How to Hire When You’re About to Scale The sixth and final article in our series on scale, Harvey Nash Ireland’s Director David Burke shares his experience helping businesses hire when they’re about to scale. “Today’s talent isn’t necessarily tomorrow’s.” Those first critical hires, David explains, in the early stages of a company’s life are painstaking decisions but soon evolve into other challenges. “There is, understandably, a nervousness around getting it wrong. Cash flow is tight, culture is king and if I’m going to sit in a small room all day with these people I better be sure I like them!” But as a business scales, so too must its processes. “It’s important to understand hiring profiles change. Roles and responsibilities begin to break down into more formal silos and specialisms. “So the need for yesterday’s general, flexible all-rounder evolves into a demand for deeper specialisms and expertise to support your growth and development.” Also contending for your attention is the evolution of your culture.“Early-stage lifecycle decisions are often made collectively as a core group,” says David. “As you scale and grow, things are decided by the people best placed to own the actions. People can start to feel left out of decisions they feel they should be involved in.” David’s advice? “Manage people’s expectations while evolving a culture that remains true to the values you started with.” Caroline Hines, Director of Product at OneView Healthcare tackled this issue in the third article in this series. Read the article here.Talent acquisition practicalitiesFrom a talent acquisition perspective, when you scale it’s important to start building your capabilities here too. “In the early stages, you may have relied heavily on your personal network and referrals, taking the option of a safe bet on someone known to you or to someone you trust,” says David. “As you look to deliver scale in terms of hiring you’ll need to branch out and build your capabilities in this area as well.”“This is true for companies moving from start-up to their first or second scale phase, and for companies moving from 50-100 or 100/500+ employees. Times change and your talent acquisition, retention and culture strategies need to change too.”So when should you hire perm, contractors or outsource job families? The decision is complex and has many factors. David offers his advice on each. The Start-up Hiring Strategy“Generally while building out your start-up the focus is on perm. You want people bought into the vision, happy to roll up their sleeves to make that vision a reality who are committed to the project mid- to long-term. You’re trying to build a family, a culture and do great things together.”“As your business grows,” says David, “you will most likely try to retain this strategy, keep your family growing and manage your payroll costs in line with funding, cash flow and revenues.” The Case for Contracting “Contracting is usually, and incorrectly, seen as an expensive and unnecessary option, only justifiable at large corporate entities” reflects David. “But augmenting your business with contract staff has an important role to play at all stages of growth.”“Contractors can deliver a burst of new talent to upskill the core team, augment your staffing levels temporarily to manage areas like increased workload, cover a temporary talent gap, meeting deadlines, or handle a block of non-core work like testing, for example.” The Benefits of Blended Models“A lot of businesses will use fully outsourced/offshore partners, particularly in the early stages as they look to cost-effectively build viable products to take to market. “As your business grows you may look to transition the development activities back to your inhouse teams or leave the heavy lifting sitting with your outsourced partner.”“Consider a blended offshore/onshore model,” recommends David. “Our ODC (offshore dedicated centre) in Vietnam means clients get an onsite presence and account management but the cost benefits of offshore technical resources.” Recruitment Solution Services “One of our fastest growing business lines is our Recruitment Solutions service,” says David. “This couples expert consultancy on the best talent acquisition strategies and recruitment processes with a global talent delivery engine, allowing businesses to scale quickly from one phase to another. Which do you pick? “Key considerations are maturity and capability,” says David. “We help companies design and implement a strategy best suited to them. For companies actively scaling it’s usually is a mix of direct hiring and delivery through our teams, but all managed under our overall service umbrella. “Some companies opt to retain our services and their outsourced talent management function on an ongoing basis, but often we help them through the initial scale phases and gradually replace our team and services with inhouse talent and processes. “This means the company has the ability to ramp up the campaigns quickly and deliver bulk, niche tech talent and then transition smoothly to their final position when they have processes and internal teams in place.“We can park our involvement at that point but the customers can easily reactivate the outsourced service if they encounter more bulk hiring phases or need assistance for niche hiring at any point in the future. The Signs of a Successful Hiring CampaignTo make the most of your hiring drive, maximise your investment, minimise turnover and build a glowing reputation in the marketplace, David recommends the following. Have an authentic narrative and culture“It must reflect who you really are as a business so that when people join your business they feel you have delivered what you promised.”Commit to the process and allow adequate timeBulk hiring requires a lot of time from key stakeholders, particularly in terms of interviewing. There are lots of tools for technical and people assessments that we bolt on to the process to reduce this time commitment, but you need to accurately plan for the hours involved and make sure everyone is committed to making it happen. Transparency and communication are mandatoryIreland is a small tech community and people deserve and rightly expect to have a positive hiring experience with your business. Make sure people receive constructive and timely feedback even if unsuccessful as you may want to revisit these people at some time in the future. Bad experiences can have a serious impact on your employer brand in Ireland’s small, connected tech community. Be clear on what you are looking for before you go to marketOften, we have customers looking to hire new teams but they haven’t thought of the structure the team will need to have, the career plans that will need to be in place for all of those people and how they will all fit into a high performing unit. Poor planning can lead to teams of highly capable individuals without a shared purpose or clear view of where they can progress and all they can achieve in your organisation.
