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Gatwick Airport refreshes IT talent by hiring own recruitment team

Gatwick Airport has refreshed its IT talent by first hiring its own recruitment team, moving away from a previous policy of using multiple external agencies.

The organisation’s CIO, Cathal Corcoran, joined Gatwick Airport in 2016, and explained that he noticed a “people challenge.”

“We needed to refresh talent in IT,” said Corcoran. “We needed to hire in highly qualified project managers, proper ITIL-run people, and to bolster our cyber and architecture capability. In some cases we were under-resourced, in others certain functions needed higher-grading of staff. Some of these roles were niche and in high-demand, so the right people were hard to find,” he added.

Corcoran’s first action was hire an internal IT recruitment team. He chose experienced people, some of whom had run their own recruitment firms.

“They were able to sit with us day in day out, and form professional relationships with us. They understood the business and IT context of what we needed, and our culture.

“By taking the work in-house and driving it ourselves, we got a much better outcome.”

He explained that previously the organisation had used 13 different external recruitment providers, leaving them “bombarded by CVs” when they wanted to make new hires.

Corcoran added that the organisation used its “innovation pipeline”, part of the IT department dedicated to using the latest technology to come up with new tools and ways of working, to attract staff.

“We also used our innovation pipeline to educate the market about what we’re doing and why Gatwick is an exciting place to work, and that became an award winning feature.”

Gatwick Airport won the ‘Business IT Innovation of the Year’ category at the UK IT Industry Awards 2017, for its Airport Community App.

Corcoran previously told Computing that the airport is looking to use brain waves to help make some security checks more efficient.

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