Recruitment Advice

31 posts

Posted June 13, 2018 | Career Advice, Electronics, Recruitment Advice | No Comments »

Our Latest Vacancies: Electronics, Photonics, Semiconductor, Software

Are you an Engineer with keen interest and involvement within the Electronics industry?

We’re currently working on these exciting engineering vacancies for some of our emerging technology clients, situated across the central belt of Scotland. From working on Electronic Board Design to building World Leading Security Systems, your next career move could just be one of the fantastic opportunities listed below.

 

Electronics and Production Engineer

Stirling, £45,000

We are delighted to have been exclusively retained to search for an experienced Electronics and Production Engineer, for a world leading security systems design and manufacturing company.

This role requires someone with broad electronics experience and will interest someone who wants to be responsible for their own future rather than sitting as part of a large company or team. On offer is the opportunity to become a director of the company over the next 2-3 years.

Find out more

Java/Android Developer

South Lanarkshire, £35,000

Enigma People Solutions is recruiting a permanent Software Developer for our dynamic smart technology software client based in East Kilbride. Our client designs and sells leading edge solutions into transport, payment and associated sectors.

Find out more

Systems Engineer

Edinburgh, salary negotiable.

We are on the hunt for an electronic engineering professional to join our client’s expanding systems engineering team in Edinburgh. The client is recognised world-wide as providing state-of-the-art motor control integrated circuits for automotive, industrial, commercial and computing applications.

The successful candidate will support the corporate sales growth objectives by:

  • Performing analysis of new product performance.
  • Providing in-depth, technical analysis reports of new products.
  • Analysing customer issues and influencing technical/engineering decisions, including future product development decisions.
  • Supporting ongoing business.

Find out more

Lead Hardware Engineer

Edinburgh, competitive

We have been exclusively retained to recruit a Lead Hardware Engineer for our international technology client. Our client is a well-established and well recognised international technology business with an established and growing R&D function based just outside of Edinburgh.

On offer is the opportunity to take a technical leadership role within an international technology business that is highly respected, treats its staff very well and delivers outstanding products into its key markets.

Find out more

Senior FPGA Engineer

Edinburgh, up to £47,000

We’re looking for a Senior FPGA Engineer for our international technology client. Our client is a well-established and well recognised international technology business with an established and growing R&D function based just outside of Edinburgh.

Objective of this position is to design and develop embedded software/FPGA solutions for new retinal imaging product development and existing retinal imaging product improvement as part of a multi-disciplinary R&D team.

Find out more

Junior Embedded Software Engineer

Edinburgh, up to £30,000

We are seeking an embedded software engineering professional to join our client’s expanding team in Edinburgh. The client is recognised world-wide as providing state-of-the-art motor control integrated circuits for automotive, industrial, commercial and computing applications.

In this position, you will be part of a growing and dynamic team that primarily focuses on developing mixed-signal embedded software in motor control integrated circuits for industry leading customers. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to gain exposure to the latest trends in automotive motors control performance requirements, architectures and implementations.

Find out more

Junior Hardware Engineer

Edinburgh, up to £26,000

We’re looking for a Junior Hardware Engineer to fulfil the position of electronic board designer, joining our client’s Imaging Division, based in Edinburgh.

This position requires a junior electronics engineer to work as part of the overall System Environment team to define and develop robust and flexible hardware solutions to match product needs and support internal and external customer requirements.

Find out more


Not quite found your dream vacancy?

SUBMIT YOUR CV for future roles.


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in electronics, photonics, semiconductor and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

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Posted May 29, 2018 | Electronics, Recruitment Advice, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Calming the perfect storm: 6 reasons for exclusivity

In this blog we discuss how to:

  • Make the hiring manager’s life easier
  • Ensure a more thorough screening process
  • Make it easier to recruit from target source companies
  • Improve candidate control

Finding and attracting top-tier technology talent can be fraught with difficulties.

In specialised technology skill areas there can be so few candidates available that organisations just cannot reach and attract the skills they need. Pressure on overworked senior and principal engineers can become unbearable as they juggle their own deliverables alongside training and developing more junior engineers. Add to this the extra burden of time reviewing and interviewing candidates and you have a perfect storm of time pressure that we see all too often with clients that are trying to deliver to customers, develop their products and recruit all at the same time. The immense workload can lead to the risk of flight of existing key employees to less stressful environments.

Many companies feel they increase their chances of finding the right candidate by placing the vacancy with a number of recruitment agencies. This can be a mistake. If the recruitment process is not slick and speedy then by the time you do find the ideal candidate and make an offer, those candidates are often no longer available.

When you have more than one agency competing to get to a finite resource first, the effects on how your vacancy is perceived by the industry and your target candidates can be very damaging for you as an employer. Once a potential candidate has been spoken to more than once about a vacancy, they can get the impression that you are desperate, or that everyone is being spoken to about the same vacancy. This can be highly off-putting especially when the candidate has highly sought after niche skills or expertise. Meanwhile the competing agencies can quickly become disillusioned and drop your vacancy down the priority list and leave you with an unresolved problem.

Companies that use recruiters must now understand that to get commitment, full commitment must be given, and that means working exclusively with one, specialist, high quality recruiter on each assignment.

Here are some great reasons why:

Commitment

Recruiters who work on a contingent basis will work energetically for a short while but as they do not have your full commitment, they may quickly lose interest in a vacancy and move on to the next client whose vacancy is easier to fill. On the other hand, an exclusive recruiter will be fully committed to finding you the right candidate, even if it’s a difficult vacancy to fill. Along with this, exclusive recruiters search for and approach passive candidates that contingent recruiters do not have the time or resources to find.

A more thorough screening process

Due to the full commitment you have from an exclusive recruiter, each candidate on the recruiters shortlist will have been through a more thorough screening process. Working closely with an exclusive recruiter allows the recruiter to gain a better understanding of your business and requirements of the role, meaning that they are able to screen a candidate on not only their experience but also how they would fit within the company culture and more. This screening process takes time but an exclusive recruiter is willing to invest that time to ensure that only candidates who are the best fit make your shortlist.

Makes the hiring manager’s life easier

As a hiring manager, you have to review a multitude of CVs submitted by a number of competing contingent recruiters, meaning you have less time to deal with other work-related responsibilities. Due to the screening process in an executive search, mentioned above, a hiring manager’s workload is reduced as they only have shortlist of qualified CVs to get through.

Confidentiality

Sometimes, it’s important to keep your job opening private for whatever reason, working with one exclusive recruitment agency will better ensure confidentiality.

Easier to recruit from target source companies

In the technology market, it’s not always easy to find the right candidate. A lot of the time, candidates are passive so they’re already content in their jobs and aren’t necessarily looking for a new role. When this happens, it’s sometimes essential to recruit from direct competitors; working with one exclusive recruiter can help you to do this. It takes more time and finesse to reach these passive candidates in a way that avoids gaining a reputation as a poacher; in these scenarios it’s the recruiter’s job to put a buffer between your company and your competitor in order to circumvent such situations.

Improve candidate control – your candidates won’t be submitted to other companies

Not only are you exclusive to your executive recruiter, they’re also exclusive to you! Contingent recruiters will sometimes present their good candidates to numerous clients at once, which can result in a talent bidding war and you losing out on an ideal candidate as a result. Whereas an exclusive recruiter will only submit candidates to your company and work to ensure top talent accept your offer over any others.


Enigma People is an award winning recruitment search consultancy. Did you know:

  • Our average retained search shortlist contains 4 CVs
  • 86% of CVs we send to clients are selected to interview, meaning more than 4 out of 5 of our CVs sent are selected for next-stage interviews
  • 100% of the placements we made in 2017 for our Electronics clients are still in the role we placed them in!

If you would like to work with us on retained search basis, or otherwise, please contact Ben Hanley on 0131 510 8150 or bhanley@enigmapeople.com

 

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Posted May 01, 2018 | Career Advice, Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry | No Comments »

Why use a retained search for your key hires?

Identifying the right people for your business is a key investment so why leave it to random chance?

Issues from sourcing, attraction, engagement and confirmation that your target is the best available candidate for the job are all very time-consuming, labour intensive and in many cases emotionally draining for the business.

Hiring a search specialist, like Enigma People Solutions, to run the recruitment process for you is often the best way forward.

Every business has access to a multitude of candidates through online job boards, social media and candidate databases, but that doesn’t necessarily make the recruitment process straightforward. What businesses often overlook, when recruiting, is that it’s not just about finding candidates; it’s about finding the right candidate. The true expertise lies in matching the right candidates to the right opportunities; a recruitment consultant’s approach towards the passive candidate and their efficacious technique play a part in providing a service that clients are more than happy to use and pay for.

So what is a retained search exactly?

It is a process, in which a client (business) engages a consultant for a specific recruitment need, where part of the fee is paid on engagement, and a full assignment brief is taken by meeting with the client. This allows the consultant to ascertain detailed specifics about the ideal candidate from technical skills, through to personality traits and background. It also allows the consultant to gain an understanding of the client’s culture and working environment.

A retained search involves actively researching the market to identify individuals within “target companies”, normally competitor companies. Once a list of individuals with the right background has been created, the consultant will actively make contact with them to ascertain a level of interest in the role. The consultant will then personally interview each candidate in order to draw up a shortlist of three to four to present to the client.

As well as presenting the client with the best three to four candidates available in their industry, the consultant will provide interview notes and information about each individual’s background. The key benefit of such information is that both client and candidate are better prepared than they would be had they only received a CV, which contained no supporting information.

The consultant’s job is then to manage the recruitment process from there on; arranging interviews, collating feedback and ensuring both parties are kept informed and up to date with developments.

Final fee is due on candidate start date (or written acceptance of offer depending on terms).

Retained searches have a far more in-depth process than traditional agency recruiting. It could be argued that its greatest advantage is that it allows the recruitment consultant to provide their clients with candidates who are not actively seeking a new role, which the client would have not found otherwise. Another advantage of using a retained search for your recruitment needs is that the level of due diligence provided by the consultant is much greater because they have formally interviewed each candidate, as opposed to conducting a brief telephone screening exercise.

The search process can protect your brand and reputation, as you only have one recruitment company discussing your company in the market, meaning it is easier to promote a coherent and consistent message. It also allows the recruitment business to put more time, resources and efforts into filling your vacancy, compared with a contingency recruitment exercise.

4 Simple Steps

If you are considering using a retained search process to fulfil your recruitment needs, here are our 4 key steps to successful executive search recruitment:

1) Select one specific recruiter or consultancy with a proven track record of helping businesses in your specific sector to hire top talent to your vacancy

2) Meet with them to discuss the vacancy

3) Allow them to design the strategy (usually this will involve advertising, database search, other search activities, referrals etc.)

4) Work with them to create a universal list of potential candidates and source sites.

 


Enigma People is an award winning recruitment search consultancy. Did you know:

  • Our average retained search shortlist contains 4 CVs
  • 86% of CVs we send to clients are selected to interview, meaning more than 4 out of 5 of our CVs sent are selected for next-stage interviews
  • 100% of the placements we made in 2017 for our Electronics clients are still in the role we placed them in!