VP of Engineering Shares Decision-Making Framework that Turns Tech Tryhards into Industry GiantsThe fifth in our series on scale, this article discusses the decision-making frameworks that enable small and medium-sized tech businesses to grow.David Burke, Director Ronan O’Dulaing is Vice President of Engineering at Workhuman, the world’s fastest-growing integrated Social Recognition® and continuous performance management platform. Their human applications are shaping the future of work by helping organisations connect culture to shared purpose. Workhuman (formerly known as Globoforce) was founded in 1999 and is co-headquartered in Framingham, Mass., and Dublin, Ireland.With over 25 years leading product, engineering and customer support teams in the US, UK and Ireland, Ronan is now responsible for product development at Workhuman. Here he explains how the challenges of scaling differ depending on size, and the importance of an inclusive decision making framework to maximise product delivery. Where you come from changes your approach to scaleStalled and slow product delivery is a challenge often associated with scale. And it’s often triggered by ineffective decision making in relation to roadmap priorities.“Smaller organisations can be held back by remaining too focused on the needs of individual customers. Large organisations may struggle as their product portfolio grows.The net effect results in wasted engineering productivity, incomplete features and increase in technical debt.”What unlocks success, is a decision-making framework founded on agreement and collaboration. “The small- to medium-sized company that has proven customers and some credibility in the market, has earned those customers by listening to them and building products that meet their needs,” explains Ronan. “But to scale and grow, the business can no longer be influenced by those individual customers. They need to focus more broadly on the needs of the market to reach that next level.” Wrestling direction back from loyal customers and using broader market trends instead, changes an organisation’s practices. Scale influences product strategy.“All stakeholders need to be educated about why it's in their best interest to change. A shift in culture is also often required within the organisation - with commercial leaders becoming more involved in product prioritisation, and increased trust being placed in the technology team” says Ronan. Tough trade-offs are hard to manage“Sales teams, who have helped build success because the business was able to react quickly to the needs of individual customers, have to adapt customer conversations with a broader perspective in mind.“You are no longer just listening to customer requirements,” he continues. “You’re listening and then qualifying those requirements against the opportunity cost, trading one choice off against others, determining which features will deliver the most value for the market. Ultimate responsibility for this lies in the product management function, which can live in marketing, engineering, or report directly to the CEO. But everyone is affected and the ‘how’ of managing this lies in establishing a decision-making framework that’s right for the size of the business. Use a decision-making framework for scaleIn a previous role, Ronan worked with a company struggling to scale with a roadmap that no one believed in and an engineering team firefighting changing priorities. It culminated in a culture of mistrust and erosion in product quality which led to customer dissatisfaction. Three key stakeholders were involved: engineering, sales and marketing. It has to come from the top “There is no other way,” says Ronan. “The CEO must support the initiative. The message needs to be: “These are the advancements we’re going to make as a product company. This is going to be done collectively.”This precedent passes naturally, directly to senior stakeholders across the business, ensuring their buy-in to the decision-making process and the journey to scale. It must be inclusiveNot only does this mean inviting people from across the business, it also means everyone has a voice and everyone has a responsibility for the decisions, the change, the successes and failures. “Chaired by the product manager and it should take in demands from across the business - new, existing, customer support and so on,” explains Ronan. This collective consensus helps eradicate blame and nurture support and understanding.Use data“Lean on the data to inform decisions”. This helps remove emotional, historic and biased points of view and empowers conversations with reason and truth. Consider the cultureRadical change, significant growth and decisions that mean trade-offs have to be made results in an environment not made for everyone. Mistrust, lack of belief in personal, team and business ability, blame, customer frustration and lack of productivity are symptoms that may fester for those not onboard with the big idea."We laid out a clear vision for where we wanted to get to, which enabled us to shape the product strategy, including areas we intended to target and avoid. To help the cultural transformation, we used the analogy of an adventurous boat journey across open seas, one that all employees could understand. “We started in port, with a boat that was in need of repair. We explained we were going to do that while on dry land.“And then we spoke about going out on the seas. And yeah, it’s going to be rough out there. At times it’s going to be choppy and we’re going to have to ask people to grab a paddle and row furiously. It’s not always going to be comfortable out there but we will succeed by pulling together. “Everybody had a choice. They could choose to sign up and join the adventure. They could choose to say no, that doesn’t sound like the right adventure for me right now and disembark, if they like. We wished anyone who made this call well on their new adventure. Everyone who remained on board was ready and committed. And if they weren't, they ran the risk of their colleagues throwing them overboard while out on the high seas.”"We often referred to this analogy, particularly in times of challenge, and it ultimately served our purpose well, laid the foundation for a very healthy culture, and enabled the business to reach record growth levels." And the benefits of such a framework? A scaling business will:Develop trust and understanding across the board Facilitate better conversations between sales, customer support and engineeringEnable stakeholders to understand the difficult position they might be putting another group inServe customers as a business solving market (not individual) problems
