- Access to our unique talent pools
- End to end candidate management
- Detailed data & insight reports
- Dedicated point of contact
- Targeted digital advertising campaigns
- All the benefits of Talent First
- Exclusive partnership
- Dedicated project team
- Access to harder to reach candidates
- Applicant tracking systems
- Data & insights reports
- All the benefits of Talent Plus
- Candidate information packs including job specifications
- Calendar management for key decision-makers
- Flexible Pop-Up recruitment team
- Bespoke interview process
- Quarterly reviews & monthly data reporting
Created especially for Tech Start-ups:
- Recruitment project plan
- Job specification writing
- Salary & market insights
- Applicant tracking system
- Marketing Support
- Legal, HR & Compliance Support
- Optional add-on: Flexible Pop-Up recruitment team
- Flexible pricing model
Meet the Understanding Recruitment Team!
We're an award-winning technology, software and digital recruitment consultancy. As well as covering the UK, we also operate in Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding tech hubs.
We're taking a fresh approach to IT recruitment which means we have much more to offer you than just being order takers. We put the understanding into recruitment, go the extra mile and deliver exactly what you need, every time.
Specialist Teams – Our evolving team of specialists operate across Java, DevOps & Cloud, Front-end, .NET, Machine Learning & AI, FinTech, Project / Programme and Product Management, Cyber Security, Infrastructure & Support, Testing & QA, Architecture & Design.
Geographical Expertise – Our consultants are constantly growing their ecosystem of highly skilled professionals. Whether it's UK wide or in the US, we make sure we have the talent you need.
Permanent & Contract Recruitment – As well as securing you the best talent available for permanent assignments, we also find the very best contractors and interim professionals who can hit the ground running, whether it’s for a one-off vacancy or larger-scale project.
Onvi’s partnership with Jack at Understanding Recruitment has been critical for the business during an exciting time of growth, which required a quick hire turnaround of high-level technical candidates, that also importantly fitted into our company culture. I am confident in using Jack again for our next round of growth and would happily recommend his services to any hiring manager or in-house recruiter.
Talent search is an essential part of any growing business. But beware, there are a lot of sharks out there looking to take a bite out of employers and job seekers alike. For me hiring is an ever-constant activity. I find the secret of success is building strong, long-term relationships with a few reputable agents whom I can trust. James is one of those. He is professional, discrete, dependable, focused and efficient. He has been helping me recruit top developers since 2015. James is always worth calling first whether you are hiring or looking for new job opportunities.
I have worked closely with the Understanding Recruitment team for years now. They’ve played an important role in finding the specialist and hard to find tech talent we need to strengthen Ocado Technology as a world-leading technology business and disruptive innovator. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services to companies wanting to scale their growth in specialist tech areas.
What stands out about Understanding Recruitment’s success is the immense challenge it is to resource and recruit top Java Developers in volume, in such a competitive market and in a sparsely populated area. Having developed a successful, tight-knit partnership with Ocado’s in-house recruitment team, Understanding Recruitment has really taken the time to appreciate Ocado’s requirements and continually deliver to the uppermost standard.
I worked with Alex in my role as Head of Technology Services Manager at Bourne Leisure. She helped me to recruit contractors and permanent staff for multiple roles. Alex is a pleasure to work with. Quick to understand requirements, fun to talk to, reliable in getting back to you and tenacious in finding the right candidate.
The team at Understanding Recruitment took a highly professional approach in helping Enfield Council to fill a number of ICT roles. As a specialist technology and software recruitment company, their extensive knowledge of the market helped to refine our requirements and they formed effective working relationships with the service leads to deliver fully briefed and qualified candidates for interviews. By providing a high level quality service of candidate management, Understanding Recruitment were able to represent Enfield Council, promoting our values and key behaviours. Consistently responsive in their approach, Tom and his team successfully delivered a large number of quality appointments and would certainly recommend their services to others.
Tom from Understanding Recruitment has been a valuable recruitment partner of Enfield Council's DDaT team. He has an excellent people-centric approach that goes beyond just matching skills and experience to a job spec. Tom has an excellent understanding of the market and the technical sector.
Arjun is the type of tech recruiter I like to work with; alongside strong knowledge of the sector, he also works well with an internal TA team and shows confidence in his placement ability. He listened at the first intro meeting as to how I like to work (we will come to you and don't send mass CV's!) and ultimately placed strong candidates when we asked him to work on a role. Look forward to working with him again in my next role!
We owe you a big thanks Tom! The interviewee mentioned that he wasn't actively looking, but when you reached out, the presentation you gave about our company was "too interesting to resist". You've done a tremendous job helping us fill some key roles in the UK and I appreciate your partnership!
Understanding Recruitment are not your typical agency as they really do put in the extra effort to understand your requirements, technical and from a business perspective. Chris and James were a pleasure to deal with and worked hard to find us the right person for the role.
