Delivering new opportunities for tech talent in Denver, Colorado

Delivering new opportunities for tech talent in Denver, Colorado
We are delighted to announce that mid-2017 we’ll be launching a new office in Denver, Colorado, USA. From this new base, Austin Fraser will be able to deliver highly skilled staffing services to the thriving digital and technology scene of Colorado. We’ll be establishing a team of consultants with expertise in specialist staffing within the tech and digital space. It’s our in-depth approach to understanding the markets, businesses and people we work with and how we develop deep long-lasting relationships that mean we’re able to work with employers and candidates to deliver exactly the right talent just when it’s needed.
 
Commenting, our USA Business manager, James Lafferty, tells us: “We’re genuinely excited by the opportunity that expanding the business to Denver presents. It’s a fantastic city that is rapidly becoming one of the key digital hubs in the US. With businesses like ComCast, Lockheed Martin, DISH Network, IBM and UPS all significant employers in the area and a fast growing number of start-ups, the possibilities for business and personal growth are fantastic.
 
“Denver is widely recognised as one of the top cities in America to work and live in right now. 300 days of sunshine and a great living standard make it a destination city where the expected influx over the next five years is a further 200,000+ people. Establishing a new base in Denver builds on the success we’ve had in Austin, Texas, where we’ve established a strong presence within the local community and been recognised by the Austin Business Journal as one of the best places to work, one of the Coolest Companies in Austin and on the 50 on Fire list – all within 24 months of starting up.”
 
Our CEO, Peter Hart explains more: “Austin Fraser is a brand with a strong heritage – we’ve been providing staffing solutions for ten years, and our staff are dedicated, hard-working trusted advisors to some of the world’s leading tech companies. We’re looking forward to becoming a key partner to the businesses in Denver and playing our part in shaping the digital economy of the area. We see this move to Denver as an important step in the growth of our business.”  

Our co-founder shares what it means to him to place 3rd in the Best Companies listing!

Find out why we placed 3rd in the Best Small Companies Listing and what it means to us.
 
Every year, the Sunday Times collaborates with Best Companies to publish the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For. These listings cover a range of sectors from small to big companies and Not-For-Profit organisations. We enter the listing for small companies, along with over 400 other firms employing 50-250 people, in total collating the views of over 31,000 employees…now that’s a lot of people! Feedback from employees is based on ranking eight key factors of a company: My Manager, My Company, Leadership, Personal Growth, My Team, Wellbeing, Fair Deal and Giving Something Back.
 
For the fifth year running we’ve placed in the Top 25. But this has been our highest placement to date, this year we made it into the Top 5 and placed 3rd! Clearly, we’re proud of this achievement, but what we really wanted to do is give you an insight into what it really means to us to receive our highest placement to date and how this will impact our business throughout the next year.
 
So, who’s best placed to give you this insight? Here’s Derek Simpson, our CDO and co-founder…
 
We’ve placed in the Top 100 five years in a row and this is our highest placement so far! What does that mean to you?
 
I love it! We use our employees’ happiness and engagement as a key measure of how successful our business is, so knowing some of the improvements we’ve made over the last year have made a real difference is the best feedback we could ask for!
 
Getting our highest place is great, but that’s really just a bonus. We’re more pleased that we have achieved our highest score so far. This is a great indicator that we have made our company a better place to work over the 5 years we have taken part in the awards. We also know that if we’re scoring well, that means our people are happy, and so they’ll be delivering a great service to the people we work for – clients and candidates.
 
How does it impact AF as a business?
 
It impacts us massively as a business, we can only continue to grow if the people we employ are happy and proud of where they work. The real benefit to us is the wealth of unedited feedback we get from our people about how they really think we’re doing business. It’s also worth noting we make an effort to get the feedback from our offices in Germany and USA even though it doesn’t contribute to our score.
 
First off we really encourage our teams to be as honest as they like so we can get a true reflection of how they feel. Our People and Culture team then take the time to analyse the information and identify opportunities for us to make improvements. There’s no point in getting the feedback if you don’t intend to do something positive with it. Although our score this time was our best ever, I’m sure there will be things we can look to improve again throughout this year.
 
It gives us an invaluable opportunity to work out where in our business we can improve, I mean why wouldn’t you want to improve your company?
 
What do we have planned this year then?
 
