be more likely to give you a chance since they will see your enthusiasm, initiative, and aptitude. In the end, it all comes down to demonstrating your eagerness to learn. You won't know everything when you first start, but most employers are prepared to take a chance on someone who is eager to learn.
You are also the organizer of Black Tech Fest which is a chance to bring together a variety of leaders, creators, and change-makers to create access to black talent which takes place during Black History Month. Tell me about the inspiration behind the organization of this and why you chose to do it during this period?
In reality, black tech began as a reflection of corporate gaslighting. When we were starting this, we were doing it before its fashionable Diversity and inclusion are topics that people now want to debate, but five years ago, attitudes toward the topic were different.
People were criticising them instead of investigating why there weren't any places in companies for underrepresented groups like minorities, women, disabled people, or, you know, sexuality. The attitude was we are inclusive, and we are welcoming. If these individuals don't exist, it's more likely that they haven't applied, chose to leave, or weren't the proper "fit" for the organization.
We said, "Hold on." We obviously needed to expand that discussion. Part of this was due to people claiming that there aren't many black people working in the field; however, this isn't supported by any data. We were surprised by these assertions because perhaps there aren't that many black people in tech that we could employ.
You probably already know this based on anecdotes, but according to research, 15% of the industry is made up of people from racial or ethnic minorities. If you select a hundred persons, 15 of them will come from an ethnic minority background, proving that it is not at all unusual.
We wondered how we could assemble all these individuals to demonstrate our existence. How do we fundamentally and truly celebrate what is happening? How can we support what they're doing, rather than discussing being a woman or a person of colour in the tech industry, let's just talk about what we all get paid to do and how excellent we are at it and a chance to celebrate it as well.
We want to be able to celebrate being an amazing leader or let's just celebrate being an incredible engineer and normalize. It's the fact that this shouldn't be particularly different to, in the same way, that any other conference would have great exceptional people getting together to celebrate.
It’s taking place during Black History Month. Did you, why did you choose to do it because of the celebration of black history month and wanting to obviously showcase that?
Yes, that's true. It was unquestionably planned because, as we said, at that moment, people's attention is focused mostly on what is happening in the black community. Yeah. We wanted to take advantage of the chance to celebrate, to display, and, well, it just seemed right. Time of year to, really promote, really promote that; who knows; in the future, uh; you know; we might do it at that moment.
A huge thank you to Ashleigh Ainsley for dedicating his time to speak to us for this interview. If you were interested in getting involved with Colorintech or Black Tech Fest be sure to check out their website. If you would like to check out Franklin Fitch's Inclusive Infrastructure click here.
by Jamie Fitzgerald
Looking for a career in cybersecurity? Well, you’re in demand - provided you get in there before the robots do.
According to Jamie...
Looking for a career in cybersecurity? Well, you’re in demand - provided you get in there before the robots do.
According to Jamie Fitzgerald, Cybersecurity Business Manager at Franklin Fitch, the majority of small and medium-sized businesses are wholly underprepared for the threat of a cyberattack, exposing themselves to billions of pounds/euros in financial damage. Whether it’s a lack of funding or ignorance that it won’t happen to them, the need for skilled cybersecurity specialists has never been greater. Between 2013 and 2021, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs increased by 350%, from 1 million to 3.5 million.
"There is a distinct lack of awareness of cybersecurity in SMEs," Jamie says, adding that even if awareness existed, finding people with the necessary skills would be difficult. The cost of a data breach in the United Kingdom has increased by 8.1%, and total costs have reached a seven-year high in 2022, with the average cost to business from a cybersecurity breach being around $3.6 million. Despite these increased security threats, many businesses are not taking cybersecurity seriously enough, and their cybersecurity budgets are still being cut as we move through 2023. It's a candidate-short market right now, particularly in cybersecurity, making it difficult to find the right people."
The potential damage from an attack is huge
Failure to implement appropriate cybersecurity measures can have a devastating financial and reputational impact on a company that is the victim of an attack. According to IBM, 68 percent of businesses are not prepared for cyber-attacks, leaving themselves vulnerable due to ignorance, a lack of funds, or an unwillingness to rock the boat by acknowledging a threat.
While allocating funds for appropriate security at a time when many businesses are cutting spending is not ideal - the average mid-sized company spends tens or even hundreds of thousands on cybersecurity - the outlay is minor in comparison to the potential damage.
Why is it so hard to fill cybersecurity roles?
So, what cybersecurity-related skills are in high demand, and how can potential specialists land the job they want while also assisting these companies in mitigating an attack?
"Candidates must be able to communicate, gain the support of stakeholders, be hungry for knowledge, and have strong technical skills," Jamie says. "A highly motivated individual is teachable: They can improve their soft and technical skills under your supervision. If you hire someone with the right mindset and foundational knowledge, they may be a better fit than a seasoned candidate with a fixed mindset and unwillingness to change."
Companies need to innovate to attract skilled workers
Jamie, who is currently hiring for a variety of cybersecurity positions in the UK, believes that companies must be willing to be more flexible in order to attract the best talent.
"The market for cybersecurity talent will likely remain tight and candidate-driven. "So, you have to make the role and company appealing," Jamie believes. You can be confident that if you do this and welcome them into a healthy culture, these new employees will deliver value and be valued for their efforts."
How can AI help?
Jamie believes that Artificial Intelligence will relieve some of the pressure on the sector in the future (AI). "AI not only removes the human element, which is prone to risk and error, but it can also help to identify data and pinpoint potential threats," he says.
Some cybersecurity companies are already teaching AI systems to detect viruses and malware using complex algorithms, so that AI can then run pattern recognition software. AI systems can also be used to provide access to their users in situations requiring multi-factor authentication. While AI is great for processing large amounts of data and replacing autonomous manual tasks, it will never be able to replace a security analyst's insight or understanding of a problem.
In reality, jobs will change, and while some of us may end up working alongside an automated colleague, we will still be needed, albeit for different functions.
If you're looking for a job in cybersecurity space or want to protect your business from increased cyber-attacks, please contact one of our recruiters for more information and advice.
by Ben White
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has chosen to scrap the plans to repeal the Off-payroll IR35 Reforms, which Kwasi Kwarteng previously...
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has chosen to scrap the plans to repeal the Off-payroll IR35 Reforms, which Kwasi Kwarteng previously announced in his mini-budget on 23 September 2022.
The Growth Plan had set out steps to take the complexity out of the tax system and identified the necessity of repealing the 2017 and 2021 off-payroll working rules (IR35 Reforms).
The Conservatives Growth plan indicated that repeal would "free up time and money for businesses that engage contractors, that could be put towards other priorities." And that it "also minimises the risk that genuinely self-employed workers are impacted by the underlying off-payroll rules."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has chosen to scrap the plans to repeal the Off-payroll IR35 Reforms, which Kwasi Kwarteng previously announced in his mini-budget on 23 September 2022.
The Growth Plan had set out steps to take the complexity out of the tax system and identified the necessity of repealing the 2017 and 2021 off-payroll working rules (IR35 Reforms).
The Conservatives Growth plan indicated that repeal would "free up time and money for businesses that engage contractors, that could be put towards other priorities." And that it "also minimises the risk that genuinely self-employed workers are impacted by the underlying off-payroll rules."
Hunt, who took up the role of chancellor on Friday, said this morning that the IR35 reforms would be going ahead. “The government has today decided to make further changes to the mini-Budget,” the Chancellor said. “We will reverse almost all the tax measures announced in the growth plan three weeks ago that have not started the Parliamentary process.
“We will no longer be proceeding with the reversal of off-payroll working reforms [IR35] introduced in 2017 and 2021.”
In moves announced via a pre-recorded video instead of parliament in a bid to calm markets, the newly installed chancellor announced that most of its financial plans had been dropped. This includes the planned lowering of the basic rate of income tax from 20 to 19 per cent, set for introduction in April. Hunt said this will now not be introduced until “economic conditions allow”.
It had already been announced that planned increases to the rate of corporation tax and abolishing the highest rate of income tax would be dropped.
Hunt said today that a Treasury-led review will be carried out into the government’s support package for household and business energy bills beyond April next year.
Reforms to IR35, introduced in April 2021, require operatives routinely working with the same contractors to be counted as PAYE staff, or face action from HMRC.
The changes were introduced as a crackdown on tax avoidance, but critics claimed they would force many out of self-employment and reduce incomes.
They were also linked to a Whitehall drive to increase the number of direct employees in the construction sector, driven by the government and the Construction Leadership Council.
However, they were criticised for hitting the income of the self-employed and adding to the burden on employers.
Reversing the reform was one of the leadership campaign promises made by prime minister Liz Truss. The 2021 reforms will now remain in place.
Hunt said the government changed its tax plans “to ensure the UK's economic stability and to provide confidence in the government's commitment to fiscal discipline”.
He added: “Instability affects the prices of things in shops, the cost of mortgages and the values of pensions. There will be more difficult decisions, I’m afraid, on both tax and spending as we deliver our commitment to get debt falling as a share of the economy over the medium term.”
Departmental spending will be cut, he added, in order to “protect the most vulnerable” and help the government deliver “our mission to go for growth”.
Andy Chamberlain, director of Policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), slammed the “spineless decision”.
“Today’s announcement will be a huge blow to thousands of self-employed contractors and the businesses they work with,” he said. “The reforms to IR35 have created a nightmare for businesses seeking to engage talent on a flexible basis, while simultaneously forcing individuals out of business altogether.”
He added: “Businesses that were looking forward to an era of less complexity and less cost will have had those hopes dashed today. Our fear is this decision will lead to yet more work being offshored to other territories and more people being forced to work through unregulated umbrella companies. The supposedly pro-business Conservative government has sent out a clear message today – it does not support people who work for themselves.”
We currently have contract roles on our website. Please click here to find out more.
by Dane Keenan
Franklin Fitch is announced as the winner of the Best Recruitment Company to Work For (£5m to £20m) at the Recruiter Awards!
Franklin Fitch is announced as the winner of the Best Recruitment Company to Work For (£5m to £20m) at the Recruiter Awards!
After being shortlisted for three awards, it was a huge honour to walk away with the award for Best Recruitment Company to Work For, especially given that we pride ourselves on being people- focused.
We were pleased to be recognised for our work to address diversity within our industry. We’re proud to run our Inclusive Infrastructure campaign, where we actively promote diversity and inclusion in our interaction with candidates and clients, as well as the way we run our business. We are providing a platform for those working within or interested in IT Infrastructure to share their experiences with us and to come up with possible solutions together.
‘Absolutely delighted to be announced as the winner of the Best Recruitment Company to work for 2022 Recruiter Awards, genuinely surprised and humbled by this accolade’, says David Annable, our Founder and CEO. ‘I'm very proud of our awesome people, it's their dedication that makes this possible. Supporting our community and seeing our values enacted daily, it is a true pleasure to lead Franklin Fitch.’
We have ambitious growth plans for our offices across Europe and the US. If you’re interested in joining the Best Recruitment Company to Work For then check out our opportunities here!
by Charlotte Drury
“Mental health” refers to your overall psychological well-being. It includes the way you feel about yourself, the quality of your...
“Mental health” refers to your overall psychological well-being. It includes the way you feel about yourself, the quality of your relationships, and your ability to manage your feelings and deal with difficulties. Anyone can experience mental or emotional health problems — and over a lifetime, many of us will.
You may have noticed that we're making huge strides in destigmatising mental illness, and that's great. The importance of treating your mental health as you would your physical health is a pretty well-accepted principle. It's becoming less taboo to talk openly about therapy and mental illness
This year, on World Mental Health Day, we've pulled together some of the most impactful and least intimidating ways to take care of your mental health so that it becomes something we do—not just something we talk about.
There is no health without mental health. To help with day-to-day stress and challenges, we’re offering 7 tips to boost yours.
1. Talk to someone you trust
Talking to someone you trust – whether a friend, a family member or a colleague – can help. You may feel better if you are able to openly share what you are going through with someone who cares about you. If you live in an area where face-to-face interactions are limited, you can still stay connected with your loved ones through a video call, phone call, or messaging app.
2. Look after your physical health
Taking care of your physical health helps improve your mental health and well-being. Be active for at least 30 minutes daily, whether that’s running, walking, yoga, dancing, cycling, or even gardening. Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Make sure to get enough sleep.
3. Do activities that you enjoy
Try to continue doing the activities that you find meaningful and enjoyable, such as cooking for yourself or your loved ones, playing with your pet, walking in the park, reading a book, or watching a film or TV series. Having a regular routine with activities that make you feel happy will help you maintain good mental health.
4. Steer away from harmful substances
Don’t use harmful substances such as drugs, alcohol, or tobacco to cope with what you’re feeling. Though these may seem to help you feel better in the short term, they can make you feel worse in the long run. These substances are also dangerous and can put you and those around you at risk of diseases or injuries.
5. Take two minutes to focus on the world around you
Help free yourself of constantly swirling thoughts by reconnecting yourself with where you are at this moment in time. Follow along with the video below or simply take three slow deep breaths, feel your feet grounded on the floor and ask yourself:
6. Eat a brain-healthy diet to support strong mental health
Foods that can support your mood include fatty fish rich in omega-3s, nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts), avocados, beans, leafy greens (spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts), and fresh fruit such as blueberries.
7. Seek professional help
If you feel like you cannot cope with the stress that you are facing, seek professional help by calling your local mental health helpline or getting in touch with your counselor or doctor. Remember you are not alone, and there are things you can do to support your emotional wellbeing
by Jake Rickman
The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, is a tool that can be used to help you prioritize tasks. The framework was designed...
The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, is a tool that can be used to help you prioritize tasks. The framework was designed to help prioritize tasks by first categorizing those items in relation to their urgency and importance.
It matrix was invented by Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th president of America. He was required to make several tough decisions and achieved a lot in a small space across two terms in the office. This is down to his ability to differentiate urgent from non-urgent and important from unimportant, giving birth to the Eisenhower Matrix which urges the user to separate tasks based on these factors.
The model can be beneficial in multiple job roles, across multiple industries, but implementing this into my daily routine has been a great addition to my recruitment journey. The following four cubes of the Eisenhower Matrix have been a great tool in my transition into recruiting in the USA.
The DO quadrant falls within the urgent and important section of the Eisenhower Matrix. These are time-specific tasks that, when aren’t completed, bear huge consequences and implications. Working across two time zones is more important than ever, only having short windows to speak with candidates. Tasks that I view in this way are confirming interviews, providing interview links, and closing candidates on job offers. A task that you can hold candidates responsible for can include such as deadlining candidates sharing their updated resumes prior to submission.
The SCHEDULE quadrant falls within the important but not urgent. Tasks that fall within this section hold no set deadlines but can be significant in helping achieve long-term goals. Within the world of recruitment tasks that hold similar attributes would be team meetings, social media posts, email outreach, and business development. Business development has an interesting place within this quadrant, as there are no time limits on this outreach, but the longer it takes for an initial interaction to take place, you may miss a key window of opportunity.
The DELEGATE quadrant falls within the not important but urgent section, which creates a perplexing paradox. This would include tasks that are needing to be completed but don’t need your specific skills to be completed. Once again within the world of recruitment, this can include such things as asking an account manager to chase feedback, asking a team member to organise a team meeting, or similarly requesting a training session around a particular area of development.
The DELETE quadrant falls within the not important and not urgent section and can often be viewed as tasks that can have a negative impact on your day. This would include tasks around certain areas such as replying to spam emails, arranging plans outside of hours, or wasting time on tasks that have expired or have no impact on that day’s success.
In conclusion, why use and implement the Eisenhower Matrix?
A 2018 study examined how individuals went about deciding what task is best to pursue when given multiple choices and decisions. A total of five experiments showed that when faced with such options, people are likely to gravitate towards unimportant yet urgent tasks, that don’t hold long-term payoff over tasks that can be seen as important but less urgent, which hold a potentially greater payoff.
This was deemed by researchers to be the “merge-urgency effect” where individuals choose to indulge in tasks that look urgent, over more long-term beneficial tasks that have greater value in terms of time, value, and energy.
The infamous matrix was popularized by Stephen Covey in his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which brought to light the effective tool. He stated that quadrant 2 is the “Quadrant of Quality”, where time spent completing these tasks increases your overall effectiveness. This is where personal and professional growth meets planning, prevention, and action.
In today’s world of technology, there are several applications out there to help you effectively manage your tasks, several of which adopt this well-known approach. When you’re faced with a set of tasks, how do you decide which to tackle first? Do you select the task that’s going to bring you closer to your long-term goals? Or do you give your attention to the most urgent item on your list?
Use the Eisenhower Matrix to avoid the mere-urgency trap and do more of what's important to you.
by Jamie Fitzgerald
Cybersecurity Awareness Month, every October, is a collaboration between the government and private industry to raise awareness about digital...
Cybersecurity Awareness Month, every October, is a collaboration between the government and private industry to raise awareness about digital security and empower everyone to protect their personal data from digital forms of crime.
The month is dedicated to creating resources and communications for organizations to talk to their employees and customers about staying safe online. While most of cybersecurity news articles are about massive data breaches and hackers, it can seem overwhelming and feel like you’re powerless against it. But Cybersecurity Awareness Month reminds everyone that there are all kinds of ways to keep your data protected. It can make a huge difference even by practicing the basics of cybersecurity.
93% of company networks are now breachable by hackers, one source notes, and nearly 1 in 3 organizations say they don’t have the funding for proper cyber protection. With that in mind, any month might be a good month to be more cyber aware.
So here are tips and best practices that everyone can use to feel a little safer online. Here are some simple things you can do to make sure you’re protected:
Choose strong passwords and make use of a password manager rather than re-using passwords on multiple sites.
With so many essential services available through the internet today, passwords may be the only thing standing between your accounts –and the sensitive financial and personal information they contain – and cyber criminals. Because so many passwords have been exposed in data breaches, it’s vital that you don’t employ the same one for multiple accounts. Should someone intercept one account’s password, you don’t want them gaining access to others. A strong password should contain a minimum of twelve characters (though more is better) and should not be easily guessable. Because they’re even longer, passphrases offer additional security.
Consider a password manager such as the free open-source password vault KeePass. With these services, you need to remember only one strong password, which will then give you access to all your others. Keeps stores your account passwords in a strongly encrypted database.
Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all of your accounts.
Implementing two- or multi-factor authentication adds a layer of protection beyond the passwords that safeguard your accounts. Once it’s set up, users need to present an additional form of identity verification before they’re granted access to accounts or online resources. This additional factor could be evidence that they have a smartphone (proof of receipt of a text message), access to an email account, a unique code or token, a fingerprint or even a retina scan. With MFA in place, even if you do fall victim to a phishing attack, there’s an extra barrier standing in the way of cyber criminals seeking to make use of compromised credentials.
Educate yourself, your co-workers, and your employees about the latest cybersecurity threats.
When it comes to cybersecurity, knowledge is power. Because attackers are always on the lookout for new ways to hoodwink potential victims, it’s critical to remain aware of the dangers associated with internet use. The better you understand the tactics criminals are currently employing to gain access to user accounts or personal and financial information, the less likely you are to be tricked.
Take phishing as an example. It used to be that these fraudulent email or text messages were rife with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, but that’s no longer the case. Today’s most sophisticated phishing messages feature pirated logos and another branding that’s nearly impossible to distinguish from the real thing. For this reason, you should never click on a link in an email to visit a banking website. Instead, bookmark a link to what you’re certain is the authentic and trustworthy site. Many banks offer automatic alerting whenever transactions are initiated – an extra layer of protection that it’s worth enabling. In addition, it’s always a good idea to call your financial institution if you notice questionable activity in your account. Be sure to use a known phone number to reach them when you call, not one that arrived by email.
Keep software up to date.
Software vendors frequently update their products and as soon as vulnerabilities are discovered, they issue patches that fix problems that have been discovered. Some of these vulnerabilities are severe, in some cases even enabling malicious third parties to completely control someone’s computer without their knowledge. Cybercriminals are constantly scanning the internet for machines that are running older versions of software that contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Enabling automatic software updates is an easy way to protect yourself from these sorts of attacks. It ensures that all new patches will automatically be applied to your computer as soon as they’re released.
Use antivirus software and install a firewall
Antivirus programs and firewalls are designed to prevent malicious code from infecting your computer. This includes malware that’s arrived via infected email attachments, malicious links in email messages, and so-called “drive-by downloads” – automatic downloads initiated by compromised websites. Because antivirus and firewall technologies usually work by blocking known threats, it’s important to ensure that your software will receive automatic updates. This provides protection based on the most recent information and guards against the latest threats.
by Sonja Giesemann
Finally Cyberwomen could take place in person again! The event, founded in 2019 to create a platform for women in cybersecurity, took place again on...
Finally Cyberwomen could take place in person again! The event, founded in 2019 to create a platform for women in cybersecurity, took place again on September 22 this year. We are very proud to have been there again as one of the sponsors. We are even happier for our recruitment specialists Adriana Timme and Anne-Sophie Hufer, who had the opportunity to visit the conference last Thursday and exchange ideas in interesting and progressive discussions.
About 24% of cybersecurity professionals are women. While this is an improvement from 11% in 2017, there are still barriers for women looking to enter or advance in the global cybersecurity industry. In addition to the large gender gaps in cybersecurity, women are on average paid less than men in this field. In 2021, 29% of men reported making between $50,000 and $99,999, while just 17% of women reported the same amount.
Amidst all of this, the rise in cybercrime - particularly ransomware - is the number one threat for 2021. Of the ten countries with the highest ransomware cases, the US had as many attacks as the other nine countries combined. Despite the global attention cybersecurity has received in recent years, there is still a significant skills shortage.
Our consultant Anne-Sophie Hufer, who attended the conference last Thursday, explains her perspective on this topic and her experiences with Cyberwomen 2022 in general:
“It was a great event! I had a lot of fun and it was also very interesting! There were very competent cybersecurity experts like Jana Ringwald or Laura Kludas, who took part in the sales panel. In general the conference was well organized and all the speakers contributed a lot to the overall conference. I particularly liked the lectures on cyber agencies and innovation management, and the CxO panel on ransomware and its consequences. We also had the opportunity to make new friends and meet old ones. There were just so many interesting women that altogether make such a strong and inspiring group of people. From this, I learned that the presence of women in the cybersecurity industry will definitely increase in the future. Especially in Germany, where the topic of cybersecurity and women in IT is not discussed that much. But all in all, it was a great experience and I hope to be able to do it again next year!”
- Anne-Sophie Hufer, Information Security Consultant at Franklin Fitch
We are pleased that more and more women are interested in and participating in cybersecurity. This year, 240 people attended the conference, plus several people who were able to stream the conference from their homes. It is amazing to see how the event was made so inclusive and accessible to women who are able to attend and those who were unable to attend in person. Our Cyber & Information Security recruiter Adriana Timme tells us more about her experiences with all the different women and participants and what cyber women mean to her:
“This is now my second time at Cyberwomen. Last year I attended the conference but because of COVID-19, everything was online. So I was very happy to be able to attend in person! The organization of the event was just great! The balance between panels, conferences, and time to exchange and meet new women in IT as well as the speakers were really good! I really liked the HR panel, in which exciting solutions to the shortage of skilled workers in the cyber area were discussed, because the shortage of skilled workers concerns me almost every day as a personnel consultant for cyber and information security. The speakers (Lydia L., Rebecca Z., Christine R., Anja Z., Dr. Nina G., and Anna K.) had a fascinating concept of how women work in and alongside intensive environments such as cybersecurity to have a balanced personal life. This concept of "job sharing" not only means new opportunities for recruiting but is also an exciting option for my personal development! I also liked other speakers like Katharina Maier and Jana Ringwald because they are both very talented speakers. They gave some fascinating insights into the areas of usable, information and IT security as well as law enforcement in cyberspace. But the most important thing I took away from the whole experience is that women are going to take a more prominent role in cybersecurity. It will be a long road to success, but it will come! This is also why I think Cyberwomen 2022 is such an achievement and a great opportunity to promote women in the cybersecurity industry.”
- Adriana Timme, Cyber & Information Security Business Lead at Franklin Fitch
One thing is clear: Cybersecurity needs more women. To build a strong culture of cyber resilience around the world, employers should prioritize recruiting and developing talented female cybersecurity professionals. Women working in or aspiring to a position in cybersecurity represent untapped potential when it comes to filling the growing gap in the cybersecurity workforce. This is exactly why we need conferences like Cyberwomen. Here we discuss various topics, network, and learn more about cybersecurity and why it is important to bring women into the industry!
And we've already noticed a big difference over the years! We are already excited about the increasing participation of women and the growing interest in cybersecurity. As personnel consultants in the IT sector, we see unequal distribution every day. Because of this, we are determined to balance the industry in any way we can.
by Emily Jones
Inclusive hiring practices are in the spotlight as they have become increasingly vital to every organization’s success. Inclusive hiring...
Inclusive hiring practices are in the spotlight as they have become increasingly vital to every organization’s success. Inclusive hiring translates to improved employee retention and productivity and a host of other organizational benefits.
Nowadays, there is so much emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the workplace that recruiters want to make sure that their hiring practices are conducive to meeting their diversity and inclusion goals, which means they need to think about inclusive hiring and determine how that can be incorporated into their daily recruiting practices.
In order to create an environment that celebrates diversity, it's essential for recruiters to adopt inclusive hiring practices that will make it easier to hire talent from underrepresented backgrounds. The following are some strategies that facilitate the process.
What is inclusive hiring?
The inclusive hiring process actively accepts a wide range of traits and viewpoints that candidates offer to the firm. It's not just about filling quotas by hiring persons from underrepresented groups or those with disabilities. Instead, inclusive hiring practices seek to level the playing field for all applicants in order to combat bias in hiring and discrimination in general.
In an inclusive recruiting environment, multiple perspectives, beliefs, and values are considered in order to reach a common goal. Your employees will be forced to think outside their comfort zones and challenge new notions or ideas by having a diverse workforce.