Our Head of Machine Learning & AI recruitment, Anna Heneghan, is back to discuss diversity in tech and the huge benefits of not just more women in tech, but diversity in all areas. Her guest for episode 2 is the talented Priscilla Boyd, who has worked in various software engineering jobs in the UK and US and has been an integral part of forming a diverse, high-achieving team at iTech Media. Don’t miss what Priscilla has to say about how diversity is propelling the company forward below. “When I was five, my parents had a computer at home and now and then my Dad worked from home and I’d start playing with Windows 3 and it soon became natural to me,” recalls Priscilla Boyd, talking about where her love of tech was first apparent. “Growing up, I was also very obsessed with Lego just because I wanted to build things, but I eventually realised it doesn’t just have to be hardware that I can build, but it’s software that can make the hardware more useful.” This was a big realisation for Priscilla, who has built a very successful career working in data and engineering roles for the likes of Siemens, and currently works as senior engineering manager at iTech Media, involved with all things data analytics and AI machine learning – a role I’m delighted to say I placed her in. She’s also been a TEDx speaker and is an all-around diversity champion. “For me, it started by having exposure to tech at home and having the encouragement from my parents to just go out and try stuff,” reflects Priscilla on what shaped her career in tech. But like for most women in tech, her timeline wasn’t the most direct and there was a journey and a mindset shift that got her to where she is now. “I didn’t consider software engineering as a career until I had already started a different course at university and realised that wasn't the thing for me.” How can we drive more diversity in tech? I launched this series due to feeling the need for more open conversations about diversity in tech and what better place to start than with this stat: PWC research states 78 students can't name a famous female working in technology, 16 of females have had a career in technology suggested to them, as opposed to 33 males, and 5% of leadership positions in the technology sector are held by women. There’s obviously no quick fix to this, but where can we start? “As a female in engineering I just want to see more of us, but it is going to be a process. Over the years, it’s been changing and growing up I saw others’ parents labelling computers as a thing for boys and I think this has continued throughout the years,” comments Priscilla. “Some people grew up with that perception, so they started tailoring their education with other things in mind because engineering wasn’t necessarily for women. We’re at the stage where we’re seeing a bit of shift, but it might take a bit of time until we see a more equal split. Working and being a leader, these statistics do paint quite an accurate picture. When we look at role models in technology we talk about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, but we also need to talk about the Grace Hoppers of the world too.” How can recruitment processes create a more diverse tech industry? Priscilla is a fantastic example of a woman in tech making strides in changing things for the long term, and her company are clearly invested in making change happen. “In my current role, we’re increasing the size of the team quite substantially and diversity is a focus and a goal,” she explains. “It’s not just a matter of attending a diversity event and being aware it’s about trying to bring more of it in the pipeline by all means.” This means making sure you put in the effort, whether through hiring-related events or working with agencies that specialise in it, according to Priscilla. Later down the pipeline, iTech Media has many practices focused on ensuring candidates are treated the same way, including having as diverse interview panels as possible, consistency in what is asked of candidates so they are evaluated the same way and having a consensus-driven decision-making process. The company also uses tools including gender decoder for job descriptions to use gender-neutral language as much as possible. Priscilla stresses that it’s not solely about the way jobs are listed, but the whole recruitment process being as open as possible; “If the pipeline is no different then you’re not solving the problem you’re just waiting for it and being reactive – there is lots that can be done.” Diversity: more than a box-ticking exercise From my perspective, I feel some people almost need to change the narrative in their head that isn’t just about trying to get as many women in possible as technology. It’s more about focusing on the value of a diverse team environment, which can bring so many different experiences and skills to the table. It’s about having the full scope and doing everything everywhere to have an impact, not just doing a talk or pledging alliance to something. It's about looking at everything from job adverts to the structure of your company and how people are allowed to progress. ...it’s important to flag I’m not just talking about gender diversity, but neurodiversity, people with disabilities and other backgrounds that may not have had the same opportunities as others.” Diversity, of course, is about more than gender – it’s about openness to everyone and not being afraid to change how you operate. “We have opened up our jobs so you can be either London or Warsaw-based, but also remote, and we’re exploring the possibility of offering roles in other countries,” states Priscilla. “By opening up locations and being a remote-first team, you start with the idea that we can hire people from diverse backgrounds and different perspectives. And it’s important to flag I’m not just talking about gender diversity, but neurodiversity, people with disabilities and other backgrounds that may not have had the same opportunities as others – this is really important for getting a mixed team.” Why aren’t there many women in engineering? In my last interview with Catherine Oxley, we talked a lot about education and how certain biases can hold women back from pursuing a career in tech. With platforms like Coursera and Udemy, YouTube and loads of other resources, accessibility to learning about tech has never been easier, yet often degree requirements are still a barrier to entry into the industry. This issue feels certainly pressing from my everyday experience working recruitment, and Priscilla is a big advocate of not looking for certain criteria to be met when it comes to candidates’ academic backgrounds. “We don’t have requirements when it comes to degrees or education on purpose,” explains Priscilla. “The reason being you could have had an amazing education, but you decided to move sectors or maybe you didn’t have that privilege to start with, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t do a job.” “...you could have had an amazing education, but you decided to move sectors or maybe you didn’t have that privilege to start with, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t do a job.” Priscilla questions the need behind putting out there you require proof of computer science degree to show you can do the work; “I’ve come across amazing people who didn’t have a degree and did the job very well.” I fully back this approach, and that some of these requirements are holding women back from a career in engineering right now, which is especially problematic when you consider women growing up aren’t encouraged to take up subjects relevant for a career in STEM. “I think this is changing, but it’s also for organisations to not just say they are going to get diverse candidates for a role, but think about requirements and the level the person that you actually need to fulfil the job and how you're going to grow that person to learn your skills and progress and become more senior.” She adds, “Don’t just look to fulfil the role with senior candidates that only have this degree with first-class honours, as you are lowering the pool of potentially diverse candidates you can get. It’s really important to think of the why rather than just putting the requirements out there.” Why is diversity in tech so important? “I’ve been fortunate that every team I’ve worked in I’ve had great people around me from diverse backgrounds like me,” says Priscilla on how a diverse workplace has helped her in her work and life. “I’m from a half Brazilian and half Japanese family, so diversity is part of who I am and is key.” She continues: “There have been situations in my life where I would maybe dress or talk a certain way, and I think over time I realised that there is so much value for me as a human being to the authentic self that I am everywhere and not just at home.” This feels more important than ever to remember when you are perhaps part of a minority at work, especially early on in your career, and perhaps mimic the corporate environment around you to try and assimilate, says Priscilla. “If you have fewer female role models out there, then all you can do is mimic what role models you do have (which are men), but it’s important to be true to you whether you are at a coffee machine having a chat or meeting with very senior people.” It’s clearly part of the culture of iTech Media to nurture a diverse workforce, not just in gender, race or another differentiating factor, but in personality type. Everyone shares their Myers Briggs personality type, so the team is aware of everyone’s preferred communication style and strengths and weaknesses – something Priscilla notes particularly helps from a leadership perspective. What is Priscilla’s advice for a career in tech? I couldn’t sit down with Priscilla, who has made a name for herself in tech on both sides of the pond, without asking her advice for those who don’t feel like they fit the typical ‘tech employee’ stereotype on a long, happy career in tech. “Challenge the status quo, honestly, as cliché as it sounds,” says Priscilla. “If you want to work for a company and you don’t meet the requirements reach out. Let them know you’re interested, and you’d love to work for them, even if you don’t meet the requirements but have relevant experience and can show you’re eager. Reach out on LinkedIn and the company’s contact page – be proactive!” “I didn’t hear back for 3 weeks and I thought my application had been discarded, but then out of the blue I was invited for an interview and 2 weeks later I had an offer. It’s easy to look at a job advert and think you don’t fit the bill, and studies show it’s increasingly common among women, so I echo this sentiment completely. Priscilla concludes, “I always tell the story of when I was working as a systems engineer, and I saw a project manager job at Siemens. I looked and thought ‘this is cool – I don’t think I’m going to get it, but I’m going to apply anyway!’” “I didn’t hear back for 3 weeks and I thought my application had been discarded, but then out of the blue I was invited for an interview and 2 weeks later I had an offer. People always say if you don’t ask, you don’t get and if you don’t try you won’t either, so challenge things and even if you see a job that doesn’t fully fit with what you’ve done, show interest.” She adds: “I will 100 percent value a candidate more if they reach out with a unique cover letter and makes it personal and human showing genuine passion about the company and that can demonstrate they’ve got the skills. Our process is designed to explore the person and that they can solve problems and work in a team setting and meet the culture of the company. We’re not interested in the long list of huge courses you’ve done or your degree, we’re just interested in your experience and your ability to work well in a fun environment.” Thank you to Priscilla for the inspiring insight she shared about how diversity is the backbone of her team’s success and for sharing her wisdom on how to build a successful career in tech. Looking to expand your AI & Machine Learning team? Feel free to get in touch to have a chat about how I can help you expand your team to reach your business goals, or if you have any feedback about the series. Read our latest Machine Learning & AI salary survey.