We want to make sure we’re always creating opportunities for people to achieve their potential, we make sure this support for our people relates not only to their time spent working with us but also in their lives generally, providing support to them and their families if and when they need it.
 
This is going to be a year of global growth and we’re looking for ways to achieve this as smoothly as possible so all of our teams can do what they do best and enjoy working for us.
 
We will continue to ask people for their feedback throughout the year. This will allow us to make sure our people strategy not only meets but exceeds the expectations of our teams globally.
 
 

Glug Profiles: Jonny Burch, Deliveroo Design

Glug Profiles: Jonny Burch, Consumer Product Lead at Deliveroo Design 

As the recruitment partner of Glug
, we’ve collaborated with them to bring you the second instalment in a series of Glug Profiles. Here’s an opportunity for you to get an insight into Glug’s speakers. We speak to Jonny Burch, Consumer Product Lead at Deliveroo Design about how user research influences design decisions, the process of launching a rebrand globally and qualities the Deliveroo look for in people when hiring!
 
Hey Jonny, so you’re the Consumer Product Design Lead at Deliveroo, what exactly does this mean?
 
This is a bit of a weird title but in a nutshell, it basically means I look after the design of all the products for hungry people. These products are digital and consist of an iOS app, an android app and our website, served to 12 countries globally from Ireland to Australia! There’s a whole load of other stuff behind the scenes as well which help make sure those hungry people have the best possible experience when ordering from us.
 
Deliveroo has rapidly established a huge global presence, how has this affected your team?
 
If you solve such a clear need that people have then ultimately they’re going to share it with their friends. The product is naturally viral because food is social. When we first started there actually wasn’t a designer for the first year, it gradually built up from our Head of Design, Simon he was the first. Then there were two designers for a year, then a third and a fourth and now we’re up to 12 but aiming to become 30 by the end of the year.
 
The design team is split in two, half of our designers are on the marketing side and the other half are on the product side, that’s the half that I’m in. We care more for the digital products, for example when you first sign up as a rider we have to build the product that helps you get on board.
 
Obviously when you have more engineers and more developers and people that can build you then need people that can design and ultimately, more people that can research. The researchers are a newer team but play a crucial part in informing all the teams where people’s pain points are so we can all work together and know what is important to build.
 

Do you have any top tips for people considering a career in product design?
 
As a product designer your brief is very open and quite often it’s a problem that someone is having or a need that users have. It’s important to be able to visually design something well but ultimately if you’re not solving the problem then you’re going to waste a lot of time. So, you need to be very focused on the needs of the people you’re solving it for. You need to want to look at data, you need to want to find insight from researchers and analysts and validate that your problem is actually a problem before you invest time designing a solution to it.
 
What do you look for in people when recruiting for your team?
 
The main qualities we look for in people are curiosity, intellectual humility, great communication skills and being an awesome collaborator. Being self-critical and wanting to explore whether or not you’re actually solving problems rather than just designing pretty stuff. Obviously, technical skills relevant to their role are crucial and having the ability to design at the right level for each problem.
It’s really just knowing what level to work at. If you have got something that is real high-level problem, you wouldn’t go straight in and start designing pixels, but, if you had to show someone something simple like what a button looked like you’d be able to go off and do that. As you get more senior there are leadership qualities that come into play, you need to be good at critiquing other people’s work and ensuring the quality stays high. You need to be good at helping other people get better.
 
How do you establish customer profiles when your audience base is basically everyone?!
 
So we don’t actually use personas, they’re tricky, they become outdated and it’s easy to take them as the truth when in fact they’re a lot more complex than that. We don’t have them stuck to the wall, we don’t want people to get attached to them. In fact, the experience we create is based more on the usage of Deliveroo.
 
Instead, we consider what time of day it is or whether you’re with friends or whether you’ve eaten well for the rest of the week, people’s habits cut through demographic data. If you’re ordering on Monday lunchtime you’re more likely to order a salad than if you’re ordering on a Friday night. In that sense, we can tailor suggestions that are based on time of day or previous orders our customers have made.

That’s a nice concept! Do you find it easier to design without personas?
 
Well, if you have a persona, it’s easier to design having that persona in mind. However, that persona may not be accurate, which in the long run makes it actually harder to pin down what the right answers are. We do a lot of usability testing, as well as multivariate testing and AB tests so we’ll always know some baseline metrics on how well something is going, we can rely on that to steer us in the right direction.
 