Why You Need to Start Treating Your Career Like Big BusinessDavid Burke, DirectorWhat does it take to build a career that supports a life you want to lead? A career that’s rewarding, progressive and engaging, but also allows you to do the things you really care about - without compromise.Because for all the pool tables, bean bags and duvet days, going to work remains something we do for 80% of our lives. Something we regularly prioritise above all else. And something many of us leave in the hands of business leaders, head-hunters or opportunistic competitor firms.People who have no idea what we really want to learn and experience at work and in life.The world of business has changed radically over the last half decade. Business is conducted more informally, more socially and people want to know and hire people, not profiles. It’s easy to organically (and mindlessly) progress through your career.But if you really want to own your career trajectory and the experiences and opportunities it brings, you need to own your career and your personal brand.If you’re already looking at how to improve your work and lifestyle, but still not finding the engaging, revitalising career you really want, it’s time to start treating your career like big business. What does ‘treating my career like big business’ mean?It means treating your career like it’s a business and you are the MD. An MD would never start a new project or deploy a new product to market without a plan.They’d build a strategy and execute on it. This shift in mindset swings you into control. Now you’re at the helm of the ship, you get to set a course for the career you really want. Start thinking about what success looks like to youTo build a strategy you need to define what success looks like. And that’s the ticket here. When you understand the life and work style you seek, you have goals and an end game to work towards.Is achieving the very peak of your capabilities important to you? Or would you be happy with a level of achievement that gives you pride and satisfaction but allows you to blend career with family or personal lifestyle choices and interests? Your endgame needn’t be retirement. Set goals for one, five or 10 years ahead. In fact, a mix of long and short term goals can keep you on your toes. It doesn’t matter when the deadline is, it doesn’t matter what the goal is so long as it aligns to your vision of success. Is achieving the very peak of your capabilities important to you? Or would you be happy with a level of achievement that gives you pride and satisfaction but allows you to blend career with family or personal lifestyle choices and interests?Your endgame needn’t be retirement. Set goals for one, five or 10 years ahead. In fact, a mix of long and short term goals can keep you on your toes. It doesn’t matter when the deadline is, it doesn’t matter what the goal is so long as it aligns to your vision of success. Understand the skills and experiences you’ll need With your current employer, seek out clear and achievable development and promotion paths, if they are not already in place. Don’t be afraid to speak to your leadership team about your development. If they don’t take it seriously then are they really the employer for you?Realised you’d like to change industry or expertise? Research what it will take. And remember what Earl Nightingale said: “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” Build your profileMDs understand the power of marketing. Having a strong social profile, a strong personal network and external visibility within your industry is crucial for maximising your potential opportunities. Make sure you’re visible to all the right people at any time. Promote yourself in positive ways, take speaking opportunities and attend networking events to develop a relevant and varied personal brand. Regularly review your goalsYour definition of success will change as priorities and opportunities shift. That’s OK. You might also have dozen ideas you want to work on. That’s OK too. Don’t be afraid to choose now. And don’t be afraid to choose again later. It’s important to keep your reasons for progress front of mind. This will motivate you when times are hard, serve as a wake-up call if you’ve been in a role too long, and a litmus test for taking new opportunities. Keep asking: does this take me nearer to my goal? Seek business (career) adviceBusiness owners know success is not achieved alone. Advice from mentors, coaches or colleagues is worth heeding. Business leaders surround themselves with like-minded ambitious people who are rooting for their success. Do you? Now’s the time to start. Also, you never know who people know. Sharing your goal with a peer could lead to the breakthrough career move you’ve been looking for. No one else will do this for youWhat’s the difference between letting bosses, recruiters and other people choose your career trajectory and taking control of your progress, getting clear about what you want and making moves only you govern? Happiness, satisfaction, success and (more often than not) wealth. On April 11th, Harvey Nash Ireland will be hosting a panel at the Dublin Tech Summit. For those looking to build their personal brand and connect with like-minded peers it will be a fantastic foray. Join us for “Scale or Fail? How to navigate your way through change”. Register your interest by emailing email@example.com
How do growing businesses automate for scale?David Burke, DirectorMeet Amit Varma, currently VP of Technology at a major financial firm. For the last 20 years, Amit has used technologies to automate systems and processes. Realising significant efficiencies for organisations.His latest initiative harnessed AI, big data and cloud technology to automate a payment risk process. It reduced the process from 1-2 days to less than 100th of a millisecond.Amit’s focus continues to be on how to harness innovation, digital transformation and business optimisation. His aim? To transform and grow product sets to increase revenue.This cocktail of credibility means Amit is well-placed to guide us on the next subject in our series on scale: how do growing businesses automate for scale? The time is nowDoubting the relevance of automation in business today? Amit reminds us the world is moving to a real-time model.“In five to 10 years time, if a business is delaying a transaction by one or two days, they’ll lose business.” And this is already happening. “Cross-country payments are free and instantaneous. If your business isn’t offering the same service, you’re losing out.”When competitive advantage is in such great demand, pace and vision are key. For scaling organisations, this is as much about securing the future as saving time today. “You may be able to gather data and launch a cloud solution, but what will you do with that data? What’s the goal?“Should you want to automate the entire milk production supply chain end-to-end - that’s a fine goal. But introducing automation for the sake of it risks failure.”To automate for scale then, know your why: build a clear vision and set objectives. Don’t get drawn in by buzzwords“IOT, bitcoin ... People hear these buzzwords and ask, what I can do to get this technology in?”, reflects Amit. “Which is fine as an initial drive, but at the cost of having a strategy and vision … that’s the biggest reason for failure.”“It would be like introducing cloud-based processing into farming without understanding the nuances of what it entails. Or where you want to get to. You may be able to gather data and launch a cloud solution, but what will you do with that data? What’s the goal?“Should you want to automate the entire milk production supply chain end-to-end - that’s a fine goal. But introducing automation for the sake of it risks failure.”To automate for scale then, know your why: build a clear vision and set objectives. Align your operational modelThe next consideration, Amit advises, is to ensure you have the right structures in place.