If you would like to work with us on retained search basis, or otherwise, please contact Ben Hanley on 0131 510 8150 or bhanley@enigmapeople.com


Follow us on Twitter,  Linkedin and Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted April 09, 2018 | Career Advice, Contracting, For Freelancers, Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry | No Comments »

Contracting: Positivity and Motivation

Searching for your next contract? Whether you’re well versed in contracting or you’re looking to find your very first contract, we, at Enigma People, understand just how frustrating the whole job seeking process can be. Securing your next role as soon as possible helps you to reduce downtime between contracts and of course, can provide a more certain financial future. Contractors can go through the job seeking process many times throughout their careers, which can become extremely tiresome. At Enigma People, we believe staying motivated during your search for contract work is truly important.

Read on to discover our advice on being positive and keeping motivated.

Learning Opportunities

As a contractor, it’s easy to lose enthusiasm for networking, writing applications and going to interviews. It’s such a regular occurrence that it can become wearisome, but we like to look at the positives.  Maintaining a positive-mind set throughout your contracting job search is greatly beneficial. Every application, every interview and every networking event should be seen as an opportunity that can make you a stronger candidate. Viewing tasks as opportunities, rather than tedious work, will guarantee a positive mind-set.

Do a little everyday

Contractors should continually be looking for opportunities that will help them to secure future work. Take advantage of social media to make connections, keep your LinkedIn up-to-date and ensure you’re attending networking events regularly. Building up a large network now will help you in your job search later.

Improve yourself

Going to an interview and not securing the job can be really disheartening. Improve your interviewing skills by asking for feedback. Don’t let your interview preparation efforts go to waste; you can gain some valuable information here. Plus, the feedback isn’t always negative, perhaps you were really close to landing the job but the other candidate had a more desired skill. Receiving positive feedback can lift your spirits and not-so positive feedback could just be the motivating factor you need to make a positive change.

Take time for yourself

We know that searching for your next contract can be exhausting, so remember to take time for yourself. Step away from the computer and chill. When you return, you’ll have newfound enthusiasm and, perhaps, a clearer insight into your career objectives.

Remember you’re a winner

Reward yourself for each successful job-seeking task. Sent a few job applications away? Time for a coffee. Had a successful call with a recruiter? Go outside for a change of scenery. Managed to secure an interview? That must call for a pint at the local! Rewarding yourself with mini treats after small wins can make the job-hunting process more satisfying.

Take the pressure off a little

Enigma People Solutions can help. We have built and are continuing to build a deep network of skilled contractors over the last 10+ years. This has allowed us to build a successful service, filling technology contract vacancies for businesses throughout the UK. For more information about our contracting function, why not check out our case study “Contracting – a case of success”. Alternatively, you can submit your CV here.

If you have any questions about Enigma People’s contract recruitment offering, whether you are looking for a contracting vacancy or if you’re looking for a highly skilled contractor, please get in touch and we would love to discuss how we can help you.

 


Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,  LinkedIn or Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted March 26, 2018 | Career Advice, Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry, Uncategorized | No Comments »

How to write an agency brief

We recently stumbled across this article, written by Bryan Garvie, “How to write an agency brief – and get the campaign you want”, first published by BIG Partnership. Bryan discusses the importance of a good brief and getting agency relationships off to a good start – a message that we really endorse. We believe that many of Bryan’s 12 steps, found in the article below, can be applied to briefing your recruitment partner too and so we really wanted to share it with you.


BIG Partnership Director, Bryan Garvie, reveals his 12 steps to get the results you need from your agency.


“I’ve been in this game for a little while now, so I like to think I’ve seen most of what agency life has to throw at you. What doesn’t seem to change though is, ironically, the inconsistency with which businesses brief their agencies.

I’ve seen everything from “We need some communications support, how much will it cost?” through to campaign briefs which cover so much ground that it’s impossible to work out what’s actually required.

Of course, some businesses have experienced marketing teams which write brilliant briefs – but it ain’t a given by any stretch. And a good agency brief is one of the most important things for a successful campaign; whether that’s for PR, marketing, web design, advertising – or all of the above.

Giving your agency the right brief sets, very clearly, the expectation of what you, as a client, want to achieve by engaging an agency. The benefit is that you should get a better response from the agencies you ask to pitch, which makes your life a lot easier and means the ultimate campaign has a better chance of delivering the results you need.

So here’s how it should go.

 

1. Make sure you REALLY want an agency

Something about the type of people attracted to agency work means they will pour their life and soul into their response to your brief. I mean to the point of absolute, life-consuming obsession.

Research, analysis, late nights, brainstorms, internal briefings of other departments, pitch rehearsal, existential crisis (“ohgodohgodohgod what if I’ve missed the ENTIRE POINT”), the lot.

Then after the pitch, maybe you decide you’ll just wait another year. Or you’ll get your in-house person to do it. Or your sales admin (always good for the professional pride, that one). Or you’ve changed your mind altogether.

Way, way uncool.

Before you ask agencies to pour hours upon hours into showing you how good they are, make sure you’re positive that you have the time and resource to work effectively with an agency, and that you genuinely value the contribution the right partner can make.

Some agencies actually charge for the pitch process, just to make sure you’re serious.

 

2. Be absolutely unequivocal about what you want

Need more sales? Put that in the agency brief. Make it clear what level of additional sales you want, and how you’ll measure that – for examples, is it a percentage increase? A financial figure? Net profit? Is that something an agency can genuinely influence? Give the agency every chance to understand how success will be judged and they’ll start thinking about the problem correctly.

That’ll also give you a good place to start when selecting your agency shortlist. Some are specialists in certain areas, and they’re the people you want to speak to.

If you simply want to raise the profile of your organisation, say that. Outline clearly why this is important – maybe that’s because you think it will increase sales. If that’s the case, go back a couple of paragraphs and read that again. If it’s for another reason, make it clear what that is and you’ll get a better response.

There are a ton of other valid objectives too (behavioural change, reputation protection, lead generation etc), but ensure that they’re aligned to your business objectives. Which brings us nicely to…

 

3. Align your communications, marketing and business objectives

There’s no point at all in asking your agency to drive sales if your sales strategy is built around relationships and long-term pre-orders. Having said that, we once had a client who wanted ‘to be in the papers’, by which I assumed she meant ‘we want to sell this product’. Turns out the product was sold many times over for the next several years, and she just wanted the goodwill that some public exposure would generate. Fair enough – at least I knew the business background behind the brief.

If you still think of marketing as a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than a valuable tool which can improve your business then you’re missing a trick. It can be the one thing which makes your business absolutely fly. When briefing an agency, start by looking at your business objectives. By the time you get to your agency brief, you should be able to draw a straight line between the two.

 

4. Provide a budget with your brief

I was recently told: “I hate it when an agency asks me for a budget, it really puts me off.” Look, you wouldn’t go and buy a car, or a house or anything else in the world without having an idea of how much you’re able to spend on it. It’s the reason you don’t walk into a Porsche dealership with enough budget for a Ford Fiesta.

For the avoidance of doubt: reputable agencies don’t want a budget because they’re thinking about how comprehensively they can rinse you for cash. They want a budget because they want to know what level of resource they can commit to your campaign if they’re successful. End of.

Providing a budget means you’ll get realistic proposals back. There’s no benefit to anyone – least of all you as the client – of having the budget for a Fiesta then having three people offer you a test drive in a new 911.

 

5. Clarify your priority audiences

“Who are you selling to?”

“Everyone, lol.”

OK, I get this. No-one wants to turn away business. But if you’re selling a premium product into a consumer audience, it’s unlikely that you’ll be targeting people whose household budgets are really stretched.

Similarly, if you’re a B2B organisation, chances are there’s a particular role or profession which is the primary decision maker when it comes to purchasing your product or service.

The more closely you can define the audience which really matters to you, the more accurate and effective your campaign will be. That’s not to say you should exclude all others, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a hierarchy of audience importance.

By doing this, your agency has a chance to go and do some research into that audience, allowing them to develop campaign ideas which really work.

 

6. Include useful background

Context is always important. That can be as simple as the history and heritage of the business, the background of the founders or senior team, or your short-term ambitions for growth. Agencies are looking for the colour that makes you stand out from your competitors, and that can come from the subtlest of nuances. We don’t need a 40-page document detailing your views on the impact of Brexit, but some germane information about the business helps bring the objectives to life.

 

7. Highlight any no-nos

I genuinely had a client once who’d been asked by a previous agency if he would climb up a tree for a photo idea. Turns out he wasn’t crazy about the suggestion.

Yes, agencies love to be creative. We love to show off. Generally speaking, we have pretty good judgement about what’ll work for your business or brand, and what might be a bit too out there. But if there’s anything you absolutely won’t do, put it in the brief.

That doesn’t have to be that you have a horse phobia so the Lone Ranger video idea is off the cards. It might just be that you’ve tried something before and it really didn’t work. Whatever it is, neither of us wants to see that lovingly-crafted proposal fall apart five minutes into the pitch because we’ve stumbled onto a fatal clanger.

 

8. Keep your shortlist short

Do you really want to sit through eight pitches? Or read eight detailed proposals? And the eight sets of questions (and follow-up questions) which you’ll have to answer before that?

Find three, maybe four, agencies you think have the chops to answer your brief well, and go with that. If you’ve done your homework, you should get the answer you need.

If you have too many agencies on the pitch list, you’ll find some of them won’t bother participating – with the best will in the world, we don’t want to commit loads of time to something with crazy long odds. And we’ll think you’re just mining for ideas anyway.

 

9. Set realistic timescales

A good proposal takes good time. Of course, you want things to get moving asap, and we don’t want to drag it out any longer than necessary either. But give us a couple of weeks, at least. Please. We do have other stuff to do as well. You’ll get a better response, I promise.

 

10. Provide feedback

OK, you don’t have to do this one. It’s your call, after all. But it’s jolly helpful for unsuccessful agencies to get some constructive feedback on why they didn’t win. If you’re providing feedback, specifics are always good – that genuinely helps the agency for their next pitch and only the most arrogant divas will take it personally. We will be absolutely gutted, though, and will convince ourselves you’ve made a terrible decision.

 

11. Trust your gut

So you sat through three pitches, and you reckon one of the agencies just nudged it. But, god, that one guy came across like a total jackass. But it was a great pitch. But he was a tool.

Successful agency/client relationships are built on more than just great campaigns. Over the course of a contract, you’ll spend loads of time meeting and talking to your agency people, and if they’re not the sort of people you’d meet for a drink, do you really want to work with them?

If you reckon you can endure it because you’re 100% convinced they can make a massive difference, fair enough. But maybe you speak to the agency boss and say you want someone else to work on that account. Or maybe you need to set clear parameters of the kind of behaviour you expect before you make the final appointment, and what’ll happen if the line is crossed. Either way, don’t be bounced into the wrong decision if you have a niggling doubt about personalities.

Similarly, if you’re being promised the moon on a stick, dig a little deeper to discover the veracity of wild claims about results. You know the saying about things sounding too good to be true? That.

 

12. Trust your agency

After all of that, you’ve hired the right agency and you’re excited about getting started. You should expect the agency to take the lead in getting this moving; perhaps an initial strategy day before the final plan is submitted and agreed. Once you’ve agreed the plan, refined any objectives etc, set KPIs and ways of working, and let your agency get on with it. Micro-managing every little step will slow things down and get in the way of a successful campaign. Agree how and when the agency will update you on progress, how the sign-off process will work and so on, and get cracking. A good agency will inform you of any hiccups, but you’ll know if things aren’t going well.