What has been one of your biggest challenges so far working for Deliveroo?
 
Well in four years, we’ve built a lot of products, our product surface area is absolutely huge and we’re still quite a small team! There have been quite a lot of inconsistencies, visual inconsistencies and patterns that don’t match or even wording. Everything has been built so quickly to try to keep up and put out fires, so now we’re working very hard to pay off some of that debt and build and design systems to help us know what the answer is. We’re still only a very small team so we need lots of people to help us get to a point where we’ve created a truly consistent experience. That’s a challenge, a small team trying to build things very quickly!
 
What has been one of your favourite moments working for Deliveroo?
 
Last year we completely rebranded, everyone on the design team worked together towards one date, it was intense! When you have to give all your riders new kit on one day and release new versions of all your products, not only in the UK but across 12 countries and 130 cities, it gets pretty complicated but, we managed to do it! We shipped new versions of our products without damaging our core metrics, people still knew how to use them even though we changed everything at once without the ability to test it. That was an exciting few weeks!
 
We sponsor Glug because it’s a great environment for people to connect with one another and learn from others. Make sure you come and see us at an event if you’re after your next venture! We have plenty of digital and creative recruitment industry knowledge and experience to share.
Interview by: April Edgar
 

Berlin opens new doors for Austin Fraser!

Berlin opens new doors for us!
 
We’re excited by the opportunity to update on yet another milestone in the growth of our business with the announcement that on 6th March 2017 we’re launching our second office in Germany, at the Sony Centre, right in the heart of Berlin at Potsdamer Platz! From this new base, we’ll be expanding our delivery capability to better serve the thriving digital and technology scene.
 
Jacob McCulloch, Managing Director, said “We’re really excited to be expanding the business to Berlin. This move represents a key step in our wider strategy to strengthen our services to the German tech market. Since opening in Munich we have seen the war for talent become increasingly competitive for companies, making it hard for them to secure the right skills to deliver on their projects. With so many companies hiring it is also difficult for candidates to select who is truly the right employer for their individual needs. The Sony Centre is a fantastic location to make sure we are right in the action, connecting with our network personally and understanding what is important to them. Internally it will provide our team with all the facilities we need, a great location and an environment that enables our team to provide the best service possible.”
 

We started our German story in Munich in 2012 and have rapidly grown to employ 30 people serving the South of Germany with amazing technology recruitment services. This new office in Berlin will enable us to recruit both permanent and contract technical staff in the north of Germany. The new Berlin team will start with three staff from the Munich office, and we’re already busy recruiting further members of the team, both experienced and aspiring recruiters from the local market.  
 
“It’s a great time to be joining Austin Fraser” said our CEO, Pete Hart. “We’ve grown rapidly and I’m really proud of the performance of the team here in Munich. Now, we’re expanding and looking for the best talent in Berlin to help take Austin Fraser to the next level in Germany.”
 

 

Relocating our Reading HQ to Thames Tower!

 
 
Our journey from humble beginnings in a garage to becoming a leading international technical recruitment consultancy, takes another leap forward today, as we announce that we’re moving into Thames Tower, a brand new 14,000 sq ft office right in the heart of Reading. Our new UK home will support the development of our increasingly global business and provide a fantastic workplace for our consultants as we continue to grow.
 
Thames Tower sits in a great central location in Reading, a two minute walk away from the station, it’s easily accessible for commuting and right next to the restaurants, bars and gyms. With 360 degree views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, a communal sky garden, a range of meeting spaces and relaxation areas our consultants will have a great space from which to work. We’ll be fitting the office out with the latest tech, creating an environment that supports the way we work best.
 
 

We’re proud to remain in Reading and contribute to the development of both the local economy and the growing tech scene through local business initiatives and meet-up groups. Seeing direct impact and progress is extremely rewarding and we’re excited to be part of the further development of Reading. The Elizabeth Line opens in 2019 and will make the town much more accessible to the surrounding areas and London also having a huge influence over the influx of both people and businesses into Reading.
 
