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Podcast: Episode 5 - Recruitment in tech

In this month's plugd:in podcast series, we delve into the world of recruitment with a special emphasis on the tech sector. Listen to our latest podcast with Piers Collins, Co-Founder of Hundo, Matthew Gilmour - M&A Manager & David Ellis from BDO who specialises in advising firms on how to create the right pay and reward strategy.

Speakers:


Speaker: Piers Collins, Co-Founder of Hundo

Piers is the CoFounder of hundo, an edtech platform helping young people learn about and engage with Tech and WEB3 employers to build the workforce of the future. Prior to founding hundo Piers was a founder member of high growth recruitment business specialising in professionals services recruitment.

Speaker: Matthew Gilmour – Mergers and Acquisitions Manager at BDO

Matt is currently part of BDO's Growth Advisory team, and is experienced in supporting high growth businesses in the technology and media space across Assurance, M&A and Transaction Services. Before setting-up and leading BDO's Growth Programmes, Matt qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC and led their commercial scaling programme in the South East region.

Speaker: David Ellis, Partner

David Ellis is tax partner in BDO’s global employer services team, who specialises in advising firms on how to create the right pay and reward strategy.


Summary

What is the current situation in the labour market for the finance and tech sectors?

I think we find ourselves in exactly what you've described a perfect storm, if you like, an increasing demand for certain skills, skills that were scarce enough to begin with, and fundamentally a changing practice around how people are being attracted into such businesses, which makes hiring and keeping people an ever more expensive game. So for example, the kinds of things that we're seeing out there are tech, alongside other types of businesses in a similar space, are looking at positioning salaries at much higher positions than we ever used to see before. So at the 75th percentile, we see sign on and retention bonuses much more frequently than we ever did before. We're seeing equity deployed in the business. So share offerings to employees are much deeper in the business than we ever had an increased frequency of pay reviews, time and time again, these are not things we used to see, without question now we are almost seeing them from a new hire perspective on an absolutely frequent and common basis. It's a very different world out there.

Matthew, companies, tech companies especially which are trying to grow in this environment, have got a problem because they need to build quite large teams as they grow, is that correct?

Yeah, I think it's a it's a real issue because they're trying to compete for talent with some of the larger corporates and players. So you've got your Googles and Amazons, and even now, obviously, more businesses that are having to adapt for tech and trying to integrate kind of also competing with the high growth tech start-ups and scale ups for that talent. So, yes, real pressure, because as David just said, is that you're having to align, reward to be able to attract and retain those talents against businesses that can afford to pay much higher salaries. And I think that is where stuff around options schemes and other types of incentives are really, really crucial to buy raise and retain that talent. But I'm sure we'll explore it further on this podcast, all this stuff around training and culture, I think that becomes even more relevant when businesses at the earliest stages want to attract similar types of talent as some of the larger corporates.

Okay, so Piers your company is basically setting up to try and increase the supply. I suppose we've heard about how much the demand is, and what's that that's doing for wages. But we desperately need far more people who can do this kind of work, don't we?

Absolutely. And I think, you know, we've seen across the way the market works, a lot of changes with technology, actually, one thing we thought about is the way you find your first job hasn't really changed, you still write to CV, you still write a covering letter, you don't apply to the newspaper anymore, you probably apply for a job sport. But it's a pretty data lean way of sorting talent. And there's still too many random interventions in a young person's life that get them to a career, what their parents do, how they get their internships, in most colleges, around 70 to 80% of internships are still sourced by parents. So it seems an incredibly unscientific way of sorting our talent in this country.

And how does your company hope to deal with this?

So my company hundo is the first learn to earn platform built entirely for Gen Zed, and what it does is essentially create an ecosystem where we have employers on one side, we have 16 to 25 year olds on the other side, and employers and third parties build skills courses down the middle shortform courses, lots of video content that give you bite sized tasters of things that lead to real jobs. So we have lots in the AR VR space, influencing tik tok things that are relevant to young people. And actually you can see young people being really successful already, and don't necessarily fit into the classic curriculum. And obviously, for tech companies, they're looking at differentials. If you look at a young person's CV, they all look very similar, especially if you're looking at top tier talent. They've all got straight A's. They've all got first class degree and 10 internships.

So how can we differentiate between those people, if they're taking courses from the age of 16, that are really relevant for your business, and our platform can show you that they've done that, then it gives you a richer data set to actually make those hiring decisions, rather than just waiting for everybody to finish education, take their CV, and then guess the best person, which doesn't always work out.

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