Growing the Hive team

Our take on a flexible approach to recruitment

As the Hive Family grows we have faced the same challenges that a lot of companies in the tech world face — recruiting new talent.

There comes a time when you need to take a more flexible approach to building up the team to meet the increasing amount of work coming through the door. But at the same time, we didn’t want to jump to the quick fix of recruitment agencies.

Our approach to recruitment has always been about hiring the right people that share our values.

As an SME, it’s sometimes hard to justify paying large recruitment agency fees and committing the time to sift through countless CV’s, because even though someone has the right key skills, they may still not be the right cultural fit for our business.

So we decided to turn that process on its head. We stopped looking for skill sets and keywords on CV’s, and started looking for the right people. We started looking for smart, enthusiastic people with a love of technology who share our company values. Simply put, if someone is willing to learn, we have the ability to teach technical skills and provide hands on experience.

Apprenticeships

We know it’s a cliché, but we do genuinely believe that investing in young people is the future for digital. That’s why we love apprenticeships. We have been working with a company called Baltic Training who provide classroom-based learning whilst we provide the hands-on experience. There are so many benefits to hiring an apprentice that in the same month we hired two!

  • We get to grow the Hive team from the ground up
  • The existing Hive team gain valuable experience in mentoring and teaching
  • We have the opportunity to mould our future workforce whilst providing career opportunities to young people in and around Sheffield

But what’s in it for the apprentice?

  • Earn while you learn — Our apprentices are on a full time wage with all the usual benefits, like paid holidays, in addition to being able to take time out to study and take exams.
  • Training in the areas of our industry that interest you the most — We give our apprentices’ access to all areas of the business so that can explore different careers in Digital.

These are just some of the benefits but we think our apprentices say it best for themselves:

Having the experience of going to University and as working as an Apprentice at Hive, I would 100% choose an apprenticeship over university especially within the technology industry. Being an apprentice at Hive IT allows me to learn new skills from people who have been in the industry for years and allows me to actually implement the skills I have learnt in real life projects that the traditional university route wouldn’t provide, all while earning a wage!
— Tyler, Apprentice Developer at Hive IT

Work Experience

Since the very start of Hive IT we have been opening our doors to people in our network looking for experience in Digital, this has included user research, design, development or testing. We originally thought of it as a way to help out our friends, but have now extended it to offering work experience to students as well. Most recently, we had a Year 10 student from one of our local High Schools who joined us for two weeks to get some hands on coding experience. Offering work experience has a lot of the same benefits to us as a company as hiring apprentices does but those business benefits all pale into insignificance next to receiving a thank you card like this one.

As a company we are certain that recruiting in this way will help us to continue to grow whilst retaining the family feel and shared values we have currently. To finish off, here’s a few words from our MD Jonny Rippon:

It’s a fact that there aren’t enough experienced people to go round, but I feel that the best way of learning is hands-on experience. We’ve taken on apprentices and we’ve employed people who are tech-minded but have no experience at all. I think the argument about that being too much of an overhead is rubbish. Yes, there’s a bit to start with, but you can quickly get people hands-on with a project and not charge the client until they are adding value. It’s about spotting people in your network and being prepared to give them the opportunity.

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