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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.
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 Matthew Solway
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Lewis Andrews
Jira and Microsoft Azure DevOps are two of the most popular project management platforms for DevOps professionals. We'll look at the similarities...
Jira and Microsoft Azure DevOps are two of the most popular project management platforms for DevOps professionals. 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.
by Charlotte Drury
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.
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 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 Alison Moss
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.
In fact, according to INvolve's data, men named David and Steve are more likely to lead FTSE100 companies than women and ethnic minorities which is a shocking realisation that businesses need to push for an increase in gender balance.
March 8th marks International Women’s Day: a global day celebrating the social, economic, and political achievements of women. It’s also a day which calls for action to accelerate gender parity. The theme of this year’s event is #BreakTheBias highlighting that gender balance isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a societal issue. Whether campaigning for equal wages or calling for a crackdown on harassment, now the race is on to create a board room which is diverse, a workforce which is inclusive and a society where difference is valued and celebrated.
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.
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.
by Garett Bechdolt
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.
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.
by Jake Rickman
Work is an important aspect of many of our lives. It is where we spend the majority of our time, where we earn our money, and where we frequently...
Work is an important aspect of many of our lives. It is where we spend the majority of our time, where we earn our money, and where we frequently establish friends. Having a career that you enjoy can be beneficial to your mental health and overall well-being.
Many employers and business owners believe that an employee's mental health is not their problem. However, how an employee feels, thinks, and acts has an impact on everything from productivity to communication to their capacity to maintain workplace safety.
All mental health problems will not be prevented or reduced by a healthy workplace environment. These will still come from life experience and past trauma, which all contribute to the development of mental health issues. Good mental health at work, on the other hand, goes hand in hand with good management, and there is solid evidence that companies with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Taking care of one's well-being at work can boost productivity by as much as 12%.
One of the most important steps an employer can take to improve an individual's well-being, as well as the health of their entire company, is to assist them in improving their mental health. So, how can you foster a positive mental health culture in the workplace?
Reduce the Stigma
Talking about mental health used to be a taboo subject, and it still is for some individuals. Establish a safe space for people to communicate about their mental health by discussing stress management, self-care, and mental health in emails, meetings, and other places. Employees who feel free to be themselves at work are more likely to speak up without fear of being judged or facing repercussions.
Discuss Mental Health in the Workplace
Openly discuss and bring up concerns such as stress, depression, and anxiety in the workplace, and make it apparent that everyone struggles to be mentally healthy at times. Encourage your managers to recognise the indicators of mental illness and to talk to their colleagues about it. Leaders can help by sharing personal tales regarding their mental health, such as problems they've faced and how they overcome them. Employees who bravely and honestly share their issues can help build a sense of trust, knowing that they will be supported if they come forward with their own problems.
Promote a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Productivity will undoubtedly decline without a proper work/life balance, and people will eventually burn out. This could mean finishing work on time, avoiding sending emails 'out of hours,' or not working while you're sick. Allowing employees uninterrupted time to relax, socialise, and pursue hobbies outside of work is a crucial way to support them and create a great workplace culture.
Make Wellness a Priority
Make it a priority to assist employees in developing excellent mental health practises at work. Employee wellness includes not only mental but also physical health – therefore to promote wellness it is important that the company encourages exercise for example with a walking club at lunch. For mental health, encourage mini breaks and be mindful of workloads.
Support Employees’ Efforts to Get Help
Some employees are more hesitant to discuss and manage their mental health concerns as oppose to other medical issues. Make it apparent that you appreciate and support your employees' efforts to care for their minds as well as their bodies. Allow employees to attend counselling appointments on a flexible work schedule or provide a mental health day as needed.
Encourage Mentoring and Peer Support
People sometimes find it easier to talk to people who aren't their superiors. Outside of the line management system, peer supporters would allow employees to support one another. This would provide a safe environment for someone to address any concerns they may have concerned their mental health. Implementing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or a Health Cash Plan might be quite beneficial. This will make it easier for employees to access health benefits while also providing a safe environment for them to discuss issues.
To summarise, a positive company culture can have a significant impact on mental health. This year has brought significant change to many organisations, affecting how we grow and experience culture. However, by focusing on these areas, you may help to create a workplace that prioritises mental health.
by Charlotte Robinson
Whether you're actively looking for new work or happy in your existing position, it's a good idea to keep your CV updated on a regular basis....
Whether you're actively looking for new work or happy in your existing position, it's a good idea to keep your CV updated on a regular basis. As your career progresses, you may acquire valuable new talents, experiences, and attributes that will appear on your CV. It's a good habit to examine your CV on a regular basis to highlight your most current accomplishments and eliminate any outdated information.
Your CV will most likely be your first opportunity to impress hiring managers, so it must effectively highlight your talents, experience, and qualifications. According to studies, recruiters spend only seven seconds on average looking at a CV before assessing whether or not a prospect is suited for the position. As a result, first impressions are crucial to success. So, before you start looking for a job, clean up your CV and give it a makeover.
Here are 4 keys things to keep in mind when updating your CV on a regular basis:
Tailor to the Specific Job
One of the most important things to remember when writing a CV is to personalise it to the job description and company you're applying to. No two positions are the same, and no two CVs you submit should be the same. It's a good idea to do some research to make sure your CV is optimised for the employment role you want. Look at job ads and job descriptions for the role you desire and underline common keywords that you can use in your CV.
Examine company websites and professional networking sites for talents, qualifications, and values that are significant in your chosen field. Locate relevant keywords in a particular job description to include in your CV. Where applicable, add those keywords throughout your skills section and other areas. When you apply to a second job, spend an extra 10 minutes repeating this process rather than sending in the same CV, and you’ll have a much higher chance of success.
Make it Easier on the Eyes
Don't only change the text on your CV; pay attention to the design as well. CVs are summaries of your whole professional and academic experience, plus a little more, so expect them to be rich. Make sure there's plenty of white space so the hiring manager can easily read it. Use clear titles for the various subsections so that they can skip right to the bits that are most interesting to them.
Other design components should also be considered. Choose a legible font and avoid using too many colours. Use clean columns to keep things organised, and if you haven't done, insert bullet points beneath career history and other relevant parts.
Remove Unnecessary Information
When you add a new piece of information to your CV, you can generally remove an old piece of information. Remove prior positions that are no longer relevant to your target position to make room for more information about your professional goals. You can consider eliminating your school achievements and solely mentioning your degree-level qualifications as your job progresses. This can free up space for you to emphasize more professional achievements that recruiters will find more impressive.
The value of proofreading cannot be underestimated. A single spelling or punctuation error could turn off a hiring manager, so double-check, triple-check, and quadruple-check your CV before sending it out.
by Ben Makepeace
In today's job market, your ability to acquire your desired job is no longer only determined by your technical abilities. Every job has essential...
In today's job market, your ability to acquire your desired job is no longer only determined by your technical abilities. Every job has essential hard skills and experience necessary for the work. Despite the importance of these abilities, there are specific "soft talents" that employers seek for when employing new employees.
While technical skills are commonly discussed during interviews, it is becoming increasingly important to assess a candidate's prospects of integrating into the company's culture and work environment. Soft skills include human characteristics like as communication, time management, teamwork, and work ethic. Soft skills are more important than ever.
Here are 10 soft talents that employers are looking for if you're thinking about improving yours:
Creative Problem-Solving Skills
Within companies, problems will always arise. Employees who can solve problems and identify solutions are more valuable to a company than those who find problems but no solutions. Some managers prefer to have an issue given to them together with possible remedies at the same time.
Be an Effective Communicator
Employers value individuals who can communicate well both verbally and in writing. It is impossible to overstate the impact of excellent communication. Employees must be able to communicate as well as listen in order to work effectively with bosses, co-workers, and clients in the workplace. An excellent communicator can inspire others, explain complicated situations, and provide vital feedback.
Leadership is not simply being the one in charge and leading a team. It's your ability to persuade other employers, especially your peers, to hire you. Employers want employees who can collaborate with others, explain their expert viewpoints, and persuade them to make decisions that are in line with their ideas. Persuasive leaders travel from project to project, use their abilities to ensure that their portion of the project is completed on time.
A Positive Attitude
A positive attitude can go a long way toward turning around a department or company. It's crucial for businesses to have that energy in the office since having employees with a positive attitude can be contagious. It keeps individuals going when they're stressed, makes difficult job appear less challenging, and can make a workplace more pleasant.
Even without the challenges of the past few years, change is an important part of the modern workplace. Due to the rapid growth of technology, we are constantly doing things differently. Adaptability allows us to be more flexible and adapt to change. Many of us dislike change but learning to adjust to constantly changing needs and goals in the job while maintaining a positive, problem-solving mindset can make you an invaluable asset to your business. It will also help you stay relevant in your profession so that you can continue to be a valuable contributor in the future.
This is an important soft talent that benefits both you and your employer. Time management refers to the ability to organise your schedule on a daily and weekly basis in order to complete jobs on time and efficiently. Taking care of any of these concerns and managing your time will show management that you are dependable and that you will give them your all every day.
A Strong Work Ethic
A strong work ethic is the will to work hard and achieve success. Finding and hiring people with a strong work ethic is critical to any company's success. A strong work ethic is difficult to instil and even more difficult to maintain if one does not already exist. Having a strong work ethic is incredibly valuable in any profession or business. Employers prefer to hire people who will work to their full potential. It's not about being perfect; it's about being trustworthy and professional, as well as respecting your co-workers and workplace.
The ability to notice, assess, and respond to your own and others' emotions is referred to as emotional intelligence. This soft skill, like communication and adaptation, goes beyond understanding and controlling your own emotions to placing yourself in others' shoes for optimal collaborative production and success. It can also aid in stress management, conflict resolution, and the assessment of nonverbal cues.
Employees used to look for jobs that matched their desire to work independently or in a team setting. Those who believe they know how to do the job and don't trust others to do their part might cause stress in the workplace and reduce overall efficiency.
Much of the work in today's workplace is done in groups; while employees must be able to work individually (sometimes as part of a team), you will almost certainly be part of a group working toward a common goal. Now you must be able to complete all of this while not in the same room as your co-workers. Learning to trust others, collaborate, and provide and accept feedback is a challenging talent to master, but if you can, you'll be well ahead of the competition.
Perform Under Pressure
Working under pressure requires dealing with constraints that are frequently beyond your control. Last-minute adjustments, impending deadlines, and a lack of expertise required to complete your job are all possibilities. When urgent needs emerge, you can keep your calm instead of being stressed out and overwhelmed if you have work under pressure skills. And no matter where you work, there will surely be times when you are required to work under pressure.
At each step of the job search, it's critical to cover both your hard (technical) and soft (transferable) skills. Consider how you'll express these abilities in your CV, and practise describing them in person before your interview. To give your future employer a greater understanding of your traits and abilities, include real-life examples of how you've used your soft skills.
Keep in mind that you offer a lot more to the table than just technical abilities. Soft skills are valued by employers since they show your personality and attitude. It's a big part of who you are!
by Isabelle Melton
As a recruiter, much of the advice I've seen published about the hiring process is aimed at the candidate, and how to make your profile more...
As a recruiter, much of the advice I've seen published about the hiring process is aimed at the candidate, and how to make your profile more appealing to a client. The current job market, on the other hand, is very candidate driven, with each candidate we see having multiple opportunities and offers. As a result, it is now more important than ever to make your company and job as appealing as possible.
Below are some tips on how you can go about ensuring you maximise your possiblities of securing high quality candidates in the hiring process:
A job advert is one of first impressions a candidate will get of a both you as a company, and then about the role. Knowing this, you need to really make your advert stand out from the rest. Use your advert to sell back to common desirables that candidates in your market often look for. If you have really strong benefits, include them! If you have a great development programme, mention this! By doing this and putting a little bit more time into your advert, it will not only increase the number of responses, but increase the quality of people.
The current market moves very fast for good candidates. If your interview process is too long, or too straining on the candidate’s time, this can be the reason for losing a candidate to a company with a faster process. It may be hard to hear, and although WE may know that your company and the opportunity you have is amazing…the market is filled with hot job opportunities who are all looking for your good candidate. Is not doing that technical test really going to affect you in the long run, or are you going to be more affected by losing out on good candidates?
It’s all well and good to shorten and improve the length of your hiring process, but it is then important to be selective about who you are putting in to interview candidates. From previous experience, this person needs to be able to truly represent your company, be a good advocate for your brand, and give a good first impression. By only choosing the decision makers to conduct the interviews, this can lose rapport with the candidate who may want to get a sense of what the company is like from someone more junior.
The most obvious way to secure good candidates, but something I see getting overlooked way too often, is the importance of paying a competitive salary. This is something that we as recruiters can definitely help you with as we have extensive market knowledge and will have insight into what salaries competitors are paying, and what good candidates are expecting. It is easy to think your job opportunity is amazing even at an average salary rate, and although this saves you money, it will not appeal to candidates who are financially driven. The national average in the US for a salary increase is 14.8%, meaning candidates will expect a good offer for them to consider leaving. On top of this, it is important to make your first offer strong. It is extremely hard to go to a candidate with a second offer after you have already low-balled them. They will ask questions like…If that flex was there to start with, why did they try and offer me lower? Do they really appreciate my value by offering me lower than we originally agreed?
Although potentially a bit biased, one of the best bits of advice I can give regarding securing good candidates in a tight market, is to utilise your chosen agencies…this really is what we are good at! As recruiters, we have extensive market knowledge and can help add value to your hiring. We also build up strong relationships with candidates and are trained negotiators, so will actively help you secure the candidate through knowing their selling points and lowering their expectations if needed. We also have the time and resources that are required to find those candidates that aren’t on job sites and aren’t going to reply to your job adverts. Don’t miss out on an entire pool of candidates, let us help.
by Robyn Trubey
We talk about diversity and establishing inclusive teams a lot as recruiters. A varied workforce brings to your firm an unique set of viewpoints and...
We talk about diversity and establishing inclusive teams a lot as recruiters. A varied workforce brings to your firm an unique set of viewpoints and opinions. In reality, businesses with a diverse staff outperform their competitors and report happier employees.
Despite the hype, just around half of firms have strategies in place to attract a diverse workforce. Approximately the same number of companies do not keep track of workforce diversity.
Unfortunately, bias – even if it is unconscious – can impede some businesses from naturally achieving diversity. It's critical for your recruiters to have initiatives in place that encourage more diverse hires in order to build inclusive teams.
Inclusive hiring can help your team develop more quickly, produce happier employees, form stronger teams, and help your company outperform its competition. Here are a few best practises for inclusive recruitment that your organisation can use.
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 practises 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 practises 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 for a more diversified demographic.
Screening and Interviewing
Preventing and 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 CV’s or abandoning CV’s entirely in favour of another way of candidate screening.
Blind hiring involves removing any information from resumés that could cause bias, such as age, ethnicity, gender, education, and geographic location. Ideally, only the facts that matter will be left: their skills, experience, and achievements.
The practice of replacing CV’s with skills testing is gaining traction in the recruitment industry. The idea is to hire based on skills rather than background. Candidates are tested for technical skills (such as coding) and soft skills (like communication), then graded and ranked according to their performance — creating a shortlist of top candidates without any identifying information.
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 the incorrect reasons.
Minimising 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:
Screen questions for exclusive language
Ask every candidate the same set of standardized questions and stick to the script.
Use the same assessment criteria and debrief for every candidate.
Avoid one-on-one interviews. Have a panel of at least three interviewers.
Make sure your panel is diverse
Beware of hiring for likeability.
Don’t make a decision based on the interview alone.
Conduct panel interviews to reduce interview bias and provide for 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. Those 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 other points of view and use 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 mould 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 to actually enjoy their time at your company. Each employee has an 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 Isabelle Melton
Isabelle Melton joined our Franklin Fitch Training Programme in November 2021, which provided her with the tools she needed to get started...
Isabelle Melton joined our Franklin Fitch Training Programme in November 2021, which provided her with the tools she needed to get started in the recruitment industry. Fast forward to present day, Isabelle not only excelled in the programme, but has recently been promoted to Recruitment Consultant. We spoke with her about her recruitment career journey, her advice for individuals considering a career in recruitment, and how she's adjusted to her job and team at Franklin Fitch.
Introduce yourself, your career journey at Franklin Fitch, your current role, and your responsibilities.
My name is Isabelle, and I work as a Recruitment Consultant at Franklin Fitch. I've been here since November and was recently promoted from trainee consultant to consultant. I got into recruitment after earning a degree in Criminology and Psychology while also working in retail. I am now looking to start working towards my next promotion, which will be to Senior Consultant, with the ultimate goal of becoming a Team Lead here.
Since joining Franklin Fitch what has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced?
My most difficult challenge since starting here at Franklin Fitch has been organisation! You must be extremely organised as a recruitment consultant since you must juggle so many things at once.
What was the training programme like for you at Franklin Fitch?
One of my favourite aspects of Franklin Fitch, and one of the reasons I first joined, is the training programme. Even during the pandemic, I received extensive training and support, and I believe that in such a short period of time, I have significantly expanded my skill set and even worked on my own self-confidence.
What are your thoughts on being on the programme?
I absolutely love being a part of the programme. Going into recruitment straight out of university can be daunting, so working under Charlotte, our L&D Manager, is an excellent way to feel like you can grow and develop. That being said, there is no micromanagement at Franklin Fitch, and they allow you to get your hands dirty early on while guiding you through the entire process. This method of learning is beneficial to me because it gives me a push while also giving me the encouragement of knowing that I am supported.
Why did you choose a career in recruitment at Franklin Fitch?
I chose a career at Franklin Fitch because I am very money-driven, and after speaking with some of the team's more senior members, I realised that there are tremendous earning opportunities here. I also liked the idea of eventually moving to America, so the fact that they work in multiple markets and are constantly expanding in the US was very appealing to me for my career.
Any advice you would give to future recruiters?
My main piece of advice to aspiring recruiters is to trust the process. It can be difficult to keep a positive attitude during the first year of employment, and they say you will consider leaving several times. However, if you persevere and have faith in your own learning and development, as well as the procedures in place at Franklin Fitch, the opportunity can be life changing.
by Emily Jones
Dealing with stress in the workplace has long been a problem for businesses. However, the ongoing mental health impact of the coronavirus pandemic...
Dealing with stress in the workplace has long been a problem for businesses. However, the ongoing mental health impact of the coronavirus pandemic has shown us how quickly our world can change in the last few months. The ability to be adaptable and flexible has taken on a new meaning as many people struggle to find a happy medium.
Stress is a normal part of life; some stress is beneficial and motivating, but when stress becomes overwhelming, it can have a negative impact on a person's mental health. Recognizing the warning signs and intervening early can help prevent feelings from spiralling out of control. Taking steps to manage workplace stress is critical for both employers and employees in order to create a mentally healthy working environment where people feel supported.
The statistics speak for themselves. The total number of cases of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety reached 828,000 in 2019/20, resulting in 17.9 million days lost – a significant increase over the previous period. It is expected that the upheaval of COVID-19 and increased demand for services will have triggered a further increase in cases – in fact, a recent CIPD survey found that 37% of organisations have noticed an increase in stress-related absences this year.
Workplace stress manifests itself in a variety of ways, and it is critical to understand how to recognise it and effectively deal with it so that it does not escalate. Let's take a look at some scenarios and strategies you can employ the next time you're stressed at work.
Manage your Workload
When we work too much, we put ourselves at risk of burnout—a psychological syndrome that leaves us constantly exhausted, overly cynical, and feeling like nothing we do matters.
Everyone needs help from time to time and discussing your workload with your manager is important if you’re struggling. Simply getting your worries off your chest can help, and together you can work to set realistic targets. It’s okay to place boundaries: say no. Strong boundaries are essential in any healthy relationship, including your relationship with your employer.
Accepting a task that you are unable to complete may result in an excessive amount of stress in addition to the task being poorly completed. And without clear boundaries around the workday (and even during the workday), you’ll always be tempted to keep working. You might have a conversation with your boss about expectations and deadlines. They might be able to help you set boundaries at work and resolve any time-management issues you're having.
An important strategy to help manage your workload is prioritising your work. By learning how to prioritize means getting more out of the limited time you have each day. It’s one of the cornerstones of productivity and once you know how to properly prioritize, it can help with everything from your time management to work-life balance.
Ask for Support
Clarity about expectations and performance are important steps toward feeling more confident and less stressed at work. However, having an honest and open relationship with your boss is a critical factor. Having a difficult conversation about workplace stress, especially with your boss, is never easy. However, it can assist you in focusing on what is best for your own mental well-being, which will benefit the company.
They will have the tools and resources to inform you about what the workplace has to offer. Many workplaces provide programmes such as counselling to assist you in getting through these trying times. Take the time to explain how you manage your professional and personal lives to a friend, co-worker, or family member. Don't be afraid to express your worries and concerns. The vast majority of people are going through the same thing and are unsure how to discuss it with others. If you're feeling disconnected from your co-workers, try to find a way to reach out to them. When you are able to express your emotions, your thoughts become clearer.
Give Yourself a Break
If you've been under a lot of stress at work, it's okay to reward yourself and find a work-life balance. Create habits! It's possible that this is easier said than done... Try muting teams or deleting the email app from your phone. This is especially useful if you work remotely, as it can be difficult to unwind after a long day at work.
Why not make the most of your paid holidays? Take advantage of the time off you are entitled to and use it to reset your mind: plan a holiday, go to movies, visit family, or do anything else that you enjoy and will help you feel more relaxed. Try to balance things out by taking advantage of your free time, such as weekends. These activities can assist you in unwinding and enjoying life. This, in turn, can fuel your creativity and help you find fresh perspectives on your work.
These small steps can make a big difference in reducing stress, building resilience, and improving your mental health in the workplace.
by Dominique Lianos
The four-day week went mainstream
Working fewer hours for the same pay may sound like a pipe dream, but it is quickly becoming a reality for employees in the United Kingdom.
According to a recent report, the number of companies offering a four-day work week has increased significantly. Academics at the University of Reading's Henley Business School surveyed 227 businesses and discovered that 66% now offer shorter work weeks, up from 50% in 2019.
Companies that did so reported improved work quality and said it was easier to attract and retain employees. According to academics, all of this helped businesses save money – an average of £18,000 per year. Employees, on the other hand, reported feeling less stressed.
Dr Rita Fontinha, who led the research, said increased interest in a four-day week was perhaps “the greatest silver lining to come from the pandemic.”
The EU hatched a plan to hasten renewables rollout
This week, there were more indications that Europe's rush to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels could hasten the transition to renewables. The EU published an energy plan that pledged to end the bloc's reliance on Russian gas and oil "well before" 2030.
To the dismay of climate activists, the REPowerEU strategy proposed increasing gas storage capacity and seeking alternative gas suppliers as short-term solutions. However, the plan also promised to speed up the deployment of wind farms, rooftop solar panels, heat pumps, and hydrogen.
"Renewables give us the freedom to choose an energy source that is clean, cheap, reliable, and ours," said Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission. "Rather than funding fossil fuel imports and Russian oligarchs, renewables create new jobs."
Friends of the Earth said the plan contained “great words, but little action”. Last week, Germany brought forward its target date for decarbonising its energy supply by 15 years.
World leaders hailed ‘historic’ resolution on plastic
Despite the political fallout from Ukraine's war, 175 nations came together this week to strike what has been described as "the most significant environmental multilateral deal since the Paris accord."
United Nations countries have agreed to create a legally binding global treaty to address plastic pollution in the world's oceans, rivers, and landscape. The U.N. Environment Assembly voted unanimously at its meeting in Kenya's capital Nairobi for a resolution 'to end plastic pollution.' It sets the stage for international negotiations designed to produce a treaty by 2024.
"Against the backdrop of geopolitical turmoil, the UN Environment Assembly exemplifies multilateral cooperation at its best," said UNEA-5 President Espen Barth Eide. "Plastic pollution has become an epidemic." With today's resolution, we're officially on the right track to finding a cure."
WWF International's director general, Marco Lambertini, welcomed the agreement but stated that the hard work had only just begun. "World leaders must now demonstrate even more resolve in developing and implementing a treaty that addresses our current plastic pollution crisis and enables an effective transition to a plastic circular economy."
Panama enacted a rights of nature law
Wildlife-rich Panama has become the most recent country to enshrine nature's rights in law.
Nature now has the "right to exist, persist, and regenerate," as well as the "right to be restored after being affected directly or indirectly by any human activity," according to legislation passed this week.
Enacting legislation is one thing; enforcing it is quite another. In Ecuador, which recognises the rights of nature, controversial extraction projects in ecologically sensitive areas have continued. Panama joins a growing list of countries that have enacted laws protecting the environment. Among them are Bolivia, Mexico, and New Zealand.
UK supermarkets embraced refill shopping
Some of the UK’s leading supermarkets have agreed to install refill stations in shops by the end of the year.
Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Ocado all signed up to the Refill Coalition, which aims to make package-free shopping mainstream. UK supermarkets get through an estimated 59bn pieces of single-use plastic packaging annually.
In a joint statement, the retailers said: “The Refill Coalition presents a landmark opportunity for us to make a step change in the commercialisation of refills, which we know can play a significant role in the reduction of single-use plastic packaging.”
by Patrick Griffiths
Are you stuck deciding whether to take that great new job or accept your boss' counteroffer and stay where you are?
These enticing offers can...
Are you stuck deciding whether to take that great new job or accept your boss' counteroffer and stay where you are?
These enticing offers can cause you to seriously reconsider your decision to leave, whether they offer you a promotion, more flexibility and responsibility, or a pay raise. But that's exactly the point.
On the one hand, it's a fantastic issue to have. If your boss/employer is willing to up the ante in order to keep you, you're obviously doing something right. Moving on to a new company, on the other hand, may provide you with additional benefits and opportunities that your current employer does not provide.
It can be difficult to decide whether to accept a counteroffer, and there are numerous factors to consider. Your decision will most likely have a significant impact on your career and should not be taken lightly.
Why do companies make counter offers?
Is your current employer making a counteroffer because they are concerned about losing a valuable employee or for other reasons? In a candidate-led market, where competition for talent is fierce, counteroffers are becoming increasingly common. Counteroffers are understandably, incredibly flattering, and can evoke lots of new emotions that make you wonder why you ever wanted to leave your employer in the first place. However, keep in mind that a counteroffer from your employer or a senior executive within the company is not about you.
Aside from salary, the costs of advertising your job, filling the vacant position you leave, and training a new hire can total tens of thousands of pounds. Furthermore, many IT and digital jobs are currently difficult to fill due to current skill shortages. Such difficult positions can remain open for months or even years, inadvertently costing companies money by delaying them from meeting their objectives. Employers do not make counteroffers because they like you and will miss having you around. Although their counteroffer may make you feel special, the main reason businesses make counteroffers is to save money.
Why You Might Accept a Counteroffer
Over 50% of employees accept counteroffers. At the time, it can seem like the right decision as you won’t have to master the working methods of another company or build relationships with new colleagues. Being offered more money is one of the most common reasons that employees will accept a counteroffer. This will work well if you are satisfied with your current position, like the company, and get along well with your work colleagues. You get to stay in a place that is comfortable for you, and you are fairly compensated for the work that you do.
Accepting a counteroffer should be done with caution, as the employer may question your loyalty to the company, and you may be perceived as only interested in financial gain. 80% of employees that accept a counteroffer leave within six months and 90% within a year. Proving that money isn’t always enough to overcome the problems that made you want to look for a new job in the first place.
Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Counteroffer
Unfortunately, there are more reasons to turn down than accept a counteroffer.
Consider the Reasons for Wanting to Leave
Getting a raise is, at best, a temporary fix. Only 12% of employees resign for financial reasons; poor work-life balance, a lack of career development opportunities, and a lack of benefits are increasingly motivating factors to leave. So, chances are you're looking for a new job for other reasons than a higher salary, and these reasons aren't going away with a higher salary. Consider why you started looking for other opportunities in the first place. Most likely, salary was a factor, but it was not the only one. Perhaps you felt stuck, with few opportunities for advancement, or you realised you were comfortable but not reaching your full potential.
Trust is Broken
Accepting a counteroffer will almost certainly harm your relationship with your current employer. Your resignation will be interpreted as a lack of dedication to the company. The desire you expressed to leave may indicate that you are not as loyal or committed as other employees, which may have an impact on your career development as you may be passed over for promotions in favour of co-workers who have not attempted to leave.
Will Things Really Change?
The frustration, suffocating feelings, and dissatisfaction that drove you to look for new opportunities will remain, and the raise in pay is unlikely to make them any less unbearable. Whatever turned you off about your job before the new offer will irritate you even after you accept it. Perhaps you were passed over for a promotion or were simply not given the opportunities to advance. You most likely expressed these concerns to your employer at some point, but they were not effectively addressed. These issues are likely to persist after you accept the counteroffer and will eventually force you to resign – this time for good.
Will my Job Security be Affected?
Accepting a counteroffer significantly reduces your job security. Your boss has worked hard to keep you from leaving, but you can bet that when it comes time to make redundancies or reduce personnel, you'll be near the top of the list because you've already tried to jump ship. This desire to leave may indicate that you are not as loyal or committed as other employees, which may have an impact on your career development as you may be passed over for promotions in favour of co-workers who have not attempted to leave.
Making a Final Decision
It can be difficult to decide whether or not to accept a counteroffer. It is critical to consider each of the previously discussed points and create a list of pros and cons. You may discover that you require additional information about your potential new employer. In this case, it's often best to consult with your recruiter so you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your personal and professional development.
by Matthew Solway
Coming from a university background completing a BSc and MSc in Sport and International Business, you see both sides of university life. The...
Coming from a university background completing a BSc and MSc in Sport and International Business, you see both sides of university life. The relatively easy undergrad where every day is a weekend, there are no ties or commitments, and heaven forbid you get two one-hour lectures back-to-back. Then there's the full-on, demanding MSc, where you're drowning in deadlines and your workload triples.
You must develop strategies to help you deal with the news pressures and workloads. This can be a valuable learning experience in dealing with real-world pressure and stress. The coping strategies you learn here will help you manage and reduce stress later in life. You work hard to meet deadlines and maintain a work-life balance with sports and social circles, and then one day you turn in your last assignment and the adult world knocks.
This gives you some breathing room as you try to find your way. Trying to find that path can be difficult and perplexing at times. I'd advise you to keep an eye out for potential opportunities that will allow you to develop whatever qualities are important to you. Recruitment seemed like a no-brainer to me. Coming from a hardworking family, recruitment allowed me to continue to build on the skills I learned in my master's programme and previous experiences in my current line of work.
Coming from a social and sporting background, recruitment allowed me to continue to evolve social aspects of my life by developing communication styles. It gave me the ability to take on personal responsibilities and manage my own workload. Recruitment is a profession that rewards hard work, and it is often said that "what you put in, you get out." It is not an easy journey, and I would not recommend it to everyone, but it can be a highly rewarding and exciting career.
To be successful in this field, you must be resilient and willing to roll with the punches. No recruiter is finished after their first day, and I doubt they ever will be. Be prepared for highs and lows. You must enter this field with an open mind so that you can absorb all the necessary information and learn from those around you. You'll get into the swing of things once you've found your feet and your own style. Then success will begin to arrive, and your efforts will be rewarded. Dividends will be paid on what you have invested. Simply buckle up, brace yourself for the blows, and settle in for the ride.
by Dafydd Kevis
The increased reliance of business on their IT functions means that the cybersecurity sector is required to evolve and grow almost on a daily basis....