It's difficult to avoid unconscious bias when examining a candidate's job application, even with the greatest of intentions. Organizations that want to improve their team's diversity and attract the greatest talent can't afford to have recruitment practices that unintentionally exclude specific groups of people. Bias can occur at any point of the hiring process, but the talent attraction stage, application review, and face-to-face interview are the most important to investigate.
Through job ad placements, bad language choices in job descriptions, and bias in the interview stages, your organisation may be unwittingly decreasing the number of quality applicants from the very beginning of the recruitment process.
Requirements for the Job
Taking a second look at what you're asking of them is one of the simplest methods to attract more diverse prospects. When you're interviewing candidates for an open position, you'll probably have a list of requirements in mind. While having certain standards can be beneficial, adhering to them too rigidly can actually hinder your chances of finding a quality hire.
Your ideal applicant may have five years of industry-specific expertise, but if you focus solely on this criteria, you'll overlook a multitude of other candidates with diverse backgrounds. While this assures that you select someone with the degree of expertise you require, it also eliminates individuals who may be exactly what you need with only three or four years of experience.
Language Used for Audience
Job descriptions can either entice or repel candidates depending on the language used. A good job description speaks to a wide range of candidates while being explicit about the skillsets required. Leading with sensitive, thoughtful, and inclusive language demonstrates to prospects that you are a diverse workplace that evaluates all applicants regardless of gender, race, disability, or status.
Make sure you get it correctly by removing any terminology that could be interpreted as catering to a specific demographic. When it comes to hiring, use inclusive language, which means avoiding gender-specific vocabulary and words, as well as industry jargon. Begin with a job title that is devoid of any references to gender or industry. Keep things simple and concentrated on the task at hand. Work on removing masculine and feminine words as well from job postings.
Advertising the Role
Consider where you're advertising if you want to create a truly inclusive process and attract applicants from various backgrounds. Elite universities may produce outstanding individuals, but they struggle with diversity, as do many other institutions. Your search may be too restricted if you notice that your candidate pool is made up of people with similar educations, histories, and experience levels. After all, similar individuals prefer to apply for employment through the same routes.
While knowing how to connect with the people you want to apply for your open positions is beneficial, you shouldn't limit your prospect pool too much. Get imaginative about where you post your openings to reopen it and attract more different applications.
Many candidates may be looking for jobs via print ads, contacting and visiting job fairs and boot camps, conducting searches on social media, or using their mobile devices to access job adverts. With this in mind, try looking for new employees in a variety of venues; this increases your chances of recruiting from a more diversified demographic.
Screening and Interviewing
Preventing Exclusion in the CV Review
It's even more important to have an effective screening process in place if you've drawn a larger pool of applications in order to objectively evaluate your candidate pool. This is when bias, whether conscious or unconscious, may creep into decision-making and undermine all of your hard work in attracting diverse candidates.
This problem has two solutions: removing identifying information from CVs or abandoning CVs entirely in favour of another way of candidate screening.
The blind hiring method delays rather than removes bias if your recruitment process includes a face-to-face or video job interview. The key advantage is that you can rest assured that the shortlist of candidates for interviews was generated without bias and that no promising candidate was screened out for incorrect reasons.
Minimizing Bias in the Job Interview
If you have conducted a blind hiring process up to this stage, the job interview should be the first moment you see the candidate’s ethnicity, age, gender, and appearance. Unconscious bias is therefore unavoidable, but it can be minimized in the following ways:
Conduct panel interviews to reduce interview bias and provide a variety of perspectives during the interview process. You can gather feedback, viewpoints, and ideas from people with a variety of requirements and expectations if you have a lot of people following along in the hiring process. That outside of your recruiting and hiring staff should be involved in the hiring process. By reaching out to other departments, team members, and company executives, you can eliminate bias by considering different points of view and using their diverse experiences to build an inclusive workplace for newcomers.
Onboarding New Hires
The first step is to have an inclusive hiring process. Employees who don't fit a homogeneous mold will be unhappy in their new jobs if you simply focus on developing an inclusive hiring procedure and overlook your company culture.
You need to build an inclusive work atmosphere to persuade them to stay––and actually enjoy their time at your company. Each employee has a unique voice in an inclusive workplace culture, which encourages them to be themselves. Not only are their particular needs met, but they are also encouraged to devote time to personal duties that they consider vital.
There should be a purpose and meaning behind establishing an inclusive workplace and recruitment process, not just another box to check.
There are numerous reasons why having a diverse workforce is advantageous, but it won't happen immediately. As a result, for modern firms, putting in place the proper processes and mechanisms to build an inclusive recruitment team is a step in the right way.
The efforts you take to increase inclusive hiring should be tracked and reviewed on a regular basis, with training being a top emphasis. If you want inclusive hiring to work, you need buy-in and passion for what you're attempting to do.
by Jack Brameld
In May, Microsoft announced large-scale changes to what has been a staple among service providers reselling Microsoft services. Specifically,...
In May, Microsoft announced large-scale changes to what has been a staple among service providers reselling Microsoft services. Specifically, we’ll see the end of “Silver” and “Gold” status, to be replaced by the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCCP), which comes into place on October 3rd 2022.
This drastic change will impact nearly half a million service providers, the company said, “This deep relationship between Microsoft and our partners spans more than 30 years and, in that time frame, our partners have provided unique solutions across numerous industries, helping countless customers succeed in an ever-changing world. They especially have played a pivotal role in helping businesses adapt amidst the pandemic. As things continue to change and evolve, we are committed to investing in and delivering what partners need to innovate, grow their businesses, and deliver on the promise of digital transformation for customers across organizations and industries.”
The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), was formed in 2009 and was replaced by the Microsoft Partner Program (MPP), although it has always been changing and upgrading the transition to MCCP is a huge step for all partners, most notably MSPs who have already been reselling Azure and other cloud services.
One of the fastest growing cloud marketplace companies in the world stated how so many companies have begun to rely on Microsoft for this service. Microsoft has since issued this as a response; “we have been preparing for this re-alignment throughout 2022 with a focus on ensuring our partners, who rely on our consolidated billing, automated provisioning, and PSA integrations, can take full advantage of Microsoft’s new approach, with no disruption to operations, and opportunities to attract more customers who are increasingly relying on cloud services.”
Meyer, an ex-senior executive at Microsoft explained that this is about much more than a name change:
“MCCP is a reflection of Microsoft’s vision and investment in cloud services, and their recognition of the overall modernization of IT across the entire digital supply chain,” Meyer said. “Way beyond the end-of-life for MPN Gold and Silver status, the MCPP is truly about driving new proficiencies in a cloud-first world as more discovery, procurement, delivery and management of technology is happening online, through marketplaces like ours.”
The new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program will aim to drive and promote partners' development in six technology areas:
This will further impact partners’ license in how they internally use and distribute Microsoft’s products from a ‘’Solutions Partner level’’ to ‘’specialisations and expert programs’’.
This is Microsoft’s response to accommodate for the rapidly expanding market, do you think it was the right decision?
by Alice Lelli
Teams and hiring managers in the information technology industry are striving for diversity as what was once a buzzword has quickly become an...
Teams and hiring managers in the information technology industry are striving for diversity as what was once a buzzword has quickly become an industry standard. Diversity and inclusion are now important goals in recruitment and hiring strategies, however, there is still work to do in the tech industry. Studies show that within the technology industry, women are underrepresented and there is a distinct lack of ethnicity, age and disability diversity.
An inclusive IT industry can allow organisations to create an environment that showcases our diverse world. Information Technology’s contribution to the world can be inadequate if they fail to include a variety of ideas and perspectives making diversity one of the most important aspects of a successful industry.
Why is diversity in tech important?
You might be wondering why diversity in the IT industry is so critical. There are moral reasons for prioritising diversity in technology, such as greater equality. There are also important business reasons for supporting workplace diversity.
Racial diversity in tech is also a big problem. At Facebook, only 2.1% of tech jobs are occupied by Black employees. The situation is marginally better at Microsoft, where Black individuals making up 4.7% of the workforce. Black employees are frequently discriminated against in the tech workforce with 62% of Black workers reporting that they have experienced discrimination. This could range from being underpaid compared to a colleague doing the same job, to receiving less support from senior leaders or being passed over for growth and development opportunities. This makes tech jobs less accessible, and appealing, to those individuals.
Many businesses, particularly those in the "Big Tech" sector, have consistently stated their commitment to diversity. However, data on diversity in the tech industry shows that this has only modestly improved over time. More work is needed to increase racial diversity in the tech industry without a doubt.
How a Lack of Diversity in Tech Harms Businesses
A diversified workforce allows a company to better understand its consumers and end-users. People now have increased expectations for products and services that cater to their various requirements and tastes. Having a more diverse workforce implies having a wider range of viewpoints, opinions, and backgrounds. You'll have greater creativity, and a wider range of skill sets if you work with a diverse group of people. Plus, you'll have more options for solving business challenges, which will help your organisation succeed.
The world is bursting at the seams with diversity. Our tech-based world can't tap into the full variety of knowledge and experience of that diversity if there isn't diversity in tech.
We've seen how a lack of diversity in technology contributes to negative customer experiences, such as when AI fails to recognise customers with darker skin tones on several occasions. To prevent overlooking the blind spots in tech invention and development, we need to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to enter technological professions.
Is your branding inclusive?
A recent study by PWC showed that 86% of female millennials and 74% of male millennials seek out employers with a strong record of diversity. One way to show these millennials of your commitment to diversity and inclusion is by visually showing a diverse workforce in your marketing materials. Are you able to use diverse imagery?
The Flexible Job Index says an estimated 87% of employees want to work flexibly – meaning if you want to have access to the best possible talent, you need to show that your organization is happy to support those who choose to work flexibly. Are you able to show your commitment to flexible working with real case studies? Include these case studies in your marketing materials.
Avoid sweeping statements such as ‘we value diversity and inclusion’ unless you follow them up with specific examples of what you’re actually doing to place value on D&I. What exactly is your organization doing to champion diversity and inclusion? Use real and specific examples in your branding and communications.
Are your job adverts attractive to all?
You can be sure that if an applicant is looking at nothing else – they’re looking at your job advert. Therefore it’s worth spending time ensuring your adverts will attract a variety of diverse individuals to your organization. There are a few easy ways to do this:
- Use a debiasing tool to ensure that gender-neutral language is used. Language such as ‘competitiveness’ or ‘assertiveness’ can discourage women from applying.
- Advertise the role with some degree of flexibility to ensure that parents can apply.
- Focus on competencies, attitude, and aptitude rather than formal education/qualifications.
- Instead of including a general equal opportunities statement, be clear in saying that the organizations actively encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds and perspectives and explain why.
- Describe the culture as inclusive and one that aims to fit around individuals – rather than wanting to hire people who fit into a specific culture that could be exclusive. Focus on looking for a ‘values fit’ rather than a ‘cultural fit’.
Make use of the variety of platforms and job boards that actively recruit people from underrepresented groups to advertise your vacancy. As well as listing your vacancy on your company website, utilise identity-based networks to advertise job listings.
Spend time cultivating networks of underrepresented groups by attending events and networking. Are you able to partner with one of these organizations?
How are you ensuring that bias doesn’t creep in when interviewing?
It’s an almost impossible task to prevent unconscious bias creeping in when interviewing someone. It’s not something to feel guilty about – it’s unconscious! But is it important to take steps to prevent it from occurring, and knowing when to recognize it.
Hiring managers are often reliant on ‘intuition or a ‘gut feeling’ when making hiring decisions. These feelings often occur when we like someone because we believe them to be similar to ourselves. Acting on these gut feelings results in a homogenous work culture where everyone comes from similar backgrounds/experiences – the very opposite of what we want to achieve.
The easiest way to avoid unconscious bias when interviewing is to ask competency-based questions. This prevents talented candidates from being filtered out of the interview process because of their diverse or individual differences.
When the final decision is being made, ensure it is made by a panel/group of people, rather than an individual. It’s much more difficult to act on feelings of unconscious bias when in a group.
Attracting more Diverse Talent
Companies must adjust their recruitment and hiring methods in order to increase diversity in the tech industry. When it comes to filling a job vacancy, hiring managers must play an active role in attracting a diverse pool of candidates. They can do so by undertaking unconscious bias training, forming multi-person interview panels comprised of diverse staff, and other methods.
An applicant may have no clue what your organisation is doing to assist diverse employees when they apply for a position. You can recruit more diverse talent by promoting your initiatives and recognizing diverse employees via marketing channels and in interviews themselves.
Posting a job post won't actively seek for diverse talent. Instead, go out to organizations that advocate and promote diverse IT talent, and form partnerships with organisations that can help bridge the gap.
Put Effort into Nurturing and Retaining Talent
Hiring a diverse pool of IT talent is merely the beginning of the solution. Companies must build an inclusive workplace after acquiring diverse talent in order to retain their hires. Many firms are aware of the diversity aspect of diversity and inclusion and understand that a diverse workforce is crucial to its reputation and success in a global market. It's the part about inclusion that many don't get - establishing a culture where individuals can be themselves, where their unique talents and perspectives are valued, and where they want to stay.
There are many of making your benefits when making the tech industry more inclusive and diverse:
- New Perspectives and Innovation- A diverse team allows businesses to be more innovative, creative, and productive. Employee diversity contributes to fresher and more diversified ideas, as well as a variety of different opinions and experiences, which can assist in solving challenges and promote innovation. Individuals with a variety of cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, and skill sets make for well-rounded teams, allowing for faster and more informed decisions.
- Talent Pool- Making your recruitment process more inclusive implies attracting more candidates from various backgrounds and sources. You'll always reach the same type of people if you don't change the way your recruiting process is arranged. If you work to eliminate barriers to entry, you’ll have the pick of the most high-performing candidates, which enlarges your talent pool and improves your chances of finding the ideal hire.
Aside from diversity enhancing your existing business, 67% of people think about it when looking for work. It's critical to hire a broader range of people in order to attract more suitable applicants. Investing in tools that source qualified candidates across all backgrounds will allow you to access a larger talent pool.
- Improved Culture- A more diverse workforce fosters a more open and adventurous workplace culture. Working with people from various origins creates a fascinating day-to-day culture and allows employees to bond over their diverse backgrounds and past experiences and learn from each other.
- Tap Into New Markets - According to recent research from Harvard Business Review, diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets. People from different backgrounds have knowledge of different market sectors, which can help businesses increase their pool of clients.
When companies introduce people from different social, geographical and cultural backgrounds into a team, they gain a new knowledge base for potential new markets. With the business economy becoming increasingly globalised, hiring a more diverse team gives companies the core skills they need to push the business forward. For example, having workers who can speak a second language, is itself, an opportunity for companies to expand their reach.
Having multiple nationalities and cultural backgrounds within a business can also make it more appealing to the outside world. Many customers want to support businesses that are committed to equality and diversity and provide equal opportunities to people from all backgrounds. In an industry like tech, which is known for having a lack of diversity, DE&I can even be a unique selling point.
To appreciate diversity and establish meaningful relationships, it is critical to foster inclusion and create a culture of belonging. It can provide possibilities for employees to learn from one another and collaborate on new ideas. When employees feel included in their work environment and have opportunity to develop new skills, collaborate with people from different backgrounds they are more likely to stay.
Many businesses have recognised the need of cultivating diversity and inclusion within their organisations and have begun taking significant actions to do so. However, much effort has to be done to enhance diversity in the tech world, as well as in tech-related occupations and professions in other industries. Diversity and inclusion in the IT business isn't just a "nice to have," it's a “must have” for the industry's future success.
by Jasmine Ellis
Recruiters provide vital links between employers and prospective workers. Some job candidates seek out their services directly. Others discover after...
Recruiters provide vital links between employers and prospective workers. Some job candidates seek out their services directly. Others discover after submitting an application that the hunt is being conducted by a recruiter on behalf of a company.
Don’t be surprised if you even encounter a recruiter when you’re not looking for a job—some make “cold calls” to people they’ve identified as a good possible fit for an open position. Remember: an interview is a two-way street.
Depending on your questions, a recruiter's answers can provide plenty of key information about the employer and the vacancy itself.
Asking questions before an interview is a win-win: even if you don't like the answers, you will have saved yourself time and stress by not proceeding with the application process.
There are several reasons why asking questions ahead of an interview is a good idea:
· The recruiter will know the employer. The employer is your recruiter’s client – it's likely that they will have a good relationship with them and will have matched candidates with them previously. Therefore, remember that they are a fantastic source of insider information to tap into.
· To take control of your job search. A recruiter might be putting forward multiple applicants for every vacancy, so don’t expect them to automatically provide detailed information to you about every match. Make sure you ask though; this will demonstrate initiative and interest.
· To check you have been matched correctly. A recruitment consultant is usually paid by the employer once they have filled a vacancy. They will make the job opportunity sound tempting to draw you into the process but, ultimately, it is up to you to assess whether the job is a good fit.
· To make sure you are fully informed. Preparation is everything when it comes to recruitment, and smart candidates know that thoroughly researching the position will give them a strong advantage. It is almost a certainty that you will be competing against many other candidates for the same position – and they may well be better qualified and more experienced than you.
Here are examples of questions you can ask a recruiter to gather helpful information:
1. Can you tell me more about the job?
The interviewer has more detail about a job than what is posted online. Asking questions will help you learn more about the job. You do not have to settle for the pieces of information you see on the internet. That is what every other job seeker sees. You might want to know what working in the role entails, the hours you are expected to commit to the work, and if the position allows you to work, learn and advance your career.
2. What are the top skills needed?
To be on the safer side, you can ask the recruiter for the skills required for the role. The recruiter will be happy to provide you with this information. Whatever the needed skills are, it will help you restructure your resume to highlight the skills you have in your previous career path that match the job’s requirements.
Skills and experiences are the essential things a recruiter is looking for in a prospect. So knowing what they want and comparing it with what you have can give you an edge in the recruitment process.
Though a recruiter may not know the details of the team's day-to-day operations, this question can reveal important information on the organization’s culture, work hours, and work-life balance. They may also have some information on specific programs or projects you’ll be working on and enlighten you on who you’ll be working with.
3. What is the company culture?
Different companies have different cultures. What is obtainable where you used to work might be different from what your new job wants. A job description might list requirements or desired qualifications, but this question can open up the answer to revealing more about the role’s priorities. The team might be looking for somebody who will execute tasks or a self-starter who will bring fresh ideas to the table. The recruiter can provide you with the company’s culture and ideology. Asking the recruiter about the company culture and policies will help you assess yourself and see if you can thrive in the company.
4. What is the salary range for this role?
Before going further into the job interview, comparing the salary the job offers with the compensation you expect is reasonable. Some jobs require a lot from you but end up paying little. Knowing what the job entails and your take-home salary helps you make an informed decision about whether to take the job or not.
Do some research ahead of time to see the typical salary range for a person in this role. Factor in your own experience, location, and expectations and come up with a range that is fair for somebody in your position. If a recruiter asks what your desired salary is, you can provide this range. You might also use your previous salary as a reference point and lay out expectations for an increase.
If a recruiter doesn’t bring up compensation in the interview, ask about it. Though discussing salary might feel awkward, establishing expectations ensures you won’t feel undersold or that you wasted your time if you receive a low offer. The recruiter can also make sure your expectations are within their budget.
Also, asking for the salary range for the role should not be the first question. Instead, the question should come after you must have understood your role and have detailed information about the job.
5. Can you tell me about the interview process and timeline?
This question clarifies expectations around when you can expect to hear back about the next steps and what you should anticipate in interviews to come. The recruiter may share the names or LinkedIn profiles of the people you will be interviewing with and lay out how many interviews the process typically includes.
This can also help determine if the process will fit into your timeline. If you’re looking for a job to start immediately, but the position requires you to go through security clearance which will take several months, this will be crucial information to have.
6. How long has the job been open?
Asking why an organization is hiring for a role can give you useful information about career progression opportunities, the organization’s direction, and what situation you’ll be walking into should you accept a job offer.
The previous person in the role may have moved on to a different job, been fired, or been promoted to a new position. In any case, you’ll have a better idea of the dynamics and opportunities in that role. If the position is entirely new, ask why the position was created. You’ll have better insight into whether you’ll be filling a role with clear definitions or one where flexibility will be an asset. If a job post has been up for too long, it might indicate that the working condition is not so favorable, so other jobseekers pass. Or the recruiter has not found a suitable candidate.
A similar question you can ask is, “Can you tell me about the interview process and timeline?”
When you want to apply for a job, it would be great to be aware of the recruitment timeline. The answer to these questions helps you know if the job’s timeline can fit into your schedule.
7. Is there anything in my resume or background that could be a concern?
Perceived gaps in your work history or skill set can be a significant concern to the recruiter. Asking the recruiter if there is anything in your resume or background that could be of concern will give you the opportunity to explain the perceived gaps. However, if there is no gap in your work history, asking these questions will help you streamline your resume to suit what is acceptable in the organization.
8. Would you recommend any changes to my resume or cover letter?
When you have the opportunity to speak with a recruiter, you are free to ask if your CV is good. If it does not look too good, the recruiter can advise on making your resume stand out and meet the recruitment expectations of the hiring manager.
Your recruiter should not be perceived as unapproachable. Rather they should be seen as an ally. This way, you would be confident while asking questions that favor your job search. Asking these eight insightful questions correctly will provide more necessary information about a job and help you determine if the job is good for you or not.
by Curtis Phillips
People change careers for many reasons, not happy in their workplace, want more money, have no progression, don’t like the culture of business,...
People change careers for many reasons, not happy in their workplace, want more money, have no progression, don’t like the culture of business, or just want a change in life.
For my own story, since I was 16, I have worked in different industries going from catering, retail, and warehouse roles to sales roles. It was hard growing up because I was always an active person and couldn’t really learn from just someone talking to me and telling me what to do, I had to be physically doing it so I could understand it. There was always one point where I knew from my first job at the café that I wanted to become a manager one day which was a career goal of mine.
5 years down the line I joined Sky as a sales advisor and found a job where I felt like I could excel, the excitement of speaking to different people days, finding out more about that, and relating back to the customer as I was a massive football fan and sky being the leading broadcast for it, I could talk for days about. Being a top advisor for 2 years for customer service and sales – my monitor as a team leader down the line believed in me that I could one day make a great team leader.
By my third year I made it as Team leader – being able to teach and develop people and help them grow was a goal but I wanted more, I missed the excitement of getting a sale across the line, speaking to people on the phone, dealing with complex issues… I knew I wanted more. So, I made the decision by 26 years I wanted to take a step back in my career and try a new challenge which was working for a recruitment company. I always knew it was going to be a tough job, the long hours, the graft but life should be this – the more hours you put in the more rewards you should get, and I couldn’t get that as a team leader.
So, I made the decision to move away from it all and make my final career change, which I couldn’t be happier about. Being in a place where I’m in control of my own business, how I will make money, and the clients I want to work with while promoting my own brand.
My advice to anyone who thinks its to late to make a change, it isn’t – age 26 was the time I knew if I wanted the life I wanted, I would have to take a small step down to fulfill a change – now 6 months I couldn’t be happier how it’s going.
The moral of my story is its never too late to make a change even at any age, chase your dreams, and if that means going two steps backward to ensure you go 3 steps forward then make the change now otherwise you might not fulfill your career and personal goals if you feel you can’t do it in your current role.
by Dafydd Kevis
Professionals in the field of cyber security are continually defending computer systems from numerous cyber threats. Every day cyberattacks target...
Professionals in the field of cyber security are continually defending computer systems from numerous cyber threats. Every day cyberattacks target businesses and private systems, and the diversity of attacks has expanded quickly.
Numerous factors can lead to a cyberattack. The first one is financial. An online hacker can deactivate a system and demand money to reactivate it. More advanced than ever, ransomware is a sort of software that demands payment in exchange for the return of services.
Individuals are also targets of cyber-attacks, owing to the fact that they store sensitive information on their mobile phones and use insecure public networks.
In order to strengthen cyber security, it is essential to keep track of how cyberattacks are evolving and growing. Earning an online cyber security master's degree can be very advantageous for cyber security professionals who want to increase their understanding of threats and cyber security information.
What Is the Definition of a Cybersecurity Threat?
A cyber security threat is any potentially hostile attack that aims to destroy data, obstruct online transactions, or access data unauthorizedly. Potential cyber risks include corporate spies, hacktivists, terrorist groups, hostile nation-states, criminal gangs, lone hackers, and dissatisfied workers.
Sensitive data was exposed by several high-profile cyberattacks in recent years.
Cyber attackers can use sensitive data from an individual or a business to steal information or gain access to financial accounts, among other potentially harmful acts, which is why cyber security professionals are essential for protecting private data.
Here are the top five most common cyber threats:
1. Malware and viruses
Computer programs are known as viruses attack and replicate on host systems. Infections, viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, and other similar words are also used to refer to malware. Any application that does not belong to the user is considered malicious software. A virus is often a harmful piece of code that can harm your system if it is not removed. Your security measures ought to lessen malware attacks.
2. Theft of Identity
When someone gains unauthorised access to sensitive information, such as financial data, intellectual property, medical records, trade secrets, customer lists, or employee information, they are said to have committed data theft. Data thieves utilise social engineering techniques to con people into exposing passwords, private keys, login information, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. The prevention of data theft mainly depends on user knowledge and education.
3. Website Hacking
Web hacking is the term for the unauthorised use of equipment and methods to attack networks or websites. Websites, software, and network infrastructure all have vulnerabilities that hackers are continuously searching for. These assaults can range from straightforward website vandalism to full server takeovers.
4. Social Engineering
Social engineering is the practise of persuading others to take actions they otherwise would not. Social engineering methods are often used by cybercriminals, ranging from simple phishing scams to more intricate plans involving malware. When engaging with unknown parties online, users should use caution, and they should never click on links without first checking their validity.
