Thinking of Going for Another Degree? DON’T. Here’s Why

Education & Training are useless.  

Study 5 years in Uni, & spend £50k, then start looking for a job.  

That doesn’t work, so your first answer to this is do more education?  

Ok hold on, let me just get this straight.  

You have already spent all this time and money on education, and what did it get you?  

Did it get you a job? No  

Did it give you the confidence to get a job? No  

Did it give you market driven skills & knowledge to start in industry and plan for a successful career? No  

All you had is that piece of paper that is your degree.  

So your plan now is to get more pieces of paper? Certifications? Qualifications?  

What is this? Gotta catchem all for useless pieces of paper?  

Let’s get ONE thing straight. 

If you keep doing more of the same you will get exactly the same results! 

And you going for more qualification & training certifications, are just mini aftershocks similar to the main quake that is your university degree, so how can you expect a different result?  

Where did all the education you’ve done get you? To a place of confusion, being lost, and being in pain.  

Not sure what jobs to go for, not sure how to find & apply for jobs which are relevant to you and easy for you to enter.  

So how do you change your approach to get different results?  

How do you end this pain festered confusion & get clarity on how to get your first job and start a decent career?  

Get market driven education with real world experience, tangible results & skills, not just a degree or certification.  

Get education of which the outcome is getting the actual job, not the piece of paper!  

How I got my First Job as a Software Engineer at £35k.

Four months before I finished university, I had started looking for job to make some money.

I wanted to be independent, I thought to myself, “Now I have two university degrees, I ought be able to get a job and become financially solid.” But boy was I wrong!

Little did I know that university degrees is the last thing companies will look at on my CV. Sure, it is very nice to have, so was I told by the many recruiters I’ve spoken to.

They all said: “hey It’s pretty cool you have a Masters degree in this”, “oh you went to this university, that’s great!”.

Well, does any of that get me a job? Nope.

Small companies, big companies, IT, other industries and sectors, You name it, I have went online and in store to apply for these jobs and it was refusal after another.

I have spent at least 4 hours of every day applying to jobs non-stop, I knew very little about the world of job hunting and I started to realise I needed a change of approach.

To me it was do or die, survival mode on. Because my parents had spent all the cash they had to help me through the university studies, and I wanted to be able to at least pay for my own living expenses.

I just needed to find any job, I don’t care if it’s relevant to what I just spent 5 years in Uni studying. As long as it gave me the level of income I needed.

Running really low on the things I could do, there were a last couple of things I thought I’d try.

One of those things was close to finishing my dissertation project, which was a web app which I thought could be helpful for fellow students in university. It was a very raw prototype which throws plain text directions for students when they input a number of a classroom.

So I thought I’d run it by the Dean of engineering at the time, see if the university could actually benefit from this or develop it into something bigger.

I didn’t make much of this conversation when we first met, because he was going on and on about aerospace and aviation engineering, shit which I’ve had nor the interest neither the knowledge in.

But it was this very conversation that put me on his radar, kept me on top of mind when the Web Manager in IT services had gotten in touch.

The web team had been looking for someone to come on-board and help out with some testing for the website, and they were desperately looking for someone to start asap.

I was sitting somewhere in Reading in a park with a friend. When my phone rang. And that’s how it all got started.

When he first told me about the role, i was scared and hesitant, I was telling myself all kinds of stuff: “I don’t even know what web testing is”, “I have no prior experience working with a team”, and “what the fuck is a browser matrix?!”.

I was panicking, but at the same time I needed that job and I needed that money.

And that’s how it happened, Monday the 28th of July was my first day working as a temp tester.

It was then when my manager saw the interest and hunger I had and gave me that 2 week project, which allowed me to join the development team for 2 months and that’s what opened the door for me to get my first job shortly after at £35k.

The real takeaway from this is all you have to do is start small, the most important thing is to start close to where you want to be.

Build a tent next to the mountain you want to climb, then start step by step, and build on the momentum of the small achievements that you’ve made.

Did i know the start of my career was going to be in testing? No. Have I ever thought that to get into a development role I’d have to work in different roles within IT such as support & QA, surely not.

But starting in that temp job has opened the door for me into many different opportunities and routes, I could have been a support manager, or a technical PM, or even a QA team manager.

But I chose development because It was the most interesting at the time.

And here I am today less than 4 years later in a technical consulting role making than triple what I earned in my first temp job. All thanks to THAT first job.

If you would like to learn more and have the same transformation in your career, drop me a line and let’s have a free strategy session today!

Experience Matters? Nope. The Biggest Myth In the Talent Space Right Now.

There seems to be a split in views right now around experience and how hiring companies and recruiters approach this when looking for talent. 

The number of years of experience is something many recruiters get stuck on and they obsess about when looking for candidates.  

I know this because I’ve been on the candidate end of the scope and have been judged if fit for roles using this very (questionable) metric.  

I can’t start to imagine how many excellent candidates get denied the opportunity to bring real value to businesses just because they didn’t tick the box, or missed this number by 1 years. 