We are delighted to announce that our US consultancy Understanding Recruitment Inc has rebranded as Acceler8 Talent following the consultancy’s rapid growth in the machine learning and emerging technology markets. After launching in Boston as Understanding Recruitment Inc in 2019, as part of the award-winning UK-based technology, software, and digital staffing group Understanding Recruitment, we’re proud to have gone from strength-to-strength sourcing exceptional tech talent and scaling up teams around the USA. Leading the way in tech recruitment Five additional team members, a bigger office space, and many targets being surpassed later, we’re thrilled to reposition ourselves in the market as Acceler8 Talent to best represent the ground-breaking work our partners are doing in next-generation tech and our ambitions for our future. With our rebrand, we’re excited to reinforce our position as the leading specialist consultancy to place tech talent in roles in AI and machine learning, hardware acceleration, quantum computing, silicon photonics, and related technologies, and look forward to forming new partnerships with startups and large companies as Acceler8 Talent. Our mission remains the same: to connect companies to the best talent in tech to help them fulfill their potential, every day. New branding, same high performing team In addition to a new company name in Acceler8 Talent, our visual identity has been revamped too, with our new logo and website launching today representing the dynamism we endeavor to bring to everything we do as staffing experts working in the most exciting industries in the world. Acceler8 Talent’s specialist recruitment team of consultants and researchers remain based out of its Portland Street office in Boston, led by Matthew Ferdenzi, and in close collaboration with the wider Understanding Recruitment group. Matthew Ferdenzi, COO of Acceler8 Talent, commented on the rebrand: “Two years after launching, we are now in a unique situation where we are still a small, but rapidly-growing outfit in the USA – if we were to ever rebrand, now is the time to do so. We wanted to find a name and brand that really represented who we are and what we are passionate about recruiting for." He added: “As Acceler8 Talent, we would like to continue to be recruitment leaders within the space of highly advanced computation, and we feel our rebrand reflects our mission and how the market has shifted over the years, where lightning-fast computation and systems and devices are conducting the way that the world operates.” “Coming here and starting from nothing has certainly been a challenge and my team and worked hard, laughed, and cried our way through the recruitment roller-coaster. I couldn’t be prouder of my team and what we have achieved so far, and this is just the beginning.” Understanding Recruitment would like to thank everyone involved across branding, marketing, website development, and our six in-house specialists who embody everything Acceler8 Talent is about, for their contribution to the rebrand and our continued growth. To find out more about how partnering with Acceler8 Talent could transform your business, contact the team to discuss how we could help make your vision for your product a reality and support you to hit your targets.
The resilience of everyone at Understanding Recruitment over the last 18 months has shown really what we’re made of as a tech recruiter, and I couldn’t be prouder. It’s been more than the outstanding figures and records broken and an example of how we’ve come together as a team to help support each other, finding new, creative ways to communicate as a team and to our audience, and setting ourselves up for an exciting future. Here are my 6 takeaways as Director of Understanding Recruitment: I’m writing this in August 2021 – which still feels a little odd, the year has flown by and our third lockdown feels like a lifetime ago, let alone where we were in March last year. We, as a tech recruiter, whilst still having huge ambitions for the future, also had sensible expectations for the year ahead as we continue to tread uncharted territory of having team members at home and in the office, people that caught COVID and thankfully recovered well, and being in the great position to expand the UR team and look towards a bright future. From a company perspective, it’s been an absolutely incredible year for Understanding Recruitment. To look back on what we have achieved against the backdrop of a really challenging time is astonishing. This is down to many things, but fundamentally, the whole team going above and beyond in several ways to support each other and become even better at what we do. 2020 was a big lesson in what we needed to do to come out stronger, as a recruitment consultancy and as human beings, and wow, has that hard work paid off so far in 2021. 1.Tech recruitment is booming: A record-breaking year Coming into January 2021, obviously, we didn’t know exactly what to expect for the year ahead, however, I’m delighted to say that the markets picked up considerably and our performance has gone through the roof. This has resulted in seven consecutive months of record-breaking results and each month since January being better than the last, more records being broken, more individuals securing promotions and so on. It really has been incredible. Last month, we superseded our first million-pound month in our 13-year history of doing this, which was a huge milestone for the business (and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come!). There have been some incredible individual and team performances, and collectively we have come together to achieve fantastic results. 2. Internal hiring is propelling us forward We have all seen how badly the job market has been hit by the pandemic, however, I’m delighted that we have been in the position to grow our brilliant team and warmly welcome back the few people who were on furlough. When we went into the country’s first lockdown last year, we still wanted to look to the future knowing at some point, we would come out the other side. We wanted to take the opportunity to not just come out of it but come out stronger and we made this commitment clear to the entire business from the outset. So, we hired fresh talent, both at entry-level and for experienced roles as well, knowing that that future investment would pay off and launched many new initiatives to take to market and help add even more value to our clients and candidates alike. "We hired fresh talent, both at entry-level and for experienced roles as well, knowing that that future investment would pay off." Already this year, we’ve seen new talent coming through at graduate level and senior level. What’s even more encouraging is seeing the internal development of new management, allowing us to scale up and create even more opportunities for people to join us at Understanding Recruitment. We’re now looking to double our headcount in the next couple of years across our UK and US operations, and we’re investing more in training and development than we ever have done to get us ready for the future. 