UK start-ups kick off the hunt for new talent
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Tuesday 27 September 2011
As the UK's technology sector struggles to attract computer science graduates, start-ups have clubbed together to offer more than 500 jobs in an attempt to lure talent away from joining the City.
The move comes in the build-up to the second "Silicon Milkroundabout", the jobs fair for the London tech start-up community, next month. The event was set up by Ian Hogarth, the chief executive and co-founder of music start-up Songkick.
Among the more than 120 companies backing the recruitment drive are Mind Candy, which owns the hugely popular Moshi Monsters brand, music-identifying group Shazam and ticket-exchange company Viagogo.
Mr Hogarth said: "We, along with many of our friends from other start-ups, struggle with the shortage of computer science graduates and experienced software developers."
He added that many potential candidates were "not aware of tech start-ups as an alternative to the more traditional routes of working for a bank, a consultancy, Google, Facebook or Microsoft". The event organisers hope to raise awareness of the opportunities among graduates, and attract more start-ups to take part.
In the east London area dubbed Tech City UK there are more than 500 tech start-ups, Mr Hogarth said, with "many eager to recruit the best developer talent. Big corporations spend a fortune on advertising and recruitment, with the effect of drowning out the noise that start-ups have made until now."
The previous Milkroundabout in May was oversubscribed with companies looking to lure graduates. The name is a nod to the "milk-round" recruitment drives carried out by big companies at UK universities, and a nod to Tech City's nickname of Silicon Roundabout.
Eric Van der Kleij, chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation, pointed out that the technology industry in the UK contributes £66.4bn a year to the economy. He added: "One of the biggest challenges is finding the very best tech talent and convincing them that start-ups are the place to be."
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