“What’s your operational model? What processes and toolsets are the team using?Aligning the operational design of your business to the strategic vision is imperative. “If the two don’t line up, that’s another reason automation initiatives fail. It’s like having the best artillery but not getting it out there.”Strive for harmony, advises Amit. “Think through your operational model. Align it to your objectives and ensure it’s working towards your strategic vision.” Include your customers“You could be producing the best goods in the world. But are they aligned with your customers’ objectives?”Any automation initiative (whether you’re scaling or not) should meet client needs. The focus must be here from the outset. “What do they need and what are they asking for?” This commercial approach was central to Amit’s risk protection initiative.“In the context of payment processes, one to two days makes fraud a major risk factor. That’s long enough for a possible fraud to be hidden in the system. From the outset, we knew we needed to automate and speed up the entire payment process for our clients.” Reducing the time to 100th of a millisecond locks out the opportunity for fraud. And better secures client transactions.Amit followed a design thinking process here and step one was empathy. “Listen to client, end clients and senior stakeholders. Understand their pain points.”Not only does this build the business case and enable buy-in down the line, it also puts you on the front foot. “In the case of fraud protection, it’s a matter of prevention rather than damage control. Using automation to prevent a problem builds your reputation. If you are controlling existing damage, your reputation is already lost.”Getting deep into the client’s psyche early on helps preempt user needs. But be warned: realising an automation need today might not mean it is immediately activated. Factor in wait-time“From a fraud management perspective we’ve found that while we have the ability to block payment transactions that are fraudulent, clients don’t necessarily want to do that today,” says Amit.“If we did roll it out immediately, our clients would receive 5000 phone calls asking why. Their operational models are not cut out for that. So there was an on-boarding and an absorption period to go through.”“It took two years,” says Amit. This automation initiative needed the time and investment for pilot rounds. It was phased in. There were cooling off periods. Client partners and end clients were engaged in discussions. It was gradually rolled out.In any automation initiative, “you cannot undermine client relationships”, advises Amit. “Solutions fair well when the human element is present, when you bring people on the tech journey with you.” Automating for scaleAmit’s advice is in:Build your vision. Set objectivesAlign your operating modelConsult with clients and all stakeholdersFactor in wait-times and bring people with you On April 10th, Harvey Nash Ireland will be hosting a panel at the Dublin Tech Summit. Join us for “Scale or Fail? How to navigate your way through change”. Register your interest by emailing - firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing culture through growthDavid Burke, Director As employee numbers grow and roles and responsibilities are diluted or shared, retaining a company’s culture and values becomes a challenge. In the third article in our series on scale, we explore how to evolve company culture without losing what made you special in the first place? We asked Caroline Hynes, Director of Product at Oneview Healthcare for her insight. Having worked in tech her entire career, in delivery and product roles, she’s found her niche delivering change in growing companies. Passionate about people and culture, she has rich insights to share into how to hold onto what’s true through growth. Part of the conversationIf culture has a mecca it’s that people get a feel for it without having to think about it. And that what they feel is true to your intention as a business leader. But how do you do that? How do you make culture a part of the conversation while holding on what’s true to you? Caroline agrees: “It’s important that there is an understood culture from every level and there’s alignment on that,” says Caroline. “Alignment not only on what the culture does and how it feels but also to other things: values, how people are recognised for the work they’re doing, and how the work is done.”“I’ve seen how cultures change over time, from a people, maturity and business point of view. It becomes a part of the conversation.” The warning signs it’s not working“Expect conflict and tension,“ says Caroline. “You might be hearing ‘I’m not sure why we’re doing this’ or ‘we’re not doing this the right way’. If people feel the work they’re doing is not valued and aren’t enjoying being a part of the company any more, it’s time to change the culture.” “Don’t underestimate the potential and happiness of your staff. People spend upwards of eight hours a day with your organisation. If they’re happy, regardless how hard the work is, they will want to come back.”Caroline shares five areas of focus for evolving your culture as you grow. Crowdsource your culture“This is not a top-down piece,” says Caroline. “Ask employees for feedback and when they talk, listen and understand.”During her time at Paddy Power, Caroline saw this approach first-hand. “Paddy Power is a cutting edge organisation. It’s a growing tech business and very oriented around deadlines and business needs. As that started to mature, the culture became incredibly important.”Paddy Power took feedback from staff at all levels. “We wanted to retain people, recognise and reward their work and make them proud to work there. We wanted to manage in a way that’s respectful and reflects the tongue-and-cheek part of the brand.”During her time there Caroline noted that, “when employees gave feedback, it was taken up and understood.” This crowdsourced approach to culture lead to long tenure from staff. Let Leadership InCaroline also recommends asking leaders of functions to get actively involved in talking to their teams. “Make skip-level one-on-ones a regular occurrence. Help people have ongoing conversations about what’s working and what could be better.” Cross-collaborate“Break down silos by collaborating across the organisation,” Caroline advises. “Set up working groups with people from a mix of levels, backgrounds and departments. Ask them to figure out ways of working around process, rewards and so on.” Reject perfectCulture is a process and it’s never going to be perfect. “But businesses need to show up to it again and again and keep working at it,” reminds Caroline. “We all recite that ‘perfection is the enemy of done’ and the organic element of culture is important too. Allow time for a culture to embed itself.” Listen to build trustTrust is central to openness and accountability. How do you build that? “You need to have the hard conversations but not make them personal,” Caroline says. “Build a culture where you can be as straightforward as possible: the objective is getting the job done.” Listening is key. “Assume people have good intent and no hidden agenda. Start every conversation from that point. Listen, let people finish what they’re saying. And don’t personalise it: make it about the project not the person.” The biggest thingA business needs alignment up and down the organisation about what culture people want to create. “It’s not a tagline. Culture is about people. It needs to resonate with the people working in your organisation everyday.” On April 10th, Harvey Nash Ireland will be hosting a panel at the Dublin Tech Summit. Join us for “Scale or Fail? How to navigate your way through change”. Email - email@example.com to register your interest.