The increased reliance of business on their IT functions means that the cybersecurity sector is required to evolve and grow almost on a daily basis. From single phishing attacks to nation-state attacks used in the midst of the theatre of war, the versatility required from cyber professionals and organisations has never been so imperative, especially with the constant changes in threat landscapes and business operations.
Although not conventionally correlated, the global pandemic has directly influenced complexities in developing robust security architectures. The rise in remote working and the increased preference for cloud-based approaches have ensued major shifts in not just technical advancements, but also in operational.
How has COVID influenced operational arrangements?
The position of CISO has seen advancements in many aspects, from increased salary ranges to restructured hierarchies. With cybersecurity being viewed more as a business risk as opposed to a technological risk, the role of CISO has become fundamental to every business and therefore expanded to include business continuity decisions and liaising with board members for wider business decision making.
As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve the more prevalent the CISO is in the overall success of a business, especially considering the shift to more remote working. We have seen an increased requirement for senior cyber professionals to join organisations and begin maturing and building out their internal security functions.
What technological advancements are influencing the cybersecurity landscape?
The biggest driver of change has been the quick implementation of cloud-based services since the onset of the pandemic. This has meant that cybersecurity strategies have too required quick implementation of new and robust procedures and tools to remediate the increased variety in threats.
The increased aggregation of company data into cloud systems means an efficiency and practicality on terms of the client, however the provider becomes a prime target for data breaches and attacks. With the likes of IaaS and PaaS, the responsibility of securing data, user access, applications and operating systems falls under the remit of the organisations and at differing levels, requiring comprehensive plans and strategies to ensure robust security protocols. IAM and PAM requirements are prevalent in job specifications at the moment, simple access practises are no longer acceptable in environments with increase collaboration and remote access requirements.
What does the future of the cybersecurity landscape look like?
Ultimately, the cybersecurity landscape will continue to evolve and develop to coincide with the constant shifts in attack vectors. Organisations will continue to utilise the most up-to-date systems and platforms available and with this leaning more towards cloud-based computing, robust security strategies, functions and tools will become highly sought after.
There are increasing calls for more governmental regulated approaches to cybersecurity and defence, particularly due to recent events in which cyber attacks are being used in the theatre of war.
There is no doubt that cybersecurity will be at the top of corporate agendas in the post-COVID era, it will be interesting what innovations and transformations will come as a result of this.
by Lauren Greene
Who, what, where, when, why?
Despite common misconception, the concept of a metaverse isn’t a new one. First introduced in 1992,...
Who, what, where, when, why?
Despite common misconception, the concept of a metaverse isn’t a new one. First introduced in 1992, sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson coined the term 'metaverse' to describe a 3D virtual space. This idea was then realised for the first time in 2003 through an online multimedia platform called “Second life”.
Since then, there have been numerous examples of gaming platforms exploring the potential applications of this concept. For example, in 2020 the immensely popular video game Fortnite conducted a virtual Travis Scott concert within the game, and 12.3 million people worldwide tuned in. A more general example is any game within the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer On-line role-playing game) genre such as World of Warcraft, where thousands of players can inhabit the same virtual space, with players logging in and out continually, and able to interact in various ways.
The Covid 19 pandemic has been a large extrinsic motivator for the growth of this industry, accelerating and driving the convergence of physical and digital. Companies invested heavily within collaboration and messaging technologies such as Teams, Zoom and Skype, and have now created a digital hiring, onboarding, and remote working world.
Meta, the rebrand of Facebook, and Microsoft, are leading the path for the metaverse alongside other large names in the tech industry which are all racing towards securing their name and real estate in the 3D VR world that will soon become a reality.
The evolution of emerging technology and digital transformations will see a huge transition for the main 3 pillars of human activity: Work, Education and Entertainment.
Over the years, Retail as an industry has taken a huge, and successful move onto online platforms, saving money for physical resources, allowing mediation of our activities remotely, and putting products in the hands of consumers worldwide. The metaverse could be the next evolution of this journey, allowing consumers to get that physical feel whilst they shop online from the comfort of their own homes.
Many companies are already looking at being a part of this virtual world and benefiting from a dedicated virtual space in which they can conduct interviews, doctors’ appointments and try on clothes without moving a muscle.
On a larger scale, geopolitics will see an impact, which could be both a help and hinderance to have present governing bodies for smaller counties but to also create communities transcending borders in reality.
Understanding how the Metaverse will be accessed
To first give a broad understanding of how the metaverse will be accessible, you first need to understand the different tech behind it. Extended Reality (XR) covers both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) where VR enables you to fully immerse yourself in a 3D platform with the use of a headset whilst AR will overlay images onto the real world.
Whilst the metaverse doesn’t have to exclusively exist in XR, it’s the version of it that does that’s getting the most attention. This is because more immersive, experiential environments are central to the whole concept – something that XR interfaces lend themselves to very well.
Meta is focusing heavily on the VR aspects through its well renowned and recently bought hardware brand Oculus. 3D environments, avatars, and gamification – three fundamental aspects of the concept – all fit well with VR interfaces. And AR, too, with its potential to blur the distinction between virtual and real worlds, is another idea that meshes well with the metaverse concept.
2022 should see the release of Meta’s Horizon platform as an expanded VR world, this will be the first step into giving people a sensation of what the metaverse could become, and VR will be the window through which they experience it.
How will it ‘feel real’?
As a running trend for technology becoming smaller and more powerful, over the next few years we will also see this for VR which is a huge benefit for lighter headsets.
First seen in CES 2022 was the rebrand of the chunky VR sets to sleek and easily wearable AR devices which will be made available to buy over this coming year. HTC also made a device called the flow which is a slimmer stand-alone model making this device easier to use which focuses on entertainment and mental health.
AR devices will get lighter, too – California start-up Mojo-Vision has already demonstrated the potential for AR contact lenses that project information directly onto the retina.
Other innovations will attempt to solve the problem of enabling realistic movement within virtual environments (which will always be a problem if your actual environment doesn’t match the size and proportions of your virtual one and isn’t free of hazards that might cause you to trip over!). Proposed solutions to this problem include both boots, as offered by Ekto VR, and treadmills, like the one developed by Virtuix.
Another technology known as haptic feedback will attempt to solve the problem of providing sensations of touch in XR environments. One example is the Teslasuit that provides tactile feedback through electrostimulation. The suit currently costs around $20,000 and, among other uses, is used by NASA for astronaut training, but we can expect to see smaller-scale consumer versions on the market in 2022.
We can also thank the 5G rollout which is picking up pace in 2022 to become a mainstream proposition with speeds 20 times quicker than existing networks for data transmission. In addition to increasing this differential, the benefits also include different types of data and services. This is likely to include the large data volumes needed to run XR, making wireless and cloud-based VR and AR a possibility. Plutosphere, for example, and other start-ups offering similar services, let users stream VR games from cloud servers. This will dramatically lower the barriers to entry for many businesses wanting to deploy XR solutions without making large infrastructure investments.
How will this impact us?
Within education, XR technologies make it easier for students to visualize concepts – from the numbers used in accounting to historical events or even the inner workings of reality exposed through quantum physics – in interesting and engaging ways. Evidence suggests that when we learn through experiencing in this way, rather than simply reading dry facts, we can improve our knowledge retention by 75 to 90%.
Examples in a working environment include VR being used for training and to simulate operations in dangerous situations, such as the FLAIM system used to train firefighters to tackle wildfire and aircraft fires. AR is increasingly being used to provide real-time inputs to trainees during on-the-job learning, such as using computer vision-equipped glasses and headsets to recognize and warn of potential dangers in the work environment.
For businesses, AI will be able to inform target audience creation, creative optimization, and inventory forecasts.
In the agricultural world we have seen a ‘bovine’ matrix for happy cows testing in Turkey, where cows will experience a virtual open field and sunny setting rather than cooped up in a milking parlour which has proved results in higher quantity and quality of milk. Despite the positive results for farmers, the process raises serious questions about ethical farming. Would more milk be worth putting animals in a bovine matrix where they have no perception of the real world (a cooped-up milk farm with tens of other cows)?
Complexities and challenges of a new reality
Regulators will need to be put in place with facial expressions, blood pressure etc. being tracked for digital rights. On top of this if this is a pixelated replica of our universe, will this face balkanization as seen in our world where the internet already operates in different parts of the world.
Even more of a frightening thought is with a Metaverse containing so much private information, what risk is there for digital espionage and how much technical support will the Infrastructure and Security of a platform of this size need?
Control of data will also be the control of market. The opening advantage in the metaverse will go to those with the data to make the new virtual activities relevant to the user. The result is no different from the present online world in which those with the data hoard it to control the market.
Facebook algorithms are programmed to maximize user time on the site to maximize the number of advertisements that can be sold. As the algorithms are programmed to maximize engagement this means the algorithms send to each user news that is in line with their pre-established views, not news that creates a shared foundation. Even worse, is that one of the best ways to hold engagement is to create conflict and outrage, regardless of the veracity of the claim. This brings us around to the development of government-overseen behavioural standards protected consumer, workers, and competition in the industrial revolution—while simultaneously enabling a vibrant and growing economy. Where the digital revolution requires similar government-overseen standards. Facebook is currently discussing behavioural standards for the metaverse, but it is not sufficient. Many people are looking to distract from our current challenges with the shiny new metaverse, however we have yet to resolve the challenges in the current online universe—problems that will simply metastasize into the metaverse if not dealt with.
by Dominique Lianos
Efforts to increase diversity in the tech industry are missing a critical element if neurodiverse hiring practices are not included.
Efforts to increase diversity in the tech industry are missing a critical element if neurodiverse hiring practices are not included.
According to, 72% of HR professionals said neurodiversity was not included in their people management practices, and 17% said they didn't know if it was. This untapped talent market exists primarily as a result of a lack of awareness and comprehension of neurodiversity.
There is a lot of ambiguity in the terminology. The term "neurodiversity" refers to people who have certain neurological conditions or who are on a neurodiverse spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia (a neurologically based physical disorder), social anxiety disorders, and other conditions fall into this category. People on the neurodiverse spectrum frequently struggle with social interaction and communication in the same way that a neurotypical person would, but many people with these 'disorders' also have above-average abilities, often in areas such as pattern recognition, concentration, memory, or mathematics.
However, when compared to other minority groups, neurodivergent individuals are frequently overlooked, and this problem exists across multiple conditions and on a global scale.
How can neurodiverse talent benefit a company's workforce?
Neurodivergent candidates are hardwired to think outside the box and are gifted in skills required for digital success. People with ADHD, for example, have exceptional focus and problem-solving abilities. Autistic people, on the other hand, are meticulous and have higher analytical thinking abilities.
Organizations can reap significant benefits from encouraging neurodiversity in terms of innovation, creativity, and thought diversity. It can also benefit neurotypical employees by allowing them to grow and prosper in a variety of ways.
How can organisations alter their hiring processes to attract neurodiverse talent?
Traditional hiring, employment, and workplace management models have a flaw in their design: they are centred on neurotypical people. A traditional job interview can be problematic because it favours neurotypical candidates while automatically excluding neurominorities. You may struggle to understand social norms and nonverbal communication if you have a neurodivergent condition such as autism or dyspraxia. Autistic people are also prone to sensory processing issues, which makes a panel interview difficult to navigate because the candidate must focus on multiple people's verbal and nonverbal communication at the same time.
The interview process can also be modified to create a welcoming environment for neurodiverse candidates. Instead of a panel of interviewers, you could, for example, conduct a series of sequential interviews with one interviewer at a time.The interviewer can give candidates extra time before and after the interview to settle in and have the best opportunity to demonstrate their technical knowledge and communication skills. In addition, an external job coach can help [candidates] prepare for interviews and provide support throughout the hiring process — and even afterward.
What are some effective strategies for creating an inclusive environment for neurodiverse candidates?
It is critical to educate neurotypical employees on the dos and don'ts of communicating with neurodiverse employees. Managers and team members must be trained in advance in order to get the most out of neurodivergent individuals. Greater education and understanding of our cognitive differences will not only help to dispel some of the misconceptions but will also encourage neurodiverse employees to feel more comfortable opening up to their employers and make it easier for managers and colleagues to understand the type of support they require.
Inclusion can also be seen from the standpoint of physical space in the office. According to the research, neurodiverse people are more sensitive to noise, smell, light, and crowded places. As a result, placing their workstations in less congested and dimly lit areas of the office can boost their productivity. Organizations can also provide noise-cancelling headphones to their neurodiverse employees to create a distraction-free environment.
When communicating with a neurodiverse individual, managers and team members should be clear, concise, and complete. They should avoid asking open-ended questions and be specific about who needs to do what by when. It is also preferable to use literal expressions rather than metaphors or ambiguous messages.
Creating a neurodiverse-friendly hiring process and workforce will require hiring managers and employees to take a step back, remove assumptions and communicate in a new way. The bottom line is that inclusion is worth the extra effort and ultimately companies are missing a critical element if neurodiverse hiring practices are not included.
by Ben Makepeace
In August 2021, Oliver Boulton, a member of our London US team, enrolled in Franklin Fitch's Academy Program. From there, he has excelled...
In August 2021, Oliver Boulton, a member of our London US team, enrolled in Franklin Fitch's Academy Program. From there, he has excelled throughout the training programme and was promoted to Recruitment Consultant. We got the chance to speak with him about his career journey into recruitment, his advice for individuals considering a career in recruitment and how he's adjusted into his job and team at Franklin Fitch.
Introduce yourself, your career journey at Franklin Fitch, your current role and your responsibilities.
My name is Olly and I work for Franklin Fitch as a Recruitment Consultant. I started at Franklin Fitch in August 2021 following my graduation from Exeter University where I did a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I started off as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant and recently got promoted following five months of training. I am now about to start working towards my Senior Recruitment Consultant targets with the aim of achieving this by the end of the year.
Since joining Franklin Fitch what has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced?
One of the hardest adjustments I faced was going from being a student to full-time work – it is a shock to the system! However, I have had a great support system at Franklin Fitch who have always been ready and available if I needed any advice or assistance.
What was the training programme like for you at Franklin Fitch?
The training programme has been second to none. When I interviewed for Franklin Fitch, they sold me on their continuous training programme, and it turned out to be one of the biggest benefits of working here. It is led by a dedicated Learning and Development Manager, Charlotte Drury, who provided me with constant support and training and was always there to help with issues either inside or outside of recruitment.
The two main selling points for Franklin Fitch were the culture and continuous learning approach. Everyone is always accessible and willing to help regardless of their seniority within the company. Even though I have graduated from the Academy, my learning and development is still being closely monitored and every day I feel like I learn something new and improve my ability as a Recruitment Consultant. Regardless of where you sit in the company, there are always opportunities to learn and grow and they regularly bring in external industry experts to conduct training sessions, even when you reach Principal or Director level!
Why did you choose a career in recruitment at Franklin Fitch?
My main motivation to start a career in recruitment was the ability to make the same money in your first year as you would in your fifth year in a typical graduate job. In addition to this, there are no other jobs where you can potentially earn two promotions within the space of a year. The career growth opportunities at Franklin Fitch are clear and tangible, and you know exactly what you need to do to hit your targets and are given all the support required to do so!
Any advice you would give to future recruiters?
Stick it out. It is not an easy process, particularly at the beginning it can feel very overwhelming, and it requires a lot of resilience and dedication. I adopted the approach of no expectations for the first six months, I just focused on my learning and development and let the results come naturally. Focus on the process and the results will follow.
by Robyn Trubey
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day to celebrated annually on the 8th of March. The purpose of the day is to highlight how far women have...
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day to celebrated annually on the 8th of March. The purpose of the day is to highlight how far women have come in society, politics and economics, whilst addressing the inequality women face and what we can do to minimize these issues going forward.
IWD stemmed from the labor movement in 1908, which saw 15,000 women marching through New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. One year later, the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Women’s Day.
Clara Zetkin, who was an advocate for women’s rights, suggested the creation of an international day to celebrate women. She put her case before the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910, where a 100 women from 17 countries, agrees unanimously.
IWD was first celebrated in 1911 in various countries in Europe, before the day became official in 1974 by the United Nations. The day adopts a different theme year-on-year, with this year calling for women around the world to #BreaktheBias.
In the build up to IWD, I have been highlighting numerous influential women in STEM. I wanted to put the spotlight on just a few of the many female role models, working tirelessly to make the technology industry more visible and accessible to others, helping to close the gender gap. This series considered what these women are doing to encourage greater diversity and representation in their fields.
1. Kimberly Bryant
Name: Kimberly Bryant
Role: Founder & CEO of Black Girls Code
Bryant earned a scholarship to Vanderbilt University, where she studied an electrical engineering degree with minors in mathematics and computer science. After graduating, she took on technical leadership roles in several pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
Later on, her daughter's interest in computer science highlighted the lack of Black women in STEM professions. She realized this wasn't due to a lack of interest, but very few opportunities to access and gain exposure to these topics.
Bryant founded Black Girls Code in 2011, a San Francisco based nonprofit that exposes girls of color ages 7 to 17 to STEM subjects. This provides the opportunity for them to learn in-demand skills as they think about what they want to be when they grow up. The organization has the goal of teaching 1 million Black girls to code by 2040. Today, the organization has 16 chapters across the US and 1 chapter in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2. Safra Catz
Name: Safra Catz
Role: CEO of Oracle
Catz immigrated to the US from Israel at age 6. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and her Juris Doctor from Penn Law.
Catz began as a banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, working her way through the ranks and eventually becoming the senior vice president of the firm. In 1999, Catz joined Oracle as their senior vice president. She joined the company's board of directors in 2001 and was named president in 2004.
Under Catz's direction, Oracle initiated more than 130 acquisitions and mergers over the next decade. The most well-known of these acquisitions was direct rival PeopleSoft, which Oracle acquired in 2004 for $10.3 billion.
In 2014, Catz became co-CEO of Oracle, along with Mark Hurd, and later became the sole CEO in 2019. She also teaches accounting at the Stanford School of Business and was elected to the board of directors of the Walt Disney Co in 2017.
3. Ellen Pao
Name: Ellen Pao
Role: Co-Founder & CEO of Project Include
Pao learnt how to code at age 10 from her mother, who was working as a computer engineer at the University of Pennsylvania. Pao later graduated from Princeton University with a BSc in electrical engineering and a certificate in public policy. She also earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
After working for several Silicon Valley companies, she became the technical chief of staff at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a San Francisco venture capital firm. She later sued the company for bias and gender discrimination.
In 2013, Pao became Reddit's head of business development and strategic partnerships, then interim CEO in 2014. Pao is an advocate for women's rights and transforming corporate culture, and she banned the use of unauthorized nude photos on Reddit. This move inspired other social media platforms to institute similar policies.
Pao later resigned from Reddit and founded Project Include with other #WomenInTech. The group's mission is to address and prevent sexism and gender discrimination in Silicon Valley, and to improve diversity and inclusion within tech companies.
4. Susan Wojcicki
Name: Susan Wojcicki
Role: CEO of YouTube
Susan Wojcicki originally pursued a career in academia, after graduating from Harvard with a BA in history and literature. In her final year of study, she developed a passion for technology. She went on to earn a MSc in economics from the University of California Santa Cruz and a MBA from UCLA.
She returned to Silicon Valley to work in Intel's marketing department and later moved to Menlo Park, where she rented her garage as office space to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. Wojcicki was Google's 16th employee and very first marketing manager, assisting in the creation of Google Images and Google Books.
Wojcicki helped develop AdWords and AdSense, Google's advertising and analytics products. She became Google's senior vice president of advertising and commerce, where she led the company's advertising and analytics division, including Google Video.
She proposed acquiring YouTube, who was a direct competitor of Google Video. In 2006, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion. She became the CEO in 2014, and continues to lead the Google subsidiary in its role as one of the most influential and frequently used platforms on the internet.
5. Reshma Saujani
Name: Reshma Saujani
Role: CEO of Girls Who Code
Originally graduating from the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in political science and speech communication, Reshma Saujani went on to receive her Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
In 2010, Saujani was the first Indian-American woman to run for US Congress, when she campaigned for a New York House seat. She was the first person to run a political campaign using Square to receive donations. Whilst visiting educational institutions as part of her campaign, she witnessed the gender gap in computer classes.
In 2012, Saujani founded Girls Who Code to address the gender gap in the tech industry, with programmes from grades 3 all the way through to college. The organisation offers online resources, books, summer immersion and campus programs, clubs and college alumni programs. To this day, the organisation has served more than 450,000 girls, approximately half of which are from underprivileged communities; made up of Black, Latina and low-income girls.
Saujani published a book, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World, in 2017, to promote the tenets of her organisation.
6. Gwynne Shotwell
Name: Gwynne Shotwell
Role: President and COO of SpaceX
Gwynne Shotwell achieved a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics from Northwestern University. Shortly after graduating, Shotwell enrolled in Chrysler Corp.'s management training program to begin her career in the automotive industry. However, she quickly changed course to work on military space research contracts with Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo, California. There, she became the chief engineer of an MLV-class satellite program, where she researched and developed policies for commercial space exploration for the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA.
In 2002, Shotwell's interested in space made her a ideal candidate for #SpaceX, who brought her on as their 11th employee and VP of business development. She is now the company's president and COO, so is responsible for day-to-day operations and company outreach and development.
SpaceX was the first private company to launch a commercial satellite into orbit, and is now the world's largest commercial satellite constellation operator. They were also the first private company to send humans into orbit and to the International Space Station.
Shotwell was introduced to the Women In Technology International Hall of Fame and was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2020.
We have come a long way since IWD officially began in 1911, however, there is still so much that can be done to create a fairer society for people of all genders. This year, IWD has encouraged individuals to ‘think globally, act locally’, so do your bit that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
What will you be doing to celebrate International Women’s Day this year?
by Charlotte Drury
The UK got its first low-cost rail service
The United Kingdom received its first low-cost rail service.
This week, the UK debuted a low-cost, low-carbon rail service, offering a greener, cheaper, and more comfortable alternative to flying on the UK's busiest domestic route. The first Lumo train left London's King's Cross station at 10.45 a.m. on Thursday, arriving in Edinburgh 4.5 hours later. Tickets for the all-electric trains start at £14.90 and include free WiFi.
Lumo's service is described as "a template for low-carbon, cheap long-distance travel in the UK" at a time when the country's transportation emissions must be dramatically reduced.
New Zealand passed a landmark climate reporting law
Financial firms will have to disclose their exposure to the climate issue under legislation voted in New Zealand this week. Banks, insurance, and financial firms will be required to disclose the risks and opportunities posed by global warming.
Climate change minister James Shaw stated, "Climate-related disclosures will bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and economic decision-making." "By considering the short, medium, and long-term implications of climate change into their business decisions, it will drive companies to become more sustainable."
New Zealand is the first country to enact legislation of this nature.
Major retailers committed to zero-carbon shipping
Amazon, Ikea, and Unilever are among the retailers who said this week that by 2040, they will have switched all of their ocean freight to zero-carbon vessels.
The announcement adds to the pressure on the shipping industry to reduce its carbon footprint. There is a pressing need to do so: if the industry were a country, it would rank sixth in terms of emissions, just ahead of Germany.
Stand Earth, a Canadian environmental group, applauded the decision, but demanded that the deadline be pushed out to 2030. "This earlier objective would ensure that the shipping industry contributes its fair share to keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius," the report stated.
Green hydrogen is a promising zero-emissions alternative to fossil fuels, but it is still in its early stages of development. In Scandinavia, battery-powered boats are already on the water, but they are not yet available in the United States.
An award showcased African solutions to plastic pollution
African entrepreneurs are inventing new ways to combat plastic pollution, such as turning it into house bricks, designer textiles, cooking fuel, and more.
The Afri-Plastic Challenge, which published its shortlist this week, is recognising such initiatives. The prize was established to assist businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa in expanding their efforts to combat plastic pollution.
A Nigerian project that turns plastic trash into designer textiles, a Kenyan buy-back plan that lets women earn money through plastic recycling, and a Rwandan project that turns plastic waste into school benches are all in the running for the £1 million prize. Hundreds of grants of up to £100,000 will be available to entrepreneurs with scalable ideas as part of the contest.
“The solutions to Africa’s ever-increasing struggle with managing the rising tide of plastic pollution are already out there,” said Constance Agyeman, director of international development at Nesta Challenges, which launched the prize.
“The Afri-Plastics Challenge is supporting the most promising sub-Saharan African innovators to refine and scale local ideas to have impact on the continent.”
The UK government pledged to repeal the Vagrancy Act
Rough sleeping has been banned in the UK since the Vagrancy Act was introduced in 1824, thus aggravating the situation for homeless individuals. The UK government announced this week that the Act will be repealed.
Home Secretary Priti Patel and Housing Secretary Michael Gove have teamed up to remove the Vagrancy Act, which dates back to the 19th century, from the statute book.
"The criminalization of homelessness has disgraced our country for nearly two centuries," said Matt Downie, chief executive of the homeless charity Crisis. But the Vagrancy Act's days are numbered at long last. This heinous rule does nothing to address rough sleeping, but rather entrenches it in our culture by driving individuals further away from help. We know there are better, more efficient approaches to assist persons who are homeless in overcoming their situation."
Money invested towards renewable in the US
The United States has been late to the renewables party, with domestic green energy investment falling far behind that of other countries – but not for long.
The United States hosted the world's largest auction of offshore wind development rights this week. The auction (for areas off the coasts of New York and New Jersey) drew a record $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) in bids, signalling a significant vote of confidence in the United States' booming green energy sector.
Offshore wind growth is a key component of Vice President Joe Biden's strategy to decarbonize the country's electrical grid by 2035. It can't come fast enough: the United States is the world's second-largest carbon emitter, trailing only China.
by Oliver Boulton
The battle for talent is at an all-time high with organisations doing whatever they can to attract and retain industry-leading talent. Whether or not...
The battle for talent is at an all-time high with organisations doing whatever they can to attract and retain industry-leading talent. Whether or not you choose to accept this, the reality is that we are currently in a candidate-driven market and if organisations fail to adapt, they risk falling behind in the race to the top.
I recently spoke with a client who had been struggling to remain competitive due to having a six-stage interview process, and a technical assessment which even their most Senior Engineers were unable to complete. This resulted in candidates being unwilling to go through such a long, drawn-out process or receiving offers from companies with a more streamlined process. Thankfully, they were an adaptive company who were willing to recognise their downfalls and make changes to the way they structured their interview process. Following this, they reduced the size of the process by 50% and have since been thriving ever since.
I've summarised 5 key points in which organisations can do in order to attract and retain the top talent:
A well-written and informative job post that defines abilities and needs should not only weed out unsuitable individuals.
Once applications begin to roll in you must ensure that the candidates are acknowledged and informed on the next step. When you ask someone for an interview, tell them everything they need to know beforehand, including who’s doing the interview, how long it’s likely to last, if there are any tests, and who to contact if they need to change or cancel the interview.
In some circumstances, two or three step interviews are necessary, but with the current unemployment rate at around 4.1% it is likely that you will be competing with other employers and roles and let’s face it, nobody likes the waiting game created by an unnecessarily lengthy interview process.
Most of us expect to have a couple of interviews for a position. But many more than that and you risk losing Don’t forget about video interviews either – even though things are now returning to normality after the COVID-19 pandemic, a video interview could be much quicker to schedule. And it also means you can recruit from further afield. You could always look to carry out first interviews by video and then bring the best candidates in for a face-to-face later.
Always have a plan for your interviews. You’ll want to tailor each one for the candidate you’re talking to. So, make sure you’ve studied every CV – there’s bound to be some specific skill or experience that you’ll want to ask them more about. Having said that, you’ll also want to have some standard questions you ask everyone. This is a great way to help you choose between similarly qualified candidates.
You’ve got your perfect candidate. So don’t wait around to make your offer. And when you do, make sure you give them a deadline as to when you want their decision. A couple of days should be enough, although bear in mind they might have other companies interested in them as well – so try to be flexible if they need a bit more time Once they accept, keep in touch with them before they start. This will help make onboarding go much more smoothly.
My advice is therefore aimed towards both clients and candidates. Candidates: You are in demand. Understand your value and do not settle for long drawn-out interview processes where you are made to jump through hoops which even existing employees are not able to. Clients: Adapt. It is a candidate-driven market and I appreciate that you may have traditional processes which you have worked in accordance with for many years, but the most successful organisations are those which are able adapt in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive market.
by Leonie Schaefer
Brooke Feinglass, a member of our US Austin team, relocated to Austin in July 2021 and enrolled in the Franklin Fitch Academy Program. She has been a...
Brooke Feinglass, a member of our US Austin team, relocated to Austin in July 2021 and enrolled in the Franklin Fitch Academy Program. She has been a part of our training programme since joining the team, which has provided her all the tools she needs to get started in the recruiting industry. We chatted with her about her time in the Academy, her decision to work in recruiting, and how she's adjusting to her new job and team at Franklin Fitch.
Introduce yourself, your career journey at Franklin Fitch, your current role and your responsibilities.
I started my career in recruiting as a Trainee Consultant in Franklin Fitch's Austin, TX office at the end of July 2021. I had no idea what I was doing and spent most of my days attempting to soak up as much knowledge as possible from my colleagues and received specialised training and development from Academy Management Charlotte from beginning to end. With the help of my supervisors and colleagues, I gained confidence in dealing with applicants and made my first placement in September. I was promoted to Consultant in November after placing four candidates. Now that I've gained a thorough grasp of the hiring process, I'm tasked with sourcing, qualifying, and managing prospects throughout their job search, attempting to make the process as painless as possible.
Since joining Franklin Fitch what has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced?
Finding a strategy that helps me keep organised has been my biggest problem since joining Franklin Fitch. I've been able to discover strategies to successfully manage my time and keep organised with my calendar as a result of my training, which is a valuable life skill to learn and develop.
My training at Franklin Fitch consisted of discussions, peer mentoring, technical studying etc. and I was extremely impressed throughout the entirety of it. The thoroughness of the program and its attention to detail assured me I was surrounded by people that wanted me to the best I could be.
What are your thoughts on being on the programme and why did you choose a career in recruitment at Franklin Fitch?
Franklin Fitch's training programme continues to impress me. All of the training is designed to provide you with the support and resources you'll need to succeed. It's a true mash-up of several sorts of training, including on-the-job coaching, listening, and observation. The use of KPI challenges and activities to motivate you to meet your goals while still having fun was fantastic and made the experience even more pleasurable.
I chose a career in recruitment at Franklin Fitch because I wanted a company to give me the dedication, attention and training needed in order to be a great recruiter.
Pay attention to what your peers are saying and learn from them. Everyone has a range of expertise and experience, and they are always eager to help if you have a query or want guidance.
by Algida Gaidyte
What is LGBT+ History Month, and how can your company get involved? We've got all the answers right here, so keep scrolling to learn more.
What is LGBT+ History Month, and how can your company get involved? We've got all the answers right here, so keep scrolling to learn more.
What is LGBT+ History Month?
It is a month-long annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans, and non-binary (LGBT+) history. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements.
When is LGBT+ History Month?
Every year LGBT+ History Month takes place in February because that was when it was initiated by the LGBT+ Education charity ‘Schools Out UK’ in 2005.
Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick founded LGBT+ History Month in the UK as part of a Schools Out UK project in 2005, following the repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act in 2003, which stated that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship in any maintained school."
What is the goal of LGBT+ History Month?
The month's goal is to raise awareness about the challenges that the LGBTQI+ community faces, as well as to educate young people about the history of the LGBT+ rights struggle and to promote an inclusive modern society.