5. Cryptocurrency Mining
The process of employing computers to carry out repeated calculations (known as hashes) to validate transactions on the blockchain, which records cryptocurrency balances and transfers, is known as cryptocurrency mining. In return for processing transactions and defending the network, miners receive fresh money. In addition to maintaining the security of the network, miners also give cryptocurrency exchanges liquidity.
by Lauren Greene
It might be difficult to get rejected for a job, especially if you're trying to break into a competitive marketplace. You may feel discouraged...
It might be difficult to get rejected for a job, especially if you're trying to break into a competitive marketplace. You may feel discouraged and frustrated as a result, lose your motivation, and stop interviewing for new job opportunities. We are aware of that and have also felt similar disappointment in the course of our careers.
It's crucial not to let a job rejection discourage you from looking for other positions. So, this week, we've compiled some of our top tips on how to handle job rejection while still using it to better yourself and your prospects for the future.
Don't take it personally
It’s not about you and it’s not the end of the world. It’s about the qualifications and criteria that did not land you the job. Accept that there are wins and losses in every situation, just like in good sportsmanship, and that you were not the winner this time. It’s normal. It’s part of the process. However, remember that nothing is wrong with you or your ability. Do not hold the company or the interviewer responsible. They struggled with choosing which applicant to hire as well. Keep your relationships intact because you never know when you might find another position with this firm or run into them again.
Keep a positive attitude
Despite obstacles, keep a positive attitude. Even so, you ought to show appreciation to the interviewer for the chance and be respectful. Avoid thinking negatively about the business or yourself, and try to control your frustration. You still have to be confident and demonstrate maturity as a person. Smiling, consider it an opportunity to grow from the rejection. Genuinely being positive can make a favorable impression on people. In contrast, if you have a negative attitude, you are merely providing the employer another excuse for not hiring you.
Focus on your strengths
You’ve come this far in your application. It means there is something about you that caught the hiring manager’s attention. It’s just not enough to land you the job. So reflect on your application journey and find out what went wrong. Focusing on your abilities is one way to maintain confidence and self-esteem. Develop your strengths and improve on your weaknesses if there are any. In this way, you can level up and be ready for your next job application.
Ask for detailed feedback
After receiving a rejection, it's important to reflect on what happened and what you can take away from it. The most beneficial action you can do in the event of a job rejection is to ask for and pay attention to feedback. Self-reflection alone won't reveal all of the reasons why you weren't the proper fit for the position. Therefore, your first step should be to get as much input as you can from the recruiter and through them, the employer. Ask for a more thorough evaluation if the response seems a bit general or shallow. After all, you invested a lot of time and effort into the process, therefore you have a right to some useful information.
Don't be afraid to try again
When applying for your next job, remember not to let rejections get you down. Don't let one company's "no" deter you from trying again. There are plenty of additional businesses that are hiring. You just need to keep applying and never give up. If you've already experienced a number of rejections, don't give up. Never forget that if you give up now, you might miss an opportunity tomorrow.
Refine your search
Even while it's frustrating to be rejected, the interview and/or feedback process might occasionally let you realize that the role wasn't quite the right fit for you either.
Look again over the job criteria and ask yourself if you could actually imagine yourself in that role on a day-to-day basis. The interviewer might have been able to tell if there were elements of the role that didn't thrill you.
To improve your future job searches, use your experience as a guide. Perhaps the phrases you're looking at don't exactly align with your goals and desires. Did the job title's accompanying role fall short of your expectations? Did the interview make you realize that this is not quite the right sort of job for you? And if not, then what is?
Come back stronger
It's difficult to apply for employment, especially if you've recently been rejected for a position. You will return stronger and more inspired to get going if you have taken the time to process your emotions, work on your weaknesses, and learn to highlight your strengths.
Consider each setback as an opportunity to improve your self-awareness and your capacity to overcome disappointment. Your chances of getting the ideal job will increase if you can overcome difficulties on your career path. Make it a point to remain positive and do everything you can to learn from the situation so that you will be better prepared for the next opportunity. Since everyone occasionally receives a job rejection letter, the most crucial thing is what you learn from the experience.
by Gareth Streefland
The onset of the pandemic accelerated global firms’ plans to redefine how their businesses operated, in particular how they managed their wide...
The onset of the pandemic accelerated global firms’ plans to redefine how their businesses operated, in particular how they managed their wide area networks (WANs), with software-defined WANs flourishing and secure access service edge (SASE) emerging.
Software-defined WANs deliver clear benefits and have reached a maturity level that warrants consideration for customers with branch offices. However, enterprises must also weigh the challenges and have an accurate anticipation of SD-WAN advantages and disadvantages before they decide to adopt this technology.
Advantages of SD-WAN
Users always enjoy long term cost savings when using SD-WAN. Compared to a MPLS deployment, SD-WAN allows cost savings of almost 50%. Except for critical data, all the low priority tasks can be assigned to expensive links. And for the important tasks, expensive connectivity links can be used.
Whatever application that is used in SD-WAN, it is able to improve its performance. Each of the network traffic works differently. All the traffic those are critical and real time can be automatically routed to links with higher bandwidth. This ensures that there is less latency issues and packet loss which eventually leads to improved application performance.
Most of the networks are subjected to additional layers through the process of digital transformation. This often leads to poor network performance. SD-WAN is able to reduce this concept by simplifying the infrastructure. Moreover, it is necessary to consider looking for the right SD-WAN service provider with less capacity.
SD-WAN comes with various transport mediums all which can provide alternate paths. For an example, if the SD-WAN is two or more mediums. Imagine Fiber, DSL and LTE. In case of a failure, SD-WAN is able to use other two mediums.
One of the reasons why many companies prefer adopting to SD-WAN is its cloud access. Even if a branch is located remote, the employees can still access cloud applications. This too with improved application performance. When there is business critical applications, the traffic can be directed through the data center.
Disadvantages of SD-WAN
SD-WAN lacks when it comes to on-site security features. Although SD-WANs are equipped with some standards and methods for security, still it is not adequate enough. Therefore, a data breach in one single machine could affect the entire organization.
Businesses have a problem adapting to SD-WAN solutions. The existing staffs may find it difficult to understand this technology which rises the need to have skilled staffs. Now this can be expensive for companies with low budget. This is one of the reasons why business are still depending on old connections.
Not all the SD-WAN solutions are able to support WAN routers. If a SD-WAN configuration is used in a WAN router, its ethernet connection will probably interfere with WAN architecture. For preventing this, it is advisable to use methods like time-division multiplexing.
All the units and connections are centralized in SD-WAN. As a result, having a SD-WAN always creates new errors. In some instances, small errors resulting from incorrect configuration can cause major errors. Besides that, SD-WANs also experience jitters and packet loss.
On default, routers are equipped with the functionality to work without updates. But for routers those with SD-WAN configuration requires regular firmware updates.
If the updates are not provided, the routers may eventually experience failures or even stop working. These updates make sure that the routers are bug free and their functions are fastened.
by Robyn Trubey
The lack of women in technology is a controversial subject that is difficult to solve. There are many reports of bias, unequal pay, and restricted...
The lack of women in technology is a controversial subject that is difficult to solve. There are many reports of bias, unequal pay, and restricted opportunity. The tech sector is still having trouble locating, hiring, and retaining women despite data that shows a strong link between having more women in leadership positions and higher returns on invested capital and sales. With only 19% of the tech sector in the UK being female, women continue to be underrepresented. Only 26% of positions in the US's tech sector are held by women, and only 16% of those are at senior ranks.
As well as attracting more women into tech roles, companies also need to work harder at retaining female tech talent. Women leave the tech industry at a rate that is 45% greater than that of men, claims Forbes. According to a study done by Indeed, a lack of professional advancement is the main cause of this, closely followed by inadequate management and slow salary increases. Only 50% of the women polled in the analysis believed they had the same possibilities to hold senior leadership positions as their male colleagues, according to the report.
If the UK's industry is to continue to develop and stay ahead of competitors, gender parity in the tech sector must be achieved. According to the McKinsey Delivering through Diversity report, businesses were 21% more likely to achieve above-average profitability when comparing those in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams to those in the bottom quartile.
What can businesses do, then, to recruit and keep women in the tech industry?
There are some practical steps you can take if you wish to increase diversity and benefit from the creative input of the other half of the human race. Here are some recommendations for tech companies looking to attract and retain outstanding female talent.
1. Actively Seek out and Employ Women
The first step to adding more women to your team is as easy as it sounds: actively seeking out additional female applicants. You should let people know that you wish to hire women for tech roles from both inside and outside of your networks.
2. Give women a voice
Creating mentorship programs and employee resource groups exclusively for women is one of the best methods to support and retain emerging female IT talent and enhance long-term engagement in a career. Although hiring more women for tech jobs is imperative, the only way to truly support and inspire women is to give them platforms. Examples of such platforms include inviting women to panel discussions, allowing them to share their experiences with various outlets, and simply giving credit where it is due internally. Their perspectives contribute to both the ongoing and upcoming conversations within our industry.
3. Competitive and fair salary
At the beginning of their careers and throughout, women in technology prioritise their salaries. Since the implementation of the gender pay gap reports, businesses must disclose their gender pay gap. Equal compensation for equal work is obviously of utmost importance. Therefore, implementing transparent pay practices ensure that women enter into companies on fair pay and do not undersell themselves at the interview stage.
A key strategy for attracting and retaining female IT talent is representation. It is possible to improve a company's reputation and set a good example by openly advocating and championing equality. Recruitment and retention are strongly related; for instance, if a female candidate observes women working for the company in high roles, it may inspire her to pursue a similar position. In the computer sector, 39% of women and only 8% of men see gender bias as a barrier to advancement. Giving women equal opportunities for advancement and highlighting their achievements is crucial for attracting and retaining women in tech roles.
5. Gender-neutral recruitment process
Tech organisations must develop a flexible recruiting strategy that considers the unique needs and goals of women in order to strive toward achieving a gender-balanced workforce. The hiring process can be improved by making little modifications, such utilising gender-neutral wording in job descriptions. According to research, job descriptions that deliberately discourage women from applying for positions—particularly in the computer industry—are skewed toward men. According to a study by LinkedIn, women believe they must satisfy all requirements before applying for a job, whereas men often do so after satisfying approximately 60% of them.
Blind hiring practices are another strategy to recruit female employees. These can include pre-employment tests, gender-neutral CVs, blind candidate screening, and even requirements that shortlists have an equal number of men and women.
6. Inclusive work culture
It goes without saying that if a company or place of employment develops a reputation for having a hostile atmosphere for women, it will deter female candidates and make it more difficult to keep women in the workforce. Companies must regularly review their workplace policies to support new diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Sending surveys to the workforce is one approach to accomplish this, allowing the workers to offer a candid opinion on concerns pertaining to culture and solutions. Introducing minimum standards can also contribute to a more inclusive workplace. For instance, businesses could mandate the presence of at least one female worker on internal committees that make decisions about dress codes, partnerships, and diversity initiatives.
by Matthew Bell
As a recruitment consultancy, it’s obviously our role to advise you how to secure your next opportunity. We’re here to help you along the...
by Isabelle Melton
One of the biggest issues facing the tech sector is still finding qualified and appropriately skilled workers. Nearly half of tech recruiters say...
One of the biggest issues facing the tech sector is still finding qualified and appropriately skilled workers. Nearly half of tech recruiters say they are having trouble finding qualified applicants, according to research released by CodinGame and CoderPad. To attract the top personnel in a candidate-driven market, IT recruiters will prioritise candidate experience during the hiring process in 2022, according to the same survey. Expanding the talent pool and considering how neurodiverse people could succeed in tech professions are two ways to address the present hiring problems in the industry.
Though many modern digital companies are getting better at ensuring that their workforces are diverse, it's important to note that a company is six times more likely to exhibit enhanced innovation and agility if it has an inclusive culture. How neurodiversity is managed at work is one sign of an inclusive culture. Fortunately, our understanding of how the human brain functions are improving. People are therefore better able to receive a diagnosis, therapy, medication, etc.
Implementing systemic support, however, is equally essential. Many business executives are unaware that neurodiverse people frequently do better in computer occupations. This is a strong argument in favor of embracing neurodiversity in the workplace, particularly in IT roles.
Neurodiverse Workers: An Untapped Talent Pool
While technology is transforming the way we work at an ever-increasing pace, there’s one seemingly intractable problem holding it back: the tech talent crisis.
• Recent studies indicate that the lack of tech talent is at its worst point since 2008.
• According to 65% of companies, hiring difficulties are affecting the tech sector.
• Data analytics, cyber security, artificial intelligence, and transformational skills are particularly hard to come by; if nothing is done, a 3 million-person worldwide tech job shortfall is predicted by 2030.
On the other extreme, neurodivergent people are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed, underpaid, and poorly supported. What’s more, many autistic workers are feeling unable to disclose that in their workplaces.
• More than 15% of the world's population, or one in seven people, has a neurodivergent condition, which is a catch-all phrase for those with autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
• Around 85% of people who are neurodivergent are jobless or working lowly jobs that are much below their ability and testing level.
• Only 16% of autistic adults in the UK have a full-time paid job, while only 32% of autistic adults work for pay.
• Of autistic adults without jobs, 77% said they wanted a job.
Although the digital talent gap is a growing issue, there is a sizable population with the necessary abilities that has been completely ignored by the industry up to this point: people who are neurodiverse, particularly those who have autism.
Why Neurodiverse Workforces Matter
What are some of the most popular soft talents when looking for strong candidates for IT roles? Most frequently, job postings call for applicants who actively strategize novel approaches, think creatively, and so on. People with neurodiversity frequently excel at these talents. Of course, it's important to consider the benefits of having a neurodiverse workforce.
Benefits of a Neurodiverse Workforce
Gaining a Competitive Advantage in the Market
While neurodivergent people frequently struggle with social interaction, communication, and some cognitive functions, they are also more likely to show intense focus and subject knowledge because of their particular interests. In addition to possessing specialised knowledge or technical proficiency, neurodiverse people thrive in repeated jobs. In other words, they have the expertise that is currently particularly needed in the IT industry, where the digital revolution is compelling businesses to embrace more cutting-edge technology in order to satisfy client needs more quickly.
Tackling Skills Gap and Labour Shortages
Across the board, there is a severe talent shortage in technology. The sector's fastest-growing skill cluster, data analysis, is predicted to rise by 33% over the next five years, according to the most recent reports. Meanwhile, the biggest skills gaps in the UK's tech sector are in big data, data analysis, and architecture, as well as cybersecurity.
The population's neurodiversity may be able to address the main problem facing the sector: closing the IT skills gap. This underrepresented group of applicants has a wealth of talent and skill to offer. Despite this, among all handicap categories, those with autism have the startlingly highest unemployment rates.
Bringing Innovation into the Game
The term "neurodiversity" describes the various ways in which people's brains function and process information. Employees who are neurodivergent give fresh insights that can foster innovation, from coming up with answers to difficult problems to creating creative strategies and products.
Industry leaders are fast realising the great benefit neurodiverse teams can provide to organisations that strive for excellence and innovation.
Fostering a Culture of Inclusion
Employing neurodivergent individuals fosters an inclusive culture that benefits the entire workforce. Remarkable changes can be made to a workplace's culture by neurodiversity in teams, or the collaborative impact of working with individuals who have different cognitive ideologies. For example, communication becomes more effective and clearer, teamwork picks up steam, and employees feel appreciated for their distinctive individuality. Promoting both innovation and empathy within the organisation, is a fantastic thing to accommodate individual requirements from which everyone may gain.
How to Promote Neurodiversity in Tech Jobs
Supporting neurodiversity in the workplace frequently begins with the hiring process. A thorough hiring procedure is required for many tech positions to make sure that candidates possess the hard, soft, and social skills needed to succeed at work.
It's time to widen the hiring pool, though. Start by thinking about your recruitment strategy.
Many neurodiverse job candidates are looking for positions that will help them and offer the infrastructure they need to thrive and perform well. Everyone struggles in situations that seem to be working against them, and nobody wants to hide who they are at work.
Start by re-examining the terminology you employ during the hiring process. Do you actually provide accommodations for individuals with neurodiversity? Are open conversations between neurodiverse people permitted at work? Do you allow neurodiverse people to make adjustments and changes that suit them, which is even more crucial?
Educating hiring managers
Educating your hiring managers, recruitment teams, or business partners is also crucial. Numerous neurodivergent people find it difficult to maintain eye contact or reluctant to shake hands. There is no justification for discriminating against individuals based on these "atypical" behaviours during job interviews.
Refresh, renew, and customise the candidate recruiting process. The interview process is increasingly being co-created by some businesses and employees. Some people prefer to meet you in person, while others prefer to communicate with you via video call.
Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace
Your business will be able to develop the most innovative concepts, novel tactics, and successful plans by actively seeking out varied individuals.
Everyone benefits from building support mechanisms for a neurodiverse workforce. While gaining tangible business advantages like higher productivity, revenue, etc., you are promoting the humanity of your employees.
by Isabelle Melton
Asking for a salary increase is something that everyone is likely to do at some point in their career. However, having to have ‘that...
Asking for a salary increase is something that everyone is likely to do at some point in their career. However, having to have ‘that conversation’ can feel unnatural and the experience can be intimidating and awkward, even if you have a good relationship with your manager.
Asking for a raise can be intimidating. However, it can be the best way to obtain the compensation you deserve if your job duties have changed significantly or if your performance merits a boost. Standard pay increases range from 3% (average) to 5% (exceptional). Asking for a 10% to 20% increase, depending on the reason, is a way to open negotiations.
The thought of asking their boss for a raise makes most people feel anxious. If your company does not provide regular annual salary increases and you are not eligible for a promotion, asking for a raise may be your only option. You should understand that asking for a raise is perfectly acceptable, and most company managers and business owners want to take good care of their employees.
If you’re struggling to pluck up the courage to broach the topic of a pay rise, try following our tips below:
Have a Realistic Figure in Mind
When you’re working out how to get a higher salary, it’s important to know your worth so that you have a realistic figure in mind when you begin negotiations.
Do your research to find out if your salary is in line with the market average, establishing what the range of pay is for both newly trained and experienced staff in the role.
Do this by:
- Using a salary checker – the big recruitment websites such as Totaljobs, Indeed and Reed all have online tools that will show what the average salary is for your sector
- Speaking to a recruiter
- Looking at jobs boards to see what salaries are being offered
- Asking other professionals in similar roles to give you an idea of their earnings
- Check if the market rate for your salary differs depending on where you live in the country.
If you’re offered a smaller pay rise than you hoped for, try compromising by asking about a bonus scheme (if you don’t already have one in place) to increase your earnings based on performance or professional training courses to increase your knowledge and skills.
Build your Case
Gather evidence and prepare examples of your achievements that you can confidently summarise, for example:
- Initiatives you have implemented and their impact on company results
- Extra responsibilities you have taken on
- Innovation you have introduced that is reliant on your skills for success
- Training and qualifications you have gained
- Your job milestones – top salesperson of the year, say, or winner of a recognition award, or securing the account of a leading client
- How you have developed other team members
- Lack of disciplinary action
The more evidence you can gather to back-up your proposed pay rise, the better. Discuss market factors that justify your pay rise, such as a skills shortage in your sector and high demand for your skills or qualifications.
Ensure you Ask in the Right Way
When asking for a pay rise, keep it professional at all times. Don’t be demanding and don’t speak negatively of anyone else within the business. Start by talking about why you enjoy working for the company and summarise your recent progress. For instance, you should avoid saying things like:
“I work harder than XX and I know that he’s on more money than me.”
This comes across as bitter and you don’t want to be seen as gossiping about your colleagues’ salaries. Speak calmly, reasonably and present your case clearly.
“Thanks for meeting with me today. I’ve really enjoyed being part of the [XX] team. I’ve been working here for [X] years and I’m proud of the contribution I’ve made. As you know, my targets were to [XXX]. I’m excited to share my results with you and discuss my salary.”
Conclude by getting to the point. “Given my dedication to the company’s success over the past 12 months, and my achievements, I’d like a review of my salary. Based on my research of salaries in my sector, my experience and skills, a X% increase is appropriate.”
Timing is Everything
Think carefully about when to ask for a pay rise. Don’t broach the subject publicly as it will put your manager on the spot (and will appear unprofessional); an appraisal, review or other formal meeting is the ideal setting for this conversation. Find out if you are allowed to discuss a rise outside any performance review; if not, you will have to wait.
If possible, don’t choose a time when your boss is under pressure, or the company is in financial difficulty. More positively, and where you can, plan your meeting for the end of a big project, say, or after you have received an award, passed exams, or achieved another milestone. Request your meeting at least a week in advance and be clear about your objective so they have time to plan too.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
This is a negotiation, so be ready to answer questions, provide further evidence or to receive a counteroffer from your boss. This is where your research and preparation are worth their weight in gold. If you are told that the figure you have requested isn’t possible, summarise why it is reasonable and in line with the market, and ask for an explanation.
Be ready to compromise. Threatening to quit if you don’t get what you want is a risky strategy.
Instead, find out if there is a package of benefits that the company could offer you to accompany a lower pay rise.
Are you prepared to negotiate a salary with a potential employer? Reach out to one of our team at Franklin Fitch to access our Market and Skills Report for the latest insight on hiring and compensation trends.
Using humour in the workplace makes employees happier, less stressed, more productive and efficient, says Vandad Pourbahrami, a humour and business...
Using humour in the workplace makes employees happier, less stressed, more productive and efficient, says Vandad Pourbahrami, a humour and business consultant. In addition, Vandad, from New York-based firm Humor that Works, believes that a dose of humour can refresh, recharge and ignite creativity in your team, helping to remove the feeling of being on an endless cycle like a hamster wheel.
Laughter is the best medicine
“Humour is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity in today’s overworked, overstimulated world,” says Vandad. “Using humour in your leadership and communication style has been proven to reduce stress and prevent burnout long-term.” He also says that leaders who use humour get paid bigger bonuses and find that their new ideas are more easily accepted.
It has long been said that laughter is the best medicine, and given everything going on in the world today, there is no doubt that everyone could use a bit of additional frivolity. As well as lightening the mood, laughter is believed to strengthen your immune system, diminish pain and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. It has also been said that it lightens your burdens, inspires hope and connects people, keeping you grounded, focused and alert.
Humour has a raft of health benefits
“Engaging in humour is effectively a way of sharing your point of view,” says Andrew Tarvin, founder of Humor that Works. “Everyone has their own perspective and sharing it is a way to connect.” Furthermore, humour is often related to things that have happened in the past, and reflection on the past leads to more positive actions in the future.
For those who believe laughing at work is a distraction, Andrew is quick to point out that the average person spends 90,000 hours of their life working and so enjoying some of that time – especially when there are proven health and productivity benefits, is essential. “Humour doesn’t replace the work, it is like the salt of the meal,” says Andrew. “It makes people more engaged and productive.”
Humour helps us see the positive
Laughter also unites people during difficult times. “Incorporating humour and laughter into our daily lives forces us to see the positive in challenging times,” says Vandad. “People who have a ‘how can I make this funny?’ perspective are generally happier, and their joy attracts and unites others.”
So, whether you’re an aspiring stand-up comedian, or simply someone who is good at retelling stories or acting out events, let’s remember that laughter not only lifts our moods, but also increases productivity. It’s a win-win for all
by Algida Gaidyte
If you don't know much about the recruitment industry, it can appear very cloak and dagger. We're sorry to burst your bubble, but it's...
If you don't know much about the recruitment industry, it can appear very cloak and dagger. We're sorry to burst your bubble, but it's not nearly as exciting or scandalous as people make it out to be.
People hear the word "headhunter" or "external recruiter" and immediately take a defensive stance. Yet HR professionals, especially with today's shortage of skilled workers, often rely on the expert knowledge of external recruiters to find suitable candidates for niche vacancies.
We pride ourselves on the level of care we have for our candidates and clients, besides, nothing on earth matches the feeling of placing an all-star candidate into their dream role.
In the IT industry, candidates with expert knowledge and skills are needed. Specialist IT recruitment consultants can help, yet the negative stigma surrounding recruiters can make this difficult. So what common ideas about recruiters are true, and which are myths?
Initially, applicants might be unsure whether they want to put their job search in the hands of a recruiter and whether they can trust them – the same can be said for organisations looking to hire. Recruiters are often met with statements such as "we don't need that", "we have our internal recruiter" or even "we already have enough applicants". So where does this initial rejection come from? Below are some of the common misconceptions that we hear about the recruitment industry…
1. ... only work with established companies on management roles.
This isn’t true. Time is money, both companies and applicants know that. The selection process - from the initial selection to the interviews - takes time. Not only large companies, but SMEs can benefit from the network and talent pools of recruitment agencies. Recruiters have already established relationships with decision-makers at a variety of companies and organisations, which makes it easier for candidates to get their applications seen and heard.
2. ... take a cut of your salary.
This is wrong! The candidates' salary remains untouched, nor is it lowered to compensate for the cost of the recruiter. In fact, recruiters often help candidates negotiate a better salary. Many people simply can't believe it, but it's true - for candidates, working with recruitment agencies is completely free of charge.
3. ... have no idea about the job they’re recruiting in.
More often than not, recruiters specialise in a niche industry that they spend years learning about. At Franklin Fitch, our consultants have in-depth tech and IT training that equips them with the skills needed to fully understand the job spec that they’re hiring for. Our teams stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and developments, which furthers their knowledge and understanding of the IT industry.
4. ... work only to get commission.
Some recruitment agencies indeed work on a commission basis, but that doesn’t mean that money is their only motivator. The goal of every consultant is a long-term partnership with their clients, which can only be achieved after a first-class service has been provided. Adding true value to your client’s team through an excellent hire will foster a solid, long-term relationship. The same applies to the candidates - the satisfaction of all parties is essential for success.
5. ... approach candidates from other companies.
