Faye Pressly, COO , Vanti, Birmingham

Vanti are one of the UK’s most innovative Master System Integrators, leading the way when it comes to Smart Buildings, and internationally award-winning creators of exceptional digital experiences for people who want to work, learn, live and play in smart spaces.

It’s a tough challenge for us to find diverse and skilled talent, as we need a multidisciplinary team of people to deliver the complex projects we work on. Finding excellent software developers who can integrate traditionally disparate systems, help commissioning engineers configure equipment, whilst sat on a construction site with cables being pulled around them, is no easy feat! Even tougher for us is ensuring we recruit a diverse workforce, as Technology and Construction are two of the most imbalanced industries, particularly when considering gender.

We realised that trying to hire for specific skills wasn’t going to be sustainable for our business and team in the long-term, or financially viable for a business our size – let alone quick. What we decided to do was focus on people’s (hopefully rapid!) learning ability and hiring around our shared values of Mastery, Discovery, Integrity, Fun and Care. We’ve simultaneously been building an inclusive and supportive culture that can help people integrate into and gain knowledge in the roles that they want to grow in to over time.

One of the benefits of being Birmingham based, is that we have so many local tech and education communities around us, all of which are incredibly helpful and collaborative. We’ve found and hired many of our team from local universities (Warwick University, Birmingham City University and Aston University), technology and coding clubs (such as Rebel Makers) and tech communities such as Innovation Birmingham and Silicon Canal. Where we have hired experienced team members, we’ve always found good quality people within the West Midlands who share our values and have added to the business in so many ways, other than just for the role they were hired for.

By taking a longer-term approach to recruitment for our technology teams in Birmingham, we’re gradually starting to build an incredibly solid, talented and most importantly diverse and inclusive team of amazing people.

Tech Nation Talent

A four-part series of reports on the talent and skills dynamics of the UK tech sector.

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