Startups

10 posts

Posted February 06, 2017 | Digital Media, Industry Interviews, Software, Startups | No Comments »

[Interview] Joe Tree: Life in the Creative Industries, Blipfoto and Tech Start-Ups

This week, we’re chatting to Joe Tree – the man behind the hugely popular photo journal site, Blipfoto –  finding out where the idea came from, what he’s up to now, how he uses his unique set of business, technology, and design skills to create innovative projects and give back to the industry, and what he sees for the future of tech start-ups:

Hi, Joe! Tell us a wee bit us about who you are and where the idea for Blipfoto came from?

“Hi back atcha! I’ve spent most of my working life in the creative industries, but I’m a geek at heart so my best work has always included an element of new technology. I launched my first company—ainteractive media agency called Rocket—in the mid-1990s, just before the Internet and digital started to become mainstream. Equal measures of luck and foresight put us at the cutting edge of a whole new industry, and we spent fifteen fruitful years building websites, CD-ROMs (remember those?), interactive kiosks, presentations, animations and games for an impressive list of lovely clients, and many of Scotland’s ad agencies.

Blipfoto started life as a personal project when I set myself the challenge to take and share a photo every day of my life. There was something weirdly captivating about the process, both for me as the photographer and the people who dropped in every day to see my pictures. So we decided to make it a pet company project and build a platform anyone could sign up to and start their own daily photo journal.

blipfoto

 

It grew like crazy and in 2009 Blipfoto won a BAFTA Scotland Award, which gave us the resolve to find some investment and make it our sole focus. Jump forwards five years and we’d raised over $1.5m, were attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every month from every corner of the world, counted Steve Wozniak among our users and signed a deal with Polaroid to promote the service in the US.

That last bit didn’t go particularly well, the investment dried up and we had no choice but to call in the liquidators. It was a difficult moment but the whole journey was incredible and the most brilliant learning experience. I walked away with no regrets.

Fortunately, Blipfoto’s users pulled together and managed to crowdfund enough cash to buy the platform, putting it into community ownership and protecting it for the future. So the thing I created survived—and I hope will continue for many years to come.”

What are you up to now?

“After I stepped away from Blipfoto, I realised I had this weird but unique mix of design, technology and business expertise—and wanted to find a way to keep applying all three. So I turned my hand to helping other early-stage startups, with branding and positioning, UI and UX design, app development, business models, investment material, and so on.

Informatics Ventures use me every spring to help the companies pitching at EIE—by far the biggest investment event in Scotland—get their presentations in shape.
In September I joined The Scottish Government’s CivTech Accelerator as Head of Product, which has meant spending a couple of days a week supporting and mentoring the founders of nine companies as they solve some big public sector problems.

I’m quietly working away on a new masterplan or two of my own but, for the time being, thoroughly enjoying working with the companies I’m lucky enough to get commissioned by.”

What do you think 2017 has in store for the tech start-up industry in Scotland?

“Three massive things happened in 2016: Skyscanner’s founders finally realised the value of Scotland’s first unicorn; Jamie Coleman announced Accelerated Digital Ventures’ £150m fund and the expansion of Codebase across the UK; Scottish Equity Partners closed a new £260m tech fund. Together, I think they mark a pivotal point we’ll look back on in years to come.

Scotland now has multiple sources of tech-savvy capital, a new generation of graduates who consider launching or working for a startup a prudent career move, a proven path to a big exit, and CodeBase as a glowing beacon at the epicentre of it all. None of this was true five years ago.

So I think we’re going to see the whole industry scale up this year like never before—those who’ve been in it for a few years taking a big step up and a fresh wave of new companies following in their wake.
Lest we start feeling a bit too positive, let’s not forget how much of the talent driving value in these companies has come from outside the UK and made Scotland its home, and how important unfettered access to foreign markets is to us. If we do to take things to the next level, sadly it’ll be in spite of those holding power 400 miles south of here.”

Tell us a bit about the boards you’re on and why you’ve chosen to be involved with these specific ones.

“Over the years I’ve asked a lot of people for advice or help and, I think without exception, it’s been given freely and enthusiastically. I always try to do the same—none of us exists in isolation and in the end, we all benefit from a little generosity. So I’ve been happy to contribute my time to three groups doing incredible work in areas I care deeply about. Creative Edinburgh because it plays a vital role in nurturing, strengthening and promoting the capital’s creative industries; Out Of The Blue because they give people a place to do their thing and don’t always use pound signs to measure value; the Digital Media Industry Leadership Group because it’s a way to channel the needs of our disparate industry back to government.”

