The trials and tribulations of recruiting in Mid Wales
With a mild, temperate climate, rolling hills and post card vistas, Rural Mid Wales is an easy-sell for advertising executives with a focus on tourism. However, to small fast-growth businesses in Powys, these wonderful USP’s are not manifesting into an influx of job applications.
Maybe we are biased, however we firmly believe Mid Wales a great area to live in, bring up a young family and have a good work/life balance. We also know that we are not alone with this view. Just ask many of the pioneering technology businesses that will be slugging it out for the Powys Business Awards this October.
It is common knowledge that all businesses have recruitment challenges at some stage regardless of location, however for those of us who are based in Mid Wales this challenge can be unique and in many cases, frustrating.
With our glasses half full, these dwindling job applications have ensured that we are far more resilient. As with many other local organisations, our focus at 5C has been to recruit inexperienced talent and train within our existing framework. This gives us a tighter control on our culture and levels of consistency between staff, however the sheer timeframe required for this process can add incredible short-term strain.
Here are the top 3 challenges we face every time a job opportunity arises at our business:
1. Curbing the exodus
The first problem we face is keeping talent in the area. There is a widespread myth that there are extremely few prospects and career options in Rural Wales in the technology sector, as a result the majority of ambitious graduates decide to remain in urban regions. On the contrary, there are so many great businesses and opportunities in the area. We are just one of a number of fast growing companies full of enthusiasm and with fantastic opportunities to develop and nurture exceptional talent within the business. What’s more, we are always on a look out for great candidates. Keep in mind that career progression can be faster within small rural businesses.
We have worked hard to build outstanding reputation with our customers and provide a vast range of IT support to clients; from big IT office moves, network infrastructure and server installs to IT helpdesk cover and simple troubleshooting. We really do value each of our staff and have a fantastic team to work with. So next time you dismiss Mid Wales consider how great it would be to still be able to live in this great area and have a job that offers you development opportunities and challenges you desire. All we ask is that you have a passion for IT, willingness to train and are dedicated.
2. Big County, sparsely populated
We live in a huge geographical with a poor travel infrastructure. This has been a regular concern from candidates as it can prove to be difficult for them to make a long journey. We have found this manageable our team can get to most places within 1 or 2 hours. We would also recommend that you keep in mind that it can often take 45-50 minutes to travel across a city the size of Cardiff during busy work hours. The difference is that here you have lovely views and tranquillity of a countryside to admire while doing journey instead of traffic jams and stress. I know which one I prefer, but I did say I was potentially biased! Our main office is based in Builth Wells which may be a distance from where potential candidates are based but our clients are based across Wales so you may end up visiting client on your doorstep one day and travel to other side of the county the other as with most jobs. So my point here is that candidates should not be put off by initial distance but take other factors into consideration.
3. IT can be an intimidating animal
And last but not least we face an issue that is unique to the IT and technology industry. Are you thinking about moving into the IT sector but are going cross-eyed trying to find out where to start?
My advice would be to keep it simple. If you have an inquisitive mind, you may already have a general understanding of IT, if not this is our recommended starting point. We go to great pains to recruit team members that have a spark for technology. This provides the crucial edge needed for our business to continually stay ahead of the game in our ever-evolving sector.
The specific skillset or speciality you develop will constantly evolve from experience, so we recommend that you don’t stress about this too much. If you are taking your first steps into a career in IT, just concentrate on developing a broad understanding which will enable you to demonstrate your growing technical and communications skills. Successful businesses recognise and value candidates with true passion for their sector.