Web developers flock to jobs fair for digital start-ups

Silicon Milkroundabout attracts more than 1,500 candidates

A jobs fair connecting digital start-ups with talented web developers had a queue stretching round the block when it opened its doors last Sunday.

Ian Hogarth, co-founder of Songkick.com which organised the event, said more than 1,000 developers had registered online to attend the free event in London’s tech heartland, ‘Silicon Roundabout’, but he still “couldn’t believe how many people had turned up”.

The event, called Silicon Milkroundabout, saw 105 digital start-ups advertising more than 500 jobs for web developers, system administrators and other technical roles. It followed the success of the first Silicon Millkroundabout event in May 2011, where one in four of the vacancies advertised were successfully filled.

More than 1,500 people attended the second event on Sunday 30 October, Songkick can now confirm – three times the number who attended the inaugural event in May.

Hogarth, along with co-founders Pete Smith and Michelle You, organised the events after struggling to find talented web developers for Songkick, a website which enables users to track their favourite artists and bands and find out where they’re playing live. They later discovered that a number of their entrepreneur friends had encountered the same recruitment woes.

Speaking to Startups, Hogarth said finding world-class, experienced tech talent in the UK is a major challenge facing digital start-ups. However, he believes that many tech graduates simply aren’t aware that working for a start-up is a viable option.

“The UK doesn’t lack talent, just to be clear,” he said. “We have great talent; we have fantastic computer science departments across the country, as well as engineering, mathematics and physics departments. We definitely produce a world-class group of engineers every year from our universities.

“But a lot of people just don’t realise that there are other options apart from leaving technology and joining a bank, or becoming a management consultant or a lawyer. The number of people who go to work for management consultancies is absurdly high – I did it myself – considering the fact that technology is the most exciting space to be in.”

As a knock-on effect, Hogarth added that few people in the UK have the experience needed to scale a tech start-up.

“I think the other problem we have is experience. So we have a lot of raw talent but experienced talent is a rarer thing – people who understand the challenges of going through the scaling process,” he said.

The event sought to highlight some of the benefits of working for a start-up, such as the ability to work in a fast-paced, creative environment where your skills can really add value and help the business grow.

Among the exhibitors were some of the UK’s foremost digital start-ups and entrepreneurial companies, including Songkick, Graze, Skimlinks, Mind Candy, Shazam, Brave New Talent, Spider.io, Unruly Media and Funding Circle.

For more information, visit: http://siliconmilkroundabout.com/

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