Future workforce: Xero finds a gap in tech hiring

You may have heard us banging on about the skills shortage in tech. And you are probably aware that for developers it’s a job hunter’s market. But when it comes to filling senior roles in the industry it’s even more competitive. There are a lot of companies who want access to the same pool of talent when it comes to experienced developers.

James O’Reilly, Talent Acquisition Lead at Xero, found a simple and under-utilised way to get ahead of his competition and support women in tech at the same time. A search for full-time developer jobs in Melbourne will return approx. 3000 results on SEEK, but when you alter that search to part-time you can count them on one hand. Based on this, Xero decided to hire three part-time developers for their Melbourne product teams.

“Our employer brand resonates well with candidates. A compelling employee value proposition is really helpful to attract candidates but ultimately it’s still a really competitive market for top Developer talent, particularly full-time positions.  We recognised part-time developers were an untapped market, and couldn’t be happier with the results of our recruitment campaign in this area.”

One of the staff members hired from this initiative is Sarah Loh, a Developer with two children under five.

“I had been looking for a part-time role since having my second child, but technical part-time jobs are very rare. I was tempted to apply for part-time non-technical jobs, but I ended up getting a full time IT consultant role, developing software for clients. I found it really difficult to juggle work and family at that time with the non-flexible hours. So that led me to continue my search for a part-time job. That’s when I found and applied for Xero.”

James (a dad of three young girls himself) says Sarah’s situation is very common:

“Of the part-time candidates we met, many had to commence with their employer in a full time capacity and then negotiate for flexibility down the track.  There is a great pool of top quality developers that want to work part-time for reasons such as childcare, side projects, additional studies etc. but very few businesses are offering positions that cater for this talent up front.”  

Sarah says that in terms of the job and lifestyle, her role at Xero is beyond her highest expectations: 

“Working part time allows me to spend more time with my young kids without having to choose between a career and family. I’m so impressed at the effort the people here, especially the People Experience team, put in just make us feel happy and like we belong.”

There are so many factors that are impacting our changing workforce. Technology enables working from anywhere so much more doable, while also creating new jobs and making others obsolete. It’s almost crazy to think that more companies are not looking to hire part-time developers.

Come along to our next Sydney event to discuss this and all the latest tech industry trends.

At Cracking the Tech Career we provide you with everything you need to land your dream tech role (yes that will probably have to be full-time currently).

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Written by Penny Ivison
Social Media & Content Lead @ Code Like a Girl