Recruiting through the CompTIA Zenos Academy

In January, we set about recruiting a new engineer for our growing workforce. The engineers role would be entry-level in nature, helping clients via Telephone and Remote Support, as well as in person.

Traditionally we’d look to avenues such as Recruitment Agencies and public advertisements to fill this requirement. However, during a conversation with our friends William Linard and Matthew Poyiadgi at CompTIA, they mentioned that the Zenos Academies that CompTIA and Microsoft sponsor may well be able to help us with our requirements.

Intrigued, William put us in touch with Kim Taylor at Zenos. Kim explained that as well as helping train students, Zenos work with local businesses to find employment for their newly qualified graduates.

Kim shared the CV’s of around a dozen of her best students from the Zenos Academies in Birmingham and Telford, and we were impressed with the quality we found. All the candidates were Microsoft Desktop Support Technicians (MCDST) and Microsoft Certified Professionals, as well as CompTIA A+ qualified. Many others were also CompTIA Network+ and NVQ Level II qualified. Impressive!

We asked to interview the best candidates, and Zenos were fantastic in organising the whole interview process at no cost to us – making sure meeting rooms were made available and booked, candidates were scheduled and prepared, and that an opportunity for feedback was given.

My partnerand I interviewed ten candidates over two days in Telford and Birmingham, and were blown away by the calibre of the young people we met. Without fail, the candidates, who were aged between 17 and 19, were smart, well spoken, clearly intelligent and ambitious, answered all of our questions well, and were friendly and pleasure to deal with. Additionally, some of them asked us some really tough questions as potential employers – so we learned a thing or two!

We had a tough choice on our hands and I’ll admit, we started considering how we find the funds to employ not one, but TWO new members of staff! 🙂

In the end though, we shortlisted the three best candidates and asked them to join us for a day each at our offices in Dudley, where they worked with our team on real-world situations. Again, all three impressed and we were put in a situation where we found it very hard to chose just one new recruit!

In the end, we made an offer to Matthew Benson (pictured right), who has now been working with us for a couple of months and has impressed throughout. If you’d like to find out more about Matthew, then you can read a guest blog from him at our blog or you can read an interview with Matthew as part of CompTIA UK’s Career Success Spotlight.

If you’re an IT provider looking to hire an entry-level technician, then I’d strongly encourage you to reach out to William Linard at CompTIA about engaging with the Zenos Academies – as we’ve hired a fantastic employee in Matthew with none of the recruitment costs you’d typically pay to an Agency, or by advertising publically. Feel free to get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss our experiences any further.

I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Matthew as the first step in what is sure to be a very successful career within IT!

Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

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