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A company that acts only in the best interests of job hunters and employers. 
A company that supports all parties to ensure the very best match between individual aspirations and employer’s needs. 
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​Novate IT - How Recruitment Should be Done 


Latest Jobs 

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Frontend Developer - HTML, CSS, Accessible - Newport Contract / Newport, Wales

Frontend Developer - HTML, CSS, JavaScript, accessible websites - Newport - 11 months+ £300 - £400 per day An exciting new opportunity for an experienced Frontend Developer with JavaScript skills to join a team developing a delivering large-scale, high profile web platforms. Initially an 11 month contract this project is likely to run significantly longer and so extensions can be expected. Applicants should be able to demonstrate strong frontend development skills (HTML, CSS etc) including JavaScript experience, ideally with experience of building accessible web services. Any additional experience with React would be highly beneficial but not essential. This is an interesting project that can the successful applicant a long term opportunity plus the chance to develop new skills. Please apply today for more details and an immediate telephone interview. Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Software Engineer - C++, Qt - Yeovil Permanent / Yeovil, Somerset

Software Engineer - C++, Qt - Yeovil - £28,000 to £40,000 + benefits An exciting new opportunity to join a well established and growing developer of software solutions to the communications and aerospace industry. This employer are seeking additional Software Engineers with C++ and Qt skills and offer a starting salary of between £28,000 to £40,000 plus benefits including an early finish on Friday!! This employer has offices across Europe and have been developing software solutions for the communications and aerospace industries for over 30 years. Due to an expansion in their product portfolio they are now seeking a number of C++/Qt Software Engineers to join their Yeovil office and contribute to the analysis, design, development and testing of simulation and support systems. You will have recent/current commercial experience of working with C++, object oriented programming and Qt. This employer run a multiplatform environment (Windows and Linux) and use SVN and TFS as well as Opensource software, subsequently experience with any or all of those technologies would be beneficial to your application. This is an exciting time to be joining this employer as they embark on a new phase of development. To join their collaborative and friendly team and for an immediate telephone interview please apply today. Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Business Analyst Permanent / Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Business Analyst - Nottingham - £45,000-£60,000 Do you enjoy asking the right questions, such as "what outcomes do your customers want to realise?" Are you a follower of the digital industry, and view it as data, machine learning and VR rather than just tablets or a computer? If so, our award-winning client are searching for a Business Analyst like you! This position offers a salary of £45,000-£60,000, depending on experience, as well as excellent benefits. This employer is one of the leading names in digital consultancy, and through delivering the best in-class solutions for their clients have earned an enviable reputation within the industry. As they continue to grow, they are now looking for a Business Analyst to join their team in Nottingham. Our client desires a Business Analyst who understands the merging of the relationship between business and technology. You should be able to efficiently apply elicitation techniques and have the ability to map out business processes. Good communication skills are essential as a Business Analyst, and the ability to clearly advise a team of developers is also key. Extensive Agile experience is crucial; applicants should be able to make use of best practices such as Scrum, XP and DSDM. Consultancy experience would be advantageous, however it is not essential. You may also be required to visit client sites one or two days a week from time to time. You will receive excellent training and benefits throughout your career, along with a generous salary. So, if you can work in changeable environments and feel that you can confidently collaborate with development teams without supervision, apply now! Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Technical Tester/Test Automation Permanent / Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

SDET Technical Tester/Test Automation - Nottingham - £40,000 - £60,000 Are you a technical tester who is passionate about the continued delivery of reliable, robust software? If so, our award-winning client is looking for you! Our client works with a diverse array of business domains and environments, bringing solid technical solutions to their own clients. This particular opportunity could be the next step in your technical testing career! This position offers a salary of £40,000-£60,000. As a Software Developer in Test for our client, you will have the chance to learn new techniques, with full training provided for a multitude of different tools. You should be able to adapt and improvise to overcome problems, and have experience in languages such as Java, C#, Python and Ruby, as well as other tools, e.g. Cucumber, Specflow, and Jenkins. However, if you are not specifically familiar with some of these tools, your ability to pick them up via training will also be advantageous. Our client would also like you to be able to focus on the delivery of a whole project, and not just a narrow vertical within it. If you are a technical tester with a taste for learning, our client would love to hear from you; apply now for the best chance of an interview! Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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.Net Software Engineer Permanent / Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