Due to the scarcity of skilled workers in the technology industry, it can be difficult to find qualified individuals for vacant positions. To ensure the best possible shortlist for their client, recruiters often headhunt candidates who are already employed. However, it’s up to the candidate to decide whether or not to apply for the new position. Let's put it this way - recruitment consultants enable further career development and training opportunities for their candidates.
6. ... take forever to get back to you.
This shouldn’t happen, but depending on the company and its application process, it can occur. Rule of thumb: the larger the company, the longer takes the application process. Recruiters keep in touch with their candidates throughout the process and keep them updated on their current application status.
If a candidate has great skills and would be an asset to our clients, even if they aren’t right for the particular role they’ve applied for, we’ll always want to keep in touch in case a similar opportunity opens up.
7. …poach back candidates from where they’ve placed them before.
Although we like to stay in touch with our candidates, the idea of attempting to take them from a position we've just placed them in is absolutely ridiculous to us. At the end of the day, candidates who stay with our clients for an extended period of time and accomplish great things for their company leave a lasting positive impression of us as a recruitment firm.
It means that the fee that the client paid was well worth the investment, plus it's actually harder for us to try and place a candidate who is seen to be a "job hopper". So the logic behind this way of working just doesn't add up, and any recruiter attempting to poach their candidates back is, to put it mildly, foolish.
8. …don’t work for free.
This is a very common misconception, and we wish people would simply ask us about it. To begin with, our services are always completely free to the candidate; as a jobseeker, you would not have to pay us anything.
Our fees are paid by the client only after we have found the right person for the job and they have begun in their new role. Furthermore, as an added layer of protection for the client, we have a rebate period during which if the newly placed candidate leaves or is deemed unsuitable for the job, we do not receive our fee.
Furthermore, as salespeople, we love to try to negotiate, so we'll frequently throw in extras like competitor research or market and skills reports to increase our chances of finding the ideal candidate.
9. …are ridiculously expensive full stop.
True, we do charge a fee from our clients when we place a candidate, but those fees are extremely flexible. We'll always be fair on cost and try to give the best deal wherever possible, especially if you're looking to fill a large number of vacancies or if you choose to be an exclusive client because retaining great relationships is more important to us than getting a big payout.
Also, have you considered how much a bad hire can cost you? It could end up costing you twice as much as a recruiter's fee in training, holiday and sick pay, and salary.
10. …will just send out any CV for roles with their clients.
Any recruitment consultant who is competent will understand that sending clients candidates who aren't a good fit or aren't interested in the role serves no purpose.
People believe that recruiters simply advertise vacancies and send anyone who applies to the client for review; however, this could not be further from the truth. We actually vet each and every candidate to ensure they are qualified for the position and would be a good cultural fit for the company. It all comes down to quality!
We hope this clarified the most common misunderstandings about recruitment. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!
by Simon Nicholls
One of the biggest issues that organisations today must deal with is cyber risk. The Global Risks Report 2022 from the World Economic Forum...
One of the biggest issues that organisations today must deal with is cyber risk. The Global Risks Report 2022 from the World Economic Forum demonstrates how rising digital dependence and digital transformation have increased cyber threats. However, according to the survey, cybersecurity failure is still seen as a serious short-term risk, and high-value organizations frequently experience breaches that have a major negative impact on their performance.
According to a recent Acronis report, 80% of businesses experienced a cybersecurity breach in the past year, up from 68% the year before. The high levels of danger now exist are demonstrated by the fact that 9% of the businesses experienced at least one cyberattack every hour. This shows that businesses are becoming more open to cyber-attacks, yet most are not prepared to defend themselves in a way that keeps up with the more sophisticated attackers.
In the upcoming years, it is anticipated that the number of cyberthreats to businesses will continue to increase. Today, cybersecurity is an essential part of an organization's business plan to guarantee data privacy and prevent the expense of reacting to a cyber-attack.
Even though IT security is a vital part of a security strategy, employees are one of any organization's most vulnerable areas. Employees are on the front lines of the battle against cyber risks as a result of the focus of many cybercriminals on assaulting individuals through malware, phishing, and other scam activities.
Fostering a cybersecurity culture can outlast individual turnover and isolated occurrences and can provide a stronger front against cyber threats than any one policy or process. By integrating cybersecurity into organisational processes and practises and keeping an open conversation, you may develop a cybersecurity culture.
Analyze the culture and determine the current state of organisational security. Recognize the strategy for dealing with audit results, the top technology and security priorities, and any metrics in place for tracking development. Additionally, be aware of behaviours that could increase risk, like as BYOD rules, international travel, unencrypted communication (such instant messaging), data storage on personal devices, unconventional computer setups, and usage of unapproved software.
Outline the mission
Establish what constitutes security and technological achievement before settling on specifics. To make it easier to communicate, turn the mission into an "elevator pitch." When the company succeeds, it should be celebrated to reinforce the importance of security and to solidify the culture.
Win employee support
Headline-making breaches may not feel applicable to all departments. Earn employee support with department-level conversations about the impact of cyber threats to ensure staff realize the value of security and aren’t tempted to circumvent processes.
Define roles and expectations
Remove uncertainty with a thorough plan that outlines roles, objectives, and duties for departments in the event of a cyber-attack. By adding other departments, you can broaden the scope of who is responsible for promoting security outside the IT security team. Build trust that, in the event of a mistake, firm security professionals will come up with solutions, provide assistance, and avoid taking the responsibility.
Invest in training
Expect the IT department to regularly train personnel on attacks and the resulting areas to watch. Clearly express all cybersecurity policies and guidelines. A consistent onboarding programme for new hires should also be in place. These issues, ought to be on the agenda:
Lean on an outside party to handle training if internal resources aren’t available.
Create a conversation
Similar to any culture, story is frequently its basis. Discuss cybersecurity constantly, drawing lessons from news about the topic, and keep staff members up to date on best practises. Regular training sessions, forums, or newsletters can all offer regular forums for cybersecurity discussion. Encourage a question-friendly climate, and make sure staff members are aware of whom to ask. Equally crucial: check to see if the response contains a lot of jargon.
Employees with the skills and knowledge to take action will embrace personal responsibility for supporting security in an organisation with a strong cybersecurity culture. Employees may even actively defend the company as they become more aware of cybersecurity procedures thanks to this collective approach, which transforms them from risk factors to security advocates. A preventative approach will undoubtedly pay off for both individuals and corporations given the escalating costs of cybercrime.
by Dafydd Kevis
To say that cloud adoption has been accelerating might be an understatement. Enterprises want the speed, agility, simplicity, and lower...
To say that cloud adoption has been accelerating might be an understatement. Enterprises want the speed, agility, simplicity, and lower costs that the cloud offers. The days of running a costly data center are long gone.
Despite the fact that IT managers appreciate the benefits of the cloud, surveys reveal that a genuine concern for many businesses is vendor lock-in—being forced to stay with a vendor who no longer meets their needs. And with each passing year, this anxiety increases, which can prevent you from moving with the agility and quickness you need to succeed.
What is the greatest method to alleviate these concerns? Implementing a multi-cloud approach.
Businesses used a variety of database providers even before the cloud was established. This approach is nothing new; we are simply transferring it to the cloud.
There's a good chance that your company already employs cloud computing for IT infrastructure updates, automation, cybersecurity, and other functions. However, you are not required to choose a certain cloud server or provider. In fact, you can use multi-cloud solutions for your business and benefit from them for years to come.
Nevertheless, implementing and optimising many clouds can be challenging, especially if you don't have a strategy in place beforehand. Let's examine a straightforward yet efficient three-step process for moving to several clouds today to avoid severe issues.
Step One: Map Your Cloud Zoning Policy
Create a map of your cloud zoning strategy and plan as your first significant step. In a word, the cloud zoning decisions you make can affect your obligations, expenses, and even how well the multi-cloud configuration will ultimately work.
The processes and apps that will operate on each specific cloud server or provider are mapped out as part of your cloud architecture. In essence, you choose what must run on numerous clouds at once, what data must be transferred between clouds, and what applications are locked into one cloud.
Want an example? A cloud zoning policy may specify whether you should maintain your data analytics and web browsing on the same cloud servers or with different cloud providers.
Regardless of whether you put everything up yourself or use a service, you should outline your cloud zoning rules. In the latter situation, providing a read-to-go zoning map will facilitate the service's work and reduce the likelihood of errors and/or hiccups.
How to Determine Optimal Cloud Zoning
It can be challenging to determine how to best utilise cloud zoning. Identifying your specific areas of focus is the most effective approach to do this. Instead, think about how your multi-cloud approach will actually benefit your company.
Say you want to ensure that your service is always available for your customers or visitors, even in the event of a service interruption or a data breach. In this situation, you can configure your cloud zoning strategy to distribute the data load evenly among several clouds at once.
Or, say you want to guarantee that your users are accessible worldwide, 365 days a year. In that situation, you can configure your cloud zoning regulations to ensure that users can access your information or websites whenever they want from any location in the world.
In essence, decide what is most important to your business and what you want from multi-cloud optimization, then zone your cloud apps and rules in accordance.
Step Two: Architect the Multi-Cloud Environment
The multi-cloud environment's architecture is the next crucial step. This entails taking a close look at the environment's high-level design and building a solid base for multi-cloud servers.
At this point, you should at least have a rough understanding of how your company will expand and how the multi-cloud architecture will help it meet its resource requirements. You must be aware of:
• The locations where your apps for data science and machine learning should be
• The market that your product application targets
• The location of your data warehousing
• Location of the cloud security server
• How each of those processes develops in conjunction with the others
Cloud-agnostic projects and apps don't need to be portable; instead, they can rely on managed services or proprietary IT infrastructure from your company. You need to identify these projects and apps during the architecture phase of a multi-cloud setup.
How to Set Up an Ideal Multi-Cloud Environment
You should adopt a flexible and containerized approach to get the most out of a multi-cloud environment. This not only saves money but also enables you to configure your multi-cloud system as adaptable as possible.
You may collaborate with almost any infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider if you construct or plan your multi-cloud architecture so that it is flexible and containerized. As a result, you are free to choose between different cloud hosts or service providers as needed, depending on your budget or other considerations.
Make sure you conduct extensive forecasting to achieve this. You need to determine how much data storage you'll need for computing, how many databases use your business will need, how many computer nodes you'll probably need, and so on.
Additionally, containerization in a multi-cloud setup makes it less likely for other servers or processes to fail as a result of a ripple effect if one goes down.
Step Three: Prep for Contracts and Forecast Costs
Taking care of the financial side of the multi-cloud transition for your company is the final phase. Along with projecting expenditures, you need to get ready for contracts and commitments. Forecasting is essential during this stage because you'll be choosing different cloud services and getting ready for contracts.
As a result, you need to be aware of how flexible your budget is in comparison to your infrastructure needs. You must specifically match the costs to each multi-cloud forecast and create a budget for your total resource and financial consumption. Basically, you should be aware of:
If your response to the third question is "no," you might need to choose a more reasonably priced option or change the design and zoning rules of your multi-cloud system. You won't encounter a crisis scenario where you already have your multi-caught environment up and operating but can't pay for it, requiring you to scurry as a result, if you project costs in advance.
Minimize Commitment Risk
Fortunately, there are strategies to reduce commitment risk and prevent financial catastrophes. You can, for instance, use variable commitment alternatives like those offered by AWS or commitment buy-back guarantees. These include computer savings schemes, which have relatively low savings rates and use cloud resources globally.
Of course, you can and should also exercise very rigorous budgeting and accounting. You'll have a better idea of how much money and other resources you really need once you make sure that your commitment costs and savings are attributed to the correct services, server resources, applications, etc. This will help you avoid overcommitting to a provider who is too expensive and giving them an unreasonable amount of money.
When you carefully arrange your application migrations between various providers, you can further reduce the risk of commitment. Budgetary expenditures may rise sharply if moving programs and data between providers takes longer than expected or encounters unforeseen difficulties. As a result, you must ensure that your migrations are simple and rapid, or that a cloud service provider gives assistance during this time (possibly as part of a deal to get you to sign with them in the first place).
As you can see, switching your business to many clouds just takes a few months. Even if you flawlessly execute the aforementioned processes, keep in mind that your commitments, performance, and prices won't be optimised to their fullest extent. However, with the correct planning and preparation, you can position your business for long-term success and the advantages of using several clouds.
You will receive more help and support throughout this process from the correct cloud services provider, and you will be able to utilise the extra resources swiftly and simply from a multi-cloud configuration.
by Dominik Bart
According to a report published by Dell Technologies and authored by the Institute For The Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business...
According to a report published by Dell Technologies and authored by the Institute For The Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business and academic experts from around the world, states that 85 per cent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven't even been invented yet.
"The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn 'in the moment' using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable than the knowledge itself," Dell Technologies said in the report Given the rapid pace of change in the workplace, particularly when we consider all of the things that have changed over the last ten years, such as social media, artificial intelligence, and automation, it, it doesn’t seem an unlikely statistic.
The work human beings do will continue to shift as some jobs become obsolete and new jobs emerge as technological advancement will replace outdated positions and produce new ones that combine human and machine collaboration. Moreover, the expertise and skill set we'll require in the future varies greatly from those we currently require. Soft skills will grow in importance as the demand for the thing’s machines can’t do continues to increase. However, the ability to understand and work confidently with technology will still be critical.
With that in mind, here are four digital skills you need to cultivate to thrive in the new world of work:
Digital Literally refers to the abilities required to learn, function, and get around in an increasingly digital world. We are able to interact with technology effortlessly and confidently when we possess digital literacy skills. This entails abilities like:
● Keeping on top of emerging new technologies
● Understanding what tech is available and how it can be used
● Using digital devices, software, and applications – at work, in educational settings, and in our everyday lives
● Communicating, collaborating, and sharing information with other people using digital tools
● Staying safe and secure in a digital environment
The fourth industrial revolution, which is presently underway, is characterised by numerous waves of new technologies that merge the digital and physical worlds. Consider the abundance of "smart" everyday items like watches and internet-connected thermostats that are available on the market.
Data literacy is one of the crucial talents we'll need in the future because all of that new technology is based on data.
A fundamental understanding of the significance of data and how to transform it into insights and value is known as data literacy. You'll need to be able to access the right data, work with it, interpret the results, share your findings with others, and, if required, challenge the data in a business setting.
Today, "technical talents" encompasses a wide range of abilities; future employers won't just require IT and engineering expertise. A wide range of technical abilities remain of utmost value even as the nature of work changes and processes become more automated.
Technical skills are essentially the practical or physical abilities required to do a task successfully. Although it is true that coding, AI, data science, and IT skills are in high demand, there is a far wider market for these skills. Being a plumber requires technical expertise. The same is true for truck drivers, nurses, carpenters, and project managers.
As new technologies emerge, we will require increasingly specialised technical skills in every business. As a result, you should be ready to constantly learn and concentrate on your professional development through a combination of formal education, training, and on-the-job training.
Digital Threat Awareness
The world is becoming increasingly digital, and cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and smarter This implies brand-new dangers that could significantly affect both our personal and professional lives.
Digital threat awareness refers to being aware of the risks associated with utilising digital devices and the internet, as well as having the tools necessary to protect your company and yourself.
Our digital fingerprints are bigger than ever since so many of our activities—from scheduling doctor visits to placing takeaway orders on Friday nights—take place online.
Digital threat awareness means understanding the biggest threats in our everyday lives, including:
● Digital addiction
● Online privacy and protecting your data
● Password protection
● Digital impersonation
● Data breaches
● Malware, ransomware, and IoT attacks
In order to reduce the dangers posed by these cybersecurity threats, we should all strive to have healthy relationships with technology and educate people on how to get the most of technology without letting it take over our lives.
by Anthony Ham
The lack of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry is a widely acknowledged problem. Companies listened, and were soon hiring with an...
The lack of diversity and inclusion in the tech industry is a widely acknowledged problem. Companies listened, and were soon hiring with an increasingly inclusive mindset, becoming aware of the issues such as unconscious bias and the benefits of a varied workforce. But neurodivergent individuals are still often overlooked when compared to other minority groups, and this issue exists across multiple conditions and on a global scale.
The benefits of hiring a neurodivergent workforce are clear. However, many such individuals are often unintentionally disadvantaged by traditional recruitment methods, where processes favour neurotypical candidates and neurominorities are automatically screened out.
With a shortage of skilled workers and a lack of awareness of neurodiversity in many cases, we thought we’d speak to someone with first-hand experience of living and working with autism.
Finding qualified and adequately skilled tech workers remains a major challenge for the industry. According to a report released by CodinGame and CoderPad, nearly half of tech recruiters are having difficulty finding qualified candidates. According to the same report, 'candidate experience during the hiring process' will be a priority for tech recruiters in 2022 in order to attract the best talent in a candidate-driven market. However, not all candidates will be the same and the hiring process needs to be adapted in order to accommodate neurodiverse candidates. If hiring managers don't the right information or tools to support them at the interview stage resulting in missing out on their talent.
Expanding the talent pool, eliminating the stigma and negative preconceptions surrounding neurodivergent candidates, and considering how neurodiverse individuals could thrive in tech roles are some of the solutions to the current tech hiring challenges.
One of the solutions to combating the current tech hiring challenges is expanding the talent pool, eliminating the stigma and negative pre-conceptions surrounding neurodivergent candidates and considering how neurodiverse individuals could thrive in tech roles.
According to the CIPD Neurodiversity at Work report, when planning an interview with a neurodiverse candidate, you should consider the entire end-to-end interview process and tailoring your current interview process to support their needs. This could include providing clear directions to the interview (or assessment) location (preferably with visual cues) as well as more specific details on what to expect in the interview - including who they will meet, the length and format of the interview, and selecting a suitable quiet space free of distractions.
Peter is an IT Engineer who we recently worked with and we asked him about his job search experience throughout his career and he described it as “troubling”.
He said that from the minute someone found out he was autistic that they tried to find a way out of hiring him by saying he wouldn’t fit or was under- or over-qualified for the job.
“Autism is not understood and is a four-letter word to most MSPs. A lot of companies have a lack of understanding and training on all forms of neurological disorders.”, Peter says, “Lots of people [with autism] slink to the shadows, as they don’t want to cause a fuss.”
Peter mentions that helpdesk work isn’t the easiest, it’s “a constant barrage, hence people with disabilities struggle”, he says, although also adds that this doesn’t mean that they are not able to do the job. Peter suggests it’s about “learning what the triggers are and putting things in place to help them, like a 10-minute rest break”.
Accommodating neurodiversity in the workplace
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to neurodiversity, there are some general inclusivity measures and practises you can implement to ensure that your entire workforce or team's patterns of thinking, feeling, working, and collaborating are accommodated.
1. Implementing supportive technology
Interruptions, notifications, and other distractions can have a negative impact on focus and concentration for many neurodiverse people. It can be difficult to complete a task when you are forced to switch between tasks, projects, clients, or products in rapid succession.
Allowing your team to turn off notifications while working on a task and being accommodating to longer response times will help neurodiverse members of your team comfortably complete their work and respond to notifications when they can fully answer them.
If your team struggles with project or time management, implementing intuitive workflow applications will help them keep track of their tasks, see their priority level, and complete them on time. Trello, Teams Planner, and Basecamp are some examples of useful platforms.
2. Having a patient and accommodating attitude
Some neurodiverse people find sensory stimulation difficult, which can affect how they process information. Some meeting formats, such as group discussions, may not be as accommodating to people who find it difficult to process multiple voices expressing different ideas. Understanding this and encouraging your team to process information in the way that they prefer (whether through note-taking apps, visualisation, or mind mapping) will help.
Understanding that some people may struggle with the social complexities and unwritten facial cues of conversation will also go a long way towards assisting neurodiverse people. Again, because there is a wide range of how neurodiversity affects a person's social skills, some people 'socially masked,' others struggle with eye contact, and some can fit in anywhere, being sensitive to someone's level of comfort or discomfort will help them feel they have a place in your team regardless.
3. Educate yourself and your team with neurodiversity training
Neurodiversity training can help ensure that your company is truly hiring and operating with diversity at its core. It can help your hiring managers understand how unconscious bias can emerge when interviewing neurodiverse candidates (for example, making a snap judgement about a candidate who isn't making eye contact), how the social aspects of onboarding and 'breaking the ice' with small talk can cause anxiety for some, and much more.
Neurodiversity training will aid your future recruiting efforts while also ensuring that your current workforce is supported by empathic and supportive processes and systems.
The technology industry is made up of numerous diverse roles, from developers, cyber security experts, IT managers to software engineers plus many more. All of which can benefit from the skills possessed by many neurodiverse candidates.
With differences in thinking, neurodiverse people can bring alternative perspectives that may not have been explored before. It’s critical that businesses continue to prioritise cognitive diversity in their workforce, as every individual brings unique knowledge, experiences, and skills to the table and can help drive progress in technological innovation.
Peter, like so many others, is convinced that neurodiverse people have a lot to offer to the IT Industry:
“People who are neurodiverse have a wealth of talent for the IT industry. It’s a shame most people don’t trust them. We think like computers. Input and output, from completing simple tasks over and over again to tackling bigger tasks with lots of components. For example, I’m praised a lot for my out ‘of the box’ thinking.”
When it comes to attracting and hiring neurodiverse talent, Peter thinks recruiters and employers should simply “be kind, be honest […] and don’t treat us like a number or a statistic. Treat people as humans.”
Some companies might still need a gentle push in the right direction but “all in all it’s worth it, and your company will have a better reputation”, Peter continues. Recruiters could “be changing the world one company at a time, that’s what I’m doing with my own story. I, for one, am happy to answer any questions and will happily talk to teams to help.”
Diversity & Inclusion aren’t always easy to achieve, but we’re hoping to help by raising awareness, helping to educate people on the matter, tackling biases, and giving people a voice and a platform to share their story.
What are some of the most common soft skills when looking for strong candidates for tech roles? Job postings frequently request candidates who can think outside the box, actively develop strategies, new approaches, and so on.
These are frequently skills in which neurodiverse people excel. Of course, it's important to consider the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce.
It is a good idea to think about diversifying your workforce and introducing neurodiverse workers. Nobody should be denied a meaningful career because of the way their brain is wired.
Furthermore, neurodiversity should not be exploited for financial gain. Instead of simply hiring someone because you believe their brain wiring will allow you to make more money, it is critical to highlight, support, and develop systems that allow neurodiverse people to thrive.
We’d like to thank Peter very much for taking the time and sharing his thoughts with us, we wish him all the best in his new job and hope to stay in touch!
If you’d like to know more about hiring neurodiverse talent, feel free to get in touch and we can point you in the right direction.
by Dominique Lianos
While diversity, equity, and inclusion have come a long way, there is still a long way to go before women's professional achievements are valued...
While diversity, equity, and inclusion have come a long way, there is still a long way to go before women's professional achievements are valued equally with those of males. How can we enable women to achieve workplace gender equality?
According to the World Economic Forum, it will take 132 years to close the gender gap at the current rate. The pay difference between men and women over the world is about 57%. In some circumstances, this is because men and women perform the same jobs but are paid differently.
It's not always that easy, though. According to a survey from the World Economic Forum, women are more likely than males to work in professions that pay less. In highly compensated industries like finance and technology, men still predominate. Only 22% of managerial roles are now held by women globally. This occurs frequently because the current system penalises women who leave their careers to have children.
Women are given more career control when they are empowered in the workplace. You may secure their professional growth, which is crucial for developing long-term employees, by investing in training, mentoring, equality programmes, educational grants, and promotion into senior-level jobs.
Why empower women in the workplace?
Why is female empowerment so important? Why do we even need to bother? The quick response is that female empowerment gives women the resources they need to be in charge of their own life. As a result, women can realise their full potential, which benefits the entire planet. This implies that people can support economies, offer their skills to the workforce, and assist establish more stable job markets. Not to mention that having women on boards gives organisations access to a wider range of perspectives and ideas.
Amplify Women’s Voices
One of the most important methods to empower women is to guarantee that their views are heard in meetings and that they are given credit for their ideas. Start by giving women a seat at the table and a voice. If a woman has an excellent idea, support her and see to it that she receives credit rather than allowing another person to do so. This occurs most frequently in industries like technology where males have the majority of the authority and women are underrepresented.
Other workers need to make sure that women have a legitimate platform and devoted airtime in order to prevent these scenarios. There are strategies everyone can apply to avoid stealing ideas from women in group discussions. For instance, give credit to the author of the concept whenever you discuss it (even if it inspired a new idea of your own). Ensuring that everyone’s voice is amplified is a team effort and requires always having each other’s backs even if you don’t agree with everything that is said.
Remind Women that they are Valued
Women frequently feel scared to express their thoughts in environments where men predominate, for fear of coming out as overly frank. The inverse is also true, when they might attempt to pass for "one of the guys" in order to have their opinions heard.
Reminding women that they are valued for who they are and that you recruited them because of their special viewpoint, talents, commitment, and hard work ethic is crucial. Even while it might seem apparent to you, until you are in someone else's position, you cannot truly understand how they are feeling. You don't know how a coworker inwardly responds to situations or what they have personally experienced, even if you are also a female employee. So, do your best to be compassionate and honest with how you feel about every woman’s performance.
There are numerous ways that your company can put these values into practise. Training in bias awareness is the initial stage because until you address your actions, you won't know what you're doing incorrectly. The next step is to encourage a secure environment where everyone feels free to express their issues and challenges and knows where to find support. Promote specific training or activities for women, such as focus/support groups, public speaking competitions, and negotiations. All minorities should ideally be given access to these chances so that everyone can feel free to succeed at work as an expression of who they are.
Create Equal Pay
Even after the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970, equal pay remains one of the largest problems with gender disparity. According to this law, all employees are entitled to equal pay for equally valuable work. However, the UN estimated that as of 2020, women continue to earn about 84 percent of what males do. The gender wage gap is still a problem because this figure is considerably lower for women of colour, women who are immigrants, and women who are mothers.