Why is it important to foster Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace?
It's no secret that a diverse perspective fosters innovation, creativity, and a sense of belonging among employees, enabling them to bring their whole selves to work. The need of fostering a culture of inclusion and human rights efforts in the workplace is recognised by most organisations.
According to a recent poll, 25% of the LGBTQ+ population has faced discrimination at work because of their sexual orientation, and 31% have felt sad or depressed as a result. These figures alone demonstrate the relevance of educational awareness initiatives such as LGBT+ History Month.
Recognizing your LGBT+ coworkers' successes, learning more about LGBT+ history, celebrating diversity, and considering how you can help to create a more inclusive society as an employer.
What should businesses be doing for LGBT+ History Month?
Several LGBT+ History Month initiatives are available to help businesses honour and support LGBT+ employees during this time.
• Take actions to make workplaces more inclusive to LGBT+ coworkers and customers, such as evaluating corporate regulations and putting in place safeguards for LGBT+ personnel.
• Host webinars to raise awareness of LGBT+ topics and concerns affecting LGBT+ persons.
• Encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees to talk about their experiences at meetings, events, or webinars to raise their visibility.
• Share LGBT+ resources with coworkers to assist them better understand what it means to be LGBT+ and how it may effect their employment. In the Inclusive Employers member's area, you can get this and other resources for free.
by Charlotte Robinson
Microsoft launched Windows 11 on the 5th of October 2021 as a free upgrade. Throughout the previous 3 months, I have had many interesting discussions...
Microsoft launched Windows 11 on the 5th of October 2021 as a free upgrade. Throughout the previous 3 months, I have had many interesting discussions with candidates on whether Windows 11 is as good as it has been made out to be. Throughout this article post, I will discuss some of the benefits and disadvantages of Windows 11 and everything you need to know to make the decision on whether it's time to upgrade.
Microsoft has made it clear that Windows 11 is available to all. There is no additional cost associated with installing Windows 11. However, it is not available to everyone because the update is only compatible with a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 and an Intel Core 8th generation processor that was released in 2017. As a result, most PCs older than four years will be unable to download the update. Since Windows 10 will only receive one upgrade per year until 2025, when it will be retired, this is a major issue for businesses using older technology. Companies have only three years to change their computer hardware as a result of this.
Despite the fact that the update is difficult to obtain, it has its advantages. For gamers, it features automatic HDR, which enhances the vibrancy of game pictures, and direct storage, which allows the graphic card and the Solid State Drive (SSD) to communicate more quickly.
Additionally, given Microsoft has chosen a new MacOS-style taskbar, it should be easier for MacOS users to navigate Windows 11. Unlike MacOS, which allows you to pin the task bar to any of the four corners of the screen, Windows 11 only allows you to pin it to the bottom, which could be inconvenient. Furthermore, customers have been perplexed by the fact that they are unable to see their live programmes on the task bar, making navigating more difficult.
As well as the new tool bar, Windows 11 will also come with a “Microsoft Chat” App, very similar to iMessage and Facetime from Apple. The Chat App uses the users Phone Number or Email-ID to enable the chat feature.
One of my favourite new features will be the various Window Sizes; by that, I mean that Windows 11 has "Snap Layouts" that allow you to have multiple applications or documents open on your screen at the same time. As someone who works in a second language, I find that online dictionaries are my closest friend. Having a dictionary and a document open on the same screen at the same time will help tremendously. Individuals will be able to get more work done as a result of this feature, as they will be able to view a greater variety of jobs they are working on. Home office plays a key part in our working lives at the moment with not all of us having access to multiple screens, “Snap Layouts” provides us with an alternative. On the other hand, having more tabs open may lead to more distractions because you are not focused on a single job.
"Edge Browser" is the preferred browser for Windows 11. Sleeping tabs are available in this browser, allowing you to save memory and Central Processing Unit (CPU) usage. This means you have the ability to re-open the apps you had the previous time you turned on your computer. This has the advantage of allowing you to pick up just where we left off, but it also implies that if we want to start fresh the next day, we must ensure that all apps are closed at the end of the day.
I am really excited to be able to use the new Windows 11. I look forward to using the new taskbar, the “Snap Layouts” and the setting to have my last opened applications open again when I start in the morning.
by Matthew Forshaw
For businesses that want to stay relevant to their customers and purposeful to their employees, diversity is essential. It plays a big part in...
For businesses that want to stay relevant to their customers and purposeful to their employees, diversity is essential. It plays a big part in attracting and retaining talent being competitive in a market where employees hold many of the cards. An inclusive work environment not only creates a culture of growth and progression, it also offers opportunity to win new business and embark on a wider range of projects.
At Franklin Fitch, we are actively working with our clients and their employees to reach a new talent pool, foster an inclusive culture, and inspire a a more diverse audience to join the tech industry.
It's time for the tech industry to recognise the need for change in order to foster diversity and inclusion. It's one thing to claim that more diversity is required; it's another to really do something about it. But how well do you understand IT diversity and how it affects your company?
This post seeks to provide an overview of diversity concerns in the tech industry and how we might address them.
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.
Be Geographically Inclusive
There's no reason not to encourage remote work in the post-pandemic world. Remote employment has offered up amazing options for everyone. Companies could take advantage of this by being flexible with their work schedules as one example.
Because many tech companies are concentrated in expensive locations, the industry has lacked diversity for a long time. Companies must be open to remote work in order to appeal to people based in places across the country they are based in, or even the world.
Another alternative is to establish satellite offices in different parts of the country. In the US, new digital centres are springing up in less expensive states. Georgia, Texas, Delaware, Virginia, Connecticut, and Maryland are six states outside of the usual tech clusters of California, New York, and Massachusetts that rank high on the Tech Talent Diversity score. They also have a higher proportion of workers in tech employment and are located in states with lower living costs than the present tech clusters; and diverse employees are more likely to be found in these locations than in ‘traditional’ tech centres like Silicon Valley.
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 an culture where individuals can be themselves, where their unique talents and perspectives are valued, and where they want to stay.
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 Robyn Trubey
In August 2021, Robyn, a member of our London US team, enrolled in Franklin Fitch's Academy Program. She has been a part of our intensive...
In August 2021, Robyn, a member of our London US team, enrolled in Franklin Fitch's Academy Program. She has been a part of our intensive training programme, where she has received classroom and on-the-job training from our committed L&D Managers, giving her the tools she needs to get started in the recruitment sector. We spoke with her about her experience in the Academy, her decision to pursue a career in recruitment, and how she's settled into her new role and team at Franklin Fitch.
My name is Robyn and I joined Franklin Fitch’s US London team in August 2021. After graduating from university in the spring, it was my dream to relocate to the big city that is London. I’ll be honest and say that recruitment wasn’t a career I had considered before Franklin Fitch reached out to me. I was pretty open in terms of what roles I was considering, I just know I wanted a career that offered unlimited progression, the chance to earn good money and be rewarded for my hard work, and meet new, likeminded people in the city that was soon to become my home. Six months on, I’m really glad I was open to having that initial conversation, as I’m now working in a role that ticks all of those boxes. Since starting here, I have been part of an extensive training programme, where I have been provided with all of the tools, support and expertise to get me up to speed with the world that is recruitment. I work with both clients and candidates in the US market, to either fill their positions or land candidates their dream role.
I would say the biggest challenge I have faced would be diving into the unknown. I had moved from a small, seaside town in Wales and jumped feet first into a huge city, living in a house with five other strangers and working in an industry I didn’t have much knowledge of. When starting at Franklin Fitch, I found a great support network. Everyone at Franklin Fitch couldn’t have been more welcoming and supportive, both in terms of work and my personal life. They really went above and beyond, and even offered to help me find somewhere to live prior to my big move. I found having a job that I could really get my teeth stuck into gave me something to focus on, and everything else slowly fell into place.
What was the training programme like for you at Franklin Fitch?
The training programme at Franklin Fitch is second to none. You are thrown all of the tools, resources, knowledge and expertise you need to develop the skills to become an excellent Recruitment Consultant; some of the more senior members of staff are testimony to that. You have a dedicated academy manager, Charlotte, who is there to support and guide you throughout the whole process. It is great to know that no question is a silly question. All the staff are so supportive and there is always someone who is happy to help you out when you need it.
What are your thoughts on being on the programme and why did you choose a career in recruitment at Franklin Fitch?
I’m really glad I have been offered the opportunity to jump onboard this excellent training programme. It is true that recruitment has a lot of ups and downs, and sometimes it can be tough when you experience knockbacks. However, working closely with your mentors can ensure that you have greater control over those factors, and help you to build resilience, so when you do experience those knockbacks, you can use them as lesson and bounce back quicker every time. The reason I chose a career in recruitment is that I wanted a job that would give me the opportunity to continuously improve and progress. I always used to worry about being stuck in job where I would hit a ceiling of progression; however, this is a job where that would never happen. The great thing about Franklin Fitch is that you never have to wait for a promotion, you are all on your own path and once you hit those targets, you can climb the career ladder. I wanted a job where I would be rewarded for my hard work, and would get out what I put in. I’m more than happy to work hard, stay late, go the extra mile, as long as I am seeing those results. Finally, it was the people for me at Franklin Fitch, the brilliant mentors, managers and friends. Since being here, I have made some really great friends and done some really cool things.
Any advice you would give to future recruiters?
My advice would be to take the leap. A lot of people don’t know too much about the recruitment industry, but be open to having that initial conversation and find out a bit more about it before you rule it out. Take advantage of the exceptional training and development opportunity on offer, as they help to build all the skills and confidence you need to be an excellent Recruitment Consultant. Be patient and persistent, show up for yourself every day and you will reap the benefits!
by Isabelle Melton
France’s Plastic Packaging Ban Begins
On New Year's Day, France enacted legislation prohibiting the use of plastic packaging on most fruits and vegetables. They're one of 30 varieties that won't be wrapped in plastic in the country starting January 1, 2022. Before the ban, an estimated 37% of fruit and vegetable products in France were assumed to be sold in plastic wrapping, and government officials estimate that it might save the usage of a billion single-use plastic items each year.
President Emmanuel Macron called the ban "a true revolution" that demonstrated the country's commitment to eliminating single-use plastics by 2040. From 2023, Spain will prohibit the use of plastic in the packaging of fruits and vegetables. Other governments have been encouraged by environmental groups to do the same.
Bacteria-Killing Packaging Could Keep Food Fresh Longer and End Waste
A new ‘smart’ form of packaging could eradicate food poisoning, according to a new study.
Scientists say it kills harmful bugs—such as E. coli, Salmonella, and listeria—keeping meat, fish, fruit, and veg fresh for longer. The water-proof wrapping may also help save the planet by reducing food waste. It looks just like plastic, but the team notes that it’s biodegradable and sustainable. The chemicals destroy any bacteria that grows on the surface of food or the wrapping itself
This invention would serve as a better option for packaging in the food industry, as it has demonstrated superior antimicrobial qualities in combatting a myriad of food-related bacteria and fungi that could be harmful to humans and can be applied to various produces such as fish, meats, vegetables, and fruits.
Latin American Countries join forces to Create Massive Marine Reserve in the Pacific Ocean
Four Latin American countries, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, and Costa Rica, each with coasts off the Pacific Ocean, have joined forces and committed to linking each of their marine reserves together. This collaborative action will form a single interconnected area and create one of the richest pockets of biodiversity in the ocean. That area, to be called the Eastern Tropical pacific Marine Corridor (or CMAR), would be protected and thus free of any fishing. CMAR would cover over 500,000 square kilometres (or 200,000 square miles) including important migratory routes for a number of species, such as sea turtles, whales, sharks, and rays.
This action represents the first-time countries with connected maritime borders have joined forces to create a cooperative public environmental policy for those borders.
Lia Launches Its FDA-Approved, Flushable And Biodegradable Pregnancy Test On The Market
The company launched the first and only flushable and biodegradable pregnancy test on the market. Roughly 20 million home pregnancy tests are sold each year in the United States, and while some tests can be recycled, most join the 27 million tons of plastic waste that end up in landfills annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When added to the compost bin, flushed down the toilet, or tossed in the trash can, this biodegradable pregnancy test is helping to reduce plastic waste and create a more private testing experience. It degrades after 10 weeks, making it a sustainable alternative to traditional pregnancy tests.
South Australia Smashes Renewable Record Using 100% Solar and Wind For Full Week
In the closing days of 2021, South Australia's solar and wind farms, as well as rooftop solar systems, supplied an average of slightly over 100% of local demand every day for over a week, setting a new renewable energy record. The record was set in the days coming up to Christmas last year, when wind, rooftop solar, and solar farms provided 101% t of the power required in South Australia. Natural gas contributed just 114 megawatts on average over that time period. Around 1.7 million people live in the territory, largely along the coast and in Adelaide, the capital city. The favourable circumstances for solar and wind energy have aided the growth of the renewable energy business, as evidenced by the fact that in the same period of last year, 142% of needs were met with these elements.
Billionaire Mark Cuban Opens Online Pharmacy to Provide Affordable Generic Drug
Mark Cuban has officially launched his newest endeavour, Cost Plus Drugs, an online pharmacy that seeks to lower the cost of 100 generic drugs in the United States. Cuban's firm is attempting to tackle giant pharmaceutical corporations' price gouging of prescription pharmaceuticals, promising that MCCPDC will be "radically open" in its pricing talks with drug manufacturers. Following that, the pharmaceuticals will be offered with a 15% markup across the board plus a minor pharmacist charge. Large pharmaceutical corporations, on the other hand, usually mark up prices by 100%. Drugs for cancer, high cholesterol, HIV, diabetes, and other illnesses are available for purchase at launch, with the business planning to extend its offers.
by Charlotte Drury
For some time, the four-day work week and demands for this new style of working to become a reality in the workplace have been gaining...
For some time, the four-day work week and demands for this new style of working to become a reality in the workplace have been gaining traction.
While the five-day week was once a great concept for getting the most out of employees, it was developed during a time when industrial labour was the norm. However, in today’s society modern technology has significantly sped up the way we work, and that the five-day week is no longer necessary.
Across the globe, businesses big and small, have been experimenting with how feasible, productive, and profitable a transition to working four days a week may be. Trials of a four-day work week have been successful in New Zealand, Sweden, and Spain, with the United Kingdom being the most recent country to test the concept in the hopes of achieving the same level of productivity in fewer hours of labour. 30 large companies will be participating in trialling a “4-day work week” for 6 months with researchers measuring not only productivity but also the impact on workers’ wellbeing and assess the program’s effect on the environment and gender equality.
The UK trial will follow the 100:80:100 model, where workers receive 100 per cent of the pay for 80 per cent of the time - in return for committing to maintain 100 per cent of their previous productivity. As a result, the individual would work approximately 28 hours over four days.
So, what are some key pros and cons of the 4-day work week?
Advantages of a four-day working week
Better Work-Life Balance
Allowing employees to take an additional personal day allows them to focus on personal projects, pursue hobbies, and spend more time with their families, all of which may be beneficial to their mental health.
It seems to reason that having more leisure time, working fewer hours, and spending less time in front of a computer screen will lower stress. Employees who have a better work-life balance are healthier and more productive.
Increase in Productivity Levels
Working fewer hours has been found by researchers to increase productivity. Employees may feel better and more content as a result of spending less time at work, allowing them to focus on their task while they are there. Employees who are happier and more content are more focused on their jobs when they are at work, according to the theory behind a shorter week.
Perpetual Guardian, a significant New Zealand company, experimented with a four-day work week and discovered that not only did productivity increase by 20%, but work-life balance scores improved from 54% to 78%.
Smaller Carbon Footprint
Shorter working hours are associated with a lower carbon footprint, thus cutting our work week from five to four days might be beneficial to the environment as well. Employees will need to commute less if their work week is cut short, lowering their carbon impact. Research published recently by the environmental organisation Platform London showed that moving the economy to a four-day, 32-hour working week—crucially, with no reduction in pay for workers—would reduce the UK’s carbon footprint by 127 million tonnes per year.
Recruitment and retention
Workers demand more flexible work patterns as a result of the growth in hybrid and remote working during the pandemic. This is clearly a bonus that persuades employees to stay at a firm. Employees are encouraged to work week after week when they know they'll get a three-day weekend. It's still a somewhat uncommon benefit, but it may be a terrific way to attract top people and keep them motivated.
Disadvantages of a 4-day work week
It Doesn’t Suit Every Business Model
Unfortunately, a four-day workweek isn't suitable for every company. It's only a feasible choice for businesses that can convert their entire operation to a new style of functioning. Longer hours and work-related stress.
Difficult to Implement
Changing from a five-day to a four-day workweek is difficult to implement. Schedules must be revised, policies must be amended, and personnel must be informed of the changes. Because this changes the way all areas of your business work, it may take some time to implement.
Increased Deadline Pressure
Workers will have fewer days to finish tasks while working the same or less hours per week. When employees have less time, they may feel more pressure to get things done. On days when you aren't working, work from other companies may still pour in, adding to your stress.
Although the reduced work week has been successful for many European firms, it remains to be seen whether a 4-day week is the solution to the changing 21st century workplace or not.
The four-day approach may not be appropriate for all industries but what research and statistics have shown is that companies who place a greater emphasis on employee well-being, engagement, morale, and productivity reap the advantages.
by Chris Burnett
When it comes to IT, companies must make critical strategic decisions all the time. In doing so, it is essential to keep an eye on industry trends...
When it comes to IT, companies must make critical strategic decisions all the time. In doing so, it is essential to keep an eye on industry trends and developments. Looking ahead to 2022, there are several themes that have emerged because of the pandemic, as well as some that come up year after year.
In this article, we've compiled a list of our top IT trends for 2022, as well as looking at the overall direction in which the information technology market is moving.
With more staff working remotely and the cloud becoming the norm, it's critical for businesses to start thinking about network security in new ways. Cybersecurity mesh is a flexible architecture that combines best-of-breed, stand-alone security solutions to improve overall protection. It enables organisations to separate policy decision-making from policy enforcement: a cybersecurity mesh creates security perimeters around individuals rather than just the company. Organisations will be better equipped to protect data and information using this mesh technology, including what's inside the facility walls as well as what's on the outside.
Data is one of a company's most valuable assets. To be able to carry out operational and transactional activities reliably and cleanly, it is vital to maintain excellent data quality. The "cleaner" the data, the more accurately, solidly, and confidently it may be examined and used to make business decisions."Data fabric," according to Gartner, is a design idea that acts as an integrated layer, or fabric, of data and processes. Data fabric makes use of both human and machine skills to access data that is already in place or to facilitate data consolidation when necessary. It allows for the flexible and reliable integration of data sources across platforms and business users, ensuring that data is available wherever it is needed, regardless of its location.
Gartner defines PEC as featuring three technologies that protect data while it is in use. These technologies include:
- A trusted environment where sensitive data can be processed or analyzed.
- Performs processing and analytics in a decentralized manner.
- Encrypts data and algorithms before analytics or processing.
With this trend, organizations are empowered to conduct research securely across regions and with competitors without betraying their confidentiality.
According to Forbes, PEC allows different parties to extract value and achieve significant results from data in untrustworthy environments, letting them to interact without disclosing personal or sensitive data. According to Helpnet Security, as privacy and data protection legislation become more prevalent, more breakthroughs in data privacy have been created. PETs uses privacy-protection to extract value from data in a safe manner without jeopardising confidentiality, using a data-driven approach to security and privacy.
For a long time, Hyper Automation has been spoken about in aspirational terms, with the technology being dubbed '"the next frontier for organisations globally" by Deloitte. It's been featured on Gartner’s top 10 key technology trends for 2020 and 2021 and according to Gartner, during the next year, 85 % will enhance or maintain their hyperautomation investment strategy. Hyper automation is a method for quickly identifying, vetting, and automating as many business and IT activities as possible. The faster provisioning and utilisation of IT infrastructure saves time, people resources, and money. Employees will be able to focus on more critical / strategic duties as a result. Additional benefits include reduced error rates and faster scaling of various IT infrastructures, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or hybrid.
Cloud computing surged in 2020 and 2021 as businesses turned virtual to adapt to the worldwide pandemic by focusing on digital service delivery. In 2022 we will undoubtedly witness further rapid acceptance and growth in 2022, with predictions from Gartner, global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over $482 billion in 2022. Cloud-native platforms take advantage of cloud computing to provide enterprises with elastic and scalable capabilities that allow them to respond quickly to digital change. Cloud-native solutions are an improvement over the typical lift-and-shift approach to cloud, which loses out on the benefits of cloud and adds complexity to maintenance.
Every day, the world generates approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and this figure is growing at an exponential rate. However, the effectiveness of that data is limited by the processes in place to manage, control, and assess it. Because this massive effort is practically impossible to complete manually, businesses therefore turn to artificial intelligence (AI). To make AI delivery more efficient, AI engineering automates data, model, and application upgrades. AI engineering, when combined with robust AI governance, will operationalize AI delivery to assure its long-term economic value.
By addressing common business challenges, the top strategic technology trends will advance digital capabilities and generate growth. Different trends will have different impacts on people organisations. Because most of the trends are tightly intertwined, different combinations of technology are likely to be necessary to compete at different stages of the company growth cycle.
by Alison Moss
Returning to work after a few weeks of relaxation, indulgence and festive celebrations can be slightly daunting. The fresh feeling of New Year...
Returning to work after a few weeks of relaxation, indulgence and festive celebrations can be slightly daunting. The fresh feeling of New Year – a blank page that’s waiting to be filled over the next 12 months- quickly disappears.
It's natural to feel melancholy, with colder mornings, dark evenings and especially after the excitement and bustle of the Christmas season. As well as huge expectations of New Year’s Resolutions bringing about massive changes.
Typically, January Blues manifests itself as feelings of low mood, sadness, lack of motivation, tiredness and low energy. It is also the peak season for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)*, which can induce serious depressive episodes during the darker months.
This emotional lull is to be expected, but it is unavoidable. The days are getting longer by a few minutes each day, and your first month of 2022 can be a great start and serve as a springboard for the next 11 months. Rather than succumbing to "The January Blues," why not learn how to overcome them? Here are our suggestions for making the best start to 2022; use them to avoid falling into the gloomy cycle of cold, dark January and instead feel enthused and motivated by the start of a new year full of exciting possibilities.
Regular exercise has been shown to give you the following benefits
alleviate depressed tendencies – the endorphin release gives your body a happy feeling.
Exercise can take any form, including light or moderate exercises such as jogging, yoga, or simply a short lunchtime walk.
So, why not introduce a short walk outside as part of your regular routine? After a long day at work, getting some fresh air can be really relaxing and help to reset your mind, especially today that we are all spending more time indoors. Do the type of exercise that you enjoy so that it becomes a part of your daily routine. Even if you don't feel like it, try to motivate yourself to be active. Exercising almost always makes you feel better.
Sleep is a game changer. In a good and bad way.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your mental health, making you irritable, anxious, and worried.
In the evenings try reducing your screen usage to have a leisurely, technology-free winding down period, this will allow your brain to switch off and get a decent night's sleep. Getting a good night's sleep can have a positive impact on your happiness, productivity, and long-term health.
Getting stuck in your own head, especially when the thoughts are gloomy or fearful, can lead to a downward spiral in your mood. By clearing your mind and allowing you to start over, a little meditation can do wonders for your mood. Meditation can help you enhance your focus and concentration throughout the day, as well as boost your mood and reduce stress. There are various apps and services available to assist you with meditating, which can help you become more mindful. You might start to emotionally process circumstances differently and perceive life through a different lens if you meditate and be aware every day.
We are what we eat.
What we put into our bodies has a significant impact on our mood. When you're depressed, you're more likely to eat poorly, either too much or not enough. A nutritious, varied, and well-balanced diet is essential for your health, gives you more energy, and can improve your mood. It may seem like a good idea to make up for Christmas overindulgence by skipping breakfast, but skipping meals has a negative impact on your mood and focus. Instead, we should concentrate on consuming meals that increase our energy levels and make us feel good. Consume plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, in which can be great sources of minerals and vitamins and ensure you satisfy your carbohydrate cravings, such as pasta and potatoes.
Try Something New
Trying a new hobby can be a great way to lift your spirits and enhance your self-confidence through a difficult January. Perhaps you've always wanted to learn a new language, play an instrument, join a new sport, or learn a new programming language. Focusing on something exciting and creative can make you feel better about the season and will give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Studies demonstrate that when you use your creativity, you lessen your stress levels and have fewer depressive symptoms. Giving yourself a new sense of purpose, this month may make you feel more fulfilled, confident, and connected to others.
After the holidays, we can feel very deflated, so it's critical to establish plans and surround ourselves with others. The dreary weather of January, combined with a lack of funds, might make it very tempting to stay indoors. Rather than giving in, figure out how to be active and social. If you're feeling lonely or depressed, catch up with an old friend, go for a walk with your family, and talk to someone.
We hope these tools and tips will help you stay positive in January. If there's one thing you should keep in mind, it's that you can help to control your mood. You will be unhappy this month if you make a conscious effort to be so. But think and do happy and you’ll be much better placed to ride the January Blue waves.
*Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can cause significant depression episodes during the darker months, is also at its peak. It can persist for a few weeks, leading up to 'Blue Monday,' the year's most depressing day. Please seek professional advice and help if you think this affects you.
by Gareth Streefland
Diversity and Inclusion isn't a new concept. For years, business functions have worked to make their teams as diverse as possible, bringing...
Diversity and Inclusion isn't a new concept. For years, business functions have worked to make their teams as diverse as possible, bringing together people with different ideas, perspectives, and working styles to increase team effectiveness by up to 35 percent. In business, diversity and inclusion are all about ensuring that all employees have a level playing field, and that your staff reflects the broad mix of society. Your team should be made up of a diverse group of people with various backgrounds and experiences.
Here is a vast array of benefits when making the recruitment process more diverse. Here are our top benefits of a more diverse recruitment process:
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 the fact that diversity enhances 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 result in you being able 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.
Faster Time to Hire- Vacancies are filled faster when there are more candidates, and they are of higher quality. You'll have everything you need to move through the recruitment process quickly if you create a more inclusive and diverse pool of candidates.
There are numerous advantages to making your recruitment process more inclusive, including the ability to attract high-quality individuals from all walks of life. Businesses that actively seek to ensure that they appeal to a diverse variety of candidates will distinguish themselves against the competition.
by Dafydd Kevis
We spoke with Dafydd from our Cardiff office, who joined Franklin Fitch's Academy Programme in July 2021. Throughout his time at Franklin...
We spoke with Dafydd from our Cardiff office, who joined Franklin Fitch's Academy Programme in July 2021. Throughout his time at Franklin Fitch he has swiftly progressed through the Academy, most recently being promoted to Recruitment Consultant. We got the chance to speak with him about his time in the Academy, his advice for individuals considering a career in recruitment and how he's adjusted into his job and team at Franklin Fitch.
My name is Dafydd and I’m part of Franklin Fitch’s UK team based in Cardiff, Wales. I was searching for a dynamic profession that would allow me to progress swiftly, earn good money, and meet new people after graduating from Aberystwyth University with a degree in International Politics. Since joining I have undergone extensive training and development activities that allowed me to successfully progress from the academy into a Recruitment Consultant role. Currently, I work directly with candidates to assist them in finding their ideal positions and to genuinely understand their needs.
The most difficult aspect has been transitioning from a student lifestyle to full-time employment. As this is my first work outside of university, there was definitely a transition period, but after I established a routine and acquired confidence in my talents via the Academy, everything started to make sense and I now have ownership of my own day and routine.
The training programme at Franklin Fitch was extensive but enjoyable. The sessions were instructive and thought-provoking, allowing you to reach your own conclusions and grasp the many functions and practices. One of the things that immediately stood out for me when starting the Academy is that you receive real-world experience and a dedicated network to draw on and learn from; everyone is so supportive and friendly and great to talk to.
The training has aided professional and personal development, and the focused support network has aided this growth. Recruitment appealed to me because of its social nature, the possibility of making good money, and the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics ranging from technology and business to personal attributes.
My advice is to be prepared to take on any challenge, jump straight in, and take advantage of the training and growth that Franklin Fitch will provide. Take any given opportunity and make it excellent. Just embrace the challenge and run with it!
by Jamie Fitzgerald
When you receive a call or email from a recruiter, your first instinct is to hang up or ignore it, but you should view it as a learning...
When you receive a call or email from a recruiter, your first instinct is to hang up or ignore it, but you should view it as a learning opportunity, even if you aren't seriously considering leaving your current position.
In most circumstances, the experience will help you learn more about yourself as a job candidate and give you an idea of what employers are looking for – information that will prove invaluable when time comes to make a change.
When given a compelling opportunity, we've seen people, who weren't previously considering a career transition, dramatically transform their perspective — and approach — and end up better off.
So, if you are contacted by a recruiter, consider asking some questions and building a relationship as you never know what you might find out. Below are some questions you should consider asking.
Why is the position open? Determine whether the position is a newly created one or one that has become unoccupied. If the latter, inquire as to why the prior occupant of the position left and how long the position has been open.
What skills and experiences do the hiring managers value the most? Request a list of the needed skills and experiences for the position from the recruiter. Having such a list will make comparing the employer's criteria to your own skill set and deciding whether to pursue the opportunity much easier.
What does the day-to-day of the job look like? This is a great approach to get past the repetition of a job description and gain a better understanding of what the role requires. Ask questions to help you figure out how you'll spend the most of your time.
Why did you connect with me? What about my background indicates that I'd be a good fit for the job? The answer to this question can reveal how individuals outside your organisation evaluate your work and successes, as well as how rigorously the recruiter did their homework, which could indicate how well they understand the role they've been hired to fill.
Is there anything concerning about my CV or background? This is a great tool to see how competitive you are for the job, and it will also give you information to help you plan a strategy for filling any perceived gaps in your cover letter, resume, and interview.
What kind of flexible work arrangements does the job offer? This is particularly essential knowledge in the COVID era, when many people have become accustomed to working from home and may wish to do so in the future. Understanding the variety of advantages that come with a position in general is also a useful approach to learn about the culture and values of the company.
What can you tell me about the company's culture? What are the organization's values, and how do they manifest themselves in its work? Organisational culture and values are important considerations for most people when deciding whether to accept a new position. Inquire about details that go beyond what's on the organization's website or in a handbook, such as how the organization's principles are demonstrated in day-to-day activities. Inquire about the company's professional development opportunities, human resources practices, and everything else that goes into developing a healthy organisational culture.
What work has the organization done to become more diverse and inclusive? What has been done to make the organisation more diverse, inclusive, and equitable? This will be critical in 2022 for applicants looking for inclusive and progressive workplaces. Inquire about training and development opportunities that concentrate on diversity and equality.
What does the interview process look like and how long does it take? If you choose to pursue the opportunity, the answer to this question should offer you an idea of how much time commitment you'll be required to make, as well as whether it's something worth investing your time and energy in.
The questions above are meant to be a starting point for assessing whether a potential career is a suitable fit for you and deciding whether you want to pursue an opportunity presented to you by a recruiter. It’s always good to think outside the box and come up with a couple more questions of your own. Moving to a new company can be intimidating, but it's also a fantastic — perhaps the best — way to grow your career. Before making a decision, gather as much information as possible and act on it.
by Patrick Griffiths
My name is Patrick Griffiths and I’ve been working at Franklin Fitch for over a year. I’m a Recruitment Consultant and...