.Net Software Engineer - Nottingham - C#/.Net Our award-winning client is hiring! Based in Nottingham, they are looking for a seasoned C#/.Net developer who is passionate about tech and willing to work across a range of different business domains and environments. If you're someone who strives to deliver the best quality solutions, this may be the perfect opportunity. This position offers a salary of £40,000-£60,000 + benefits. To apply, you should have experience and knowledge in .Net and developing complex applications. C# should be your core language; knowledge of software best practices such as Test-Driven Development and Continuous Integration is also important. You should have familiarity with databases, e.g. SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and/or NoSQL. Exposure to Java, Python and Scala would be useful, however full training will be provided for these. It would also be beneficial to have experience in developing front-end solutions and JavaScript frameworks. As mentioned, our client does offer award-winning training programmes and great opportunities for career progression and upskilling. As well as this, you will be working either on-site with their clients or in their office; their clients reside across a range of sectors within the UK. If you believe this could be the career opportunity for you, apply now! Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Java Developer Permanent / Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Java Developer - Nottingham - Java Passionate about delivering technological solutions to a high standard? Are you a technologist who loves to learn? Look no further! Our award-winning client are looking for an experienced Java developer who is eager to learn. This position offers a salary of £40,000-£60,000 + benefits. You will be working across a diverse range of business environments, so the ability to adapt would be extremely advantageous! The ideal candidate will have knowledge of and experience within software engineering and be experienced with web containers such as Jetty, Tomcat and JBoss. Having exposure to NoSQL technologies e.g. MongoDB and Redis is also key. As well as this, you should have knowledge of deployment automation technologies such as Chef, Puppet or Docker. Experience with JPA, Hibernate or Spring Data would be beneficial, however it is not necessary. Experience with AWS and multiple languages (e.g. JavaScript and Node.js) would also be extremely advantageous. Our client also offers a range of training programmes and external events which can be extremely beneficial for your career. So, if you're a Software Engineer who is looking to take the next step with their career, apply now! Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Front-End Web Developer - JavaScript - Nottingham Permanent / Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Front-End Web Developer - JavaScript - Nottingham - £40,000 to £60,000 Looking for a rewarding, unique career opportunity? Our Nottingham-based client, an award-winning software consultancy, are now searching for a Front-End Web Developer. Passionate about technology, making a difference and working on high-quality projects? The company works with a wide range of technologies across multiple business domains and environments, allowing you to experience several diverse opportunities and projects. You should have: -Experience as a Front-End UI Developer. -Solid skills within JavaScript and a detailed knowledge of UI testing. -Experience with HTML5, Angular and/or React. -A deep understanding of browser technologies e.g. HTTP, SSL and TCP. Beneficial experiences include, but are not limited to: -JavaScript testing frameworks e.g. Jasmine and MochaJS. -CSS pre-processors. -Exposure to Headless testing. Our client offers extensive opportunities for career progression, as well as award-winning training programmes. Our client also requires flexible, adaptable technologists; they also offer the opportunity to travel! So, if seeing the world is your thing, this may be the chance for you. If you're a passionate technologist dedicated to providing a high-quality service, apply now! Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Android Developer - London - Agile, Java, Android Permanent / London, England

Android Developer - London - Agile, Java, Android - To £50,000 + benefits An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Android Developer with skills in Java and RESTful API to join an expanding agency specialising in the delivery of complex mobile solutions based in London. These roles are offering a handsome annual salary of up to £50,000 (DOE) along with a long list of benefits. This opportunity will allow even the most talented developers a chance to improve on their own skill set and grow within the company. Responsibilities include helping to develop new and exciting Android apps, testing these apps to ensure high quality, implementing third party libraries and where necessary taking ownership of projects. You will have strong skills in Java, Android and have worked with RESTful Web services. It is also beneficial if you have experience working on multiple platforms (iOS, web, PHP) and to be able to demonstrate any examples of this work. The company offer a fantastic and dynamic working environment with abundant opportunities to grow and progress, as you showcase your skills. An exciting opportunity to join a thriving digital agency and contributre to the delivery of interesting new projects, for more details and an immediate telephone interview please apply today. Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Technical Project Manager - software engineering, Agile, Jira Permanent / Bristol, England

Technical Project Manager - software engineering, Agile, Jira - Bristol A brand new opportunity for you to join a leading international software development specialist as they embark on a sustained period of expansion. This role offers a starting salary of £40,000 - £50,000 + bonus + benefits. This employer are well established in Bristol and have offices around the globe. They are the market leader in their sector and a well respected name recognised by most people in the IT industry. Their Bristol research and development office is expanding in a number of areas and they are now seeking an experienced Technical Project Manager or Software Engineering Project Manager to guide complex projects to be delivered on time and to budget. You should have a background in software engineering, ideally having progressed from a hands-on development role to technical project management. You are likely to have worked in a low level software engineering environment such as networking, telecoms, or embedded software and should also have experience of working within an Agile environment and also using Jira. Any experience of working in a continuous integration and test environment would also be beneficial but this is not essential. This role represents a great career move for you if you are an experienced software engineering Project Manager looking to move to a successful, well respected and expanding organisation in which their contribution will be noticed. For more details and an immediate telephone interview please apply today. NB: This employer's offices are very close to Bristol Temple Meads and so are easily commuteable from Bath, Chippenham, Swindon, Newport, Cardiff, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Exeter. Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Front-End Developer Permanent / Bristol, England

