How learning to code has made me a better Digital recruiter

How learning to code has made me a better Digital recruiter

In learning to code, Sanderson consultant Hannah Jackson has not only learnt more about her industry but how important it is to be a woman in technology.

Since beginning my recruitment career a year ago, I have trialled, tested and built on my knowledge of the digital market to aid my development and generate quality conversations and relationships with technology professionals. I have found the best way to do this is by meeting both candidates and clients to better understand their position and key responsibilities within their relevant teams and companies.

What makes my job stand out from other recruitment roles is the opportunity for me to get out of the office and have these crucial conversations with prospective candidates and employees on a regular basis all over the country.

However, even within the first few months, I found there is a distinct lack of females in the digital markets, specifically within software development.

A UK average shows that only 18% of employees in the tech sector are women. While acknowledging that these professionals are out there, I truly believe in the importance of hiring more females into senior positions within tech organisations.

According to PwC’s research on women in technology:

  • Women only make up 5% of tech leadership roles in the UK.
  • Only 30% of females study a STEM subject at university.
  • Only 22% of students can name a famous female working in technology, whereas two thirds can name a famous man working in technology.

These statistics show why it is so key to bridge this gender gap and present role models to younger women wanting to get involved in the fields of digital and technology.

As a result, I decided not just to improve my knowledge of my own domain and to understand why this discrepancy in the market exists, but to upskill in relevant technologies to become a female working in tech.

I recently completed an 8 week Introduction to Web Development community course with Code First: Girls based in Bristol at Just Eat. The course covered HTML, CSS, UX principles, Twitter Bootstrap, GitHub, jQuery and JavaScript. I had to build and present my own web page at the end of the 2 months which demonstrated all of these elements.

This course has better enabled me to immerse myself in the markets I operate in, speaking with other women who are upskilling and their experiences as well as the course instructors at Just Eat about their work and career history. For me personally, this has enhanced the credibility of the conversations I have with candidates and allows me to better understand employee motivations, business requirements and approaches to specific projects.

There are a number of free courses out there now in a variety of software languages as well as code libraries and frameworks targeted at women such as Women in Tech/Learning people, Code First: Girls and Microsoft Professional Programme in Data Science. These courses can offer a gateway into understanding these markets with introductions into a number of fields including development, design, programming, data, cyber security and more.

There is an increasing need for creative and digital employees within the tech market; across development, user experience research and design, product roles, user interface design and cyber security. Whatever your background may be, if you are thinking about a career in a digital or creative industry, the resources out there are better than ever. Of the female university and A-level students, PwC found in their research that 27% said they would consider a career in technology compared to 61% of males. Only 3% said it was their first choice. Based on the number of clients we work with who are diversifying their work force, there has never been a better time to make a career jump.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to kick-start a career in digital, you can click here or contact Hannah to find out more.

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