Equal pay for equal work is not only the law, but it also has advantages for your company. Women who receive equal pay are more likely to believe that their work is appreciated equally with that of their male coworkers.. This may also inspire female workers, boosting production and efficiency for your company.
Employers must make sure that men and women performing the same positions are putting in the same amount of labour in order to guarantee true pay equality. Because women are frequently held to greater standards than males, wages may not actually be equal. This is due to the fact that women may prove themselves by completing twice as much labour for the same pay. Pay equity audits are one easy method businesses can fix this. Keep an eye out for differences in pay rates. Then, regardless of an employee's gender or ethnicity, make sure that all employees with comparable experience in a similar function are paid equally to their counterparts.
Anyone who wants to build enduring relationships and move up the corporate ladder must be extremely adept at networking. However, for many women, networking can be crucial for surviving and moving up the corporate ladder. A vital, encouraging environment can be created by establishing a network where women can communicate with one another. This can make women feel comfortable talking about problems like equality and gender difficulties at work.
Women can share ideas and advise on how to advance in their careers through professional networks. Additionally, it can assist women in locating qualified mentors in their areas who can aid them in developing their skills. Male allies have the chance to propose qualified female coworkers or friends for positions by networking. As a result, when you post job openings, more women might apply, giving you a bigger pool of prospects to pick from.
Utilise Mentorship Schemes
Similar to networking, mentorship programmes help women develop the skills necessary for career advancement. Through a female mentor, women can be assisted in developing their knowledge and experience, which can boost both the mentor and mentee's confidence. Women may relate to female mentors more readily than they would a male mentor. Due to the likelihood that their experiences will be similar, female mentors can serve as more effective role models for women.
Mentorship programmes can not only provide role models but also assist women in realising their value. Speaking with other women about their goals might help dispel stereotypes that many women have been subjected to since they were young, such as the notion that being strong and outspoken at work makes one angry and unpleasant.
Many businesses all over the world provide mentorship programmes and other initiatives to aid in the advancement of women in the creative industries. Examples include Chicks in Advertising, Animated Women UK, SheSays, and Code First Girls. You may give your female employees a sense of empowerment and skill development by involving them in programmes like this.
Stand up Against Discrimination
The most crucial step toward empowering women in the workplace is undoubtedly speaking out against discrimination. Women shouldn't have to worry about discrimination at work, but it's also crucial for them to know that if it does occur, it will be reported. What would you do if you overheard a blatantly sexist remark or noticed that a woman was required to put in more effort than a man in the same position? Always speak up against this discrimination should be the response to this question.
Standing up for women who face discrimination at work will make them feel appreciated and valued. Although it won't solve the problem, how prejudice is handled in the workplace says a lot. When you do speak out against discrimination, make sure to do so in a respectful and safe manner. Make sure you have management's backing if you need it.
Every employee needs to know how to deal with offensive language and prejudice. This entails following the appropriate processes as well as discussing things out (and knowing when to do which).
by Lewis Andrews
According to Gartner, Inc., enterprise IT spending on public cloud computing will surpass investment on traditional IT in various market segments in...
According to Gartner, Inc., enterprise IT spending on public cloud computing will surpass investment on traditional IT in various market segments in 2025.
Only those enterprise IT categories within the markets for application software, infrastructure software, business process services, and system infrastructure are included in Gartner's "cloud shift" research. By 2025, traditional solutions will account for only 41% of IT investment in these four areas, while 51% will have moved to the public cloud. In 2025, cloud technologies will account for over two-thirds (65.9%) of application software investment, up from 57.7% in 2022.
As organisations adjusted to a new business and social dynamic during the past two years, the transition to the cloud has further intensified as a result of COVID-19. The risk of technology and service providers becoming obsolete or, at best, being relegated to low-growth areas is increasing, according to Michael Warrilow, Research Vice President at Gartner.
Traditional products will make up 58.7% of the addressable revenue in 2022, but their growth rate will be substantially slower than that of cloud. Long-term digital transformation and modernization activities will be accelerated until 2022, which will further accelerate the migration to the cloud due to demand for integration capabilities, agile work processes, and composable architecture. Technology product managers should use the cloud shift as measure of market opportunity.
According to Gartner, the migration to the cloud will affect enterprise IT investment of more than US$ 1.3 trillion in 2022 and approximately US$ 1.8 trillion in 2025. The development of new technologies, such as distributed cloud, will amplify the ongoing disruption of the IT industry by cloud. The distinction between traditional and cloud products will increasingly become hazy.
Enterprise adoption of distributed cloud has the potential to hasten the cloud transition since it expands the addressable market by bringing public cloud services into traditionally non-cloud domains. Due to its capacity to satisfy location-specific needs including data sovereignty, low-latency, and network bandwidth, organisations are examining it.
Gartner advises technology and service providers to actively target market segments where the move to the cloud is occurring in addition to looking for new, high-growth cloud possibilities in order to benefit from it. Infrastructure-related categories, for instance, are likely to grow more quickly than enterprise applications, a segment that has a high level of cloud penetration. With their go-to-market strategies, providers should also focus on certain personas, adoption profiles, and use cases.
by Anthony Ham
Searching for candidates with the ideal mix of qualities, including a solid education, relevant work experience, and the appropriate technical skill...
Searching for candidates with the ideal mix of qualities, including a solid education, relevant work experience, and the appropriate technical skill sets and expertise, is a crucial component of an efficient hiring strategy. Another factor to consider is culture fit, which is equally vital, if not more so.
Hiring for culture fit is about bringing employees into the mix whose beliefs, behaviours, and values align with those of your organization. This is not the same as hiring people who merely share similar backgrounds and experiences. It’s essential to include diversity while hiring for culture fit because different perspectives and experiences will help your company improve and scale.
Finding someone who shares the same outlook and attitude as his or her possible co-workers is a key component of determining whether a candidate is a good cultural match while conducting an interview.
Why Does Company Culture Matter?
Establishing a solid culture that you can promote to candidates right away provides potential employees an idea of what it's like to work for your company. Before wasting any more of either party's time, they can search elsewhere if they don't think they would perform well in that environment.
A applicant who isn't a good fit might end up going through the full process and being hired if your hiring procedure doesn't take your culture into consideration, simply because neither party was aware of the mismatch. A strong business culture that can be effectively articulated to candidates should be an essential component of your hiring strategy given the high cost of staff turnover.
Your company culture not only aids in bringing in new talent but also aids in keeping the talent you already have happy and working for you rather than leaving for the competition. One of the primary causes of job satisfaction and employee engagement is a happy, healthy workplace, which is why your hiring strategy should include a focus on cultural fit.
The best talent may be attracted by fantastic salary and benefits, but it takes much more to keep them for the long run. Your staff members will be more devoted and enthusiastic about supporting the accomplishment of your corporate objectives when they perceive that they matter to you and are genuinely invested in your company.
Why Culture Fit Should Be Included in Your Hiring Strategy
Here are some of the most important reasons your company can benefit from emphasising culture fit in your hiring approach.
Increased Employee Satisfaction
Employee happiness increases productivity, engagement, and drive for achievement.. That's a critical combination in any industry, where employees are entrusted with your company's health. In an ideal world, who wouldn't want to enjoy going to work every day?
Workers are eager to take on new challenges and responsibilities when they feel like they belong. Their willingness to go above and above helps the entire team. The result? High-level performance from your employees.
Employee turnover is expensive. People remain in positions they enjoy. Happy workers are 12 percent more productive at work and have a stronger sense of ownership over the long-term success of the business. They want to remain and continue to fulfil their roles.
Lower Stress Levels
Lack of a cultural fit for a job is a major contributor to workplace stress, which can be reduced by aligning the values of the organisation with the employees. Stress can damage relationships between coworkers and prevents employees from performing their jobs effectively. Be aware of how new recruits will affect (and be affected by) existing dynamics because cohesive teams produce more.
Everyday participation at work shouldn't make employees dread it. Employees identify with the company's success and contribute to the broader purpose and goals of the firm if they perceive themselves as valuable team members. If they feel accountable to both their company and their coworkers, they are less likely to leave. Excellent hires infuse their teams with fresh energy, inspiring creativity and innovation and igniting motivation.
The Wrong Cultural Fit in the Workplace is Bad for Business
Customer care suffers when you hire someone who doesn't fit your culture; this effect extends beyond management and other employees. An entire office's morale can be negatively impacted by one employee, which increases the risk of poor performance.
Maintaining the good name of your business depends on hiring for cultural fit. Dissatisfied cultural fits frequently become disengaged at work. You can save money in the long run by weeding out candidates who don't fit your culture throughout the recruitment process.
The culture and objectives of your organisation cannot be taught to someone. However, you may ensure the success of your company and the pillar of your fundamental values by hiring the best applicant.
It is obvious that finding the correct cultural fit for your company can have a good influence in a variety of ways.
How To Hire For Culture Fit
After learning how crucial company culture is and how a poor match can damage your entire organisation, you may be asking yourself, "How can I prevent these issues? How am I meant to determine whether a candidate will fit into my culture before they have even started working for me?
There are a few things you may do to gain some understanding before making a further investment, even if there is no perfect way to ascertain a candidate's genuine attitude and personality before you contact with them on a daily basis. Although it's not impossible, it does require a little more time and money up front, but in the long term, it will be well worth it. Pay attention to these pointers while hiring for culture fit:
Clearly Define your Company Culture and Values
Clearly defining your vision and values is the first step in making sure a prospective hiring is compatible with your company culture. Obtain buy-in from the entire organisation and document your corporate culture in your employee handbook so that it is constantly accessible.
Reference your Company Culture and Values in Job Description
Make sure your job postings mention your culture and utilise language consistent with company values right from the start. Candidates should know after reading your job description whether they would fit in with your workplace and should apply or not.
During the interview process, talk about these principles and what it really means to be a member of your company's culture.
Be open and honest about the environment that exists at work every day. Inform potential hires about any cultural efforts your team members can take part in and how they help to create a positive, healthy work environment. Examples include a business wellness programme or regular social outings.
Ask Culture Fit interview Questions
To find out if their responses are consistent with your values, ask candidates "How would you manage yourself if presented with XYZ ethical challenge" or "How would you treat a fellow employee in XYZ situation" during interviews in order to identify if their mindset would align with the businesses.
Get to know Potential Candidates on a more Personal Level
In a formal interview situation, it might be challenging to evaluate someone's personality and moral character. Before spending money on hiring a top prospect, take them out for lunch, coffee, or to a company-wide social function to evaluate how they get along with other team members.
Focus on Company Culture During Onboarding
While onboarding should go over processes and daily job duties, it is also the perfect opportunity to discuss your corporate culture. Don't assume that your new hires are aware of your company's principles or how you expect them to conduct themselves and treat others; instead, be sure to clarify everything to them before they begin working in their new position.
Check-in with New Hires
To make sure your new hires feel like they are integrating into your culture and are at ease in your workplace environment, check in with them at the end of their first day, week, and month. If there is an issue, it may ideally be dealt with immediately this way rather than escalating or spreading.
An important factor in determining a company's success is its culture. It is essential for enhancing productivity, performance, and employee engagement. Employees that feel more a part of their workplace are happier, have higher levels of job satisfaction, are more devoted, work more, and are more likely to stick with their organisation. Cultural compatibility is crucial for this reason.
by Matthew Bell
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an important aspect of the future. These days, it seems to be a topic that everyone is thinking about....
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an important aspect of the future. These days, it seems to be a topic that everyone is thinking about. Although this significant trend in technological advancement has been known to us for some time, we have recently noted that AI is becoming one of the most sought-after specialties among job seekers.
A decade ago, AI technology appeared like something out of science fiction; today, we unknowingly employ it in everyday activities like automation, facial and speech recognition, and intelligence research. According to data, during the past four years, the use of AI in several commercial areas has increased by 270 %.
The demand for artificial intelligence is being driven by the expansion of automation, 5G, databases, cloud computing, and a number of other factors. It is projected that AI's inclusion into cybersecurity services would be driven by its capacity to detect cyber risks.
But what will AI mean for the future of work? As computers and technology have evolved, this has been one of the most pressing questions.
Before we delve into the specific ways that AI will affect the future of employment, it's critical to define AI simply. Artificial intelligence is simply "the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to accomplish tasks often associated with intelligent beings," according to a simple definition. The word "AI" has evolved to refer to any developments in computing, systems, and technology that enable computer programmes to carry out activities or address issues that call for the kind of reasoning we associate with human intelligence, even picking up from prior experiences.
The Impact of AI in Information Technology
Many fundamental problems in the IT business are now being solved and optimised by new developments brought about by the digital transformation and the adoption of AI technology by many industries. Almost all technological applications, including information technology, are centred on artificial intelligence (AI). The load on developers has been lessened by the integration of AI systems by increasing productivity, increasing efficiency, and guaranteeing quality. Previously nearly impossible, the development and deployment of IT systems on a broad scale is now feasible thanks to AI's creation of sophisticated algorithmic functions.
More Secure Systems
When it comes to protecting confidential data of any kind, including financial and personal information, data security is crucial. Large volumes of consumer and strategic data are kept in storage by both public and commercial enterprises, and they must always be kept secure. Artificial intelligence can offer the necessary level of security to build a high-security layer inside all of these systems by utilising cutting-edge algorithms and machine learning. AI will assist in identifying potential risks and data breaches while also offering the necessary precautions and solutions to prevent any system flaws.
Enhanced Coding Productivity
In addition, artificial intelligence employs a number of algorithms that can directly assist programmers in finding and fixing software issues as well as in the authoring of code. In order to help engineers write clean, bug-free code, several forms of artificial intelligence have been developed to make suggestions. This has increased efficiency and productivity. The AI system will be able to make helpful suggestions by analysing the structure of the code, which will increase productivity overall and reduce downtime during production.
The fact that much of the "legwork" can be completed with little to no human involvement is one of the main advantages of automation. IT organisations can greatly reduce the number of human hours spent on backend procedures by automating them with deep learning applications, which can provide significant cost benefits. The effectiveness of many AI-enabled techniques will also increase over time as their algorithms learn from their blunders.
Fraud detection has become considerably simpler for businesses thanks to modern technology. However, it has also increased the number of methods that fraudsters are committing fraud at the same time. For the majority of firms, identifying fraud will require a multi-layered strategy that often includes statistical data analysis and AI. Several Artificial intelligence tools are employed in the detection of fraud. One of these is machine learning, which is significantly more efficient than people at processing massive volumes of data.
Additionally, it may be made to improve over time in terms of speed and precision. By examining past data that featured comparable conditions, machine learning techniques will be able to spot patterns of fraudulent behaviour. The IT department will then use the synthesized data to take the appropriate action against these cyber criminals as well as build more effective preventive measures for the future.
Improved Quality Assurance
Using the appropriate tools during the development cycle is a key component of quality assurance. To put it another way, AI techniques can assist software engineers in using the appropriate tools to resolve various application defects and difficulties and automatically modify them throughout the development cycle.
Better Server Optimization
The hosting server is frequently inundated with millions of requests every day. When this occurs, the server must load any requested web pages from users. Some servers may become unresponsive and eventually slow down due to the constant barrage of requests. AI can assist with host service optimization to raise overall operations and customer satisfaction. AI will be employed more and more as IT needs grow, helping to meet workforce needs and facilitating a smoother transition between present business and technical operations.
Should Companies Implement AI?
Organizations can incorporate artificial intelligence into their processes in a variety of ways. To optimise the business's procedures is one of the most popular justifications. Let's take the example of using AI to automatically remind teams, clients, and departments. In addition to handling a wide range of tedious and repetitive duties that would otherwise take up a lot of people's time, it may also be used to monitor network traffic. They will then have more time and energy to devote to the more important facets of the company as a result of this.
The tailored customer experience that AI has to offer is another bonus for businesses looking to utilise it. This will cover everything from making recommendations to responding to inquiries, guiding customers toward items, and more. Businesses can also utilise AI to combine massive amounts of data, which can result in the discovery of strategic insights and business intelligence that might not have been made otherwise.
Will AI Replace IT?
One of the main reasons some businesses are hesitant to use artificial intelligence technology is that they worry that it will render a lot of employment outdated and irrelevant. These expressed worries that "robots" will replace people are not entirely unwarranted because some tasks are better performed by cutting-edge AI, especially when they call for the processing of large amounts of data.
However, when it comes to some particular tasks that require human intelligence and emotion, AI will not perform better than humans, contrary to what some people may believe. The backing of artificial intelligence by information technology is crucial for this reason. AI benefits the IT department in a variety of ways, not by replacing it.
In many areas of information technology, human input is necessary and cannot be substituted by artificial intelligence. Instead, businesses should concentrate on how IT specialists can use AI to increase their organization's overall effectiveness.
by Lauren Greene
You’re in the interview and they ask you, “why are you applying for this position?”… or “why did you apply for this...
You’re in the interview and they ask you, “why are you applying for this position?”… or “why did you apply for this job?”…Are you prepared with what you want to say?
It's one of the most straightforward interview questions, and how you respond could determine whether you get the job or not.
The employer will be able to see from your response how excited you are about the chance and what made you want the position. There are two main reasons why employers ask candidates such questions as "why did you apply for this job?" or "why are you interested in this position?" They'll check to see first if you've done your homework and are aware of what their job entails. Second, they want to know if you have considered your career and know what you want.
Focus on the position for which you are interviewing when responding to this question. Instead of expressing reservations about your current work or employer, try to focus your conversation on the prospects you see with the new employment. Confidence and professionalism will be communicated by positively structuring the dialogue.
There are a few general measures you may take while you get ready for the interview, though you should definitely develop an answer to this question that highlights your distinctive abilities and traits in relation to the position:
By preparing for this question prior to the interview, you'll be able to respond to the hiring manager's question quickly and professionally. You must first comprehend the position's responsibilities in order to formulate a response. It is a good idea to read the job description in its entirety before the interview. Will you be interacting with customers? Are you going to be in charge of accounting-related duties? This information is crucial for understanding which of your qualifications are most pertinent to the position and for effectively expressing your reasons for applying for it.
Research the Company
Be careful you read the job description and research the firm before the interview. You might express a specific interest in the position to the interviewer by demonstrating that you did your research on the organisation and its business strategy.
- The company website: Begin with the “About Us” page, and look for company press releases, blogs or social media profiles.
- Outside media coverage: Find recent news stories or press releases related to the organization.
- Personal networks: Consider reaching out to your own connections to learn about the company culture and inner workings.
Take a note of the company's values and mission statement and think about whether it is something you are or could be passionate about. When asked why you want the job, you can then talk about how you want to help them on their mission to achieve certain goals or that you are aligned with some of their core company values.
Structure your Answer
Condense and organise your response after researching the company and the job description in relation to your background. Even while writing down your response can help, you get better at it, you should be ready to speak out even if you don't have the information in front of you. Instead of memorising it, keep in mind a few important points you wish to make.
Consider including the following three pieces of information in your response while preparing your response:
- How would this job help you improve professionally?
- How does the job fit in with your long-term objectives?
- What makes this job unique?
- What about you makes you a particularly good fit for this organisation or job?
Your response should demonstrate that you read the job description in its entirety and thoughtfully considered if the employment was actually a suitable fit for you both now and in the future. Finally, it shows that you are more interested in that particular position than other comparable roles.
- 'I want this job because I have clear skills that will help me achieve...'
- ‘This role will give me the opportunity to combine both my skills in [skill 1] and [skill 2] to achieve...’
- ‘I love [job role specific task] and my last job took me away from that. So now, I’m looking to find a role that will let me get back to working on projects I really enjoy and after looking at the job spec I think this role would be perfect with that.’
You want to make sure that you are matching specific skills you have obtained to parts of the job role with these answers. This demonstrates that you have done your research and are confident in your ability to complete the job to a high standard if hired. Keep it brief because there will be plenty of other opportunities in an interview to discuss your skills and go over your CV in greater detail.
Write down any recent accomplishments or challenges you've faced recently that may be relevant to this new job. Consider how this will benefit the role, team, and company for which you are applying.
You should also demonstrate to the hiring manager that you spent time researching the position and how it relates to your career goals and specialties.
A better way to explain why you want the position
One of the keys to developing a compelling answer to the question "Why do you want to work here?" is to flip the question: "Why would this company want to hire me?"
In other words, consider what you have to offer and how you can make an impact rather than why you need the job. Here are three questions to think about as you prepare your response:
How can you help the company succeed?
Learn about what's going on in the company and its industry. Is it currently offering new products or services? What kinds of competitive pressures does it face? Consider this environment and ask yourself, "What knowledge and experience do I have that would be especially useful to this employer right now?"
What past career successes could you potentially repeat at this company?
How did you meet or exceed your employers’ expectations in previous jobs? What problems did you play a significant role in solving? What ideas did you introduce that helped the company save money or otherwise boost its bottom line? What lessons have you learned that you could apply in the future to create value for the potential employer?
How will you complement the company’s culture?
Many employers consider a candidate's ability to fit into the organisational culture to be an important hiring factor. So, research the company's culture and determine what appeals to you the most. Include, for example, if the firm encourages entrepreneurial thinking, which is important to you, in your response.
The answer to the question "Why do you want to work here?" depends on the job and the organisation — as well as you and how you want to express yourself. Understanding what employers are unlikely to want to hear is the first step in developing a meaningful response for almost any interview situation. Here are a few examples:
"To be honest, I just need a job, and this one looked promising." To be sure, this is a straightforward response. However, it does not demonstrate a genuine interest in the position or the company. Furthermore, the hiring manager may be concerned that you will leave the company for a more appealing opportunity.
"I see this as the first step towards bigger and better things." While no employer expects every employee to stay with the company for the long haul, a response like this suggests you're more concerned with the future than the present. It also implies that you've already got one foot out the door before being hired.
"I've heard that this company provides competitive pay and benefits." Any company wants to be known as an employer of choice, and leading companies understand that in order to attract top talent, they must offer competitive compensation. However, they do not want to hire people whose primary motivation for working for the company is financial gain.
End your answer with a question
Ending your response with a pertinent question for the interviewer is a great strategy to differentiate yourself from other job candidates. The interview becomes more conversational when you conclude your statement with a question. Additionally, it demonstrates that you're not afraid to seek clarification when necessary.
Consider working with a recruiter if you are currently seeking employment. See this page to learn more about how Franklin Fitch's talent solutions specialists can help you find a new job, whether you want to work remotely or on-site.
by Jasmine Ellis
Virtualization is a process of creating a virtual environment. It enables users to run different operating systems on a same computer. It creates a...
Virtualization is a process of creating a virtual environment. It enables users to run different operating systems on a same computer. It creates a virtual (rather than physical) version of an operating system, a server, or network resources. Virtualization can be considered as part of a broader trend in IT environments that will govern themselves based on perceived activity and utility computing in many organisations. The most crucial goal of virtualization is to reduce administrative tasks while improving scalability and workloads. However, virtualization can also be used to improve security.
In today's work context, virtualization offers numerous advantages. Running many workloads allows physical server resources to reach their full potential. Operating system instances are able to be divorced from the underlying hardware and move freely between several hosts in a cluster setup without causing any negative consequences.
High-availability mechanisms that were never before possible, such as the ability to restart virtual machines on a separate server if the primary host dies, are now possible. By abstracting the network from the underlying physical network switches, wiring, and other devices, virtualized networking provides many of the same benefits to network traffic.
In this article, we will see how virtualization technology is improving security by means of innovative ways security problems and challenges are being met with virtualized solutions.
Security is of Primary Concern
Organizations today are quickly recognising how critical security objectives are, regardless of the project or business activities involved. However, security is being scrutinised more than ever before, particularly with regard to technology infrastructure. Large-scale, high-profile data breaches that make significant news headlines are not the type of attention that companies want. Ransomware attacks that disrupt business-critical systems are equally alarming. Today's businesses must have a razor-sharp focus on security concerns and how to effectively address them.
With any plans to integrate new technologies or go forward with new infrastructure, security cannot be an afterthought. It must be built into the project as a required component to ensure that essential aspects of the security thought process are not overlooked. The virtualization era has altered the way businesses think about security and privacy. Many of the security boundaries that existed in the strictly physical world have been broken down because to virtualized technology.
After installing new technology, many companies consider the security concerns. Virtualization has numerous advantages, making it simple to sell in IT architectures. Virtualization can help you save money, improve business efficiency, reduce maintenance downtime without disrupting operations, and get more work done with less equipment.
The following are the few ways to minimize risk and improve security through virtualization:
Sandboxing is a security strategy that isolates running applications from untrusted third parties, vendors, and websites. It's commonly used to run untested code or programmes. Sandboxing's major purpose is to increase virtualization security by isolating an application to protect it from external malware, destructive viruses, and stopped-running apps, among other things. Put any experimental or unstable apps in a virtual machine. The remainder of the system is unaffected.
Since your application can be attacked maliciously while running in a browser, it's always a good idea to run your apps in a virtual machine. Virtualization and sandbox technology are closely related. Virtual computing provides some of the advantages of sandboxes without the high cost of a new device. The virtual machine is connected to the Internet rather than the corporate LAN, which protects the operating system and apps from viruses and other malicious threats.
Server virtualization is the process of dividing a physical server into smaller virtual servers in order to maximise resources. The physical server is divided into many virtual environments by the administrator. Hackers nowadays frequently steal official server logs. Small virtual servers can run their own operating systems and restart independently thanks to server virtualization. Stable and compromised programmes are identified and isolated using virtualized servers.
This sort of virtualization is most commonly found on web servers that offer low-cost web hosting. Server utilisation manages the complex aspects of server resources while enhancing utilisation and capacity. Furthermore, a virtualized server makes it simple to detect dangerous viruses or other harmful items while simultaneously safeguarding the server, virtual machines, and the entire network.
Network virtualization combines network hardware and software resources, as well as network functionality, into a single virtual network. Virtual networks, which use network virtualization, reduce the impact of malware on the system. Furthermore, network virtualization produces logical virtual networks from the underlying network hardware, allowing virtual environments to better integrate.
