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Time for another quick personal post from me

6 months ago - Mark Ashton

August is always a relatively quiet month for recruitment activity although there is still a steady flow of candidates and vacancies, it is often the timings which holds things back. Usually, one party is on holiday or just going on holiday, and it can be a real challenge getting interviewers and interviewees together at the same time.

In France, Italy, and Spain they fully embrace August shutdown, the UK seems to be adopting its own informal slow down; unofficially, but it seems to get a little bit slower every year.

What Exactly Did I Do?

July was a decent month for activity with new jobs coming in from existing clients and a few clients who I’ve approached previously making contact again. The greatest activity was definitely in the startups, many new companies posting out needing Software Engineers and most offer some form of equity as part of the deal. Is the equity sparkle coming back after many years of bad press? I for one think it could be a lucrative benefit again and an attractive lure for the best talent. Many of these start-ups in Cambridge have wonderful (albeit wacky ideas) but need some extra coder power to make that step up.

It’s great to see all of this new activity in the employment market happening again.

Machine Learning.  Previously IoT was the buzzword, but that’s so last year now!! It’s all about intelligent software, platform and Artificial Intelligence.

Cambridge Hits Record Highs

And I’m not just talking about the weather!

The search war for talent is heating up in Cambridge. There are more jobs going than I’ve seen for many years. As a result, I’m noticing candidates just starting to be more aloof, and if I may say so, a little flakier. I’ve worked through upturns and downturns, and this behaviour trait only happens at times when they know they are in the driving seat.

As just one example, candidates refusing to tell me their current salary and instead, providing a salary sought figure. There is no requirement for them to provide me with their current salary but without a benchmark, it can make it awkward for employers. However, I can’t help feeling that when this happens, the candidate is under the market rate and trying to make a serious bump up. The practice is popular in the US. Removing the biases of a CV application, removing age, gender, salary details, employer names, references and/or interests. An application free of detail which could skew a human response.

Many trends from the US seem to find their way over here eventually; perhaps this is something else that we are going to start seeing more frequently. CVs are somewhat pre historic; perhaps this is a document that needs to change for the future, who knows?

My Audible book reading for the month was recommended by a local life coach I met; The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth; a Psychologist who talks about why certain people succeed and why others don’t. It’s not a talent but a passionate persistence. Cultivating the strengths of kindness, generosity, and humility. She uses lots of research papers and human experiments to deliver some extremely thought-provoking comment. If I’m honest, I drifted off during these tales, I understood the gist but felt she was almost inciting a challenge to her ideas. Maybe she was, after all, she is a Psychologist, and that is what they do best.


Video or Not?

I’ve been thinking about trying to incorporate video into my online activities. LinkedIn has started to allow video uploads which have got me thinking about doing video job adverts rather than writing a standard advert on the internet. Using new technology to reach a new audience, with a wider reach.  It’s just a thought at the moment. I don’t know of other recruiters doing it so being first could give me the edge over the competition.

I attended some cool networking events in August. The last one I went to right before I started my holiday was at Hot Numbers, on Gwydir Street. Big Data, Tensorflow and Containers, and Kubernetes were the last one in the series of monthly events.

Follow me on Twitter to catch more events I’ve been to. There are plenty in my September scheduled in Cambridge and one in Newmarket too.

I’m really looking forward to the next few months after the August slowdown. September is a decent month, getting busier as it progresses. October and November are goodies too with plenty action and activity. Employers need to show massive action if they want the best talent, after all; If you’re not massive, you’re passive.

If you have any thoughts on my Video concept or anything else I’ve written about, please feel free as always to reply, share or leave a comment.  

Have a great final month of the quarter; I can’t believe we are almost in Q4 already.