A portrait photo of a brown-haired man with a buzz cut wearing a powder pink shirt and a blue lanyard that says Pramerica on it.
Alan Fletcher, a talent acquisition specialist at Pramerica. Image: Pramerica

This is the tech industry job you probably don’t hear about

15 Nov 2018

Talent acquisition is a vital element of any growing tech business. Despite this, you probably don’t hear much about it as a tech career.

Certain tech careers garner a lot of attention. We frequently hear about the experience of data scientists and software engineers, in particular about how integral they are to scaling a business. As you might expect, the demand for these professionals totally outstrips the supply.

Yet what about the people who find the software engineers and data scientists of this world? Talent acquisition specialists such as Alan Fletcher from Pramerica are also essential to the growth of a company. We chatted to Fletcher about a typical working day in this role.

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in the job?

Every day is different but that is what is exciting about my role. One day I could be connecting with candidates telling them about the opportunities available at Pramerica and the next day I could be making offers and onboarding candidates from all over the world.

I really enjoy the talent acquisition department at Pramerica as I am recruiting for a broad range of talent. I mostly recruit for IT and software systems, business systems analysts and project management, but I also assist in sourcing data science, financial services and actuarial.

What types of project do you work on?

I work on many different projects, everything from recruitment campaigns to build talent pools to project-managing careers fairs across Ireland. I also work very closely with our workforce management team regarding succession planning and making sure there are career paths available for internal employees.

Currently, I am working on building our employer value proposition and developing video content to use on social media to engage and attract talent. I am also arranging an internal careers fair for employees for later in the year.

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

The skill I use most is communication as I am constantly working with hiring managers, employees and candidates daily, keeping them up to date on the recruitment process and arranging next steps.

What is the hardest part of your working day?

It would have to be knowing when to switch off and go home. I am very passionate about recruitment and I like to make sure that I treat every candidate and hiring manager as a customer.

It gives me great joy when I get candidates their dream jobs or I place a candidate in a hiring manager’s role.

Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the working day?

Be organised and stay positive. I think it is important to try and plan your day so that there is some structure. It is also important to have a to-do list. You might not always get it completed but you know what to prioritise and what can be done tomorrow.

I also think it is important to stay positive as this will keep you focused and helps keep things moving forward. Sometimes you might find the perfect candidate and have a call with them only to realise that they are not looking for a move at the moment. You might spend months getting a candidate through the recruitment process only for them to decline an offer.

I have photos of my wife and children on my desk to remind me what is important and I am always looking for quotes to inspire me. I find these great to share with my colleagues.

When you first started this job, what were you most surprised to learn was important in the role?

I was most surprised by the fast pace of recruitment within Pramerica. I went from executive search recruitment to working in a company that was growing rapidly and attracting a wide range of talent from all over the world.

How has this role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?

I think the role has changed massively over the last decade due to LinkedIn, mobile and social media. The talent acquisition and recruitment sector has moved on from the ‘post and pray’ strategies to fill positions.

The war for talent is more competitive than ever and the world has become a lot smaller in terms of reaching candidates.

Additionally, candidates are more knowledgeable when looking for their next career move and they know the types of companies they want to work for. Therefore, it is important to make sure we move with the digital transformation and are keeping candidates engaged and attracted with our employer value proposition.

What do you enjoy most about the job?

It is the challenges and the people. I am recruiting for really exciting positions based in Letterkenny and this is something I never thought was possible. I am a people person and I love connecting with candidates from all over the world to discuss the opportunities available and why Donegal was voted the coolest place on the planet.

I am very happy in my current position. The hiring managers and the employees that I work with are also amazing. Since I have started in Pramerica I have met and worked with so many great people and created new friendships. It means so much to work with people who are passionate about what they do.

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