Wow. That was a bit longer than I was planning, but hopefully it shows the importance of a good brief and getting your agency relationship off to a good start. Bottom line is we want to do a great job so we feel proud of our work, and so you pat us on the back and ask us to do more work for you – it’s in all of our interests for the relationship to work really well.”

 


 

Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted March 19, 2018 | Contracting, Digital Media, Recruitment Advice, Software | No Comments »

The Talent to Succeed

The UK’s ever-growing technology sector is creating a more diverse technical environment throughout the UK. We, at Enigma People Solutions, have seen an upsurge in the number of technology companies, in a wide range of industries, starting up in the UK. This, along with the current talent shortage, means the demand for contracting is on the rise.

As the skills gap continues, it is clear to see an uplift of technology professionals turning to contracting, which makes sense when companies are beginning to pay for specific skills over years of experience; the financial reward is considerable and the opportunity to work on exciting new projects every few months or so is a big incentive.

We know that contracting can be stressful at times, continually seeking new contract opportunities, trawling job boards and chatting to recruiters. However, with the current employment environment, contractors won’t be out of work for long. The diversity and buzz of contracting is becoming more and more enticing, partly due to the increased demand and limited supply of skills within the technology industry. With the lack of permanent technology professionals in the market looking to move jobs, organisations are almost forced to look at the option of utilising highly skilled contractors for projects which need urgent, fast and high standard deliverance.

According to Contractor UK, there are eight areas in Development which are hot right now:

  • Security
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Containers
  • FinTech
  • Cloud Services
  • Digitisation

Within these eight areas, the most in demand key skills include:

  • DevOps
  • PHP
  • React
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Spring/Hibernate
  • .Net
  • AWS/Azure
  • Scala or other JVM languages
  • Node
  • Angular

With the speed at which technology develops, companies are constantly adopting and responding to new technologies, meaning they are increasingly seeing the value in highly skilled contractors. Technology contractors must keep learning new skills to stay at the top of the game. In order to prove expertise, contractors are advised to undertake industry-standard qualifications. These qualifications provide ‘a quality benchmark’ to employers and they can be a way for contractors to learn new skills, subsequently increasing their earnings.

Don’t forget, Enigma People Solutions has an exemplary track record of filling technology contract vacancies for businesses, throughout the UK, for over 10 years now. If you have any questions about Enigma People’s contract recruitment offering, whether you are a contractor, or if indeed you’re looking for that elusive contractor, please get in touch and we would love to discuss how we can help you.


Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,  LinkedIn or Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted February 14, 2018 | Enigma News, Recruitment Advice, Technology Industry | No Comments »

Recruitment, What’s Love Got To Do With It?

It is easy for us recruiters to get absorbed with work and so obsessed with Key Performance Indicators, that it may seem all we care about is closing the deal! Now, it is important to stress that whilst tracking performance and profit is key in business, the definition of a good recruitment business is way more complex than simply watching those roles getting filled.

A good recruiter can easily be compared to an amazing match-maker. This means the recruiter will work hard, not to simply fill the positions, but most importantly to find the “right person” for the job.

This process takes a lot of research, a great strategy and a human touch! We understand the importance of culture, motivational skills, clarity and respect. According to the CareerBuilder Survey, 75% of job seekers hadn’t heard back after application and 60% never heard back after an interview. This illustrates the amount of work and pressure a recruiter can be under, but also demonstrates a need for change and improvement. It is a person on the other side of the computer or phone. It is a relationship! Communication is key and you will be surprised how positive it is to just ‘take care’ and be clear to a candidate. It is a matter of attitude and values, which consequently will also transmit nicely to employers as well.

Take your relationship to the next level

We understand one fundamental thing about our relationship with candidates: expectations should be clear, deceptions will always poison one’s relationship. Loyalty, commitment, professionalism and good values are a must! This means that it is crucial for us to take in both what the client and the candidate’s needs and wants are. The job descriptions should be detailed and translate the company’s culture, and if they are not a match, well, it is our job to be professional and nicely inform the candidate of that. The candidate should have a sense of what the client is looking for, honesty and transparency are two essential elements for getting the best result!

Why time is important in relationships

It is all about time management. Interview rounds, phone calls, emails, etc. The hiring process can be long and stressful, for both sides. So even if the candidate is not a good final fit for the role, they must be left with a feeling that their time mattered and the whole thing was a valuable experience. This can be accomplished when we value the candidates and also take the time to send a simple invitation to connect on LinkedIn, to deliver advice and constructive feedback, and avoid ambiguity.

Connect, communicate, and be attentive

We continuously check our website, job descriptions and communication style. This is our business card, our match-making profile photo, you must impress!

We try to make it easier for our candidates and simplify the application process by having an organised portal and a clear idea of the roles available. And we don’t forget that human touch, we are not machines and in order to work more efficiently we need to identify with the company’s values and feel comfortable in the workplace. Again, there is no point in filling that vacancy just to get the job done and then have to be in the middle of a dramatic love triangle that is doomed from the beginning. Listen! Understand the wants, match the cultures and let the magic happen.

We believe in setting the stage for a successful relationship right from the start!

Happy Valentine’s day!

Learn more about our culture here and also feel free to contact us or leave any feedback.


 Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted September 29, 2017 | Contracting, For Freelancers, Recruitment Advice | No Comments »

Why You’re Struggling to Fill Your Contract Roles

As demand for specialist skills continues to grow, the supply can’t keep up and technology teams especially are facing competition which might not always go their way.

Contracting has for many years been a good flexible solution to the rise and fall of project demands but it has now become apparent that this is not the only factor which influences a business’s choice to recruit contractors. In the UK and globally we are experiencing a market, which is flooded with innovation and new technologies, it’s easy to see why the demand for contractors continues to rise. Couple this with the widening skills gap facing the technology industry at the moment and you begin to get a better understanding of why contractors are doing so well. A lack of skilled workers means that businesses are turning to contractors to find both the exact skills that they need and the reliability of an experienced worker. Even though contractors do come at a premium when compared to permanent staff; many argue their worth as being the best at what they do and that their in-demand skills allow businesses to solve their problems much quicker than it would take to source and hire a permanent member of staff.

The technology sector as a whole is experiencing steady growth, with research by global IT industry body CompTIA (using stats from Burning Glass Labour Insights and the ONS) showing that UK IT staff job postings have increased 10 percent year-on-year at 1.3 million IT job postings. The increase in job postings demonstrates the demand for new and niche skills as the marketplace changes to adapt to new areas of business. We have seen firsthand the continuously changing demand for skills across the sectors that we serve and the successes businesses have achieved as a result of taking on contractors. Contractor UK’s IT contractor skills that look hot for 2017 gave an insight into the predicted top skills that contractors will be recruited for this year. Here at Enigma, we have noticed that software development is still one of the most popular areas in which contractors work and market tracker IT Jobs Watch has set out The UK’s top 12 in-demand programming languages – how does your view of the market compare?

In addition to changing markets, the skills gap and increasing innovation, the contractors themselves are changing. ComputerWorldUK reports that “In 2016 just four percent of contractors were in the 18-24 year old bracket, now it is five percent, and the biggest segment is now 35-44 at 33 percent, instead of 45-54 at 35 percent in 2016.” This tells us that people who would normally not wish to risk a break in income are so confident that their skills are in demand that contracting is no longer as risky as it once seemed. This also puts significant pressure on the ability to hire and retain permanent staff. We have found that it is key when looking to recruit contractors that the change in demographics should be considered when marketing out, creating job adverts and trying to source the correct contractor for your business. Misunderstanding the demographics of your audience can hinder your progress and cause frustration for HR departments and hiring managers, especially when dealing with key projects.

So, how do you capture that essential resource to make sure your projects are delivered on time and to standard?

Simply advertising your vacancy and waiting for applications is not enough. You need to market your company proactively and positively, even for contract vacancies. Whilst polishing up your employer branding and recruitment processes are essential, be aware that your target market has an ever-increasing choice and your vacancy, benefits package and employee perks can get lost in the noise. How do you penetrate a ferociously busy market to find the right talent?

Enigma People Solutions has built and continues to build, a deep network of skilled contractors. This has allowed us to build an exemplary track record of filling technology contract vacancies for businesses throughout the UK for over 10 years now. If you have a contract vacancy to fill contact Ben Hanley on 0141 332 4422 or bhanley@enigmapeople.com for expert consultancy advice.

 

Similar Reading:

[Interview] From the Perspective of a Contractor – Q&A

Who You Gonna Call? Contractors!

 

You can also find loads more expert information at Contractor Weekly.


Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our client services page to find out how we can help solve your recruitment problem. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook Facebook logo to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted September 06, 2017 | Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry | No Comments »

5 Ways to Build Relationships Between Your New Team Members

When starting in a new work environment, it can always take a bit of time for your new employees to feel fully comfortable with the team around them. It can take a while to get to know fellow employees and suss out the different personalities, that’s why taking part in team building events can help them settle in much faster.

It may feel like throwing them into the deep end, but having a team building event as soon as you take on new employees is the perfect way to quickly meld your new team together.

Organising these events doesn’t have to take up too much time either. Team building events companies like Team Tactics provide this and many other events services, and can help you to create a fun and effective team building event that employees will love.

 

Include your team in the planning

Team building events are great for helping to build stronger communication between your team members, so make sure to display an equal amount of communication during the planning process.

Taking your team’s opinions on board when choosing an activity or venue, will improve your chances of hosting a team building event that everyone will enjoy and get the most out of.

 

 Mix up your team members

If you leave your team to organise themselves, you may find they naturally gravitate into already established friendship groups. To make sure your team benefits from the day, mix up your employees into different sectors so they have to mingle with people they may not come into contact with day-to-day.

This can help team members to not only learn how to communicate with different members of the business, but also to create a stronger and well rounded team overall.

 

Get outdoors

Motivation and morale can start to dip when your team are stuck in an office 5 days a week, so getting them out and about can be the perfect way to press reset on productivity.

Choosing an activity that takes place outdoors can offer your employees a break from the enclosure of your office and help them relax and enjoy the fresh air.

 

Choose the right activity

If you are choosing a team building event to work on a specific issue within your team, including communication or poor relationships, then it’s important that you choose the right activity to help you solve these problems.

A treasure hunt can be a great way to build stronger communication between team members, as everyone must work together in order to reach the end goal. For rebuilding relationships, why not try a more competitive activity like an obstacle course or raft building?

 

Get feedback after the event

Like any project, you should always make sure to assess and analyse your results. Ask your team for feedback on the event and have them comment on what they’ve learned or how it has benefited them.

This can also be a great way to make sure your next team building day is even more successful. Take the feedback on board and adjust your next event accordingly.

 


Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  Linkedin LinkedInor Facebook Facebook logo to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted May 09, 2017 | Recruitment Advice | No Comments »

The 8 Essential Steps to Using a Recruitment Agency

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If you’re a client working with a recruitment agency and want to get the most from your relationship, it’s highly important to fully understand our function and how we work. Putting together all of our experience over the years, we thought it would be useful to lay out a few of the key points to keep in mind when using a recruitment agency. If recruiter and client can establish a good working relationship from the beginning, it makes for a much happier outcome in the long run; for both parties and the candidates involved. So here are our eight essential steps to using a recruitment agency:

Be Aware of Our Passive Candidates

When we contact you to say that we have a few great candidates in mind for your recent vacancy that cannot be sourced from anywhere else, we really mean it! Over time we are able to create strong working relationships with passive candidates, meaning that when the perfect role comes up for them, they will be much more likely to take the opportunity. Our ability to find out exactly what our candidates want, where they would fit in with company culture and their level of skill relevant to fill the role is essential. We keep up to date with these potential candidates, finding out if their preferences have changed and what they want from their career. We have many passive candidates who are not available on the market but like us to keep them up to date with the latest roles and it is for this reason, that recruitment companies have an advantage.