My name is Patrick Griffiths and I’ve been working at Franklin Fitch for over a year. I’m a Recruitment Consultant and I’m about to tell you about how I made the decision to transition into recruitment.
Before becoming a Recruitment Consultant, I did something entirely different; I owned my own Fencing company. When I ran my own fencing business, instead of sitting in front of a computer typing on a keyboard, I worked extremely hard physically. I've always wanted to work in an agricultural field, such as forestry or sustainability. Due to this, my parents decided that sending me to an agricultural school would be the greatest option, and I thrived.
Following my undergraduate degree, I launched my own company and began building and installing fences across the rural areas of England. It was a difficult and gruelling profession, but one that I liked. After a few years of fencing, I've chosen to broaden my professional options and pursue a job in another industry. I was delighted to have found a company like Franklin Fitch; they have a clear career pathway for individuals, tailored to each person to help them develop and excel through learning and training. I learned from my previous career that the more you work, the more you get out of it; and that is already one of the primary parallels between the fencing and recruitment industries.
My decision to leave fencing was partially motivated by a desire to try something new. When I discovered the recruitment profession, I was astounded at how many transferable talents I had from fencing that I could apply here as well, such as the capacity to communicate with people in a professional setting or delivering excellent service to clients.
Fencing was physically demanding, whereas recruiting was mentally demanding. You'll learn how to deal with rejection and identify your major motivators in this section. Even if things went utterly wrong occasionally, you must keep going day after day to be successful. I'm delighted I took the plunge into recruitment, and I'm excited to be on my way to being a senior consultant. My strong work ethic sets me apart from people who have never worked before, and my professional expertise also helps me perform better.
So yes, fencing might be something completely different, but it helped me perform even better in recruitment. Just be brave and make a move if you think recruitment might be the right thing for you to do.
by Gareth Streefland
When searching for a new role, quality over quantity wins every time. I see many candidates who take the approach of submitting hundreds of...
When searching for a new role, quality over quantity wins every time. I see many candidates who take the approach of submitting hundreds of applications for any role with a relevant title, who then end up frustrated when they receive little to no response. Learning why these are mistakes can help you avoid wasting time and focus on the position perfect for you.
So how can you fix this?
Be Specific – think about your next career move before starting to apply and only apply to roles that are truly relevant and match your skillset. Candidates that use job search sites to apply for many jobs at the same time and have a CV that is overly generic will almost certainly be sent to the bottom of the stack. The CV should demonstrate that the candidate has the qualifications to perform a certain job and that they would be a suitable fit for the position and the firm. This is why individuals who submit many applications rarely receive a response from recruiters. It is preferable to spend time researching the organisation and reworking a job application to meet the job description.
Tailor your CV – this can be difficult to do for every application, but for the ones that you're really interested in and believe you're a good fit for, it's worth it. It doesn't need to be a re-write, a quick re-shuffle of your technical skills and highlighting the skills that match the job specification on the first page makes a world of difference. Take the time to personalise job applications to indicate that you are qualified to fill specific jobs. (Extra Tip: Ask your recruiter if they have any advice on what changes you could make to put you in better stead!)
Follow up – don't let your CV get lost in the pile. If you've applied for a role and you can see a recruiter is managing it, follow up! Send them an email or a LinkedIn message to let them know you've applied and that you've read the job advert and explain briefly why you believe you're a good fit. This really helps you stand out from the crowd.
I'm a firm believer that It's better to do 10 deep applications than 100 shallow ones!
by Garett Bechdolt
We spoke with Garett, who joined Franklin Fitch's Academy Programme in July 2021 and has swiftly progressed through the ranks, most recently...
We spoke with Garett, who joined Franklin Fitch's Academy Programme in July 2021 and has swiftly progressed through the ranks, most recently being promoted to Recruitment Consultant, about his experiences in the programme, his best piece of advice and how he's adjusted into his job and team at Franklin Fitch.
I'm Garett Bechdolt (aka GABE), and I work at Franklin Fitch as a recruiting consultant. I started as a trainee in the Austin office in June 2021, with no prior recruitment experience. My current responsibilities involve working with clients on business development, communicating with candidates, and managing both candidates and clients through their individual interview procedures.
Learning efficient strategies to govern your candidates has been one of the most difficult problems (apart from sharing a small workspace with JOGU). Early on, I struggled to gain candidate buy-in, but I've made significant progress in this area in the last several months. The idea is to simply listen to the individual to determine their requirements, and then demonstrate how you can meet those needs. They are more likely to pick up the phone when you call again if they believe you understand their position effectively.
The Franklin Fitch Academy leaders are fantastic mentors, and they make sure that we are following daily practises that are the foundation of a successful recruiter. There are a lot of moving components in recruiting, but they make everything as simple as possible to understand.
I chose a career with Franklin Fitch because I see great opportunities in our market, and I believe that we have the pieces in place to grow very quickly. I was also impressed with everyone I spoke with during my interviews, and I don’t think there is anything they told during that process that wasn’t true. Everyone within the company are always so helpful, and you can always reach out to anyone and they will be extremely supportive.
Listen to your mentors and observe their work often. Your team around you should have the experience to guide you through difficult situations as they arise. It is important to listen to them when they give you feedback and do everything you can to incorporate it into your work. Spending time studying why they have been successful can unlock your ability to do the same.
by Anthony Ham
My name is Anthony and I’ve been working at Franklin Fitch for over 3 years. I’m currently a Senior Recruitment Consultant, but prior to...
My name is Anthony and I’ve been working at Franklin Fitch for over 3 years. I’m currently a Senior Recruitment Consultant, but prior to taking a chance and embarking upon my recruitment career, I was a DJ in which I performed around the world.
I first started getting into music when I was 12 years old and whilst music was my passion, I didn’t earn money with it in the beginning, so I had to get myself a job. After my A-levels I started working in a law firm whilst listening to drum and bass, house, and techno music. I’ve learned a lot about property law and administration, but realised quickly that that’s not for me as it’s a very black and white world you live in. So, I invested more time into becoming a DJ, travelled from country to country for gigs, and played for a huge amount of people. I’d consider myself a people person as playing to the crowd and talking to people is part of my daily business.
In terms of my journey into recruitment, my first intention was to earn more money and have a regular salary and a structured full-time job. As soon as I’ve started the job, I realised that there are much more similarities to my previous career steps than I thought and the transferable skills, which I learned from performing, helped in my transition into recruitment. Recruitment and law for example both have clients you need to communicate with. So, in both working environments communication and confidence are key to be able to reach your targets.
Both of my prior employment taught me how to be a friendly and social person while remaining professional and appropriate at the same time. Being a DJ entails connecting with the crowd and responding to the music preferences of the listeners. When working with various types of clients on various types of issues, I've also learnt to be versatile. This capacity to adapt to diverse personalities now sets me apart from my co-workers.
Recruitment is a challenging job with a high variety of tasks, but less pressure than working in a law firm for example. Apart from the salary what I love most is that you learn from people about people, you communicate and collaborate. So, within recruitment, I found a job that brings out the social aspect as well as the routine that I was looking for. So don’t hesitate and decide to take a chance and make a change, maybe this is also going to be your future.
by Ben Makepeace
The Great Resignation is here, and its real. A new era for the workforce as we emerge from the pandemic. In this new era, we see a critical...
The Great Resignation is here, and its real. A new era for the workforce as we emerge from the pandemic. In this new era, we see a critical movement from employees – a change in their hearts and minds about where and how they want to work. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the months of April, May, and June 2021, a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs. Anthony Klotz, the Texas A&M psychologist who coined the term “The Great Resignation,” believes a major factor in job departures is that people are re-evaluating their relationship to work in the wake of COVID-19.
Workers have been able to reassess their jobs, working circumstances, and long-term ambitions as a result of the epidemic. Many have experienced “pandemic epiphanies” making workers less likely to maintain positions they find unsatisfactory, and more likely to feel empowered in their search for better (or more fulfilling) roles in the workforce. As a result of this paradigm change, a significant number of people are looking for new occupations, and many firms are striving to fill available positions.
If considering making a change in your career our advice is to critically evaluate each of the following:
The Purpose- How does the goal of what you're going to undertake align with your own personal values? Consider how your own values connect with the firm, the products they sell, the services they provide, or the personal cause they support. As you invest in the moral good, your purpose will fuel your enthusiasm and transform your career into more than just employment.
The Leadership- We know that one of the main reasons employees search for new chances is because of their direct or immediate superiors, it is critical to assess new leadership during the change process. Find a leader that will push you to be a greater contributor by challenging, coaching, and supporting you; one who will support your professional goals and objectives, your passion, and is focused on your best interests; one who will not hinder or stop you from advancement due to self-serving motives.
The Culture- Make sure you're familiar with the company's culture before you start working there. Assess if the firm as a whole invests in its culture and holds the leadership accountable for their behaviour and actions in achieving the stated cultural objectives, rather than merely reading the companies' value statements. It's just as vital to find your people and a sense of belonging as it is to be paid and have opportunities. If you miss the target on this, you'll rapidly become unhappy and demotivated.
Over the last several months, there has been a significant surge in competition for experienced talent, particularly in the Solution Provider and Consultancy market, where demand for individuals with a strong balance of technical competence and client-facing abilities has skyrocketed. Returning to the office and taking advantage of the market are two prominent reasons applicants have offered for quitting. Clients that are taking advantage of the market are doing so by listening to their current employees in order to improve retention, as well as modernising archaic recruitment methods in order to secure the finest personnel.Companies must consider adaptation and flexibility in this new era of the job market if they want to keep people and guarantee that they are satisfied in their roles.
by Robyn Trubey
Prior to working in recruiting, I worked as a Sales Negotiator for an Estate Agent. My work involved dealing with vendors and purchases, as well as...
Prior to working in recruiting, I worked as a Sales Negotiator for an Estate Agent. My work involved dealing with vendors and purchases, as well as supporting and guiding individuals through the sales process by identifying potential house buyers' needs and comparing their criteria to available properties in the portfolio to discover the ideal fit.
When the opportunity to pursue my dream of relocating to London arose early this year, I made the transition to recruitment. I was drawn to recruitment, particularly in IT since it provided me with the stability and opportunities for advancement that I desired. I was able to draw on my previous experience working in a sales-oriented environment, and I immediately discovered that I had transferrable skills that I could use in my new position. There were numerous parallels between the two jobs, particularly the challenges experienced while attempting to execute a candidate placement or a housing sale. From the early qualifying conversations to discuss requirements and desires, through the coaching of the induvial throughout the process, giving guidance and assistance, to the initial offer and acceptance of the contract or property, the linear structure of the procedures is directly comparable.
My experience in the real estate sector taught me the value of resilience and how to cope with difficult situations given that recruitment can be deemed one of the tougher industries to break into. One of the obstacles I've encountered, and which I'm sure many other recruiters have as well, is when a placement receives a counteroffer and accepts it. It happens in the home market when someone goes through the full process and then backs out at the last minute, leaving you discouraged, questioning your talents, and damaging your confidence.
However, every cloud has a silver lining and there are some key take away points from situations of setbacks:
View every setback as an opportunity to learn. No matter how long you've worked in the recruitment market, there's always potential for improvement. Take notes on the process and identify any potential red flags that you may have overlooked. Inquire about the issues that were detected and learn why they occurred; this will guarantee that you don't make the same error next time and can reduce the danger of a setback. If you can spot the red flag sooner in the procedure the next time, you'll save time and resources.
See how flexible the individual you're dealing with is. To identify what the individual need and how far they are willing to go, and this will allow you to determine boundaries. To learn more, be inquisitive and ask questions. People may need to be pushed to share key details that are critical to your ability to assist them.
Lean on the more experienced people in your team. They can be your sounding board to discuss issues you may be facing and can provide a wealth of information and expertise on how to cope with setbacks and overcome obstacles.
Concentrate on what you have control over. Although setbacks are inevitable, how you respond to them is entirely up to you. Don’t allow them to define who you are and what you do next in your career. Because there is no such thing as a flawless approach to recruit, there are always things you can improve and adjust.
Be accountable to yourself. Determine what went wrong and why it happened. You'll be able to make the required adjustments to guarantee it doesn't happen again once you've had time to think on the process.
Prior sales expertise helped me make the transition into recruitment, but it wasn't necessary because with the right support and training, you can flourish in any profession. I've learned to bounce back from setbacks and have been able to develop professionally and personally as a result.
by Robyn Trubey
Meeting on Greenwich University's Computer Security and Forensics course in 2015, Princess David Okoro and Ologide Oghenero have...
Meeting on Greenwich University's Computer Security and Forensics course in 2015, Princess David Okoro and Ologide Oghenero have gone on to have successful cyber security careers in their respective field.
Nero’s professional career spans engagements with several well-known, established Multinational corporations working as a strategic leader in Digital Transformation, Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. Princess is an Associate Consultant at Aon, focused on providing advisory and consulting support for organisations so they can improve their cyber security posture and adhere to security policies, expected controls and regulatory requirements.
After discovering that the same issues they suffered with at university were still institutionally ongoing; they decided to break the cycle and invest their time and energy into ensuring that minority groups and historically under-represented individuals are given the opportunities they deserve to excel in cybersecurity.
This decision led to the creation of HerCyberSpace; an online community platform that is commited to helping shape the future of women in cyber security. The aim of the initiative is to empower women to join the Cyber security workforce through Learning, Networking and Mentoring opportunities and build a generation of the next female cyber warriors.
What roles are you both currently in at the minute?
Ologide: I'm currently a cybersecurity freelancer. I want to be able to work on different projects, with different companies, and I love working with start-ups.
Princess: I work as a cyber security consultant for a company called Aon. I help organisations improve their cybersecurity posture. So based on performing risk assessments, helping them policy developments as well, and to giving advice as well too.
Let’s start at the very beginning, tell me about your journey and how did you fall into tech?
Princess: I always wanted to be a lawyer. As a child that was my dream job; I always believed that was the right career path for me. However, I came into this country in 2014, and jumped into a programme called Foundation of Business, Culture and Society and one of the modules was computer science.
With my parents' help, I enrolled in a computer science degree with no prior experience or knowledge of science-related courses; it was really difficult, but I enjoy a challenge. I had to learn programming from the ground up. I wouldn't sleep until 2 a.m. because I wanted to catch up with the rest of my class because they'd been programming for who knows how long.
During my first year, a lecturer came in to talk about computer security and forensics, as well as how this degree relates to the types of jobs available. This programme piqued my interest since it allowed me to combine my initial offer of law school with my newfound passion for technology and science into a single degree. Over the summer, I received a crash course on networking from a friend, and the rest is history.
Ologide: My background is not exactly the opposite. I also did fall into cybersecurity but I have a science background and I knew as a child that I wanted to work in the field of science. I started out in Applied Mathematics and had a difficult time. During my time studying math in Nigeria, I moved to the United Kingdom and chose to pursue a career in engineering. I planned to pursue a foundational degree in Network Engineering, similar to Princess's, but the course was prematurely cancelled.
I remember going to the Student Centre and asking, “What would you advise someone to study if they wanted to do something in computing?” – the answer: Computer Security and Forensics. I did my research and found out that the industry making an impact in people's lives through the work they do. After finishing my degree, I pursued an MBA in International Business in order for me to help bridge the gap between the business and technology industries.
I also encountered a lot of difficulties during my first year, because then I realised that it was more technical that than anything else, but I was ready for the challenge. I met Princess on my degree, so somehow, our paths crossed each other and have been doing some amazing things together. We were the only black females, in our department; so, we faced a lot of adversity and challenges but it's just some of the things that we had to learn how to navigate.
Being a black female working in the tech industry what was the journey like?
Princess: I think it's the problem of proving yourself. I've always been a high performer regardless of the industry that I delved into, and it was the pressure that I created for myself to be the best. You’re not taken seriously because you're seen as the girl. I had to demonstrate that I was deserving of the position and that I had put in a lot of effort to get here. And I believe that after a while, I became accustomed to the notion that I may be the only black female in the room, as well as the only female in the business.
I want to use this platform to encourage other people to venture into this industry that I'm currently working on because it's very rewarding, and that I have grown since when I decided to kickstart my career in cybersecurity. I want to assist the journey into cybersecurity as much as I can as I remember coming to this country with zero skills and now fast forward six years, I’m where I am today. Sometimes I just sit down and reflect and I'm quite thankful and grateful that I made the choices I made when I made them.
What advice would you give to women who are considering a career in tech?
Princess: Just do it. It’s important to understand the different career paths within cybersecurity. This is where the confusion lies, because when people sell cybersecurity, it's been sold as a very technical field. You need to have some level of technicality; however, you'll also require a diverse set of abilities. Regardless of your degree, are you inquisitive? Are you willing to learn? The industry is continuously changing, and we're just trying to keep up with the latest developments.
Ologide: Many of the challenges we encounter in cyber security are institutional in structure. I found myself in circumstances where I was afraid to raise questions because I was a woman. Women who wish to change careers and have the skills but lack the experience are not warmly welcomed. There's a lot of masculinity in that profession, and males seem to believe that women can't perform the technical things that men can. It leaves women stuck. They have no one to talk to, no role models who have the time or capacity to sit down with them and guide them through their journey.
What do you think can be done to help ease the journey for women into tech?
Princess: I believe that institutions can do more to promote cybersecurity to students, job changers, and various demographics. They need to have tolerance to answer the questions and give them more of an explanation. There have been some improvements; professionals are beginning to take the time to discuss cybersecurity career options and assist in the mapping of transferable skills, which are the things that can be used to excel in the field of cybersecurity. If you can harness them and combine them with a person's eagerness to learn, you may achieve incredible results.
Let's talk about HerCyberSpace. What an incredible initiative-but what was your reasoning for creating this? What's the mission for the company?
Ologide: We used to talk about all of these issues at university and how we were dealing with them. We wanted to break the pattern and guarantee that others who came after us didn't have to face the same difficulties we had. And we were really conscientious about it. People were still having the same difficulties years after we left, and the problems were not going away anytime soon and we discovered that everyone was dealing with this issue; the UK security landscape is relatively quiet.
We wanted to create a community for women with a strong interest in cyber security or a place where women looking to enter the field of cyber security can develop their skills and share their passion for technology. We wanted to foster relationships with women in leadership who can serve as role models to come to our platform and help individuals at various stages. We wanted to be able to collaborate with these institutions as well, by connecting students and realistically telling them what they are going to encounter in the future.
Princess: When it comes to mentoring and community building, it's always been undervalued. Throughout my career, I've encountered people who have influenced me and helped me make better judgments at various times. I've been able to depend on the community I've established for myself when I've struggled with a piece of work or needed an additional brain to think about something, and it's made all the difference. I was always the top student in school, but when I started working, I was plagued with impostor syndrome, and I lost my voice and confidence. However, in the last year, as a result of fostering a feeling of community and encouraging open discussion, I've started to remember that I'm actually good at this stuff.
Looking to the future for HerCybSpace, what’s next?
Ologide: We're not even close to where we want to be in terms of growth. To have the impact that we want to have, I believe that we need to build these strong relationships with worldwide organisations that are aligned with our objective, which is to bring 10,000 to 100,000 women into the cybersecurity sector. When you read any of these papers and studies regarding the gaps, such as the gender gap or the skills gap, you'll notice that they work with numbers, and those figures change every year. We want to make a significant contribution to that number, and we can only do so by working relentlessly with organisations that can help us achieve our aim.
We aim to empower women to join the cyber security workforce through three key areas, which are Learning, Mentoring, and Networking opportunities and hopefully build the next generation of female cyber warriors to help close the gender gap in the cyber security industry. Within the next few years, we see ourselves as a community that is growing in number, and also in impact.
We're currently collaborating with schools and universities to develop awareness programmes, as well as with students who are closer to entering the workforce, such as third- or fourth-year students, and post-graduate students, to develop boot camps where they can learn about some of the less well-known domains in cybersecurity, governance, risk, and compliance. There are a lot of hacking-focused programmes out there, so we're aiming to address the governance, risk, and compliance side of things to encourage more women to enter the sector, which has a lot of opportunities.
Thank you to Princess David Okoro and Ologide Oghenero for sharing your experiences with us for this article. For more information on HerCyberSpace please check out their website or LinkedIn page.
by Charlotte Drury
Maryjane Betrand is a Co-Founder of Uptitek Limited, a indiginous software development firm that specialises in business applications. She has...
Maryjane Betrand is a Co-Founder of Uptitek Limited, a indiginous software development firm that specialises in business applications. She has established a number of initiatives across the UK and Nigeria, with 6 years of expertise in business development and 4 years as a software developer.
After earning a First-Class Degree Honours in Software Engineering during her undergraduate studies, she went on to earn a Distinction in her Master's in Advanced Computing from the University of Hertfordshire.
She previously worked at the University of Hertfordshire as an assistant web developer before joining Uptitek as a software engineer, business analyst, and web developer. Maryjane is a woman with many talents; she is presently working on developing a course to educate women Java programming, in addition to being a visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire and the author of Fault Aware Software Engineering (FASE).
What is your current role/ bit of background to what you do now?
I’m the co-founder of Uptitek LTD, a software company specialising in business applications.
How did you become interested in working in tech?
I have always been interested in knowing how things are done and what powers things. I am not the type of person that take things at a face value, I like to ask why and how. I thought I was going to be Lawyer, since everyone told me I asked to many questions. However, Law meant I had to read a lot of principles and laws made by other people with no control. I love to have control of things and tech gives me control of an outcome.
Tell us about your journey into tech as a black woman?
It was simple, I studied Computer Science at University and since then have filled different roles, and eventually opening company. As a woman, it is a very lonely journey, then as a black woman, it’s even more lonely as you either end up being the only female or only black female.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your career in tech and give yourself a piece of advice, what would you say?
It gets easier, it’s not as scary as it looks, and you are capable of great things.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to black women entering the tech industry?
Look at your abilities and strength not your colour. Excellence always shines, instead of thinking of rejections, think of opportunities and go forward.
What can tech companies do to make the industry more inclusive of black women and other people of colour?
Employ more and not just to fill a quota but because they qualify. Diversity brings its own flavour.
How can we encourage more women, especially minority, to get into the industry?
We have to start early when they are young, be a voice and a role model for others to follow.
What’s a challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
I have faced the imposter syndrome, feeling like I don’t know enough to pass on, I overcame things by continues mindfulness and self-reassurance and continues training.
What’s has been your career highlight?
Having a SaaS product being consumed by people, building teams across the globe, and helping build up the minority community.
Thank you Maryjane for taking the time to answer our questions and for speaking with us in this interview.
by Dominique Lianos
Akua Opong is a Senior Analyst in the London Stock Exchange Group's Corporate Technology team. She mentors new team members, including interns...
Akua Opong is a Senior Analyst in the London Stock Exchange Group's Corporate Technology team. She mentors new team members, including interns and graduates, and gives technological advice and guidance to her colleagues across the Group.
She is passionate about her role as a STEM Ambassador and the opportunity it gives her to coach and mentor young people, interns, and graduates in the skills they need to build successful careers, as well as increasing the visibility of women in the industry.
Akua is a strong diversity and inclusion advocate, a mental health champion on the LSEG Wellbeing Committee, and the community lead for LSEG's Women's Inspired Network outside of her primary position.
As a neurodiversity champion, Akua collaborates with the Change Ambassador Network at LSEG through the Accessible Network, researching and testing accessibility solutions and raising awareness about creating an inclusive environment for neurodivergent employees. She received the Inspiration CEO Award 2019 at LSEG in recognition of her charity initiatives and contributions and has been shortlisted for the Women in Tech Global Awards 2021 and Tech100Women.
We had the opportunity to talk with Akua about being a woman in technology and how she goes about taking down barriers and breaking new ground in the technology world.
How did you become interested in working in tech?
When I was growing up I initially wanted to be a paediatrician and then moved onto to looking at working in the army in emergency response but with an IT intelligence role.
I went on to study Business Studies with Sociology and Religious Studies/Philosophy, followed by a BSc (Honours) in Computing and IT (Sandwich Course) at the University of Surrey, which really sparked my interest in IT. My first job was in retail, however throughout all my experiences I made up my mind that I wanted a career in tech; I now have over 8 years’ experience working in IT in different industries from hospitality to consulting and financial services.
Can you tell us about your journey into tech as a black woman?
I completed a one-year industrial placement at Rolls-Royce as part of my degree course at university; but then I struggled to get a job in technology. This was a challenging period of time as I was informed that I didn't have enough experience or that I needed IT certifications, despite having an IT degree with a year in industry. My first IT position was assisting the Dubai Royal Family across their UK properties, followed by over five years at Rathbones, and now Desktop Services Team within Corporate Technology at LSEG.
In every job I've had, I've been the first or only black woman on the team, which has driven me to want to make a difference and promote diversity and I do that through participating and collaborating with many different initiatives and charities. When I first started out, I didn't see many women in tech jobs, especially black women, which I thought might affect my ability to grow in the future.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your career in tech and give yourself or any black female entering the tech industry a piece of advice, what would you say?
There are four main areas in which I would give my younger-self advice:
1. Surround yourself with a group of individuals you can trust to be a sounding board for your ideas, to push you, to help you identify and grasp new possibilities as they arise, and to help you advance your career and grow both personally and professionally. Jennifer Burns, Rav Bumbra, Bev Shah at City Hive, Neelam Kaul, Jo Thackwray, and Anna Znachko are some of the wonderful mentors that have been there for me over the last several years. By having open talks and sharing similar experiences I've learnt so much from each of these wonderful ladies. This is why I mentor young people in STEM fields to help them advance in their careers - I want to pass on my skills so that others can be the best versions of themselves.
2. Continuous learning: Develop a growth mindset and acquire new abilities, even if it's only 15-30 minutes a day to learn a programming language. To progress, you must have a growth mindset, which is critical in the IT sector.
3. Fear of the unknown: You will encounter numerous obstacles and unfamiliar scenarios, such as hosting, facilitating, or being a panellist in public speaking situation. Some of these situations are unfamiliar, and they are there to push you out of your comfort zone. Take advantage of these opportunities – they indicate progress and the capacity to build and improve your skill set.
4. Be open to multiple possibilities, don’t allow imposter syndrome or a lack of confidence to stop you. Be brave enough to go for it! This also includes looking for role models in the industry and helping to set a benchmark for others. When we see others that look like us in a room, it gives us a chance and makes us feel like we belong. Never stop believing in what you can become in the future.
"For me, becoming isn't about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn't end," Michelle Obama wrote in her memoir Becoming.
I chose this quote as I attended the Becoming book tour at the O2 in London. Michelle Obama is a massive advocate for young girls to be given a chance to succeed regardless of their background. Each person should be given opportunities, in a world that is fair and equal. It is about uplifting, empowering and not about competing with each other, but working for each other - for the young girl or woman's voice to be heard.
What can tech companies do to make the industry more inclusive of Black women and other people of colour?
More diversity across the group is a must. The world is a beautiful place because of all the different countries, cultures, communities, networks and religions – that’s why we travel – we want to explore and learn more about other people and places. We need to create an environment that lends itself to learn more about diversity of all kinds.
Secondly, encourage talent from within. Keep training and retaining talent within the firm. There are so many incredible black women that are incredibly talented, give them the space and tools to grow into these wonderful future leaders that we all aspire to become. Host events and webinars for colleagues to discuss important subjects. Create a fair and inclusive environment for women – especially black women - to thrive.
How can we encourage more women, especially minority women, to get into the industry?
To start with, in order for women of colour to join organisations, we must see other women who look like us at all levels of the organisation. What kind of diversity and inclusion networks, as well as mentorship programmes are there? Are there any organisations that promote women of colour? When I was younger, I was constantly looking for role models, and when I wanted to join a company, I looked at their Executive Team and senior leadership teams to see if I could progress.
BYP, Coding Black Females, Black Girls in Tech, CityHive's Talk About Black Mentoring programme, and Tech London Advocates - Black Women in Tech are just a few of the fantastic organisations that constantly showcase the many careers of black women in the sector. These organisations have helped me improve tremendously in the previous year. I've grown so much in the last year, and it's all because of the organisations with which I'm now affiliated.
Can you tell us about a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it?
This year, I found out that I have Dyslexia and ADD. I found a wonderful Neurodiversity coach through Wired Differently and learning skills coach through A2i Dyslexia Association who have helped me to study more efficiently. I am now close to achieving more than 12 certifications for the year including ITIL, Project Management, Prince2, Microsoft and Multi cloud. This demonstrates what you can achieve with the right support. I changed a challenge or obstacle into something very positive.
How have you helped to promote diversity and inclusion in the industry?
I want to help to drive organisations to change structurally and to look at black talent in a different way, to look at female talent in a different way. I want to see words get put into action.
In order to drive initiatives for diversity and inclusion, I have participated in mentoring with both City Hive and Like-Minded Females (LMF) mentoring schemes to help drive change in gender equality and diversity. At LSEG, I have participated in the existing mentoring scheme, Reverse Mentoring, coaching for black employees, unconscious bias training, organised a training session with Show Racism The Red Card and highlighted intersectionality across the business.
What has been your career highlight?
Seeing how my generation is questioning the concept of work/life balance and speaking out against injustice and inequality has been a professional highlight for me. For me, success is spreading awareness about neurodiversity and assisting young women in achieving their STEM aspirations.
A personal career highlight is being featured in the Tech London Advocates book – The Voices in the Shadows. This article showcases black women in technology and gives young girls and women hope for what they might achieve in the future.
Thank you very much to Akua Opong for taking the time to talk with us for this interview. Be sure to grab your copy of The Voices in the Shadows book and if you have the time to vote for Akua for the Global Women Tech Community and Mentor of the Year Awards.
by Steven Ewer
Nina Nduwayo is an experienced Data Scientist and Consultant. As a Senior Scientist at Ravelin, she specialises in using machine learning, data...
Nina Nduwayo is an experienced Data Scientist and Consultant. As a Senior Scientist at Ravelin, she specialises in using machine learning, data analysis to advise and enable global brands to make smarter data-driven decisions. Originally set to become a surgeon, Nina left medical school in pursuit of something more. She started learning to code through online classes, where she learned web programming skills and was introduced to data science. She now has 6+ years experience working in the industry and enjoys using data to solve complex challenges and mature her clients business intelligence capabilities.
As Director of Outreach for Black in Data, Nina is a big advocate of increasing awareness of data career opportunities and using this platform to encourage individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in technology.
Currently I work as an Investigations Data Scientist at Ravelin where I work closely with clients to understand and prevent their fraud challenges. I enjoy using data to solve complex challenges and seven years into my tech journey I’m still engrossed and excited by my work. I am also the Director of Outreach for an organisation called Black in Data and hope to use this platform to raise awareness of the roles and opportunities in the data industry, especially amongst state school students at a crucial stage when they are beginning to make decisions about their future careers.
How did you become interested in working in tech?
At school, I took GCSE IT, which was probably my first exposure to the IT industry. I recall liking the class but had little knowledge of the tech sector at the time and had never met anyone who worked in it. I didn't start attending Technology Entrepreneurship Societies and learning about the many applications of technology until I went to university. The start-up world intrigued me, and the more I learned about technology, the more I wanted to know. I began studying to code in my spare time after graduation and was then recruited by a food tech start-up.
Tell us about your journey into tech as a black woman?
For me, the first year in IT was daunting. As a complete newcomer to the field with no experience, I found myself continually doubting myself and my ability. And there were times when I doubted my place in the industry. Attending tech meetings like Muslamic Makers and AI Club for Gendered Minorities helped me to meet other women and minorities in the field from whom I could learn and seek advice. Having a support system in place helped me get my bearings in the IT world and pushed me to keep progressing. More significantly, it made me aware of the obstacles we encounter and gave a secure environment in which to consider how to deal with challenges at work.
