We are delighted to welcome Rob Magee as the first male guest in our Five Questions series, in which we speak to senior executives in FinTech, RegTech and financial markets about current issues affecting their business. Rob shares some advice for candidates looking for a career in the FinTech sector as well as for start-up firms looking to expand their workforce.
Rob Magee is CEO at Ingenio, a specialist recruitment business for SaaS businesses across the UK and Ireland. Rob started Ingenio having managed and sold a number of technology businesses. Ingenio’s mantra is knowing what exceptional people look like, and being able to extend this to their clients’ who work in incredibly niche markets. Rob recently built and launched a new eLearning platform called Ingenio Learning which helps people of all backgrounds and experiences get hired by Tech and Software businesses.
- What do you think are the main challenges facing Tech companies looking to recruit at the moment?
One of the biggest issues that our clients have right now around recruitment is the sheer volume of applications they are getting for every single role. BUT the most painful challenge that tech companies have at the minute that impacts their business is scaling. A business that has received funding has contractual commitments to meet such as revenue, hiring or product development. If they don’t meet their hiring forecasts, then they will categorically miss their revenue or product development forecasts, which can potentially lead to early investor issues around credibility and trust. We’ve built a managed service offering that gives our tech clients the ability to guarantee their hiring deliverables – we call this a Baby RPO (Recruitment Process Outsource) which can run from 3-12 months and typically ranges from 5-50 roles during that period.
- What makes a candidate stand out for an employer?
Someone who really demonstrates they want the job. This can be seen from as early as the job application (they follow up their application, they make contact with hiring managers), through the interview process (engaged, curious, questioning and being responsive) all the way through to the offer and start (what can I pick up while I’m working my notice period).
- What advice would you give someone interested in a career in FinTech?
Get a balanced view of the market by speaking to people who do EXACTLY what you do, or want to do. If you’re a Project Manager for example, connect with five PMs who are working for small, medium and large Fintech businesses. Ask them for help (people love to help people!) and see if you can help them. Try and determine what the PM role in their business looks like in terms of deliverables, output, KPIs, delivery model, resourcing and progression. All this will help educate you and better inform you about your market place and what to expect from your role.
- For start-up companies in early phase growth, what advice would you give them when looking to expand their workforce. What should they look for?
Lots of start ups think they want someone to come in and wear “lots of hats” but the reality is that they actually need is someone to be a pure subject matter expert in the field they are being hired for. If you want a Project Manager, hire the best PM your budget can allow. Get them to deliver world class projects and programmes, let them delight clients with their delivery skills and allow them build a PM practice that is the envy of your competitors.
- Is it an employer or employee market place at the moment? Why?
100% employer – any level of unemployment drives the power to employers and I don’t see this changing for the next couple of years as European economies scale up and down against the uncertainty of Covid lockdowns, vaccine delivery and Brexit.
Rob lives in Dublin and is married with two young daughters and a new puppy!