3. Adapting and innovating is essential as a recruiter in 2021 One of the things we learned last year was how to be better in every department. One key area we’ve really developed in is how we use social media, have strong personal brands and wide company brands, as well as utilise our technology to explore new ways of working and identifying talent. Whether it be through the UR team doing podcast interviews, our Head of Machine Learning & AI Anna’s Diversity in AI series, our salary surveys, and other market reports, we’ve got creative when it comes to how we provide a better client and candidate experience. It’s paid off as the client feedback has been fantastic, and it’s elevated our position from much more than being a transactional recruitment business to one of true partnership. And it’s only going to carry on in this direction as we move forward. What this all comes down to is hiring individuals with a growth mindset – our team is forward-thinking and come to us with ideas. We always want to listen to and explore new ways of working, and not be doing the same thing as a couple of years ago. 4. Improving our client experience remains at our core When we entered the remoted working world, which was an unusual situation for lots of us, we maintained that we still wanted to use the opportunity to broaden our solutions. We wanted to give our clients more options and solutions to their problems growing their employee base. That’s why we’ve created a whole series of talent solutions and launched our Understanding Solutions, specifically focusing on delivering project-driven support. The feedback to date has been fantastic and we’re thrilled to be partnering with clients in this way to help solve their challenges. I’ll add that we’ve won some incredible clients this year, but whether it’s the likes of TikTok or a brand-new start-up every project is treated as its own project with specific requirements. Although there’s been a massive upsurge this year, we look less at the number of opportunities we’ve taken on board, but the fill rates. We ensure whatever project or assignment we take on from our clients, that we fulfil it and not just that, but go above and beyond – every opportunity matters to us. 5. The future is very bright for the US tech recruitment market We’ve been active within the US market for nearly two years under the brilliant leadership of Mat Ferdenzi who has grown the Boston-based UR team to six with further expansion on the cards. The camaraderie they have epitomises our entire culture, and it’s been brilliant to see the difference they are making in their market in such a short time and a testament to how well they work as a team. "...it’s been brilliant to see the difference they are making in their market in such a short time and a testament to how well they work as a team" We’ve been able to engage with some fantastic clients, such as Google, on some hugely exciting opportunities. The team is leading the way in their specialist fields of machine learning and AI, hardware acceleration, quantum computing and silicon photonics, with lots of business coming through recommendation referral. Our presence in the US market is only going to get bigger, and it’s incredibly exciting for all of us as it only creates further opportunities for everyone. 6. Investment in staff wellbeing is more important than ever Certainly, in the darkest moments of lockdown where there was complete isolation and we were all at home, it was so important for us to communicate with each other and check in through Teams and Zoom. We also have introduced a Wellbeing Committee, which is a hugely important aspect part of our business culturally, especially in these times. We’ve got to look out for each other and give everyone the support they need. Our committee involves all team members of all levels and it’s seeing some very positive benefits, whether that be small activities during the week, monthly events, open conversations, and breakout conversations, just to make sure no one is feeling isolated. We also offer a subscription to the mindfulness app Calm to all the UR team. One of our values is ‘together stronger’ and the last year and a half have shown how relevant it is, as we all look after each other. It’s not just about business, it’s about people, and really making sure they’re okay and checking in because you genuinely care about them. We’ve always had an extremely collaborative team however the last year has brought us even closer together and in my opinion, will only set us up for even better years ahead. 2021 and beyond! Looking back on 2021 so far, it’s already been an outstanding year for our company’s growth. This has been the collective effort of everyone in the business over the last couple of years. Every single bit of activity, every bit of energy invested in Understanding Recruitment has counted and got us where we are today. "The tech market is absolutely booming. We're evolving our services constantly. We're getting better at our job all the time. And we're going to do it together." By focusing on the successes of the year, I, of course, do not want to take away from what a difficult time facing this pandemic – I have seen so much resilience from everyone and every day and supporting each other’s wellbeing amazingly. Hopefully, we’ll never see the likes of this experience again, but knowing we’ve got through this so well and come out stronger fills me with immense pride and huge amounts of excitement about the future and where we’re going. The tech market is absolutely booming. We're evolving our services constantly. We're getting better at our job all the time. And we're going to do it together. The future is incredibly bright for Understanding Recruitment. Find out more about joining us below!