Pay close attention to your feelings. What excites and motivates you? Find any opportunity to incorporate that into your working day and hold on to that feeling. Ask questions, open-ended ideally and see where the conversation takes you. Some of the best learning and advice I've had has come from random conversations. And finally, enjoy the process and remember to celebrate the small wins.
What advice would you give to black women entering the tech industry?
For me, I would say make sure you network and find a community with people who can understand and relate to you. It’s important to find somewhere you feel comfortable with, where you can be yourself and show vulnerability. The ability to share your experiences as you're learning is imperative, and to be able to express the frustrations, fears, and insecurities that you have too. It helps to have other people who are going through similar experiences.
I also think allow yourself to take risks and try new stuff. When I started, I would often think about everything 100 times before making a decision. Yes, I wanted to make the right decision, but it has been the moments when I’ve trusted my gut instinct and gone for something where it’s worked out the best. Try not to overthink; those have been some of the moments where I've I find myself learning and growing the most.
What can tech companies do to make the industry more inclusive of black women and other people of colour?
Within the industry, there is a lot of effort to bring minorities into the companies, but it's often not easy for those minorities to then excel in those companies. When people don't feel supported and free to be themselves, they just leave and seek chances elsewhere. Not having to think about your race, your religion, your sexuality, your gender, and be free to just being able to be yourself is the best type of work environment. If companies can adopt cultures and practices that are inclusive it would help with not only bringing people in but retaining them as it allows employees to have the freedom to excel.
It's about striking a balance between wanting to employ for diversity and inclusion while also not hiring someone to check a box. When minorities are brought in as a tick box exercise, they quickly realise they aren't here to contribute but rather to fill a quota. It used to be that you should stay at a firm for at least two years, but in today's work world, shifting and moving about is much simpler. People want to be happy and fulfilled by their employment, and if they don't feel included and accepted inside the team, they will quit, affecting the company's labour turnover.
How can we encourage more women, especially minority women, to get into the industry?
We need to invest in those grass roots initiatives in which engage with minorities to expose them to new and exciting careers in tech and help raise awareness to the opportunities out there.
In the industry there isn’t much representation and it's not the norm that someone from your background would end up in a position of power, so when I see someone who looks like me or who I can relate to, speaking about her experiences or delivering a technical talk, there's a part of me that simply says, well, okay, if she can do it; so can I.
I would say my career change: going from a Medical Student to a Data Scientist. I was initially set on becoming a doctor and was three years into my pre-clinical studies at Cambridge University when I decided to leave it and explore other opportunities. It wasn’t an easy journey, and I spent several years trying to find my footing and figuring out what it was that I wanted to do. I went on a journey from knowing nothing about technology to learning how to code and being able to building a Data Science Proposition from the bottom up. It’s been a big learning curve but it’s also one of those situations where I can look back and think "Wow, I did that!"
You are the Director of Outreach at Black in Data. Tell us about your role there and what the goal of the organisation is?
The organisation itself was set up by Sadiqah Musa and Devina Nembhard who are Analysts at The Guardian. Through the work that I was doing, Siddiqa reached out, and determined that we have the same vision. For me I noticed that early on, we didn't really have any awareness or access to the industry. Prior to working at Black in Data I was going into schools to expose them to the industry and show them how data interacts in every-day society. At Black in Data, my role is about connecting with people at the early stage, removing some of that fear of “where do I start”?
The first time trying to learn online can be intimidating in terms of the language, references and terminology used, and if you’re not a part of that world, you really have no idea what is going on. At Black in Data, we are there to help ease the transition and make it more relatable and break it down into simpler terms. The most important thing is showing people that it's not as difficult as they might think it is. It’s really useful, regardless of what you want to do, you can still like make use of the skills that you gain from working with data.
Thank you so much to Nina for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk to us in this interview. If you want to find out some more about Black in Data head to their website to find out some more information.
by Alison Moss
Jessie Auguste is a Psychology graduate who transitioned into software engineering early 2021. She was eager to work in software after gaining...
Jessie Auguste is a Psychology graduate who transitioned into software engineering early 2021. She was eager to work in software after gaining exposure to the tech industry whilst working at a cyber security start-up, CybSafe, first in marketing and then in customer success.
With the aid of self-study and encouragement from many online groups and her employer, she was able to make the career transition into tech. Outside of work, Jessie is passionate about equality, diversity, and inclusion, and she volunteers with organisations that help underrepresented people break into the tech industry. She assists Coding Black Females with event planning and social media as a part of the leadership team. She's also part of the Black Valley team, an intensive professional mentoring programme that provides support and community to black people working in IT.
I had no clue I'd end up in technology. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after a couple of years living overseas and teaching. A recruiter approached me about a position as a Market Development Specialist at CybSafe, and I immediately fell in love with the company's purpose, vision, and team spirit. From then, I acquired insight into the sector, which set off a chain reaction in my IT path.
My journey wasn't very typical, as I hadn't considered it a goal until I was already there. It was just not a place where I could see myself fitting in. I didn't believe it was feasible for me to fit in. I could see myself transitioning into a technical job after being so warmly welcomed by the CybSafe team,
However, after being so welcomed well as the support and growth possibilities offered by groups like Coding Black Females and Black Valley.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your career in tech and give yourself a piece of advice, what would you say?
Stop doubting yourself!! You do belong there. You will understand those tough concepts and you can become competent. Give yourself the time and space to learn and reflect, don't push yourself too hard. We are all beginners once, and the experience you have in other areas will come back to benefit you in the long run.
Don't just focus on the statistics and setting hiring incentives. What are you doing to retain and develop your diverse talent? Make sure the black women and people of colour that you have hired, have all the support they need to succeed. You might not know what that support needs to be, and that's ok, but make sure that there is space for that dialogue to happen, ask them what they need and check in!
I strongly believe that representation matters. It was through communities that I got to see black women in senior technical positions, which made it all seem possible to me. Hiring for entry level roles diversely isn’t enough. Develop diversely! Make sure that there are opportunities for women to attend sessions where they get to ask questions about how you are addressing the inequity and inequality within your organisation.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to black women entering the tech industry?
Find a community for support. It does not always have to be for learning purposes but having a group of people who understand your experience, who can understand you when you don't quite have the words to articulate how you're feeling, can make all the difference.
What’s has been your career highlight?
My biggest career highlight has been being able to give back to the community that inspired and supported me. Leading events and workshops where I am able to teach other black women the things I thought I would never be able to understand.
How do you think diversity and inclusion drive innovation and business growth?
Diversity of people inevitably leads to diversity of thought and ideas. This has an incredible impact on innovation. By fostering values of belonging for all people from all backgrounds, an organisation has the potential to create an environment where everyone feels driven and valued, which will be a massive driver of growth.
by Dafydd Kevis
Esther Ogunmefun is a junior software developer at CompareTheMarket, currently working on the Android mobile team.
She has firmly established...
Esther Ogunmefun is a junior software developer at CompareTheMarket, currently working on the Android mobile team.
She has firmly established herself in the IT sector after graduating from the Code First Girls and Makers program; going on to receive the 2021 Software Power List Award for not only doing extraordinary work in tech herself but also motivating, mentoring, and supporting other women. She is a strong advocate for female and black representation in technology, speaking at CTM on Diversity and Inclusion. Esther is dedicated to creating work settings in which individuals can be themselves and feel like they belong, no matter where they are.
Since joining CompareTheMarket she has been keen to help drive and promote Diversity and Inclusion where she can. As someone who took a somewhat ad hoc path into tech, she is there to advise and encourage those who want a career in tech but don't know where to start.
How did you become interested in tech?
That’s an interesting story; when lockdown hit back in 2020, I wasn’t working in tech. It was a very fast career change; and one that was unexpected and not one I was thinking about.
One of my friends forwarded me a link to the CodeFirstGirls web development course. Essentially, I had time on my hands during lockdown as I was working in marketing, and so naturally everything was put on hold. I chose to take the CodeFirstGirls course. One of my mentors observed how quickly I picked up the skills and training and told me about a job opportunity at CompareTheMarket through the Makers Academy. I didn’t think I would get it because obviously, I had no experience in tech. But I did, and as a result, I'm here. I began in September 2020, completed three months of training, and then began working with CompareTheMarket in January 2021.
You're a perfect example of how getting into tech has no expiration date. Tell us about your perspective going into something completely unfamiliar?
Last year, especially during lockdown, it was that time of year when people like to re-evaluate their lives. The opportunity for me with CodeFirstGirls arose, I didn't need to have a tech background and I was thinking that if I'm going to try something new, I should attempt it now or I’ll never try it. It was unexpected, but bittersweet because there was a purpose for the lockdown, but I had plenty of time to think about it and start this new chapter.
Now you've been in the industry for about a year and have a deeper understanding, what would your professional advice be to your younger self pre-tech?
I'd recommend finding a mentor as soon as possible. I had a mentor myself, but looking back, I wish I had had one earlier as having someone with industry knowledge, who can send you in the right direction to the appropriate websites to develop and learn, really does help.
I would have also advised myself at the outset to learn independently outside of CodeFirstGirls and Makers to broaden my knowledge and abilities and ensure that I am always improving. Tech is such a huge field with so much to study that you never truly know what you want to pursue unless you dabble in a few different forms.
So, are you enjoying working in tech now? Do you feel like it's been a positive career change for you?
I love it. I feel like this is always supposed to be. I don't believe I could find another career that would make me feel as fulfilled or as enjoyable every day.
In today’s world, there has been such a big shift of focus on companies trying to embrace and promote diversity and inclusion within the business. How would you encourage more Black Females to get into the industry?
I think, obviously, programs like CodeFirstGirls, Makers, Black Girls in Tech, there's a lot of initiatives and communities that help people get into tech. I was lucky that my friend sent me the link, but if you are lost there are lots of communities in which offer advice and people are there to help. So, for someone that's really new, I would just say find a community that properly suits you, whether you're a black girl, whether you're a female, whether you're a minority, there's communities available for you out there. They're very willing to help, which is the reason they started their communities, even if it's just a few questions. It also can encourage independent learning, because anyone can go on Udemy, or similar websites, just to learn a bit more information as a starting point. It can be overwhelming at first but once you start understanding and developing it can lead to great opportunities.
The connection between having a diverse and innovative workforce is undeniable. But the statistics of females and people of colour within the industry don't reflect that. What do you think tech companies as and in industries, as whole can do to make it more inclusive for promoting a diverse workforce?
I believe it can be difficult for recruiters in these sectors to discover a pool of candidates because, if you simply go via the mainstream process, it's usually the people with the flashy degrees or who have worked their way up in the field that apply or who attract the spotlight. But I often stress that projects like Makers and CodeForGirls are great places to start since they're aimed at individuals who don't have a computer science degree or who don't want to go the traditional route but have the skills and qualifications necessarily for the role. I believe that businesses should recognize that it doesn't take much time to do some research into what organizations help and train people who are the minority.
When companies like CompareTheMarket, Google, and the Financial Times collaborated with Makers, I was delighted since it was such a great opportunity. However, I believe they should do it on a larger scale, because even at CompareTheMarket, there were only two open positions in London and perhaps eight or ten in Peterborough. In a firm of 1000 individuals, that's only ten people, which isn't representative or diversified. I'm an example because, even though I've only been here a short time and came through the Makers Pathway, I've tried my hardest to do my best in the company and make the most of the experience. My degree wasn’t in computer science, but the fact that I've been at here for over a year implies that I'm benefiting the firm in a positive way. Companies need to realise that there are a lot of places you can recruit from and different avenues to go down not just going down the mainstream one and if they do, they can experience the benefits of having a more diverse and inclusive work culture.
Regarding the accolades you mentioned, it's fair to say you've been dominating it in the IT world, winning the 2021 Software Power List Award, which is incredible. Is this a professional high point for you?
It is, without a doubt, a career highlight; I would be lying if I said otherwise. It came out of nowhere; I had no idea I'd been nominated, so it was a great surprise. However, most of my professional highlights have occurred inside my team. It makes me love my job when I feel appreciated and valued by my co-workers. I believe I put in a lot of effort in my position, therefore I enjoy it when it is recognized or rewarded. You can be sent a note on CompareTheMarket with a voucher if you have done something well and I think those moments are always really, lovely.
From working at a company that is trying to obviously move forward, represent and celebrate diversity. How do you think diversity and inclusion drives innovation and business growth?
I believe that having a diverse workforce is one of the most essential aspects in driving innovation and growth. Look around at the world we live in; it is incredibly diverse and full of individuals from all walks of life. Even within a single nation, such as the United Kingdom, we are so varied that the market is always shifting. There are several issues that must be addressed. And there are so many various types of clients that are target customers for businesses, but each one is unique and necessitates a distinct understanding or expertise.
So having a diverse team allows you to truly understand different types of consumers and individuals. You can gain greater insight into things you might not have considered. So, if you recruit employees from diverse backgrounds, individuals of a certain age range, different genders and religions, you can understand the challenges they encounter, as well as issues you may not have considered, such as accessibility, services, or rewards. We live in a multicultural world with a diverse population, so why not reflect that in your workforce. At the same time, you may build a mentality that allows you to break free from your own way of thinking and think about the entire market, open-mindedly and holistically.
Thank you so much to Esther Ogunmefun for taking the time to talk to us in this interview. We wish you all the luck in your future endevours.
by Adriana Timme
Cyber security is one of the fastest expanding businesses in the UK and throughout the world, with no indications of slowing down. Cyber criminals...
Cyber security is one of the fastest expanding businesses in the UK and throughout the world, with no indications of slowing down. Cyber criminals are always inventing and adapting in order to find new ways to hack, attack, and steal information online. It's a rapidly growing sector with several opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in it. Cybersecurity professions, like many other technologically focused sectors, are overwhelmingly dominated by males.
The gender gap in cyber security is one that is regularly talked about.
The gender imbalance in the cyber security sector is one of the most apparent irregularities. Women make up just 11% of the worldwide cyber workforce, according to a recent survey from the Women's Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC). Women are sorely underrepresented in cyber security and often don’t see the occupation as a viable option due to a number of factors such as a lack of female role models within the industry, stereotyping and pay gaps.
Many businesses are beginning to see the value of having a gender-balanced workforce, particularly in fast-paced areas like cybersecurity. There are numerous reasons why this is an excellent career choice for women.
We've compiled a list of reasons why women might consider pursuing a career in cybersecurity:
1. Job Diversification
Cybersecurity is not confined to a single type of employment; it comprises a wide variety of positions in many areas and industries. Each area of cyber demands a unique and specialised skill set, from forensics to incident response strategy to counselling large corporations.
Working in cyber is also highly varied in terms of day-to-day responsibilities; with the environment continuously evolving, no two days are same. Multitasking and a great aptitude for problem-solving are required to solve cyber security issues. It is, without a doubt, a fascinating industry to be a part of.
One of the greatest barriers women face in their professions is a lack of professional flexibility. Unfortunately, childcare is still primarily the responsibility of women, making strict work environments challenging for women who wish to strike a healthy work-life balance while simultaneously achieving success.
Because most of the work in cybersecurity is done online, many positions lend themselves to flexible working hours and remote work.
3. Financially Rewarding
The cyber security industry is an extremely rewarding career path, especially at the moment where this skillset is in demand. The average salary for a cyber security analyst is around £51,000, with a career in the industry leading to a salary upwards of £70,000.
4. Boost Innovation
It has been established that having a higher percentage of women in the workforce increases team productivity and creativity, both of which are critical in the cybersecurity sector. We can enhance the potential talent pool and build a more strong workforce to meet the rising cyber threat of the upcoming years if we have more women in cyber.
by Charlotte Drury
Adanna Igbokwe is an accomplished IT professional who specialises in video conferencing and TelePresence systems. With over 20 years of IT...
Adanna Igbokwe is an accomplished IT professional who specialises in video conferencing and TelePresence systems. With over 20 years of IT expertise, Adanna has worked as a Technical Consultant for Dell and as a Consulting Systems Engineer for Cisco, where she dealt with client concerns and provided technical assistance to partners in the evaluation of solutions.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Adanna to ask her a few questions about her journey in tech and how we can help encourage more future leaders to get involved within the tech industry…
My interest in IT was first piqued when, as a young HMRC Tax Officer, I was fortunate to be part of the team that tested the implementation and rollout of Windows operating systems. It was after this that I decided to retrain and go back to university where I studied Information Technology.
My first role as a graduate was working as a 1st and 2nd Line Support Engineer for a dial-up internet service provider (BT LineOne). I used the work experience to hone my customer service skills and further advance my technical knowledge. I was then fortunate to have been headhunted for a role as a Solutions Consultant working to configure and install servers and storage. Through a previous work connection, I was able to discover a passion for video conferencing - I am always delighted at being able to configure systems to join live video-based meetings. I’ve been at Zoom for almost three years, as a Solutions Engineer delivering unified communications and collaboration solutions that meet today’s challenging work and learning environments.
Don’t settle - persevere in hard times, be confident in your ability and reach higher to achieve bigger, better goals. More importantly, I’d tell myself to embrace the new experiences and use it to gain knowledge and confidence.
Don’t let rejection stop you! Believe in yourself, turn up and stand tall. You’ve worked hard and earned your seat at the table and deserve to speak and be heard. Enjoy the journey, continue to fill in knowledge gaps with educational programs and engage in communities like TLA Black Woman in Tech to expand your network. Don’t wait to apply at time that you think you’re ready; jump in.
What can tech companies do to make the industry more inclusive of Black women and other people of colour?
Make space. Representation in tech really matters, especially when it comes to making the industry more inclusive of Black women and other people of colour. People need to see someone who looks like them in these roles and on tech platforms. Tech companies have come a long way, with ground-up approaches to start to make the workplace more inclusive. Approaches such as establishing principles, focus on Diversity & Inclusion, and being better at creating recruitment programs to attract more diverse talent.
However, organisations can do more to embrace an inclusive environment that welcomes, respects, and includes different backgrounds, cultures, and opinions to create a much richer talent that’ll perform at their best.
Education and awareness are the key for both women and organisations. Women should always try to find time to attend conferences to network in a desired area of focus. Network communities and organisations need to do more to collaborate with educational institutions and bring together a dynamic group of black techies, start-ups, and entrepreneurs to host trade shows.
As a wife and mother of two beautiful daughters the biggest challenge was often trying to find the right balance between work life and home life. Particularly as you may be aware of how it can be difficult to be taken seriously due to gender perceptions. For me it required the support of my husband and family, and I was also fortunate to have approachable managers who were willing to accommodate the occasional requests for flexibility.
Thank you Adanna for taking the time to answer our questions, we wish you all the best for the future!
by Simon Nicholls
The importance of cybersecurity is increasing. Fundamentally, our society is more technologically reliant than it has ever been, and this tendency...
The importance of cybersecurity is increasing. Fundamentally, our society is more technologically reliant than it has ever been, and this tendency shows no signs of slowing. Technology's development and expansion have had a beneficial impact on human existence, but the ease has come at the cost of cyber-attacks. If you utilise a tech device for any reason, you're likely to be a victim of a cyber-attack.
You'll need to be secure, which is where cyber security comes into the equation. Whether you're a person, a small business, or a huge corporation, you rely on computer systems on a daily basis. When you combine this with the rise of cloud services, poor cloud service security, smartphones, and the Internet of Things (IoT), you have a slew of cybersecurity risks that didn't exist only a few decades ago.
The protection of electronic data and information is known as cyber security. It protects electronic systems on devices like as computers, phones, servers, and networks against harmful assaults. It is critical, regardless of who you are, to protect your data from unwanted access.
Cyber-security is at an all-time high, and we must all do our share to be protected. Everyone has a role to play. This does not imply that everyone should become a cybersecurity specialist; rather, we must raise awareness of the threats that your users encounter so that they are not caught off guard when they are attacked.
Here are some top, simple tips to kep yourself and your business protected against unwanted Cyber Attacks:
Many of your personal accounts may be accessed through your email, putting you exposed to identity theft.
Important security upgrades are included with software and app updates to help safeguard your devices from cyber criminals.
To ensure the security of your data, two-factor authentication is advised for email accounts.
Password managers can assist you in creating and remembering passwords.
With a screen lock, you can keep your smartphone and tablet safe and add an added degree of protection to your devices.
Back up your most valuable material, such as photographs and essential papers, to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage solution.
by Robyn Trubey
Meet TLA Black Women in Tech’s Flavilla Fongang: The Award-Winning Serial Entrepreneur Changing the Tech Industry.
Flavilla Fongang has...
Meet TLA Black Women in Tech’s Flavilla Fongang: The Award-Winning Serial Entrepreneur Changing the Tech Industry.
Flavilla Fongang has established herself as a technology pioneer thanks to her continued dedication to increasing the number of black women in the UK Tech sector. One of the most prominent women on the UK Tech Scene, a world-renowned bilingual keynote speaker and an award-winning serial entrepreneur; Flavilla Fongang is shaping the tech industry whilst advocating for diversity and inclusion. Her acclaimed non-profit organisation, Black Women in Tech, is the 2nd largest organisation of the TLA group and is a global community dedicated to building bridges of opportunities in tech which supports and empowers black women to successfully launch their careers in the industry.
Before founding the BWIT initiative, Fongang created 3 Colours Rule, an award-winning creative branding and marketing agency enabling tech businesses to become market leaders, and is also the author of "99 Customer Acquisition Strategies." She has been the recipient of the ‘She’s Mercedes’ Businesswoman Award by Mercedes Benz, which she shared with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO. Computer Weekly named her the 2nd Most Influential Women in UK Tech, and Fongang was named the most influential businesswomen by LinkedIn.
But most importantly; Flavilla is extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion in order to ensure equal chances for future generations. In this interview we explore her background and journey into tech, whilst exploring critical issues revolving around diversity and inclusion within the technology industry.
Let's get started at the beginning, you are now one of the most influential black female leaders in the tech industry. But I'm interested to hear about your journey and what the driving force was that got you to where you are today?
It's a very good question. So, I'm going to go back to my birthplace. I was born in Paris, France. And that's interesting because when you and I think about Paris, you probably picture it as glamorous and lovely, with our Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. That was not the case for me. I was raised in a ghetto in Paris by a strong woman, my mother, as part of a family of five children. I came to London with only the intention of improving my English; nevertheless, I quickly fell in love with the city and realised there were many more opportunities. For me, as an ambitious person, Paris at the time was not as entrepreneurial as it is now, so I decided to leave for London.
I worked in the fashion industry, the oil and gas industry, and we were similar to the great hairdressers with bad hair. We take care of the people but not of ourselves. What several industries quickly realised was the need to stay focused; one of the drivers was technology. I recall reading a short story, from a BBC documentary about a young black girl who invented a device that allows students who travelled long distances to school to find their way home if they get lost. It was lovely, and I marvelled at how someone so small could come up with such a brilliant idea that could benefit so many others.
That's when we decided on a niche, and we went with technology because I felt it was a fantastic opportunity to build a scalable approach to engage with people that are game changers and who want to do things differently. I was used to being the only female or black female in the oil and gas sector, except when I went to African nations, but I realised that couldn't be right. Technology is so dominant in everything we do; we can't have not enough diversity when we are creating policy that affects all of us.
I then met Russ Shaw, the founder of Tech London Advocates, at a private lunch and one of the topics we discussed was how there would be a digital skills shortage. This was confirmed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who stated that by 2030, there will only be 440,000 unfilled jobs due to a shortage. I knew every company was going to be aggressively looking for talent- but where are they? If we haven’t put them through the pipeline, we are always going to have a shortage of talented black women. This interested me greatly and I decided to develop something to address it. Because I was certain that there were great black women out there, and even though I couldn't see them, I knew they existed. So, I started TLA Black Women in Tech with the intention of growing my network to 40/50 individuals. Fast forward to now, and we have just celebrated our second anniversary, with 1500 members, including both black women and allies, since the goal was not to be exclusive, but inclusive to all.
Well, that's very interesting because it goes to one of my next questions; you've worked in the industry for many years and in a multitude of areas and forms whilst collaborating with a wide variety of organizations. Do you believe businesses are doing enough to promote diversity and inclusion? Do you believe they aren't genuinely educated or scared to act because of the potential backlash?
Well, there's a little bit of both; there are those who are doing something about it, and then there are those who aren't, because they don't consider the commercial element of diversity. For me, I've always seen that because my team is extremely diverse, around 80% are female but from all sorts of background. I believe we've always enjoyed the idea that we all come from various backgrounds, and in the creative industry, we thrive on our diversity. So, in order to come up with great new ideas, it's critical for me that we don't think the same way. However, I believe that in the IT industry, people think in terms of "I need someone who can perform the job," and that is what concerns me. Once they realise that they need to think about diversity, it’s too late and they have hired 200/300 of the same employees. When it comes to diversity in businesses: some people are doing nothing, some people are doing something, some are uneducated, and some do fear backlash and pushback.
What people need to realise is that we all have unconscious biases, and we all need to be able to understand what they are, so we can do better. It's so interesting, I was at an event on Monday, where Hillary Clinton was talking about her journey. She was sharing how, when she was a lawyer in office she would send an email to some of the partners, with just the initials HC, for Hillary Clinton, and even the president responded to it saying "I don't know if you're a man or a woman, but if you are a man, make sure you put a picture of your family on your desk, and if you are a woman take them off."
With men the perception is you are reliable because you have a family and you care about your job but, if you're a woman, it means that you're seeing this as a distraction. How crazy is that? Obviously unconscious bias is what we think about when we hire someone, and that's what we're dealing with in today's society and tech industry. I think that behind Black Lives Matter, some things have changed, but I think people also viewed it as a trend, and have now forgotten about it. A lot of people don't know what to do and need to realise that if you want to attract talent, be more specific in terms of where you look. There's nothing wrong with advertising positions on Indeed and other similar sites, but if you're seeking specific skillsets, check out diversity event networks and initiatives that specialise in identifying diverse talent; these may be quite helpful.
Companies are now realising that having a more diverse workforce is a major driver of creativity and innovation. What do you think in the companies in the tech industry can do to make it more inclusive to black women and other minorities?
It's been shown that companies with a more diverse workforce perform better and have recognised the commercial value of diversity, as opposed to those who haven't figured it out or simply don't care.
It feels like we keep having the same conversation and the answer is: there are many different options in terms of how you present your brand and what you can do internally to not only attract but also retain your diverse employees. As a black woman, I just now realise the number of invisible barriers I've encountered, which not only drove me to create my own company, but also taught me that being brilliant at what you do isn’t enough. For example, when I receive an email stating that someone has been promoted, I think to myself: I wasn’t even considered for the position. You need to be visible, and you need to do more than simply be great at what you do. What motivates you to create a personal brand? Why are you out there trying to build internal relationships with people?
One of the mottos of Black Women in Tech is to ‘inspire, educate, and create opportunities to support female entrepreneurship and mentorship’. Whilst this growing network is having such a big impact there's still a long way to go. How can we encourage more women, especially minorities, to get into the industry?
There are different things. From a company point of view, be vocal about it. Encourage and involve women from diverse backgrounds, but don't hire a black person to represent everything about diversity. Be very transparent about how you do it because I've seen numerous firms do the same thing where they hire diverse candidates purely to tick a box. From a black woman's viewpoint, and as I usually tell them, we've heard so many ‘No’s’ that you stop trying at some point, but I'd say keep persevering and putting yourself out there. Women in general, not just black women, do not boast about their accomplishments enough. I'd advise you to brag a lot about what you do. People will not notice you performing your job until you say anything, and they may take you for granted. So don't be scared to put yourself out there and tell the world what you're up to.
We were doing an event and one of the top senior leaders, a black woman said: “Sometimes, when an opportunity comes to the table, different candidates from within the business put their CV forward and if we look at your CV and don't even know who you are- forget it. You’re not getting the job. Who are you? Who is this person? If they have never heard of you and have no idea who you are- you're never going to get it.”
Developing external relationships outside of your department is just as important as building internal ones if you want to be recognised. I've had a number of chances come my way as a result of individuals speaking up for me when I wasn't invited to the table. That is why I refer to allies as being external. Allies can be black woman, white men, asian women, or anybody else who can help you develop strong relationships with individuals who can speak up for you and say, "I want this person to work on this project for me." This has occurred several times and is quite powerful.
Looking back on your career, you've undoubtedly navigated yourself through many various positions, sectors, and countries. There must have been many highs and a few lows. What is one piece of advice you wish you could have provided to younger Flavilla or the future generation of leaders?
One thing I would recommend is to find a mentor as soon as possible; it makes a huge impact. I had never worked for another agency before starting my own, and I made a lot of mistakes. I usually tell people that you either win or you learn; one or the other. For any person out there, consider where you want to go. I believe that having clarity in terms of where you're going is important, and if you don't know, then explore and be open, be curious, and ask as many questions as you can in terms of where you want to go.
When you've decided what you want to pursue, identify a key player in the industry and ask them to mentor you. For example, if you want to be a top coder, a top developer, or whatever it is, locate someone who is the greatest in their industry. Although obtaining Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg may be difficult, there are other exceptional individuals in the industry. I'll add that while you shouldn’t offer openly, "Can you be my mentor?” always say, "Can I take you to lunch?" Because everybody loves food! Or, perhaps, “Can I do an interview with you?” which would be a fantastic opportunity for them to get to know you more naturally and give more guidance. When you've established that relationship, you'll be able to ask for mentorship.
What has been the most difficult challenge you've experienced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
It's a very good question. You know, it's funny, I’m often underestimated, but I enjoy it. I love to prove them wrong. I'm lucky that in the job I'm fully fulfilled, and I love what I do. I always say to people, everybody deals with imposter syndrome, we all have it. It's all about how you handle it. I don't look my age, and when I walk into a board meeting with a bunch of white males who are wondering to themselves, "Is she going to make the coffee?" No, you'll be listening to me, which is a lot of fun. I don't mind being underestimated. Probably one of my favourite phrases is “If nobody in the room looks like you, you were supposed to be here”, which I say all the time. Who else is going to change the narrative about what it means to be a woman or a black woman? If nobody's in that room looks like you, you are meant to be there for everybody else who looks like you.
Show them and help them in changing their ideas about how they think and what they believe. And that's critical. I basically have a "I don't give a damn" mentality; I do what I'd do, and if it works, it works; if it doesn't, it doesn't, and I'm not ashamed to share my failures. I believe it is an aspect of learning that occurs every day and in every moment. If you don't face certain obstacles, you'll never grow and evolve as a person.
You've built an award-winning agency, launched a global tech initiative, been a key-note speaker at some of the world's most prominent events, and have won numerous accolades, so I'm sure this question will be tough for you to answer. What has been the pinnacle of your professional career? Is there a specific one, or is it a combination?
Writing a book called "99 Strategies to Get Customers" in my non-native language was definitely my professional highlight, and I'm glad it was well received. The second pinnacle was that when I first started my career as a speaker, one of my marketing team members booked me for an event in Budapest. I forgot to ask how many people will be attending and I didn't confirm which stage I'd be on ahead of time.
They put me on the first stage. I wanted to view the room before but was told: 'No, we'll be coming in five minutes early.' They brme on five minutes before I was due to start, and it's this huge, gigantic movie theatre room. It was so intriguing because when you walk in, you can't see the room until you're already inside. And as I turn around to face the front, there are 5000 people there, and this was just my third talk. It was at that point that I realised I had two options: I could go back to my hotel room and my career as a speaker is over, or I could go ahead and do it.