Provide Accurate Job Specs

Ensuring you provide us with an accurate job specification is a must. Without the correct information, we can’t promote your vacancy to show it’s full potential. And sending us a job spec that’s been used, reused and is now out of date isn’t great either. To create maximum interest, it’s essential that we have a comprehensive understanding of exactly what it is you’re looking for. Providing us with a job spec that is up to date, contain information relevant to the job role and that highlights key specifications will ensure your role gets attention from the right set of candidates.

Remember, This Process Involves Real People

This is something to keep in mind at all points throughout the process. We’re talking about the candidates for the most part but recruiters are people too and everyone involved in the process should be treated with respect and equality. Candidates are more than just a CV or a set of skills. Behind that CV is a real person, who has a life and usually a full-time job outside of their current recruitment process. Being mindful and appreciative of this when planning interviews and phone calls is important; understanding their position makes a massive difference to both your experience and theirs.

Feedback

Not just feedback but constructive feedback is something every candidate values a lot. It is vital that feedback from the interview reaches the recruiter in a reasonable amount of time. As we’ve said in previous blogs; this is a majorly candidate driven market at the moment and candidates are not willing to hang around forever when they have a multitude of great opportunities to choose from. Ensuring feedback is sent along the lines of communication quickly will allow the process to run smoothly; meaning the candidates is kept up to date and that the recruitment process continues within a good timeframe.

Be Honest

Honesty is vital within the recruitment process;  for us, we need to find out exactly what the client wants and what their expectations are. It’s about having honest and realistic conversations to determine if and how we can work together, even if it involves home truths which can be hard to hear. In the long run, if all parties can talk freely with each other then expectations should be met, positions filled and a good working relationship formed.

Be Ready to Compromise

Already I can hear alarm bells going off as potential clients read this, but an openness to compromise is something that is necessary when going through the recruitment process. What I mean, is that it’s helpful to remember that you might not find a candidate with EVERY skill you have specified in the job spec and that’s okay. They might not have every single skill but they do have the essential ones, plus they fit in really well with the company culture and know the role well. This type of situation requires compromise. The likelihood of finding a candidate who holds every skill on your job spec can be really low, especially if your niche is a new branch of technology or you’re a specialist in your field. Trust us, having someone who has 98% of the skills and is a great fit within your business is much better than spending 6-12 months looking for someone who just doesn’t exist.

Communication

This really should go without saying however, communication can be neglected throughout the recruitment process. To ensure things go smoothly; its best to have a few points of contact for your recruiter to reach you on. Arranging specific times and dates for your recruiter to update you and exchange information is helpful. One important point; treat your recruiter as a valued member of the recruitment process – they have the skills and experience needed to source your perfect candidate and contribute towards solving your recruitment problems. This is invaluable.

One Size Does Not Fit All

This cannot be stressed enough. Every client is different, their markets are different and the type of niche which they are working within is almost certainly different. That’s why we tailor our approach to finding the perfect candidate, using our experience to create a recruitment process that works for our individual clients. It’s important to know that each role can have a different process and that the candidates for each role will be different. Using a one size fits all method for such niche markets just wouldn’t work.

8 essential steps for using a recruitment agency


Get in touch hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter for all of the latest tech, business and recruitment news @enigmapeople  twitter or follow us on LinkedIn  LinkedIn

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Posted March 28, 2017 | Recruitment Advice | No Comments »

How to Lose a Candidate in 10 Days (Or Less!)

Following on from the breath of fresh air that came from our last interview blog with Finlay Harris, a recent graduate and now a Junior test Analyst at Sopra Steria, we thought that we would replicate his honesty with a little bit of advice from the team. How to Lose a Candidate in 10 Days (Or Less!) takes a look at the obstacles and barriers tech candidates come up against, highlighting the sometimes utterly confusing processes set out by some tech companies when trying to recruit. Having been in the technology recruitment business since 2004, we’ve certainly had our fair share of frustrations with clients and the process in itself. However, there are some instances in which these things just can’t be helped but we thought we should share our top “How to Lose a Candidate in 10 Days (or Less!)” moments. Hopefully, this will give tech companies an understanding of what NOT to do when working with candidates…


1. Already Having an Internal Candidate in Mind

This is something which really frustrates us as recruiters. When this happens, the candidates are still put through the same interview process as normal – even though the position is already filled by their internal candidate. That’s just cruel.


2. Vague Job Descriptions

via GIPHY

Job descriptions are usually the first point of contact your candidate will have with you as a business so ensuring they are accurate, informative and inviting is essential. Remember, as much as the candidate should be impressing you – with the standard of candidates around today, you really need to think about impressing them too! Bullet pointing everything about the job role, company and calibre of candidate you’re looking for won’t cut it anymore.


3. Location of the Job Is Not Clear

Now, this alone isn’t a dealbreaker but pile it up with the rest of this list and it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for some people. So, we know that you currently have a couple of positions available but they don’t specify a location. Of course, there are ways of getting around this, as Finlay referenced, you can dig around quite a lot and hope to find that the company has offices near you. This isn’t ideal, it can waste a lot of the candidates time and actually become a barrier to entry. Perhaps it would be easier all round if the location was specified?


4. Long Technical Tests

Do not have the expectation that candidates are going to spend weeks doing technical tests. If you’re digital software or electronics there’s a good chance you will have to undertake a technical test of some sorts when trying to find the right position for you. A technical test is used to find out how much practical skill you really have, as opposed to what you say you have. In some cases, we have had candidates report back that their technical tests had extensive requirements which meant it took them a number of days and even into weeks to complete. This is unnecessary. Long technical tests are something that we don’t understand – it makes the company’s search longer and much more drawn out and puts candidates under unnecessary stress, whilst also taking up A LOT of their time!

5. Video Interviews

Let me be clear, I’m not talking about Skype calls or live video interviews. I’m talking about being given interview questions and then being asked to record yourself answering said questions. To get a real feel for the type of person your candidate is, you need to see them face to face, in real time. Although we are in the age of YouTube and many other live video social media streams, it’s unlikely that your candidates will feel at all comfortable recording themselves answering your interview questions. Especially considering the fact that this is one of their only chances to get across their personality, knowledge, and skills. Live video interviews are always best if you can’t manage a face to face interview.


6. Lengthy Interview Process

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In the tech industry, finding the right candidate can be a long process and that’s okay. Everyone understands that it takes time, especially when you’re looking for someone to fill a niche role. But when you have to report to a candidate that they have been asked back for a 4th or 5th interview or even another lengthy and exhausting technical test…it starts to become a bit much. Candidates won’t wait around forever, even if it does seem like their perfect opportunity, going through interview after interview over a period of weeks and months takes its toll. Try and keep the process as short as possible, otherwise, your star candidate might not be around when you finally make your decision.


7. Assessment Centres

Assessment centres are a great way to determine how a candidate might be when working within your company. Over the course of a day, you can find out how they respond to a series of tests including inductive reasoning, language, and numerical skills. However, this is over the course of a full day, including travelling to and from the centre. Again, assessment centres alone won’t always scare away candidates but if the location isn’t easily accessible or travelling distance to the centre hasn’t been taken into consideration for candidates – it can easily set people off on the wrong foot. Keep in mind that you want to get the best from your candidates and showing a bit of consideration goes much further than you might think.


8. Feedback

Now, this works both ways. As recruiters, the story goes that we, as a general group, are not very good at feeding back to our candidates. At Enigma, even if it isn’t the news you want to hear, we will always get in touch and keep you up to speed. There needs to be a strong chain of feedback down to the candidate. Although the process can be difficult for the clients too, as they might have a busy interviewing schedule, without the proper feedback candidates can quickly feel undervalued and unimportant. Something which can lead to a strained relationship and in some occasions results in candidates looking for opportunities with different clients.


9. You’re Really Hard to Find Online

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Candidates will spend a good deal of time trying to find out about your company, in order to discuss their knowledge with you and highlight how interested they are in the position. This isn’t always easy. There seems to be a fair amount of companies, large and small, who just don’t update their website or social media regularly. If you want to have a conversation with candidates about your company, your goals, and your recent and future projects…it’s probably a good idea to make this information as easy to find as possible. A good example of this is having a careers section or showcasing your latest projects over social media. 


10. You Don’t Value Your Candidates

When looking for someone to join your business, it is pretty much essential that you value them. Without this respect, forming a positive business relationship won’t happen. We all understand that as a candidate, it’s important to value and respect the client and company you will be working for. This means arriving on time to the interview, doing prep work beforehand and dressing to suit the business – to mention only a few aspects candidates take into consideration. But this works both ways. With all of our previous points, it’s clear to see the relationship between valuing your candidates and how this affects your success rates. If you treat someone with respect and honesty and show them that you value their time, knowledge and experience – it can only work in your favour as a business. Next thing you know, people will be breaking your doors down to become part of your team!

I’m sure there are a few of you who will be reading this and thinking “oops! I’ve done that in the past” but have no fear! Everyone makes mistakes and hopefully with this knowledge bestowed upon you, it will stay firmly a thing of the past. Remember, candidates ARE people too and if you plan on adding to your team then the least you can do is treat everyone with respect.

 


Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Get in touch at hello@enigmapeople.com to discuss how we can help you find the right candidates for your business.

Follow us on Twitter

@enigmapeople @enigmapeople and LinkedInic_lkdin_22

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Posted January 31, 2017 | Electronics, Recruitment Advice, Software | No Comments »

10 Pro Tips for Hiring and Managing Remote Engineering and Design Teams

!0 Tips For Managing Remote Teams

This article was originally published on RocketSpace.

Remote work and flexible hours are increasingly popular in the startup world, but many founders have little experience implementing these policies. At the same time, startups can experience massive cost and time savings from hiring an international team that works throughout all 24 hours of the day (thanks to timezones) and does so at great rates.

Su Yuen Chin, co-founder of on-demand tech talent platform MomoCentral, is a serial entrepreneur who’s had her fair share of startup failures. What she learned from five startup failures, though, was how to build a team. When she realized she and teammates had a knack for building remote teams in particular, they founded MomoCentral, focused on helping founders build and manage remote engineering and design teams. In a recent RocketSpace workshop, Chin shared advice for founders looking to build effective remote teams.

Here are the top ten pro tips we extracted from her workshop:

  1. Know your hiring goals.

Are you hiring for a short-term project, such as an HTML email design task or the building of an Android app prototype? Or are you looking for long-term assistance on the main product? Communicate your goals so you can hire and manage accordingly.

  1. Conduct task-specific interviews.

For developers and designers, a portfolio is essential, but not enough to make a hire. Test basic knowledge and give applicants mini-tasks, such as redesigning a popular product’s reservation flow or coding a user registration system. For administering coding tests, Chin recommends HackerRank or Codility.

  1. Get to know everyone’s past experience.

Once your remote team is in place, make sure you understand each teammate’s past experience. With remote workers, it can be tough to have those data points, since everyone’s far away. Office banter and one-off conversations are less common. If a teammate worked on a machine learning project five years ago, though, and that becomes a company need in the coming years, you’d want to know who you can turn to.