Did you know, when our Head of Machine Learning & AI recruitment, Anna Heneghan, is not filling some of the most exciting, new AI jobs, she’s hosting her very own ‘Diversity in AI’ interview series? In case you missed out, we’ve recapped what we learned from episode one, featuring software engineer Catherine Oxley. Diversity in AI is something I’m truly passionate about. I may not work directly in tech, but every day I am talking to hiring managers and candidates, and whilst there have been positive changes since I joined Understanding Recruitment in 2017, I’m still struck by the lack of women in AI. How do we attract more female-identifying people to jobs in AI, best support them in their career, and keep them in the industry? What needs to change within our education system, hiring processes, and company culture? These are all important questions I want to have an open conversation about, and more, in my new ‘Diversity in AI’ interview series, which you can catch on the UR YouTube channel and recaps on the UR blog if you’re short on time. For my first Diversity in AI interview, I sat down (virtually), with Catherine Oxley, who has made a name for herself working as a software engineer in e-commerce and other sectors, and is currently finishing her Master’s in Computer Science. I am delighted to have placed her in her newest role in the exciting world of AI-driven software technology and was keen to discuss diversity in technology with her – why it is lacking, what impact this could have on the industry, and how we work towards a solution and change things for the better. Why aren’t there many women in AI? The stats speak volumes – according to Diversity in Tech, a recent study showed that two of the biggest barriers for women in tech are lack of mentors (48%) and lack of female role models (42%), and having little support can of course impact gender diversity, as it can cause uncertainty for those who are interested in entering the industry. This feels problematic when you consider that the tech sector is expanding three times faster than the rest of the UK economy, is worth around £184 bn, yet diversity is one of the biggest challenges for the industry. Only 15% of the tech workforce are BAME and gender diversity sits at if you can believe it, 30% less than all other jobs (49% vs 19%). I think these statistics are quite shocking, and that’s why I wanted to talk to Catherine, as someone who has worked so hard to have her place as a woman in AI. Meet Catherine Oxley "I’m a software engineer and I’ve mostly been working in full stack development and front end for the past four years or so and am doing my Master’s degree,” explains Catherine. “I’ve had a strange introduction into software engineering as I’ve done things backwards, but I do think a lot of women are coming into the field later in life. I can’t wait to branch out into a new domain and thanks for helping me find my new role!” she adds. Does education hold women back from careers in tech? We all probably remember the stage in our teenage years when we had to start thinking about what we may want to do as a job. I think a lot of women will resonate with the feeling of subconsciously being pushed towards the arts. I certainly showed skill in ICT but studying felt it was never going to be a conversation. There’s perhaps a damaging presumption that men like maths and sciences and women like the arts holding women back from pursuing studies that will lead them toward a career in tech. “I absolutely think there is, and I think it’s a cultural thing leading to men being more interested in and going onto study those subjects more than women from an early age,” says Catherine. “I didn’t love maths at school, but maths using coding is a lot more interesting and creative than you actually would think at school age!” Catherine took another path initially, completing a French degree and coming back to academia to do her Masters course, where there were around seven women out of a hundred students. “Then you go into the workplace it’s unusual to see many other female developers too.” Can you come to a career in tech later in life? Every day I meet people who show me sometimes all you need is a spark – an interest in tech, and a handful of determination, that can lead to a great career in tech. “Growing up I really enjoyed gaming and I thought I’d love to build the games I’ve been playing. There turned out to be too much of a block degree-wise, but when I started looking at other options and web development stood out as something I also enjoyed that I could get started with quicker.” Catherine is a shining example of how you don’t have to come from the most conventional background. Working in the field as a recruiter, I sometimes see people holding themselves back because I think they think as they’ve not done a certain degree so they can’t go into a specific career. “I realised later in life I was interested in tech in a way that was different from my friends. Even though I’d grown up around computers, it never actually occurred to me it might be something I do in my career,” explains Catherine. A year abroad teaching English lessons about technology and she came to realise it’s what she wanted to do in life. It was not without its struggles however when it comes to academia; “I thought working with coding and mathematical concepts for four years would be enough to get onto a Masters, but it was a big struggle to get universities to believe I could do it. I had to fight hard to get a place.” There are so many blockers in the way for women in tech, being open to individuals who have industry experience, but maybe don’t have the STEM degree, seems like it would be a huge positive for creating a more diverse tech industry. Catherine’s persistency paid off, but it does take that resilience and sometimes the confidence to change paths. “Women do tend to come to it later and it is a hindrance and they can remain junior for longer because they come into it later or are from a different background.” How can we keep women in tech? Individuals like Catherine show what is possible as a woman in tech, but the challenges highlighted by Diversity in Tech can be detrimental. “Women do tend to drop out of tech more than men because there are a lot of barriers especially if you haven’t got that academic environment and have come to it later,” states Catherine. Of course, this is not part of an agenda against anyone who has different pronouns to she/her working in tech. My concern is one identity dominating an industry can prevent others from joining and companies benefitting from other methods or solutions that you could come to, and there being a kind of a bubble that doesn't get broken for a long time. How does Catherine feel things can get better in the long term in the tech industry? “I think targeting girls at younger ages would be beneficial and making conversations around things like maternity leave easy to have.” Catherine also highlights the importance of female peers; “Even though there are not many women developers, I’m really lucky that I’ve worked with quite a few and my last two managers who were at a very senior level were female (which is unusual). It’s been amazing for me to have those role models, but I know a lot of female developers don’t have the same benefit,’ explains Catherine. “I wouldn’t want to put any woman off joining the industry because I think it’s opening up a lot but it [lack of other women] does impact your work and can affect how you feel on a day-to-day basis, especially if you're the only woman on projects or in a job.” She says having female managers had a significant impact on her career; “They understand what you experience and can give you specific advice about how to deal with certain situations.” Catherine pinpoints job adverts as another aspect of the industry potentially holding women in tech back from future career development. “I think job adverts especially for tech can be very intimidating,” she affirms. “There’ll be pages and pages of long requirements and you may not know half of them, but you realise it’s quite normal in this industry and you’re only really expected to tick half and learn the rest.” There’s a stat I read stating that women will make sure they pass every single job requirement before they even apply for a job, whereas men don’t. Catherine’s advice? “If you see a job that you’re missing a few qualifications for, go for it anyway!” What does Catherine value in a tech job? “Personally, what’s most important is the culture and the tech stack,” states Catherine, on what is appealing in a potential employer. “To be always learning is a priority for me. I think it’s quite a common concern in tech that you go stale because technology moving so fast, so I always want to be learning – whether that be a new language, technology, leadership skills, or letting you go do hackathon!” Catherine also stresses the importance of culture too and feeling comfortable in a team due to the atmosphere. “I think there's just as time goes on companies are realising it's not that easy to attract talent and there's so much competition for it,” she says. “Sometimes when you're in a startup or even at a big company you can forget candidates have a lot of options for how they move forward in their career, so it’s essential to be an attractive employer but also promote the right attitude [to inequality].” In terms of future advice for any young people considering a career in tech, Catherine stresses getting involved as early as possible; “Think about what you may need to do as soon as you can. There are so many free resources out there now (like Harvard’s CS50 course) that are so useful for getting started – give it go and I’m sure you’ll find it a lot more fun than you think!” A big thank you to Catherine for being the first to take part in my Diversity in AI series and share her path to working in tech, and I’m very excited to see all she achieves in her new role! Hiring in AI and machine learning? Feel free to get in touch to have a chat about how I can help you expand your team to reach your business goals, or if you have any feedback about the series.