Front-End Developer | JavaScript, Angular / Backbone / React, Full Stack | Bristol | £35,000 to £65,000 DOE An amazing opportunity for a Front-End Developer with extensive JavaScript experience has become available in Bristol with a salary of £35,000 to £65,000 depending on experience coupled with great benefits. Could this be your next move? Our client has an amazing reputation for delivering best in-class solutions to companies across a variety of industries throughout the UK and abroad. Due to their continued growth they are now looking for Front-End Developers with enterprise-level JavaScript experience to join their highly skilled team. They offer fantastic training and support with the opportunity to travel and be involved in a range of disciplines to become a multi-faceted consultant. Applicants will have a proven track record of working on largescale enterprise projects with strong JavaScript development skills. Detailed knowledge of any JS frameworks (Angular, React, Backbone etc) coupled with Back End skills (Full Stack) is also required for a successful applicant. Exposure to CSS pre-processors, REST and JavaScript testing frameworks would be advantageous. This position offers a huge opportunity for someone looking for the next step up in their career and is not to be missed. Please apply with us for more information and an immediate telephone interview. Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Software Architect - Nottingham Permanent / Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Software Architect - Nottingham A wonderful opportunity has arisen to join a Software Development company that operates as a leading software provider within their industry, as a Software Architect. This role can offer up to £75,000 + a generous benefits package that includes flexible working hours. The company provide software solutions to corporations globally, that help them make important business decisions. This product is renowned for giving customers confidence to make critical decisions in sometimes, extremely complex situations. They are now looking to expand their central Nottingham office with a talented Software Architect to work on projects that ultimately have an impact globally. The successful candidates will be working with the latest technologies and on a product, built in Java, which is highly regarded as cutting edge in the industry. Successful candidates will enjoy a very positive culture, be responsible for the design of projects and provide design recommendations, whilst championing technical change initiatives. Candidates should have strong experience with container technologies such as Docker, AWS ECS, OpenShift and Kubernetes. Candidates should have experience with automation tools such as Chef, Puppet and Ansible. Candidates must have experience with cloud technologies such as AWS or Azure. Successful applications will demonstrate experience of working in an Agile environment. The ideal candidates will have strong skills in Java. This is a fantastic opportunity to work for a well-established company in their thriving Nottingham office. The office itself is centrally located and is quick and easy to get to from the train station for commuters from Leicester, Derby, Mansfield or Sheffield. In return for your time and expertise, the company will reward you with a competitive salary and benefits package. You will also be working in a modern office with a great vibe and astonishing views of the city from the relaxed common room. For more information and an immediate telephone interview, click apply to send your CV today! Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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SQL Server Developer Contract / Exeter, Devon

MS SQL / SQL Server Developer | Exeter | C#, .Net, SQL Server | 6 months + | £300 - £340 per day This is an immediate opportunity for an experienced MS SQL / SQL Server Developer to join a software development company in Exeter. A 6 month contract is offered with a day rate of up to £340 for ideal applicants. Applicants must have strong MS SQL / SQL Server, TSQL, C#, .Net and TDD/BDD experience. Excellent communication is key, the ability to engage with internal and external customers on a daily basis is a must as well as strong experience working in an agile environment. Any additional skills in test automation and JavaScript would also be beneficial. For further details and an immediate telephone interview please apply now! Novate IT Ltd is a leading supplier of permanent and contract recruitment services for companies in the IT, Digital Media and Telecommunications industries.

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Testimonials

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  • I've found Novate IT to be highly professional - they've always focused on quality over quantity which has been a great help because I always know that CV's from Novate IT are a good match for my requirements. After dealing with several different recruitment firms, I've settled with Novate IT because I...

    Ben Howes (CEO) / Zoetrope Labs

  • Burned by previous bad experiences of agencies who didn't take due care and attention when sending though potential candidates, we had long stopped using recruitment agencies. It was costing too much time and money and becoming more of a hassle then it was worth. That was until we met Novate IT. their...

    James Ewin (Creative Director) / Only Orca Limited

  • I was working with Novate IT on product and tech positions for wefox. I enjoy the simple and fast processes with Novate IT. Novate IT helped us to hire a challenging Product Owner role in insurance segment in a very short time.

    Roman Matyushkin (Recruitment Development Manager) / wefox

  • I found Novate IT to be helpful and endlessly patient. We were extremely fussy but were supplied with a string of high-quality candidates

    James Andrews / Hiring Manager

  • We have worked with the team at Novate IT for several years now. The roles we hire into are often highly specialized and with hard to find skills and/or experience. The Novate IT team has taken the time really to understand our business, what drives us and what we look for in...

    Ann Tanner (Senior HR Business Partner) / Cray UK Limited

  • Actual Experience has enjoyed a productive partnership with Novate, securing candidates matched to our requirements and aligned with our culture. This has helped us achieve sustainable growth.

    Vincent Lerigo-Smith (Professional Development Manager) / Actual Experience

  • I have had the pleasure of working woth Novate IT for a number of years on various technical roles. In every instance their team has taken the time and effort to understand what we are looking for in the ideal candidates. The candidates which are sent trhough are relevant and of high...

    Matt Seymour (Head of Software) / Verisk Maplecroft

  • We use Novate IT's recruitment services as we are often in need of Linux specialists for one or several of our European offices. Time after time, Novate IT show that the company has a strong candidate network in different countries, that the Consultants deliver high quality recruitment services and that they 'do...

    Lizeth van der Jagt (Recruiter) / ClusterVision BV

  • I've worked with the team at Novate IT for over 10 years. Novate IT stand out from the crowd by building and maintaining long-term relationships and connections within the tech indistry in the Bristol area. They are well-informed and realistic, and partner with you as a hiring manager to help you arrive...

    Alex Francis (VP of Engineering) / Polecat

  • It’s been a pleasure working with Novate IT on filling some of our difficult vacancies. They are not only friendly and responsive but also listen (which is an essential recruiter virtue from my perspective) to both HR AND the candidates and is thus able to deliver candidates which are a perfect match....