How can someone looking for advice get in touch with you?

“That’s easy: joetree.com

Joe Tree

 

Want to keep up to date with all of Joe’s latest projects?

Check out his blog or follow him on Twitter @joetree

 


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 LinkedInic_lkdin_22

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Posted March 07, 2016 | Case Studies, Software, Startups | No Comments »

From Sydney to Scotland: Supporting a software start-up

Encompass Corporation is a market leading Visual Analytics Software firm serving financial and professional services. Following success in their first market, Australia and an ambition to grow, the company’s founders wished to expand internationally and set their sights on the UK, narrowing down to three preferred locations.

With the help of Scottish Enterprise and Enigma People Solutions, Encompass established their UK head office in Glasgow, bringing with them over 20 jobs for Scotland’s technology industry.

In order to make the move to Glasgow, Encompass needed to ensure they could establish and grow their team here, whilst competing with local software companies for local talent. Enigma People Solutions’ role was to provide a realistic appraisal of candidate availability and skills in the Scottish technology market, as well as our ability to identify and attract these. What excited us about working with Encompass was that although this was a fledgling company in the UK there was a good trading history, track record and most importantly a vision for the future. We were excited to support a young Fintech company looking to grow in Scotland’s technology industry, and felt it was a fantastic company to introduce our candidate market to.

Strategy 

Our consultants spent a great deal of time discussing Encompass’s needs, their immediate and long term plans for growth in the UK and their recruiting strategy.

One of the first things Encompass identified the need for, was a Sales and Marketing function in the UK. This prompted Head of Marketing, Alex Ford, to relocate from Sydney to Glasgow. With no network of contacts and a significant workload to devise the marketing function it was important for Alex to work with a recruitment supplier who could understand her needs, the culture of the team she was looking to build up and the selling points that would attract candidates to Encompass in Glasgow.

To support Alex, and Encompass’s initial marketing operations in the UK, we began recruiting for a Marketing Coordinator. The requirement was for someone who would be a cultural fit to the small “start up” feel the Glasgow office offered. Enigma People quickly qualified a broad range of marketing professionals from different industries and backgrounds rather than specific industry experience, and were delighted to introduce an ideal candidate whose previous experience lay in large organisations and who was now keen to be involved in the variety and freedom offered by the start-up feel in Encompass.

Within months the function grew and Encompass began recruiting for an experienced Marketing Manager. We spent a great deal of time consulting with Alex on this role and its requirements, which included financial services experience.

We researched the availability of candidates who had this experience and also searched for software technology experience. This enabled us to effectively map the current candidate market, the availability of experience and skills, and advise on a price point for candidates.

We fed this market information back to Encompass and discussed aligning the requirements and salary budget with realistic candidate/market expectations, enabling us to provide Encompass with a shortlist of relevant, experienced candidates.

Success

By collaborating with our client to understand the options offered by the current candidate market, we were able to provide a realistic view of availability and help shape the expectations of what the new marketing manager competencies might look like. Upon interviewing, Alex identified a candidate with a great mix of industry experience across software technology and marketing who, would bring a great deal to the role as their new Marketing Manager.

The growing team at Encompass has been enjoying a number of recent successes with partnerships deals, award nominations for their technology, and a move to a bigger office in a prime Glasgow city centre location. This move means continuing to grow their team with more vacancies across development, sales and product management. As a preferred recruitment supplier, Enigma People Solutions are thrilled to be able to support Encompass Corporation’s growth ambitions, helping to expand their Glasgow team and contributing to their successes.

Testimonial:

“Scot, Ben, David and the Enigma team have enabled us to hit the ground running in Glasgow.  Working in a start-up style environment, the vision is clear but the path can change and it’s always high speed – so you need partners who understand that business context. Enigma have reflected this understanding in the way they work with us and the candidates put forward. They are incredibly responsive and I regularly turn to them for insights about the market.”

Alex Ford – VP Marketing and Operations, Encompass.

Alex Ford and Enigma People Solution Director Ben Hanley at the Herald Scotland Digital Business Awards 2015.

Alex Ford and Enigma People Solutions’ Director Ben Hanley at the Herald Scotland Digital Business Awards 2015.