Killing the dead horse: how to prioritise focus as you grow David Burke, Director How do you decide where to invest and where to trim as your business grows? It’s common to scale back or close certain business activities in favour of others to optimise growth, but how do you choose which to prioritise? And how do you manage the process? Read our second article in this series on scale. We spoke to James Grimes, product management lead at Trūata, a start-up specialising in data anonymisation and analytics. Having run product development, delivery and management functions in a diverse range of organisations, including Paddy Power, James has a unique insight into how different companies approach this. Where to begin? James starts at the end. Know what you want to achieve“Consider the long term and balance the broader product strategy with what you need to achieve today”, advises James. “Right now, a priority for Trūata is scaling so that we can continue to optimise our customer on-boarding as effectively as possible. That can be a heavy piece of lifting as an organisation and it drives specific decisions”, say James. Trūata could have decided to invest in building out as much tech as possible, as quickly as possible. “But we need to find the right balance”, he explains. “We have a go-to market product, so investing in people from day one to support our client on-boarding and really managing our customers through the process is very important for a company at our stage. It’s more operational than we might like initially, but it will also allow us to develop products from a more informed position.”“These are the kind of decisions you’re faced with as you scale. It’s about priorities. What’s the impact of not doing this? Which poses the greatest risk?” Build a culture of compromiseWith certain initiatives being prioritised over others, it’s essential to have everyone on board. “Our senior team has huge start-up and growth experience which means they recognise collaboration and trade-offs are important. We’re looking for that same understanding in everyone we’re hiring”. “We couldn’t afford to be in a position where that wasn’t the case,” explains James. “We’ve not taken the easy approach to resourcing as we believe it is really important to ensure people are going to be a cultural fit.” Kill the dead horseIf how people adapt to changing priorities is important, so too are people who are willing to fail. James observed this at Paddy Power, which merged with Betfair in 2016. Amid significant growth the company was always willing to take calculated risks in where and what it prioritised. “Paddy Power wasn’t afraid to try out initiatives that might fail. We ensured horses weren’t flogged long after they were dead though. The team moved on and wasn’t afraid to move on.” When you’re consistently making decisions about where to invest and how to drive a strategy for growth, very few businesses get it right all the time. James observes, “businesses that are culturally open to the need to accept certain investments will fail, who move on and quickly kill something that doesn’t appear to be working are more capable of significant growth.” “Paddy Power had the intelligence and experience to spot warning signs and move on. This was across the board - all departments. It’s an extremely innovative company that tries new things. And if they go wrong, they don’t beat themselves up about it.” “It gets harder to unwind from the wrong decision the longer you leave it. People become emotionally attached, lose perspective and fear the personal implications. But taking the hit quickly avoids longer term damage on the bottom line.” Eliminate distractions“This is something we’ve tried to imbed here as a growing start-up,” says James, “because we can’t afford distraction.” At Trūata, accountability for focusing on the right thing starts from the top down. “Even for a start-up, it’s important to do this at an early stage. We have well-defined corporate and individual goals. And we constantly bring ourselves back to these so we can achieve our very clear strategy.” “We’ve made sure that if anything is in danger of distracting us, people are empowered with the ability and responsibility to call it out.” How to Focus as You GrowWhen growth is the goal, trade-offs are a natural part of the path. James’ experience proves that people and approaches are key managing and prioritising focus. ● Know what you need to achieve and prioritise accordingly● Build a team that understands the growth environment● Don’t fear failure and move on quickly when it happens● Enable people to remain focused on the priority in hand On April 10th, Harvey Nash Ireland will be hosting a panel at the Dublin Tech Summit. Join us for “Scale or Fail? How to navigate your way through change”. Register your interest here
Maximum growth, minimum risk: building the optimum plan for scale David Burke, DirectorBusinesses often make the mistake of scaling too quickly, before they have the right product-market fit. In the first in a series of articles on growth, I called in an expert to explain how to approach scale while minimising risk. Advice on this subject is abundant. And the chances of someone with no experience offering their opinion? Even more so. So I asked someone who has been there and hand-weaved the t-shirt to tell it to us straight. Mike Murnane is VP Strategic Change at Fenergo, experts in client lifecycle management for financial institutions worldwide. With over 25 years experience in enterprise software delivery and scaling/growing businesses, Mike knows his stuff. Here’s what he had to say about choosing the optimum time to scale. Before you begin, know where you’re going“First, identify the opportunity, whether it’s within your existing customer base, the wider market, industry trends or regulatory changes”, says Mike. “Before knowing when to scale you have to know where you want to get to. From this, create your value proposition which forms the bedrock of any plans to scale.”Consider how you’ll approach the market too: “An aggressive approach that calls for speed and heightens risk is one option. A slow-burn minimises impact but also mitigates risk.” How you decide depends very much on your capabilities. Choose an approach to market in line with your capabilitiesNow you have your vision, assess your ability to deliver it. Says Mike, “Are you going to evolve slowly or heavily invest in an accelerated roadmap? Will you shut the factory to retool or adapt opportunistically? Do you have scalable talent, processes and technology? Do you grow it or buy it in?”Building a clear picture of competency helps define your market approach. “Ideally you can enter with a low investment and scale as your revenue grows, focusing on your market differentiators,” advises Mike. “Can you create a Minimum Viable Product and evolve through iterations? Do you have an ally in the market to work with you? Perhaps an existing loyal customer with which you can create a mutually beneficial engagement?”Heavy discounts for early adoption or a product tailored for their needs can be attractive incentives. This gives you a reference customer and valuable product feedback. “Be wary of customising the product to the detriment of the wider market,” Mike cautions. “The customer who adopted your product in the early days is less risk averse than their successor - the mass-market buyer.” Build for long-term demandWhen it comes to sales and marketing, “Don’t mistake size for scale” advises Mike. Ramping up your promotional activity is, surprisingly, not as wise as investing for long-term demand. A slowly rising curve is better than one that soars too high, too soon. Why? Cash flow. “Feeding a sales and marketing function devours profit,” say Mike. “And short-term tactical initiatives are just that: tactical.” Search instead, for slow but assured measures. “Find the marketing activities that have good impact at moderate cost. Outsource at first until cashflow is secured. Then hire a team and consider more high-profile marketing activities.” When you’re about to scale, protect your products: think of the years, not the months, ahead. Are you competing on price? It’s the fastest way to the bottom of the pile. Shredding your margin to win today’s price race erases opportunities to delight and nurture your customers with first class service, sensational buying experiences