During the six years I have worked in recruitment, I’ve always been good at my job - I was the top biller at my company in my first year. However, I must confess that much of the success I enjoyed early on in my career came from a knack of matching keywords: a skill which is now obsolete in my current role.
Whether I was recruiting for international oil & gas roles or internally for a global call centre brand, the process was always the same. I’ve never been phased by industry or a role: I just matched CVs to jobs to make placements. That was until very recently when I applied internally for a digital recruiter position on a dedicated account at Sopra Steria Recruitment.
I’ve quickly come to realise that, in the digital and tech space, sourcing and securing the right talent takes a lot more than matching words on a CV to a role. Not only because ‘devs’ don’t seem to put their CVs onto job boards anymore, but also because even if they did, there is a whole world of competition in this thriving industry.
I needed to step it up a gear to stand out amongst all the other recruiters to make sure I’m the one bagging the talent. I realised it was essential to become part of the community I’m trying to engage and had a brainwave – what if I could attend tech ‘meetups’ to expand my network and knowledge of the sector?
I decided to take a look around Meetup.com to see what was going on locally that I could learn from. I saw Android Manchester had an upcoming event and, given that I had recently been working android and java developer roles, I thought it would be a good start as I had (or so I thought) a good foundation of knowledge to build on. I was especially excited to see that there would be lightening talks on Kotlin as this has been a word I’ve seen bouncing around, especially in the ‘nice to have’ section of skills on a job spec.
Arriving at the hipster northern quarter venue, I quickly realised I was out of my depth. About ten of us sat around in silence waiting for the meetup to kick off, a man with a beard and a beanie hat managed to break the ice with, “So, is everyone an android dev?” Cue awkward moment when I had to ‘fess up’ about being a recruiter. I felt like a cat amongst pigeons, half expecting to be kicked out for infiltrating this ‘recruiter-free’ safe space.
The reaction I got was quite the opposite: quite welcoming - even boarding on warm - when I was offered a can of San Miguel. I explained that I had just started out as a digital and tech recruiter and I wanted to learn more about the industry I am working within and by the end of the session I had what I came for. I got hints and tips on free websites to learn to build android apps, an understanding of what Kotlin was in laymen’s terms and found out loads of interesting information about android and even managed to get through a lightening talk about data binding without my head completely falling off!
I had a good Twitter chat the following morning with my new android acquaintances and I have already started to do my own research (in the form a bit of Googling and a nosey on Stack Overflow) in preparation for next month’s meetup - watch this space for my next update.
- Abbie Murphy, Delivery Consultant, Sopra Steria Recruitment