Insight connecting the tech community – Our MD talks about the upcoming Insight Into Digital event.
Insight has quickly established itself as a regular on the Manchester event scene – can you give us the background to these events and how they came about?
When Insight started just over 18 months ago, one of our aims for growing a business that would be successful long term was the idea of putting people before placements and building partnerships. As part of that I wanted Insight to genuinely contribute to the tech community, sharing ideas, bringing people together and ultimately collaborating to help the digital sector grow and a regular event was something that we saw as part of that.
Being based in the Northern Quarter we are lucky to have access to multiple tech focused events every night and from regularly attending events and meet ups it became clear there was space for an event with a slightly different approach. This was where the ‘Insight Into’ idea started, as a way of bringing people together who work in tech and given them a platform to discuss wider challenges associated with recruitment and also retention in the industry and access to experts sharing their experiences. It’s also become a good opportunity for us to meet up socially with the network of people that insight work with as business, which I think added to that community feel and helped make the event a success.
Tell us more about the last event – what do you think made it successful?
The last event was our first event of this format so it really exceeded my expectations both in terms of the turn out, but also the content and feedback we had from people who attended. Tickets for the event sold out in advance and we had close to 100 people attend which was pleasing but it was the mix of people and discussion that stood out for me. We had everyone from developers discussing the latest tech and why that was important to building world class dev teams, to HR professionals discussing the importance of a diverse workforce, candidate experience and what great looks like, right through to practical advice on how to stand out as a job seeker.
However I think what really made the event for me, was the amazing panel who offered up not only time in their very busy schedules but also their personal experience and insight into business initiatives and challenges on the panel and afterwards in one to one situations in the networking over pizza and beers. I’d also measure success by the follow up networks and relationships that have been built since the event and its pleasing to see these relationships have resulted in new opportunities for a range of people from ‘Head of’ positions to Internships.
What was your role in the last event and what areas did you cover?
I was lucky enough to be part of the panel, and one of the areas I was asked about was the evolution of recruitment and technology within the industry over the 15 years I have worked in it. I also covered some of the similarities in technology and recruitment with digital in mind. So for example we talked about ‘Candidate experience’ in recruitment today being as important as ‘User experience’ and why in both recruitment and tech a new way of engaging with customers has led businesses to work a lot harder to show where they add value and also focus on the personal element of relationships. Its something I’m passionate about as I’ve seen the difference people can make in attracting and retaining the best talent, and how simple things such as teams being accessible and developing key people within organisations can help to get engagement with their brand or their vision
This led on to discussing technology and its Improvement of the recruitment industry but also some of the challenges with replacing the human element. I shared stories I was told about about technology years ago replacing recruitment agents when Linkedin became popular and likened it to these days hearing about Machine learning, Artificial intelligence, Robots etc that have all been claimed will replace the role of a recruiter. In my eyes, none have yet been able to really improve the industry. I did get a lot of agreement when I talked about examples of automation such as matching algorithm spamming irrelevant job/Cv’s out but that was also countered by one particularly passionate jobseeker in the audience who asked about her getting a lot of irrelevant calls from recruiters in the Industry. Thankfully they had calmed down by the time the pizza came out!
The next Insight into event is just 7 days away, what can we expect from this one?
More of the same I would say, looking at the tickets so far its looking like another busy event and from the guest list its good to see some regular names but also people coming for the first time.
The panel is equally as exciting – we have managed to bring together some of the key people in a couple of the most forward thinking tech focused companies locally in Thoughtworks & MAG-O giving their input into how they attract and retain the best talent. Alongside the MD of Northcoders giving us a real entry level view of the industry and associated challenges plus an experienced candidate’s perspective from a Programme Manager within NHS Digital to make sure we are getting an all rounded view. Plus we’ve got an expert on the event scene from Tech North pulling it all together and providing some challenging questions and discussion points. We are actually planning to get an ‘Insight into’ introduction out from all of the guest speakers leading up the event so people can hear everyday about these guys background and get a better idea of what to expect from them on the night – keep your eyes out for these.
Of course there is also the obligatory beer and pizza and opportunity to network that is now associated with a lot of these events, so we have chosen a similar venue with another bar that has that real Northern Quarter feel but I have to say the pizza could well just edge it ahead of the last one!
How would you sell the event to anybody from the tech community who is interested in attending?
I would argue that I don’t need to ‘sell’ the event and that is definitely a good distinction to make about what we are doing. The objective of the event is not about selling Insight or recruitment services, so people shouldn’t expect the big sales pitch. What they can expect is an opportunity to share experiences, network with other people working in the digital sector and contribute to the tech community. I would argue that there is value for anyone who is passionate about tech, job seekers & businesses alike who want to hear about how other people are tackling challenges industry and anyone who is interested in building a network. Please get your tickets below –
We look forward to seeing you all there!