Interview with the WPR IT recruitment team

Sync NI caught up with IT Recruitment Consultant Ciaran Boyle and IT Researcher Dr Samira Sajadi to get an insight into the employability world of IT. 

WPR emphasis is on ‘Professional’, what does this mean for you, Clients and Candidates?

From our perspective, we strive to do things a little different from our competition, this starts with our company ethos of ‘employing Consultants with an IT background’.Having graduated with a Degree in Computer Science many moons ago and worked in a number of IT related roles, I feel my background gives me more credibility when speaking to clients and candidates, which in turn reflects WPR’s professional approach.  Our clients and candidates enjoy engaging with us for advice and assistance when it comes to finding and filling suitable roles.

Samira added that WPR offers a professional career service, for both the client and candidate. We ensure our high quality candidates enjoy our confidentiality and career opportunities by presenting them with options in line with their career goals. It’s important for us to connect the right candidate to the right job that fulfils their next career challenge and personal needs. The Construction & Engineering side of our business also follows the same blueprint with ex-industry professionals offering the same expertise to their clients and candidates.

What trends have you seen in the IT sector in regards to recruitment?

In Northern Ireland there continues to be a high demand for experienced Java, C# and C++ Software Engineers. In recent months the PHP, Python and JavaScript skill-sets have also dominated some of the roles we have worked on for our clients.

Finding top talent is significantly important and certain skill-sets outside of the most common technologies can be more difficult to source for. However NI has a very talented and adaptable workforce and we believe that NI candidates are more than capable  of filling these roles if the company gives the candidates the opportunity to transition into a different technology.

QA roles and the more advanced Software Engineer in Test or QA Developer positions are an ever present. While there is still a demand for manual testing with companies the majority have automated their test procedures so we always have ongoing Automated QA vacancies. From an infrastructure perspective we continue to have regular Windows and Linux Systems Admin roles but also a demand for more experienced Architect level positions.

The good news for Northern Ireland is that there is an ever increasing focus on Software Security and Big Data. New companies entering the market are providing an attractive career alternative to the usual sectors we associate with Northern Ireland such as Financial Services. These new companies are specialising in these areas, rather than being an in-house function supporting a different solution or service. We expect these to be areas of further growth with continued career opportunities in the coming months.

With numerous recruitment agencies available it is vital to do the simple things well for our clients and candidates. In terms of our candidate search process, often knowing entrepreneurs and innovative people is a helpful starting point when getting referrals. Traditional methods are being replaced by micro-blogging and social networking as a talent acquisition strategy. Nowadays social media plays a key role in job promotion and leveraging this to the best of our ability helps us reach passive candidates.

 If I was a candidate; why would I register with you?

We put the candidate at the heart of what we do.  We like to get know our candidates: We listen to their career aspirations, their motivation for a new career and the challenges they look for in a role. This in turn allows us to give career advice rather than a pushy sales approach to filling vacancies.

WPR liaises with various employers, both start-ups and well-established companies in Northern Ireland. Our Recruitment Consultants connect candidates to the most reputable IT organisations whilst providing candidates with appropriate vacancies based on their career aspirations. Personalities are also key so getting to know our candidates early on in the recruitment process is important to us.

WPR is ethical in the way we carry out our recruitment. Our candidates can be assured of confidentiality as well as full control of the roles they wish to apply to and regular updates or feedback be they successful or not. The recruitment industry often gets a bad name as candidates find their CVs are circulated without prior approval. This is something WPR are proud to distance themselves from and we aim to positively change the attitude of using recruitment agencies.

What companies do you interact with?

As well as some of the recognised names in the Northern Ireland IT market we also work closely with a lot of smaller companies who prefer to grow organically and have great success in doing so. Be it one vacancy or one hundred we treat our clients the same and strive to find the best possible candidates to help improve their business and grow their workforce.

We have a great working relationship with Invest NI on both sides of the Atlantic. As a result of this we are often the first to hear of new IT companies who have plans to open in Northern Ireland. A lot of exploratory work goes on behind the scenes on these projects so by the time we reach out to candidates we are usually fairly certain that those companies have finalised their plans for opening here.

What does the future hold for WPR?

We plan to grow the team which will allow us to broaden our client base even further and potentially look at other geographical locations.  Dr Samira Sajadi has recently joined us in an IT Researcher capacity and is already proving to be a valuable asset with her thorough approach to finding suitable candidates for our client vacancies.

We are looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.