Boyle Recruitment aims to fix ‘broken’ system

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15 May 2014 | 0

Boyle Recruitment is a young start-up in the technology recruitment sector that is taking a novel approach to a system that the founder Kevin Boyle sees very much as broken.

Boyle points out a few key reasons why he thinks the industry is broken.

Firstly he says, the growth and prevalence of social media has meant that hiring managers now have access to the same resources and tools as recruiters. With LinkedIn, Twitter, and Github open to all, this common access has resulted in recruiters becoming over-reliant. Boyle is unequivocal on this. “Email and tweeting are the coward’s way out of picking up the phone, meeting face-to-face and asking the awkward questions that consequently make the hiring manager’s job easier.”

Another key problem, according to Boyle, is that hiring managers, by default, tend to recruit on a contingency basis, which places greater importance on speed rather than quality. Recruiters therefore feel compelled to take short cuts in order to submit a CV ahead of the competition. Likening the situation to other business services, Boyle says one would not fire a tax return at three accountants to see who files it first.

Boyle believes that the tech industry would be better served by a more integrated approach by people who understand it, and how its various players need to communicate.

The contingency hiring approach also produces other unintended consequences. In this instance, the recruiter gets paid once the candidate has been in the job for at least one month. The success rate of this is depressingly low, argues Boyle, and leads to recruiters getting burnt out, which is the main contributor the high staff turnover in the industry. He also says that it results in “self-deprecating” recruiters who do not value themselves enough to advise their clients on alternative solutions, compounding the issue.

When this is combined with old fashioned sales metrics of calls made or CVs processed, not mention the old chestnut of how big is your database, and the picture is of an industry that is suffering a crisis.

Boyle believes that the tech industry would be better served by a more integrated approach by people who understand it, and how its various players need to communicate.

To that end, Boyle Recruitment leverages an allied service called Dublin Tech Talk. This series of videos, hosted on YouTube, involves key people in technology companies being interviewed by Boyle to introduce their companies, their philosophies and to act as a sort of dating agency or shop window so that candidates know what to expect when they get an interview for that key tech job.

The combination of video, deep knowledge of the sector and then a close partnership between recruiter and client company, where probing questions can be asked by both sides, argues Boyle, gives both sides a far better chance of being matched suitably to provide lasting worthwhile placements.

Coyness has no place in the process, argues Boyle, as he highlights an episode in his own frustrated recruiter past. He recounts an instance where a company was asked what the pay scale was for a particular tech position, with the response of how long is piece of string? Now, while that might be taken to mean it is negotiable, it is often unhelpful to the recruiter. When Boyle responded by saying that without being specific it was difficult to help them, the hiring manager took umbrage and felt affronted.

While the episode only serves to highlight the often fraught relationship between recruiters and client companies, it also emphasises one of the potentially broken elements of the process, says Boyle, the duty of hiring company to give all reasonable information to prospective candidates to allow them to make informed decisions, and also to allow recruiters to make intelligent choices on their behalf.

Again, the power of video in achieving this is not to be underestimated, says Boyle, and points to the way that tech start-ups have successfully used the medium in other areas, such as around meet-ups, information sharing and general networking for entrepreneurs.

“I don’t know any other recruiter that goes to tech meet-ups, let alone set them up” he says. “I am not a just a recruiter — I am a tech enthusiast, a businessman and a crap coder. I just happen to be good at recruitment.”

So will this approach of soul searching, video introductions and careful industry watching work to solve what is perceived as a broken industry? Only time will tell, but is reassuring to see someone with significant experience both the Irish and UK markets trying something different.


TechCentral Reporters

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