WITH an operational mantra that says: “We hire the best to service the best”, Starcircle is in high demand from a roster of global clients that include Facebook, Amazon, Dropbox, Cisco, Alphabet, and PayPal.
Combining data science, process innovation, and proprietary software, the company has evolved its commercial model, with the charge now being led by its Cork team, beyond what would previously have been led by teams in the US.
“We are very proud of the workforce, culture, and atmosphere we have built-in Starcircle,” chief commercial officer Colin Hickey explains. “I chose to join Starcircle at the height of the pandemic in July 2020 because of the potential for growth and the impact it could have on the talent market.
“Our culture, growth ambition, and investment in our people and employer brand has enabled us to hire consistently throughout the last two years.”
Seizing the opportunities presented by the shift towards remote working as a result of the pandemic, Starcircle has leveraged its strong skill sets and talent pool to centralise capability in Cork, creating jobs locally to support global clients remotely.
“The new jobs in Starcircle will be a mix of hybrid and remote opportunities for a variety of roles from the product, technology, marketing to advisory and project management.”
That increasingly prominent phrase — “the war on talent” — is here and raging since mid-2021, he says.
“I’ve been through a few talent wars since 2008. This is not a new phrase in the talent industry, it is re-popularised whenever the demand for talent outstrips supply.”
With the US a key market for Starcircle, where many of its top clients are based, he cites two key statistics to predict and confirm a talent war.
“In the US, pre-pandemic you typically had up to 75,000 jobs for recruiters advertised, dipping to 25,000 during the first lockdown, but right now is almost double at 147,751”.
He adds that Ireland is showing similar trends with over 1,500 open recruiter roles across the State. The other salient statistic is the total number of open jobs.
“Right now there are 11.2 million open jobs in the US, this is up from approximately seven million pre-pandemic. Again, Ireland is reflecting these trends with our job vacancy rate doubling from Q2 2020 to Q4 2021.”
In tandem with this sudden need for talent, job seekers have the upper hand, with candidates able to find more jobs compared to a year ago.
“Recruiters and hiring managers are feeling the pain. The situation is that there are a lot more jobs to fill and not enough recruiters to help fill them.”
He says Starcircle has an advantage over its competitors because “we enable companies to do more with less. Starcircle gives companies access to hard-to-find, undiscovered talent that their competitors cannot access. We find, attract, qualify, and nurture this diverse talent; enabling recruiters to focus on making more hires.”
Mr Hickey confirms that the so-called “great resignation” of recent years has had a dramatic effect on the recruitment landscape.
“The pandemic caused millions of us to re-evaluate what we want in our careers. Across Ireland and globally, employees are rethinking how they work, when they work, and why they work.”
In the past year, as millions of people left their jobs in search of opportunities that provide both a greater sense of purpose and more flexibility, talent attraction and retention has become critical.
“The ‘great resignation’ was caused by the pandemic disruption in how people worked; those who could work from home did, and this changed their lives both professionally and personally,” says Hickey.
According to a recent Workhuman survey, 42% of Irish employees intend to resign over the next 12 months. “Forty-two percent is extremely high — even if half this number is achieved, it is above the normal. Typically the companies I have worked with throughout my career experience between 8% and 12% employee attrition per year.”
He sees the current market as having less perceived risk and much more opportunity: “As a result, companies can’t rely on the old way of doing things, they need to transform the way they attract, engage, and find talent to give themselves a competitive advantage.”
Candidates are looking for jobs, but are looking for the right job that aligns with their career aspirations, their preferred work-life balance requirements, and the right remuneration package.
“A lot of the time, this information is not readily available on job adverts, so they are not applying, and/or the company’s employer brand may not be as recognisable, so the candidate is not giving the job advert a second look.”
The solution is you source the candidates, he suggests, proactively reaching out to them and engage them in a meaningful conversation to understand their wants and needs.
“Engaging with talent now is more akin to sales; whereby you look to understand a client’s, or in this case a candidate’s requirements in advance of pitching a product or role that meets those identified requirements.”
Starcircle currently has global capability through offices across Europe, Asia, and the US, with the largest cohort of clients on the west coast of America.
“We will continue to focus on this
the region, given the number of unicorns and decacorns that are funded here, however, I see us diluting our reliance on the west coast by targeting the east coast, where fintech [financial technology] has exploded in recent years.”
Diversity as a theme is growing in importance, according to Mr Hickey, with Starcircle helping clients to find those diverse candidates they need.
“Starcircle’s vision is to make companies better at hiring by giving them a broader perspective on their talent universe. We tackle the cognitive and systematic biases of traditional recruitment, leading to fairer, inclusive hiring.”
Starcircle’s aim is to remove prejudice from recruitment by challenging clients’ bias, accessing larger talent pools, and increasing awareness of under-represented groups and skill sets to recruiters and hiring managers.
“Through our technology and human intelligence, we can source this diverse talent for our clients, and this is something the team is very proud about.
Hiring diverse talent not only drives revenue, but is also the right thing to do. Starcircle gets to bring undiscovered talent into recruiters’ fields of vision. We source talent that may have gone unnoticed, and this is very rewarding.”