Encompass Software Enigma People Glasgow

Additional Links:

http://www.encompasscorporation.com/

http://www.sdi.co.uk/knowledge-hub/articles/case-study/financial-services/encompass

http://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/encompass-signs-partnership-deal-with-the-turnkey-group/

 

If you would like to discuss how Enigma can help grow your team in a similar way call us now on 0141 332 4422 or drop us an email hello@enigmapeople.com

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Posted October 19, 2015 | Events, Scotland, Startups | No Comments »

Celebrating Scotland’s Start-ups

Enigma people recently attended “Sharing the Secrets of Start-up Success” – where we heard from local entrepreneurs behind successful start-ups Mallzee and online booking system Appointedd.

What we took away from the event was the importance of early support to nurture start-ups from inception to growth – something Scotland’s technology industry thrives at. Start-ups in Scotland have grown by over 30% since 2009 and with plenty of science parks, co-working spaces, government initiatives and support networks, it’s clear to see how the culture here has helped start-ups succeed. Proof of this highly successful sector is start-ups FanDuel and Skyscanner both reaching billion dollar status and dominating international markets. Edinburgh has grown to become a tech hub contending with London’s technology sector, with start-ups spinning out of Edinburgh University reaching record levels and tech incubator Codebase looking to expand to Glasgow and Aberdeen. Continued support for the sector is strong with gaming grants being given in the hopes of the next Grand Theft Auto and a further £75 million to be made available for young Scottish Businesses over the next 3 years.

We believe supporting these young businesses and entrepreneurial spirit is key to continued global success of Scotland’s technology sector. Enigma People Director Ben Hanley is regular at one start up community event – Startup Grind.

Ben says:

“I am constantly encouraged by the appetite for start-up businesses especially technology based start-up businesses in Scotland. There must be something in the water in Scotland at the moment as this is an increasingly vibrant sector that is seeking to retain and attract more and more talent. This is helped by a number of very high profile success stories but with this comes a challenge for less high profile but equally vital SME businesses that are competing for both investment and talent.”

Why Start-ups Matter

Its not just Ben, Director David Mains will be on the panel at the next BDX Glasgow Digital Meetup – Why Start-ups Matter on Wednesday 22nd October. The Meetup will discuss why Glasgow is as great place for start-ups and how their growth is powered by people. Join in on the conversation here: http://bdxglasgow.com/events/2015-2/why-startups-matter/

David Mains BDX Digital - Startups

About BDX:

BDXGlasgow is a fortnightly meetup and networking event dishing out tips on how to grow your site/ business online in ways which you’ve never thought about before. A panel of experts talk about the ins & outs of digital marketing and how it can help any business.

Are you a startup in Scotland? Get in touch! We’d love to hear your success story! @enigmapeople or hello@enigmapeople.com

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Posted August 31, 2015 | Events, Startups | No Comments »

Sharing the Secrets of Startup Success – Event 9th September

Are you a startup looking for success? Then come along to the Sharing the Secrets of Startup Success brought to you by Santander Business Banking and Smarta held on Wednesday 9th September. The free event will provide you with the inspiration, practical insights and professional support you need to start your own business and see it survive and thrive.

With the support of Santander Business Banking, this event brings an incredible line up of speakers all sharing their expertise and experience:

Matt Thomas, co-founder of Smarta and curatorsofawesome.com

Matt’s an expert in creating content that converts. He helps businesses use content to create trust-based audiences, wow their customers and improve sales.

Cally Russell – Mallzee

Cally Russell – Scotland Emerging Entrepreneur of 2014 is the CEO and Founder of Mallzee the personal shopping app that Yahoo claimed ‘would change the way the world shopped’. Cally was named Business Quarterly’s  Scotland Emerging Entrepreneur of 2014 grown a business to serve hundreds of thousands of shoppers around the world.

Andy Barr – 10 Yetis

Andy is the co-founder and co-owner of 10 Yetis digital. With a rich history of fricking awesome public relations campaigns that get people talking, the agency naturally evolved into a content-creation machine that now has in house web, video and design teams.

Leah Hutcheon – Appointedd

Leah Hutcheon is the founder of Appointedd, a cloud based software system that enables independent businesses to take guaranteed bookings online. Leah was one of the second intake at Entrepreneurial Spark and was featured on the BBC documentary, The Entrepreneurs. She is also an Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland and a Director of Future Leaders for Entrepreneurial Scotland.