    Gosia Szulc (Director of HR & Admin) / Verimatrix GmbH

  • We have been working with Novate IT for around one year and the team has helped us bring many great talents on board. Everyone at Novate IT is straightforward, smart and easy to work with. They always send relevant candidates that also fit well into our team. Besides the fact that we...

    Verena Garo (HR Manager) / Zattoo International Ltd

  • Helpful Consultants at Novate IT were instrumental in securing an exciting Senior Technical Writing role with one of their clients - a top tech company. Although we didn't agree on a job offer at the end of the day, the guys at Novate IT knew I had competitive offers on the table...

    Ivan Terziev / Candidate

  • Novate are easy to deal with and got me some good interviews. I do not usually like dealing with recruitment agencies at all but Novate is an exception.

    Jamie A / Candidate

  • Novate IT were a great company in helping me along the path towards my new job. They checked in with me at key points of the process with a willingness to answer any questions or concerns. What really struck me the most was my Consultants focus on making sure my fit and...

    Ben Howard / Candidate

  • Over the past few months I have dealt with several recruiters, some being too pushy, some not knowing enough information about the sector, and some I just felt like they didn't care much about my applications. my Recruitment Consultant at Novate IT ticked all the boxes, he was friendly, attentive and I...

    Callum Bailey / Candidate

  • I found my current job with the help of Novate IT. In the first call I had with them, they approached me with three interesting job offers giving me all the information I needed synthetic and precise, no "bullshit". I choose one and they followed me through all the process - always...

    Marco Franceschin / Candidate

  • Highly recommended. I have had experience with quite a few recruitment agencies and NOVATE IT is by far the best one. They provided me with job opportunities that really fit my skills and personal criteria. Contact was also excellent. Unlike other agencies which would spam me with constant phone calls, communicating over...

    Kornelia Watson / Candidate

  • Novate were super quick and friendly, and had processed my application in a matter of hours. I am now happily employed thanks to their help and haven't looked back!

    Ryan Boylett / Candidate

  • I had the pleasure of working with Novate IT on my recruitment at wefox. They guided me through every step of the recruitment process. I was very glad for their supportive attitude and guidance.

    Monika Kotus / Candidate

Latest Blogs

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StackOverflow - Global Developer Hiring Landscape 2018

Those fine folk at Stack Overflow have conducted a survey of over 100,000 Software Developers to gain a detailed understanding of the hiring landscape in 2018. Key highlights are: What technologies people most want to work with (and which they dread!) and the salaries linked to those skills What Developers look for in a new job How Developers prefer to be contacted and what they want to know about in a new job We found these insights fascinating and hope you do too. To download the survey results please click below Global Developer Hiring Landscape 2018.pdf We’re grateful to Stack Overflow for conducting this research and hope it helps them expand their business however, if you’re presently recruiting and would like further advice and guidance on how these insights can be crystalised into an effect recruitment campaign then please do let us know.

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GDPR for Employers: An Opportunity

GDPR - for Employers: An Opportunity Pretty much every company across Europe is presently preparing for the arrival of the new General Data Protection Regulations on 25th May 2018, and whilst it’s easy to become frustrated with the added layers of policies, procedures and documentation required to comply, GDPR should be seen as a huge opportunity for employers and recruiters to get their respective houses in order. Anecdotally we hear from many of our clients that they have a recruiter or two on their supplier lists who seem to have a habit of submitting CVs of candidates they’ve never spoken to and yet their actions are at times ignored. Come 25th May this will not only be bad practice it could potentially be unlawful and could land your company in seriously hot water (unless of course you’ve been tasked with disposing of 20million Euros as part of your job). The purpose of this article is not to give you chapter and verse about GDPR but instead to explain what you as an employer should be looking for from your recruitment suppliers. So, here are the headlines; there are six legal bases for processing personal data, only three are relevant to general recruitment activities and of those most recruitment consultancies will try to rely on the wonderfully vague basis of “Legitimate Interests”. In simple terms “Legitimate Interests” allows a recruitment company to hold personal data of an individual as it is necessary for them to provide work finding services for that individual. And that is fine as long as the recruitment company doesn’t hang on to the personal data longer than is necessary and doesn’t choose to share it with a third party. However, if you are working for an employer and are receiving CVs from a recruiter you’re going to want some sort of assurances that they actually have the right to share the applicant’s personal data with you. So, as an employer you really need to be looking for confirmation that any CVs you receive are from candidates who have given their consent for the Recruiter to send them. “Consent” is the best legal basis for processing of personal data as it is then completely clear that the individual knows that the recruiter is working on their behalf, has given their approval to the recruiter’s actions and crucially has a mechanism available to them for withdrawing their consent when they are no longer looking for work. Now, let me just pause to clarify; “Legitimate Interests” might be a lawful basis for a recruitment consultancy to have sent you a CV but “Consent” definitely is. More succinctly put, using “Legitimate Interests” is doing the bare minimum, “Consent” is best practice. So, as an employer, why should you care about the basis being used by your recruitment suppliers? Here’s just a few reasons why: If it’s under “Legitimate Interests”: How do you know that the Recruiter sending you the CV has gained the personal data in a lawful manner? If they haven’t then you haven’t either. How do you know the candidate has seen the recruiter’s privacy statement and policy? How do you know the candidate even knows their personal data has been shared with you? Do you want to give a place on your PSL to a Recruiter who is only prepared to do the bare minimum to achieve their placement fee? ….on the other hand, if it’s under “Consent”: You know that the Recruiter sending you the CV has gained the applicant’s personal data in a lawful manner and, The candidate has seen the recruiter’s privacy statement and policy and, The candidate knows their personal data has been shared with you and, You are working with a Recruiter who strives for best practice and so is willing to earn their placement fee by doing a good job for all parties. So employers, GDPR is a great opportunity for you to review your PSL and ensure that you are getting the best standard of service. By insisting all your suppliers gain the full GDPR “Consent” required from candidates you will see many improvements in the service you receive from your PSL, including: Fewer duplicate applications, where two or more recruiters claim the right to represent a candidate. And on the rare occasions where they have both/all gained the candidate’s consent they will have that moment time and date stamped which they can share with you. More committed applicants; at present it is very easy for a candidate to just say yes to every recruiter that calls them, and only whittle down their options once the interview requests start rolling in, this wastes your time. By insisting they consent to working with the recruiter and applying for your role, your CV received to interview attended ratio will increase. And so yes, seeing as you are bound to ask I can confirm here as I will if you choose to engage with us as a supplier; every candidate you receive from Novate IT and 52 Degrees North will have given their full consent for us to hold and share their personal data with you. In truth we’ve being doing this since both companies started and so are now delighted to see it being enshrined in law and our competitors forced to catch up. So, employers here’s your challenge; review your PSL now and ask all your suppliers what their plans are for complying with GDPR? Will they be doing the bare minimum and putting you at risk with “Legitimate Interests” or are they actually committed to best practice and providing you with a lawful source of candidates who know what is happening with their data and have given “Consent” to an application with your company? Remember, you’re paying for a service so why not insist on getting one? Stewart Smith – Self-professed recruitment expert and Bristol’s least hated IT recruiter. - If you’d like some help understanding what GDPR means to you as an employer or redesigning your recruitment process or just getting to the bottom of where all the talented employees you need to hire are, email me - Stewart@novate-it.co.uk