and quality products they can proudly believe in. “When you compete on price you’re prioritising your business and the competition. The customer comes last and so does the supply chain,” says Mike. “Contrary to common belief, a low price thinks only about how you’ll beat the competition today. It disregards the customer’s experiences in the long term and, increasingly, their wishes for an ethical, well-delivered product”. Are you facing all the issues?Maintaining a positive disposition is imperative to success, problems should be tackled head on and not allowed to fester. “Fail fast, learn, recover … keep moving forward. Acknowledge the failures and celebrate the successes,” says Mike.A good culture and company spirit can survive more than you think. If you’re unsure how to approach problems with culture, processes or systems, seek advice from advisors with real-world experience and associates and suppliers who have helped organisations like yours address these problems before. Building the optimum plan for scaleFrom an expert in the driving seat of organisational growth, Mike shows that building a plan for optimum scale is as much about planning as it is about action. These considered and conscious choices enable maximum growth and minimum risk:Crystalise your value propositionAssess your existing capabilitiesSelect an approach to marketTake a long-term approach to marketingNever compete on priceBuild a culture of accountability
In 2019, diversity and inclusion are vital pillars of human resources. Bringing a wealth of different experiences and backgrounds, diversifying your workforce enhances performance and reputation amongst customers. As such, your recruitment processes are critical to supporting D&I effectively in 2019. Our recent workshop discussed the best approach to attracting diverse talent. For those who missed it, our handy guide tells you everything you need to know. Click here to download the guide. So why, despite widespread agreement on the benefits of diversity and inclusion, do so many companies struggle to implement it in any sort of a meaningful way? The answer often lies in your selection processes. Our next Inclusion 360 workshop with top business psychologist, Paul Rein, on 30th January will explore the dangers attached to a lack of diversity, how flawed selection processes might be hurting your diversity targets and offer solutions to overcome them. Below we’ve outlined some of the most harmful – and often unnoticed – factors that impact your selection process. Ask yourself if your organisation is prone to either of them. If interested in attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, as places are limited. Unconscious Bias There’s no denying it; we are all affected by unconscious bias. We all know not to judge a book by its cover, but it can be difficult to look beyond an exterior and first impressions.Unconscious bias and systematic barriers can quickly creep up during interviews. It’s only natural for a human being to seek out common interests, manners or traits with an interviewee. This can lead to bias based on gender, lifestyle or cultural background, hindering the possibility of more diverse talent selection. Limited Horizons It is easy for your company to implement selection processes using traditional, tried and tested methods. But this can lead your business to lack diversity, as it selects talent from the same talent pools. If your business continues to use the same talent pools, the candidate shortlist will remain similar, lacking in diversity and impacting your performance against those who choose to fish in a different or larger pond. Adopting Solid Selection Solutions Having worked alongside multinationals, including ASDA and Porsche, business psychologist Paul Rein will offer concrete selection solutions to your diversity woes in this next workshop. Using his behavioural science and psychometric expertise, Paul designs effective and actionable solutions across the employee cycle, particularly during the recruitment process. HR professionals are no longer restrained by limited, traditional methods. In this session, modern solutions will be offered and their benefits demonstrated. From automated assessments on a candidate’s technical ability and expanded talent outreach, to the implementation of diverse recruitment panels and effective utilisation of recruitment partners, this workshop will lead your business to embrace and implement meaningful D&I, enhance performance and talent available for the future. Diversifying Your Selection Processes: Harvey Nash Ireland Selection is a crucial point in the recruitment process for your company and its diversity. And it can be difficult to navigate your way to finding the best and most diverse talent. At Harvey Nash Ireland, we make it our goal to provide diverse selection solutions for our clients. Do you want to transform your company’s diversity through selection? Join us at our next workshop. We look forward to seeing you there! Event DetailsTitle: “Are Your Selection Processes Hindering Diversity?”When: 30th January, 1:30pm – 4:30pmWhere: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8To Register: Email email@example.com
• Demand for 'security and resilience' talent jumps 25% from last year• 78% of IT leaders say their digital strategy is only moderately effective, or worse• One-third of companies non-GDPR compliant NEW YORK - June 6, 2018 - In an effort to become more compliant with new data privacy protection and security regulations and to avoid highly damaging data breaches, companies are quickly ramping up investment in data and cyber security, according to the 2018 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey.The largest IT leadership survey in the world, analyzing responses from organizations with a combined annual cyber security spend of up to $46 billion , found almost a quarter (23 percent) more respondents than in 2017 are prioritizing improvements in cyber security as cyber crime threats reach an all-time high. At the same time, managing operational risk and compliance has also become a significantly increased priority (up 12 percent). These two areas represent the fastest-growing IT priorities of company boards of directors.IT leaders today face the challenging task of delivering rich, customer-centric data in an environment laden with risk. Data trust and privacy threats continue to hold the attention of CIOs, but while measures to improve data security are underway within companies and through legislation such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more than a third (38 percent) of those surveyed in April expected they would not be GDPR compliant at the May 25 deadline. Additionally, 77 percent of IT leaders say they are "most concerned" about the threat of organized cyber crime, up from 71 percent last year. Only one fifth (22 percent) say they are well prepared for a cyber attack. The drive toward protecting data has caused a huge demand for "security and resilience" skills, which experienced the biggest jump in skills shortages, increasing 25 percent year-on-year.A move toward digital platforms and solutions is proving a huge challenge for CIOs. While organizations recognize an effective digital strategy is critical to successful data security, many report they still struggle -- with 78 percent stating that their digital strategy is only moderately effective, or worse. More than a third of companies (35 percent) report they can't hire and develop the people with digital skills that they need, and almost one in 10 (9 percent) say there is no clear digital vision or strategy at all."Data is shaping the business world from head to toe. We see it in the urgency of right now with the need to protect data privacy and ensure data integrity. We see data shaping the future as machine learning and AI advancements push beyond data analysis into a place where IT systems are combing, learning and reacting to data with strategic solutions," said Bob Miano, President & CEO, Harvey Nash USAPAC. "With so much dependent on the protection and promise of data, the next five years will be a continued struggle to find, recruit, and retain skilled data science and analytics professionals.""Technology disruption continues to play a significant role in today's business environment and, while more CIOs understand the importance of implementing a digital