Here at Burns Sheehan, we’re always thinking of ways to streamline the recruitment process and make it as enjoyable as possible for clients and candidates alike.
One strategy that has worked well for us is hosting a Recruitment Event. Kainos, one of our relatively new clients, asked us if we would run one of these events to help them recruit several architects for their tech team.
Naturally, we were delighted to help! After a few weeks of organisation and promotion, ‘Meet Kainos’ took place on March 12th, 2015.
A few weeks later I sat down with Simon and Becki to hear more about the event and hear their take on why recruitment events are beneficial for everyone involved.
So, Team Cloud, I hear the event was a great success! How many people attended in the end?
Simon: Yes, I’d say it went well, although the key thing is seeing how many hires Kainos makes out of this event. Around 30 candidates attended in the end, and another 6 or 7 people that I spoke to wanted to move forward with the opportunity but were unfortunately unable to make this event.
Becki: There were also 8 employees from Kainos including members of the Development team, their London-based internal recruiter and the CTO.
Do you think the recruitment event was worthwhile for Kainos?
Simon: Well, we’re midway through the recruitment process now so we’ll shall find out! But we have already seen a number of benefits that have come from the event already. Kainos is a relatively difficult sell to technologists because it’s a consultancy and these new hires will be initially focusing on government work. There are a lot of preconceptions about consultancies and government work, so I think there’s a lot of value in having people meet the team and hear more about the role from senior management right at the beginning of the process as it effectively counters those negative stereotypes. For example, most people assumed that they’d be working on legacy systems whereas everything Kainos does is green field and agile!
Becki: I think it was also really helpful for us and the hiring managers to see how the candidates interacted with each other and how engaged they were during the presentations and the Q&A. It was easy to see who would be a good cultural fit with the team and how attractive they found the opportunity.
Almost like a Graduate Assessment Day, then!
Simon & Becki: Yes exactly!
Simon: I think for any company who is going through a recruitment drive, or looking to hire multiple technologists who would have the same specialism or job title, this certainly seems to be a very effective and time-efficient way to adapt the recruitment process.
I suppose that for any organisation these events are also a great way to promote the brand and build awareness via social media, especially those that aren’t as well known or seen as ‘sexy’ in the tech world.
What about on the candidate side – what did they get out of the event?
Becki: The recruitment event was an excellent opportunity for them to hear about the role and the work they’d be doing specifically and to meet several members of the team and see whether they click. These recruitment events can also fast-track the whole process.
Simon: I think it was really helpful for the candidates to hear how Kainos defines an architect. This role can be a bit nebulous as most companies have their own special definition – so it’s important for new hires to know what their day-to-day work would look like and what the organisation would expect from them.
Becki: I think Kainos did a fantastic job putting together their presentations for the attendees. They gave quite a thorough overview of the upcoming projects and a good picture of what it would be like to work for them.
Simon: The CTO’s presentation was particularly compelling – you could see the level of engagement and excitement increase across the audience as he was so passionate about the work they are doing and able to convey why they should be excited too.
What were the presentations about?
Simon: They opened with a general introduction to Kainos and the Government digital practice, which was followed by a “Day in the Life of” presentation. Then we heard more about the technologies they use and the pros and cons of cloud technology vs on premise. The presentations ended with the CTO talking on the work they’d be doing.
Becki: And after the presentations there was a Q&A, which lasted quite long. The candidates were very engaged by the end and asking lots of questions, which usually bounced off on another.
Simon: Eventually we had to intervene and remind everyone that the bar was going to be closing soon!
Why would you advise a candidate to forsake an evening to go to one of these events?
Simon: As Becki touched on earlier, you get so much more out of attending these events than you would reading a job spec. You’ll have a clear understanding of the role, company and culture right from the beginning of the process, which prevents the risk of applying for a job and progressing to the second or third stage before realizing the role isn’t what you thought it was or that the culture fit isn’t quite right.
Changing jobs is a huge, life-changing decision, so I think it’s important for everyone to get as much information that they can and meet as many potential co-workers as possible so that they don’t take their career down the wrong path.
Becki: Even for those people who attend and then decide it’s not right for them, there are still lots of benefits from attending. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn more about the industry, see how different companies operate and what technologies they use, and grow your network.
Written by Izzy Griffin-Smith
Our next recruitment event is with Rightmove! They’re looking to hire several junior and mid-level Java Developers, so if this sounds like your dream opportunity then please get in touch with Luke by emailing email@example.com.
If you’re interested in hosting a Recruitment Day with us, please get in touch! If you aren't working with us at the moment, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.