Alec Farmer, Trakke

Alec is the founder of Trakke – a Scottish outdoor brand specialising in high quality luggage for the everyday adventurer. With a background in graphic design, working for clients ranging from Film4 to the Imperial War Museum, Alec followed his passion for making, and in doing so became an advocate of British manufacturing and all things built to last.

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday 9th September

Time: 6.30pm to 9pm

Location: Radisson Blu, 301 Argyle Street,Glasgow G2 8DL

Book Your Place Now!

This event is  one not to be missed,  giving startups and small businesses practical insights, advice and a chance to network 🙂 Enigma People solutions is proud to support the event and is looking forward to seeing you there!

Looking to hire technical talent for your start up? Subscribe to our weekly blog for hiring advice, industry news and updates! Alternatively give us a call on 0141 332 4422.

 Sharing the Secrets of Startup Success Santander Business Banking and Smarta


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Posted March 09, 2015 | Industry Interviews, Startups | No Comments »

Leadership of the Lion(el)

Say hello to Lionel Federspiel, the newest member of the indie Semiconductor leadership team. As VP of Engineering, Lionel manages the highly talented engineering team, developing their system on chip custom and generic solutions, combining mixed-signal IC design and custom microcontroller systems with supporting software.

Lionel Federspiel - Meet indie Semiconductors VP of Engineering

Leadership of the Lion(el) – Meet indie Semiconductors VP of Engineering

Lionel brings with him a wealth of experience across the semiconductor/ microelectronics industry. His impressive career encompasses a number of years at Broadcom, first as a Senior Program Manager and then Director of Systems Design. Prior to this, he held Program Manager roles at STMicroelectronics and Infineon Technologies. The Frenchman’s career has taken him across the globe, studying in Lyon, France, and Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, then going on to work with STMicroelectronics in France, Singapore and California.

Both indie Semiconductor’s CEO, Donald McClymont, and Lionel’s special affiliation with Scotland means the company’s recent expansion to Edinburgh has been a fantastic move for the Californian company. They have doubled their design team here within a year, with a bigger office location imminent. I was lucky enough to catch Lionel on a quick trip over to the UK and find out a bit more about his move to indie Semiconductor.

Hi Lionel! What attracted you to join indie Semiconductor?

“One key element was that most start ups are driven by whoever owns them – the venture capital investors. indie Semiconductor is different. The management team has strong and stable ownership, financially speaking, and has control over where the company goes.

That is a very different model from 99%, of start up companies, especially in California, who are driven by their VC’s and who even die from VC’s. indie Semiconductor’s success isn’t dependent on this kind of set up. If we make mistakes, it’s our fault. If we succeed, it’s because of our hard work. I like the business model. I like the challenge it brings.”

How does indie Semiconductor’s business model differ to competitors and other start ups?

“I like the business model from a management perspective, as well as from a customer and applications perspective. indie Semiconductor addresses markets which have not, or cannot be addressed by larger corporate companies whose sole interest lies in the next big ‘Samsung’.

The business model of these corporate companies is vastly different to start ups, where development times can take much longer. You have to overcome many hurdles to reach from initial design to end product. Start ups are much more agile, with quick turn around times, and they just get things done. At indie Semiconductor you very quickly see something go from a concept to an actual product. When you work for a research department in Cisco, for example, you would never see this. Like my colleague Scott Kee describes – this model gives engineers the opportunity to gain experience across different disciplines, rather than being pigeon holed into one area.

Addressing niche markets fits the capabilities of the team extremely well. You don’t need to the same man power to fulfil these needs than if you were delivering integrated chips to Samsung, compared to niche market customers. indie Semiconductor is addressing an enormous collection of niches in the embedded space, a $30 billion market. Although we are addressing niches and smaller customers, as an aggregate the goal/potential is to make a very large company indeed, because even a small share of that market can make a significant dent in the global semiconductor space.”

What do you look for in an engineer for the indie Semiconductor team?

“There needs to be a balance, someone to drive, coach, and mentor the junior level engineers, whilst still using their skills and time productively as a senior member of the team. The requirement is always for individual contributors who can work autonomously and drive what they need to drive, without requiring too much management, but never the less there must be a balance.

The benefit of working at a company the size of indie means your individual contribution can make a difference for the company and for yourself. You have the opportunity to be a part of something that is small and growing very fast, whilst being a significant player – a rare environment for engineers to be able to enjoy.”