strategy, most are still struggling with integrating digital into their core processes to address business goals," says Denis Berry, KPMG principal and U.S. CIO Advisory leader. "What tends to hold technology leaders back is the lack of trust in relying on digital to guide decisions. This disconnect is largely due to the absence of proper talent who fully understand how the technology can drive the business strategy. Companies who can source the right skills and establish a clear digital vision will be the ones who will benefit the most from these opportunities."To help with digital success, chief digital officers (CDOs) are proving their worth. Organizations with a CDO, either in a dedicated or acting role, are over twice as likely to have a clear and pervasive digital strategy than those without one (44 percent versus 21 percent). The report also shows that the most influential and successful organizations are fanatical about delivering value both to and from their customers -- "customer-centric" organizations are 38 percent more likely to report greater profitability than ones that are not.Female IT Leadership Inches ForwardFemale IT leadership continues on an exceptionally slow upward trend, this year reaching 12 percent -- up from 10 percent last yearWomen represent just one in five (21 percent) of technology teamsThe industry appears to be significantly divided on the extent to which diversity matters to business success, as almost a quarter (24 percent) of IT executives say inclusion and diversity has little or no bearing on achieving business and technology objectives. Forty-seven (47) percent report it has some influence, and 30 percent say inclusion and diversity impacts business and technology objectives to a great extentBig Data and Analytics Remain the No. 1-needed SkillTwo thirds (65 percent) say skills shortages are preventing them from keeping up with the pace of changeFor the fourth year in a row, big data and analytics is the number one skill in short supply (46 percent)About the Survey In its 20th year, the 2018 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership survey in the world in terms of number of respondents. The survey of 3,958 CIOs and technology leaders was conducted between December 20, 2017 and April 3, 2018, across 84 countries.For more information about the survey and to request a full copy of the results, please visit www.hnkpmgciosurvey.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #hnkpmgciosurvey.About Harvey Nash Inc. Harvey Nash Inc. is the U.S. division of the Harvey Nash Group, a global professional recruitment firm and IT outsourcing service provider traded on the London Stock Exchange since 1997. Harvey Nash has helped over half the world's leading companies recruit, source and manage the highly skilled talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive, global and technology driven world. With 7,000 experts in 43 offices across Europe, Asia and North America, Harvey Nash has the reach and resources of a global organization, and it fosters a culture of innovation and agility that empowers all employees across the world to respond to constantly changing client needs. Harvey Nash works with clients, both big and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: IT recruitment, IT outsourcing/offshoring and executive search.To learn more, please visit www.harveynashusa.com. Follow us: www.twitter.com/harveynashusa and www.facebook.com/harveynashusa.About KPMG LLP KPMG is one of the world's leading professional services firms, providing innovative business solutions and audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world's largest and most prestigious organizations.KPMG is widely recognized for being a great place to work and build a career. Our people share a sense of purpose in the work we do, and a strong commitment to community service, inclusion and diversity, and eradicating childhood illiteracy.KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG International's independent member firms have 197,000 professionals working in 154 countries. Learn more at www.kpmg.com/us.The Ponemon Institute calculated that the average cost of cyber security in 2017 for companies reached $11.7million. The Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey researched 3,958 IT leaders, so the estimated total annual cost of cyber security for organisations that participated in the survey is up to $46.3 billion. ###Contact Ann Warren for Harvey Nash email@example.com +1 (770) 328-8384KPMG LLP Christopher G. Bacey firstname.lastname@example.org +1 (201) 505-6194 Twitter: @KPMGUS_News
On this day thirty years ago, Harvey Nash was born. www.harveynash.com/hn30 During those three decades we have grown from a small single office in central London, to one of the most successful talent companies in the world, with multiple offices and leading brands stretching across four continents. We are also the most valuable Technology & Executive recruitment and outsourcing business listed on the London Stock Exchange. And wow, what a journey. We have survived, in fact we have grown through, four major downturns. From the early 1990s, just two years after we were established, to the dot.com downturn and Sep 11 tragedy of 2001, through to the financial recession of 2008. We have worked with some of the most fascinating and demanding organisations in the world - from governments, to huge multinationals through to small start-ups - along the way helping over 100,000 people into a new career. We have and still are, providing talent to ALL the most successful technology companies of all time - Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. We have provided Board talent and advisory services to some of the largest global companies in the world and placed digital talent on salaries from $100k through to $1m. Our outsourcing business in Vietnam is the largest foreign investor in the sector and second only to the state owned enterprise. We have evolved and adapted as the world has changed. During Harvey Nash's life we have witnessed some of the most amazing events of modern times, from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the invention of the "world wide web" and the smartphone and experienced the impact of social media on our lives. What are the most game changing events over this time? Working with such a talented team, watching you all grow and develop, some of you to the most senior leadership positions in the company Creating the world's largest and most respected IT leadership survey - the CIO Survey, representing almost 5,000 IT leaders across 84 countries Diversity and Inclusion, from Inspire through to ARA in the USA and Women in Tech Being the first recruitment company in the world to be awarded EY's National Equality Standard The successful expansion of our portfolio of services The incredible growth journeys of all our recruitment brands - Harvey Nash UK, Ireland, Scotland, Belgian and Dutch businesses becoming market leaders in their sectors in the last decade The spread of outsourcing across Asia, the USA, Australia the UK and Ireland almost entirely organicallySeeing Sweden's Alumni search business become the number one in the Nordics, and successfully introducing our Harvey Nash and Impact brands to the Nordic market This list goes on... But I am also very proud, perhaps even more so, of the small things. Like how one of our offices helped a homeless person into a new job, how the 'cheeky' question raised by one junior consultant resulted in us working with one of our biggest clients, how attention to detail and going that extra mile has helped us do things that other organisations do not. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our success story. Our cherished clients, our valued candidates and above all our people. So what of the future? Well of course no-one really knows what the next three decades will bring. Automation? Disruption? New opportunities? We can only guess at the possibilities. But what I am convinced is that smart people will be the key to any organisation's success and I will remain as passionate about finding and developing the best people, for clients and for ourselves, as I always have. Here's to the next thirty years! Albert Ellis, CEO Harvey Nash www.harveynash.com/hn30 30 years of Harvey Nash - Watch the video, read our CEO's message, test your knowledge of 1988.