  1. Have one key point of contact for each team and employee.

It’s never good to have too many cooks in the kitchen. Make sure remote teammates know who specifically they report to and enforce that process. A designer, for example, should only be taking direction from her manager — not even the CEO should be able to assign projects directly to her. That just creates confusion and leads to messy outcomes.

  1. Mitigate timezone issues.

It’s a misconception that real-time communications are necessary in business. Yes, the occasional emergency pops up, but most of the time, autonomy can work. It’s largely an issue of trust: Do you trust your team to get the work done? Chin suggests having a higher frequency of touch points with new hires — such as daily or multiple times daily — until that trust level is built. Then, 1-3 times weekly can save everyone time. Set these rules together based on team needs.

  1. Ask about infrastructure issues.

Not all countries have reliable Internet and electricity access so consider infrastructure issues in various regions of the world. Ask applicants about anticipated outages. For example, one MomoCentral teammate in Pakistan gets a “Power Outage Schedule” from the government, which details when his power will be down each day of the week, such as 1:00-3:00pm daily. International teammates in similar situations may face bad Internet connectivity, power outages, road traffic congestion, security firewalls, military lockdowns, or political situations that limit availability or ability to travel. Ask about these potentials and also ask for the teammate’s Whatsapp number. Even with Internet or electric outages, they may have access to 3G and thus be able to communicate via mobile apps.

  1. Use task management software.

In lieu of real-time communication, use task management software like Asana or Trello to assign and track tasks. Chin suggests using a Kanban board with the process flow of:

Assigned, but not started

Work in progress

Ready, awaiting QA/ feedback

Done

  1. Share wireframes, mockups, and a prototype.

Communicating a vision is already difficult. Doing so with a remote team is that much more difficult. Have wireframes, mockups, and a prototype ready so that you can communicate exactly what the team will be building. For prototyping, Chin suggests Invision App and Proto.io.

  1. Ask developers to commit code daily.

With any development team, especially a remote team, managers should have easy access to source code to see if the code is looking good. This also protects the business from the unlikely event that the developer disappears one day. Use a code revision system like GitHub or BitBucket from day one and ask developers to commit code at least daily so that no code is lost.

  1. Build a strong company culture.

Founders fear that building a strong company culture with remote teammates will be difficult, but Chin says her team is able to make it work by personalizing the work experience. “Invest in your team,” she says. Beyond having virtual stand-up meetings that keep teammates on the same page, reward great work with unique prizes. Sponsor GRE examinations, gift textbooks and online courses, buy developers an extended monitor, and send gifts for big life moments, such as the birth of a child. “If they’re a gamer, get them a Razer mouse,” she suggests enthusiastically. “It doesn’t cost much… but it means a lot, because it shows you care for them.” In a world of long-distance work relationships, every piece of personalization matters. Don’t make these personal moments a company policy, though, or else employees come to expect them, and they’re not as special!

 

[This article was originally published on RocketSpace and was written by Erica Swallow, find her on Twitter. To view the original article, click here.]

 


Enigma People is an award winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland.

Follow us on Twitter @enigmapeople @enigmapeople and LinkedIn ic_lkdin_22

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Posted November 14, 2016 | Digital Media, Recruitment Advice | No Comments »

Can You Add A Digital Marketing Apprentice To Your Team?

The digital sector is highlighted to be a key high growth sector for the Scottish economy. There are an estimated 70,000 new jobs to be created over the next 5 years, and we, as an industry, are vastly unprepared to fill these jobs.

Although there are a number of initiatives and workshops to help bridge the skills gap, many digital (and non-digital!) businesses are really struggling to bring in skilled talent to help grow and reach their commercial potential.

As you will already know, there is a real need for skilled people entering industry today.

And you can help; Enigma People Solutions, working in collaboration with training provider Tigers Ltd, are committed to help train the next generation and provide businesses with young people who have appropriate digital skills.

To do this, we have devised the Digital Marketing Pre-Apprenticeship programme to specifically teach the necessary real-world skills, which we know our clients have a real need for – like coding skills (CSS, HTML, JavaScript), Analytics, Social Media, Content Marketing and even Photo Editing, as well as IT and Administrative skills.

Now we need your help – could you be an employer who will allow them to gain real work based industry learning?

We’re looking for digital businesses who can welcome a potential digital marketing apprentice on a full-time basis for an initial 6-8 weeks (and beyond!). All at no cost to your business.

How Your Business Benefits:

  • No Training Cost To You – If you decide to hire the young person as a Digital Marketing Apprentice, all training will provided by TIGERS through Government funding. All you need to do is pay your apprentice the minimum of £3.40 per hour (or more if you like.)
  • Cost Effective – compared to hiring new talent, this is a very cost-effective way to bring in new digital marketing skills.
  • Shape and Prepare – Your apprentice will have basic digital skills however you have the opportunity to shape and prepare this individual to work specifically for your business, pass on your professional knowledge, and act as a mentor for this young person.
  • Fresh Ideas – Apprentice’s are known to boost productivity, providing fresh ideas and perspectives.

What’s The Catch?

There isn’t one. There is no obligation to hire the young person as a fully-fledged employee at the end of the 8-week period (although you might find you want to hold them!)

Tigers Ltd has been operating as a training provider for 10+ years and has built a strong reputation for providing employers with a skilled, professional workforce. The apprenticeship programme is currently open to only 10 employers in the Glasgow and surrounding areas.

There are a limited number of modern apprentices available. To take part in the programme, or for any queries, contact Brian Carmichael, Tigers. Apprenticeship Managers.

Tel: 0141 771 5200
E-mail: briancarmichael@tigersltd.co.uk
Address: Unit 27, Huntershill Village,102 Crowhill Road,Bishopbriggs,Glasgow,G64 1RP

For more info visit: Tigers Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship

Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship

Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeship


Enigma People is an award winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland.

Follow us on Twitteric_twit_22@enigmapeople andic_lkdin_22LinkedIn.

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Posted October 17, 2016 | Recruitment Advice | No Comments »

How Workplace Innovation Can Help Your Business

Workplace Innovation is a term used by Scottish Enterprise to describe business practices which create a greater sense of workplace satisfaction for employees, with far reaching benefits for the business overall.

It is associated with well understood, but often overlooked practices, such as empowering  job design; self-organised team working; structured opportunities for reflection, learning and improvement; high involvement innovation practices; the encouragement of entrepreneurial behaviour at all levels of an organisation; and employee representation in strategic decision-making.

The key benefit of businesses that are run this way is, the more satisfied the employees = the greater the chance of retaining them. People are one the greatest investments a business can make, and as many of our clients in the technology sector know all too well, recruitment can be a lengthy, expensive process – with available talent so hard to come by. Workplace Innovation resonates with the approach we have long encouraged our clients to take – offer on the job training, mentoring, foster communication, focus on career and personal development and encourage a healthy work-life balance. People, with their unique experiences and skills, are often the only differentiator between competing businesses. This is extremely important for attracting customers but also potential employees, and precisely why businesses should focus on making their teams priority.

To help businesses do just this, Clare Alexander, Head of Workplace Innovation at Scottish Enterprise, gives her top five tips for business leaders:

  1. Respect your people

People actually drive systems and processes. When they are respected, they take time to understand each other, build trust and ultimately, employees take responsibility.

Despite this, I regularly encounter leaders who continue to focus on developing business strategy in isolation, with little or no consideration to organisational development issues. Unfortunately, leadership is often still viewed as charisma and getting things done through sheer force of character.

Organisations that focus on developing staff and culture to meet their business strategy get the best results. And this is particularly true where organisations are in a period of sustained and rapid growth.

  1. Establish a shared vision

Once a vision has been set out, it’s important that the strategy is not compromised by operational pressures, inconsistent decision making or different treatment of individuals or departments. From consistency comes confidence.

When employees feel confident, they aren’t afraid of making mistakes and provided these are used as learning opportunities, then companies become more innovative – and ultimately, more successful.

Good leaders tend to be self-aware. They’re people who know their talents and their limitations. You’ll often find they surround themselves with people who are good at the things that they aren’t – complementary talents.

They empower people to be unafraid of making mistakes. Especially in small businesses, you find that as these companies grow – leaders must employ good people (often ‘brighter’ than they are) to step into their shoes, freeing them up to focus on the strategic growth of the business.

It’s about inspiring people. Creating a vision. You need to create a vision that people can buy into. If you don’t have a vision that’s aligned with people’s personal beliefs, then you won’t get ‘buy in’. It’s a real problem if everyone in the company isn’t working towards the same shared goal.

Take a company who begin with a vision to make great quality products. If they find themselves dragged down the volume route, then it can be difficult for employees to ‘believe’ in what they’re doing.

  1. Communicate with individuals

It’s also important to take an interest in individuals. People want more one-on-ones. And if leaders don’t do it, whether with their managers or executives or otherwise, then that feeds down the organisation. They must set an example by constantly communicating and reinforcing that company vision – both internally and externally.

It’s important for leaders to spend time with the people who make the products and deliver the services, so they know how they feel about the organisation.

If the established vision isn’t the same as the day-to-day reality, the organisation isn’t working towards the same common objective. People must understand how everyone contributes to the ultimate goal.

  1. Build shared understanding

It’s important for different departments to understand how the others operate and how they are measured – it leads to a greater shared understanding.

Take Toyota, for example. I remember once one of the managers was asked, “Why don’t you have an office?” He replied “I don’t make cars in my office”. Instead, he spent time with the people in his organisation. Walking the floor, talking to people and finding things out.

Leaders must see this sort of behaviour as a priority, not a ‘nice’ thing to do.

  1. Nurture the talents of your staff

It’s important not to put square pegs into round holes. Utilising the unique talents of your employees properly means that people will enjoy the work that they do and the organisation will feel the direct benefits of that.

It’s also important to be accepting of the possibility that you’re developing people for a career outwith your organisation.

Yes, they may not stay with you forever, but with the right development and encouragement – you’ll get the benefits of their talents while they are working with you.

 

How Workplace Innovation Can Help Your Business |

How Workplace Innovation Can Help Your Business | Image courtesy of JK 1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


This article originally appeared on Scottish Enterprise’s own website.  For more information on Workplace Innovation and how it can help you, visit www.ScottishEnterprise.com or email workplaceinnovation@scotent.co.uk.

For more expert advice on technology recruitment and retainment sign up to our weekly blog! Enigma People is an award winning technology recruitment consultancy specialising in digital, electronics and software in Scotland.

Follow us on Twitteric_twit_22@enigmapeople andic_lkdin_22LinkedIn.

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Posted October 03, 2016 | Recruitment Advice, Software | No Comments »

Make Sure The Quiet People Speak Up

One of the challenges that Technical Leads face that isn’t always easy to resolve is making sure the whole team is involved in decisions.

There is a large overlap between people who can think in code and people who are shy around other people. For some, the enthusiasm of the former can overcome the latter, but for many, especially younger members of the team, they need encouragement.

Craig Nicol believes there are a few key ways to do it.

“If you’ve built the right team, pairing with a patient mentor, who asks questions, is a good way to build confidence. We all hate it, but asking someone their opinion in a meeting is important too, until they get confident enough to speak up themselves, because they know they’ll be heard. So pick your meetings wisely.