Indie semi logo

indie Semiconductor are expanding their 30+ team of engineers and recruiting for Digital Design Engineers and Analog & RF IC Engineers & Chip Leads. If you would like to work alongside Lionel and the indie Semiconductor team, contact Ben Hanley on + 44 141 332 4422 or email indiesemi@enigmapeople.com.

To find out more about indie Semiconductor, visit www.indiesemi.com or read our exclusive interviews with CEO Donald McClymont and CTO Scott Kee:

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Posted September 01, 2014 | Events, Scotland, Startups, Technology Industry | 2 Comments »

What is Scotland’s Tech Industry Saying about the Independence Referendum?

On September 18th 2014 Scotland will take an historic vote: to remain in the United Kingdom or to go it alone, as an independent state. There have, of course, been many discussions and opinions both in favour and against independence, arguing what is best for Scotland’s economy and future. One of the strongest and most profitable sectors contributing to Scotland’s economy is the technology industry, so what does this sector have to say about the referendum?
What is Scotland’s Tech Industry Saying about the Independence Referendum?

On September 18th 2014 Scotland will take an historic vote: to remain in the United Kingdom or to go it alone, as an independent state. There have, of course, been many discussions and opinions both in favour and against independence, arguing what is best for Scotland’s economy and future. One of the strongest and most profitable sectors contributing to Scotland’s economy is the technology industry, so what does this sector have to say about the referendum?

Scotland’s tech industry is worth £500million, with 300 companies employing 4,000 people, while another 2,000 work in software teams of electronics companies and 12,000 in internal computer departments. Growing at 16% per year, and almost 3 times the European average, the software sector in Scotland is huge. As is Scotland’s successful gaming industry – home to hit games such as Grand Theft Auto, Lemmings and Minecraft – the sector is worth millions to the UK economy. The success of the tech industry is further propelled by the tech start ups that have emerged all over the country and have helped Edinburgh offer the second highest paying tech jobs in the UK, closely followed by Glasgow. Not only that, Scotland has the highest proportion of students studying computer related disciplines in Europe, ensuring the next generation of talent is equipped with the skills to support the industry.

So how do the business leaders of this highly successful industry feel about the referendum? It seems there are mixed opinions.

In an open letter published early last week, over 130 business leaders, who collectively employ over 50,000 Scots, urged the people of Scotland to vote no stating the ‘business case for leaving the UK has not been made’. The letter included a number of Scottish business leaders, entrepreneurs and CEO’s of companies and argued that Scotland’s economy will suffer if we left the UK, including Marcus Kneen, chief executive of IndigoVision, the video security firm, and Nosheena Mobarik, chief executive of M Computer Technologies, the electronics hardware and software firm. The letter also includes a signature from software entrepreneur David Sibbald, CEO of Aridhia Informatics, Chairman of data analytics company Sumerian and prior Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Atlantech Technologies, a communications software company later sold to Cisco systems in 2000 for $180 million.

Glasgow based cloud computing company Iomart has also spoken out against independence stating it would be a ‘silly idea’, with chief executive saying he will move the company to England should the outcome be a yes. The firm is part of growing list of Scottish companies – including Aggreko, Standard Life, Royal Bank of Scotland and Weir Group – that have expressed their concerns over Scotland becoming independent.

In response to this, over 200 business leaders supporting an Independent Scotland then signed another open letter speaking out in favour of independence, which was published in The Herald Scotland. This included a number of tech companies coming from Scotland’s very strong digital media sector, web development and IT companies. Some of which include: Gerry McCusker, Owner at Dog Digital, Gillian & Kevin O’Neill, Founders of 29 Studios and John Innes, British Venture Capitalist of the Year and Venture Capital Chief Executive of the Year, former Chief Executive Amor Group.

Those that have signed this letter are involved in business and entrepreneurship at different levels in Scotland and around the world. They support independence with the belief that it is ‘in the best interests of Scotland’s economy and its people’, stating ‘an independent Scotland will recognise entrepreneurs small and large as the real wealth and job creators of the nation’s economic future.’

These are just few business leaders who have signed and spoken out their opinions on independence. Full lists of those signed the yes and no letter can be found here:

Yes :http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/in-full-the-list-of-entrepreneurs-backing-a-yes-vote.1409201147

No: http://www.scribd.com/doc/237805123/Letter-to-the-Scotsman-Wed-27-Sep-2014

From the business leaders whose names are included in these letters, it seems that the industry is divided ahead of the referendum, with key industry members and leaders of successful Scottish businesses present on both sides of the debate.