I had controlled my imposter syndrome and just do what I'm here to do; what’s the worst that can happen. And I did that. And after that, the rest of my career has just been full of great, amazing stories and I've had a lot of fun. I always say to people the most beautiful things in life happen when you step outside of your comfort zone and do things you've never done before. Its imperative to stay curious, and explore fields you've never explored before. At the end you will feel so fulfilled.
Well, this takes me to my final question. I just want to talk to you about the decision to create Black Women in Tech. As a black female in the tech industry, what was your hope when you first started that what you wanted to achieve? And now that it’s grown so exponentially- what does the future hold?
As I already stated, my mother was my sole black female role model when I was growing up. When I initially arrived in London and turned on the television, one of the first shows I saw was EastEnders, which made me believe that anyone can be an actor in this country.
It makes me laugh, and the concept behind it was that my mindset had completely changed as back in France, my main ambition was to be an assistant manager. My guidance counsellor in school had recommended for me to pursue a career as a secretary. Fortunately, I did not listen to her, but today's society leaves young people with a lack of aspiration because they do not see enough individuals who look like them.
I feel that Black Women in Tech evolved naturally as I saw that black women in the industry would progress through their careers with no one listening to their stories. The goal of Black Girls in Tech is for women in the field to be able to share their experiences while also motivating the next generation of black women in technology. We want to concentrate on bringing the technological agenda ahead rather than focusing just on diversity.
It was also to just change the narrative about how black people are perceived in the business by demonstrating that there is opportunity for more of you. When you talk to talented women, they often say things like, "I thought I was a unicorn, but there are more people out there just like me." If you watch Kung Fu Panda, one of my favourite cartoons, you'll notice that when he comes, he thinks he's the last panda left, but he discovers a slew of other pandas. It's amazing and fulfilling to feel like you've finally found a place where you can be yourself and understand yourself from a new viewpoint.
Black Women in Tech was created to provide chances, to develop and build bridges of opportunities, and truly form a technological community and this is because there are so many great people as allies. So, I don't breed black woman, but I can inspire the next generation.
A huge thank you to Flavilla Fongang for dedicating her time to speak to us for this interview. If you were interested in getting involved with TLA Black Women in Tech be sure to check out their website.
by Jasmine Ellis
In the United Kingdom, October is Black History Month; a time to reflect, honour and celebrate Black achievements.
At Franklin Fitch, we want...
In the United Kingdom, October is Black History Month; a time to reflect, honour and celebrate Black achievements.
At Franklin Fitch, we want to shine a light on a few of the female Black pioneering leaders in the industry; some just starting their journey and some influentially established. Each of them has a story to share, and we'd like to share it to celebrate some of the most inspiring, influential, and prominent black voices on the UK tech scene.
We know that when it comes to employing minorities, the IT industry is notorious for trailing behind the rest of the labour market. Yes, much progress has been made since the 1900s, but let's face it: when it comes to black women’s representation, equality, and equity in technology, we still have a long way to go. In today’s society there is a clear diversity gap; women and minorities are under-represented with black women only making up 0.7% of the tech workforce in 2020.
This has long prompted appeals for more diversity in the tech industry, not simply for the sake of it, but to ensure that the next generation of diverse talent feels empowered to participate and succeed in the field. We need to encourage more people from minority ethnic backgrounds to pursue careers in technology and improve representation. As a result, there will be more diverse teams, more inclusive innovation, better goods, and better customer experiences, all of which will lead to increased loyalty and profitability. As a result, the bottom line improves.
Companies with high levels of ethnic and cultural diversity were 33% more likely to outperform their competition, according to McKinsey's Diversity Matters study.
Over the last few years, we've seen the emergence of a number of impactful initiatives – from Coding Black Females, which is dedicated to building a thriving community of black female developers, to TLA Black Women in Tech, which is dedicated to enabling black female talents to excel and companies to have access to black women of talent - there have been a number of initiatives and organisations- who have made it their aim to make the UK's IT industry more ethnically diverse.
Over the next month, we'd wanted to highlight a handful of our industry's Black pioneering female leaders, to provide a platform for diverse technologists throughout the industry, and to highlight the inspirational women who are breaking stereotypes in the UK tech sector.
We wanted to recognize and celebrate some of the inspiring women who are breaking stereotypes in the UK IT sector over the next month. We've put together a series of interviews with some of these incredible voices that we'd want to share with you, and we hope you'll take the time to read and reflect on their experiences as well as the critical industry themes like diversity and inclusion.
Thank you to the remarkable women who have participated in these interviews!
by Matthew Bell
At nearly 18 months into the pandemic, numerous lockdowns, multiple vaccinees and a completely new way of working – it’s safe to say that...
At nearly 18 months into the pandemic, numerous lockdowns, multiple vaccinees and a completely new way of working – it’s safe to say that the world has changed quite drastically.
Technology has been a huge enabler of this change. Microsoft’s Brad Smith said two years of digital transformation took place in the first two months of the pandemic.
As England emerges from lockdown with a promise of a return to “normality”, which of these tech innovations will stick?
Perhaps the most notable “new tech” is the increased use of video calling, not only as a work tool, but also to stay connected to our loved ones. So much so that Zoom became a verb.
While Zoom-fatigue did hit hard and the thought of another virtual pub quiz is a little sickening, it’s clear that video calling is is a welcomed tool in the workplace, if not in our personal lives.
Unsurprisingly, in-person interactions with friends and family are preferred to virtual ones, but the use of Zoom, Teams and other video conferencing tools have facilitated the new era of flexible working. It’s safe to stay that Zoom is here to stay, whether we like it or not.
Cyber-criminals have had a field day since the pandemic started. Businesses globally were forced to adopt a remote working model where employees were often working from personal PCs, laptops and phones with limited antivirus software.
The ever-growing amount of data breaches means an ever-growing demand for cyber-security professionals. The unemployment rate in cybersecurity has been at 0% since 2011, so the responsibility lies with businesses, organisations and educational programmes to upskill people in the skills needed to fill the gap.
There will always be people looking to exploit a situation. As users of tech, we must remain diligent to phishing attacks, while keeping our devices updated and secure.
Fitness and wellness apps
As gyms remained closed for large parts of the pandemic, people looked for new ways to remain fit and healthy. Apps such as Strava and Nike Run Club were downloaded in mass.
Strava went from just over 2 million sessions each week pre-pandemic, to over 6 million sessions by May 2020. This figure remained even with the reopening of gyms.
While the gym isn’t going anywhere yet, it’s clear that people’s exercise habits have changed. Perhaps it was the efficiency of a home workout vs going to the gym that has kept the momentum going.
Awareness around mental health rose in 2020 as months in lockdown took their toll. Mindfulness and meditation apps such as Calm, which raised new funding at a $2 billion valuation in December 2020, were downloaded globally to combat the lockdown-lows.
The fact that these apps have held on to their users throughout the past 18 months points to a shift in the way we manage our fitness and wellbeing.
With so much uncertainty around what the immediate future will look like, it’s difficult to determine whether the tech we use today will be relevant tomorrow. Certain habits from the past 18 months were indeed welcomed and here to stay – many of which were enabled by technology.
written by Evangeline Hunt
by Leonie Schaefer
Once again, social media platforms are facing calls to tighten regulations on their platforms, following the hurl of racial abuse to members of the...
Once again, social media platforms are facing calls to tighten regulations on their platforms, following the hurl of racial abuse to members of the England football team. After losing to Italy in the final of the Euro 2020, certain players received swarms of abuse on social media, which critics say lies in the hands of these platforms to regulate.
London Mayer Sadiq Khan directly called on social media platforms to ‘act immediately to remove and prevent this hate’.
What kind of responsibility do these platforms have to prevent the spread of hate? Is there a way to leverage automation and machine learning to make this job easier?
Traditional media in the UK has an agreement with regulator Ofcom that makes them accountable for any form of abusive response to content. For example – a racist comment left on a BBC News article – the BBC would be accountable.
Ofcom doesn’t have this agreement with social media platforms because they aren’t considered to be publishers or broadcasters. These platforms remain self-regulating, so the question of accountability remains a grey area.
The difficulty these tech giants face is the huge volume of user-generated content, which swamps the efforts of human moderators employed by these platforms. It’s not expected that human moderators can sift through every piece of content, as soon as it’s posted, to see if it contains hate. The solution has to be automation.
We can already see social media platforms utilising automation to prevent misinformation around COVID-19. For example, Instagram immediately fags any content that contains information about COVID, and points users to the World Health Organisation for accurate advice. Critics have suggested this same technology be used to detect racist and abuse content.
Automation is already built into the algorithm in this way, such as a blanket banning of certain hashtags and words. But it can only do so much. Automation is currently unable to understand context, nuance, different cultures, etc. A certain emoji may not be offensive if said to one person, but when the context is different, the intention also changes. Instances such as this is where automation fails.
So what is the solution? Stopping trolls from posting hate on these platforms is of course, the ideal solution. But alas, an impossible ask. The more likely solution will take time – develop automation technology that is intelligent enough to detect the context of hate. Until then, there remains some power in the hands of users to report hate content when they see it.
by Jamie Fitzgerald
Many people have been working remotely for over a year now. While it was initially seen as a temporary solution to lockdown, it is becoming clear...
Many people have been working remotely for over a year now. While it was initially seen as a temporary solution to lockdown, it is becoming clear that flexible working is here to stay.
For some organisations, the logistics of remote work was already set up. For others who previously had no remote workers, it was more of a challenge.
In this heavily candidate-driven market, employers need to offer flexible working to attract the best talent. Utilising IT Infrastructure can help businesses implement a successful remote working strategy, while also minimising security and cost issues associated with remote work. Below, we share our top tips on how this can be executed.
Keep security tight
Security threats are amplified when employees are working remotely. Networks operate from beyond the firewall, making them difficult to secure. Some employees are working from their personal devices, which may not have any kind of antivirus software installed.
According to CIO.com, 20% of organisations have fallen victim to a security breach since the start of the pandemic that was directly linked to remote working. An unsurprising statistic, given the new open-door that hackers were gifted with when people started working from home.
To prevent potential security threats, businesses will need to secure the infrastructure and software used by employees when working remotely. One way to do this is to use a centralised desktop environment through the cloud. Working inside a secure cloud environment means that all data remains within the cloud, reducing the chance of potential cyberattacks.
Invest in collaboration tools
Keeping employees connected while working remotely is essential for a happy and engaged workforce. Remote work can sometimes feel lonely, so investing in a business-wide communication tool, such as Teams or Slack, makes collaboration easy and efficient.
Given that remote working is here to stay, scheduling time for virtual coffee breaks can help keep company culture thriving.
Offering a user-friendly way to work remotely is essential to ensure that employees can connect to IT resources when out of the office.
Using a cloud desktop rather than a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) means that a service provider will host your applications in the cloud, reducing any downtime from a weak network connection. A cloud desktop will make it easier for employees to access everything they need on any device, from any location.
Reduce unnecessary hardware using the cloud
Maintaining the hardware of remote employees can be a big challenge. If laptops need maintenance when employees are working from home, it can be difficult to facilitate this.
This goes hand in hand with IT issues in general – any form of hardware/software issue is more time consuming to solve remotely.
Employers can combat this by minimising the amount of physical equipment that their employees need to work from home. As previously mentioned, using a cloud desktop is an easy way for workers to access files and applications from their own devices, while still ensuring everything remains secure. The only resource needed to log onto a cloud desktop is a web browser, making it an accessible option for most.
Reducing the amount of hardware needed can also work to keep costs down. Trying to recreate the whole IT infrastructure of the office in each employee’s home can be costly. The cloud desktop will enable employees to access their workstations without the need for expensive equipment.
The future of the office remaining relatively uncertain, but one thing that we can be sure about is that most employees are keen to keep some aspect of remote working in their schedule.
With the help of IT Infrastructure, businesses can successfully implement a productive remote working strategy to meet these needs, while remaining secure and cost-effective.
We partner with businesses globally to deliver top IT Infrastructure talent that is essential for enabling a post-covid workplace. Are you looking to grow your IT Infrastructure team? Get in touch today to find out how we can assist you!
by Anthony Ham
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly, as more and more devices become connected each year. IoT is powering many areas of our lives –...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly, as more and more devices become connected each year. IoT is powering many areas of our lives – from lightbulbs, wearable tech, to the creation of complex Smart Cities – automating day-to-day processes.
Besides consumer advances, IoT is becoming an essential component of successful and cost-effective business transformation.
Given the consistent growth of IoT, Business Wire predicts that the global IoT market will reach $1.1 trillion in revenue by 2024, with 80 billion connected devices.
How are we using IoT in our daily lives? And where do we expect it to take us looking forward?
What is IoT?
IoT is the connection of multiple appliances/objects to each other and the internet, which are monitored remotely. These devices are interconnected and track and receive data, which is then processed in the cloud.
A smart home is an example of IoT – appliances such as the thermostat, doorbell and security system can sense their surroundings and interact with one another, which can be monitored over a mobile app.
This involves complex communication between devices and accurate processing of data. Sensing devices are used to monitor things such as temperature, humidity and water level.
IoT in the world
Complex uses of IoT already exist in today’s world. Amazon’s fully automated supermarket where you can “just walk out” uses IoT technology to fully automate the whole shopping experience. You scan a barcode when you walk in and then there is no need to scan or pay for any items.
Smart Cities are being created across the globe, where IoT tech is used to monitor everything from traffic, recycling and energy use. Citizens interact with a smart city through their smartphones, connected cars and homes. The smart city can do things such as cut costs of energy, improve sustainability and manage traffic flows.
Like with many industries, the Covid pandemic highlighted the true potential of the IoT, as it was used for things such as enabling remote operations to manage distancing policies.
One example of this is the NFL, who used wearable connected sensors to manage the safe return of players and staff. Connected through IoT, these sensors provided real-time data on the movements of everyone in the stadium – meaning if someone tested positive for COVID-19, the data could determine who needed to isolate.
As with all growing technologies, there will always be potential problems and setbacks. IoT relies on a speedy and reliable connection as it often analyses data in real-time, meaning network issues can impact how well IoT performs.
As more and more devices are connected, some networks are unable to manage the increased traffic. The ability to scale as demand grows will be essential if businesses want to continue to digitally transform.
Perhaps the most obvious problem is the security issues that come with numerous connected devices. Poorly secured IoT devices are a common target of hackers, as one unsecured device can act as a portal to the whole network.
Organisations can manage this by delivering security functions through the cloud, to ensure that all devices will receive the same level of security.
Looking forward, it’s clear that the potential of IoT is exponential. Smart living and smart cities are already embedded in society, and will only continue to grow.
Where else do you see IoT being utilized in the future?
For a long time, organisations have focused their efforts and investments on financial capital rather than their human...
For a long time, organisations have focused their efforts and investments on financial capital rather than their human capital. However, with a lot more studies being conducted and evidence showing the significant impact top talent has on business performance, the focus of organisations has seemed to slowly start shifting.
Knowing the value of talent for companies, there also comes a problem with it; talent is very scarce. A company needs to be outstanding in order to make scarce top talent apprised of their existence. The market is highly competitive; the more an employer understands talent’s needs and core motivations, the easier it will become to attract the exact people wanted and needed. Talent is as varied as the many job opportunities out there, so it is of utmost importance to match the right talent with the right job for long-term success. To do so, talent has to be looked at from all different perspectives such as age, gender or geographical location.
Building a strong EVP is one of the key attributes it takes to attract top talent, establishing an outstanding talent magnet position in the market, and communicating it successfully to the target audience. However most companies face limitations, especially when it comes to finding the best and brightest candidates. Therefore recruitment agencies out there can help them tap into different and broader talent pools. Recruitment needs to be a pro-active process, “employers cannot wait for the new talent to find them; they have to go out and look for it”. (Hillenbrand, 2020, p. 4)
Passive jobseekers make up a great share of talent and therefore have to be actively sourced and reached out to. There are many different possibilities on how to reach out to all the bright and different talent out there. Instead of focusing on only a few talent pools, companies should embrace diversity to fill open positions and take advantage of the effect it has on overall business success.
Recruitment agencies act as a middleman, a third party between the candidate and hiring company. Recruiters usually have a deeper talent pool than the in-house talent acquisition teams, as it is their job to have a large database with potential candidates to reach out to. They also do not wait for active applicants but put themselves out there, actively searching for talent. Hiring a recruitment agency is also time-saving, they take on the pre-screening and selection of potential candidates. It also makes the hiring process more efficient, as good recruiters act in the interest of the client and the candidate and think long-term. They know their market, what the client expects from a candidate and what the candidate will be able to deliver.
In order to attract the right talent, it is not only crucial to understand what talent wants, but also where required talent can be found and ways to make contact. Therefore, understanding the channels that are being used by jobseekers to search and apply for jobs will help to implement the right technology when reaching out to potential candidates, which will also differ from geographic location and age. Some information is more valuable than others for candidates when reading a job description. Recruiters ensure the right information is available upfront to an interview in order to increase the efficiency of the hiring process. The more transparency a candidate can get, the better he or she is able to understand what to expect from their potential future job and employer.
In conclusion, recruiters provide you with an exclusive and specific selection of top talent for your business. If you want to find out how Franklin Fitch can support your recruitment process please reach out to Carmen Hiemisch (email@example.com or +49 69 971 94 2913).
Source: Hillenbrand, P. “The people-first approach to business building”, McKinsey Digital, 2020, p. 4
written by Carmen Hiemisch
What do Bitcoin, Charlie Bit My Finger, and Beeple’s digital art all have in common? They’re all powered by blockchain – a digital...
What do Bitcoin, Charlie Bit My Finger, and Beeple’s digital art all have in common? They’re all powered by blockchain – a digital list of records that are linked together using cryptography.
Blockchain-powered tech has risen in popularity, most notably in the form of cryptocurrency. But more recently, the sale of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) online for often millions of dollars has created a new buzz around blockchain.
Blockchain was originally created in 1991 with the purpose of timestamping digital documents so that they couldn’t be tampered with. This new tech went mostly unused, until it was adapted by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 to create the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
A blockchain is a decentralized ledger that is open to anyone. The complex properties of a blockchain make it near-impossible to tamper with. Each block contains a unique “hash” – like a fingerprint, plus the hash of the previous block. If a single block is tampered with, the hash will change and won’t correctly match the hash of the next block – invalidating the chain. This makes blockchains a very secure way of storing data.
These days, blockchain is essentially a peer-to-peer network that enables trusted trade between individuals without the need for a mediator. Mediators can be anything from banks, online servers such as eBay or Amazon, or physical shops.
This is all well and good, but it sounds a bit hypothetical. Where is blockchain being used in our lives as of now, and where can we expect to see it in the future?
Like any new technology, its potential is still being unlocked. The most commonly known use for blockchain tech as of present is Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency uses blockchain encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify their transfer between users of the peer-to-peer network. This removes the need for banks and even physical money.
In theory, blockchain can be applied to any sort of trade – be it goods or services, energy, or something like voting.
Most recently there has been a surge in the sale of non-fungible tokens, which are powered on the Ethereum blockchain. Non-fungible means something unique and can’t be replaced with something else – like a piece of art, or a song. Bitcoin, or a dollar, is fungible – one bitcoin can be traded for another bitcoin and it’s exactly the same.
The Ethereum blockchain is the cryptocurrency used to support NFTs – it stores extra information that makes them work differently. NFTs can really be anything digital, such as art, music, tweets, memes, videos, etc. A lot of the excitement surrounding NFTs is around digital art. Yes, artist Beeple did sell a piece of digital art at Christie’s Auction House for $70 million… The exact piece of art can be viewed online by anyone – yes anyone. But only one person “owns” it. The authenticity of this ownership is powered by blockchain.
Is paying $70 million for a piece of digital art crazier than buying a tweet from the founder of Twitter for $3 million? I can’t decide…
What makes blockchain so interesting is that its potential is only just being unlocked. Until recently, we wouldn’t have thought that it was possible to “buy” a tweet – but apparently it is. Who knows where this exciting new tech will go next… any ideas?
by Leonie Schaefer
As we approach the halfway point of 2021, it’s a good time to reflect on the trends that were predicted for the year. Most of us were relieved...
As we approach the halfway point of 2021, it’s a good time to reflect on the trends that were predicted for the year. Most of us were relieved to say goodbye to 2020. A year full of uncertainty and change. Not all of them were bad – the past year pushed engineers into a new way of collaboration to build, deliver and manage IT Infrastructure.
This digital transformation has become crucial for business success. As a result of the challenges of the past year the following DevOps trends have gained more attention:
1. In 2021 Service Mesh has increased and become one of the key components of the dedicated infrastructure layer built into an app as that’s how parts of an application can share data with another. Service mesh is used to facilitate service-to-service communications between services. Due to factors from choosing particular tools, people will be forced to use them. This means, as tools become a more and more inseparable part of other solutions, more service mesh will be used. On top of that, it will provide the features and standards within each application and therefore represent the platform for ALL kinds of applications.
2. DevSecOps is gaining more importance, ensuring security for businesses of any sizes as working with cloud-based technology is becoming part of our daily workspace. Vulnerabilities and security gaps need to quickly be noticed, detected and diminished by the DevSecOps team.
3. Kubernetes is an open-source container-orchestration system for automating computer application deployment, scaling, and management. It was originally designed by Google and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The use of Kubernetes continues to grow in 2021 as they are needed to build complex cloud-native infrastructures for automating computer applications. As these are difficult to understand, in 2021, cloud operators and practitioners create new supporting tools and will benefit the tech community. These tools focus especially on data science, visibility and secret management.
4. AI & ML driven DevOps approach: nowadays, traditional organisations need to handle a massive amount of data that is being generated with immense speed, variety and volume. To be able to analyze and compute this data of any scale and size, organisations work with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (machine learning) as they are the boosters to transform the workflow of teams. ML helps to understand where blockages or capacity issues that occur in the delivery lifecycle and therefore improves developing, deploying, delivering and managing applications properly.
5. Observability or monitoring is the question. As systems are transforming into more complex, cloud-native and open source microservices running on Kubernetes, more engineers will be mindful of observing and monitoring the application to identify and respond to outages and events. This deeper insight into downtime is an approach to monitor, analyse, trace events to investigate the specific causes and pinpoint the impact on the company.
Excited for the second half of 2021? Well, if you weren’t yet, then you should be now. The fact that DevOps is the best solution to increase quality, save time and money for companies hasn’t changed. But still, a new era is well underway in this cloud-centric and all-digital world. Therefore, upgrading and integrating techniques and tools are required for the rapidly changing market needs.
written by Sophie Finsterer
by Adam Cooper
As recruiters, we get the opportunity to speak to a whole host of hiring managers, each facing their own challenges when looking to bring the best...
As recruiters, we get the opportunity to speak to a whole host of hiring managers, each facing their own challenges when looking to bring the best talent on board and grow out their teams. Although even the largest, most resourceful companies are still likely to face their fair share of tests, this article will focus on identifying the key challenges faced by SMEs when hiring for their IT/Infrastructure teams, as well as looking into best practices and new ideas on how to solve them.
I am in contact with a range of SMEs, speaking with hiring manages to get to the bottom of what works, what doesn’t and how they have managed to improve and streamline their recruitment processes. Outlined below are some of the key talking points that arose, which will hopefully provide insight and assist in building a hiring process that works for you.
What to focus on when hiring IT/Infrastructure employees?
Believe it or not, a surprisingly large number of hiring managers found putting too much emphasis on a candidate’s technical capabilities was ineffective in the initial recruitment stage. It was an almost unanimous agreement that on reflection, more focus should have been placed on values fit and working attitude. Bringing in someone that shares the values of the company, as well as having a positive can-do attitude can have a huge impact on SMEs.
Having a team of motivators is a sure way to maintain positivity, overcome challenges and create opportunity for innovation. Someone could be exceptionally talented in terms of technical ability, yet if they aren’t invested and motivated to make things work, they’re probably going to be more of a detriment to the business in the long run. As the saying goes, “one bad apple can spoil the bunch”.
Unlike technical skills, mentality can’t be taught. So, when it comes to technical skills vs mentality, let’s call it even. Hitting that perfect balance of technical prowess and personality fit in a new hire is any SME’s dream!
Make your interview process more effective
Giving candidates reasons to buy into the company from the start is crucial for attracting talent (and it only takes 10 minutes). The current market is extremely candidate driven; strong candidates are likely to have multiple other processes going on alongside the opportunity you’re offering. Ten minutes on the phone is all it takes to create a good first impression and make candidates feel like you are valuing their application and are aware that interviews are a two-way street. You are aiming to put your company at the forefront of the candidate’s mind.
Testing technical ability
The interview processes at SMEs are often far more thorough than some of the larger companies I’ve worked with, and why shouldn’t they be? The associated risk of every hire is far greater than in larger and more established companies. Holding some form of technical test, whether it’s an online screen share, or a verbal test in the interview from one of the senior team members is a great way to separate the technically strong from the lesser capable.
There are two big “don’ts” when it comes to testing technical ability. Firstly, jumping straight into a technical interview as a first stage, without previously giving buy-in to the company (yes, this again). This can be hugely off-putting and can give a sense of elitism to your hiring process.
Secondly, putting candidates through a ridiculously long process, just to prove what they’re capable of. The candidate shouldn’t need to be asked the same questions by 4 different people within the organisation. This can give the impression of poor communication and time management within the business, whether this is the case or not. Candidates are often reluctant to commit to such a long process for a job that they ultimately might not land.
One of my clients mentioned the idea of collaboration-based interviews. The way this works is that they get the candidate to participate in a real-life situation. Sit in on a brainstorming session with the team, focusing on how best to overcome a specific, real problem. This way you can test the candidate on how well they collaborate, how confident they are giving their own ideas and how they communicate these ideas to a wider audience. This also gives a positive experience to the candidate as they get a real insight into what it would be like working in the company – and ultimately the team.
Finally, something hugely important for all companies, big or small, is responsiveness and feedback. This is so vital, yet still not on the priority list for many companies. Due to the competitiveness of the industry, candidates can be off the market within a matter of days. If you aren’t providing constructive feedback on profile submissions or interviews within two days maximum and keeping candidates in the loop, assume that your competition is, and expect to be left behind!
How does your tech stack correlate with talent attraction?
I asked each hiring manager: “when choosing your tech stack, do you think about how that correlates with talent attraction and current technical trends for when you’re likely to be growing the team further down the line?” This often prompted the response: “I’d never really thought about it until now”.
Around 90% of the people I spoke to stated that the tech stack was chosen with the sole focus on implementing the best tools for the product, without giving a thought to how their choices would affect the future hiring process. Makes sense! However, keeping talent attraction in mind when discussing technical decisions is no bad thing. This doesn’t mean that you should pick a tool unsuitable for the job just because it’s the “next big thing” but keeping up to date with the latest versions of the tools and technologies that you’re using is likely to appeal to potential candidates when the time comes to grow out the team. Emerging technologies will also keep your product/service scalable as you continue to expand.
Being open to implementing new technologies and offering an element of technical freedom to your IT employees can also be a great way to attract talent, encourage innovation and ensure that your hires have the mindset of continuous development (which is the attitude needed in most successful tech SMEs).
How do you compete with the tech industries “Top Dogs”? And do you need to?
Interestingly, the majority of people I spoke to didn’t feel as though they are competing with large organisations on anywhere near the same level that they are competing with other SME’s. This is due to the belief that the majority of candidates either have the appetite for an SME, or they don’t.
If you have a candidate with their mind set on working in a small, more open environment, how do you attract them to yours? Many thought that it is more effective to focus on offering the candidate intangible benefits such as technical freedom, ownership over projects, the chance to make a real difference on projects and the company as a whole. This would often be more appealing than trying to match the ‘competitive’ financial packages that are being offered elsewhere.
Whilst these benefits will appeal to a “smaller company” minded candidate, it’s important not to use these benefits as leverage to negotiate a lower salary. Underwhelming a candidate with a job offer is a sure-fire way to put them off!
If you have any questions, comments, or tried and tested methods for attracting talent to SMEs that haven’t been covered here, please feel free to share.
by Charlotte Drury
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which focuses on the theme of nature. During the long months of the pandemic, millions of people globally...
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which focuses on the theme of nature. During the long months of the pandemic, millions of people globally turned to nature as a coping mechanism - with 45% of people reporting that being in green spaces had been vital for their mental health.
There is lots of research to support the role that nature can play in protecting our mental health. This week, the Mental Health Foundation is encouraging those who can to spend some time connecting with nature.
We care deeply about mental health at Franklin Fitch. Our charity of the year for 2021 is Heads Together, who are fighting the stigma around mental health. We've shared some of the ways in which we are connecting with nature this week, and encourage you to do the same.
Algida Gaidyte: 'I'm going to give my houseplants some extra love this week."
Richard Shayler: 'I'm growing some basil plants"
Charlotte Drury: 'My friend and I are growing spring onions from the end bit of old spring onions that we had in the fridge. They've already shot up after only a couple of weeks.'
Dane Keenan: 'I'm going to make the effort to eat my lunch outside rather than at my desk.'
Konstantin Ehrenberger: 'I'm going to take a picnic to Brickwell Park, where the oldest Oak tree there is over 600 years old.'
Carmen Hiemisch: 'I'm cycling to work this week rather than getting public transport.'
Parnian Faqiryar: 'I'll ditch the bus this week in favour of walking to work.'
Luned Jones: 'I'm spending a day at Kew Gardens with family and friends.'
Patrick Griffiths: 'I've been growing apples from the seeds, I even had to re-pot them this week'.
Dominique Lianos: 'Myself and my housemates are growing various herbs that we've already used in our cooking'.
Mona Aboud: 'I plan to take a walk in the forest this week.'
Maike Nenninger: 'I'm going to my parents' place with a protected landscape area for a family walk in the woods.'
Gareth Streefland: 'I'm going surfing in Swansea at the weekend.'
How do you plan to connect to nature this week? For resources, tips and more information on Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit the Mental Health Foundation website.
by Dominique Lianos
The shortage of cybersecurity professionals is nothing new. The unemployment rate in cybersecurity has been at 0% since 2011 – a fact unmatched...
The shortage of cybersecurity professionals is nothing new. The unemployment rate in cybersecurity has been at 0% since 2011 – a fact unmatched by any other industry. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide by the end of the year, up from 1 million positions in 2014.
This issue has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Businesses globally were forced to adopt a remote working model where employees were often working from personal PCs, laptops and phones with limited antivirus software.
According to IBM, remote working increased the average cost of a data breach by $137,000. Despite these heightened security threats, many businesses are still cutting their cybersecurity budgets as we move through 2021.
Even with the ever-growing threat of smarter and more advanced security breaches, the security industry is under-resourced to fight hackers.
What can be done to address this issue?
Upskill more people
Sounds simple, but giving people the skills needed to fill these roles is the single more effective way to close this talent gap. It’s clear that there isn’t enough talent to fill the roles needed, so businesses, organizations and educational programs need to take responsibility in training people in the skills needed.
Organizations already have the wheels in motion for this. Massachusetts-based MassCyberCenter is partnering with businesses, academia and the public sector to train new cybersecurity workers to fill the more than 9,000 vacant cybersecurity jobs.
The NYC Economic Development Corporation has launched Cyber NYC, which aims to grow the city’s cybersecurity talent pool through training and education programs.
The Cyber Innovation Center in BossierCity, Louisiana, plans to broaden its cyber skills preparation to 10 million students and 50,000 teachers in K-12 across the US – building a pipeline of young cybersecurity talent.
