Pictured: Colin Donnery, Group CEO, FRS Network
We spoke to Colin Donnery, Group CEO of FRS Network, about the issues facing IT recruitment today and the importance of due diligence.
Donnery began his career in IT recruitment in the late 1990s, bringing mainframe programmers from all over the world to Ireland, primarily to work in banking technology. He joined FRS Recruitment almost 20 years ago and says that community is at the heart of what they do. The group is a cooperative which means all profits go back into the business and they currently have six companies with over 2,000 employees. They have implemented a flexible first policy to maximise a work/life balance for their own employees. Donnery said, “That flexibility has helped us with candidates too as we can be as accessible and available as possible to candidates at times that best suit them.”
Donnery advises that employees are seeking specific conditions in addition to a good salary which is now a given. We outline them here:
Flexibility in location lends itself well to the IT sector and Donnery advises companies to stipulate exactly what kind of flexibility is on offer with a definitive idea of how many days an employee can work at home, what the expectations are to attend the office, the likelihood of these conditions changing or whether it is a permanently flexible role. Donnery urges employees to be frank with their questions and to ascertain, before signing any contract, what their working conditions will be. He notes that generic contracts might not include that kind of details but it is incumbent on the applicant to seek specifics.
If and when employees do attend the office, Donnery recommends that companies create a social aspect if possible by creating opportunities for colleagues to meet and get to know each other.
Security of employment
In any downturn, regardless of the sector, people will look for job security. Donnery noted that previous candidates might not have been as worried but in times of contraction, employees need to be doing their research.
He said, “Employees will be keen to know if the job has inherent longevity and will look to whether the company is viable, especially if they are in a start-up scenario.” He urges employees to carry out due diligence and comprehensive research on any company they are considering joining, saying, “Do the research on the board, the company, the people behind the money, what investment analysts are saying about them.”
Donnery advises candidates to familiarise themselves with the work they would be doing. He suggested the following questions as a starting point. “Is the technology exciting? Is there a future in it? Am I going to be adding to my skillset and will this role make me more marketable in the future?
Tell your story
Donnery believes it’s important for companies to tell their story. How did they begin, what is their runway and roadmap and how would candidates be involved in their plans? This kind of storytelling and transparency will provide security for candidates who might not be familiar with the history of the company.
Involvement in Tech Nomads
Tech Nomads, the upcoming event, will feature new opportunities in the tech sector. Donnery said, “It’s a really good fit for us – not only bringing people from the centres in Dublin out into the regions but also offering those remote and hybrid roles. We really specialise in that area. The key challenges are attracting the right people and retaining them.”
Tech Nomads, Tech tribes first event, is taking place on 22 February in The Complex (beside Capel Street) from 3pm – 8.30pm. Register here
Read more about Tech Nomads:
‘We’re building technology for the future’ – John Cormican, Jaguar Land Rover