How much time, energy and expense is it taking your company to find the best people for your tech teams? I hear repeatedly from CTOs that filtering and interviewing large numbers of people for high volume tech roles is draining too much time, while getting any suitable applicants for roles requiring emerging skill sets is difficult – e.g. Data Scientists, Cyber Security Analysts or Polyglot Engineers.

The Unique Challenge of Emerging Skill Roles

In recent years, advancements in technology have, to some extent democratised the recruitment process. Thanks to the ease of LinkedIn, for example, and use of X-Ray / Boolean search methods, many companies now make use of their own in-house Talent Acquisition (TA) teams to fill roles. Working on multiple roles simultaneously is a labour-intensive process at the best of times, and when it comes to roles requiring people with emerging skill sets, it’s much tougher.

If a role requires an emerging skill set, there are naturally fewer potential people out there. As a result, these people will be more selective about where they want to work and are highly likely not to be actively looking for jobs. Having a strong network in this area and headhunting is more effective than advertising and managing an in-flow of candidates would be.

The Rise of the Polyglot Engineer

The shift in requirements for software engineers is a great example of how quickly skills change from emerging to mainstream and – in some cases – back again.

About 10 years ago, software engineer roles tended to be more generalist, working with multiple development languages. This evolved into companies looking for software engineers with one language specialism – Java / Python developers etc. This is now going full cycle and the future of software engineering is ‘polyglot’ engineers, which means individuals with experience with several platforms and programming languages. The next generation, currently training at University, are being taught to develop in multiple languages and not being told to specialise. Having polyglots allows companies to build teams that are leaner, more efficient, and better able to evolve as new technologies emerge.

A Collaborative Approach Between In-House Teams and Agency

The challenge of finding people for mainstream roles vs emerging skill sets often leads companies towards one of three approaches, each with pros and cons.

  • Solution one: all roles are the responsibility of in-house talent acquisition teams.

This is extremely time consuming and, naturally, creates a tendency towards filling the mainstream roles first as they are quicker to complete.

  • Solution two: have a large roster of specialist recruitment agencies for emerging skill set roles.

This approach brings the benefit of the agencies’ expertise in niche areas but also means multiple terms, contact points and repeating requirements.

  • Solution three: hire external consultancies to do the specialist work required.

Management consultancies actively hire polyglot engineers, for example, knowing there will be a demand in the market. While this ensures the expertise, it comes at a high cost.

At Arrows Group, we have evolved our proposition with just this conundrum in mind to offer an alternative solution. Our approach is to work collaboratively with company TA teams. Historically, TA teams have been viewed as rivals to the traditional role of the recruiter, but we consider this to be an outdated and unhelpful way of thinking.

Through a two-pronged approach, we aim to add tangible value for TA teams. When it comes to mainstream, volume roles we help support and streamline the process, quite literally sitting next to teams on-site. We help manage the interview process, deal with stakeholders and help increase the ratio of job offer to acceptance.

Alongside this, our tech recruitment consultants have moved their skill sets towards niche roles. Our specialists within Arrows Group invest time in building networks, in particular working with universities and targeting Generation Z as they come into the workforce.

Adapting Approach and Expectations

Through a blended, collaborative approach to recruitment we have helped encourage our clients to hire people where their potential to learn multiple skills is key rather than out and out specialism, creating improvements in acceptance ratios and retention.

The most important element in approaching this challenge is looking at the interview process and making sure a different approach is used for the different type of skills – one that will resonate with the individuals. We’ve adapted our technical tests to be a lot more collaborative and engaging where needed, for example by using team-based testing with a social element incorporated into the interview for polyglot engineers. We use video interviewing and other mediums that are preferred by our target candidates.

We recognise key skill sets are constantly changing, particularly in the tech sector. It’s critical, then, that we don’t insist on using traditional methodologies to attract individuals with cutting edge abilities.

Are you looking to hire individuals with emerging skills, such as polyglot engineers? Or, would you like to streamline your process with volume roles? Why not challenge us and see if we can help? Contact, call 0207 803 1700 or visit


Diversity is not a new concept, despite what the front pages would have us believe. It is not a bandwagon to be jumped on. In the recruitment industry, huge strides have been made over many years in promoting diversity and it is very much at the forefront of our clients’ minds.

Diversity is not really about ticking boxes, fulfilling a quota or being politically correct. Although it is important for your business to be seen to be diverse, it doesn’t just mean having a token female on the board or a BAME face in your marketing campaign. There are real, tangible benefits for your business’s bottom line too.

Diversity genuinely enables companies to build the most dynamic, productive, engaged, and profitable workforces, rich in cultural insight, from backgrounds of all kinds of abilities, races, ages, genders, beliefs and socioeconomic statuses. After all, your business ought to be representative of your customer base.

Diversity also means inclusivity; when you have a workforce of people from all walks of life working together, feeling included and valued and using their voices, you get an increase in creativity. A broader spectrum of influences and ideas can come together to make a real difference to the output of your business in a way that putting a homogenous group of people together will never do.

In a nutshell:

  • Employees want to believe in their company and have pride in the ethics, morale codes and values
  • Diversity is important for your CSR and public perception
  • Diversity allows you to hire the best talent, you may otherwise have missed
  • Diversity increases your talent pool of potential employees
  • Diversity drives new ideas, creativity and balance in companies

The most salient perspective on diversity came from an Arrows client and female CEO who said that what she really wants is not “more women in the business, but the knowledge we are hiring the best people no matter their gender.” This goes for race and ethnicity too.

Tush Wijeratne, EMEA Engineering CoE Talent Acquisition Lead – Sapient Publicis, confirms this view, “It’s not about enhancing diversity, it’s about levelling the playing field”.

Why is the current climate so key?

The current changing landscape of working conditions brought about by the COVID-19 crisis should have a hugely positive outcome in driving diversity.

The proven ability to work from home, more flexible hours, advancements in tech across the board in support of remote working and connectivity; it all enables diversity in allowing more companies to hire more parents, disabled workers and those who care for others. We’ve also developed a greater understanding and tolerance for varying ways of working and acceptance of each other’s lives.

So how do you drive diversity in your business?

Creating diversity and non-bias in a business takes consistency, buy-in and long term, sustainable planning.

You should:

  • Support internal focus groups
  • Create long term strategies that are easy to embed, and make sure that people see the value
  • Support Pride Week; be proactive in internal messages around important historic events
  • Encourage employees to give time back to local schools and colleges
  • Offer 4-week programmes to give people from diverse backgrounds a chance to experience the working environment (often enabling you to meet and hire talent you might not otherwise)
  • Change your mindset when it comes to developing potential. Rather than looking for employees with 100% fit, look for employees with 60% fit who are willing to learn:
  • Hire people from different education backgrounds, for example, someone who studied history can learn development (STEM)
  • People might not have traditional further education, but very high potential to learn

To find out more about how Arrows can help you develop diversity within your business, email, visit or call 0207 803 1700.