Peter Hart, CEO of Austin Fraser, commented: “We’re growing rapidly and need office space that will enable us to continue to deliver the opportunities to candidates and the talent to clients that we’re renowned for. Thames Tower, a stylish, modern building, in the heart of Reading, with great access to the town’s restaurants, shops, bars, and gyms, fits the bill perfectly. It provides us with the space we need to meet our ambitious recruitment plans and fits with our desire to offer a fantastic place for our people to work. After all, in a business like ours, it’s the people who are the bedrock; when they’re happy they’re able to do a fantastic job and are trusted by clients and candidates alike.”

 
 

In these 10 years we’ve won a number of industry awards and accolades including being shortlisted in the Top 25 of The Sunday Times Best companies To Work For, five years in a row! We’ve also been given a Gold accreditation from Investors in People. We’re always striving to provide an outstanding working environment for our employees and this new office will definitely aid us to help everyone create a good balance between work and their home lives, as well as injecting a bit of fun into the work day which is what we do best.
 
Derek Simpson, CDO adds, “We’re looking for both experienced and aspiring recruitment consultants who want to help drive our growth. It’s the start of the year and despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit and other political events we’re seeing increased demand for the talent  in the digital, technology, life sciences, aviation and automation sectors. Moving to Thames Tower will help create the right environment for our consultants with a range of modern meeting areas and social spaces that will encourage even more collaboration within the team.”

Moving on up in Austin, USA!

Moving on up in Austin, USA!
After little over a year in America, we’re moving to new heights…literally! We’re taking over new office space at 500 West, 2nd Street. This building is known as one of the most prestigious new builds in downtown Austin! We’ll be rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s most elite tech companies.
 
We’ve been working hard to support Austin’s rapidly growing tech scene and over the last 18 months, we’ve become a trusted partner to companies in Austin and Dallas. We help both established companies and start-ups grow by identifying and attracting the best technical talent from across the US. The technology boom is generating a significant demand for the top technical talent, which has famously been difficult to find but that’s where our services come in.
 
Our team has grown rapidly in the last year and this move will provide the space we need for the next phase of growth. Pete Hart, our CEO, says “I am so proud of our team in Austin and the impressive achievements each one of them has contributed. It is extremely exciting to now be in a position where we can confidently pursue our expansion plans in Austin and across other parts of the USA.”
 
From this new base, we’ll be closer to our key clients, able to provide better service and will give the team room to grow. It will also enable us to invest in more talent to meet the growing industry demands and to continue to expand to more cities across America.
 
James Lafferty, USA Business Manager, shares his thoughts on the move, “My priority is creating a great working environment for our growing team. Ensuring each one of our employees is able to achieve their potential and is continuously provided with new opportunities underpins our ability to grow the business. I’m especially excited to be moving into this new building, with the purpose built gym, great views and modern design. It’ll be a fantastic place to welcome the new starters we will be seeking throughout the year. This move provides us with a platform to continue our growth and presence within the US market.”
 
We don’t shy away from the opportunity to contribute to the continuous improvement of the city. “We quickly got involved in the community by joining the Chamber of Commerce and networking with other business leaders to see how we can partner with them not only in business but in social and local economic matters as well. We are dedicated to growing our business, providing an amazing service to our clients & candidates as well as doing our part to continue to help Austin, Texas grow and maintain its title as one of the best cities in America.” – Douglas Branham, People Operations Manager.

We’re celebrating becoming a truly international business this year with 46% of our business has been contributed by our Munich, Berlin, Austin and Dallas markets over the last 12 months outside of our Reading HQ.

This great vision of growth depends on having great people in our business. If you’re interested in joining our growing team, then get to know us a bit better through our Hunted page and take a look at some of our current vacancies.
 

job search

New Year, new job? Make sure you stand out.

New Year, new job? Make sure you stand out.
 
It’s New Year and you’ve decided the time has come to get out there and get yourself a new job. Here are a few simple pointers on what to do now.
 
Keep your ear to the ground
 
Are you looking in the right places? With competition heating up at this time of year make sure you’re on the ball. Look through job boards and LinkedIn and then extend your search. Where you look will depend on the industry you’re looking to enter but why not get creative? What company would you like to join? Who’s the hiring manager? Use tools like LinkedIn to your advantage.
 