Isolation is an important feature of network virtualization. It allows end-to-end custom services to be implemented on the fly by dynamically combining various virtual networks that coexist in isolation. They share and utilise network resources received from infrastructure providers to operate those virtual networks for users.
Segmentation is another important element of network virtualization. The network is divided into subnets, which improves performance by reducing local web traffic and enhancing security by making the network's internal network structure invisible from the outside. By generating single instances of software programmes that serve many customers, network virtualization is also utilised to develop a virtualized infrastructure to fulfil complicated requirements.
This lets users to generate, change, and delete photos while also separating the desktop environment from the computer that is used to access it. Administrators may simply manage employee computers with desktop virtualization. This protects people from attacking computers with viruses or gaining illegal access.
Additionally, the user gains additional security from the guest OS image for the desktop environment. Such environment allows the users to save or copy data to the server rather than the disk, thus making desktop virtualization more secure option for networking.
On the security front, virtualization is possibly one of the most effective strategies that businesses can use to combat harm and criminal intent. These principles demonstrate how virtualization can help your firm reduce risk and increase security.
Regular upgrades and vulnerability scans are required for all technology-based systems (virtualization included) to reduce the chance of weakness, and the adoption of hardened virtual machine images is strongly recommended.
by Charlotte Drury
As Pride Month comes to an end, we wanted to pull together all of the spotlighted communities and organisations of whom are working towards making...
As Pride Month comes to an end, we wanted to pull together all of the spotlighted communities and organisations of whom are working towards making the tech sector a more inclusive space for its LGBTQ+ members.
While the tech industry has made strides in recent years to promote greater workplace diversity, LGBTQ+ employees still have a long way to go. Despite the industry's lack of equality, a number of groups are working to change that by building communities and providing support for underrepresented trans, queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and gender nonconforming IT employees.
The 6 groups below are working towards closing the gap through networking, advocacy and championing more inclusive workspaces and within each profile we have included the website of each group if you wanted to find out any more information about it.
Out in Tech
Out in Tech is the world's largest non-profit community of LGBTQ+ tech leaders. Consisting of a global network of over 40,000 members, Out in Tech bring communities together through local and digital events, provide scholarships and support their members in networking and career development. They have active chapters in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Portland, Chicago, DC, Boston, Austin, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Stockholm, and Bengaluru.
"We envision a tech industry where LGBTQ+ people are empowered, well represented, and have full agency, from intern to CEO."
Unicorns in Tech
Unicorns in Tech is a Berlin-founded LGBTIQ+ community which brings together tech talents, companies, and organisations working towards a diverse and inclusive corporate culture.
Since its inception in 2014 in Berlin, their 4000+ member network continues to rapidly expand via a myriad of events all year long and our online platform. They host monthly get-togethers to network within the industry and as a legacy of the Berlin LGBT+ Tech Week, they now organise the Unicorns In Tech Summit
""It's crucial for us to push for diversity in the IT field. The tech world is not as open as one would imagine and bringing together LGBTIQ+ people and other marginalised communities in this sphere is a concrete step in the right direction."
Lesbians Who Tech & Allies
Lesbians Who Tech & Allies is a welcoming community dedicated to increasing the visibility and inclusion of women, LGBT people, and other underrepresented groups in technology.
With over 100,000 members, including LGBTQ women, non-binary, trans, and gender nonconforming individuals. When it comes to colour, ethnicity, ability, age, and other factors, there are numerous intersecting identities of who are part of the community. Every year, 40.000 techies from over 100 countries attend their global Pride Summit.
- To be visible to each other by building a network of colleagues and friends in the industry.
- Be more visible to others and to highlight more queer, female, trans, GNC, and POC leaders as role models.
- To increase the number of women, people of colour, queer, and trans persons working in technology.
- To link our community with other organisations and businesses that are doing amazing things.
Tech London Advocates LGBTQ+
The Tech London Advocates LGBTQ+ working group is dedicated to helping "organisations to identify hidden bias and provide information on reducing bias and thus increase inclusivity." They aim to create more inclusive workspaces through a series of professional networking and mentoring events, panels and workshops.
They provide advice to tech companies on embedding inclusion and diversity into the DNA culture of their organisations and illustrate the benefits of visibility and authenticity of all facets of LGBTQ. They also partner with organisations around the UK to amplify visibility and support for LGBTQ entrepreneurs.
Their goal is to create a community of LGBTQ Tech Advocates of all and any level in order to support and empower one and other through strength and mutuality in order to cultivate and nurture tech leaders for the future.
Trans Tech Social
Trans Tech Social, founded in 2013 by tech entrepreneur Angelica Ross, provides training and job possibilities for transgender people, with the goal of reducing discrimination.
TransTech’s mission is to empower, educate, and employ those facing barriers in education and in the work-place, as well as to reduce instances of discrimination, with a concentration on trans and gender non-conforming individuals.
It focuses on economically empowering the transgender people in their community. It aims to facilitate learning and working together to develop skills and value within marginalized LGBTQ communities. TransTech members have access to online community and trainings as well.
Intertech LGBT+ Diversity Forum
Founded in 2012, Intertech LGBT+ Diversity Forum ("Intertech") is an NGO dedicated to promoting LGBT+ diversity in the UK tech sector. A forum for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, they're working towards driving positive change for LGBT+ individuals. They do this through partnering with organisations in London's tech scene from the Google's and Facebook's of the world all the way down to the smallest start-ups, we provide a platform through physical events and online presence to bring the community together.
What InterTech do:
- Create networking opportunities for members to build professional relationships.
- Host educational events which focus on LGBT+ issues in their workplaces and broader professional development related to technology.
- Deliver mentorship programs which link LGBT+ members early in their careers with other more established members.
- Facilitate connections between leaders of LGBT+ networks and creating forums to share best practices.
- Encourage the pooling of resources in development and rollout of diversity & inclusion.
The above organisations and communities are great example of an initiatives and organisations of whom are incredibly passionate and committed to encouraging LGBT+ diversity and inclusion in the technology sector for the benefit of the individual, the organisations they represent and the industry overall.
by Lewis Andrews
When it comes to efficiently recruiting prospects, you need some hard data. You can spend all the time you want writing an excellent job description....
When it comes to efficiently recruiting prospects, you need some hard data. You can spend all the time you want writing an excellent job description. A candidate's decision to apply for a job may or may not depend on some of this information. Is the position in a place they are willing to relocate to or work at? Does it have any particular experience needs that most people don't meet?
The location and type of role are both necessary information, but some of this data may be more optional than others. We are specifically discussing the salary range.
The underlying question is: Should salaries be mentioned in job descriptions in order to attract top people with high potential? The inclusion of a wage can attract interest in your position in the current, fiercely competitive employment market where businesses are vying for skilled candidates.
When looking for a new career, money may not be everything, but it is undoubtedly significant. When looking at job listings, candidates prioritise the job's details above salary information, although 61 percent of candidates still expect to see compensation information among the top three things. Many businesses still choose not to disclose compensation information in job postings, frequently out of concern that doing so would put them at a competitive disadvantage or fuel employee animosity.
However, there is a rising global movement to turn salary transparency into the law, not just a new standard. The reason for this is that a growing body of research demonstrates that employers who are open about their pay scales may draw better, more diverse talent, making compensation transparency a realistic means of promoting an equitable workplace.
A salary range in your job descriptions can be beneficial, but it can also be harmful. It has been said that having a salary lessens the other's advantage in the market and bargaining position. On the other hand, some businesses feel that disclosing their salaries to applicants enables them to be open and honest (building trust). Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of both sides can help you decide whether or not you want to list it.
It’s a hot-button topic right now and you’re looking for answers so read below to find out.
Reasons against including a Salary in Job Descriptions
Concerns over how Existing Employees will React
Existing employees will pay attention to companies that post new job listings. The ability for other employees to see a new hire's wage is another drawback of putting it in job postings; when this happens, morale and workplace cohesion may suffer. They might check the ad to see the qualifications that their employer is seeking. They may feel underpaid and slighted if they learn that the starting salary is higher than their own. Employees may then start looking for other positions or requesting raises as a result. This may raise personnel turnover and wage costs in the short run.
Businesses that operate in competitive industries compete for the best talent to fill open positions. The claim is that if a company mentions a salary in a job advertisement, a rival may notice it and offer more money (and/or benefits) to entice that person, diminishing competitive advantage.
Higher Paid Positions Assume Salary Negotiations
The compensation negotiation procedure is expected of applicants for senior, management, and director level positions. Candidates at this level typically assign a value to their own knowledge, experience, network, etc. As a result, they are more inclined to disclose to the employer their desired compensation in their application (through a CV, cover letter, or other means) and to discuss it once the position has been extended to them.
Provides More Negotiating Power
If a job is advertised without pay, the employer has the negotiating position. Some companies believe that giving candidates the upper hand when negotiating a compensation package is to include a salary rate in their job descriptions. This allows businesses to raise salaries for preferred candidates who may have turned down the salary listed, and, on the other hand, to cut salaries for those candidates who aren't as desirable.
Salary Shouldn't be the Deciding Factor
Employers are seeking experts and skilled individuals that will not only be qualified but also fit into their business. Candidates are more inclined to focus on income when it is included in job ads and either ignore other benefits of working for the company (if it is too low) or become ignorant of the fact that the company culture is not a good fit for them. According to this reasoning, it discourages applicants who are "money-focused" and draws in those who think they are qualified for the position and the company. Reasons for including a salary in job descriptions
Reasons for Including a Salary in Job Descriptions
Candidates seeking a new position want to work for a company that values its employees and is open and honest with them. For the majority of these applicants, it all begins with the job advert. Even though their corporate culture and ethics mention it, organizations risk giving the impression they are not open and honest with their employees by omitting the compensation.
Company and Candidate Time Saved
The role, location, and compensation are the first three main considerations for candidates while looking for a potential new job or career opportunity. The candidate can concentrate more on the business and the job description if the compensation is disclosed. As a result, businesses may devote more time to reviewing applications and less time to attracting candidates. You can use a salary rate as a screening method to filter out applicants you wouldn't be able to afford or who might not have the qualifications for the position.
The Focus is more on the Candidate and the Role
A candidate who has responded to a job advert with a salary has accepted the salary on offer. Therefore, this gives companies more time to explore the candidate’s experience, abilities, qualifications, etc; thus, making more informed hiring decision.
Some employers may be hesitant to include a salary range in their job postings, which is understandable. Smaller or niche businesses may be unable to compete with larger enterprises and do not wish to be perceived as second-tier.
And, while money is a big motivator for job seekers, it isn't always the main one. Non-monetary benefits such as superior cultures and remote opportunities can also sway public opinion. However, the transparency and ease of use that including a salary range provides cannot be overstated. After all, a candidate will only accept what they are worth, so why deceive?
To bring attention to these positive and optimistic acts, we’re sharing a monthly roundup of our favourite good-news stories. These highlight...
To bring attention to these positive and optimistic acts, we’re sharing a monthly roundup of our favourite good-news stories. These highlight any uplifting stories, useful resources, or promising scientific advancements, and help finish the month with a healthful dose of the positive.
EU ministers approved landmark climate measures
Fraught negotiations in Luxembourg on Wednesday brought the EU a step closer to implementing landmark climate legislation intended to reduce the bloc’s emissions by 55 per cent this decade.
Member states agreed to end the sale of combustion-engine cars in 2035, impose costs on polluting transport and buildings, boost natural carbon sinks, and create a €59bn (£50.6bn) fund to help ease the cost burden on low-income households.
“In the middle of Europe’s biggest energy crisis, we have launched one of the most comprehensive climate packages in EU history,” said German climate minister Robert Habeck. Some member states had pushed for more ambitious targets.
Ministers will negotiate the measures with the European parliament after the summer break. Parliament is expected to push for stronger targets.
It was a welcome sign of progress in a week that also saw the US supreme court limit the government’s power to regulate emissions from power plants.
TikTok users offered ‘safe spaces’ for US women
People living in US states where abortion rights are protected are offering their homes to women in states where bans are imminent.
It follows last week’s decision by the supreme court to overturn Roe v Wade. The 1973 ruling set a precedent for protecting women’s constitutional right to a termination. More than half of US states are now expected to outlaw abortion.
In response, people have taken to TikTok to offer their homes as safe spaces for women looking to travel across state lines for the procedure.
The United Nations Human Rights Council denounced the overturning of Roe v Wade as “a monumental setback for the rule of law and for gender equality”.
Tattoos were developed to monitor blood pressure
Tattoos that monitor blood pressure: it sounds like science fiction, but this week the technology was given a ‘grade A’ rating for accuracy in the US.
Blood pressure is one of the most important indicators of heart health, but it’s tough to frequently and reliably measure.
Enter researchers at the University of Texas Austin and Texas A&M University. They developed a temporary electronic tattoo that can be worn comfortably on the wrist for hours and deliver continuous blood pressure measurements.
Roozbeh Jafari, co-leader of the project, described cuff-less blood pressure monitoring as the “holy grail”. The results of the study were published in Nature Nanotechnology.
Malaysia moved to end the death penalty
Human rights campaigners have welcomed an announcement by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty.
It is a rare sign of progress in a region where capital punishment is routinely imposed, even for crimes such as drug offences.
“The death penalty is incompatible with fundamental tenets of human rights and dignity,” said the United Nations in a statement. “We will continue to support Malaysia in its efforts towards full abolition.”
An alternative to plastic wrapping was developed
Is this the beginning of the end for plastic packaging? US scientists are optimistic after they developed a biodegradable, plant-based coating that can be sprayed on to foods.
The stringy material is spun from a heating device that resembles a hair dryer and shrink-wrapped over foods. The technology was developed by researchers from Rutgers University, New Jersey.
Philip Demokritou, director of the university’s Nanoscience and Advanced Materials Research Center, said: “We have come up with a scalable technology that enables us to turn biopolymers, which can be derived from food waste, into smart fibres that can wrap food directly.”
Tackling air pollution would boost the UK economy
The UK economy would get a £1.6bn-a-year boost if policies were introduced to bring air pollution levels in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) targets.
That’s according to a report published on Thursday. Compiled by UK100, a network of climate leaders, it claims the economic benefit would come chiefly from healthcare savings. The WHO estimates that 4.2 million people die each year from air pollution globally.
The report urged local authorities to introduce clean air targets and align them with net zero policies. Reducing car ownership and insulating homes were among the recommendations.
“Aligning clean air and climate policies will save lives and money while accelerating net zero progress,” said Polly Billington, chief executive of UK100. “We’re calling on the government to give local authorities the support they need to deliver cleaner air, warmer homes and a more secure future for their communities.”
The EU mandated single charging ports for phones
We’ve all been there. “Can I borrow your charger?” “Sure, it’s Samsung.” “Drat, I’m Apple.”
However, such exchanges will soon be history in the EU, after the bloc pushed ahead with plans to introduce a single charging port for phones, tablets and cameras.
The EU said it would reduce e-waste and save people money as they will no longer need to change chargers every time they switch phones. Apple, which will be forced to adopt the USB-C charging port, said the move would stifle innovation.
by Simon Nicholls
High-profile cyberattacks, data breaches, and ransomware attacks have dominated the headlines over the past year or so, causing organizations all...
High-profile cyberattacks, data breaches, and ransomware attacks have dominated the headlines over the past year or so, causing organizations all around the world to review their cybersecurity strategies. For organisations that do not regard cybersecurity as a business investment, the destructive effects of cyberattacks on a company's ability to operate will increase in the future.
The Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, June 20-21 in Sydney, Australia, delivered sobering revelations about the future of cybersecurity — with the aim of helping security and risk management leaders succeed in the digital era.
Richard Addiscott, senior director analyst, and Rob McMillan, managing vice president, of Gartner, highlighted important patterns in their opening keynote talk. One of these trends was the emerging relationship between Executives performance evaluations and the capacity to handle cyber risk.
Gartner’s experts noted that almost one-third of all nations will regulate ransomware response within the next three years; and security platform consolidation will help organisations thrive in hostile environments.
“We can’t fall into old habits and try to treat everything the same as we did in the past,” Addiscott told attendees. “Most security and risk leaders now recognize that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, our philosophy, our program and our architecture.”
Gartner recommends that cybersecurity leaders build several strategic planning assumptions into their security strategies for the next two years:
1. Consumer privacy rights will be extended
Privacy regulation continues to expand and the tech analyst predicts it will be extended to cover five billion people, and more than 70% of global GDP. It said organizations should track subject rights request metrics, including cost per request and time to fulfill, to identify inefficiencies and justify accelerated automation.
2. By 2025, 80% of enterprises will adopt a strategy to unify web, cloud services and private application access
Garter said with the rise of hybrid work, vendors are offering integrated services across web and cloud-application security. The benefit here is tighter integration, fewer consoles to use, and fewer locations where data must be decrypted, inspected and re-encrypted.
3. Many organizations will embrace zero-trust, but fail to realize the benefits
The tech analyst predicts that by 2025, 60% of organizations will attempt to adopt zero-trust security, a concept that assumes there is no traditional 'perimeter' to the corporate network, so all devices and users have to be regularly re-authenticated. But it said more than half will fail to realize the benefits.
Replacing implicit trust with identity -- and context-based, risk-appropriate trust -- is extremely powerful, said Gartner, but requires a cultural shift and clear communication that ties it to business outcomes to achieve the benefits. And not all companies will be successful.
4. Cybersecurity will become key to choosing business partners
Gartner predicts that 60% of organizations will use cybersecurity risk as a "primary determinant" in conducting third-party transactions and business engagements by 2025. Only 23% of organisations monitor third parties in real time for cybersecurity exposure, according to Gartner. But as a result of pressure from customers and regulators, it believes organizations will start to insist on measuring cybersecurity risk, ranging from simple monitoring of a critical technology supplier to complex due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.
5. Ransomware payment legislation will rise
At the moment there is little legislation around when companies can -- and can't -- pay ransomware demands. That could be about to change; Gartner predicts one in three countries will introduce such laws soon. The decision to pay the ransom or not is a business-level decision, not a security one. Gartner recommends engaging a professional incident-response team as well as law enforcement and any regulatory body before negotiating.
6. Hackers will weaponize operational technology environments to cause human casualties
Attacks on OT -- hardware and software that monitors or controls equipment, assets and processes and is often the brains behind industrial systems in factories or power grids -- have become more common and more disruptive, Gartner said, warning that threat actors will have "weaponized" operational technology environments to cause human casualties by 2025. "In operational environments, security and risk management leaders should be more concerned about real-world hazards to humans and the environment, rather than information theft", according to the analyst firm.
7. Resilience will be about more than just cybersecurity
By 2025, 70% of CEOs will drive a culture of organizational resilience to deal with threats from cybercrime, but also from severe weather events, civil unrest and political instabilities, Gartner said: "With continued disruption likely, Gartner recommends that risk leaders recognize organizational resilience as a strategic imperative."
8. Cybersecurity will matter for the CEO's bonus
By 2026, 50% of C-level executives will have performance requirements related to risk built into their employment contracts, Gartner said. As boards now increasingly regard cybersecurity as a business risk rather than just a technical problem, accountability for cyber risk will shift from the security leader to senior business leaders, it said.
by Adriana Timme
Creating a company vision may be simple, but getting your employees to buy into it is tough. Even the best employees can struggle with this at times,...
Creating a company vision may be simple, but getting your employees to buy into it is tough. Even the best employees can struggle with this at times, and may require direction on how to best match their vision with the company's.
Employees must closely align with their company's values and goal in order to attain this vision. Only 40% of millennial employees polled felt closely linked to their company's vision, according to Gallup's 2016 research, How Millennials Want to Work and Live. This gap will almost certainly result in a lack of direction and disgruntled staff.
Here is how to get your valued employees to align with your company vision:
1. Set clear company goals
Every company needs a set of clearly stated objectives that employees may follow and match with their personal objectives. This allows them to prioritise their tasks and concentrate their efforts in the most effective way possible. The more specific the objectives, the better!
2. Hire the right culture fit
Hiring people that fit your company's culture minimises turnover, increases job happiness, and improves the quality of work you do. Employ people who have the necessary skills and personality attributes for your company's culture, not just those who meet the job description.
3. Play to employee strengths
According to Gallup's "State of the American Workplace" report from February 2017. They discovered that focusing on an employee's strengths rather than trying to improve their faults is far more effective. Know your employees' talents so you can align them with the company's goals.
4. Get top management to involved
Employees must hear the company's vision at all times in order to become aligned with it. During the hiring process, the vision should be communicated, incorporated into the onboarding process, and then continually reinforced during their employment. When this happens, employees are more likely to have a sense of belonging and are less inclined to leave. Top management must be actively involved and regularly communicate and remind staff of the company's objectives.
by Jasmine Ellis
DevOps culture and procedure are critical for enterprises to keep up with the pace of cloud-native software development, especially when code...
DevOps culture and procedure are critical for enterprises to keep up with the pace of cloud-native software development, especially when code deployments happen multiple times per day. The capacity to construct, populate, and grow cloud apps and infrastructure in real time, frequently through code, offers for extraordinary agility and speed. Security, on the other hand, is frequently left in the dust when things move so swiftly.
The reality is that many businesses have yet to figure out how to effectively secure the cloud. A lack of cloud security knowledge, along with legacy security regulations that do not cover the cloud and a scarcity of cybersecurity expertise relevant to cloud systems, is a problem. And thieves are eager to exploit these flaws: according to a 2021 research, nearly half of the more than 2,500 publicly publicised cloud-related vulnerabilities were discovered in the recent 18 months.
Security must be integrated at every level of the DevOps life cycle, also known as DevSecOps, due to the flexible nature of cloud technology. Any firm that uses the cloud must adopt a DevSecOps approach, which necessitates new security guidelines, policies, procedures, and technologies.
There are two primary goals of DevSecOps-
1. Secure Code
2. Speedy Delivery
Advances in IT like cloud computing, shared resources, and dynamic provisioning requires application security in every stage, and DevSecOps entails the same.
The Cloud is a Vulnerable Platform
Data breaches are one of the most pressing risks for any company today. The methods employed by attackers to enter cloud settings differ from those utilised in on-premises environments. Malware attacks are rare; typically, attackers take use of misconfigurations and other flaws.
Another important worry is that most firms employ multi-cloud, which might result in a lack of visibility. It can lead to cloud workloads and traffic not being properly monitored, allowing attackers to exploit security flaws. DevOps teams also have a habit of giving people considerably more privileges and permissions than they require to do their jobs, which increases the risk of identity-based attacks. According to studies, identity-based assaults were used in roughly 80% of cyberattacks to compromise legitimate credentials.
Installing cryptominers onto a company's system is another option for attackers to profit from cloud vulnerabilities. Cryptocurrency mining necessitates a significant amount of computational power. Threat actors will employ hacked cloud accounts to carry out this operation and make as much money as possible while draining the company's resources.
Security Shifting to the Left
Protecting the cloud entails safeguarding an ever-increasing attack surface that includes everything from cloud workloads to virtual servers and other cloud-related technology. Attackers are continuously on the lookout for weak points in systems, especially susceptible cloud applications. With more organisations turning to the cloud than ever before to fulfil the needs of a remote workforce, the number of cloud apps available has grown.
Traditionally, security is applied to code as the final step before it is released. When vulnerabilities are discovered, the release is either postponed or the development team is forced to hustle to fix each security flaw while the security team scrambles to review the updates. Shifting security left for DevOps teams guarantees that vulnerable code is found as it is built rather than during the testing phase, lowering costs and resulting in secure cloud apps.
Shift left security is a critical component of the software development life cycle, and getting it correctly should be a top concern. Organizations can accomplish DevSecOps and greatly reduce security issues surrounding cloud-native software and application development by incorporating security into the early phases of the development process.
Cloud security that is effective can enable DevSecOps
DevSecOps technologies and techniques can help companies develop a strong and secure cloud foundation. Cloud security requires a unified view of multi-cloud environments and constant intelligent monitoring of all cloud services. That unified visibility must be able to detect misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and security threats while also giving developers and DevOps teams with actionable insights and automated remedies.
Additionally, it's critical to have the correct security policies in place that enforce cloud security standards throughout the entire infrastructure to satisfy (or exceed) industry and government regulations. This encompasses everything from multi-factor authentication to general security best practises for all employees, as well as a robust incident response system that guarantees the organisation is ready for an attack.
Up-to-date threat intelligence, on the other hand, should always be at the heart of any good cloud security strategy. Adversaries are continuously devising new techniques to attack the cloud and looking for flaws to exploit. It's critical to have the most up-to-date information about threat actors and their techniques, and then apply it to breach detection. Threat intelligence allows security teams to anticipate attacks and properly prioritise protection, mitigation, and repair in order to avoid them. DevSecOps provides enterprises with the prevention, detection, visibility, and reaction tools they need to defeat attackers by delivering all of this functionality from and for the cloud.
by Isabelle Melton
Pride Month is all about celebrating LGBTQ+ communities across the globe and being proud of who you are no matter who you love.
Pride Month is all about celebrating LGBTQ+ communities across the globe and being proud of who you are no matter who you love.
The suggestion to call the movement 'Pride' came from L. Craig Schoonmaker who in 2015 said:
"A lot of people were very repressed, they were conflicted internally, and didn't know how to come out and be proud. That's how the movement was most useful, because they thought, maybe I should be proud."
Pride is celebrated in the month of June across the world in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan; a pivotal point in the Gay Liberation Movement. On June 28th, 1969, NYC police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay pub located in Greenwich Village.
The raid sparked riots when police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, which lead to 6 days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street and in the neighbouring streets and parks. These riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement around the world.
Here is a round-up of some of the most influential and notable people in the tech industry who identify as LGBTQ+.
Name: Tim Cook
Role: CEO of Apple
Tim Cook isn't only one of the most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech, but one of the most powerful people in tech EVER. Cook was Apple's CIO, prior to becoming the CEO in the summer of 2011.
