itContracting Quick-fire Q&A: Senior IT Recruitment Consultant
Having a technical background is crucial for almost all roles in the IT industry. However, when it comes to IT Recruitment, what skill set comes up top? We spoke to Senior IT Recruitment Consultant at itContracting, Chris Byrne, to find out.
Name: Chris Byrne
Position: Senior IT Recruitment Consultant
Tell me about your experience and how it brought you to your position at Evros?
I started initially with Digital in Dublin in 1995 providing support to Microsoft customers around the time Windows 95 was released. So, when someone got their new computer for Christmas, they would call Microsoft and then they would get diverted to us. And we also took on a whole raft of Microsoft products including the Office products and some of the games too.
We then transferred to providing support for Microsoft internal staff and I was the Team Lead there too. Eventually, being from Waterford, an opportunity came up to work for Evros in Waterford, so I moved back home.
I started as a field service engineer covering desktop support and systems administration – mostly out onsite (before the days where you can dial in and fix things remotely) so it was a case of hopping in the car, heading out and getting problems resolved.
I spent a couple of years on different sites across the south east actually working in roles I’m recruiting for now.
Do you have a technical background?
I completed electronic engineering at college and then went straight into my first job at Digital from there. The course was very heavily computer based and included a little bit of programming.
I started with Evros in 2000 and eventually became the Service Manager of the support team. I was sending a lot of the engineers out to client sites to provide desktop support and systems administration. And then what started to happen was, customers were looking to take holidays or go on maternity leave and so they were asking us for engineers for three or six months. So, one of our engineers would get assigned to a client’s site – usually one of the sites that I would have worked on – and I would have to backfill those people on my own team. So, I was constantly taking on somebody and then finding they were needed on a customer site. So, we were essentially building up a small contracting business.
I was then phased into the contracting side of Evros to help set up that up which eventually became itContracting.
I wouldn’t say that having a technical background was critical for doing my role, I’m a bit of an unusual case in that sense. But personally, I’m very logically minded so I feel it allows me to fully engage with what’s going on.
What’s the most important skill that you bring to your role on a daily basis and why is it important?
For me, it’s to be able to look at a CV, contact a candidate and identify if that person is suitable for the role – both technically as well as from a cultural perspective – I’m very good at matching all of that. You can teach certain technologies but if you don’t have the right cultural fit, you can’t train that.
What was the most challenging part of the journey to your current position?
Keeping up with the variety and raft of technologies that are out there. I’m a very logically minded person, and I like to know how to use and work with the technologies required for vacancies that I recruit for. So, not working on them every day can make that a challenge so I try and stay as technical as I can.
From the recruitment side of things, sometimes it can be challenging convincing candidates that they have a good CV but that it needs more work. And getting them to do an extra little bit of homework to get their CV up to scratch can be, on the odd occasion, a bit difficult.
A lot of the time, candidates will have five to six positions that they are considering, and it can be easier to go for the lower hanging fruit and not put the extra work in.
So, convincing them that the right thing to do is to invest a bit of extra time in something, can be tricky but we’re quite good at getting people to do that!
What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do?
If you’re not coming from a technical background, getting a grip on the technology that you’re recruiting for will actually make you more confident when talking to clients and candidates.
Particularly with clients, if they’re telling you about their systems then you know the right questions to ask.
What certification or qualifications are useful for your position?
The NRF (National Recruitment Federation) has a certification which is a really good place to start. It teaches you about their code of conduct as well as a bit about employment law and the selling side of things.
After that, it depends on what you go into and what you’re interested in. There are lots of different courses you can do with regards to identifying candidates and reaching out to candidates as well as sales. Recruitment is all about personality and putting yourself out there and talking to people – and also being straight with people when discussing the opportunities that you have is important. They will appreciate it more in the long run – that’s essential it really.
What do you love about working at Evros the most?
I’ve been at Evros for almost 20 years now and the thing I love about it the most is the variety. The variety of jobs that we get, the clients we have and the variety of colleagues we have working here.
I work in the Waterford office and there are people working here from all across the different sections of the business.
No day is ever the same.
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