Global Political and Economic Uncertainty Create a New Breed of Digital Innovators, Harvey Nash/KPMG
LONDON - May 23, 2017 - Despite two-thirds (64 percent) of organizations adapting their technology strategy because of unprecedented global political and economic uncertainty, 89 percent are maintaining or ramping up investment in innovation, including in digital labour. More than half (52 percent) are investing in more nimble technology platforms to help their organization innovate and adapt. This is according to the 2017 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, the world's largest survey of IT leadership. While economic uncertainty is making business planning difficult for many organizations, it is clear digital strategies have infiltrated businesses across the globe at an entirely new level. The proportion of organizations surveyed that have enterprise-wide digital strategies increased 52 percent in just two years, and those organizations with a Chief Digital Officer have increased 39 percent over last year. To help deliver these complex digital strategies, organizations also report a huge demand for Enterprise Architects - the fastest growing technology skill this year, up 26 percent compared to 2016. Cyber security vulnerability is at an all-time high, with a third of IT leaders (32 percent) reporting their organization had been subject to a major cyber-attack in the past 24 months - a 45 percent increase from 2013. Only one in five (21 percent) say they are "very well" prepared to respond to these attacks, down from 29 percent in 2014. Despite very visible headline-grabbing attacks such as the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, the biggest jump in threats comes from insider attacks, increasing from 40 percent to 47 percent over last year. "Making a success of technology has always been challenging, and this year's Survey says that it has just got harder still," said Albert Ellis, CEO, Harvey Nash Group. "Layered on top of astonishing advances in technology is a political and economic landscape that is dynamic and changing fast, sometimes in surprising ways. However, what is very clear is that many technology executives are turning this uncertainty into opportunity, driving their organization to become more nimble and digital. CIOs are becoming increasingly influential as CEOs and boards turn to them for help in navigating through the complexity, and the threat and opportunity, which a digital world presents." "Organizations have moved on from a world of strategizing and talking about digital, to one in which they are actually making it happen, and we are now seeing widespread and active implementation," said Lisa Heneghan, Global Head of Technology, Management Consulting. "The businesses we see as Digital Leaders are taking a pragmatic approach, applying technology and automation across their business, including in back office functions, to create a platform for broader transformation". Now in its 19th year, the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership survey in the world. Additional findings from the survey include: Digital leadership has changedAlmost one in five CIOs (18 percent) report their organizations have 'very effective' digital strategies. CIOs at these digitally-enabled organizations are almost twice as likely to be leading innovation across the business (41 percent versus 23 percent), and are investing at four times the rate of non-leaders in cognitive automation (25 percent versus 7 percent). Overall, the survey found almost two-thirds (61 percent) of CIOs from larger organizations are already investing or planning to invest in digital labour. CIOs love their jobs, and are more likely to be involved at the Board levelCIOs who are "very fulfilled" in their role is at a three-year high - rising from 33 percent in 2015 to 39 percent this year. For the first time in a decade, more than seven in ten CIOs (71 percent) believe the CIO role is becoming more strategic. 92 percent of CIOs joined a Board meeting in the past 12 months. However, the CIO life span is just five years or less (59 percent), although many want to stay longer. Female CIOs receive salary boost In a striking development, female CIOs are far more likely to have received a salary increase than male CIOs in the past year (42 percent and 32 percent, respectively), but still, the number of women in IT leadership remains extraordinarily low at 9 percent, the same as last year. Big data/analytics remains the most in-demand skillWhile the fastest growing demand for a technology skill this year was enterprise architecture, big data/analytics remained the most in-demand skill at 42 percent, up 8 percent over last year. Complex IT projects - increase risk of failure monumentallyTwo thirds (61 percent) of CIOs say IT projects are more complex than they were five years ago, and weak ownership (46 percent), an overly optimistic approach (40 percent), and unclear objectives (40 percent) are the main reasons IT projects fail. Over a quarter (27 percent) of CIOs say that a lack of project talent is the cause of project failure, but project management skills are absent from the CIOs top list of technology skills needed in 2017, dropping a staggering 19 percent in one year. About the Survey The 2017 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership survey in the world in terms of number of respondents. The survey of 4,498 CIOs and technology leaders was conducted between December 19, 2016 and April 3, 2017, across 86 countries. About Harvey Nash Harvey Nash has helped over half the world's leading companies recruit, source and manage the highly skilled talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive, global and technology driven world. With over 7,000 experts in more than 40 offices across Europe, Asia and the USA, we have the reach and resources of a global organization, whilst fostering a culture of innovation and agility that empowers our people across the world to respond to constantly changing client needs. We work with clients, both large and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: executive search, professional recruitment and IT outsourcing. To learn more, please visit www.harveynash.com. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/harveynashgroup About KPMG International KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 189,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. ### For more information about the survey and to request a full copy of the results, please visit www.hnkpmgciosurvey.com or contact Michelle Smith Harvey Nash email@example.com +44 (20) 7333 2677Amy Greenshields KPMG International +1 416 777 8749 firstname.lastname@example.org