Consider your skills and how they may be transferrable
 
If you’re thinking of a career change, consider the transferable skills you can use to reassure the employer that you’ll have the ability to perform. Be upfront and honest, maybe you don’t have the right experience but that’s not to say that the employer isn’t looking for a junior to help upskill and support as they embark in their new career. You are a blank canvas, sell yourself as adaptable and willing to learn. Be ready to answer the question…why do you want to work here and what can you bring to the table.
 
Stand out
 
Once you’ve found the ideal job you’ll need to make sure your application stands out from the crowd. Write a clear cover letter that explains why you’d be right for the job. You’ll need to answer specifically the points they’re looking for in the job ad and demonstrate where you have succeeded in the past with the required skills. The more tailored you are, the better they’ll understand why they should talk to you.
 
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
 
Specialist recruiters work with the industry’s most well-respected managers, it’s their job to keep their ear to the ground and get to the nitty gritty of the roles they’re working. They’ll be well informed about where this role has the prospect of going, what the company’s growth plans look like and most importantly what exactly it is that the hiring manager is looking for in a new recruit and how they plan on interviewing them. If you need someone to do the leg work for you, hit us up! Whether it’s a role across the IT, Automation, Aviation or Life Sciences industries, we’re here to help.
 

Hana Tanimura - Google Creative Lab

Glug Profiles: Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab

Glug Profiles: Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab

As the recruitment partner of Glug
, we’ve collaborated with them to bring you the first instalment in a series of Glug Profiles. Here’s an opportunity for you to get an insight into Glug’s speakers. We speak to Hana Tanimura, Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab exploring the challenges she faces in her role and sharing the advice she has for others starting off their careers in the creative industry.
 
Hey Hana, why don’t you start by telling us a little about your role at Google?
 
I am a Senior Designer at Google Creative Lab in London, and I’ve been working here for about 4 and a half years now, in a small group of 28 people. Our role is to work across all of Google’s products and platforms and to imagine new ways to bring those products to life in unexpected ways.
 
On the one hand, we work with Google’s marketing teams to service the company’s existing products – from Chrome, to Search, to Youtube, etc. While on the other hand we also work on “innovation” projects, which could come out of the Lab, or in partnership with engineers, production partners, etc. But everything we do is with the hope of inspiring people to create great things with our technology and remind the world what it is it loves about Google.
 
Have you seen a huge evolution in the tech over this time at Google?
 
Yes, definitely. As a designer, I think I joined at a really interesting time. Google is a tech company first and foremost, and it wasn’t until about 6 or so years ago that it started taking visual design very seriously across the board. Most recently this new focus on design has affected the Google brand, with our new logo – and it has been interesting to see how the rebrand goes on to affect everything we do, including our products. Material Design has been a huge leap forward for us too. Smart technology and great design is an incredibly powerful combination… and I don’t think anyone in this industry underestimates the power of design anymore.

It must be challenging to cater for everyone’s needs when you have a product that is completely accessible to everyone?
 
Each of Google’s products is designed to be accessible to as many people as possible because the company’s philosophy is to make things for everyone. And, as you rightly mentioned, this can pose a lot of design challenges. When you have a small audience to cater for, it’s much easier to establish a clear understanding of that group’s needs, interests, behaviours, and preferences. When you’re designing something that’s intended for “everyone” – it’s a lot more difficult. But what this does is force us to be more disciplined about breaking complex things down into simple ones. Whenever we start a new project in the Lab, we try to articulate the core idea in 2 basic ways: in a sentence, and as a poster. If the poster is not so simple that a stranger would understand what it’s about just from walking by it, then it’s not simple enough. Until we’ve cracked that simplicity, we don’t start building.

I bet that really makes you think outside the box and explore things very creatively. How would you define creativity?
 
Good question! I would argue that there isn’t one, single definition of creativity. But for me personally, creativity has two layers. It starts with curiosity: a desire to learn and know about things outside of your current knowledge. And then the next layer is application: taking that knowledge, and expressing it in some way that you feel will carry a message and communicate to other people… My definition sounds complicated. [Laughs] It would not be allowed on a Google poster!

You get the opportunity to explore a range of different design disciplines in Creative Lab. Is job variety something that is really important to you?
 
Yes, variety is one of the most important things for me personally. It’s something that drew me to Google in the first place, and it’s definitely something that will keep me here for a long time.

