Attracting tech talent in Birmingham

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Kiran Aulakh is a Senior Talent Lead who joined Sparta Global’s Birmingham-based Academy team in early 2020. With more than five years’ experience of working in recruitment in the Midlands, we sat down with Kiran to find out more about attracting talent Birmingham, the city’s innovative and passionate people and why Birmingham is breeding the next best wave of tech talent.  

You’ve lived in the north, south and abroad – what makes birmingham such a special place to live and work in? 

The Midlands is really close to my heart. Not only is my family from Birmingham, but I went to University in the Midlands and now have returned to work here. I have lived in both the North and the South of the UK, as well as abroad, and I can safely say nothing beats Birmingham! You feel as if you are in the middle of all the action - with access to a diverse mix of cultures and people to learn from (with countless bars and eateries to socialise too!). It’s a city where you can have fun and express yourself – just a hotbed of opportunity! 

Why Would you encourage graduates to stay in the city And resist the pull to cities such as London for employment? 

The big businesses we all want to work for no longer feel it’s necessary to stay in areas like London – and this is great for grads! Typically, living and working in London is incredibly expensive and for individuals at the start of their careers and on entry-level salaries, this can be really stressful. 

If you’re a grad who chooses to stay in Birmingham, you have access to all the big graduate recruiters – working with the Universities across the city - and a new raft of big employers, but also benefit from the more affordable and culture-rich way of life available in Birmingham. London will always be there to exploit, but why not build your profile, experience and bank balance before considering taking the capital on? 

What drew you to working in talent attraction? 

Working directly with people was always something at the top of my priority list when deciding a career path. I wanted to apply my degree in Psychology to an industry where I could focus on understanding people, their motivations and how I could add value to their lives. Being able to support others around me with their own career goals and see them grow in confidence and ability is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.  I have built a strong network of contacts I have met throughout my career, both candidates and clients, who make up an amazing professional support network I can now rely on. It’s highly rewarding and fulfilling to know I have made a difference to those people, even if in a small way! 

What do you enjoy most about working with Birmingham talent?  

Working with Birmingham talent is so exciting. You get to meet people from across the world and other part of the country who are drawn to the diverse and vibrant culture of the city. They might have been here to study or are looking to get into a lucrative career and live the big-city lifestyle without the London price tag. Birmingham’s profile is on the rise and with countless reputable educational institutions, the city is developing some of the best talent and we are making waves across every sector including technology. Seeing people grow in their careers and connecting with them as new industry leaders is amazing, we are really making a difference and a massive impact. 

Why do you think young people in Birmingham are so well positioned to be future tech leaders? 

Being based in Birmingham is a great advantage for young people looking to break into a fruitful and rewarding career in technology. As we move into an even more innovative digital age and more of us work from home, businesses are choosing to buck the trend of office locations in high-price cities and investing in hubs like Birmingham. This means we have hugely innovative technology companies entering our ecosystem and they need the talent to support their growth.  

Birmingham’s accessible talent community is hugely diverse and in the technology space, diversity makes better products and boosts innovation. Not to mention, Birmingham is home to a number of Universities and colleges that bring youth, passion and fresh ideas to the city’s talent pool.  

This is why Sparta Global has chosen to stay in the Midlands since it was founded and continue to invest in the community that helped build its success from day one. I look forward to giving even more junior talent access to technology training and employment in our city and seeing Birmingham thrive.