However, businesses don’t vote, people do.

What these open letters don’t tell us is the opinions of those who have chosen to stay silent and not comment on the referendum. Nor does it tell us the opinion of those individuals who make up these businesses. Although the opinions of the CEO’s and those running Scotland’s businesses are weighted and can have an influence on others, they don’t necessarily represent the individuals in the industry.

It is the individuals who work in Scotland’s technology industry who make it what it is, their talent, drive and commitment is what continues to drive the industry to succeed. As one of the leading recruiters in Scotland’s technology industry, we work hard to support the businesses, clients and candidates we work with. By working closely with these individuals and business, building lasting relationships and bigger businesses we look forward to continue helping the industry grow, be it in an independent Scotland or as part of the UK.
For the latest vacancies, industry news and updates on Scotland’s technology sector follow Enigma People Solutions on LinkedIn and Twitter @enigmapeople

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Posted July 14, 2014 | Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry, Startups, Technology Industry | 1 Comment »

Before All Else, Be Armed

Technology vacancies in Scotland are at a record high and the gap in the jobs market for these skills has pushed up the price of specialist IT staff such as developers and electronic engineers to 3 times the national UK average.
Before All Else, Be Armed

Technology vacancies in Scotland are at a record high and the gap in the jobs market for these skills has pushed up the price of specialist IT staff such as developers and electronic engineers to 3 times the national UK average.

The market is suffering from a war for talent, where companies are fighting for very scarce specialist talent. When the UK recession hit, not enough companies were in a position to hire graduates 3-4 years ago. This has resulted in a vast under investment in Scottish talent. Not enough people were getting hired and so unable to gain the relevant industry experience that employers are now looking for. Today this demand has risen dramatically with UK Tech companies having grown at a rapid pace. The sector is now performing better than it has in decades. In Scotland in particular, this success can be attributed to the vast number of start ups in ‘tech hubs’ Glasgow and Edinburgh, so much so that tech jobs in Edinburgh now rank as the second highest paying salary in the UK, closely followed by Glasgow.

With high growth comes high demand; so how can employers today fulfil their requirements for experienced IT talent, when not enough of it exists?

I believe that instead of taking part in the battle for talent employers must instead focus on putting a stop to the skills gap; do more to offer long term training and development and incentive programmes which will not only build up long term staff retention but help stop the “war” for talent.

For any good candidate, despite what experience they may have, continuous learning and development is what excites them and often their reason for applying and accepting new jobs. What we need to remember here is that specialist IT talent is unique, in that those looking for a new job are often less concerned about the money but more interested in the technologies involved, the environment they will be working in and the opportunity to create something wonderful with their sought after skills.

For these talented individuals what we have found is that it isn’t money that drives them to seek out new challenges, but the opportunity to continue learning and developing their career. The opportunity to widen their experience and the excitement of creating something wonderful with their skills is what really motivates them. Companies who want this talent try to buy it by offering the highest salary however this alone isn’t going to feed their curiosity or keep talent around for long.  They must offer much more and this is where start ups are unrivalled. The opportunity for growth, focussed training and development and the chance to shine can be much greater in the smaller, agile and innovative start ups. It is here that career progression can be achieved, learning opportunities are much greater and individual contributions can really make a difference. If large employers or corporations want to rival this environment they must to do more to replicate the benefits offered by these small companies.

Passive candidates tend to be favoured by employers over hiring someone inexperienced as they come trained and with guaranteed experience. The problem here is it doesn’t allow new talent the opportunity to get jobs and build up their skills or experience. Rather than hiring and developing new talent, employers are ‘increasingly demanding that employees arrive as fully-formed experts in their fields’, and this is exactly what is perpetuating the skills gap.

The problem with pinching talent from one another is that very often it is the company who offers the highest salary tends to win the battle for the talent. Large corporate companies who can offer large salaries and benefits packages to candidates can easily promote theirs as the most beneficial to their career. Not to mention bigger budgets to market their recruitment process and attract candidates.

Shouldn’t it be the employer’s responsibility to put a stop to this, take on new hires, take responsibility for their training and development and do their part to put a stop war for talent? Instead of taking part in the battle for the top talent, train up their own top talent?

I can fully understand the concerns of employers, if employers hire those who – they feel – are below standard what does that mean for productivity? Will their output suffer? It is a competitive market out there and who has time to train up talent?

