“The war on talent is over and talent has won” — Q&A with Colm O’Cuinneain, Speaker at Dublin Tech Summit in June

Dublin Tech Summit, Interviews | Tue 17 May | Author – Business & Finance

Colm O’Cuinneain is the General Manager of EMEA, Greenhouse Software. He will be speaking at Dublin Tech Summit on 15 & 16 June, which returns to the RDS in a physical capacity. Tickets for the events can be purchased here. Use code BandFMag for 20% off. See all confirmed speakers here.


What are some of the new trends in tech? 

Within the hiring space specifically, Traditional HR Tech and Human Capital Management (HCM) is changing – it’s becoming all about “WorkTech”. Companies are changing how they hire because the competition for top talent has never been more challenging. Greenhouse’s mission is to help companies hire the right person, at the right time, and in a fair and objective way. Companies that get hiring right are harnessing the most powerful sustainable advantage. After all, the most important asset in any organization is its people.

Also, talent has never been more mobile, meaning candidates have more choices in the company that they want to work for. As the future of work continues to evolve, managing remote hiring and onboarding will be the new norm.  Furthermore, distributed hiring has created a larger candidate pool and more diverse, balanced teams. Companies that show flexibility will have a greater amount of talent to choose from. 

How can smaller companies get a foothold in the tech industry? 

As a startup competing for talent, you have a lot of advantages over larger organizations. For example, they can show more concern, be more creative, be more open to different talent pools, and provide more interesting opportunities. They can look in places where the major banks don’t look, and for people who the bigger firms don’t think about. When faced with the challenge of building a team from scratch, smaller companies often turn to referral programs to fill roles quickly. Putting in extra time in the early days to reach beyond your network will help you build diversity into the foundation of your startup, which also creates a flywheel for diverse hiring. Diverse teams are more likely to be inclusive, and inclusive teams attract people with different ideas. Smaller companies are better placed to make faster judgments when hiring which can support more diverse hiring. Companies can achieve diversity by design, thereby preventing a ton of work later in their company’s journey self-correcting for mistakes made early on in their company journey.

What are some of the biggest concerns facing the tech community today? 

The war on talent is over and talent has won. Our Candidate Experience Report (Feb 2022) shows that the first few impressions you make on a candidate can influence their decision to choose to work for a company. Ultimately, the power has shifted into the hands of candidates.  

Companies need to be better when it comes to hiring and those that choose to ignore this face serious challenges for their business. Hiring correctly is the foundation for a healthy culture. Sourcing the right talent is paramount to business success and without structured hiring, more pressure will be placed on hiring managers to find the right talent. 

When a company puts a deliberate and structured hiring process in place, it ensures a broad and diverse candidate pool. Structured hiring helps combat human biases to hire people you otherwise wouldn’t have and provide fairer access to career opportunities for everyone. 

 What key messaging do you want the DTS community to hear? 

For me, I would like to see the DTS community think differently about how they approach and talk about hiring. Human Resources and Human Capital language makes people feel like cogs in the wheel. Greenhouse believes that companies must demonstrate a human-centred approach. Companies have to relate differently to talent now. Companies who put people first will win the ‘battle for top talent’ and I am looking forward to hearing how companies are transforming hiring strategies in these unprecedented times.