Build a youth movement
Encouraging and nurturing young people to become future cybersecurity experts will ultimately solve the cyber skills shortage of the future. Instilling enthusiasm and excitement around cybersecurity and STEM from an early age will organically grow a new generation of talent.
Various organizations are doing this already. Girls Scouts of the USA have joined forces with Palo Alto Networks to deliver the first-ever Girl Scout Cybersecurity badges for girls in K-12.
The National Security Agency has been educating young people in cybersecurity through their GenCyber program since 2014. The NSA’s summer camp, Camp Cryptobot, runs annual cybersecurity camps to build the next generation of cybersecurity workers.
Focusing on the impact that a cybersecurity professional can have on people, businesses and even nations can encourage young people to become invested in the industry. Framing cybersecurity as a career that helps people, does good and is morally right is something that young people in today’s world are keen to make time for.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are particularly important in the fight against skills shortages. Untapped talent pools exist that often go unnoticed in the recruitment process.
How can the cybersecurity industry tap into neurodiverse talent pools, for example? Autism affects more than one in 100 people which means a huge amount of talent. However, only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time employment, and out of the ones that aren’t, 77% would like to be according to the national autistic society’s research.
The lack of awareness around neurodiversity often acts as a barrier of entry for neurodiverse professionals looking to enter the cybersecurity space. Educating decision-makers in unconscious bias is one way to create a more inclusive hiring process that can open doors for unnoticed talent.
As recruiters in the cybersecurity space, we know too well the need for talented candidates in this space. Do you have a cybersecurity role that you’re struggling to fill? We have a pool of talent that could be the perfect fit for your role, so don’t be afraid to get in touch.
by Dane Keenan
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.
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 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.
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.
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 Algida Gaidyte
People hear the word "headhunter" or "external recruiter" and immediately take a defensive stance. Yet HR...
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.
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 application 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 their 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.
We hope this clarified the most common misunderstandings about recruitment. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!
by Lewis Andrews
Since the pandemic began, tech has become an essential tool for us to stay in touch with our loved ones, exercise, work, and study. Yet not...
Since the pandemic began, tech has become an essential tool for us to stay in touch with our loved ones, exercise, work, and study. Yet not everyone has access to the same tech – known as the digital divide, which appears to be widening.
Some young people might be able to complete all of their school work, while others only some if they have to share a device amongst the whole family or don’t have a strong enough bandwidth. Some homes don’t have any internet at all, making it impossible for children to engage in remote learning.
Research from Ofcom UK revealed that 1.8 million children in the UK have no access to a laptop, computer or tablet. Speaking on this issue, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, said ‘if a child doesn’t have access to broadband, data, or the devices, then they’re not going to be able to lean, and that’s just unacceptable.'
This week, the creator of the world wide web has spoken out about concerns over the widening digital divide. In his annual letter to mark the anniversary of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said A shocking number of kids in the UK don't have meaningful connectivity’.
Sir Tim is calling on businesses and governments globally to make fibre broadband available for all a priority, with a push to connect young people to the internet. He quotes $428 billion (£306bn) which needs to be invested by governments and the private sector to achieve this aim by 2030. Although this sounds like a huge investment, the economic benefit would be equally huge.
One way in which private businesses are tackling this problem is through satellites. Elon Musk’s SpaceX programme is already working on this. Their Starlink satellite internet constellation consists of thousands of small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which work with ground transceivers to deliver high-speed internet access to consumers globally.
SpaceX has currently launched 1,035 Starlink satellites into space. The current consumer setup cost for Starlink’s internet is $499 plus a $99 monthly service fee. So while such programmes are doing great work to implement the internet in more remote regions, it does nothing to tackle the socio-economic problem of those who cannot afford the internet. Potential solutions to this problem including driving down the cost of accessing the internet, which requires the development of low-cost technologies – not a simple fix.
Furthermore, individuals might be able to assess the internet, but there are additional barriers such as the ability to process the information that the internet is giving. This is more of a barrier in developing countries, where access to education in general is a challenge.
As IT Infrastructure specialists, we know how important this infrastructure is to keep the world connected. IT Infrastructure exists to provide secure connectivity, efficiency, and growth, so we developed our recruitment service to do the same.
IT infrastructure has been our sole focus since we were founded in 2011. We're proud to have placed thousands of IT professionals into meaningful roles that work to implement connectivity across the globe.
We pride ourselves on trusted partnerships, whether you're looking for a new role in IT Infrastructure, talent for your team or considering joining Franklin Fitch. Why not start that partnership today?
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.
Before I started in Recruitment, I used to produce TV shows for Channel 4, Discovery and the BBC.
One of my fondest memories...
Before I started in Recruitment, I used to produce TV shows for Channel 4, Discovery and the BBC.
One of my fondest memories was the time I bumped into Paul Daniels in the corridors of the BBC Studios when he was a participant on Strictly. We locked eyes and he immediately asked if I wanted to see a magic trick, even though he was just about to go on stage.
I said yes (of course) and he produced a deck of cards from his waistcoat pocket (because naturally, Paul never left home without a deck of cards on his person).
It was refreshing to interact with someone you grew up watching on TV to be exactly as you imagined them to be. Something you most definitely cannot say for every celeb…
After many years in the industry, I decided to leave television and I cannot help but think it was because of my moment with Paul. I was constantly striving to one-up the time Paul Daniels did a card trick on me but as you can imagine each preceding experience did not quite ‘cut-it’.
So I started to think about what else I could do.
I deliberated for a time and after doing a lot of research decided to retrain as a Recruitment Consultant as I felt the similarities between the two professions were uncanny.
One of the most enjoyable parts of working in television was the huge variety of people you got to interact with. Every television show is different with each individual episode contained in the show being different too. Meaning, you would need to contact a lot of people to ensure you have enough interesting contributors to sustain your series. As an example, shows like Love Island would contact somewhere in the region of 5,000-10,000 people! This requires intelligent research, clever internet searches and…. Phone bashing.
You would also need a cool location to film your people in. Finding locations is a subtle art of relationship building with CEOs and PR / marketing teams connected to large institutions / cool venues. There’s no point getting the best contributors for a show if you haven’t got a cool/well-known location/brand to go and film them in!
Every single day Recruitment Consultants around the world are acting as TV producers, let me explain…
The working day of most Recruitment Consultants can be split into two very separate spaces:
Candidate resourcing does what it says on the tin and business development is the generation of relationships with hiring managers with a view to helping them fill their vacancies.
And if you think about it, TV production can be split into 2 camps too:
Relationship development (location / institution / brand)
And just like Recruitment, there are a wealth of contributors/candidates to contact (most of which will want to be on TV/want the job) but not all will be suitable for the show/job.
AND there is also a huge number of businesses/clients to contact. Exciting clients/cool venues will get tens, if not hundreds, of calls a day from rival recruiters/tv channels. The chances of you as a TV Producer/Recruiter gaining access to large businesses/vacancies are incredibly slim on your first call. It usually requires weeks if not months of careful and sensitive relationship building.
I remember one show I was working on with the Mexican government to film at their Aztec archaeological sites throughout Mexico. It took the best part of 2 years to get sign off for the show to be made whilst the actual filming only took around 2 months.
The biggest difference between Recruitment and Television is you don’t especially need one (contributor/candidate) or the other (location/client).
I could find the coolest contributor and film them in my back garden and it would just about work on television. And vice-versa – I could gain access to a really cool venue and the shots alone would work on television. In TV you are lucky that the general public are in fact, incredibly tolerable. They are there to be entertained and with the right tone, entertained they will be.
In Recruitment you aren’t as lucky…
You could have the best candidate in the world but without a suitable vacancy all the hard work of finding that candidate is wasted.
Much like having the coolest vacancy (or in TV terms – a location) without the right candidate to fill that vacancy it is only half the job and Recruitment doesn’t work in halves.
This is what makes the job so rewarding. The feeling of placing a candidate/landing a job (or the holy grail of achieving both) requires an incredible amount of hard work. You can’t cut corners like you can in TV, you can’t magic up a job – you don’t have the benefit of the editor who can build locations in post-production to make it look like your presenter is at the Taj Mahal when you didn’t get sign-off from the Indian government to actually film there (this actually happened to me). You can’t conjure up a unicorn contributor, or get a member of the crew to dress up as a cow because the real cow couldn’t make it as it had just given birth (again, true story). Every placement requires dedication, grit and true resilience. Without it, you may as well sit at your desk and do nothing all day.
I believe the ultimate test of a successful consultant can be gauged on the happiness of two people:
As the recruiter you are also happy but your happiness is very much determinate upon the happiness of the top two people.
As a TV Producer the test of a successful show can be gauged on the happiness of 1 person:
And we all know how fickle the audience can be… A simple magic trick and they’ll be like putty in your hands….
Now, does anyone have a deck of cards?
I want to show you something…
by Anthony Ham
Last month, we kicked off the conversation about hiring neurodiverse talent in the IT infrastructure industry. With a shortage of...
Last month, we kicked off the conversation about hiring neurodiverse talent in the IT infrastructure industry. 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.
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”.
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.
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 or take a look at the following resources:
Neurodiverse Talent – Opportunity vs. ignorance
written by Leonie Schaefer
by Leonie Schaefer
As January draws to a close and the UK remains in a third national lockdown, it's expected that spirits might be a little low. Now more...
As January draws to a close and the UK remains in a third national lockdown, it's expected that spirits might be a little low. Now more than ever it is so important to look after our mental health, which can be challenging when we aren't able to see loved ones.
Even though a lot of people are working from home, it's still important to try to keep your working day as enjoyable as possible. Some people are working longer hours than usual, so it's essential that you're not hating every second of it. Below, we share our top tips on how to stay happy at work.
Keep your desk as tidy as possible and manage your time to avoid stress. If you have a plan for your day you will feel prepared and work effectively.
Exercising at work can be difficult and it isn’t 100% necessary, but research says staying physically active can improve your mood and performance. Even just standing up at your table or walking around for a few minutes every now and then is better than nothing.
Take care of your professional development. In today’s working world experience is key, so ask for training opportunities to develop and improve your skills.
Ask for Feedback
In order to improve your skills, it's important to look for constructive criticism. If you ask your supervisors for feedback on your performance you might even be praised, which is always a little motivation booster.
Talk to your colleagues
Keeping a good relationship with your colleagues will brighten up your mood every day. It also helps you make yourself more comfortable in your workplace.
If you dread coming into work on a Monday morning, perhaps you're not getting the job satisfaction that you deserve in your current role. We have loads of amazing opportunities available, whether you're an IT Infrastructure professional or looking to start a career in recruitment - feel free to get in touch.
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!
One of the biggest issues within IT Infrastructure recruitment is access to skilled IT talent. Some people argue that it’s a case of demand...
One of the biggest issues within IT Infrastructure recruitment is access to skilled IT talent. Some people argue that it’s a case of demand being too high for the supply of talent that is available, others say it’s a case of talent going unnoticed by recruiters. Today we’re taking a closer look at the latter one: untapped talent pools.
Diversity and inclusion have been important topics all-round, but especially in the fight against skills shortages. At Franklin Fitch we are committed to raise awareness and tackle biases towards diversity & inclusion matters within IT infrastructure. Diversity and inclusion cover many areas, the most known being diverse ranges in sexuality, cultures and philosophy. Today we’d like to talk about a diverse range of different modes of thinking a.k.a neurodiversity.
The term “neurodiversity” is used to describe people with certain neurological conditions or people who are on a neurodiverse spectrum. This includes conditions like autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia (a neurologically based physical disorder), social anxiety disorders, and others. People on the neurodiverse spectrum often have difficulties with social interaction and communication in the way a neurotypical person would cope with them, but many people with these ‘disorders’ also have higher-than average abilities, often in areas such as pattern recognition, concentration, memory or mathematics.
Autism affects more than one in 100 people which means a huge amount of talent. However, only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time employment and out of the ones that aren’t, 77% would like to be according to the national autistic society’s research. So now you might think ‘how come the tech industry hasn’t snapped all of these skilled workers up yet?’ Au contraire, many big tech companies like SAP, HPE and Microsoft (amongst others) have already implemented processes and programs to access neurodiverse talent. For those who haven’t it is probably a matter of one or some of the following.
Profile fit and awareness
One of the main issues is that neurodiverse people often don’t fit the profile or the common notions of what makes a good employee. Things like communication, sales-person-type personalities, the ability to conform to standard practices, emotional intelligence etc. Especially in larger companies HR and application processes are made to be scalable and applicable to the majority of the organisation. During an interview a neurodiverse person might behave different from a neurotypical person by making less eye contact or showing certain eccentricities. If the person interviewing isn’t aware of these conditions and doesn’t know how to work with them, the neurodiverse candidate might not get the job.
Conformity to standardised procedures
Streamlining processes and procedures makes organisations scalable, efficient and effective. However, employees on a neurodiverse spectrum might need accommodations outside the standard. Things like installing different lighting, or providing noise-cancelling headphones or separate workstations aren’t usually too expensive but require businesses and managers to individualise where they would usually standardise.
Awareness, Training and Development
As with most things there needs to be a plan, a strategy. Neurodiverse employees, like all employees, deserve career progression, training and development. Furthermore, neurotypical employees and managers need to be trained on working with their neurodiverse colleagues to avoid friction. This can be supported through social partners such as government or non-profit organisations that are committed to helping neurodiverse people obtain jobs. Managing neurodiverse employees means for some leaders that they have to further individualise their leadership and work with the individuals to find out what works best for them and the company.
Awareness is a big factor when hiring neurodiverse talent. Apart from the above, neurodiverse candidates bring a lot of benefits for employers. The biggest one being: A different way of thinking.
Diversity and inclusion have one big advantage – variety. As Steve Jobs put it “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”. If you grow your team in a diverse way, employing talent that thinks differently you might end up changing processes for the better. Innovation is fuelled by differences. Changing the perspective on a problem often brings the solution. That is exactly what a neurodiverse workforce can do for you. Research shows that teams with neurodiverse workers become more productive. Neurodiverse workers often have the ability to spot patterns others do not see.
If you’d like to know more about hiring neurodiverse talent the following links might be useful for you: https://www.autism.org.uk/, https://specialisternefoundation.com/,
by Xenia Armbrust
While December might feel like a strange time to be making new hires, it’s actually the ideal month to...
While December might feel like a strange time to be making new hires, it’s actually the ideal month to be hiring new talent into your business before the chaos of January commences. Most businesses tend to be fairly quiet during December, which makes it the perfect time to focus on hiring. Here are a few reasons why….
Get ahead of the busy season in January.
January is typically one of the busiest times of the year for hiring. This also makes it the most competitive time to find new talent. If you start your hiring in December, you’ll have the first pick of the bunch when it comes to candidates. There are fewer job postings at this time of year, so yours will have more chance of getting noticed.
The festive spirit in December makes it a great time to welcome new team members.
The office spirit in December tends to be high, which makes it a nice time to welcome new additions to your team. Despite most teams working remotely this year, the festive spirit remains and can be a nice ice-breaker for the virtual introductions. Workload is often reduced over the festive period, giving you ample opportunity to spend some time reviewing applications.
Candidates can easily get time off in December to interview.
It’s common for people to have time off in December, making it easier for candidates to attend interviews (virtual or not). In addition, Covid-19 has left most people with a lot of annual leave to use up before the year ends.
December is a great time to headhunt passive candidates.
The best kind of talent is often not looking for new opportunities, and these will be the first to get snapped up in the new year. If you want the best chance of sourcing these kind of candidates, December is the time to start looking for them.
December is an expensive month for everyone – use this to your advantage.
Are you offering a competitive salary? The expenses of December might encourage people to look for a better salary. If you’re offering one then this can act as an incentive for candidates to move.
Are you looking to hire new IT talent into your business this December? Get in touch to find out how we can help!
by David Annable
Franklin Fitch is a signatory of the Tech Talent Charter - a commitment by organisations to work together to increase the inclusion and diversity of...
Franklin Fitch is a signatory of the Tech Talent Charter - a commitment by organisations to work together to increase the inclusion and diversity of the tech workforce in the UK.
They recently launched a new campaign designed to improve gender diversity in the UK tech sector.
The campaign, entitled ‘Doing It Anyway’ aims to encourage working-age women to consider a career in tech, and features stories from women from a variety of backgrounds who have found careers in technology through inspiring, non-traditional paths. The women were selected from more than 300 candidates nominated by Tech Talent Charter signatories.
In order to support women who may be considering a career in tech, Tech Talent Charter have worked with their signatories and the wider tech industry to create a substantial database of digital skills courses and retraining programmes, which can be found here.
As a signatory of the Charter, we take responsibility to tackle the diversity problem within the tech space. Our Inclusive Infrastructure campaign actively promotes diversity and inclusion in our interaction with candidates and clients, as well as the way we run our business. We provide 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.
Franklin Fitch is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to encouraging equality, diversity, and inclusion among our workforce and eliminating unlawful discrimination. The aim is for our workforce to be truly representative of all sections of society and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best. Our organisation - in providing recruitment services - is also committed against unlawful discrimination of clients, candidates, or the public.
Do you work in tech with an inspiring story to share? We want to have more conversations about the state of diversity and inclusion within the IT Infrastructure space, so please get in touch!
by Steven Ewer
Diversity is a continuous challenge in the tech industry. Figures from 2017 show that women make up 19% of tech workers in the UK, while ethnic...
Diversity is a continuous challenge in the tech industry. Figures from 2017 show that women make up 19% of tech workers in the UK, while ethnic minorities make up 15%. This is clearly not representative of the UK population, but has led to a growing number of initiatives to promote diversity and address this gap in the UK. To mark Black History Month 2020, we are celebrating a few of the current influential and inspiring black voices within technology.
Not only is Simi Awokya a Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft, but founder of Witty Careers. Their mission is to equip black women in the tech industry with the skills to succeed in their careers. Witty Careers offers free events, resources, mentoring and practical tech skills workshops, to help black women in tech break out of junior roles and gain recognition for their skills. Awokya was also named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 this year.
Mark Martin MBE
Mark Martin founded UKBlackTech with the aim to make the UK the most ethnically diverse tech hub in the world. Martin is globally recognised for his contribution to this mission – so much so that he was awarded an MBE for services to education, technology and diversity in UK tech. His passion lays in helping schools use technology to improve teaching, while also promoting cultural diversity within UK tech companies.
Charlene Hunter created Coding Black Females in 2017 in order to grow, educate and support black female developers in the UK. Coding Black Females is the biggest platform for black female coders in the UK and also presents opportunities within the industry through their job board. Hunter also hosts Meetup and Code – a community of coders who meet, network and work on projects together.
Topping the Powerlist2020, Ahmed founded money-transfer app World Remit after struggling to send money back to his family in Somalia. Ahmen began to develop the idea for a money-transfer app that would be more cost-effective than banks and traditional money transfer systems, launching World Remit in 2010. The app can transfer money globally, quickly, securely, and inexpensively – which has continued to grow in its ten-year lifespan.
This is only a fraction of the influential black voices within the tech industry. We’re sure there are many more to add to the list. Who do you think should be mentioned as well?
by Gareth Streefland
Businesses around the world are waving goodbye to datacentres in favour of the cloud, in order to innovate and grow to meet demand. As an IT...
Businesses around the world are waving goodbye to datacentres in favour of the cloud, in order to innovate and grow to meet demand. As an IT infrastructure professional, having experience/certifications within cloud is going to make you more employable as cloud computing continues to rise in popularity.
AWS, Microsoft Azure and GCP are the three biggest cloud platforms used globally. IT professionals looking to upskill themselves should consider training in one of these three platforms – but which one will be the most valuable? We ran a poll on LinkedIn to ask that question – the results are as follows.
What is your preferred public cloud platform?
AWS = 55%
Azure = 38%
GCP = 8%
(218 people surveyed)
It’s no surprise that AWS gained the most votes – it is the market leader and the oldest established cloud service. According to Canalys, AWS owns 31% of the market as of July 2020 – with Azure at 20% and GCP at 6%. This is to be expected considering the seven-year head start that AWS had without any real competition.
But AWS isn’t just the oldest cloud provider, it also has the most services to offer. Its enterprise-friendly features make AWS a solid option for large organisations – such as Netflix, AirBnB, Nike and the Royal Opera House.
Microsoft’s Azure is closing the gap towards the market leader as it builds up its platform. It gets a lot of business from tech companies that already have a relationship with Microsoft, or who already use their programs such as Office365 or Teams. Microsoft can make it easy for these companies to transition to the cloud seamlessly, which is an attractive feature.
While Azure initially struggled to work with open source technologies, this has recently changed with around half of its workloads running on Linux.
GCP is the “new kid on the block”, which explains why it came in third in our poll. Yet it appeals to certain companies due to its strengths in big data, machine learning projects, and cloud-native applications. Despite this, Google has more work to do if it wants to compete with the likes of AWS and Azure.
So which cloud platform should you consider upskilling yourself in as an infrastructure professional?
‘AWS is still the market leader and the most popular, but Azure is catching up and so many businesses partner with Microsoft that it will make you really employable if you have skills in Azure’, says our Cardiff Consultant and cloud expert Gareth Streefland. ‘Plus, it’s probably the most approachable for engineers starting out with cloud.’
Upskilling yourself on any platform will improve your employability and job prospects. If you are experienced in cloud computing and are looking for new opportunities, feel free to get in touch – we would be happy to help.
Can you see a shift occurring in the preferred public cloud platform as time goes on? Or will AWS remain the market leader for the foreseeable? We would love to hear your thoughts.
by Khalid Allaw
When starting out in IT Recruitment you are confronted with numerous job titles that sound very similar at first but have distinct differences when...
When starting out in IT Recruitment you are confronted with numerous job titles that sound very similar at first but have distinct differences when you take a closer look. So, I found myself asking the question: “What’s the difference between a System Administrator and a System Engineer?”
My first understanding was the following: Being a System Administrator involves installation and configuration on already existing systems. System Admins take care of IT Infrastructure which were developed and implemented by a System Engineer. The infrastructure can consist of Servers, Networks, Desktops or all of the above.
After talking to both System Administrators and System Engineers, I then realised that the IT infrastructure world isn’t simply black and white. I spoke to a System Administrators who only focussed on the implementation of systems, others were taking care of automated Server landscapes, some were actively involved in the automation processes and another group managed the full life cycle, including concept, design and implementation of systems. On the other side I spoke to a similar variety of System Engineers.
Needless to say, I was confused. Were the two job titles simply a personal preference? Or a company choice? I didn’t understand the fine differences between the two.
Not willing to give up until I found an explanation, I searched many websites and blogs to find the answer. During the search I noticed that the topic was widely and heavily discussed, I found supporting evidence in blogs and discussions that the difference, in most cases, was simply the title. However, my feeling is that the difference between these two roles has narrowed due to the developing IT landscape. Nowadays, companies need hybrid engineers who can take care of the infrastructure maintenance work as well as the implementation and automation.
A case study from my own experience as a recruiter supports that opinion: I was working with two different candidates, one of them was a System Administrator and the other one was a System Engineer, however, they both had very similar skill sets including automation tools like Puppet and Ansible. The company I introduced them to were looking for a System Engineer. In the end the System Administrator was chosen for the job!
After all this time working with both System Administrators and System Engineers, I still haven’t truly found a distinct difference between them. Maybe our network can help me find the answer. Whether you share my opinion or disagree, I would like to hear your thoughts on this.
by Gareth Streefland
The vision for the development and implementation of Cloud Computing is clear: a world in which you can source...
The vision for the development and implementation of Cloud Computing is clear: a world in which you can source computing capacity automatically and without limitations. We are gradually seeing this vision take shape, as companies, large or small and irrespective of sector begin to embed the technology in their infrastructure. With successful use of the cloud, gone will be the days of companies having to sit their data on their own infrastructure or on one physical premise. However, we’re not quite there yet. Most cloud strategies are still in their infancy, with only a small amount of enterprises running significant workloads on the cloud. As with any emerging technology, the talent pool is slim, and knowledge and expertise in the market needs time to catch up to the concept and drive forward development.
The Cloud is seen to be the future platform for the implementation of cutting-edge new technologies and services. Utilising the Cloud fully will pave the way for disruptive technologies that are too expensive to run in our current physical infrastructures. Technologies and innovations including AI, serverless computing, virtual reality and more will all be made possible through the greater resources afforded by the Cloud. Alex Hilton, chief executive of the Cloud Industry Forum states that “Cloud is the generator for the next wave of technologies, the enabler for all the exciting developments”. Research suggests that as cloud usage increases by 2022 companies will spend no more than 12% of their budget on legacy technology.
Motivation for companies to invest in a cloud strategy is high, take a look at just a few of the benefits of cloud computing listed below:
1. It’s cost effective
All businesses share two common goals, make money and save money. A key factor of any business when adopting a new technology is how much it is going to cost them and whether this investment will be returned. Cloud promises savings across the board, everything is hosted on your provider’s servers, meaning no expensive hardware is needed, and costs of running said hardware no longer exist. Before the cloud, large organisations would store their data in massive datacentres. Datacentres need a great deal of space, power, security, and air-conditioning to maintain. Cloud computing removes the need for all of this.
2. Increased, scalable resources
Without the cloud, if additional resources are required, you’ll need to buy, install and configure an expensive new server. Cloud computing allows companies instant scalability. If extra resources are needed due to a peak in traffic, computing capacity can be increased with immediate effect. This affords companies unprecedented freedom and allows tech teams to react to issues quickly.
3. Deployment time
Applications integral to the growth and success of a system or a company can be deployed with virtually zero delay. This offers a huge strategic advantage over companies that are still operating with physical infrastructure.
4. Level playing field
Smaller companies, normally at a disadvantage against large companies with more in-house capacity and the ability to afford massive datacentres can now contest and find themselves able to operate on the same playing field without having to invest heavily.
5. Zero Downtime
Downtime is one of the biggest issues faced by companies as the reliance on applications to run operations rises. Cloud hosting fixes this issue, removing the possibility of server failure and guaranteeing 100% uptime.
Due to the strict security regulations, cloud providers are required to comply with, cloud- hosting services to ensure that businesses are protected against hacking, infection and internal data theft.
7. Flexible working
With a bigger push for companies to adopt modern working practices, especially amid the Coronavirus pandemic, flexible working is a topic of paramount importance. Cloud Computing affords businesses the capability of allowing employees to work from home, ensuring they can access their files anywhere. This, in turn, cuts costs as companies can reduce their need for office space.
8. Environmentally friendly
With environmental concerns at an all-time high, companies are under pressure to demonstrate the measures they’re putting in place to reduce their carbon footprint. The lack of need for a data centre means no powering servers, lighting or air conditioning. The scalability of the cloud allows companies to operate more efficiently, and only use what they need, ensuring far less energy is used than if the systems were on-site.
How can you ‘future-proof’ yourself?
The move to cloud is inevitable and as the saying goes, “if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em”. Now is the time to ensure you don’t get left behind in the datacentres of old, gathering dust among the server racks! The benefits outlined above are simply too tempting for any business to resist. Take every bit of cloud exposure and knowledge you can get your hands on and you’ll find yourself just as desirable to employers as the cloud services themselves.
If your current role is lacking cloud exposure and you’re worried about being left behind, contact one of our team here at Franklin Fitch and we’ll be sure to point you in the right direction.
by Ben Makepeace
There is no denying that recruitment has been slow recently. And by recently, I mean the past six months. Covid hit our industry hard, but after what...
There is no denying that recruitment has been slow recently. And by recently, I mean the past six months. Covid hit our industry hard, but after what feels like an age, we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Companies are starting to hire again which means now is the time for us to put our foot on the gas. But this might feel challenging after so long out of practice. Getting back into the swing of things can feel difficult, especially as we adjust to the so-called ‘new-normal’.
Maintaining productivity is key during this transition period. We all know what it’s like to experience a lull in productivity – it can be frustrating and demotivating. We’re here to give you our favourite productivity hacks to keep you motivated as you put in that grind!
Organise your day into time blocks
Start the day by looking at your to-do list and assigning yourself specific time blocks for each task. If you have to look for candidates today, assign it an hour – then move in. This will make your hour more focussed knowing you have limited time to get it done, and prevents time wasting and procrastination. It can also just make you feel more organised, which in itself can be a motivator.
We all need breaks
We're only human – and all of us need short breaks fairly often. Don’t be hard on yourself by saying you don’t have time. Taking small breaks will ensure that your working time is more productive – which saves time in the long run.
As recruiters we like to be rewarded for hitting certain metrics. But this doesn’t have to come from someone else and it doesn’t have to be for big things. It can be as simple as making a cup of tea after your next CV send out, or having a walk around the office after an hour of work. Small targets will make each task feel small itself – winning!
Don’t start the day with admin
Admin can be done any time of the day, and is actually quite a good task to do when you’ve run out of brain power near the end of the day. Instead, start your day with the most challenging tasks – the things that require the most brain power to get through. It’s only natural to get a little tired towards the end of the day, so having something easy rather than challenging to fill your time later on will seem less daunting.
Learn to prioritise
Prioritisation can sort your never-ending to-do list into something that resembles organisation. It goes without saying that the most important things go at the top… but sometimes there is the temptation to start with the easy stuff. Don’t do it!
Get out of the office
Having a change in environment is so important. On your lunch break try to get outside for some fresh air and to stretch your legs. Changing your environment is important when taking breaks – it can be hard to shut off from work at lunch time if you remain in the office. Besides, fresh air is never a bad thing.
The thing that unites office workers across the world – a love of hot drinks. We’re not suggesting 27 cups of coffee each day, but caffeine can stimulate your brain and help you focus.
If all else fails, try something a bit more structured
Trying something like the Pomodoro Technique can be an easy way of ensuring your day has some structure. This technique encourages you to break your day up into 25 minute chunks of work separated by a five minute break. It’s a firm favourite of many, so it might be worth giving it a go if you’re finding nothing works for you!
What is your favourite productivity hack? If we’ve missed a good one we’d love to hear it!
by David Annable
To pivot, or not to pivot, that is the question:
“Pivot” must be the business word of the year. In 2020, many businesses have...
To pivot, or not to pivot, that is the question:
“Pivot” must be the business word of the year. In 2020, many businesses have taken stock and considered whether to channel their efforts in a new direction. I understand it, particularly as the current economic landscape and even future outlook is very different to previous years. However, my question is this; if you chose to pivot, at what cost, and should you also reconsider your brand?
We've been clear since inception that our vision is to be a market leading talent provider focused purely on the IT infrastructure market. Naturally we will follow technology trends and advances of the IT infrastructure stack, but we will expand our geographical coverage long before diluting our service offering into other sectors or technology areas. Our Franklin Fitch feet are firmly planted within our niche, we love it, and will not be pivoting anytime soon.
However, if a business does choose to pivot, and hopefully it’s only once, then should that company’s brand identity also change? Surely the original brand was set up for the initial service offering, I wonder how this translates to the new path of said business? From an employee perspective, if decisions are made too hastily, further pivots or a retraction could follow and this creates brand uncertainty and confusion. At some point it could feel like the circus is in town and the whole organisation have spent too long on the Waltzers.
Our people and our time are the two most important facets of our business. I believe it’s paramount that everyone clearly knows our purpose, fully understands it and identifies with it. One pivot can be tricky, numerous pivots can be dangerous. Brand identities can be lost in translation, your all-important people can become disorientated and time will be frittered away.