There’s also non-verbal ways to increase interaction and confidence. I’m a big fan of asynchronous code reviews, because they help people focus on the code rather than the coder. I realise there is a risk that this can lead to an atmosphere where someone being reviewed feels under attack, but in my experience, with ego-less teams, and especially with teams who understand and fight technical debt, they see reviews as a chance to improve the code and their own understanding, and make everyone’s life easier next time they look at that feature.

Lean Coffee meetings are also good for helping encourage people to suggest ideas, as they can see what others want to talk about, so they know they have something worth dating. Make sure the quiet people speak up.”

One of the challenges that Technical Leads face that isn’t always easy to resolve is making sure the whole team is involved in decisions.


This article was written by Craig Nicol, and originally appeared on https://craignicol.wordpress.com/.

Enigma People is an award winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland.

Follow us on Twitteric_twit_22@enigmapeople andic_lkdin_22LinkedIn.

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Posted August 29, 2016 | Recruitment Advice, Software | No Comments »

7 Things To Consider When Recruiting Developers

The demand for software developers from UK businesses continues to rise. Data issued by Dice, in association with IT Jobs Watch, reports “Q2 2016 saw a 14% year-on-year increase in the number of agile software development roles advertised, whilst Java became the third most desirable skill for contract roles, following a 13% year-on-year increase. Linux contractor roles saw an 18% year-on-year increase.”

Many businesses come to us to source and attract in demand developers and fill these vacancies as quickly as possible, however, this is half the battle. Developers often have multiple job opportunities available to them and recruiters, hiring managers and HR teams should all work to make the recruitment process as smooth and clear as possible.

Rob Docherty – a senior software developer with over 30 years experience in the industry, talks us through 7 keys points which he believes are crucial when it comes to recruiting developers. If you’re looking to add developer talent to your teams then read on:

Salary

Clearly a sensitive topic but this is something that will be high on the list of priorities for any candidate. You may not want this sort of information to be freely available to your competitors but you should at least be able to indicate the salary range a role can command. The worst possible case is that you like a candidate and the candidate likes you but you fall at the final hurdle due to salary discrepancies. If you must be cloak and dagger about the exact figure, do at least ask the candidate their currently salary and/or salary expectations.

Working Environment

So your office is a featureless little place in the middle of a business park – there is no reason you can’t be effusive about the area and any additional perks. If it has lovely countryside nearby then say so. Local facilities also go a long way to selling a vacancy. Do you provide any freebies such as the odd lunch or endless tea and coffee? These sort of things are generally welcomed by potential candidates.

The shopping list

Please (I’m begging you) don’t just list a huge set of technical skills with no thought as to the relative weighting. If you’re listing more than about 5-10 core technologies, alarm bells immediately start ringing.

Not all skills are created equal. For smaller technologies, any dev worth their salt can easily pick up the odd skill or two given time if it is something they are light on. If it is something they absolutely must have from day one, factor it into the salary negotiations or require them to learn it as part of the code test (see below).

Testing

You will of course want to make sure the developer is as proficient as they claim. Make sure the tests are relevant and are reviewed regularly. If the test is on a piece of paper that has been photocopied so often it is becoming hard to read, that is generally a good sign that it could do with refreshing. Likewise, test the core skills that will be required. I remember sitting a test a few years back that read more like a GCSE maths paper. Am I really going to be adding fractions by hand in this job?

If you are outsourcing your testing, make sure it does what it says on the tin. A recruiter once mentioned to me a testing suite used by a high street bank. One failed candidate questioned the test having been rejected when he thought he should clearly have passed. It turned out the testing software had failed every single one of more than 100 candidates across multiple agencies as the wrong answer set had been loaded. The bank in question had to restart their recruitment from scratch at considerable cost.

Deal breakers

Skills a candidate must have are considered deal breakers if they don’t have them. Consider screening these in advance rather than picking thru CVs and covering letters to make sure they have them. A quick phone call will often suffice.

Mystery skills

As bad as not asking for deal breakers is getting a candidate to interview and then subtly dropping in a key skill that appears nowhere in the job description. You are wasting the candidate’s and more importantly, your company’s time by overlooking key skills.

Writing code

Having candidates write code is a great way to prove their worth. Having them do it in the interview isn’t so great. Devs will of course have to code to a deadline sometimes but they’ll be doing it on their own workstation with their own configuration, code snippets and tools. Give the candidate a small project to work on at home and ask them to complete it in a day or two.


Article originally appeared on Staticola.com, written by Rob Docherty.

7 Things To Consider When Recruiting Developers


Enigma People is an award winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland.

Follow us on Twitter ic_twit_22@enigmapeople and ic_lkdin_22LinkedIn.

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Posted August 01, 2016 | Career Advice, Recruitment Advice | No Comments »

Yellow Card for Referees!

Receiving bad news is never pleasant, but especially so when it relates to the breaking down of a professional relationship.

So how should bosses act when someone hands their notice in?

It is completely understandable that there will be feelings of disappointment, frustration and in some cases, betrayal. After all of that planning and investment into a person you hope for them to grow within your own company, not with another!

We experienced a case recently where a candidate handed in their notice in and accepted another role, however it did not go as smoothly as one would like.

The offer letter was “subject to suitable references”, as is standard with most recruitment processes. The hiring company quite rightly wanted to sense-check their decision to offer.

The current employer wasn’t quite prepared to play ball, leaving the candidate in a bit of a spot.

The candidate had worked at their current company for more than 2 years had been productive and proficient. They were not moving to a rival company in the same city, in fact they were moving back to their home city having lived away for some years.

Yellow Card for Referees! | Handling References | Enigma People Solutions | Career Advice

by Marty Hadding

So what should be expected of all parties in this situation?

Many employers insist on taking up references, however these days so many employers only give start and finish date to confirm that the person worked for them when they said they did. With no further information, the reference is of limited value.

We even know of some companies that insist on taking up 2 references but refuse to give them for outgoing employees two policies that seem strangely contradictory.

We asked some leading HR professionals what their view on best practice is, as the whole scenario seems a bit disjointed.

Sheila Anderson – Human Resources Consultant/ Executive Coach

Kirklee Human Resources, Penna http://www.penna.com/

In the current economic conditions where many people feel under pressure, providing a full reference with a comment on their suitability for the new role, strengths and weaknesses and employment record for someone who is leaving or left may be low on a company’s priority list for a number of reasons.  HR can only give the facts.  Giving some facts like absence levels and disciplinary record can be risky. Are the records 100% correct, will the individual challenge them, as has happened in the past?  Perhaps the HR department should actually have taken them out of the file by now.   An individual’s strengths and weaknesses may have changed since the last appraisal, assuming there is one in the file, or the manager may have changed and have a different opinion. Thus the current line manager has to provide this element of the reference. 

Individuals should focus on a character reference from their manager and allow the new employer simply to seek confirmation of employment from HR. This does require people to maintain a positive attitude to their manager all the way through their employment as you never know when you will meet again, it’s good practice.

Nick Scott – Human Resources Consultant

Border HR Ltd. http://www.borderhr.com/

Whilst there is no law forcing an employer to give a reference, not giving a reference can be counter productive.  If an employee wants to leave and the only thing keeping them at their desk is being unable to leave due to their employer’s actions it is a guaranteed way to ensure that the frustrated leaver is not going to give their best and will probably be a negative influence.  Even if they do manage to leave without a reference it will soon get back to their now ex-colleagues, who will rightly question the judgement and morals of their employer, again harming engagement and productivity.

So when confronted with a reference request, my advice is to at least give the factual details such as dates of employment and reason for leaving (resignation, redundancy or dismissal).  Ideally, unless it’s a controversial matter, you should say if you’d re-employ them or not and that they were a good productive employee or not.  Try and avoid personal feelings of like or dislike but if they have received a disciplinary warning for misconduct or performance, this is a matter of fact and should be included.

As long as your answers are factual and not malicious you will not find yourself in any trouble and what’s more that employee who left may just happen to return, having gained extra valuable experience and training from another organisation, at some point in the future. 

It’s worth remembering too that you will no doubt wish to take references yourself on any potential new hires!


Enigma People is an award winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland.

Follow us on Twitter ic_twit_22@enigmapeople and ic_lkdin_22LinkedIn.

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Posted April 26, 2016 | Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry, Social Media Recruiting | No Comments »

Recruitment to Retainment – Part 2 – The Solutions

In last week’s blog, we discussed the 3 key areas which have contributed to the technology industry’s biggest problem – shortage of candidates. A lack of investment in graduates, the inability to hire out-with the EU and too few women entering the male dominated sector means businesses today are seriously struggling to hire. (Read part 1 here).

This week’s blog will tell you how to overcome some of the problems, recruit the best candidates you can find, and retain them!

So How Do We Suggest You Recruit?

Below are the first 5 steps you should take to effectively recruit for yourself:

  • Review and Detail a Person/Job Specification – An incredible amount of time is wasted by employers who do not know what they are looking for. Simply getting another person similar to the one who has moved on from the post or that is currently in a parallel post, is not always the answer. Their traits and personalities don’t always need to be mirrored by the next hire for the role. Creating a defined job or person description is easier than it sounds. Email us hello@ enigmapeople.com for a FREE guide to writing a Job Description.
  • Ask and Reward Existing Employees for Referrals – You never know if one of your existing employees might know of someone who is perfect for your company. Many businesses offer a staff referral bonus, whereby a bonus is paid often in 2 parts – when the candidate has passed probation and when the candidate has worked with the company for 1 year.
  • Utilise Friends and Family Network – A referral from someone you know out- with work is often of use, and sometimes from the most unlikely source!
  • Advertise vacancies for free – Utilise free job boards which are already out there including ScotlandIS and Talent Scotland, amongst your own Social Media networks, (company LinkedIn pages, groups or Twitter). It is worth considering that if these free tools are not working, why would you then pay to advertise? Many job boards have seen a steady decline in traffic and the job audience you seek is now very passive, thus less likely to be looking at your paid for adverts.
  • Use The Job Centre – Again a free to use service, where you could just catch someone at the start of their job search!

Be Mindful of Recruitment Trends

It always helps if you understand what’s going on in the market and how people are searching for jobs. Below are some trends to look for and consider:

  • Mobile – The impact of smartphones and tablets is taking over recruitment too. Make your career pages mobile friendly and easy to apply/ upload CV’s.
  • Social Candidate Attraction – As mentioned, social is stealing market share from job boards. Use these free networks to advertise where job seekers are much more likely to see them.
  • Culture is Key – Your company culture is what separates you from your competitor in the eyes of candidates. One of the first questions we ask prospect new clients is “describe your culture?” It’s amazing how many struggle to describe this and it is worrying that more have not put efforts into how they define this.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility – Pay attention to describing and demonstrating your corporate social responsibilities. Society is becoming increasingly connected and aware through technology and social networking. People more and more want to feel that they and the organisations and groups that they belong to are giving back and acting responsibly. 3 key areas that organisations can and do pay attention to include environmentally friendly business practices, involvement in community/ local charities and  fair and ethical employment policies.

So When Is It Time To Bring In A Recruiter?

