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You can develop skills but you can’t train a personality, a Bristol success story

I have a lot of plans for Women Rock and I am excited to share them with you over the coming weeks. One thing this platform is for is to share success stories, here’s a good un.

I began working with a brand new start-up in Bristol in January after approaching the founder and telling them about SR2 and my plans for Women Rock. As a new business they were really keen to get off on the right foot and having a diverse team was a top priority to help shape the culture they were after.

I had the opportunity to build a brand new team for them, but one thing was essential, they wanted a 50/50 split of gender. The founder talked me through what they wanted which was a visionary team and to create opportunities for female talent to lead technology innovation. Although these were permanent positions, they we’re very open to support flexible working and part-time working too if it meant getting the right people on board. I’ll discuss part-time working options and flexi-time another day.

Yes, they hire based on skills and ability but they opened their tech stack to anything and everything from C++, Python, Linux, PHP and Java, to encourage a variety of applications and not just ‘I want x 10 Java developers’. Their interview process allowed them to understand abilities, personalities and to demonstrate a passion to cross train into the technology needed. They offer each individual the opportunity to own their own product and have an evolving environment where you are constantly learning, optimising and inventing – what everyone in tech loves, right?

It was all about finding the right people and not skills. How refreshing. “You can develop skills but you can’t train a personality”

After a successful and busy few weeks they now have a brand new team of 11 people made of 5 females and 6 male in a wide variety of skills from PHP, JAVA, Machine Learning, Linux and C++. The backgrounds are all hugely varied from all types of companies, cultures and countries but they have one thing in common. They all want to learn, they all want to develop and they are all super excited about working for one of the best start-ups in Bristol that is making serious waves in their niche sector in a very short space of time.

As a recruiter or a hiring manager I am sure at some point we have all been guilty of looking for that ‘unicorn’ candidate from a key skills search and we have probably all skipped past not just women but also men because they don’t look right on paper. It’s sort of like Tinder, we are judging people purely on face value but in this case not their face, but words they have put on a piece of paper. Yes some CV’s need work, but as recruiters or direct hiring managers, are we speaking to these men or women to understand the other skills that they don’t have on their CV? What else can they bring to the table, what haven’t they shared on their CV that’s actually really relevant to your opportunity? The phrase never judge a book by a cover is really relevant when hiring and it ensures you don’t miss out on any potential hidden gems you just may have swiped left on.

I will be talking at the Gapsquared event in March, details TBC. Please tune in to hear more about how I successfully hire female talent.

#womenrock #successstory

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