What a year 2020 was! Although the pandemic halted some companies' hiring plans, we still helped lots of organisations scale their teams and developers find new roles. The information in this 2021 .NET Developer Report is based on data collected through our .NET survey completed by highly relevant developers on our database, the latest LinkedIn Insights data, data from our 2020 placements, and salary ranges provided by our current partners that include some of the best technology-driven businesses across the UK. What’s the current state of the .NET talent pool in the UK? There are 31.3k professionals in the Software Developer talent pool with .NET & C# experience in the UK on LinkedIn. 88% of these identify as men and 12% identify as women. It definitely seems like UK developers are becoming more full-stack even if their job title doesn’t state it with many organisations requiring .NET developers to have front end skills. We also saw a 48% 1y growth in .NET Core, a 44% increase in React, and a 38% increase in Microservices. On average, .NET Developers decide to move companies to pursue a new job after 1.5 years, highlighting the importance of retaining good talent. Overall 89% of developers were happy with the tech they use. 80% of respondents also said that their companies had moved into the cloud. Azure was the top choice in cloud platforms, closely followed by AWS. 9.8% of respondents used private cloud platforms while none used GCP. To find out more about which universities are producing this talent click here. What does this talent earn? The demand for talent within .NET remained high throughout 2020 despite the pandemic. Similar to last year, we saw higher salaries being offered to candidates with knowledge and experience of cloud and DevOps tools. We have also noticed that more organisations are looking for .NET Developers with some experience with front end technologies and are paying them more. Thankfully, we have found that organisations aren’t trying to pay their developers less as they are no longer commuting. For more salary insights check out the full report. What are the factors causing Developers to look for a new job? Where is this talent located? As expected, London is where the majority of developers reside. We are seeing an increase of developers based in cities such as Hove, Lincoln, and Leicester. Hiring demand across London, Manchester, Bristol and Leeds remains very high. The increase in more fully remote roles has meant that individuals can be based across the UK. The organisations that are open to more remote or fully remote are the ones who are securing more talent. Remote Working is key in retaining .NET talent Remote working is definitely here to stay, with an overwhelming 68.2% of developers saying they wouldn't accept a new job that didn't offer flexi-time and/or remote working. This is up from 45% in last year's survey. Pre-Covid, we saw the majority of companies allowing developers to work remotely 1- 3 days a week. 67.3% said their employers will continue to offer remote working while 29.1% of respondents said they didn't know if their employers would allow them to carry on working remotely. We find this worrying considering it has become such a deciding factor for developers. To view more benefits, click here. What do Developers look for in new employers? Openness to innovation Focus on quality Challenging the team Prioritising people Let’s chat For any further information about the statistics in this report or other information about the .NET market, including competitors, tech on the rise and hiring processes, feel free to contact me for a chat. Arjun Gillard Head of .NET Recruitment Email me +44 (0)1727 809079 or +44 (0)7791 141 227 Connect with me on LinkedIn Schedule a call with me
As Michelle Obama said: "There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." At Understanding Recruitment we're proud to be an equal opportunities employer and fully support APSCo's Women in Recruitment initiative. Just in time for International Women's Day, we asked our ambitious, driven and wonderfully talented women here at Understanding Recruitment, who #ChooseToChallenge every day, what advice they would give their younger selves. Nicola Parker, Delivery Manager "Know that there will always be unforeseen hurdles in life, but worrying about what hasn’t happened yet, or might happen in the future is a waste of energy and can stop you from enjoying the now – you cannot control what happens in your future but you can control how you live in the present. Trust that you are always where you are meant to be, whether it feels that way or not at the time – things always work themselves out in the end." Alex Martuccio, Contract Account Manager "If you have a passion or a dream, follow it and make a reality. It will be hard and you will get lots of setbacks and people telling you it’s not possible, but if you really want it, you will do anything to make it happen." Danielle Blake, .NET Researcher "Failure is the first step in success and is just as important as success." Jana Timm, Head of Marketing "You will get to where you want to be but it will take time. Learn as much as you can from the people around you and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You don’t know what you don’t know." Charlotte Young, Java Recruitment Executive "Consistency and determination to achieve will get you far." Cassie Holdsworth, Management Accountant "Don’t focus too much on the destination but enjoy the journey too. I’ve always been one to focus too much on achieving the bigger things, such as; the job, the wedding, the car, the house etc., and you can easily get distracted from enjoying the small things too." Molly Boca, Hardware Acceleration & ML Recruitment Consultant "Worry less about what others think about you and learn to love yourself through your own eyes not someone else’s. The easiest way to be the best version of yourself is to be free from the judgement of others' perspectives." Emma Matthiesen, Training & Development Manager "Work hard - the better you do, the more options you’ll have." Suzy Bolton, Finance Director "Believe in yourself more and it’s true that the harder you work, the better you do!" Monique Hunt, Accounts Assistants "Have confidence in your ability/self and don’t always assume the worst." Laura Trimmer, Talent Acquisition Consultant "Trust your instincts, everything really does happen for a reason." Rhiannon Mehta, Senior Recruitment Consultant - High Value Fundraising "Trust yourself and don’t listen to other people’s judgement on what you can achieve!" Maggie Mulshine, Hardware Acceleration, Photonics & ML Researcher "Don't focus so hard on what people will think, and instead focus on what you really want to do and what makes you happy." Emily Kitamura, Head of Global Talent Acquisition "You're doing great! Everything will work itself out, just believe in yourself and keep doing you!" Anna Heneghan, Head of Machine Learning & AI UK "Worry less about what other people think about you and think about what you are doing instead. Focus more on yourself. Think about how you can develop and increase your happiness." Emma Wilson, Delivery Consultant "Don't be afraid to try new things! Push yourself out of your comfort zone more often... what's the worst that could happen?!" Lisa Booth, HR Manager "Don’t let the expectations and opinions of others limit your ambitions. Only you know what you can achieve." Mollie Redmond, Marketing Executive "You don't have to have everything figured out and it’s okay if things aren’t quite going to plan. Learn as much as you can and remain positive – things will work out in the end." Curious about #LifeAtUR? We'd love to hear from you! DM Emily Kitamura on LinkedIn, email your CV to email@example.com or call 01727 228 255 to have chat about the opportunities we have for you.