Leadership is tough right now, pivoting can look appealing, but be mindful, the brand you’ve worked so hard to build, may quickly be lost in the ether.
by David Annable
I’d like you to hit pause for just a moment.
Given the opportunity, would you rewind the last 6 months to take another shot at...
I’d like you to hit pause for just a moment.
Given the opportunity, would you rewind the last 6 months to take another shot at navigating the Coronavirus storm? I wonder which decisions you would make differently and which you’d keep the same. I do not believe many business leaders could have imagined the magnitude or ferocity of the ensuing turmoil caused by this pandemic. Reacting quickly was critical, the stakes were high and potential mistakes costly.
I’m writing this to give an insight into Franklin Fitch’s journey over the first half of 2020. To do this fairly, I need to give perspective, so I’ve shared previous years’ results, our expectations at the beginning of 2020 and our actual results from January to June this year.
I am proud to say that since our inception in 2011, we have grown our group Net Fee Income* (NFI) each and every year. Eight years of successful, sustainable, organic growth, mostly gained through a mix of careful strategic planning, rigorous hiring processes, a “people first” growth mindset, and a great deal of hard work.
The chart above illustrates our H1 results for the previous 5 years. Using 2015 as our baseline, the year on year compound H1 growth rates are:
2016: 43% increase
2017: 47% increase
2018: 39% increase
2019: 42% increase
Thus, from 2015 to 2019, I’m pleased to say our H1 results have produced an average compound growth rate of 43%. So, when forecasting our growth expectations for 2020, we didn’t deviate far from the norm (dotted purple line on the chart). Since our forecast in December, it’s been a whirlwind, the game has certainly changed.
The solid purple line on the chart plots our actual H1 2020 results. This year for the first time ever, we have tracked behind the previous years’ H1 results. In fact, by the end of June 2020, we tracked behind our 2019 results by 12% and tracked behind our original H1 forecast by approximately 55%. Whilst the latter number is worryingly large on first view, it is completely understandable when considering the severity and pace at which Coronavirus’ effects were felt across Germany, the UK and the US.
When reflecting on the above I have many thoughts and feelings. My first thought is always with our people and the wider physical and mental impact of this period. We continually search for ways to support and lead our people to excellence inside and outside of work. Guiding the leaders and team members through this has easily been the biggest challenge I’ve ever had to face.
How successful we have been is difficult to know at this point. We believe we’ve made good decisions with the information available, but only time will truly tell.
I’m hoping that my transparency here can give other leaders comfort and confidence when considering their company and team performances. I am sad that we will very likely lose our impeccable record for year on year growth, but I am proud of the efforts of our people, their work rate, focus and resilience enduring this relentless downpour.
I believe we need to pull together in times of hardship, not forget the bigger picture, whilst working daily on the more granular tasks and targets.
According to our recent datasets, the choppy waters are beginning to calm and we are hopeful for a few sunnier days in H2. We are consistently reviewing the course we chart and are diligent in our decisions and movements, hopefully plain sailing is not too far away again.
Fast Forward. Bonus track coming….
I’m sure most of us would like to fast forward this entire year, but unfortunately time is one thing we cannot control. I would be interested to hear your views and opinions on the above. If comfortable, feel free to share your results or simply your feelings. I wish everyone luck over the coming months, it’ll be Christmas before we know it!
*NFI is a term often used in the recruitment sector and can be used as a metric to measure success/ growth. Of course, there are many other important metrics.
by Dominique Lianos
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...
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.
As much as we’d like it to, coronavirus isn’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future. The result is a hugely competitive job market and increasing rates of unemployment. While this might seem bleak, 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 three tips on how to build a successful personal brand.
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 focussed 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, make sure your personality shines through.
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!
Coronavirus has changed everyone’s working life in one way or another. For many it was as drastic as losing their job, for others it was adapting to working from home. However it was that you were affected, you want to show that you rose to the challenge and came out on top. With the uncertainty of the future, employers will be looking for someone who can deal with the changing way of the world, so showing you’re adaptable should be a key trait of your personal brand. In that sense as when, showing vulnerability is not a bad thing, people are able to relate to it and will buy into you a lot more.
So how do you do this? You’ve got a few options. Include a section on your CV/resume on how you responded to coronavirus. Write a short post on LinkedIn. Mention it when you have job interviews.
And if you struggled to adapt to the changing way of the world, then it’s all a learning curve. Think about what you could have done differently, and how you can use this moving forward. Self-reflection is essential for development and growth, while also showing you can be genuine and honest with yourself.
As humans, we want to avoid failure as much as possible – that’s natural. But the reality is that in order to push yourself one step ahead of the crowd, you’re going to fail a few times.
Most successes don’t come first time around – there’s a lot of trial and error involved. Take any successful brand/person/business and all of them will have stories of trying things that didn’t work.
Walt Disney experienced countless failures throughout his career, but instead of getting him down, he learnt from it. ‘It is good to have a failure while you’re young because it teaches you so much’ says Disney. ‘For one thing, it makes you aware that such a thing can happen to anybody, and once you’ve lived through the worst, you’re never quite as vulnerable afterwards.”
We worry about what people may think but those that are able to get past that hurdle of fear will connect with those who they want to start building relationships with. The others don’t really matter.
And surely, the only thing worst than failing is never trying in the first place?
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.
by Matthew Bell
Cloud computing is massively on the rise in the current day and age. In fact, 81% of companies with 1,000 employees or more have a...
Cloud computing is massively on the rise in the current day and age. In fact, 81% of companies with 1,000 employees or more have a multi-platform strategy.
Cloud technology has redefined the way in which companies store and share information. It has transcended the limitations of using physical devices.
Cloud Technologies provides many benefits such as better scalability, better storage options, better collaboration with remote users and highly affordable for a lot of companies.
But what does the future of cloud technology look like?
Matt Riley CEO & Co-Founder of Swiftype commented “A decade from now, every business will be operating primarily from the cloud, making way for more flexible — yet more productive and efficient — ways of working. Hardware won’t be the problem in a decade — software will.”
The future is bright for cloud computing. Analysts at IDC estimate that the field will evolve rapidly in the coming years, with almost 75% of data operations carried out outside the normal data centre. Moreover, 40% of organizations will deploy cloud technology, with edge computing becoming an integral part of the technological setup. Also, a quarter of end-point devices will be ready to execute AI algorithms by the year 2022.
Cloud Computing trends on the rise - automation
The automation tools available to us have proved to be very important when it comes to addressing errors in business processes, meanwhile streamlining them to generate fruitful results.
For instance, developers can make changes to their websites hosted on the cloud before going live. If anything goes wrong, they can restore an older version of the website without affecting the sales process or user experience. As soon as the website goes live, it starts getting traffic.
Opting for cloud means there will be more data consumption involved. Managing applications and routine tasks can become tedious. Developers can use automation to get rid of the manual process they have to use to carry out daily operations.
The serverless paradigm is the next revolution in waiting, according to the CTO of Amazon. The concept of serverless paradigm relates to the fact that it facilitates cloud to execute a code snippet without any hassles for the developers.
Using this approach developers can divide software into chunks of code to upload on cloud to address customers’ desires, thereby delivering valuable experience. This practice ensures faster release cycle for software. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has already started using the serverless paradigm to its advantage.
As cloud computing continues to make inroads in enterprise worlds, all stakeholders are looking forward to the evolution of the model. As things stand today, almost every significant innovation such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, robotics, and IoT rely on cloud computing technology.
It’s not just computational power, networking speed, or storage capacity that makes cloud computing great. Those are just operational metrics that better technology would eventually change and replace over time. The real value of technology is what it does, not what it’s made of.
by Simon Nicholls
With redundancies happening across the board due to the current pandemic, it can be even more difficult than normal to make your application stand...
With redundancies happening across the board due to the current pandemic, it can be even more difficult than normal to make your application stand out in a hugely competitive market. Not to mention the frustration of not getting a response (even when you are promised one).
‘I’ve never seen it so competitive out there’, says Practice Manager Simon Nicholls. ‘With that many people applying for the same role it’s impossible as a recruiter to review all of the candidates, and similarly impossible to get attention as a candidate’.
Despite this, there are things that you can do to make it as easy as possible to make your application stand out. Simon shares his advice below.
1) Make sure the role is a perfect fit for you
It’s common for people to apply to anything and everything when job hunting. This not only wastes your time, but also the recruiter/hiring manager who has to go through the applications. If your profile doesn’t match the job description, you won’t get the job – simple as! With this in mind, you do want to challenge yourself to a role that you know you can do, but requires some brain power and is engaging. Some people suggest your profile needs to match 80% of the job description – this isn’t an exact science and varies every time but might be worth keeping in mind.
2) Apply to the role on the job board/LinkedIn etc
This might sound like it’s a given, but you’d be surprised how many people call/email to say they’re interested in a job but haven’t actually applied yet. Job applications can be tough, so try not to procrastinate and get it done. You’ll be in a much better position after you’ve applied to the role.
3) Track down the recruiter on LinkedIn and send an InMail & Email. This InMail/Email should include a very short overview of your suitability e.g.
"Hi Simon. I've just applied for the ROLE in LOCATION. I feel I am a good fit for the following reasons:
- The rate/salary is in line with my expectations
- I am based near to the location (description)
- I have experience in X, Y and Z and companies A,B and C
- I am immediately available for interviews and starting
Please let me know if we could discuss this role further."
4) Follow up with a call (but at the same time don’t spam call)
It’s all about getting your name heard! (and having the application to back it up…)
This may not be a sure-fire guide to get your application viewed by decision-makers, but it can sure help. If you have any more suggestions or questions regarding this topic feel free to get in touch!
by Anthony Ham
With unemployment figures rising across the globe, companies run the risk of taking their eye off the ball when it comes to paying attention to the...
With unemployment figures rising across the globe, companies run the risk of taking their eye off the ball when it comes to paying attention to the experience that people who are looking at, or indeed applying to opportunities and engaging with businesses.
Even if you’re not actively recruiting at the moment you need to focus on candidates whether they are active or passive. A proactive approach to candidate experience in the current climate will pay dividends down the line.
We take a look at three areas all businesses should continue to invest in and pay particular thought to regarding candidate experience.
Walk in their shoes
It is a tough time for many people at the moment but if we are working in businesses then we need to understand that many people are either not working or seriously want to consider their career options.
Before you dismiss speculative applications, reject messages on LinkedIn (both direct and from recruiters) or ignore social media messages, take a moment. Many people are not purposely trying to waste your time, they don’t know the ins and outs of your business so appreciate their point of view.
Emphatic approaches and processes will position companies as an employer of choice even more so in the ‘new world’.
Some things never change. If you have “live” roles and people apply, then you simply have to listen and communicate on a regular basis. People want to understand the process from applying to roles all of the way through to interview and offer stage.
Many of these processes have changed, maybe indefinitely, so this is even more important now.
Recruitment is often a process of rejection. People know this but they want to be told. This doesn’t necessarily mean a dissertation on every application, that’s unrealistic, but ignoring is rude.
Have you been transparent? Does your website explain the recruitment process with clear timescales to manage expectations? Do you have email templates to facilitate communication? Could you pre-record videos from hiring managers that updates on applications?
Oh, if you don’t have live roles and there are still some floating about online then you should take them down. There is nothing worse than presenting an opportunity that simply does not exist.
We have spoken previously about interviews moving online but this is only one aspect of the candidate experience where technology plays an important part. We’ve forever heard of clunky ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) that frustrate applicants.
There is no better time to review the experience of your candidates across all technology touchpoints. Are you using a chatbot on your Facebook page? Have you looked at using AI in the screening stage of recruitment? Is the way you do video interviewing secure enough?
Technology’s role in candidate experience cannot be understated. Choice and accessibility are absolutely essential, so you need to ensure that everything you use (and offer) is fit for purpose.
Here at Franklin Fitch, we speak with businesses and advise them on candidate experience. We have the benefit as recruiters to experience the processes across a wide range of companies and industries. The common theme is that the ones who invest time and effort in CX secure and retain the best talent on the market.
In the current climate, it would be remiss to think that it will be “easy” to pick up talent and bad candidate experience can be damaging in both the short and medium-term.
If you’d like to speak to us about our thoughts on best practice of candidate experience, please get in touch.
by Charlotte Drury
As well as insisting on social distancing measures needed to get your staff back in the office, even on a more flexible basis, there are a number of...
As well as insisting on social distancing measures needed to get your staff back in the office, even on a more flexible basis, there are a number of things that you can be doing to make the return as seamless as you can.
There is no doubt going to be a novelty factor in terms of getting back to work and seeing colleagues in the flesh again. But creating a framework for returning to the workplace is key. We know that many businesses have been working extremely hard in putting processes in place, but these need to be flexible and adaptable in line with individual needs and the wider uncertainty that the ongoing pandemic presents.
The toll on peoples’ mental health during lockdown periods across the world is largely unknown at the moment. Employers need to ensure that they have resources (and people) who are on-hand to help with questions and concerns as people start getting back on public transport and getting back to work.
Some relevant resources that may be of interest can be found here.
In many cases communication levels have increased over the past months. The use of technology in the form of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts and the like has been positive.
It’s essential that this communication is maintained as people return to the workplace. We simply can’t go back to ‘normal’ as employees now expect higher levels of transparency and communication than they did prior to lockdown. Make sure that you outline the how, what, where and when and stick to it.
With a likely more flexible workforce in terms of time and place companies are going to need to make sure that inclusivity of access to leadership and equality in communication is high on the agenda.
Be empathetic - what is it that people need to know?
Do you need different messaging for your employees – both those coming back to the physical workspace and those who may be remaining at home?
Do you need to communicate what you’re doing with customers? What about your suppliers and investors?
The office and technology
Most companies would have carried out the necessary risk assessments in relation to getting back to the office, but the reality is that the workplace is not going to resemble what it did pre-Covid.
If you’re a business that traditionally collaborates together and utilises meeting rooms then you need to plan ahead. Do you forgo the room and stick to ‘virtual’ meetings even if you’re in the same office? Do you need to remove chairs from boardrooms? How can technology play a role in this?
We’ve just picked out three areas here that you need to be thinking about as a business and at Franklin Fitch we have started to see people come back into the office if they feel it’s safe to do so. If you want to find out how we’re doing it then please just drop us a message.
Equally, if you’re doing something that you think is unique in terms of returning then we’d love to hear about it.
by Leonie Schaefer
How can I build resilience?
Build it, maintain it, strengthen it.
If you Google the word “resilience”, the...
How can I build resilience?
Build it, maintain it, strengthen it.
If you Google the word “resilience”, the definition offered is:
"the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”
Freely described as the ability to bounce back from whatever life throws your way and to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances. This concept of elasticity, the bend before you break mindset become even more important in trying times like these.
But how do you do it? How do you bounce back in times of uncertainty?
If you’re not sure when you’ll be able to go back to some form of “normality” or in some cases not even sure what you’re actually trying to bounce back from, this can be a real mental challenge that many of us struggle to cope with.
We’ve brought together a few ideas on how to build, strengthen and maintain resilience which you can see below:
Be present in the moment. In uncertain times like these it’s easy to get caught up in thoughts and stress about the past or future. Things that could’ve been, things that won’t be, which makes us feel all kinds of negative feelings. Instead of focussing on the past or future try to focus on this very moment. Control the controllable. It’s kind of distracting yourself with the present: What can you see/ hear/ smell/ touch (feel)/ taste? Try to keep your senses occupied.
Acceptance & Engagement
Accept the current challenges you are facing rather than trying to fight what you can’t change. Easier said than done, we know. Still, once you accept a certain predicament that can’t be changed immediately, you free up headspace to focus on your short- and long-term goals which in return can change your current situation. Even the tiniest of steps towards achieving your goals is a step in the right direction. Want to learn how to play the piano? Great, that’s your Google search string right there! Want to pick up a new hobby? Go ahead and give it a try.
Looking after yourself
Get enough sleep, be active, eat healthily and most important don’t be too hard on yourself. – Be kind. Not just to others but be kind to yourself. These are tough times for anyone, and different people have different coping mechanisms, that’s only natural. Look after yourself, take a bath, read a book, meditate, practice some yoga, reduce screen time, go for a walk, etc. There are so many more ways to take care of yourself, we are sure you already know the best ones for you. Make sure there is always some “me-time” in your diary every day. Even if it’s just five minutes.
Rather than focussing on the negatives, think about the things you are grateful for. This could be anything from a nice sunny day, the roof over your head, the food in the fridge, making time for friends and family to just simply being healthy. Now take it to the next level and share your gratitude with friends, family, peers and colleagues. Letting people know how thankful you are to have them around and just checking in with them is a good way of cheering up yourself and others.
These are just a couple of things you can do. If you’d like more information and help here are a couple of websites, you can visit and books you can read:
UK: Mind, Mental Health Foundation
Germany: Aktionsbündnis Seelische Gesundheit, Robert Enke Stiftung
USA: Mental Health America, One Mind
Europe: Mental Health Europe,
by Lewis Andrews
The way that companies attract and retain talent moving forward is going to change. It has to. There are some companies who have excellent employer...
The way that companies attract and retain talent moving forward is going to change. It has to. There are some companies who have excellent employer brands but even the best will have to think about their offerings when it comes to talent attraction and holding on to your best performers.
We’ve covered a few areas below that we think businesses need to be thinking about.
The actual workplace
We touched upon this in a previous article and this will change. There is the potential to be a huge shift towards the reduction of office space and/or people wanting to work from home or remotely. The likes of Twitter and Facebook are already announcing big changes in this respect. Choice is going to be important for employees. Are you able to offer it to people?
Terms of employment
Do they need to be looked at? Many may not have been changed for years but candidates and existing employees will be striving for security and stability. Is there a case for shortening probation periods and lengthening notice periods? It’s unlikely to happen any time soon at a government level so employers who will be able to show this understanding and empathy are likely to stand out.
Open door policies have changed to open webcam policies recently, but this will need to continue. Employees will want to understand their leaders both as a person and as professionals. Questions around coping with unprecedented challenges will continue to be asked and honesty in answering will be key for potential new talent as well as for those “coming back.”
CSR and employer branding
There are big questions around how talent responds to their employer’s reaction to the recent crisis. Will they look to move because of their company’s actions, or will they be cautious because of market fragility? It’s going to be important for companies to offer forums and communications that clearly demonstrate their decision-making processes as well as creating clear roadmaps for the future. If you’ve got “people stories” on your website, then these will need to be updated – they need to reflect the mood and circumstances we all now live in.
Mental and physical health
People are now far more aware of their mental and physical health. There is an increased realisation of how important it is, and companies will need to offer qualified support, resources, and time to deal with these challenges. The heightened awareness will demand a year-round focus on employee wellbeing, rather than designated days here and there.
The world has, in many respects, been reset. The balance of roles and the number of roles has changed forever. Equally, people will have developed new interests and motivations and may want to do “something new”. Employers should be offering opportunities to move within companies and offer training courses and skill development that facilitate this to happen.
There is no doubt that workplaces around the world are already changing immeasurably. This doesn’t just apply to the physical surroundings people are working in, companies are going to have to pay much more attention to individuals’ changes in motivations, world views and appetite for risk.
The world has changed, people have changed, and businesses will need to make changes and shift thinking to attract and retain the best talent moving forward.
We’re in this together and collaborating will create the future workplaces that not only drive productivity and performance but ensures the wellbeing of people.
If you’d like to discuss what we have seen happening in the industry and tap into the conversations we’ve been having with networking and infrastructure professionals around the world, then please get in touch.
The question of outsourcing your recruitment to a consultancy or not is something that most businesses consider when looking to hire...
The question of outsourcing your recruitment to a consultancy or not is something that most businesses consider when looking to hire new talent. The common reason not to is the cost involved – most recruitment agencies charge a percentage of a candidate’s annual salary.
This may seem an unnecessary cost for many businesses who believe they can source talent themselves. Yet despite this, the best recruitment agencies will save you money (and time), as well as giving you access to the best possible candidates.
Recruiters can get you the most suitable candidates, faster
Internally sourcing your talent can be very time consuming. Posting a job advert on a job board might attract a lot of applications, which then need to be looked through. Often these applications are unsuitable or don’t have the right qualifications, making the whole process a waste of time. And of course, you’ll have to pay for the job board.
This is one of the main benefits of a recruiter – they source suitable candidates for you, taking out the most challenging and time-consuming element.
A great recruiter will have taken the time to understand you and your business and then fine-tune applications to a targeted number of candidates who match your company’s needs, meaning you waste no time reviewing irrelevant applications.
The time saved by using a recruiter can be huge. This equates to money saved in the short term, as you waste none of your precious time. While also ensuring the best possible candidate, who you are more likely to retain for the longer term, therefore further reducing the true cost of hiring.
The best recruiters are specialists and only recruit in your industry
Most recruitment agencies have a large pool of specialised talent specific to your industry, meaning they only introduce you to professionals that fit your criteria and they know them and their skills inside out. At Franklin Fitch, we focus on IT Infrastructure alone, meaning we are experts in our field and your job market.
We understand the technology on the job spec, meaning we’re able to ask candidates all the right questions to ensure they’re the right fit for your job. We also get to know our candidates to the same level of detail to ensure there is a great cultural fit.
Our knowledge gives us a very good overview of market trends, which can be a helpful addition to the hiring process.
In addition, recruiters are able to source the so-called “passive” candidates who wouldn’t be looking on job boards. This unlocks a cohort of the best possible talent, who wouldn’t normally react to a traditional job advert.
Recruiters can present your opportunities to the right candidates
Hiring is a two-way street, and often the best candidates aren’t on the market for long. Recruiters have skills in sales and persuasion and can encourage the best candidates to take your role over other offers they might have received. As long as it is right for both parties.
They also speed up the hiring process, meaning less time for the ideal candidate to be lost to a competitor or another company.
The relationship built between the recruiter and the candidate fosters trust and honesty, so you know exactly what you’re getting with each candidate.
Good recruiters want to foster a long-term working relationship with you
The best recruiters aren’t just focussed on today’s hire but hope to establish a long-term working relationship in preparation for future collaboration.
By establishing this partnership from the get-go, it creates efficiences in your entire hiring process meaning improved hiring techniques, cost savings and enabling you to have more time doing the job you’re employed to do!
Recruiters are able to support you in the entire recruitment process, from screening candidates, facilitating interviews, and following up once the candidate has started. Almost like an extension of your HR and internal recruitment department.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the benefits of working with a recruitment consultancy. If you have a vacancy within IT Infrastructure that you’re struggling to fill, or even if you’d just like to find out more about industry trends feel free to get in touch!
by Charlotte Drury
As the UK eagerly awaits to hear how Boris Johnson's plans to pull the UK out of lockdown, most of us are continuing to work from home.
As the UK eagerly awaits to hear how Boris Johnson's plans to pull the UK out of lockdown, most of us are continuing to work from home.
For lots of businesses, employees will continue with remote working for as long as possible. Unsurprisingly, motivation could be flagging after so many weeks in the home office and the challenging business markets.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep your team engaged while working remotely – not just to keep spirits high, but also maintain an effective workforce.
How best to do that? Here are three simple steps to follow….
Set realistic goals
Lots of businesses operate by setting goals for their employees to meet. The current crisis has impacted most businesses in some way or another, meaning that the goals you set your team may have to be adjusted to suit the current business climate.
Although we can say that it’s ‘business as usual’, it’s likely that most employees are going to be slightly more distracted than usual – not because remote working is distracting, but because we are in a global pandemic and everyone is concerned about the future.
Adjusting your team’s goals will encourage your team to push towards an achievable target, rather than giving up on something unrealistic in these times.
As always, the best way to set goals is the SMART criteria – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bound.
Keep company culture strong
While it might be hard to keep the company culture alive when everyone is working remotely, it can and should be a priority. Keep the usual traditions up, just make them remote.
Friday office drinks can be done over Zoom, run club can happen separately and achievements shared on Strava.
Create fun additional games and challenges to bring teams together – office quizzes, crazy hat day, or new incentives. Doing some teams challenges will remind everyone that they’re not working solo, but are a vital member of the team.
Keeping the social side of work strong is important as without it, the “work” side of the job is the only side. Adding a little fun to the mix will encourage your team to keep logging on, day after day.
Internal communication channels are essential
Having a central internal communication channel where teams can chat is essential. The office comradery can be hard to replicate online, but encouraging you team to engage with these channels will help keep some of that alive.
Wish colleagues happy birthday, celebrate achievements (personal and professional) and make jokes as if you normally would in the office.
Praise your team when they hit targets and make it visible to everyone. Recognising the wins in your team will encourage productivity and efficiency from those being praised, while empowering the rest of the team to do the same.
These are just a few of the things that we've been doing at Franklin Fitch to keep everyone happy and motivated - the possibilities are endless. What are you doing to keep your remote workers engaged?
by Gareth Streefland
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 Steven Ewer
There is no doubt that the current crisis has impacted us all personally and professionally in some way. Since March, many people around the world...
There is no doubt that the current crisis has impacted us all personally and professionally in some way. Since March, many people around the world have had to adapt their entire lives.
Businesses and leaders have had to shift the way that they motivate their staff; companies that are still hiring have had to ensure they can effectively onboard remotely and more attention than ever is focused on mental health and wellbeing.
But what does a post-Corona world of work look like?
For thousands upon thousands of people, working remotely is nothing new and for many businesses, they operate perfectly well without numerous physical “offices”. So, is it the case that this crisis is just going to speed up the ‘future of work’?
There are three key areas where we could see change happening:
1. Reduced need for office space.
Not everyone likes remote working, we suspect many can’t wait to get back into an office, but the choice will be there. Businesses will look at their costs, their people and their productivity and we will see increased levels of remote working.
This will shine a light on many of those we work with, as companies look to ensure that the infrastructure and security of networks is of the highest standard with workforces spread around locations.
We are likely to see policies and procedures to make remote work more widely available and businesses will realise that they are able to tap into a greater pool of highly skilled workers than they were previously.
2. A new Culture of Collaboration.
In a time of isolation, we have seen increased levels of collaboration. Companies, and indeed, countries have come together to work on solutions for the greater good of everyone – not just their shareholders. Automotive companies have been manufacturing ventilators and breweries have been creating hand sanitiser, just to name a few.
This heightened awareness of threat, in whatever form, should mean that companies and individuals create a Culture of Collaboration that transcends competition and borders – looking at the much bigger picture rather than the short-term shareholder gain.
3. People are going to expect more when searching for roles.
When companies start to hire post-Corona there will be a shift in what potential employees demand from the business they work for. This had already started to happen but will be emphasised much more in the future.
People are going to ask how businesses reacted and coped with the pandemic and what is in place moving forward to support them should it happen again. This builds on the increasing demands around flexibility, remote working set up and commitment to work-life balance, but it will be key.
Companies will be focusing a lot more on their employer brand, not just from an attraction point of view but from a retention and culture perspective. People have long memories, so some companies are going to have to make a significant shift in what they offer to remain competitive.
Or maybe nothing will change?
Some of the biggest companies in the world including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Nike quickly mobilised to set up virtual operations in light of the outbreak, and, to be fair we did here at Franklin Fitch as well (albeit on a smaller scale!). But will they/we stick with these new ways of working?
In reality, probably not 100%.
People, companies and nations will look at the positives and negatives and create a “new normal” that works for their employees and their customers and that will look different for everyone.
The businesses that have a strong culture that is constantly looking to innovate and adapt will realise the good to come out of these challenging times and will as such benefit. Those who believe there is nothing we can learn and revert to type, probably won’t.
What do you think that life after Corona will look like?
by Dominique Lianos
Dominique Lianos “fell into recruitment”. Having studied philosophy at Nottingham University she was about to take an...
Dominique Lianos “fell into recruitment”. Having studied philosophy at Nottingham University she was about to take an accountancy job when the opportunity arose to interview for a recruiter role at Franklin Fitch.
“I knew very little about recruitment, but immediately fell in love with the atmosphere and the people at Franklin Fitch,” says Dominique, who is now 18 months into her role as a specialist IT infrastructure recruiter.
Likening the role of a tech recruiter to being in sales, but with a product that has a voice and an opinion - (think a talking and thinking bottle of juice!), Dominique admits it is not easy. People can be difficult and a certain level of resilience, competitiveness and a strong work ethic is essential.
The training and the autonomy
One thing she particularly likes at Franklin Fitch is the extensive training – both in the classroom and on-the-job – given to all recruiters. “You get a lot of personal attention. Your strengths and weaknesses get noticed very quickly and I definitely feel like I’m a person and not a number,” she says, comparing her experience to that of some of her friends on graduate programmes at large corporations.
Dominique’s highlight so far has been the autonomy she was given the day she joined. She likens it to managing her own company and loves the fact she can set her own agenda, but also appreciates working alongside other individuals who are keen to impart advice and share their experiences. She herself also helps mentor newer members of the Franklin Fitch team, now known as the academy, using her personal experiences.
Hard-working, resilient, competitive and able to connect the dots
To succeed in recruitment, Dominique believes you need to be hard-working, resilient, competitive and able to connect the dots. There is also an advantage to being from a sports background as the motivation to win will stand you in good stead.
As a woman there’s no doubt Dominique is in a minority in her industry. The tech industry is notoriously male dominated and often a whole week will pass where she doesn’t speak to a female candidate or client (obviously there are plenty of fellow female Franklin Fitchers). For her though this hasn’t been an issue. She feels she may subconsciously be less likely to challenge a candidate or client than her male counterparts, and that sometimes clients may feel they can get away with more when dealing with her, but in reality, her experiences have generally been positive.
“For those with a lot to give, there’s no doubt that a career in recruitment has a lot to offer,” she says.
by Dominique Lianos
“Working from home” is probably the phrase that most populates my LinkedIn feed at the moment. With a pandemic upon us and self-isolation...
“Working from home” is probably the phrase that most populates my LinkedIn feed at the moment. With a pandemic upon us and self-isolation very much in place, everyone has very quickly been adapting to a new way of life.
I know that reading about the stories of others going through similar experiences to my own brings me a sense of comfort and unity. I figured that if anything is important in times like these, those two things are probably towards the top of the list.
Working from home as a concept was always attractive to me; as I work in a sales focused job with a big focus on teamwork and office culture it was something that was not really on the radar for me, and perhaps that was part of the appeal. Given that, it might be surprising to hear that while packing up my desk on that last day in the office, what I felt most of all was a sense of dread. Something that in concept had always seemed positive and shiny, was now an idea that held no appeal for me.
My experience however, has been very different to my imaginings, and with the third week of home-working now in progress I am still not convinced on where I stand.
Overall, I would say my experience working from home has been a bit of a double-edged sword.
The positives have definitely proved to me that working from home can indeed be an extremely attractive prospect but when taking into account that it hasn’t been all work-life balance and metaphorical sunshine, it leads me to believe that my mother may have been right when she warned me about too much of a good thing…
by Steven Ewer
The first few weeks in a new job can be difficult anyway, but imagine not being able to meet your new colleagues in person...
The first few weeks in a new job can be difficult anyway, but imagine not being able to meet your new colleagues in person and having all your onboarding and company introductions done virtually. For a small handful of people working in permanent remote roles this is the norm, but for the vast majority of individuals, starting a new job is all about meeting new people, working closely with your peers and learning from your new colleagues. That was until the coronavirus.
In reality, onboarding is the first official impression of a company the new employee gets and is typically conducted over a series of face-to-face meetings. Portraying your company’s identity, brand, motivation and goals without physical contact is not easy.
The onboarding process is very important
"We place a lot of importance on the onboarding process,” says Franklin Fitch Founder David Annable. “When e