If you believe that recruitment is going to be time consuming, distracting, difficult and if you believe the candidates are specialist, passive or may not be local – use a recruiter! If you’ve gone through the above steps, maybe even interviewed a few candidates… and still nobody is ticking the right boxes, bring in a professional who can tell you where you’re going wrong. Read more at: http://www.enigmapeople.com/blog/when-is-it-time-to-bring-in-a-recruiter/

 

Hiring the “Perfect Candidate”

When it does comes to hiring, many hiring managers and businesses won’t hire until they find what is their idea of a perfect candidate. However, they need to understand that with such high competition for scarce talent it’s rarely beneficial to keep searching and waiting to hire. We suggest hiring the candidates who are closest match to the job requirements regardless if they are lacking one or two skills or areas of experience. Skills can be taught and experience gained but holding out for the right person or taking part in a salary war for candidates is only further perpetuating the war for talent.

Retention

Once you’ve finally manage to attract and hire the right employees its important to make them want to stay – especially in today’s market, where your best employees are a target hire for your competitors. Employers must keep on top of their staff retention policies and programs and make sure they are motivating, enthusing and rewarding their staff like never before!

We suggest focussing on 2 areas:

  • Offer Career & Personal Development – For any good candidate, despite what experience they may have, continuous learning and development is what excites them and is key to retaining talent. Specialist IT talent is unique, in that they are less concerned about money in a role but more interested in the opportunity to continue learning and developing their career and skill set and work with new interesting technologies. Why not take some inspiration from Google – who have a new in house incubator called ‘Area 120’ where employees can build their own startups.
  • Work Life Balance – offering flexible working is a great way to keep employees happy. Almost a third of software developers surveyed by Indeed stated they worked remotely at least some of the time, a figure that had risen by 21% in the past year.

Benefits and Rewards

Below are some of our favourite benefits and rewards to show your employees your appreciation and create loyalty towards you as an employer.

Benefits & Rewards to Retain Employees | Recruitment Advice | Enigma People Solutions


We hope our two part blog has covered everything you need to know for successful talent management in the technology industry! However if you still have questions or need expert advice, give us a call on 0141 332 4422/ email hello@enigmapeople.com and one of our Directors would be happy to help. Or our “recruitment advice” section of the blog may come in handy too!

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Posted April 18, 2016 | Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry, Women in Technology | No Comments »

Recruitment to Retainment – Part 1 – Industry Challenges

Enigma People Director Ben Hanley was recently asked to present his expertise on Recruiting and Retaining Talent at Thrive for Businesses latest Technology Club.

We wanted to share his advice on Talent Management with our readers and have broken this down into 2 blogs. This week we explain the key challenges facing the industry and why. In part 2, we tell you exactly how to attract and hold onto skilled people in the industry.

So without further ado…

The technology sector in Scotland is suffering from some key challenges :-

  1. shortage of candidates
  2. shortage of candidates
  3. shortage of candidates
  4. shortage of candidates

With over 86% of Scottish tech companies predicting growth and 76% looking to actively hire in 2016, the competition for scarce talent is fierce. The sector currently employs 80,000 people with a predicted 70, 000 new technology jobs being created over the next 5 years. That’s an incredible number of jobs to fill with not enough being done to fill them. Currently 40% of technology jobs exist in non technology sectors such as Public Services and Finance with the most in demand skill being software skills. There are now a number of significant niche software sectors being established such as Fintech, Fashtech, Healthtech, Cloud Services, Big Data and Data science and IoT. The demand doesn’t end there however; businesses are also demanding skills across technology sales, marketing, data analytics, SEO & PPC.

https://www.instagram.com/digitalworldhq/

Enigma People have been recruiting in the technology space for over 10 years and have seen 3 key areas which have contributed to today’s shortage of candidates:

Graduates:

During the recession, many businesses weren’t in a position to hire and so graduates struggled to gain any industry experience or skills. Fast forward to a growing technology sector we have today and businesses are demanding skilled talent with several years experience, when it simply doesn’t exist.

Businesses are beginning to realise this and now demand for graduates is at it’s hottest for years. In fact, Edinburgh University’s recent internship programme was oversubscribed by companies all looking to hire graduate talent, with many students offered paid internships.

Ability to recruit non EU candidates:

Businesses need to be able to recruit talent from overseas if they can’t fill their roles with talent at home. Last year the Government agreed to loosen the restrictions on work visas for the UK tech sector, which was widely welcomed by the industry.

Previously we found many businesses were unwilling to take the necessary steps to sponsor work visas from outside the EU, believing it to be a difficult process. The closure of post graduate visa schemes meant the UK suffered from a bizarre scenario where our universities are full of PhD and Masters students from outside of the EU that were unable to receive sponsorship to work in the UK once they graduated.

One industry in particular we have gladly seen a willingness to employ non EU based staff is the Electronics industry, with most of our clients sponsoring work visa’s or taking contractors from abroad.

Women in technology:

The low numbers of women working in technology roles has been a much debated subject, with a 13% decline between 2001 and 2011. With women representing 50% of the potential resource pool businesses need to do more to attract them into the sector. We love this article by FastCompany “These Female Developers Explain How To  Recruit More Female Developers” as a great food for thought for businesses trying to expand their development teams with female talent.

The industry in Scotland has some fantastic communities helping to bring together women working in technology such as Girl Geek Scotland, however it also comes down to education and encouraging girls from a young age to see past gender stereotypes and study STEM subjects beyond school.

Our interviews with highly successful women working across Software, Electronics and Digital Media shed light on how the industry can do more to help women in technology:

So now we know what the issues are how do we suggest you recruit?

Look out for part 2 of “Recruitment to Retainment” next week on the blog or hit subscribe below to find out exactly how to attract and retain talent, including work place benefits and rewards!

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Posted June 22, 2015 | Recruitment Advice | 1 Comment »

When Is It Time To Bring In A Recruiter?

A recruitment consultancy is rarely a company’s first port of call when it comes to growing their team. As human beings we can be quite stubborn and insist that we can fix our problems ourselves. More importantly, we can fix them without spending any money.

But sometimes DIY recruitment causes more problems than it solves, and you can find yourself spending money when you’re trying to save it. You need to determine early on whether or not this is a job for you or for a recruiter.

Photo: Lauren Hammond

Photo: Lauren Hammond

This can be difficult to tell sometimes, so we thought we’d give you a hand in identifying the signs.

The Role Is Not Your Expertise
It’s hard to hire the best .NET Developer if you’re not actually sure what a .NET Developer does, and more importantly what they specifically need to do well in order to benefit your company. This is why specialist recruiters exist, to know exactly the type of person you need for your company when you’re not quite sure.

The Role Is Specific
If you’re looking for a role that’s flexible and that you can mould around the right person then maybe you could be better off looking on your own. However if your team is missing a specific skill set then you need someone with experience in getting those hard to find talents. Recruiters know who has those skill sets, who’s available and who would fit perfectly within your existing team.

You Don’t Have Time
Recruiting a new hire is difficult and time consuming and not something that every manager has time to do. While using a recruiter costs money, so does not having time to work on your own projects because you’re too busy trying to find your new hire. Think logically about how much time and money it will cost to focus on hiring and you might find that it would be cheaper, and much less stressful, to bring in a recruiter.

You’ve Already Tried To Hire And Were Unsuccessful
You’ve posted your ads, gone through the applicants, maybe even interviewed a few… and still nobody is ticking the right boxes. You don’t know what’s going wrong so you need to bring in the professionals who do, and who will make sure that the next round will go right.

If you recognise any of these signs then we can help! You can email us at hello@enigmapeople.com or give us a call on 0141 332 4422.

Other Helpful Links
8 Mistakes You’re Making When Writing A Job Spec
How To Maintain Healthy Candidate/Client/Recruiter Relationships
The 3 Most Common Lies Told By Recruitment Agencies

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Posted May 18, 2015 | Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry | No Comments »

Engaging Content, Engages Job Seekers

I have seen a number of great articles recently discussing the importance of the marketing function to the recruitment industry. The nature of recruitment has evolved and recruiters must treat candidates as businesses treat their best customers, engaging at every point of the ‘buying cycle’ and not just when they are ready to buy, or in this case, change jobs. As one article describes it, trying to place a candidate who is already looking to move jobs is too little too late.

Engaging content, engages job seekers

Engaging Content, Engages Job Seekers Image: “Website Planning” by tiramisustudio (www.freedigitalphotos.net)

With an already tough jobs market looking to get even more competitive, businesses need to compete on factors other than salary, bonuses and location in order to recruit. An employer’s brand is now quite often the only differentiator between a candidate’s choice of several job offers. As Forbes Magazine discusses, recruitment strategies must now encompass elements of marketing:

“Successful hiring companies realize that recruiting is like marketing – from creating a brand presence, to attracting candidates through multiple advertising channels, to nurturing applicants by bringing them seamlessly through a talent acquisition funnel.”

A recent LinkedIn article talks about the 3 changes recruiters must make in their processes in order to succeed; Design, Data and Engagement.

Hiring managers and recruiters must design recruitment process with candidate’s demands in mind, give them a clearer insight into working culture and job descriptions reflective of the actual tasks which will be performed. By giving candidates platforms to engage and find out more about the employer brand via websites, social media, and events, employers can gain a competitive edge. Employers should be effectively collecting, analysing and utilising the data from candidate engagement, which can be extremely useful in providing insights into the potential candidate market. It can help determine what works, where and how people are engaging with your brand, and using that to create effective strategies to drive further candidate engagement, and of course allow them to hire the right people.

Utilising these techniques and building up an effective employer brand is crucial for a competitive recruitment process, however the consistency of this is often overlooked. I recently wrote about why hiring managers are directly responsible for business branding, and how they can affect a candidates perception of the business overall. A candidates experience with a company, at any stage of the recruitment process, has a direct impact on how the candidate feels about working there, their likelihood of accepting a job offer and what they tell their family and friends about your business. Whether this is a positive impact or a negative impact depends on how they are treated when applying, when being interviewed, and when given feedback.

Too often we have seen businesses miss out on key hires due to a competitor’s employer branding being better perceived by the candidate. Incorporating marketing strategies into recruitment processes means the link between HR, marketing and recruitment is more important now than ever, and is precisely the reason why so many businesses are failing to recruit.

With engaging content and marketing techniques becoming a key differentiator to recruitment success, there is a growing need for sole recruitment marketing functions within businesses. For the majority of SME’s, this is a function which doesn’t exist internally or a function which existing hiring managers are not willing to do, or don’t know how to.

For this very reason, Enigma people launched its very own Recruitment Marketing service, drawing upon years of our expertise in the niche technology industry in Scotland. The service offers businesses the opportunity to raise their employer branding and better attract and recruit top talent. As one of the first recruiters in the technology industry to utilise a content-led marketing strategy, we have become experts in technology recruitment marketing, utilising this to grow the most niche technology businesses in the country. Our recruitment marketing service offers clients the opportunity to enhance their existing marketing strategy and aid in their recruitment efforts.

Read up on how our recruitment marketing service helped California’s indie Semiconductor recruit in Edinburgh.

If you would like to discuss what Recruitment Marketing options would work for you, contact Ben Hanley on 0141 332 4422 or email ben@enigmapeople.com.

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Posted March 23, 2015 | Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry | 1 Comment »

Why Use Executive Search Specialists For Your Key Hires?

It has been estimated that unfilled vacancies are costing the UK economy £18bn per year. Although this is a staggering amount it comes as no surprise when certain technology vacancies are taking months to fill and the search process can be fraught with difficulties.

Why Use Executive Search Specialists For Your Key Hires?