In today’s budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak made a range of announcements to aid the recovery from COVID-19 debt. Here are the highlights from his speech: 1. Economic Recovery The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that the UK economy will return to pre-COVID levels by the middle of next year, sixth months earlier than previously thought. Meanwhile, unemployment is expected to peak at 6.5%. 2. Furlough Scheme Extended till September Millions of workers will continue to have 80% of their wages paid as the furlough scheme is extended until the end of September 2021. There will be no change for employees who will continue to have 80% of their wages paid for hours not worked. Employers however will be expected to contribute as they reopen. Nothing will change until July, when employers will be asked to contribute 10%, increasing to 20% in August and September. 3. More Support for Self-Employed The self-employment support scheme will be extended until the end of September with 600,000 more people being eligible. When the scheme originally launched, newly self-employed couldn’t qualify because they hadn’t all filed a 2019 – 20 tax return. Providing they filed their tax return by midnight last night, self-employed will now be able to claim the fourth and fifth grants. The fourth grant will provide a taxable grant calculated at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits and will be paid out in a single instalment capped at £7,500 in total. The fifth and final grant covering May to September will be worth: 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500, for those with a turnover reduction of 30% or more 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850, for those with a turnover reduction of less than 30% 4. New Visa Reforms for Science, Research & Tech Visa reforms are being introduced to make it easier to attract the best and most promising international talent in science, research, and tech. We will have more on this soon. 5. Business Support The 100% business rate relief will continue until June and then be reduced to two-thirds until the rest of the year. Bounce-back loans will be replaced by a new recovery loan scheme. Emergency loans of between £25,000 and £10m will be available as well as re-start grants of up to £6,000 for non-essential retailers, and up to £18,000 for hospitality and personal service businesses. Companies will also be able to offset losses against their tax bills going back up to three years, allowing them to claim additional refunds of up to £760,000. Corporation tax is set to increase to 25% in April 2023, however companies with profits of £50,000 or less will still only be liable for the current 19% rate. Only those with profits of £250,000 or more will pay the full 25%. Businesses will also be given incentive payments of £3,000 for all new apprentice hires of any ages while £126m will be invested to triple the number of new traineeships. Businesses are also incentivised to invest and can reduce their taxable income by 130% of the amount they invest. A new ‘help to grow scheme’ will offer smaller businesses management and digital training. You can register your interest here. 6. Personal Tax Personal tax thresholds will be frozen with the income tax threshold increasing to £12,570 next year and kept at this level till 2026. The higher rate threshold will rise to £50,270 next year and will also stay there until 2026. Thresholds for inheritance tax, pension lifetime allowance and capital gains tax thresholds are also being frozen. 7. New Freeports Eight freeports have been announced. These are special economic zones with different rules to make it cheaper and easier to do business. They are: East Midlands Airport Felixstowe and Harwich Humber Liverpool City region Plymouth Solent Thames Teeside
According to a recent Gartner survey, 64% of managers believe that office workers are higher performers than remote workers, and in turn are likely to give in-office workers a higher raise than those who work from home. Yet data from a poll we ran on LinkedIn recently, showed that a whopping 49% of tech professionals feel more productive when working from home. And they are not alone. The Harvard Business Review collected data from both 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 2020 (during the pandemic) that clearly showed: Full-time remote workers are 5% more likely to be high performers than those who work full-time from the office. So why do managers maintain this bias in favour of in-office workers? The answer lies deeply rooted in a lot of corporate cultures but also in how we subconsciously perceive people based on physical face time with them. Shifting to a full-time remote working model was a change businesses and organisations across the world had to adapt to. For some of them, this change came a lot quicker than planned, and with it the loss of perceived control over their employees' productivity. With a lot of businesses adopting or planning to adopt a hybrid workforce even after the pandemic ends, remote working isn’t going away any time soon. In December 2020, PwC found that 83% of employers felt the shift to remote working was a success, compared to 73% in June. What’s more, 52% of executives now report that employees are more productive than they were before the pandemic, up from 44% in the earlier survey. Gartner’s 2020 ReimagineHR Employee Survey revealed that only 36% of employees were high performers at organizations with a standard 40-hour workweek. Organizations that offer employees flexibility over when, where and how much they work, see 55% of their workforce as high performers. Beyond 2021, we can expect to see a shift in employees being measured by their output, as opposed to an agreed set of hours. During the pandemic 1 in 4 companies purchased technology to track and monitor their employees. According to Gartner research, less than 50% of employees trust their employer with their data with 44% not receiving any information on how their data is being used by their employer. In the near future, we expect to see new regulations that will limit what employers can track and how they can do it. What does this bias mean for the gender pay gap? Surveys show that men are more likely to return to the workplace while women are more likely to continue working from home which could be a contributing factor to the gender pay gap widening at a time the pandemic has already disproportionately impacted women. How can companies get the best out of remote teams? According to Gartner’s 2020 ReimagineHR Employee Survey, employers that support employees with their life experience see a 23% increase in the number of employees reporting better mental health and a 17% increase in the number of employees reporting better physical health. There is also a real benefit to employers, who see a 21% increase in the number of high performers compared to organizations that don’t provide the same degree of support to their employees. Remote work options can help break down barriers enabling talent acquisition to cast a wider net to reach underrepresented talent. It can also be a powerful way to support diversity and inclusion efforts and helps to attract, support, and retain great talent from all backgrounds. You might also like: Not Today Covid: Time for Optimism in the Tech Industry Use the 80/20 Rule to Beat Procrastination Insights from our 2021 Machine Learning & AI Talent Report
Unbelievably for me, it's been almost a year since our worlds were turned upside down both in and out of work and we’ve all had our fair share of challenges. Thankfully, almost a year on and despite the obvious restrictions we’re all still facing in the UK, there’s finally some well-needed light at the end of the tunnel and in my opinion good reason to be optimistic for the future especially within the world of IT & technology. So what does the future of work look like and what are our customers saying about it? Unsurprisingly, talent is still very much top of the boardroom agenda; both in being able to attract talent as well as maintaining it. In a world where the vast majority of businesses have been forced into adopting a ‘virtual workforce’ the challenges of maintaining (as well as enhancing) company culture has never been more important but also extremely difficult. The winners are those who’ve been creative, adapted and found new ways to make this work and in many examples, it's been those companies who understand their teams best who’ve nailed it. Coupled with the fact that geographic barriers are in many cases no longer a factor in attracting talent who can in many instances work from anywhere in the world, the war for talent has never been greater and this trend is only set to continue. Remote working much like the demise of the high-street has inevitably been accelerated significantly by COVID. And as Darwin famously said: “It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” So what signs of recovery am I seeing in the tech market? Despite the obvious challenges that still exist within some sectors, there are also a significant number of businesses who have long moved from ‘survival’ mode and firmly into ‘building for the future’ mode, looking to use their creativity to challenge the status quo, discover new opportunities and through technology make all of our lives a bit easier. This has in turn seen a clear trend across all our data with companies looking to hire more technology professionals to drive their businesses forward. Confidence is creeping back and in many ways, this is because people have learned (or maybe just accepted) how to live in a COVID world. And with the acceleration of the national vaccination programme and the growing hope that ‘normality’ will soon be returning to all of us, companies are able to be more confident in what the future will look like and the roles they want to play. One word of caution however to all of those companies who are waiting for things to go back to the way things were. As an industry, this has been an opportunity to hit the ‘reset’ button, to pause and think about the way companies and teams operate. Those companies in my opinion who go back to the way things were, will have missed the bigger picture. Technology has always been about innovation, challenging the norm and doing things better than before. And it’ll be the companies who grab this opportunity with both hands who thrive when we finally come through the other side. Let's Connect If you'd like to have a chat about this article, find out more about the state of the tech industry or discuss your hiring plans please reach out to me on LinkedIn.
