Researching the most in-demand machine learning skills, finding Europe’s best artificial intelligence specialists and speaking with companies in Stockholm about their data scientist requirements; this wasn't quite what I anticipated when applying to study pharmaceutical science at university. But, it’s exactly how my graduate scheme has been spent, and this month it’s my turn to tell you more about my job as a Nordics IT recruitment specialist for Evolution.
Back in 2016, I graduated from the University of Manchester with some new-found culinary skills, a degree in pharmaceutical science and a dawning realisation that pharmaceuticals wasn’t the career for me. Half of graduates don’t work in their field of study, which isn’t surprising when you’re picking your lifelong career choice based on a few week’s work experience and internet research. But, armed with three years’ worth of skills, life experience and contacts, I began my post-graduate job hunt for a position as a data scientist – scouring job boards, sending CVs, completing online tests and attending interviews.
As the new kid on the block, you’re never really sure if LinkedIn is for you – especially when it’s full of professionals with years of experience, skills and networks. I’m here to tell you that it is – it’s how I got speaking to a member of Evolution’s internal recruitment team, learnt more about the sector and realised that I was well suited to a career in recruitment. Following an application process, interview and chat with Gareth Morris, the CEO, I fell in love with Evolution and, luckily, they thought I was a good fit for the company.
I started working at Evolution in January 2018, and it was more like joining a family than a new job – the culture here is friendly, team-spirited and supportive (which is why they attract the top talent). I made the most of my initial weeks by:
When in the Academy (the Evolution training program for graduates) I was honest about the skills I did have and those I needed to work on – which Matt Auton then helped me to not only develop but to master.
I spent my time in the Academy soaking up everything that I could to give me the skills and expertise to become a successful recruitment consultant by asking questions (no matter how trivial they seemed), taking notes and searching for more information.
The Academy was a great introduction, but soon it was time to put everything I knew into practice and to keep developing my recruitment skills and technology knowledge to become an expert in the requirements for artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science roles in Europe. And it didn’t stop there…
I’ve learnt more in my first year than I ever thought possible. Specifically, I’ve discovered that:
Working in recruitment isn’t just matching CVs to job descriptions and letting candidates and clients get on with it. I’ve developed and used skills in business, sales, negotiation and networking, not to mention technical knowledge and industry expertise. I can discuss Evolution’s services with a potential client as easily as I can talk about the technical requirements for a business’ latest machine learning team leader position.
Soft skills such as communication are essential in recruitment, but they’re also vital in other sectors, especially IT. Research by the Stockholm School of Economics predicts that the demand for soft skills (including interpersonal skills and creativity) will become more crucial as the country continues to adopt machine learning and AI in the workplace. The simple reason? Computers lack soft skills – our candidates don’t.
One year in and I’ve learnt a lot – but I’ve also got a lot to learn. Working in IT recruitment provides me with a constant reminder that the world and its requirements are forever changing and to succeed, you need to keep up. That’s, for example, why Sweden is seeing more job openings for data scientist roles – as the country yearns to learn more from the data and statistics captured by machine learning.
When I left university, I wanted a job that would involve travel – not something that came to mind when I thought of recruitment. However, I’ve progressed from UK IT recruitment to Swedish IT recruitment, providing me with the opportunity to work internationally. The same goes for the IT roles that I recruit for. Many candidates that I speak to are surprised to learn that their machine learning, data science and AI skills are in huge demand in Stockholm – I’ve helped IT engineers receive their dream job and relocation to an international city known for its work-life balance.
When I first considered recruitment as an option, I was excited about the thought of meeting new people and having a career that kept me on my toes. Recruitment has done just that. Covering the Nordics, and especially Stockholm, I’m hard-tasked in helping Sweden diversify its homegrown talent by finding and placing international candidates, to make it the number one European technology hotspot. And, with an ever-increasing amount of job openings created (not diminished) by AI and machine learning advancements, it looks like my second year will be even busier yet.
IT Recruitment Sweden
If you’re looking for your next role in machine learning, AI or data science, or your business is recruiting for these roles, get in touch to find out how I can help.
Get in touch
If you’re considering a career in recruitment, get in touch with our internal recruitment team.
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