There’s an expression that describes people as being “T-shaped”. It’s meant to describe people who have a core discipline, and expertise that run deep in that area – like design in my case for example. That core discipline forms the vertical axis of the letter “T”. And then, on the horizontal axis, you stretch out wide and touch loads of different subject areas, interests and skills. But those knowledge buckets are less profound than your core one. I don’t know a single creative person that this description doesn’t apply to, and who isn’t interested by other areas… So the challenge then becomes: how do you find a job that not only allows for, but also encourages you to explore those curiosities.

How highly do you value networking?
 
I think that, next to being a good person, working hard and having talent – it’s the most important thing you can do. And I think this is as true for people who are just starting out as it is for people who have been working for some years already.
 
It’s easy to get sucked into your own little world and allow the work you do to take up more importance than it should. But if you’re regularly exposing yourself to the wider industry, you’re able to see the things that you’re working on in a larger context. So yes – I think networking is important in terms of jobs, but also in terms of just… keeping perspective.

What advice do you have for people starting their careers in the creative industries?
 
Go to lots of events, learn as much as you can, and expose yourself to as many different companies who are doing interesting stuff as you can. Soak it all up, reflect on it all – but always hold on to who you are. Remember what gets you excited, what you care about, what you think is actually important, and find a way to make sure you never neglect that.
 
I’m not convinced that young creatives are encouraged, or given the opportunity to use their skills to make a positive impact in the world as often as they should be. I’d urge people to do it – to ask themselves what they can do, with all their intelligence and their talents, to make a difference. We’re more powerful and can have a much bigger impact than we might imagine.

Do you have any advice for building up resilience for when things don’t go to plan?
 
I wish there was a simple trick for that. But I think you just need to want to be good more than it hurts to be told that you’re not. It comes from within, you have to want to get better. People will tell you that you’re not good enough in a million ways along the way. Sometimes explicitly, sometimes subtly. Whenever this happens, you have to apply a little critical thinking and consider how much of it you want to take on.
 
Rarely someone has told me that something I made was shit, without there being at least some truth to what they were saying. So I never disregard criticism. Critique in creative can be hard to hear because we pour so much of ourselves into the work. But if you can learn that the stuff you make doesn’t define you, then it’s a lot easier, and you’re a lot more likely to grow and improve.
 
Finally, do you pursue any personal projects outside of work?
 
 As you will see in my talk, my main preoccupation outside of what I do as a designer is diversity. I’m driven to try to encourage people in positions of influence to incorporate diversity as part of their business, because they really believe in it, and not because they have a quota to meet. A “diverse” candidate could be someone who doesn’t have formal training, they could be a minority person of colour or just someone who had an unusual upbringing in some way… Hiring people with different backgrounds, who’ve had different life experiences, leads to better, more creative, more unique work.
Click here to find out more about Hana and her work with Google Creative Lab from her talk at Glug London or read the original article here.
 
We sponsor Glug because it’s a great environment for people to connect with one another and learn from others. Make sure you come and see us at an event if you’re after your next venture! We have plenty of digital and creative recruitment industry knowledge and experience to share.
Interview by: April Edgar
Hana Tanimura speaking at Glug London
 
 

Jacob McCulloch

Next stop for Austin Fraser? Berlin!

Jacob McCulloch, Sales Director, leads our second German expansion to Berlin!
 
We’re proud to announce in 2017 we’ll be launching a new office in Berlin. We want to continue to create new opportunities for our teams as well as providing a thorough offering for our clients in the North of Germany.
 
This expansion will be led by our Director, Jacob McCulloch, who says, “As one of the top tech cities in the world, Berlin is a rapidly growing market. We’re excited to be able to help more clients be part of this huge tech expansion and ensure they have the best talent to propel them forward. Austin Fraser has come a long way since we opened our German office just over three years ago, growing from a team of two to a truly national player.”
 
We have perfected the balance of great salespeople with a fantastic support team, we will recreate this again in Berlin.

 
We’ve spent four years building our presence and markets throughout the Bavarian region in Germany with a centralised base in Munich, venturing up to Berlin for several business opportunities, we are keen to build and maintain more of a presence there. We’ve created an incredible infrastructure of people who are continually pushing themselves and their colleagues around them. The environment we’ve created encourages everyone to strive to achieve. We have perfected the balance of great salespeople with a fantastic support team, this is a balance we will emulate again in Berlin.
 