We're living in a rapidly changing world as a result of Covid-19. As in previous years, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning skills have been in constant demand with LinkedIn reporting a growth of 40% in global hires in 2020. The information in our 2021 Machine Learning & AI Guide is based on data from our placements, an extensive questionnaire filled out by a highly relevant pool of candidates and from salary ranges provided by our current partners that include some of the best technology-driven businesses across the UK. Which industries are benefiting most from AI? According to a poll, we ran on LinkedIn recently, Software and Tech Organisations could stand the most to gain by investing in AI. Other areas that are evolving in this space include Healthcare, Medical Research, Finance, Multimedia, Chip Design, Market Research, and many more. Overview of the Machine Learning talent pool in the UK As is the case in so many tech professions only 21% of Machine Learning professionals on LinkedIn in the UK are female. Data shows that Machine Learning professionals are most likely to switch companies after 1.2 years. A huge 37,436 professionals are located in London, with Cambridge and surrounding areas in second place with 3,054 professionals. Imperial College London, University College London, Amazon, Facebook, and the University of Oxford are the top five companies employing these professionals, showing the dominance of roles in academia. Spotlight on: Machine Learning Engineers According to LinkedIn data covering 12 months from November 2019, London has the highest number of Machine Learning Engineers with 468 professionals. Manchester (named the fastest-growing tech city in Europe) and Leeds has seen an increase in Machine Learning Engineers by 133%. The top five companies with the largest number of Machine Learning Engineers are Facebook, Apple, Kubrick Group, IQVIA, and Omdena. According to our data, the demand for talent with these skills is classed as very high in Financial Services and Hospital & Healthcare industries. The top three universities producing Machine Learning Engineers are the University College London, University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. What are some of the growth areas? Let’s delve deeper into Machine Learning and AI and understand what areas have been growing in the last 12 months. 1. Natural Language Processing One of the areas that stood out in terms of continual growth in 2020 was Natural Language Processing. This talent mainly sits within London, with 6,606 professionals in this space of AI. However, there are 638 professionals in Edinburgh and 626 in Manchester, both growing tech hubs for Machine Learning, and particularly NLP. Amazon, Facebook and Google are the top three companies employing this talent. The University of Edinburgh, University College London and the University of Cambridge scored as the top universities producing this talent in the UK. 2. Deep Learning Deep Learning also seems a very niche skill that is frequently in demand. Over the last 12 months, there was a steep 51% rise to 10.9k professionals with Deep Learning skills on LinkedIn in the UK. The top three employers for Deep Learning skills are Imperial College London, DeepMind and University College London. Similarly, Imperial College London was also the top University producing this talent in the UK. Our data showed that more Deep Learning professionals are keen to maintain a career in academia rather than transition over to industry. In contrast, NLP professionals have shown more of a willingness to move away from academic positions. 3. Data Science There was a 9% increase in Data Science professionals in the UK with 830 job posts for Data Scientist advertised over the last 12 months on LinkedIn alone. This increase reflects how crucial it’s become for every company to have a Data Scientist. The industries predominantly employing Data Scientists are IT and Services, Financial Services and Computer Software. Facebook, Lloyd Banking Group and Aviva were the top three employers for Data Scientist professionals. Python, Data Analysis, Machine Learning, and Data Mining were among the top skills for Data Scientists. This talent was most likely to have graduated from Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Cambridge. Flexibility key in retaining talent When it comes to benefits, ML & AI professionals are most concerned about job security, with many putting their job search on hold in the current economy. Working hours, flexibility within their role, working from home, being able to experiment with ideas, and try new things in their role were also among their top priorities. The overwhelming majority of our respondents said they would not accept a job without their future employer offering flexitime or remote working, emphasising that remote working is in high demand and is a benefits job seekers have come to expect. Other popular benefits include: Flexible or fully remote working Gym membership Medical insurance Life insurance To view more benefits, click here. Financial compensation Generally, ML & AI professionals told us their annual bonus was between 15%-20%, with the next common answer being 10%. For candidates who have a PhD, we have seen salaries increase substantially (in some cases by up to £10,000). For a breakdown of salaries by job title and years of experience click here. Let’s chat For any further information about the statistics in this report or other information about the ML & AI market, including competitors, tech on the rise and hiring processes, feel free to contact me for a chat. Anna Heneghan Head of Machine Learning & AI Recruitment Email me Call +44 (0)1727 809403 Connect with me on LinkedIn Schedule a call with me