On the 4th March 2020 the Swindon Tech Talent series of roundtables kicked off in style at Open Work in their prestigious Windmill Hill offices, delivered by key partners, Tech Swindon, C4S and Nationwide Building Society.
In attendance were key businesses from across the region all looking to explore key issues and solutions surrounding talent sourcing and retention in the tech sector.
What was great to see within the room, and reflective of our region as a whole, although digital is not necessarily the “named” sector these organisations operate in or even what their customer base initially recognise them for, it is the driver of change and linking theme between all of the companies present as they undergo digital transformation programmes.
The event opened with a series of quick presentations. First up, a double act of the Switch onto Swindon and Tech Swindon teams delivering an overview of the work being undertaken to create a credible campaign (Tech Swindon) to support local industry with tech hiring and retention challenges.
This was followed by Dave Scott from Nationwide showcasing the importance of a data lead strategy using Horsefly recruitment statistics to illustrate his argument.
The final presentation was delivered by Ben Rutter from C4S who gave valuable insight into the 5 key steps required internally by organisations to create a blueprint for a successful hiring strategy.
The main body of the session was reserved for a valuable round table discussion, digging business by business into the key challenges faced and then tapping into the wealth and diversity of experience that could be harvested from the participating businesses to find potential answers.
A fundamental issue faced by all included the challenge of gaining buy-in from internal stakeholders driving to a one stage interview process (or as close to as possible).
Key to overcoming this was the importance of senior buy-in at the beginning of the process to level set on SLA’s as early as possible and also the use of technology to potentially bring stakeholders together.
Employer branding and perception with candidates understanding the diversity and specialisation of roles even within well-known customer brands was another hurdle with consistent feedback from all.
Exploring the power of smaller meetups and finding tech advocates and evangelists from within a hiring organisation to organically educate externally to like-minded communities was a well-received solution.
Multiple other discussion points were touched upon but particular focus was brought to bear on the importance of community building, dispelling myths around women in technology and training & growing your own talent were all topics to be explored with experts on each to give guidance at the next event.
Particular thanks again to Open Work for hosting and attending the event, but also to Dyson, Thrings, Appsbroker, BCS, TM Group, SJP, Mango, Nationwide and C4S for their attendance and valuable input.