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The Mysterious Tale of the Incredible Vanishing Candidate

The Mysterious Tale of the Incredible Vanishing Candidate Here’s a story I’d wager all Recruiters are familiar with and despite its toxicity for all parties involved it is still a regular occurrence - I’m working on a vacancy for one of our clients and I find the perfect candidate; they have the right skills, are at the correct point in their career, are located close to the employer’s offices and when briefed are really keen on the role. We agree to present the applicant forward for the role and to get back to them with feedback ASAP. Now the next stage of our story can be fluid from case to case as sometimes it happens before a telephone interview has taken place, on other occasions it has happened mid-interview process (call from client “why hasn’t so-and-so arrived for their interview?”) and on one occasion it has happened to me after the candidate has completed the full three stage (telephone interview>technical test>office interview) process and is actually being offered the job!! Whenever it happens isn’t the point, the incident is the same - the candidate vanishes into thin air. Previously receptive to emails, text messages or phone calls all of a sudden they go completely silent, off grid, absent, disappear. Vanish. So, what on earth is going on? Well, the cynics amongst us know that some of these early-stage vanishers could be other Recruiters who have ghosted a CV (either created a fake CV or used a real CV but just changed a few of the key details and name) in order to find out from us who our client is. Once they have that info they need no longer engage with us and so don’t answer our calls (as an aside this happened to me once and the Recruiter in question had been dumb enough to leave some details within the CV so I could trace him to his employer, a company I was friendly with….I knew his boss…..hilarious!). But this would still only explain a small portion of the vanishers so it’s safe to say that something odd is going on with genuine candidates out there. Perhaps they are being kidnapped by other Recruiters or job applicants? Maybe its aliens, they do love to abduct folk after all! Maybe it’s an injury, or illness or even death (I’m sure this must actually happen sometimes sadly) – job hunting is a perilous task after all. The reality is some candidates just decide to vanish, I’m guessing they’ve either found a new role or decided to stay put with their present employer or, perhaps have decided on reflection that the role they’ve applied for isn’t quite what they’re after. Let’s be clear, all of these are perfectly acceptable reasons for withdrawing from the recruitment process, but what is completely unacceptable and a frankly ridiculous thing to do is to vanish into thin air without telling the recruiter of their change in plans. Let’s pause for a moment and address the elephant in the room; the services of a recruitment consultancy are completely free of charge to an applicant and in theory that’s an amazing deal. Seriously, you give someone who knows your industry and location your CV and then they set about presenting you with a load of suitable jobs, they submit the applications to the jobs you choose to go forward for, they help you prepare for the interview and negotiate the best remuneration package available for you at the end of the process, what could be a better deal than that? Or maybe you’d prefer to spend your evenings scouring through job adverts online and in newspapers? So, to completely vanish on them when you know they are trying to work their bum off for you is nothing less than bloody rude. Now obviously we all know Recruiters aren’t doing this entirely for the love of helping people find jobs, someone is paying us but when it isn’t you I personally think you have a bit of a responsibility to play with a straight bat and not simply vanish. Certainly, vanishing can be extremely harmful to the recruiter’s relationship with their client, as it makes us look like we had never spoken to you in the first place. Ok, so whilst we’re dealing with elephants let’s also be honest and deal with that one’s younger, only slightly smaller brother; some recruiters are idiots. Some Recruiters send your CV places without asking you, some Recruiters repeatedly call you about jobs focused on a skill or technology you used once 10 years ago but that still lingers on your CV, some Recruiters won’t take no for an answer when you decide a job isn’t quite right for you. I’m certain there are many many more sins that some Recruiters are guilty of, I’m just not aware of them because at Novate IT and 52 Degrees North we don’t do things that way (- yeah I know, I would say that, but I’m happy for you to ask ANY of the clients or candidates we’ve worked with over the last 20 years). The point here is that (and I firmly believe this) most Recruiters are not like this, many/most work hard to do a good, honest and reasonable job by their candidates (so they can get paid by their clients). So, with these points in mind it’s just not a reasonable act to vanish when they are trying to help you achieve your goals. So, why should a Vanisher give a damn? They’ve presumably disappeared because they achieved whatever objective they set out to - they’ve got a new job elsewhere, or a raise from their present employer etc. so why should they care? Well here’s just a few reasons: 1. They will almost certainly want to change job again at some point in the future and may just find that their ideal next career move is being hired for by the recruiter they’ve previously vanished on. Will they be perceived as a credible candidate given their track record? 2. Remember, the employer also knows the Vanisher’s name too, and is likely to be frustrated at their actions and their time being wasted engaging with someone who disappeared into the ether. Even if the Vanisher re-appears as a direct applicant or through another recruiter at best they can look forward to a red-face conversation in the interview or at worst their application will be dismissed as more potential time wasted. 3. Related to point 2, the hiring manager could turn up next working anywhere. Again, imagine being ruled out of your dream job at Google/Facebook/Debenhams/Notts County (You Pies!!!) because you’d previously messed the hiring manager around. You’d be gutted, right? 4. We recruiters never quite believe someone has vanished on us (we’re eternal optimists) and so it’s likely you’ll be getting emails, texts, phone calls and voicemails at the very least daily for a while as we try to reach you. Seriously, who can deal with the agro of constantly avoiding phone calls etc?!? (I appreciate this isn’t exactly a major job hunting issue but still something to keep in mind – I know a recruiter at another company who will call a Vanisher 20+ times per day until he gets an answer! Ouch.) The answer to avoiding all this silliness is simply to communicate; be willing to call the recruiter you’ve been working with and tell them the bad news. If they’re a good egg they take it on the chin, probably congratulate you and send you on your way with their best wishes. And if they throw a strop? - then you’ll definitely know who to avoid dealing with next time around. If on the other hand you simply don’t have the time/will/energy/inclination to listen to them trying to change your mind and to continue with their application then just email them; a couple of sentences explaining that you’ve made your decision and why is sufficient. They might still be a bit miffed but they’ll still be happier to have been told than if you had simply evaporated. Stewart Smith – Self-professed recruitment expert and Bristol’s least hated IT recruiter. - If you’d like some help with your CV, job hunt or any other career development matter email me stewart@novate-it.co.uk