Yes, taking their most experienced staff away from being productive and spending 3 to 6 months training someone up is hardly ideal. In the short run, it will impact productivity and output. However, businesses need to look beyond this and focus on longer term gains. Look at the bigger picture here and invest in developing talent with the relevant industry skills in order for the market to reach a sustainable equilibrium. For this to happen it is important now more than ever for employers to invest in staff development and focus on staff loyalty; simply advertising higher salaries or better benefits aren’t going to solve an industry-wide problem. In many larger firms we have seen management struggle to reward and encourage their employees. If they have already paid them so much to begin with, a pay rise is not going to seem very significant. They must offer other tangible benefits of working at their company to entice talent and reinforce employee growth and development in the same way start ups can.

Those who may not have the experience can still be a great source of potential talent. In order to tap into that skill, employers must consider the longer term development and growth of that individual. Employers must stop taking part in the war for talent, and instead focus on building the experience of individuals up whilst at the same time building up staff retention and incentive programmes to not only bring in the new talent but also to keep it.

For more industry insights, news and vacancies please follow Enigma People Solutions on LinkedIn and Twitter @enigmapeople

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Posted June 30, 2014 | Events, Recruitment Industry, Startups | 2 Comments »

Performance Coaching for Success – Glasgow SME Seminar

We recently held our ‘Performance Coaching for Success’ seminar in Glasgow. This was the first in a series of events Enigma People Solutions will be hosting to support SME’s and businesses in the community. We aim to deliver a number of similar seminars on various topics such as “Recruiting for Success” and “Managing the Recruitment Process” and are rather excited about our new projects 🙂

Last weeks seminar was aimed at SME’s in Scotland who may be growing their teams or looking to do so in the near future. By offering access to free coaching on managing employee performance we hope to help you:

  • improve overall company performance
  • determine when and how to provide employees with effective feedback, to get the best out of your people and boost productivity
  • effectively conduct performance reviews in a way which adds value to you and employees leading to improved staff retention levels
  • Opportunity to discuss any ‘people’ related topic, big or small

The seminar itself was kept small and intimate to give attendees the best access to experienced HR leader Sarah Prasad and we are so pleased to have had some great feedback!

Well presented and comfortably pitched”   “Good session”

 

We will be running this same event in Edinburgh on Wednesday 20th August! Further details on this event to follow, however to register your interest please email:

anndeep@enigmapeople.com or call me on 0141 332 4422

In the meantime for career advice, latest technology vacancies and news updates follow Enigma People Solutions on LinkedIn and Twitter @enigmapeople.com

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Posted June 04, 2014 | Events, Scotland, Startups | 4 Comments »

[SME Event] Performance Coaching for Success

Manage Performance In Your Team, Boost Employee Morale, Increase Productivity And Support Your Company’s Growth!

Enigma People Solutions, in collaboration with Young Company Finance, would like to invite you to a free “Performance Coaching for Success” seminar, featuring experienced HR consultant Sarah Prasad, on Wednesday 25th June, in Edinburgh and Thursday 26th June in Glasgow.

The seminar will cover:

  • Free coaching on managing employee performance to enable you to improve overall company performance 
  • Learn when and how to provide employees with effective feedback, to get the best out of your people and boost productivity
  • Learn to conduct performance reviews in a way which adds value to you and employees leading to improved staff retention levels
  • Opportunity to discuss any ‘people’ related topic, big or small

Sarah is a commercially astute HR leader with a proven track-record of developing and implementing effective HR strategies within growing and changing environments. During her time with a variety of businesses, including publishing, financial services and retail, Sarah has specialised in; Change Management, HR Strategy, Training Design & Delivery Performance management and Employee Relations.

You’ll also be able to pick up a free copy of ‘Guide to Finance For Young Companies’, giving you a directory of funders and advisers plus articles on raising finance in young companies.

Event Details:

EDINBURGH: Wednesday 25th June 2014
Venue: Reception Business Centre,
21 Lansdowne Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 5EH

8.45 Arrival Teas & Coffee
9.00-10.15 Presentation
10.15-10.45 Questions and Optional Q&A

GLASGOW: Thursday 26th June 2014
Venue: Lighthouse Suite, Hotel Novotel Centre,
181 Pitt St, Glasgow, G2 4DT

8.45 Arrival Teas & Coffee
9.00-10.15 Presentation
10.15-10.45 Questions and Optional Q&A

Attendance is free however registration will be required. To register please email your name, company name, contact telephone number and which date you would like to attend to: anndeep@enigmapeople.com or call 0141 332 4422.