This is the biggest myth in the talent world right now. 

In business often those who are outsiders to a market or industry are the ones who irreversibly disrupt that market.  

Jeff Bezos didn’t have 11 years of experience in the commerce space when he started Amazon, Mark z. wasn’t a social media manager for 25 years in some digital agency when he started Facebook.. 

The same applies in the talent world, there no guarantee someone with 10 years experience will give you insights & innovation that’ll help move your business quicker towards your goals.  

In fact, research shows that people with a greater number of years in experience are less likely to be innovative & creative in their approach to problem solving.  

I’m not saying you should hire a monkey and put it in charge. But what am I really saying? 

Smart companies look for smart people, talented individuals, but what is really the meaning of a talented individual (buzzwords & fads aside) and what exactly does it mean to these smart companies?  

These companies look for THREE qualities in any person applying for a job, particularly in the software engineering space. Passion & motivation, Being quick learner who can solve problems creatively & Being a hard worker.  

That’s all you need to make the company sure you can pull off whatever job they have at hand, and demonstrating these qualities to the hiring company will be your sure fire way of acing that interview!  

There are exceptions to this rule of course, there are some jobs out there that definitely require real life experience & training, such as flying a plane or controlling a rocket!  

But surely being obsessed about experience when looking for software engineers the way recruiters and some companies are right now is madness, it ain’t rocket science! 

Hiring Sitecore Developers? DON’T. Here’s Why…

Right now there are about 20 (at best) permanent Sitecore developers in London and they are all happy in their jobs!

So your chances as a business to hire a ready and experienced Sitecore developer in this market are slim to non-existent, when there are tens of other companies like you looking to hire the best of the best at any moment in time.

Especially in the new year with numerous projects being approved and mobilized!

Our problem is that we tend to look at things as they are right now in this moment. Frozen, and not as what they are becoming.

It takes a little change of paradigm to unlock endless opportunities and possibilities.

So if you are looking to hire Sitecore developers, stop wasting your time with recruiters who are promising you the world, and join the real world.

You have two options: Either bringing in a contractor if you have urgent project needs or draw out a talent strategy for how you’ll build a solid in house team which CAN learn Sitecore.

I personally learned Sitecore development in two weeks, I can’t see why any other developer with some interest can’t do that.

There’s No Tech Solution for a Human Behavior Problem

A study done recently by “Anygood?” shows that 90% of surveyed candidates want recruiters to rely less on technology and have more of a human approach in the recruitment process.
Yet recruiters still obsess about new technology which they think will help them “find” or “uncover” that hidden talent..
Can you see how this is a direct conflict against what candidates really want? 
We are so good at sitting down and brainstorming about what candidates might want and what’s the best way to win them over.
But I don’t see many of us actually trying to listen to candidates and understand their wants and desires.
Some might say “I work for the client, I don’t get paid by the candidate”.
Well tell me this, if you have 10 clients who need a .NET developer, and you have ZERO .NET developers available in your network (or who are willing to talk to you) right now, Are you going to make any money? NOPE.
So there needs to be a balance, you don’t work for the candidate & completely forget about the client.
But equally you can’t forget about the candidates and the quality of experience they’re getting working with you just because you’re getting paid by your client.
Unfortunately there’s zero regard to this right now. So things are too biased towards the client side.
Just like there’s no chemical solution to an emotional problem, there’s no technical solution to a human behavior problem.
The problem in recruitment is in the quality of service delivery & approach. No tech is going to solve that!