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Five (possible) problems with your CV

The problem with CVs….. My last few blog posts have focused on how employers can improve their hiring success but this week it’s time to turn attention to applicants and to look at the mistakes being made with the main method of presenting one’s self forward for a job; the CV (or resumé – but for the purpose of this article CV will do). Now as Recruitment Consultants we spend 99% of our waking hours reviewing CVs (or it certainly feels that way) and so whilst many accusations can be levelled at recruiters one thing we can say for certain is that we know what a good CV looks like. We may not be experts in software engineering, accountancy, ice-cream construction or whatever business sector we happen to be recruiting in (we don’t need to be……another time) but we are experts in how someone’s career history should be described within a CV. So, as I close in on my third decade as a Recruiter let me share the following nuggets of wisdom gleaned from my career so far: 1 - The one-page CV is a myth Whoever invented this idea either had a VERY limited career when they thought of it or they had amazing eyesight and loved reading documents in font size six. In short; KNOCK IT OFF! (- yes, I am shouting, it really gets my goat!). In reality, unless you’re fresh out of school or university then you are almost certain to have done enough “things” professionally to warrant at least a couple of sheets of A4. Referring to my specialist sector of software engineering the complexity of the projects our candidates work on necessitates reasonably detailed description and in 20 years I can’t say I’ve ever heard a hiring manager complain about a CV that even stretches to four or five pages. That’s not to say CVs should be padded with pointless info to create length for length’s sake, just don’t be shy of giving a bit of detail. 2 - ….but what did you actually do??? This sort of follows from my previous point; we see FAR too many CVs that are brief to the point where I wonder if the author was running out of printer toner. An example from yesterday; an applicant for a job described their last 10 years’ work in just two and a half lines the crux of which was roughly “various projects including web software for XX industry” - this will not get them hired ANYWHERE. Employers want to know about the projects, the teams the individual worked in, the technology used, the client/s (if there was one), the industry and so on and so on. Without more detail you’re just encouraging the recruiter or hiring manager to reach for the delete key. 3 - Lay off the damn graphics! Yes, UX/UI people….I’m looking at you (although many others are guilty of this crime too). Let’s be really clear about this, a CV should only be a typewritten document explaining your skills, career experience, qualifications and contact details (plus some interests….but we’ll get to that shortly) - a CV is not the place for you to demonstrate your design fu. No one really wants to see (and these are all things I’ve seen within the last month) your finger prints, you in Venn diagram form, you as physically compared to various animals found on a safari, a bar chart where you rate all your skills out of seven…and they are all seven out of seven! I get that this is eye catching but it’s also just a bit odd and wastes space where you could be writing about your actual skills and experience. Hello again UX/UI peeps, yes…clearly you need to be able to show your skills somewhere but that’s what your portfolio is for, put the link front and centre on your CV (literally, under your name) and hiring managers will always see it and visit it. You’ll also be showing you know when, where and how to convey information, which has got to be a skills in and of itself, right? 4 - Are you a human with a life or do you only exist to work? This is something that many other people have commented on but can’t really be overstated, and I accept that it’s perhaps cultural thing but certainly in the UK it’s REALLY important to have some outside work interests listed in your CV. You never know, your interviewer might also be an amateur beekeeper, a follower of Notts County (You Pies!!!) or a fan of film noir. Interests can help you get an interview (one of my team secured their interview at Novate IT by showing their love of Lord of the Rings) and can also provide a great conversation starter to ease you into the interview helping you build the rapport that is crucial in any job interview. In the software engineering world employers are now becoming increasingly interested in the technical projects applicants take on in their spare-time; you might not have professional experience of Clojure but taking the time to develop a project or two using it as a hobby sends a powerful message to a prospective employer that you’re committed to that area of technology as well as self-development in general. 5 - Word vs PDF This is a pretty simple one really; Word is good (alright…Word is OK-ish) at creating/editing word-processed documents, and PDF is good at presenting them as you intend them to look. So, by all means provide us with your CV in PDF format but please accept that if you’re using the services of a Recruitment Consultant we almost always have to do something to it before we can send it to the employer, which means converting it back into Word, doing what we need to do and then returning it to PDF. So PLEASE, if only for my sake and my diminishing volume of follicles please also have a Word version ready you can share with us. And don’t fret, we’re not trying to do anything sinister we simply need the ability to add a coversheet summarising the main points of your skillset and desired role (and pretty much every client I have worked with over the last 20 years has asked us to do this). We may even need to tidy up the formatting that your chosen job board has decided to sporadically tamper with (unless you meant every other paragraph to be justified to the right of the page?!?!) or we might need to correct your spelling or grammar (perish the thought you’ve missed this during your proof reading, or your computer thinks you are American and autocorrects you into working