Cook came out publicly as gay in 2014 in personal essay he wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek. He mentioned that whilst he wanted to keep his private life private, he felt it was his duty to come out in a way to help the gay community. In the essay, Cook said:
"It has been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It's also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the CEO of Apple."
Name: Arlan Hamilton
Role: Co-Founder & CEO of Backstage Capital
Hamilton is a managing partner at Backstage Capital, a VC firm she started in 2015 when she was homeless. Backstage invest in companies which are led by underrepresented founders, such as women, people of colour and LGBTQ+ individuals.
In a September 2018 cover story, Fast Company said Hamilton was "the only black, queer woman to have ever built a venture capital firm from scratch".
Name: Joel Simkhai
Role: Founder of Grindr
In 2009, Joel Simkhai founded Grindr, a dating app for men in the LGBTQ+ community. Simkhai told Business Insider that the app stemmed from his "selfish desire" to meet more gay men, which now has almost 4 million daily users.
Simkhai remained the CEO of Grindr until 2018, when the app was sold for more than $150 million to a Chinese gaming company.
Name: Leanne Pittsford
Role: Founder & CTO of Lesbians Who Tech
In her time, Leanne Pittsford has founded three tech-centric diversity initiatives:
- Lesbians Who Tech
- Tech Jobs Tour
Since 2012, Lesbians Who Tech has offered opportunities to give visibility and equality to LGBTQ+ women and non-binary individuals in the tech sector. Her other two initiatives are aimed at mentoring and recruiting underrepresented groups in the tech industry.
Pittsford got married in June 2017 to political consultant Pia Carusone.
Name: Megan Smith
Role: Former chief technology officer of the United States
Megan is an award-winning entrepreneur, engineer and tech evangelist. She was appointed in 2014 under President Obama as the first-ever female US CTO Prior to this, she aided with the launch of some fantastic initiatives such as Women Tech-makers and SolveForX during her time as VP at Google. To add, she was also the former CEO of PlanetOut – a leader of the online LGBT community back in the very first few years of the Internet.
After leaving the White House in 2017, Smith helped the Tech Jobs Tour to bring diverse talent into the tech sector. Smith is also the founder and CEO of shift7, a collective focused on bringing together figures in tech and public service.
Name: Leanne Pittsford
Role: Founder and CEO of Lesbians Who Tech
Pittsford has founded three tech-centric diversity initiatives: Lesbians Who Tech, include.io, and Tech Jobs Tour.
She defines herself as “an entrepreneur, investor and thought leader at the intersection of technology and economic opportunity for All Americans and believes that economic power is a driving force for cultural and societal change! Lesbians Who Tech is the largest LGBTQ community of technologists in the world – with over 40,000 members to boast and more than 5,000 attending the annual summit every year!
It offers programming and opportunities to give visibility and opportunity to LGBTQ+ women and non-binary individuals in the tech sector. The other two initiatives are aimed at mentoring and recruiting underrepresented groups in tech.
by Chris Burnett
Video interviews are an important part of the hiring process and are becoming more popular and they're definitely here to stay. Understanding the...
Video interviews are an important part of the hiring process and are becoming more popular and they're definitely here to stay. Understanding the requirements of a video interview will help you feel more at ease and succeed during the process. In this article, we'll go over what a video interview is, how to prepare for one, and how to handle any potential issues that may arise.
Why Have Video Interviews Become So Popular?
With the rising quality and dependability of low-cost video conferencing software (such as Skype and FaceTime) and hardware (such as microphones, headsets, and webcams), video interviews have become a popular method of evaluating candidates.
- They are less expensive and faster. Simply put, it is much easier to schedule a hundred video interviews than it is to schedule the same number of in-person interviews. They are easier to schedule, less expensive to run, and the entire process is much faster.
- They work well. A five-minute video interview is worth 200 written responses.
They're more equal and fair, both geographically and financially. Any candidate with a computer and an internet connection - or even just access to a local library - can conduct a video interview. This allows companies to broaden their search and gives all candidates an equal opportunity.
- A virtual interview broadens an employer's talent pool, just as it does your job search. Traveling a long distance to attend a first-stage interview in person can be inconvenient, especially if your chances of advancement are uncertain.
- They are an excellent baseline test of candidates' technological abilities. If a candidate can easily set up a decent video interview, they at least understand how to work with technology.
- When compared to methods such as phone interviews or lengthy aptitude tests, it is an effective way of narrowing down candidates for in-person interviews.
- Unlike a phone interview, a virtual interview allows you to fully present yourself. Positive body language and a confident demeanour can help you advance to the next stage.
Choose a Suitable Location
It's important to choose a quiet and appropriate environment for your video interview. If you want an interviewer to focus on you, go somewhere with few interruptions. Select a wall with a neutral background and, ideally, no photographs or artwork behind you. Make sure you have adequate lighting, either from natural light or from a nearby light source. Set up your camera so the upper third of your body is clearly visible to the interviewer.
It is critical that you have a stable internet connection at your location. Whether you're concerned about your home's internet speed, ask if your local public library has a private room that you may reserve. Even if they have better internet, coffee shops and other communal locations should be avoided.
How to present yourself
Wear smart clothes that look professional. Go for something plain that does not look distracting on camera. Try not to wear a lot of jewelry. Avoid anything that could distract you and be noisy when you move. You want to make sure that you're dressed appropriately for you if video interviews, it doesn't have to be the traditional suit, but make sure you're wearing something smart and also make sure there's no distractions in the background
Research the company culture before your interview, so you have a good idea of what's appropriate. Position the camera so that you are looking up slightly and centred on the screen. While it's likely that the interviewer will only see your upper half, it's still a good idea to wear professional trousers or a skirt in case you need to stand up for any reason.
You should do some practice runs. Record yourself and watch the recording back. Make sure you:
Arrive Early and Review your Setup
You want to give a really good first impression to your next potential employer and it’s a sign of professionalism for you to arrive on your video interviews approximately five minutes before they start. This gives you time to review and ensure all your technology is working before the interview, make sure you have a strong internet connect and to make sure that you've got the right link. Ensure you check the camera and audio on your computer or phone and if you're going to wear headphones throughout the interview, ensure sure they're compatible with the software.
Check to make sure your computer’s camera, microphone and internet connection are working. Do a trial run with a friend or family member, if possible, so you have ample time to adjust if your equipment or software isn’t working properly.
Be sure to clean up the profile you’re going to use or create a new professional account.
You don’t want to get off to a bad start with a screen name like ‘LITTLEMISSXXX’ and a profile picture showing you drunk and passed out.
Expect to field some common interview questions like:
Expect to field some common interview questions, including:
Use Video Interviews to your Advantage
You've got a lot of great resources that you can have open while she sat at home. During your interviews, you can have the company website, you can have your resume open in front of you. You can have the interviewers LinkedIn profile, actually using all the things to your advantage should make a great first impression and make sure you got there in the smash video interviews.
You will usually be asked if you have anything you’d like them to address if your application is taken to the next stage or if you have any questions, so don’t forget to think of a few questions for them too. Asking thoughtful or insightful questions could set you apart from other candidates. Not sure what to ask? Have a look at the top ten questions you should ask the interviewer.
It's imperative that you are able to check all the things that you can control within the interview; however, we do understand that some things do go wrong with doing video interviews. That is part of doing them remotely, but control of the controllable.
by Adam Cooper
What is workplace culture?
This is essentially the personality of a workplace and every organisation has one. It determines the attitude, energy...
What is workplace culture?
This is essentially the personality of a workplace and every organisation has one. It determines the attitude, energy and productivity of a working environment, and part of your job will be to fit in. Your employer will likely have judged you to be a good match for the organisation’s culture during the interview process. It’s worth asking where you can find information about the culture and values of the organisation and the principles that they apply.
What is appropriate workplace behaviour?
It’s possible, and is certainly encouraged, to become friends with your colleagues, but the workplace also tends to be a place of more formal behaviour and standards. This means that the way you dress, talk and behave needs to be professional.
1. Dress appropriately
Even if your workplace doesn’t require you to wear a suit or uniform, it’s important to show you’re ready to work. Gauge what your colleagues wear and make sure your clothes are clean and neat.
2. Pay attention
Communication is about listening as well as talking. By paying attention and trying your best to concentrate, especially when people are explaining new tasks or processes, you’ll know what people expect of you and you’ll pick things up quicker.
3. Ask questions
It’s okay to ask questions or take notes for reference. This will show you’re interested and engaged in your work.
4. Follow the rules
Workplace rules exist so that everyone stays happy and safe. Following them shows your honesty and integrity and lets your employer know they can trust you.
5. Be part of the team
Teamwork plays a huge role in the workplace. It’s important to get on with the people you work with as you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. Make an effort to interact with them and get to know them.
Figuring out the culture of a new workplace and finding your way in it takes time and nobody will expect you to nail it on day one. However, by thinking about your behaviour and being enthusiastic and open to new ideas and ways of working, you can make your first impression a positive one.
by Lewis Andrews
Jira and Microsoft Azure DevOps are two of the most popular project management platforms for DevOps professionals.
Many tools and techniques are...
Jira and Microsoft Azure DevOps are two of the most popular project management platforms for DevOps professionals.
Many tools and techniques are used by developers to manage and track an IT project. The most commonly used tools are Azure DevOps and Jira. Azure DevOps is a collection of development tools that can be used by developers and software teams. Jira, on the other hand, is a project management tool that can be used by software teams to manage various tasks.
Azure DevOps is a collection of Microsoft Inc.'s cloud-hosted DevOps services. It also includes a number of tools that can be used with any coding language and on any platform. It enables you to manage various test plans via the web, code versioning via Git, and solution deployment to a wide range of platform's CI/CD systems. Furthermore, it is a tool for applying the DevOps lifecycle to a business process.
Atlassian created Jira, a project management tool that aids in the tracking of bugs, issues, and other project processes. Jira Software, Jira Core, and Jira Service Desk are among the services available. All of these serve different functions for various users. It is now more than just an application; it is a platform with a suite of products built on top with customization capabilities. Furthermore, customers can select the services and products that best suit their needs from a wide range of options.
Below, we'll look at the similarities and differences between Azure DevOps and Jira to help you decide which software is suitable for you.
Azure DevOps :
Azure DevOps is a set of cloud services that includes collaboration tools that work on any platform, as well as a tool that helps businesses execute the DevOps lifecycle. It gives you a ready-to-use framework for converting your idea into software. It comes with Agile tools to help you manage your tests, version your code with Git, and deploy projects to cross-platform platforms. Visual Studio Team Service (VSTS) was the previous name for Azure, which provided a better software development lifecycle with current services.
Features of Azure DevOps :
Jira is a project management programme created by Atlassian, an Australian startup, in 2002. It's a robust application that helps with issue tracking, bug tracking, and numerous project management processes. Jira has evolved into more than an issue tracking platform for organisations, supporting Agile development or general task development, and the majority of apps are now built on top of it. It caters to a wide range of clients and offers Jira Core, Jira Software, and Jira Service Desk as well as other versions of the product.
Features of Jira:
Head-to-head comparison: Jira vs. Azure DevOps
There are cloud and server versions of Jira and Azure DevOps. Jira is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), whereas Azure DevOps is hosted on Microsoft Azure. Server versions are only required for customers that have higher security requirements or who demand complete data control for special collaboration needs or other purposes.
Users can personalise the dashboards in both DevOps services to display the information that is most relevant to their projects. Different tools are referred to as gadgets in Jira. The Azure DevOps team offers a similar collection of tools called widgets. These modules are quite similar and may be readily added to highlight what information is most crucial when users first log in, as their names suggest. Custom filtering of each gadget or widget is also possible with both DevOps tools.
Product Road mapping
For a long time, Jira has had built-in roadmaps, and these tools are really well optimised and developed out. This capability was just added to Azure Devops, although it is not as integrated as it could be because it requires two distinct programmes, Feature Timeline and Epic Timeline, both of which are accessible as DevOps plugins on the Microsoft Marketplace.
If product roadmapping is a major priority for you, Jira easily outperforms Azure DevOps. Jira's DevOps functionality is more integrated and easy to use than Azure DevOps.
Jira vs. Azure DevOps: Which is the better DevOps tool?
Jira obviously outperforms the competition in terms of customisation and scalability. Jira is the more flexible of the two due to its ability to add services on the fly within projects, as well as other features. With these additional customising options and possibilities comes a more difficult learning curve. Azure DevOps is the preferable tool if you merely want to get something up and running quickly. Jira, on the other hand, will provide the tools required for those who know exactly what they require.
In terms of traceability, Azure DevOps takes the lead. The traceability capabilities in Azure DevOps reveal relationships between work items from the beginning to the finish of a deployment.
Both of these project management systems are nearly identical, with the only meaningful differences being built-in roadmapping, traceability, and extensive search capabilities. If one of the aforementioned functions is a key priority for you, then making a decision based on that need should be simple. Aside from those essential responsibilities, these two systems should suffice for the vast majority of project management teams.
by Adam Cooper
A job interview is an opportunity for the organization to find out what it wants to know about finalists for a position, but it is also an...
A job interview is an opportunity for the organization to find out what it wants to know about finalists for a position, but it is also an opportunity for each finalist to find out what he or she wants to know as well. Interviewing is a two-way street.
As much as the hiring manager wants to know more about the individual they hire, the individual wants to know about the hiring manager, future co-workers, and the organization. A finalist that neglects to prepare and ask questions during an interview misses opportunities to impress the hiring manager and to gather more information that will inform the decision to accept a job offer.
This is a scenario-based question that really should be answered on an individual basis. It depends on the specific information you want to get out of the interview or the interview, or if you just want to see if it's a good fit. However, there are a few things that you can stick to consistently.
To begin, make sure your queries are tailored to the individual you're interacting with. Going on a call with HR and asking them questions regarding technological environments can appear to be poor judgement at times.
Second, I believe you should make sure to ask thought-provoking questions. The questions should allow you to get the information you require and desire from the interview. It is today, more than ever, used as a two-way street. Future growth opportunities, firm expansion plans, strategy, technology plans, points, ambitions, and realistic roadmaps are all good things to ask.
The most important thing is that you're demonstrating an interest in the position and showing that you've done your research beforehand and gathering the information that you need to make an educated decision at the end of the interview on whether it's the right fit essentially.
There is no right or wrong answer to which questions to ask; just make sure you've thought about them ahead of time. Before going into an interview, I normally recommend preparing six to eight questions. The reason for this is that some of these issues are likely to be covered throughout the interview, and you don't want to be left speechless when it comes to the questions part at the end.
Finally, I usually prefer to end an interview with a question, such as 'do you have any reservations about anything I've done or said today?' This just allows you to manage any objections that are voiced and maybe offer them a cause to rethink their thoughts or opinions.
by Emily Jones
June is Pride Month, a month dedicated to honouring LGBTQ+ groups and celebrating the right to be oneself. It is a celebration of people coming...
June is Pride Month, a month dedicated to honouring LGBTQ+ groups and celebrating the right to be oneself. It is a celebration of people coming together in love and friendship to illustrate how far LGBTQ+ rights have progressed and how much work remains in some areas.
Acceptance, equality, honouring the achievements of LGBTQ+ persons, learning about LGBTQ+ history, and raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community are all part of Pride Month.
The initial organisers picked June to commemorate the Stonewall riots in New York City in June 1969, which sparked the contemporary gay rights movement. The majority of Pride festivities take place in June each year, while some areas celebrate at other times of the year.
But how did the last half-century of Pride become what it is today, and what are the best ways to celebrate? Let's take a look at Pride's history, its impact around the world, and what the future holds for the movement.
What is Pride Month?
Pride Month is an entire month dedicated to uplifting LGBTQ voices, celebrating LGBTQ culture, and advocating for LGBTQ rights, and it is founded in the long struggle of minority groups to overcome discrimination and be accepted for who they are. There have traditionally been parades, protests, drag performances, live theatre, and tributes and celebrations of life for members of the community who have died as a result of HIV/AIDS during the month of June around the country. It's a combination of political campaigning and a celebration of everything the LGBTQ community has accomplished over the years.
Where did it start?
Pride Month commemorates the June 1969 Stonewall Riots.
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, and began dragging customers outside. Tensions quickly escalated as patrons resisted arrest and a growing crowd of bystanders threw bottles and coins at the officers. The LGBT community in New York, fed up with years of harassment by authorities, erupted in three-day neighbourhood riots.
The Stonewall Riots gave the global 'Gay Liberation' movement a new push. Encouragement of talks regarding the lives and perspectives of LGBTQ+ people was a key component of this movement, as did fighting for fundamental change in how LGBTQ+ persons were viewed by society. In the UK, for example, the Pride movement witnessed the emergence and establishment of grassroots organisations that sought to stop the mistreatment of LGBTQ+ individuals. The Campaign for Homosexual Equality is a key example of this.
Brenda Howard, a bisexual activist, organised the first Pride event in New York City on June 28, 1970. The first march, dubbed the Christopher Street Liberation Day March (after the street on which the Stonewall Inn is located), was a mix of celebration and protest. The next year, in 1971, Howard organised another event, and Pride marches sprung up all around the world.
The Stonewall Inn was designated as a historic landmark by the city of New York in 2015, and President Barack Obama later declared it as a national monument in 2016.
What has the Pride Movement achieved?
Since the Stonewall Riots, LGBTQ+ people have fought globally for their rights and liberties. In most countries, more than 2,000 years of homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic persecution have been significantly scaled back in less than half a century, which is a remarkable achievement. All of this achievement is the product of national and worldwide LGBT+ groups' courageous, imaginative, and unwavering campaigning despite all odds.
Following the first Pride, the number of nations that have legalised homosexuality has increased, and same-sex marriage is now permitted in over 30 countries. LGBTQ+ people today have personal and political rights in countries around the world, including Colombia, New Zealand, Iceland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom (for example, equal partnership).
The Pride movement is still fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in the twenty-first century. Following a protracted campaign for state support and safety, Serbian LGBTQ+ activists held a successful Pride march in Belgrade in 2014. In 2014, Denmark became the first European country to enable transgender people to have official documents (such as passports) that reflect their gender identification, thanks to the work of LGBTQ+ activists.
Why is the History of the Pride movement important today?
It is important to learn about and remember those who fought for the right to celebrate Pride in order to truly appreciate it.
1. Remembering that Pride began as a protest reminds us of how Pride can continue the battle for LGBTQ+ rights around the world today.
2. Knowing who founded the Pride movement serves as a reminder that Pride Month events must be inclusive.
3. Reflect on how the Stonewall rioters were treated highlights the significance of Pride as a celebration.
Learning about the origins and history of Pride and the Pride movement not only informs us about why Pride month exists, but it also demonstrates how this past is essential to how people will celebrate Pride in the future. Pride is "a reminder of the strength of standing together in spite of those who wish to divide us," according to Stonewall. Because of the efforts of LGBTQ+ activists and individuals from all around the world, Pride is a unique event.
We want to shine a light on the topic specifically for those working within IT Infrastructure. Whatever your business, there is no doubting the benefits of a diverse workforce. If you're interested in finding out more please contact us today.
by Charlotte Drury
All-Black Climbing Team Makes History Reaching Top of Everest, Inspiring Diverse Adventurers
Seven members of an all-Black mountain climbing team summited Mount Everest this month, with the assistance of eight Sherpa guides.
Despite the fact that hundreds of people queue up every year to climb Everest, just ten Black people have ever done it, including only one Black woman and one Black American.
"I am genuinely proud to report that seven members of the Full Circle Everest team summited on May 12," said Philip Henderson, the team's leader and an instructor at Nepal's Khumbu Climbing Center (KCC), which trains some of the world's best climbers.
Among their team it was made up of indivduals from all around the United States, as well as one man from Kenya, range in age from 29 to 60, and include sociology professors, Microsoft data scientists, chemistry teachers, freelance photographers and filmmakers, an Iraq War II combat vet, and climbing experts.
Conrad Anker, founder of KCC and a colleague of Henderson's, told National Geographic about the achievement, "When children throughout the world see themselves represented in an all-Black expedition, they will experience and become part of the value set that is climbing."
He explained, "It would be lovely to just climb [Everest], but we are representing Black people." "As much as it will be a burden, I believe it will be beneficial."
Environmental activists were celebrated in global prize
Activists who helped defund coal, held big oil accountable, and file historic climate cases are among the recipients of this year's Goldman environmental medal, dubbed the "Green Nobel prize" for its international recognition of environmental activism.
Highlighting the power of individual action, the winners were: Alex Lucitante and Alexandra Narvaez, who led a movement to protect indigenous land from mining in Ecuador; Nalleli Cobo, who helped shut down a toxic US oil-drilling site; Julien Vincent, leader of a successful campaign to defund coal in Australia; Marjan Minnesma , who took the Dutch government to court over climate inaction (and won); Niwat Roykaew, whose actions halted an environmentally destructive shipping project in the Mekong; and Chima Williams, who helped hold Shell accountable for an oil spill in Nigeria.
“While the many challenges before us can feel daunting, and at times make us lose faith, these seven leaders give us a reason for hope and remind us of what can be accomplished in the face of adversity,” said Jennifer Goldman Wallis, vice-president of the Goldman Environmental Foundation.
Passenger with no flight experience safely lands plane
Darren Harrison had no prior aviation experience, but when the pilot of the single-engine plane in which he was travelling had a medical issue, he leaped out of his seat and assumed control of the plane. Harrison returned to Florida in a Cessna 208 last Tuesday after a fishing excursion to the Bahamas. The jet fell into a nosedive when the pilot reported he wasn't feeling well and slumped down.
Harrison moved the pilot out of the way and contacted air traffic control to explain the situation. The controllers guided Harrison into a gradual descent to Palm Beach International Airport. "I was pretty calm and collected the whole time because I knew it was a life or death situation," Harrison said. To the relief of everyone, Harrison safely landed the plane, and controllers instructed him on how to use the brakes. Grateful to be back on land, Harrison said he thanked everyone for helping him and then "said the biggest prayer I've ever said in my life."
MacKenzie Scott makes historic donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters
MacKenzie Scott has just given Big Brothers Big Sisters of America a huge boost.
The organisation announced that the wealthy donor has donated $122.6 million, the largest single donation in Big Brothers Big Sisters' 118-year history.
The significant gift will support an organisation that has been creating one-on-one relationships between children and adult mentors for more than a century across the country. The goal is to help youngsters reach their full potential by building long-term, constructive relationships with them.
The Australian election put the climate in the spotlight
What last weekend’s Australian election means for global emissions remains to be seen. But this was the climate election many had hoped for. A surge in support for politicians pledging climate action showed that global heating was at the forefront of people’s minds when they went to the polls.
In the end, Scott Morrison, a prime minister who has mocked the seriousness of the climate crisis (and once brandished a lump of coal in parliament, telling MPs not to be afraid of it) was rejected. Last week Australia was found to have the highest coal emissions per person of any developed country.
Election victor Anthony Albanese vowed to be a climate leader. David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said: “Australian voters have made the call for urgent climate action, and now it’s time for the new parliament to roll up its sleeves and get on with the job.”
Five nature recovery projects launched in England
England will acquire a new "mega wildlife reserve." This week, it was announced that the Somerset property would be one of England's five nature recovery efforts.
The targeted properties are similar in size to England's 219 existing national nature reserves and are located in the West Midlands, Peak District, Cambridge, Norfolk, and Somerset.
A total of £2.5 million has been set aside to restore landscapes and provide natural solutions to cut carbon emissions and manage flood risk.
by Dane Keenan
If there is one thing that makes me smile in the morning, it’s knowing that I get to spend the day working with a wicked group of people...
If there is one thing that makes me smile in the morning, it’s knowing that I get to spend the day working with a wicked group of people I’m lucky enough to call my colleagues. And hopefully soon, actually see them in the flesh in the office… madness!
Having people at work who you can call your friends has a lot of benefits. Whether it’s someone to eat lunch with, take a screen break with or even sit next to, work feels more fun with friends.
Research taken from the Personality and Social Psychology Review looked into the connection between forming meaningful relationships at work and our health. The data showed that those with strong relationships with their colleagues reported having better health and wellbeing. So if you and your co-workers feel like a community, the more likely you’ll feel physically and mentally healthy at work. Win-win!
This research isn’t alone. Experts agree that friendly colleagues foster a better work environment. “A department, or company, that works well together, has the most success together”, says corporate veteran and author Andy Teach. “When you enjoy working with your colleagues and look forward to interacting with them, everyone benefits.” High morale at work leads to better productivity.
We wanted to conduct our own research into this theory. We asked the question “what do you love most about your current role?” and the results were as follows:
41% - my team/colleagues
25% - the work itself
18% - the benefits/flexibility
16% - the salary
The majority of people surveyed said that their colleagues were their favourite thing about work. This only bolsters the importance of creating and fostering friendships with your colleagues – it’s more than likely that they’ll be your favourite part of going to work!
At Franklin Fitch, our company culture is something we’re proud of. We’re a tight-knit bunch who work collaboratively across our international offices, and that’s the way we like it.
Can you see yourself working with a team like us? If so, get in touch to find out about our hiring plans.
by David Annable
Franklin Fitch is proud to have been awarded a 2-star accreditation from Best Companies, representing "outstanding" levels of employee...
Franklin Fitch is proud to have been awarded a 2-star accreditation from Best Companies, representing "outstanding" levels of employee engagement.
For the 2nd year in a row, Franklin Fitch has been named an Outstanding Company to Work for!
We are beyond proud to share that Franklin Fitch is now...
- An Outstanding Company to Work For.
- #23 Best Company to Work for in the UK Recruitment Sector.
- #31 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work for in the UK.
- #13 Best Companies to Work for in London.
We are ecstatic with our Best Companies rankings; achieving "outstanding" levels of employee engagement indicates our leadership team's vision, our company's ethics, and our people's dedication.
