An Insight Into Andrew Shakespeare, Programme Manager at NHS Digital

With only 2 days to go until the second Insight Into event, We have met with Andrew Shakespeare to get a handle on what he plans to share on the night.

Andrew plans to come and share his experience of the current market place following his recent stint as a candidate on the job market. What has stood out to him for all the right and wrong reasons and ways in which companies can improve their candidate journey during a recruitment drive.

Having many years within the IT & Digital industry, Andrew has a lot of experience of being on both sides of the recruitment fence as a hiring manager and senior candidate and looks to share the insights he gained whilst being employed at the likes of Experian, BAE, Hunter Macdonald, NHS Digital to name a few.

If you would like an opportunity to meet with Andrew, he will be available to speak at our event on Thursday 21st September at Tariff & Dale, details are below and you can secure tickets via this LINK

Here is a snippet of his background and his views on Digital.


1) Tell us more about you – your current role and background?


I’m proud to have recently joined NHS Digital as a Programme Manager leading a programme which will give pharmacies significantly enhanced integration with other care providers.


I have been working in technical delivery in a variety of roles and sectors for over twenty years. I started as IT support in a small law firm which used electronic typewriters and owned just three PCs. Since then I’ve been fortunate to work with many great people across the world delivering exciting solutions such as E-Commerce and CRM systems and evidence-gathering systems for government inquiries. I’ve also led managed services teams supporting those systems so I have also had the 3am calls when systems have gone down.


I’ve worked with Capita, Experian, BAE Systems, Eversheds and Anchor Trust; all of which are in different sectors. There is always a lot to learn when moving into a new sector but there is also a lot of commonality and the problems each industry faces are often very similar.



2) What do you enjoy about the Digital & Tech industry?


I enjoy delivering solutions that give people access to relevant, accurate and up-to-date information and help to save unnecessary manual work.


I love solving problems and, quite often the most complex problem can be resolved with the simplest solution. When projects aren’t working or systems have failed, the basics are a very good place to start.


I’ve been able to work with some very intelligent and driven people. The pace of change and the expectations of clients drives those kinds of people and it’s energising to work alongside them.


3) You have experienced recruitment within Tech both as a Hiring Manager and a Job Seeker – what have been the challenges you have experienced within the Industry?


Finding the right person for the right role is an art rather than a science; a job spec and a CV don’t tell the whole story. Building a team is a delicate balance across skills and knowledge, personalities and aspirations. Finding the right person and keeping them motivated is a fine art.


As a job seeker, it can be hard to market oneself effectively when you can’t be sure exactly what the recruiter is looking for. I’m always suspicious of recruiters who tell you not to call them because placing the right person in the right role is about the relationships, not ticking boxes based on a single document. The best recruitment decision I ever made was based on the enthusiasm the candidate showed rather than the results of the technical test they sat.


4) What advice would you give to anybody trying to get in/get ahead in the Industry?


Try everything. This is a very broad industry with many opportunities and the industry is moving at such a fast pace, having a broad range of skills and experiences helps you understand how things fit together and how the demands on people in different roles makes them focus and what motivates them.


Learn the technologies, but learn about people. Technologies change, sectors have their differences but fundamentally people are similar albeit with their individual complexities. Working in different roles allows you understand how different people interact and how to facilitate that.


5) As well as contributing to the panel, what will you be looking to get from the event?


This event is a great opportunity to share experiences and build our collective good practice, How, as employers, we seek and motivate our people and how, as candidates, we sell ourselves effectively and make the recruitment decision simple.


I’m looking to hear those experiences and how I can learn from taking other approaches.


6) What’s your relationship/experience been like with Insight?


As a candidate, Insight has stood out to me as an organisation who have treated me as a client rather than a product.  It felt genuinely different to have people who were actively looking to find the right match for both me and the employer and would not stop until I found the role I wanted.


Recruitment is often a one-way process with the employer holding the balance of power. Working with Insight has been refreshing

7) When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

My sport is rowing which I threw myself into about 25 years ago, I also enjoy shooting and I have some dusty golf clubs. However most of my spare time is managed by the activities of my two children.


If you would like an opportunity to meet with Andrew, he will be available to speak at our event on Thursday at Tariff & Dale, details are below and you can secure tickets via this LINK


Event Invite September 2017