for an organization). Seriously, only providing a PDF CV means your recruiter is having to spend so much longer processing your application that they don’t have time to help other job hunters, so you’re basically standing in the way of other people getting jobs, and no one wants that on their conscience! There are a multitude of other issues with CVs and I could easily vent on this subject all day, but this is supposed to be a blog post and not an encyclopaedia so I’ll leave it with one final message; if you’re working with a recruiter then listen to their advice about your CV, you might be an expert in glass-blowing, civil aviation or marsupial dentistry but we are experts in making CVs convey the right info in the loveliest way possible. And even if you don’t particularly trust the Recruitment Consultant you are working with (implausible as it may sound, there are bad Recruiters out there) believe in their desire to help you get the job you are applying for! Stewart Smith – Self-professed recruitment expert and Bristol’s least hated IT recruiter. - If you’d like some help with your CV, job hunt or any other career development matter email me stewart@novate-it.co.uk

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(Most) Telephone Interviews are Pointless

(Most) Telephone Interviews are Pointless. These days the recruitment process for most software engineering jobs tends to look something like: CV review Telephone interview Remote coding exercise (don’t get me started!) Onsite interview And whilst that could in theory be quite a quick process (you could do all of that in a week, right?) in reality there’s a lot of feet-dragging between the stages and so “time to hire” for most roles is much more likely to be 3-4 weeks. Having spent approaching 20 years recruiting Software Engineers and IT personnel of just about every shape and size it strikes me that time is being needlessly wasted here. There seems to be little reason why you can’t have a candidate onsite and interviewing in person within 7 – 10 days of first setting eyes on their CV. So what needs to go? Well the telephone interview for one thing. Most hiring managers these days are receiving CVs from another party, whether that be a trusted Recruitment Consultant or an Internal Talent Acquisition Consultant (my goodness I hate that job title – not the people or the role….just the title…another time) and so these people should have done your telephone interview for you already. Seriously, why on earth would you be working with a recruitment company who didn’t understand your role well enough to ensure they only shared suitable people with you. Worse still, if you have an internal recruiter and they’re getting the match wrong why are you employing/paying them?!?!? At Novate IT and 52° North we have found that very soon after we start working with a company ALL our candidates are passing the client’s telephone interview stage, and so if this is the case it really begs the question why bother having it? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming we are recruitment wizards capable of only finding perfect candidates, I’m just saying we’re doing the job you’re eventually going to be paying us for. Our job is to do the telephone interview and so save you time, doubling up on work we’ve already done is pointless. Now some companies do choose to do a technical telephone interview, I accept that is a bit different but why not let us do that for you too? Surely you can define 4 – 5 stop/go questions for your vacancy that we can ask to ensure you only get to read the CVs of people who are at the required level of skill? Ditching the telephone interview can feel like a daunting prospect for many clients, the perception being that it saves time interviewing in-person lots of unsuitable candidates. The reality however is as stated before, if it really isn’t being used as a filter and most people are passing it is actually wasting your time. Have a look at your “telephone interview to office interview” and “office interview to hire” ratios, times the difference by 30 – 60 minutes (however long your telephone interviews typically last) and that’s the amount of time you’re wasting by telephone interviewing candidates who have already been interviewed by your Recruitment Consultant or In-house recruiter. Obviously as a hiring manager you want to be protected from the risk of having to meet with lots of unsuitable candidates so what do you do? Well firstly ensure that the people that recruit for you REALLY know what you want, this involves preparing good/accurate job specs and providing specific feedback on every CV you receive. Then, once you have a well-established, successful relationship…….trust them - take a few of their candidates straight through to your second stage (ideally an onsite meeting, where you will test AND interview them). As well as not wasting time doing telephone interviews the benefits of this approach are manifold: You’ll get to meet the candidates before pretty much every other employer, thus getting them bought into your role / company / brand first. You’ll come across as an employer who is REALLY serious about hiring them, not just “having an informal chat” on the phone whilst the candidate is potentially distracted by something else. Your “time to hire” will be turbocharged, meaning you can make offers within the first 7 -10 days, which in turns mean your new employee will start work for you sooner. And if you find you’re interviewing hideously unsuitable people? Well, you need to either look at the source of your candidates; should you be looking at new suppliers/internal recruiters? or, do you need to improve the quality of the information you are providing them with. Don’t be afraid of changing all elements in your process as your ultimate goal should be to know that when you receive a CV it is going to be someone you want to meet, then you’re not reviewing a CV you’re just preparing for the interview. Stewart Smith – Self-professed recruitment expert and Bristol’s least hated IT recruiter. - If you’d like some help redesigning your recruitment process or just getting to the bottom of where all the talented employees you need to hire are email me stewart@novate-it.co.uk