Our people are vital to our success, one of our primary focuses in our 2020 vision is to continue to shape our business around them and enable them to travel, progress and diversify their careers. What this means is investing in our people and creating opportunities for them to develop both their skills and themselves in progressive roles and have the option to work internationally.
 
“We want our team to have a sense of limitless possibility.” Pete Hart, CEO
 
“We get under the skin of new geographies by investing in the local market, from the grassroots up, bringing in the best people on the ground, while also enabling our UK teams to make a real difference and fulfil professional ambitions. Creating exciting career opportunities for our people is as important as the commercial outcomes. We want our team to have that sense of limitless possibility. Our new Berlin venture is a major part of this story and we’re thrilled to be taking our offer to this rapidly growing market as well as giving our people the chance to work and live in this incredible city.” – Pete Hart, CEO.

Are you investing in future management?

The importance of investing in future management

 
In order for a business to succeed it needs to have solid foundations of senior members of staff who have the knowledge and willingness to lead and develop teams to help push the business forward.
 
What happens when the good manager’s begin to hand in their notices, or retire? We typically go to job boards, post an advert or look for internal candidates and start the recruitment process. This brings us back to the issue of attracting the most talented and engaged candidates to fill these roles.
 
These traditional hiring methods are not always effective in terms of longevity due to the demographic of the market.  If we continue hiring from the very small pool of candidates that is currently available, we’ll effectively be recycling the same management throughout the industry.
 
We need to modernise our teams. We need to start thinking about are our future management.
 
One of my favourite examples of future management is one I featured in my previous blog, Brit Rocks – Women in Quarrying. I successfully introduced an Assistant Quarry Manager to a business in October 2015. This young woman has since been promoted to Quarry Manager and is highly spoken of by her peers and management. The business she’s joined genuinely believes she will positively contribute towards the continual development of the company.  
 
It’s reassuring to know that with time and commitment a junior member of management can make such a huge impact. Many businesses neglect to see the value in hiring junior members of management as they typically are not able to make an impact on the business immediately. However, this example shows that through the support of her business and her personal willingness she has found her feet and is excelling in her role.
 
I’m by no means saying that we shouldn’t employ people straight into managerial positions…that would be ludicrous! If you have a vacancy we need to recruit. However, what I am saying, is that whilst we have teams in full operation, it’s important to focus on bringing in skilled and determined candidates. These need to be people who have the ambition to develop into management but are also passionate about our sector. We need to create a team of potential managers who truly care.
 
This will create a cycle whereby great managers will create great teams. If the cycle is successful, these teams will then go on to create their own teams of future management through coaching and support. If we get people in early doors, who are eager to learn and determined to succeed, it puts us in the best possible position to enable this cycle.  
 

 
Stop thinking about the now, and consider the future. How can you utilise the strongest members of your team to help you, to create your next generation of management?.
 
Personally, I find these three hiring methods help my clients to identify the best candidates for said generation.

Assessment Centres
Open Days
Trainee Programmes

 
Throughout my career I have successfully introduced six future managers to various business via these methods. Having followed up with them all, it’s great to see that they are showcasing promising signs of a bright career ahead.  It’s prompted me to think about why other businesses aren’t focusing more effort on securing their future too.  
 
It’s all well and good now while we’re all fit and healthy and willing to manage our business, but why not start thinking about our successors?  These are the people we can to train and mould to ensure the continued success of our business after we’ve left.
 
I implore you to consider the importance your businesses’ demographic, and if hiring from a different pool of candidates could bring success to your business.  It’s time to start equipping our industry with the talent it needs to succeed in the future.  
 
If you want any further advice on a hiring strategy we’re always happy to help.
 
 

Conducting an interview? Are you prepared?

Here at Austin Fraser, we understand the necessity in obtaining and retaining the highest calibre of staff for our clients. We share our top three tips for interviewers based on interaction and feedback at a round-table talk that we hosted at the PHP Berkshire Meetup.

1. Always be prepared
First things first, it’s not just the candidate who should be preparing for an interview – remember the Scout motto “be prepared”. Preparation on your side is also crucial for a successful outcome. Your time is precious and the cost of a bad hire is one that you will want to avoid. You may have a widely sought after candidate on your hands, so you need to make sure that not only are they right for your role but that you are the right choice for them.