Why Use Executive Search Specialists For Your Key Hires?

Issues from sourcing, attraction, engagement and confirmation that your target is the best available candidate for the job is all very time consuming, labour intensive and in many cases emotionally draining for the business.

As Indeed reports, these empty seats “illustrate the growing importance of building a strategic recruitment function to hire quickly and efficiently, and find the right fit for each role.”

Identifying the right people for your business is a key investment so why leave it to random chance?

Many companies feel they increase their chances of finding the right candidate by placing the vacancy with a number of agencies. This can be a mistake.

Too many companies burn through the available talent in the market by engaging multiple agencies, and all too quickly all the candidates that you might have considered have been spoken to and rejected, with the expectation that the next best candidate will be just around the corner. The agencies quickly become disillusioned and drop your vacancy down the priority list and leave you with an unresolved problem.

When you have more than one agency competing to get to a finite resource first, the effects on how your vacancy is perceived by the industry and your target candidates can be very damaging for you as an employer. Once a potential candidate has been spoken to more than once about a vacancy, they get the impression that you are desperate, or that everyone is being spoken to about the vacancy. This can be highly off-putting especially when the candidate has highly sought after niche skills or expertise.

Hiring an executive search specialist to run the recruitment project for you is often the best way forward.

Of course everybody has access to candidates; online job boards, social media and candidate databases have ensured this. However, what businesses often forget is that the expertise does not lie in just finding the candidates; it lies in finding the right one. It is in matching the right candidates to the right opportunities, their approach to the candidate, and in persuading them that the vacancy might be one that would interest them. It is this expertise which you pay for.

So what is a retained executive search exactly?

This is a process, where the client engages a consultant for a specific recruitment need, where part of the fee is paid on engagement and a full assignment brief is taken by meeting with the client. This allows the consultant to ascertain detailed specifics about the ideal candidate from technical skills, through to personality traits and background.

This involves actively researching the market to identify individuals within “target companies” normally competitor companies, although the targets are actually defined in the meeting with client.

Once a list of individuals with the right background has been created, the consultant will actively make contact with them to ascertain a level of interest in the role. The consultant will then personally interview each one to draw up a shortlist of 3-4 ideally (sometimes more) to present to the client.

The consultant presents the client with the best 3-4 available candidates in their industry along with interview notes and information about each individual’s background. The key benefit of this is that both client and candidate is better prepared than they would be if they had just received a CV with no supporting information.

The consultant’s job is then to manage the recruitment process from there on, arranging interviews, collating feedback and ensuring both parties are kept informed and up to date with developments.

Final fee is due on candidate start date (or written acceptance of offer depending on terms).

This is a far more in-depth process than traditional agency recruiting and the biggest advantage is the fact that it allows the recruiter to provide their clients with candidates that are not on the active job market. Another advantage is the level of “due diligence” provided by the recruiter is much greater as they have formally interviewed each candidate rather than just conducted a brief telephone screening exercise. This process protects your brand and company reputation as you only have 1 company discussing you, so it is easier to promote a consistent message. It allows you to work in depth with one agency, rather than finding the time to work with 6.

It also allows the agency to put more time, resources and efforts into our work for you compared with a contingency recruitment exercise. For example, our agreements allow us to offer clients a fixed fee and to break this up into 3 parts easing your cash flow.

4 Simple Steps

If you are considering using a retained executive search process to fulfil your recruitment needs, here are our 4 key steps to successful executive search recruitment.

1) Select 1 specific recruiter or consultancy with a proven track record of helping businesses in your specific sector to hire top talent to your vacancy

2) Meet with them to discuss the vacancy

3) Allow them to design the strategy (usually this will involve advertising, database search, other search activities, referrals etc.)

4) Work with them to create a universe list of potential candidates and source sites.

Enigma People are an award winning executive search consultancy. If you would like to work with us on retained executive search basis, or otherwise, contact Ben Hanley on 0141 332 4422 or bhanley@enigmapeople.com

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Posted March 16, 2015 | Recruitment Advice | 1 Comment »

5 Things To Do Before Contacting A Recruiter

Many technology businesses struggle to find and recruit great employees even when unemployment rates are relatively high. The lack of access to the right talent and the time taken to hire are driving up recruitment costs, (£270 million to be exact) and much of this can be avoided!

When recruiting is something you only do occasionally it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and the threat of endless hours spent searching for, and responding to candidates, can make recruitment a massive headache. It is easy to see why using a recruitment consultancy is so attractive, and in many cases essential.

Before you do contact a recruiter however, follow these 5 simple steps to save your business, and the recruiter, time and effort:

 

1. Review and Detail a Person/Job Specification

An incredible amount of time is wasted by employers who do not know what they are looking for. Simply getting another person similar to the one who has moved on from the post, or that is currently in a parallel post, is not always the answer. Their traits and personalities don’t always need to be mirrored by the next hire for the role.

Creating a defined job or person description is easier than it sounds. However we have a template that asks you all the questions you need to think of to help pull together a complete description, and to challenge your perceptions of what you are looking for.

 

2. Ask and Reward Existing Employees for Referrals 

Many companies operate a staff referral bonus, whereby a bonus is paid often in 2 parts – when the candidate has passed probation and when the candidate has worked with the company for 1 year.

 

3. Utilise Friends and Family Network

A referral from someone you know is often of use, and sometimes from the most unlikely source!

 

4. Advertise Vacancies For Free

Utilise free job boards which are already out there including ScotlandIS and Talent Scotland, amongst your own Social Media networks, (company LinkedIn pages, groups or Twitter).

It is worth considering that if these free tools are not working, why would you then pay to advertise? Many job boards have seen a steady decline in traffic and the job audience you seek is now very passive, thus less likely to be looking at your paid for adverts.

 

5. Use The Job Centre

Again a free to use service, where you could just catch someone at the start of their job search!

 

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Posted January 19, 2015 | Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry | No Comments »

Why Hiring Managers are Responsible for Business Branding

How businesses treat their candidates during the recruitment process directly impacts the perception of their brand in the market. The public image of a business doesn’t just stop with the marketing department, it is affected by the way in which businesses treat people – that means potential candidates as well as their customers.

We have seen first hand how employers have missed out on their ideal new hire purely because they mistreat them during the recruitment process – shooting themselves in the foot!

During the recruitment process, businesses need to ensure candidates walk away with a positive experience of the company, whether they are successful or not. We have repeatedly talked about how candidates have more choices in today’s market, and an employer’s reputation plays a major role in this decision making.

Businesses damage their reputation as employers when hiring managers are unprepared for interviews, provide flimsy feedback or take months to arrange follow up interviews, (and then expect candidates to still be waiting around).

We have seen businesses changing job specifications and roles halfway through the interview process, failing to communicate, and leaving both candidates and recruiters confused. We have seen many reject candidates for fickle reasons, holding out for someone better when it doesn’t exist and wasting candidates, recruiters, and their own time. For candidates, lack of communication on how they have performed and what they can expect following an interview can be extremely frustrating. Some businesses need to remember they are dealing with people and not just a statistic.

For a business, the best form of advertising is word of mouth. It essentially costs the business nothing and for consumers, the opinion of a reliable source factors highly during decision making processes. Research has shown that word of mouth can have an important influence on the perception a job seeker has towards an employer, but problems arise when people have a negative experience to share. If a candidate has a poor experience trying to keep in contact with you, interview with you, or get decent feedback they will talk to their friends, family or possibly existing colleagues (which could also be potential future candidates for you!). This negative advertising of your business can make it even harder to attract and hire talent.

Growth does put significant stress on a business at the very point that they are busy and understaffed so it is understandable that sometimes they simply don’t get time to react to candidates quick enough. Although it isn’t intentional, it does cause them to miss out on potential talent and grow their businesses.

Regardless of the reason, we have seen how a bad candidate experience can lead to a damaged reputation in the market, where candidates are apprehensive to interview with them, believing the business isn’t committed to hiring, rather they are “window shopping” to see what is available in the market.

A perfect example of the possible business ramifications was in a fellow recruiter Greg Savage’s blog, who shared a letter from a senior candidate:

“Just recently I went for an interview with one of the larger insurance companies… Interview went extremely well (well I thought)… Long story short they never got back to me or returned any calls/emails..

Poor form. So I cancelled all of my 8 policies I had with them…”

In the words of Greg – “If this does not help you understand that poor candidate experience destroys your brand, personal and corporate, then I really don’t know what will.”

So what should employers do?

It is difficult enough in today’s market to attract top level talent and businesses need to be doing all they can to continually attract people to them. The link between HR, recruitment and marketing is more important now than ever. Very often hiring managers, especially technical ones, aren’t trained to promote the business and they need to work together to cohesively raise and maintain the brand of a company in order to attract the best people.

Think about the recruitment process from the candidate’s point of view. Candidates in this industry often have multiple offers to choose from and an interview is an opportunity for hiring managers to ‘market’ their business as an attractive place for them to work. By being engaging in the recruitment process, promptly organising interviews and providing detailed and constructive feedback, businesses are in a better position to hire the best people. We are lucky to work with some clients who react the same day and will immediately arrange telephone interviews with candidates they are genuinely interested in. They understand the difficulty in today’s market and heed advice on their recruitment processes. It is refreshing to work with directors of businesses and hiring managers who give prompt, detailed and constructive feedback, are consistent throughout the process and are considerate of everybody’s time. As a result they have great reputation as employers, and have no difficulty finding candidates who are delighted to interview and work with them.

Businesses must ensure they have a smooth recruitment process in place before they invite candidates and recruiters to take part in it. Be honest. Provide meaningful feedback and do not ignore candidates even if the job has been put on hold, filled, or they just weren’t right for it. Only then, can the brand of the business attract great people.

If you are currently recruiting, you might find our articles below useful:

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Posted September 08, 2014 | Recruitment Advice | 1 Comment »

Motivational Management

With almost half of the British workforce considering a new job and the war for scarce tech talent in the UK increasing, management must focus more on staff motivation!

Last week Enigma People Solutions held another session of Performance Coaching for Success. The short morning seminar was held in Edinburgh and open to businesses leaders/managers and anybody seeking advice on managing employee performance in growing teams.

The seminar was delivered by HR Leader Sarah Prasad and offered businesses the opportunity to boost employee morale, increase productivity and support company growth all by learning to provide effective feedback in the workplace.

Performance Coaching

Covering everything from giving effective feedback, conducting performance reviews, how and when to raise issues and how to improve/reinforce employee behaviour, the morning proved to be an insightful and enjoyable session. It was kept intimate to allow best access to Sarah’s expertise and allowed everyone to voice opinions and questions in an open and informal environment.

It is the hope that attendees could leave the session and implement Sarah’s advice and tips into their growing teams. Enigma is delighted to be able to deliver such events to help businesses in this aspect, and we look forward to delivering a number of these types of events in the future. We are excited to be able to create value for clients and give back to the industry in a way which can help empower SME businesses to grow. Future topics may include recruiting for success, managing the recruitment process and interview skills, however suggestions are always welcome! If you have any suggestions or seminar topics you would like to see just drop me a line at anndeep@enigmapeople.com.

We recently blogged on how to keep employees motivated and how this is key to retaining talent, you can read the blog here:

Be Motivated, Be Valued

For the latest recruitment industry news and advice follow Enigma People Solutions on LinkedIn and Twitter @enigmapeople

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