We spoke to Michele Vinciguerra, M Cubed's Divisional Manager, about recruiting within the technology market in 2019.
Give us a brief overview of the types of positions that you work on and the types of individuals you work with.
My team and I deal with the consulting community and end user clients in the technology space. We work across a variety of different industry verticals, such as SAP, JD Edwards, Analytics and Big Data. The individuals we place are both technical and functional specialists; with an emphasis on customer satisfaction but also stakeholder engagement skills, because they are figures who will interact with their clients at chief executive level or more. So the types of people that we work with have both a technical profile as well as having developed themselves within a consultancy environment.
Our clients are constantly searching for candidates who are able to propose solutions and to put them in to practise and who are able to work with a commercially-oriented approach.
Where do you see demand from employers you currently work with?
There is always demand for experienced people (the sweet spot is anything more than four or five years) who have worked in different industries and on infrastructure projects in different countries. Our clients look for people with a problem solving mindset as well as candidates who take a more macro-level and global perspective to their work. A lot of the employers we work with are international organisations, but the specific areas of the business that they require our candidates to work on are with quite niche products, so when we place somebody in to a role, it is about getting the quality of the individual to fit the company culture above all else. For example, we work with global fast-moving consumer goods end users on multi-country projects and the opportunities are vast, but because of that you need to be able to fit within the organisations culture. Project work at a multinational is very different than the experience of a similar project but working for a smaller company. The project can be the same but the experience is different.
What does the perfect candidate look like to a lot of the employers you work with?
The ideal candidate should be passionate not only about technology but also about business; they should be able to find technological solutions to improve the company’s business - and we’re talking about global businesses that we work with - so having that commercial acumen is important but also means finding the right candidate can be more complex.
At the moment it is very difficult finding people who are able to combine business and technical knowledge; there is a real candidate shortage when you are looking for people who have international experience, technical and commercial acumen and who are also willing to relocate where they’ll be working on multiple projects and will have to travel. But we have a great team who are good at selling some of the very lucrative benefits on offer so we always find a way to deliver to our customers.
The bigger challenge for the Information Technology market is finding people that - in addition to technical skills - have face-to-face and relationship development skills, that are able to relate to their employer and be solution oriented.
What is the best working relationship you can have with a candidate?
For my part good candidates are people who are transparent, honest, focused, know exactly what they want and are clear when communicating that to us, because that sets out clear guidance for both myself and the team to be able to deliver the best possible service for them and the employer. Communication is key and providing the entire chain has it then the recruitment process can be a positive one for all involved.
As the candidates representative honesty and clarity from a communication point of view help me to be a perfect spokesperson for their ambitions.
It is about professionalism, focus, transparency, honesty and clarity. If all parties have that then success usually follows in my experience.
What does the technology market look like in ten years’ time?
Technology is constantly evolving and every day new tools appear in the market. That makes it very difficult to predict because it is not a linear process. But there are certain patterns that we’ve seen. For example it seems the sector is heading in the direction of even more artificial intelligence, or through liquid architecture and machine learning. With such an emphasis placed on AI and machine learning, the type of roles that are available in the technology space will also change. It is quite feasible to suggest that the key roles that we place in 10 years’ time look completely different to the roles we were placing ten years ago.
The type of working is changing too. The move towards flexibility surrounding the way people work is definitely impacting the industry and contracting in the Information Technology sector. It has long led the way in comparison to other industries. I have seen consulting companies in the technology space build specialised labs for workers to transform their ideas in prototypes, which with the support of AI and other machine learning, reduces the cycle of products getting to the market quicker. Projects are more brief but a lot more specified, also aided by cloud logic. So in the future companies will need to look for much more specialised profiles and skills of people to work on projects rather than as full time employees.
The game changer in the technology market is therefore the way in which people work and how they interact with machine learning, AI, etc, on shorter term projects. A ‘job for life’ isn’t something you hear too much in the technology market and it certainly isn’t going to increase in future! It’s about constantly learning new skills and adapting and being somebody who can quickly adapt to new projects, potentially across multiple companies.