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Working in Recruitment: Q&A with Libby Kelly, Cpl Technology

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Cpl Technology has been recruiting across all IT industries for over 30 years. Over that time the technology sector has changed massively, not least in terms of diversity and inclusion, the skills in demand and remote working.

Within our own Cpl Technology team, we’ve seen a big increase in demand for tech talent in 2021. So much so we are hiring a number of new recruiters for our team.

To get an insight into what it’s like working for the Cpl Technology team and the tech industry in general, we spoke to Libby Kelly, Director of Cpl Technology.

  1. Can you describe your current role - what's your typical day-to-day?

Like most of us, the pandemic shifted my working day dramatically. I’ve gone from spending 3-4 hours a day commuting to zero commute and the real silver lining I’ve taken from all of this is being present physically at home for my family.

Saying that I am looking forward to getting back to the office. Keeping a blended/hybrid approach will be key for our team when it is time to get back there.

At the start of the pandemic, we were doing a lot of over-communicating, daily online meetings checking in with the team to ensure everyone was managing ok. The team has been amazing and transitioned really well and thankfully we’ve had a very successful year.

Even though it is a large team, there was little need for handholding and everyone was able to focus on results and work in a way that suited them. For me some days can be all about client and candidate meetings and speaking to the market whilst others are driving and delivering on strategic initiatives for our Contract and Temporary division.

I am also involved in several other initiatives across the Cpl Group and I recruit in the UX and Design space which is increasingly busy.

  1. Your focus is now driving our Technology Contract and Temporary Division, how has the contract side of the tech industry changed over the past year?

It has gone very well which I am very proud of and thankful for. Historically flexible staffing can be impacted first when there is a sudden change in the market but we have had an excellent year.

The pandemic has really accelerated the work from home model and as we return to offices, people are going to want to take charge of how they work and their work life balance. This is going to really drive the need for contract opportunities and at the same time, clients are realising the need for flexible talent to remain agile and deliver growth.

We are working closely with a lot of clients who are expanding rapidly and using our contractors to staff their projects. I am also working closely with my colleague Robin Craig who is focused on driving our Permanent Technology division and the strategy is working very well with the key focus on both areas.

  1. You’ve been part of the Cpl Technology team for 22 years now. What is your favourite thing about the team and what are the key reasons you’ve stayed with the company so long?

It’s quite unusual to stay in recruitment or with the same company this long so I do think it says a lot about Cpl and the opportunity to grow within the business. I am very ambitious, and Cpl has afforded me the growth I want and continue to want.

Honestly, the team is great, we have lots of amazing characters. Together we have worked hard to create a strong culture– we try to avoid recruiters working in silos or to their own agenda and that we focus on collaboration. There is a genuine team spirit.

Being a recruiter can be a tough job at times, but I’ve always been a big believer in creating a positive environment so that everyone can focus on the job and avoid distractions. On the other hand, we are a high-performance team with equally high expectations in terms of attitude and focus on delivery for our clients and candidates.

  1. What advice would you give to someone who would like to become a Recruitment Consultant?

Start with a good agency, do your research and see who are the market leaders and then make connections and approach them. There is a huge demand for consultants right now – particularly in Technology so it has never been a better time to get into it.

I can’t stress enough to do research about the agency and look to the team. A good thing to check is if there is a lot of movement within the team. This to me would be a worrying sign about culture, reward and overall market strength.

Being good in recruitment is all about attitude, determination and a drive to succeed. You can’t give up. In saying that it’s not always about a big personality. We have a mix in our team with some that are quieter and happy not to be the first to talk in meetings but who are amazing recruiters.

  1. What are the 3 key skills you need to excel as a good tech recruiter?

A strong attitude, resilience when things get hard, and excellent communication skills. Our job is all about people and connecting with them to understand their needs, be it for a new job or for hiring talent so these skills are a must.

  1. How has remote working impacted your role and the culture of the team?

I have missed being around the team. I get a lot of my energy from people and helping them. Without that, I did find it hard and had to re-adjust quickly.

Whilst remote working is great in a lot of ways, we learn from each other and still need the creative element of our job you can only get when you are together in a room. I miss the downtime too - the lunches together, nights out, walks around the park etc. Those moments are badly missed and needed to balance the pressure of the job.

Cpl Technology is currently hiring for several recruiter roles. If you’re interested in working with one of the best recruitment teams in Ireland please get in touch.