Three Fatal Mistakes Recruiters Make When Looking For Software Developers

Software Developers are one of the most high demand candidates in recruitment right now, the average salary for a mid-level developer in some markets can get up to $100k/year mark, so if one of your clients come to you with a requirement for a Full Stack Engineer at $150k, It’ll be damn hard to say no to the hefty 20% of that!
For this, many recruitment agencies find themselves diving into the Tech recruitment world not having a lot of knowledge & experience in it, which makes their lives a hell of a lot harder as they are going into uncharted territory.
These are the top three mistakes recruiters make when looking for developers in Tech markets:
1. Play the numbers game, go in with mindset of quantity not quality.
In the niche I specialise in (which is Sitecore CMS) there are some 4000 developers worldwide from what I could count being part of this community, say you can connect with all of these people, spin up a Boolean string, feed it into a LinkedIn automation tool & it’ll send 200 requests everyday to anyone who fits that description, at the same time you do a quick mine in your DB shortlist all of those who have the Sitecore or .NET keywords on their CV.
10 days later you’ve got a about 10 CV’s, 9 of which are completely irrelevant and you’ll find out the hard way from the hiring manager. So your chances are quite slim at making a worthy placement if the client has put another agency with a little more experience in this market.
Having tried to pitch 90% of the candidate pool & not getting results, this tells me it’s really not about the numbers, it’s about the quality of the approach. Improving your knowledge of the market & the mindset of the candidates within it will drastically improve your chances of getting better responses from them. Take it from someone who has been a candidate for the past 4 years 😉
2. Do minimal to zero homework or education on the job order.
Soon as you get the job order you pick up the phone & start dialling, without asking any questions. Questions about the client, about the role, the project etc.. You’re thinking what’s important is to find the candidate & then I’ll obtain the info from the client later on.
While you’re doing this, a specialist recruiters has gone in, asked the right questions, known exactly what they’re looking for, found the right fit AND presented a few profiles to the client, while you are still out there looking for a needle in a haystack but you don’t know what type of needle you’re looking for, because you don’t have a perfect candidate persona to work with.
Do the homework, don’t learn the market on the job!
3. Have no full picture of how to identify talent.
You don’t know the market, don’t have the full picture of how to identify the right candidates. And thus you don’t know how to pitch them, for example, people try to use the good old ways of mass mailing & cold calling, but the fact is, these guys do not want to talk to recruiters so that would be the worst way to approach them.
There’s also the ability to verify one’s experience & if they truly know what they’re saying they know, that’s pretty much non-existent in this market.
Add to that the classic JD pitch, pitching a Software developer with a JD that’s 3 pages long is one of the biggest turn offs. But what If I told you, I can pitch a role to a developer in 6 words or less? You might think I’m mad but that’s how I’ve done it. When you truly know the tech & the purpose behind it, you start to understand what matters most to candidates within this niche & how you can approach them.
If you truly want to specialise in this niche & achieve in two months what would take you 3 to 5 years to learn on your own, get in touch with me today & let’s discuss how these insights and more can turn your consultants into dangerous recruiters in this market!

Recruiters, You will be replaced by AI If You Keep Doing What You’re Doing

It’s a very hot topic in the Recruitment space right now. Weather AI will be a replacement for Recruiters. And this article isn’t meant to be a reassuring message telling you everything’s going to be okay and that’s all just a hype.

But more of a warning advice to those out there grinding & hustling in recruitment not actually considering the possibility of this manifesting into reality. And here it goes.

Let’s cut to the chase, You are going to be replaced by a machine if:

  • You believe you can learn any market on the job without a minimal amount of homework on the client, role and market.
  • All you do is collect CV’s by sending out broadcasts to your CV DB, and come back and tell your hiring manager “Hey, I’m not really familiar with this field, I’m just the person who gets you CV’s “. Which brings me to the next zinger!
  • You blame the hiring manager for bad hires, and you think recruiters have nothing to do with the process. Meaning all your job is literally just to crawl some 20 CV’s online, pre close some candidates and come back to throw them in the laps of the HM.

If you practice any or all of these in your job, then I have some morbidly bad news for you. You will most definitely be replaced by a freaking machine.

Let’s look at things from a HM perspective.

If I am a hiring manager and want to fill a purple squirrel type role. Who would I rather work with?

  1. A recruiter who asks me stupid questions about what my company does and what the role is, which shows they haven’t done any kind of research on this market what so ever, and who comes back to me with 20 CV’s every week and not one of them is relevant enough.
  2. A silent machine which I tell to fetch me 20 profiles off the internet for people who are relevant to the role I am hiring for. And Likely 80% are going to be a damn good fit.

Chances are I’m going with 2.

As a hiring manager I’m hiring a recruiter because I have a problem, and my problem is FILLING THE ROLE! And not just getting CV’s.

Now let’s look at Consultants and why people hire them. There are three reasons why companies hire consultants to achieve something:

  1. Inability to do it on their own.
  2. Wanting to do it faster.
  3. Wanting to follow a proven system and have guidance by someone who’s actually done it before!

Now do any of these points ring a bell and seem kind of similar to the problems hiring companies have?

This certainly means the role of the recruiter is to SOLVE the problem and not to add pain to injury and tell the hiring manager about their shortcomings.

If you think otherwise, then you should probably best update your title to sourcer and downgrade your pay by 20K and cap your commission and I’ll swallow my tongue in return.

Dead are the days when a recruitment consultant is actually a person who is hired to solve a problem.

Now, Let’s look at the definition of a consultant: “a person who provides expert adviceprofessionally.” SIMPLE!

Obviously I will highly stress on the expert advice part, because laughingly enough it isn’t existent in nowadays recruitment engagement.

Which is a shame because 90% of recruiters out there insist on adding the “consultant” word to their LinkedIn profile title.

So again, if the plan is to keep on doing what we’ve been doing in recruitment, chances are we’ll be replaced my machines.

But it’s really time to actually bring back the consultative approach into recruitment, be expert advisors in our field, and be actually invested in solving our client’s staffing problems.

Rather than be frantically obsessed about just making the placement and cashing out, we can advise our clients on the best strategy to hire a good fit for a role, or educate them about this market, what salaries should be offered and how to improve the way they advertising the role etc..

Sadly practitioners of the cashing-out strategy will eventually end up with a sum average of zero billings in the long term because someone else who’s actually an expert in that sector will crush them and dominate that market.

Find out how you can fight the machine by booking a quick chat with me today: