Talent in Tech @ Duck and Waffle

October 29, 2016

Last Tuesday evening, we hosted a ‘Talent in Tech’ roundtable dinner in the fabulous setting of the private dining room at the Duck and Waffle, on the 40th Floor of Salesforce Tower.

The evening was attended by senior Technology, Digital, and HR Professionals from dmg media, Cognizant, The Girls’ Day School Trust, LastMileLink Technologies, Huawei, Feed Communications, Methods Digital, Direct Line Group, Shazam, Hearst Digital and Tillr.io.

See photos of the event here

This was the second UK Talent-IT event to date and we received over 70 expressions of interest for the event in the lead up to it. The final attendees were a diverse group of executives, representing an eclectic mix of industry sectors.

Following on from a drinks reception in the bar, affording the chance to take in stunning views of London and beyond on a beautifully clear evening, Andy Heyes, Managing Director of Harvey Nash London Professional Recruitment opened with a brief welcome note. Kate Parker, Associate Director of Harvey Nash and Talent-IT, followed this with an overview of some of the key findings from the recent Harvey Nash Technology survey, which included data around skills development, immigration and diversity.

Kate also provided an introduction to the Harvey Nash Group’s new ‘Talent-IT ‘ solution – Kate expressed how passionately she believes that this solution will create a pipeline for a more diverse workforce, not just from a gender perspective, but also in terms of social economic diversity, whilst at the same time addressing the skills shortage challenge. Essentially Talent-IT is a cost effective temp to perm proposition with a bespoke technology training course at the front end, targeting returners to work, career-shifters, graduates and ex-forces and providing our clients with the opportunity to reduce costs, increase diversity and grow their own workforce. The proposition has met with some keen appetite and some follow up meetings have already been booked into the diary to progress further.

Between starter and main course, the roundtable discussion was kicked off with a Q&A session with Ruthie Penfold (Director of Talent Acquisition @ Shazam), who talked about the challenges Shazam face when attracting and retaining talent, spurring a lengthy debate around diversity and inclusion, and whether we are too hung up on tech skills and should be careful not to overlook good people who are passionate and willing to learn.

During main course and pudding, we continued with a Q&A session with Darren Goldsby (CDO @ Hearst magazine) and covered off counter offer culture, and the challenges of retention when you are not as fortunate as some organisations are in regards to having a flow of interesting and diverse projects for technologists to work on.

A discussion point that came up several times during conversation was around the challenge facing women returning to work after maternity leave.

Our Talent-IT solution is committed to making that return to work transition more accessible by working closely with Mumsnet to provide opportunities to these aspiring women to re train into the tech / digital space.

Following on from the event, we have had some real enthusiasm in Talent-IT. If you would like to find out more please check out the website or follow the newly launched @TalentITGlobal Twitter account.

We would like to extend a big ‘Thank You’ to all the attendees who came along, and especially to Ruthie Penfold and Darren Goldsby for the Q&A sessions – we do hope you enjoyed yourself as much as we did!