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Your Remote Coding Test is Killing Your Recruitment Campaign

Your Remote Coding Test is Killing Your Recruitment Campaign The remote coding exercise has become an intrinsic part of software engineering recruitment over the last few years and in theory it is a great way of gauging a candidate’s technical skills, to work out if you need bother interview them or not. In my position as a Director of a company who have supported hundreds of software professionals change jobs over the last 19 years I have seen all sorts of hiring trends come and go, I can tell you that in reality the remote coding exercise is hampering the recruitment efforts of many employers to the point where the losses outweigh the gains. You see, EVERYONE has a remote coding exercise these days – a skilled candidate coming to the job market can easily find themselves facing four or five tests/tasks/assessments/exercises within 24 hours of their job hunt starting. Sometimes these tests kick in after a telephone interview, so at least the applicant might be a little bit engaged with your company and opportunity, but ever frequently they are now coming up even before any interview at all. So then what? - the applicant is faced with not only spending most of their day in a job they’ve decided they no longer want to then come home and face 2 – 4 hours homework each evening! Seriously, think about it, it’s even worse than school. So what happens? - well invariably they tackle the first one or two or (if they’re super diligent and don’t have a great deal else to do) maybe three tests before the onsite interview requests start coming in and so the other tests get forgotten/ignored. It doesn’t matter to them that “the test was sent late because the hiring manager has been away” – or any other completely valid excuse, they have application fatigue and are now heading down the path of least resistance. Now, of course you do need some way of measuring the candidate’s technical ability – you can’t hire a Scala Developer just because they say they are really really good, so what do you do? It’s a blindingly simple answer really; get them onsite ASAP and test them at your offices. But this could get really time consuming I hear you cry, well not if you design your test appropriately and set the right applicant expectations (if you don’t pass the test first there’s no point wasting your time with an interview). How does this improve the success of your recruitment campaign? You’ll get the opportunity to meet ALL the job seekers who are suited to your role, not just those who aren’t too busy with real lives to do yours and some other company’s tests You’ll almost certainly be amongst the first companies to interview the applicant, so You’ll be able to get them bought into your brand and role more quickly, and They won’t dodge doing your test, because they’re sat there in your offices, and You’ll get a better sense for how they actually problem-solve in the workplace! By fast tracking them to an onsite interview you’ll be giving them a much better recruitment experience than most of your competition, and They’ll like you even more for not taking up their valuable spare time with homework. ….and crucially you’ll be one of, if not THE first company to put a job offer to the candidate. Now, assuming the rest of your recruitment message is on point then why would they bother wading through a further multitude of remote technical exercises when they are already holding a brilliant job offer? Remember the path of least resistance? Despite all advice still a surprising number of applicants simply accept the first job offer they receive, so why not let it be yours? This advice may sound counter-intuitive in our age of being constantly online and able to do so much from the comfort of our homes but in reality, a bit of old school hiring practice could really turbo-charge your hiring efforts and ensure YOU get to see and hire ALL the best candidates, not just the company who happens to send them their test first! Stewart Smith – Self-professed recruitment expert and Bristol’s least hated IT recruiter. - If you’d like some help redesigning your recruitment process or just getting to the bottom of where all the talented employees you need to hire are, email me stewart@novate-it.co.uk I’ve just done a LinkedIn training course and have been advised to create some useful content to share with my network, subsequently this is the first in a series of posts about how employers and candidates can improve their recruitment activities, securing the best employees and jobs. All feedback gratefully received, if you think I’m talking rot then please tell me!

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