Conducting research on a candidate prior to an interview can make the world of difference. So where do you start? A quick scan over their social media pages can tell you a lot. It should help you begin to paint a picture of what your interviewee is like and whether or not they will be a good company fit.
Online portfolios are a great indicator of the investment someone has in their skills. Stack Overflow and GitHub are great for showcasing people’s personal projects outside of work, and a quick-fire way for you to judge their technical skills.

Research should be a two-way thing, so make sure that when it comes to the interview stage that your candidate has replicated your efforts by researching the company and the role in hand.

2. Use your time effectively
The interview process can be time consuming and as a manager, time is not something that comes in abundance, so make it count. Do not compromise the quality of your interviews, instead, consider how efficiently you can turn a potential hire into a new employee.

Kickstarting the interview process with a phone or video call is a great way of starting the interaction. You are able to get a general feel for what they’re like and whether or not they stand up against what they have written on paper. This method will take minimal time out of your day and will get the ball rolling.

Remember, an interview is your chance to make a great first impression, so the friendlier and more hospitable you can be, the better. Video conferences can create an extra dimension through face-to-face interaction. Video will help you pick up on character traits through body language that you may not have picked up over the phone. It will also give the candidate a more personable impression of the business.

3. Sell the dream
The constant evolving nature of the tech industry provides a nonstop demand for tech talent, with a speedy turnaround. This demand creates strict time constraints when sourcing the best talent, especially on a contractual basis. You need to act fast. Skilled contractors can be on and off the market within days and permanent employees tend to sign new contracts within two weeks of applying.

Once you have invested time, money and resources into the hiring process, you want to make sure it is a sure deal when you get to the point of offer. This is why it’s essential to establish a balance between the candidate selling themselves in and you selling the company to them. Highlighting company benefits such as training opportunities, a positive working environment and state of the art technology could help give you the edge over competing companies. People don’t just take the jobs they can do…they take the jobs they really want! Even if the candidate is not successful, you want them to want to work for you.
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We pride ourselves on being consultative recruiters. If you’d like some further advice on how to alter your interview methods in order to optimise your results, please contact any of our specialist recruiters.
Josh Reeve is always on hand at the monthly PHP Berkshire meetups held at our offices in Reading. 
Contact Joshua Reeve:  +44(0)1189520159 – [email protected] – https://uk.linkedin.com/in/joshreeve

Top 3 TED Talks On Successful Leadership

Here’s Our Top 3 TED Talks On Successful Leadership
We’ve chosen three of our favourite TED Talks by industry experts – Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg and Simon Sinek. Their undeniable leadership skills have helped them establish their careers and gain worldwide recognition for their successes. These three business leaders have also coached others to emulate their success. Each one of them defines crucial aspects of leadership, that will give you a well rounded picture of what you can do as a leader.
 
Richard Branson:
Branson’s TED Talk will give you a real insight into what it takes to become a pioneer in business. He really knuckles down into what he sees as the the most important values to have. He shares lessons he has learnt throughout his career through amusing anecdotes ranging from jumping out of a hot air balloon into the sea, to his brief stints in prison.
 
“All you have in life is your reputation – and it’s a very small world. I don’t think putting people down in order to succeed actually works…As a business leader it’s best to treat people well and fairly.”
 

 
Sheryl Sandberg:
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, recognises the progress for gender equality over recent years, but highlights that women are significantly underrepresented in the C-Suite across the vast majority of industries. She emphasises the importance of recognising this and also explores three very interesting and relatable factors that can contribute to the reasons why this may be.
 
Sheryl emphasises the fact there are normally common denominators that frequently restrict the progression of women. As a leader you need to be aware of these factors and make sure you are making a conscious effort to combat them.
 

 
Simon Sinek:
Simon Sinek is renowned for his concept ‘start with why.’ We all know it’s easy to get caught up in our work, but Simon encourages us to take a step back and focus on the reason why we are doing something and make sure this is at the heart of every action you take. This is a seemingly simple concept but it is one that can create incredible success and help take a good leader and make him into an incredible one.
Simon will give you an insight into how you can harness passion to massively transform the outcome of your actions. He uses well known examples of Apple, The Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King to reinforce how this concept has worked in the past and can work for anyone.