Our people are our most valuable asset, and we're grateful to know that they feel valued. Thank you very much to everyone who participated in the survey and for all of your hard work in driving Franklin Fitch forward.
We couldn't be prouder of this achievement. We consider our people to be our biggest asset, and knowing that they feel engaged at work is very important to us. Having an engaged workforce encourages people to feel connected to each other and our aims at Franklin Fitch, meaning we all want to work towards a shared goal.
Looking forward, we're already getting started on analysing and implementing the feedback from the Best Companies survey. This data will provide invaluable insights into what we can do to make Franklin Fitch the very best place to work - because that's the standard we're aiming for.
This feedback comes at a great time for us, as we've got ambitious growth plans moving forward. We want to reach 100 heads by November 2023, and are looking for talented people to join us on this journey. Do you think this might be you? Are you keen to hear more about what it's like to work at Franklin Fitch? Get in touch with us today!
by Dafydd Kevis
Following the European Council and Parliament's provisional agreement on networks and information systems, called NIS2, Europe has moved closer...
Following the European Council and Parliament's provisional agreement on networks and information systems, called NIS2, Europe has moved closer to new cybersecurity standards and reporting requirements. The new measures, first proposed by the European Commission at the end of 2020, look to boost the cyber resilience of entities across range of sectors deemed critical for the economy and society.
NIS2 will take the place of the present Directive on the Security of Networks and Information Systems, or NIS, which was adopted in 2016. The new directive establishes tighter criteria — as well as possible consequences, such as fines – for a broader range of industries that must adhere to computer security regulations.
It also aims to minimise "significant differences" in risk management and security reporting requirements among EU member states by adopting uniform criteria for assessing, reporting, and taking action to mitigate cyber risk.
The existing regulations on network and information system security (NIS Directive) were the first piece of EU-wide cybersecurity legislation, and they cleared the way for a dramatic shift in mindset, institutional, and legislative approaches to cybersecurity in many Member States. Despite their remarkable accomplishments and beneficial influence, they needed to be updated due to our society's expanding digitalisation and interconnection, as well as the increasing amount of cyber harmful operations on a global scale.
To address Europe's increased vulnerability to cyber threats, the NIS2 Directive now includes medium and large entities from a wider range of sectors that are critical to the economy and society, such as providers of public electronic communications services, digital services, wastewater and waste management, critical product manufacturing, postal and courier services, and public administration, both at the national and regional levels. Given the increased security threats that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, it also covers the healthcare sector more widely, for example by incorporating medical equipment manufacturers. The new standards' expanded reach will assist raise the level of cybersecurity in Europe in the medium and long term by effectively compelling more organisations and sectors to employ cybersecurity risk management procedures.
The NIS2 Directive also enhances the cybersecurity standards imposed on businesses, targets supply chain and supplier security, and holds top management accountable for non-compliance with cybersecurity duties. It intends to harmonise sanctions regimes across Member States by streamlining reporting responsibilities, introducing more tougher monitoring measures for national authorities, as well as stricter enforcement requirements. It will aid in the sharing of information and collaboration on cyber crisis management at the national and EU levels.
NIS2 also sets up a European cybercrisis liaison organization network, dubbed EU-CyCLONe, to help manage large-scale online attacks across Europe, and also to coordinate vulnerability disclosure and increase information sharing and cooperation between government and private sector organizations. Meanwhile, companies that don't comply with the new risk management and reporting rules face fines of up to €10 million or two percent of their global annual turnover, whichever is higher.
Once adopted by the Council and European Parliament, member states will have 21 months to incorporate NIS2 into their national laws.
European Commissioners, for their part, welcomed the agreement.
"In today's cybersecurity landscape, cooperation and rapid information sharing are of paramount importance," said Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market, in a statement. "With the agreement of NIS2, we modernize rules to secure more critical services for society and economy. This is therefore a major step forward."
by Dane Keenan
Interested in a career in recruitment but feeling overwhelmed with questions? Want to know more about graduate opportunities here at Franklin Fitch?...
Interested in a career in recruitment but feeling overwhelmed with questions? Want to know more about graduate opportunities here at Franklin Fitch?
We sit down with our Academy Manager, Charlotte, to answer some of the most common questions that she gets from graduates seeking a career in recruitment.
How can I get a job in recruitment?
Stick to the basics, so find a company that fits your ideals, apply and prepare really well for the interview.
What are the typical working hours like? Have you ever been asked to work weekends?
Our standard working hours are 8.30am - 6pm and Consultants do work either side of that, depending on workload. I've never been asked to work weekends, but in recruitment, the more you put in, the more you will get out - but it's completely up to you.
How important is your work environment for your success in recruitment?
It's really important, it's just great to collaborate and bounce ideas off different Consultants with different approaches, tends to make you better in the end. Recruitment is full of lots of highs and lows, so it's good to celebrate those or commiserate those with other Consultants.
How does the Academy work?
It's a team set up to equip Consultants that have no recruitment background with the tools they need to then move on to have a successful career in senior teams in recruitment.
Do I need to know all about IT before applying?
Absolutely not. There is technical training as part of your onboarding here and most of our highest performers had no technical understanding before they came into the business and now they're experts, so don't worry.
What does the first week in the Academy look like?
The first week is fairly easy really, it's geared towards you getting to know everyone in the business and it usually ends with a social event on the Friday.
What is the training like at Franklin Fitch?
The training is a long programme that follows you from trainee all the way through to director-level. It's a multiple-strand approach, so we do variations of classroom, theory, workshops, listening sessions and live coaching depending on your learning style and your individual needs at the time.
What are the incentives like?
The incentives are really varied and really fun! We've done everything from Las Vegas, skiing trips, Dublin, watersports, London nights out - so really varied and they tend to be lots of fun.
How quickly can I progress through the business?
Each stage at Franklin Fitch has a structured career path so it's standardised targets that you can hit. So the short answer would be, as soon as you want to but realistically you're looking at your first promotion within 6-8 months.
Can you actually earn the figures that we see on the adverts?
There are some massive figures going around on some of the adverts out there. The short answer is yes, you absolutely can earn those figures in recruitment. We are confident we'd get Consultants there, but we focus on those smaller steps at first, to get you there. The building blocks to get you to that success.
If there are any questions that haven't been answered, or you want to find out more about the graduate opportunities that we have at Franklin Fitch, drop Dane a message!
Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg – there are many male leaders in tech. But what about the decades of further women...
Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg – there are many male leaders in tech. But what about the decades of further women technologists? From COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, to CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, women have continued to make waves in the technology business.
Despite the fact that more women are dominating the headlines, they are still underrepresented in boardrooms around the world. According to theOffice of National Statistics (ONS), only 31% of UK tech jobs held by women, while women make up fewer than 20% of technology jobs in the US, according to Evia data.
Despite a number of studies confirming that gender-diverse companies perform better, gender equality and lack of inclusiveness remain paramount issue in the IT world, and women are still significantly underrepresented in tech. Recent stats show a record year of investment in the sector and monumental generational changes to workforces with the rise of the so-called “great resignation”. Despite the rise in female talent within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector in recent years, there’s still a considerable way to go before we see equality in the tech industry.
There are many barriers that need to be overcome, including challenging stereotypes and providing more opportunities for women. Unfortunately, tech giants are not leading by example when it comes to gender equality among their employees.
According to Tech Jury, over 75% of Facebook’s global tech-related jobs are occupied by men, with Google and Apple following suit, and only 23% of women making up these workforces.
Those women who are employed in the tech industry still face further challenges. WeAreTechWomen recently reported that 75% of women in tech feel like there is a lack of support and respect from their male colleagues. A concerning two-thirds of respondents also feel ignored during work meetings.
Challenges for women in tech appear to be persistent throughout their careers, with gender inequality also present in promotion rates. This gap increased further during the pandemic, with 34% of men working in tech receiving a promotion, compared to just 9% of women. So, what can we do to improve these issues?
Thankfully, times are changing, and more women are being encouraged to join the ranks of inventors and creators who are driving world-changing technical advancements. Diversity is a significant societal issue, but it is equally significant in the corporate sector.
Diversity in the workforce amounts to a wider range of perspectives and experiences, making it a valuable business asset and a win-win situation for all.
The importance of gender equality in tech
Diversity brings a wealth of benefits – both intangible and material – to tech. It improves innovation and problem-solving. It attracts more talent from more places and backgrounds. And it can also improve customer relationships and opinions.
Having a diverse team — including a fair representation of gender identities — increases the range of viewpoints and insight available when making decisions.
Gender equality in tech is also a valuable way to promote the creation of better products. Products that are made with consideration for a variety of experiences and understanding. Meaning they take everyone in your target audience into account.
And, in terms of the bottom line, diverse companies perform better, hire better talent, have more engaged employees, and retain workers better than companies that do not focus on diversity and inclusion.
It all starts with education
Education is one of the barriers. Despite 74% of females demonstrating an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in middle school in the United States, just 0.4 percent choose degrees in this field, according to research from the non-profit organisation Girls Who Code.
Due to a lack of resources and information from a young age, as well as role models within the industry, just 3% of women choose a technology-based career as their first option, according to PwC's own study, Women in Tech: Time to Close the Gender Gap.
To encourage women to explore STEM subjects, we need to provide a welcoming learning atmosphere. Not only is the professional world dominated by men, but so is the educational world. As a result, it is critical to create an environment or community in which women feel at ease in STEM fields. Breaking down gender biases and supporting young women interested in STEM fields – regardless of their level of skill – should be a top priority for any modern company. Why? Diversity has been shown to boost workplace innovation, productivity, and, ultimately, profitability.
Making space for women in STEM
With the increasing demand for new technology, there is an urgent need for women to be better supported in pursuing STEM careers.
If barriers are to be broken, preconceptions challenged, and hurdles conquered in regard to women's participation in and contribution to innovation, educators, corporations, and individual mindsets must be broadened. More coding clubs in schools are needed. More female role models and mentors are needed. In the workplace, we must overcome gender bias. Companies must also provide more flexible working conditions for women, such as programmes to assist women who are returning to work or improved maternity leave policies.
In the future, the technology sector should contribute to a more gender-balanced world, honour women's accomplishments, and raise awareness about bias. It will aid the growth of the technological sector, stimulate new talent, and make a significant difference for women. While we've made significant progress in recent years, the technology sector still has a long way to go before it is genuinely diversified.
Investing in mentorship
Once they test the water in other career paths, many women are interested in making the switch to tech. However, factors such as lack of resources and a fear of the unknown may prevent them from making the leap. Tech organisations, therefore, should seek to offer mentorship schemes for women wishing to make the change, offering support and guidance wherever necessary. Mentoring programmes, combined with exposure to senior figures, is an effective tool in highlighting the success stories of women in technology.
Tech companies should feel the responsibility to ensure that the job transition process is as smooth as possible. By offering appropriate training and accessible female role models, organisations can help their new female employees feel welcome and comfortable. After employment, companies must seek to outline clearly the career progression opportunities for the individual’s role and continually support the employee with upskilling.
Schemes such as Coding Black Females and InnovateHer provide crucial resources to ensure girls from diverse backgrounds explore opportunities in tech. More crucially, this provides mentors with the much-needed confidence boost to reflect on their own careers and understand the next steps they need to take to progress higher up in the career ladder.
Mentoring programmes also work for women who are already in the technology industry. A recent study by Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations has shown such programmes have the potential to lead to a 15% to 38% increase in promotion and retention rates for underrepresented groups and women when compared with experiences of non-mentored employees.
Encouraging gender equality in tech is not about filling quotas. It’s not about forcing certain demographics into STEM. For women to come to a male-dominated industry is challenging, and the tech industry still has a long way to go toward gender equality in the workplace. Luckily, the situation is getting better every year. Women can drive real progress in any given tech organization, and companies that embrace diversity and inclusion are always more desired employers. At Franklin Fitch, we are committed to encouraging more females to enter the tech sector an tackling the gender divide.
We have signed the Tech Talent Charter pledging to help drive diversity and inclusion within the technoligy sector. The Tech Talent Charter is a non-profit organisation leading a movement to address inequality in the UK tech sector and drive inclusion and diversity.
We are providing a platform for those working within or interested in IT Infrastructure to share their experiences with us and to come up with possible solutions together.
by Dane Keenan
With so many options to choose from, it isn’t always straightforward making crucial career decisions after graduation. This is particularly the...
With so many options to choose from, it isn’t always straightforward making crucial career decisions after graduation. This is particularly the case if your degree doesn’t guide you into a specific profession, such as law, accounting or medicine.
If you’ve got academic ability, interpersonal skills, and a competitive edge, there will be many employers looking to hire you. So whilst it can be a case of simply establishing where your main attributes lie, and what you’d like to do, this can be much easier said than done.
According to the latest FT survey, competition is fierce, opportunities are scarce and earning and growth potential can be low in the job market. However, starting a career within the recruitment industry can provide the perfect opportunity to learn and develop a fantastic array of skills and business attributes.
What is Recruitment?
Recruitment agencies work with companies to find appropriate people for their roles, and work with candidates to find their desired role. They are paid by the employer once they have successfully found a suitable candidate for their organisation.
As a recruitment consultant you’ll need to be able to build and maintain good working relationships, have excellent communication skills and be confident in a customer-facing role.
More companies are using recruiters due to the high demand for talented people in the industry. Recruitment consultants use their knowledge, expertise and judgment to match talented candidates to business’ job opportunities. Most companies have realised that their most valuable asset for success is their employees, giving recruiters the change to make a real impact on the economy and business growth.
Agencies are not only seeking the skilled candidates for their clients but looking for the top talent to join their own workforces. There is a significant demand for enthusiastic, ambitious professionals who are self-driven, hardworking and want to “be their own boss”. Recruitment companies are looking for those personalities that can build rapport, handle negotiations, influence and manage relationships.
Here are 8 reasons why recruitment is a good career move for you:
Diversity and Inclusion have been around for a while, but 2020 was the year that many businesses started to take the matter seriously. The global...
Diversity and Inclusion have been around for a while, but 2020 was the year that many businesses started to take the matter seriously. The global pandemic raised questions around remote working, coupled with the tragic murder of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests that swept the globe brought matters around diversity and inclusion to the forefront of conversations.
As a business, where is your place in this conversation? Hiring, retaining and nurturing a diverse workforce that is representative of the wider population is something that all organizations need to invest in.
Widening the diversity of your candidate pool will give you more chance of finding the best person for the job. Combined with studies from McKinsey and the Harvard Business Review which demonstrate that diverse teams have real benefits to business outputs, as well as it being “the right thing to do” – investing in a diverse and inclusive recruitment practice should be at the forefront of every business in 2021.
A diverse recruitment strategy alone isn’t enough – it has to be part of a bigger commitment to move away from the dreaded “cultural fit” to a more inclusive culture that fits around each individual, no matter what their background. Only by nurturing this diverse talent in a culture of inclusion, are you able to tap into the diverse perspectives and thoughts being offered by your workforce.
Hiring and retaining a diverse workforce can’t be done overnight – it’s a long-term commitment. Below, we outline some of the practices we use to hire diverse teams for our clients, as well as internally at Franklin Fitch.
Use a debiasing tool to ensure that gender-neutral language is used. Language such as ‘competitiveness’ or ‘assertiveness’ can discourage women from applying.
Advertise the role with some degree of flexibility to ensure that parents can apply.
Focus on competencies, attitude and aptitude rather than formal education/qualifications.
Instead of including a general equal opportunities statement, be clear in saying that the organizations actively encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds and perspectives and explain why.
Describe the culture as inclusive and one that aims to fit around individuals – rather than wanting to hire people who fit into a specific culture that could be exclusive. Focus around looking for a ‘values fit’ rather than a ‘cultural fit’.
Make use of the variety of platforms and job boards that actively recruit people from underrepresented groups to advertise your vacancy. As well as listing your vacancy on your company website, utilize identity-based networks to advertise job listings.
Diversity and inclusion is a long game, and isn’t something that can be “solved” overnight. It requires continuous work from organizations large and small. Don’t be afraid of getting things wrong – it’s a learning curve.
If you’re keen to hear more about how we hire diverse teams both in our external recruitment practice and internally at Franklin Fitch, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
by Dafydd Kevis
Cloud computing has existed for nearly two decades. Cloud computing has grown in popularity among IT and business professionals over the years....
Cloud computing has existed for nearly two decades. Cloud computing has grown in popularity among IT and business professionals over the years. Businesses are more aware than ever before that cloud computing is the way of the future and want to incorporate it into their operations. Public cloud services from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others are seeing a major rise in usage as the pandemic validates the necessity for cloud. According to Gartner, this trend will continue, with public cloud services expected to rise by more than 18% in 2021 and continue to grow at a steady rate through 2024.
What is the Cloud?
The cloud, in simple terms, is a collection of servers that host databases and software and are accessible over the internet. These servers are spread across the globe in data centres. Businesses can reduce the need for duties like server maintenance and administration by using cloud computing. Cost effectiveness, security, ease of management, scalability, and reliability are all advantages of cloud platforms.
The epidemic of COVID-19 has accelerated cloud migration. Many businesses have already made the switch to cloud platforms and are seeing increased productivity and profitability, and others are starting to gradually shift.
What's the bottom line? Digital transformation and cloud migration are critical in today's complex business world.
What is a Private Cloud?
A private cloud is one in which the servers are owned by and dedicated to only one business (referred to as the user or tenant). A private cloud can be developed on-premises, using hardware that you control and operate, or hosted by a third party in a data centre. The fact that the servers are inaccessible to other users is the most important distinguishing feature.
The owner is in charge of server management and maintenance, as well as future capacity and performance planning to suit organisational needs. Long lead times are frequently required for provisioning extra hardware and services (power, broadband, cooling, and so on) to satisfy future demand. It's popular among businesses that manage sensitive data and value the adaptability and scalability it provides.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Private Cloud
A private cloud, like any other technology, has advantages and disadvantages. A private cloud can provide a better level of security and service to industries with highly specialised demands, such as government and defence. Companies outside of these areas may nevertheless benefit from a private cloud if they have data-intensive customers in highly secure fields.
Here are some other vital advantages that are offered by the private cloud:
Security- Since organisations can physically secure their servers and access data through private networks, private clouds provide a high level of security.
Control- Private clouds give businesses the freedom to control their data and customize their core architecture as they want. It also makes monitoring easy and effective.
Customization and Reliability- The private cloud allows organisations to customize the components of their infrastructure in order to improve performance. Private clouds can also be trusted and are incredibly reliable.
Performance- Public clouds suit companies with powerful computing needs since they offer space for upgrading the infrastructure.
Latency is Minimal- Because resources are closer to users, data stored in an on-premises private cloud may be served rapidly, avoiding latency (i.e. delays in data transfer).
Despite having a plethora of advantages, the private cloud has its own dark side. Here are some disadvantages of private clouds:
Cost- Private clouds are expensive compared to public clouds. Components such as software licenses, hardware, network infrastructure, and labour costs contribute to the increased costs.
Maintaining and Deploying- The business needs to hire a qualified team to maintain the infrastructure which increases the cost of operation. However, you can overcome this challenge by hiring a managed cloud service provider to do the heavy lifting.
Limited Remote Access- Due to its security-first approach, remotes access is limited, which tends to reduce performance in some cases
What is Public Cloud?
A public cloud is a cloud architecture provided by third-party cloud vendors via the public internet that shares resources among multiple unconnected tenants. This strategy allows businesses and developers to have affordable access to high-performance computers, storage, infrastructure, and software.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Public Cloud
Using a public cloud as well as private cloud storage has advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages can help you decide if the public cloud is right for you.
Here are some other vital advantages that are offered by the public cloud:
Cost-Effective. In contrast to building a data centre, you do not need to invest money upfront to accommodate public cloud; you can use pay-per-use model.
Fast setup. Further, most public cloud services are designed to be easy to start, though there are exceptions.
Reliability. Public cloud platforms are reliable because backup data centres are always there in the event of failure.
Scalability and stability – Public cloud services allow you to scale up and down as needed, and they are simple to set up and manage.
Here are some of the disadvantages and challenges you may face when using the public cloud:
Security Limitations — This is the main concern for businesses that want to integrate cloud computing into their workflow. Defence contractors and banks, for example, may require a higher level of security protection. A private cloud makes it easier to meet these security standards.
Limited customization capabilities and poor technical support: The public cloud's multi-tenancy prevents users from personalising certain components. In addition, most public cloud providers provide inadequate or no technical support, which might limit performance.
Latency. Most businesses don't care about fractions of a second, but in other industries, even little delays in transferring or retrieving data to and from the cloud can cause performance issues.
You don't have to choose between a private or public cloud; you can also adopt a hybrid cloud strategy. The presence of various deployment types (public or private) with some form of integration or orchestration between them is referred to as hybrid cloud.
A hybrid cloud makes sense in a number of situations:
To improve disaster recovery time: A hybrid cloud is a solid solution for storing backups and using them in a disaster recovery situation for firms that value speed and dependability. In this case, the strategy is to have a "warm disaster recovery" service on standby in case of a calamity and then switch to it when needed.
To comply with legal obligations: Some laws compel you to keep data within a certain geographical footprint. One method to achieve these needs is to use a hybrid cloud.
For data-intensive tasks: Companies or departments that operate with significant amounts of large files, such as media and entertainment, can benefit from a hybrid cloud strategy. They can use on-premises technology to get fast access to huge media files and use a scalable, low-cost public cloud provider to store data that isn't accessed as frequently—archives and backups, for example.
Choose the Best Cloud Model for Your Needs
Both models have advantages and disadvantages and work differently in different contexts The most essential aspects in choosing a cloud for most businesses and organisations will be affordability, accessibility, reliability, and scalability. Your type of organisation, laws, budget, and future plans will determine whether a private or public cloud, or a combination of both, is the right answer for your needs. The good news is that there are numerous options to suit almost every use case or budget.
If you're looking to hire into your team within the cloud space or looking for a role within this industry, please contact one of our team to find out more.
by Leonie Schaefer
The world's largest wildlife crossing is now being built in California
The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, which spans 10 lanes of Highway 101, aims to improve the lives of mountain lions and other species in the Santa Monica Mountains. Crews broke ground on the $87 million wildlife crossing in Agoura Hills, California, last week, and once completed — the target is 2025 — it will be the world's largest such corridor, according to CBS Los Angeles. The 165-foot-wide crossing, which would be about 10 feet above the road, will connect the Santa Monica Mountains with the Simi Hills. The crossing will be enclosed by trees, bushes, and sound barriers to ensure that the cars and traffic below do not scare the animals away.
Hair-braiding class for dads
Annis Waugh's hair-braiding session for dads overturned preconceived beliefs. Waugh owns Braid Maidens in St. Albans, England, and she organised workshops for parents as part of a fundraiser for a local primary school. Waugh created a course called "Beers and Braids" after learning she had never had a man enrol in any of her hair-braiding sessions. She hoped it would appeal to dads. Hundreds of fathers signed up for the waiting list after the class sold out. Waugh displayed brushing and braiding techniques while teaching the dads about hair textures and varieties. Waugh told The Washington Post that the men practised on plastic heads and were "very engaged and extremely happy learners." John Hardern enrolled in the session so he could assist his children in getting ready for school, and he told the Post that learning how to braid hair with other dads gave him confidence. Hardern stated, "It shouldn't simply be one gender doing anything like this." "The more we help each other and share the burden, the better for my daughters."
Scientists finish sequencing a complete human genome
Scientists have sequenced the entire human genome for the first time, a significant achievement that will aid researchers in better understanding how DNA differs from person to person and the role heredity plays in disease. The Human Genome Project reported in 2003 that it has sequenced 92 percent of the human genome, and a team of almost 100 scientists has laboured for the past two decades to fully expose the remaining 8%. "Having this entire knowledge will allow us to better understand how we form as an individual creature and how we differ not just from other humans but also from other species," said University of Washington researcher Evan Eichler.
Global surge in turtle activity
Turtles are flocking to beaches in greater numbers all across the world. The decrease in people visiting the sandy beaches where turtles lay their eggs appears to have resulted in an increase in females coming ashore to do just that. Turtle numbers are expected to rise in the near future, according to reports from throughout the world, because people are not currently harming these marine creatures. The increase in turtle activity, according to David Godfrey, executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, is directly tied to recent changes in human behaviour.
Contact lens technology could help those with diabetes
Medical technology is frequently employed to assess chronic illnesses, and diabetes is no exception. For the first time, a biocompatible polymer has been used on contact lenses to provide diabetics with real-time information on their blood sugar levels. People can use the technology simply by blinking rather than bringing a kit out to examine themselves. The lenses will make it simple to make up-to-the-minute assessments.
Coal use for electrical power on the wane
Coal is one of the worst fossil fuels in terms of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. According to sources in the British press, coal-powered electrical production in the UK reached an all-time low in April. What was less generally known was that Austria and Sweden both permanently shut down their remaining coal-fired power plants within seven days of each other. Both countries, according to Inhabitat, have accomplished their goal ahead of schedule. Belgium has already eliminated coal consumption, and France is expected to be the next large economy to do so by 2022.
Alzheimer's treatment developed in the form of a spray
According to an article in Interesting Engineering, a Japanese team may have developed a novel technique to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The plan is to concentrate on the tau protein, which is found in the brain. This protein is known to accumulate in dementia patients. The protein was combined with a harmless virus and administered to mice through nasal spray. The immune systems of the mice recognised the tau proteins as a threat rather than accumulating them. This, it is hoped, will lead to the development of a similar treatment for individuals in the near future.
Breakthrough means good news for US coral reefs
According to CNN, the Florida Aquarium has grown a coral outside of its natural environment for the first time. The researchers have successfully generated a ridged cactus coral in a tank under human supervision. The reefs near Florida have been hit hard by disease in recent years, and it's believed that cultivating corals in this manner would help safeguard them for future generations, maybe allowing them to be put back into the environment.