Spaces are limited please RSVP no later than Monday 16th June 2014. 

Hope to see you there! For the latest industry news, updates and vacancies follow Enigma People Solutions on LinkedIn and Twitter @enigmapeople

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Posted April 07, 2014 | Electronics, Software, Startups, Technology Industry | 2 Comments »

Will disruptive technologies be better weathered by the hi-tech giants or small specialist firms?

Apple

At the beginning of the year, I attended the Scotland IS Technology Trends 2014 conference where the key theme was disruptive technologies and the impact of this beyond the IT industry. Gartner describes disruptive technology such as the Internet of Things, Smart Machines and 3D Printing as an industrial revolution in itself, completely changing how we each see and interact with the world.

Take 3D Printing for example – from building whole concrete homes in just 24 hours to providing artificial limbs to patients, this technology is undoubtedly changing lives all over the world. The technology works by three-dimensional printing of virtually any material into a range of shapes, sizes and objects at a fraction of the manufacturing cost – clothes, toys, aircraft parts and even bioprinting of human skin! The Internet of Things is the next generation of connectivity across the globe, giving our objects, products and devices access to the internet, making our lives more like The Jetsons than ever before. From coffee makers that can keep track of when the milk is out, smart parking space management to Internet-managed assembly lines, it is fast changing the landscape of manufacturing and technology as we know it. A recent McKinsey Global Institute report, predicts the Internet of Things (IoT) can generate as much as $6.2 trillion in new global economic value annually by 2025, with 80 to 100 percent of all manufacturers using IoT applications by then.

What this means for the technology industry is smaller companies who previously couldn’t compete on a global level can now utilise such technologies, democratise innovation, unleash human creativity, and compete with the biggest players. One feature of small tech starts ups is the ability to be responsive, offer specialist expertise and help develop a solution to fit problems. By accessing these new technologies will smaller specialists UK firms be able to put themselves on the map and compete internationally? Businesses can utilise this technology to personalise products, making them unique and specialist, and most importantly – automated.

An example given at the conference was multinational photography company Kodak had employed 13,000 people to manage their photography and images business – something that Instagram did with 13 people!

Are we about to see these specialist firms overtake the larger multinationals because they are more flexible and responsive to their markets? And if so what does this mean for labour disruptions? After all, it’s predicted that by 2020 most skilled professionals career paths will be disrupted by smart machine technology, which is capable of ‘absorbing millions of middle-class jobs’.

Are smaller, more agile and specialist technologies about to emerge as industry leaders or do the bigger players still dominate?

In its prime, Kodak’s photography business was an international leader.They invented the core technology which is used in current digital cameras, however, failed to embrace the importance of digital to the industry. Kodak struggled to compete and had to file for bankruptcy in 2012.

In less than a year, however, Kodak restructured the business, sold off various arms and emerged from bankruptcy with a narrower focus on commercial imaging and graphics, and digital printing solutions to businesses.

For a company to fall so far and not be bought over by a competitor is rare. Had this been a smaller company would they have been able to bounce back? Despite the uncertainty the brand is still highly recognised around the world. Is this something that plays in multinational corporations favour over smaller national companies which would have withered and disappeared unnoticed?

A very similar story is Apple, who almost went under in the PC market before reinventing itself as a leader in the music industry with iTunes software and then again in the mobile market with the iPhone. IBM is another tech turnaround success story, who was struggling to survive in the early 90’s. By restructuring its focus towards technology services, cutting jobs and selling off assets, IBM is now one of the world’s most profitable software companies.

Forbes magazine argues the most successful tech turnarounds need to continually re-invent themselves in order to survive. The number of large tech companies that have managed to turn themselves around is actually very small – take Blackberry and Nokia who, despite their size, are still struggling to regain their former foothold on the mobile market. If companies need to be entrepreneurial and agile, to seize new market opportunities in order to survive, is this more feasible in smaller companies where there is less risk or in larger companies where there is greater security and resilience to bounce back from the brink of bankruptcy?

Will disruptive technologies be better weathered by the hi-tech giants or small specialist firms? Let us know your thoughts

Follow Enigma People Solutions on LinkedIn and Twitter @In_Electronics.


 

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