Simon Costello, whose onboarding and fraud-prevention platform FrankieOne attracts some of the best emerging tech talent, acknowledges the increasing need to draw in early-stage digital professionals. In a very tight digital and tech talent market, Costello believes that it is critical to build frameworks for junior talent to learn, develop and succeed.
For a fast-growing business like FrankieOne, having the right people is imperative. The past 18 months has seen the business bring on nearly 100 new clients across banking and fintechs, including the likes of Westpac and Afterpay, as well as various hyper-scaling international cryptocurrency companies and neobanks. Their recent Series A funding attracted $20 million and with new offices springing up internationally, their team will be on the hunt again for the right talent. In particular, Costello is on the lookout for more junior graduates who have the right blend of curiosity and technical know-how to support their broader business talent pipeline.
With Australia expected to need 6.5 million newly skilled and reskilled technology workers by 2025 (Amazon Web Services, 2021), many businesses are becoming more tactical with the who and why of hiring staff. One common obstacle the digital skills shortage presents is the inability to secure experienced mid-senior digital personnel. Hiring experienced people is becoming increasingly challenging, as demand for digital talent continues to rise beyond the supply of skilled people.
It was in this context that Simon pursued a previously unexplored pathway – recruiting new graduate talent. When searching for a UX Designer to join the team, he came across Jerry Tian, a recent graduate of Academy Xi’s UX UI Design Transform course. Given that customer experience is at the very heart of the FrankieOne brand, finding the right designer was an important decision.
Jerry quickly stepped into the role, excelled and has taken ownership despite only having been with the company less than 9 months. “He has now become almost a Product Owner in one particular area”, Simon reports. “[His role] requires a combination of technical know-how and deep understanding of the customer.”
Jerry himself is pleased with the professional progress he has made since starting with FrankieOne. Although regarded as a junior initially, he felt well equipped to make the transition from his Academy Xi course into the real world.
His advice to anyone looking to start a career in UX UI Design is to consider what kind of company they see themselves being a part of. Jerry observes “agile start-ups, corporates, government – they all have very different ways of operating … my current role now goes beyond what a UX UI Designer does – which is great because you get to learn and do a variety of tasks.”
As the technology skills gap continues to widen, those businesses that are creative and adaptable will drive their businesses forward. But the landscape is complex, with many factors in play, including skills shortages, digital transformation, disrupted business models and changing worker expectations.
Academy Xi Co-CEO Vincent Creighton acknowledges that the digital skills challenge, accelerated by COVID, has forced organisations to consider alternative approaches to securing, training and retaining critical digital talent.
“Unsurprisingly, Academy Xi is experiencing an unprecedented demand for graduate talent and training programs that enable organisations to thrive in an increasingly digital world and attract and retain digital talent in a competitive market.”, he continues.
Businesses like FrankieOne will likely continue to work with recruiters. However, they may also choose to explore internal employee training programs and external talent pipeline initiatives to understand how they can access the best graduate pools. The environment we are currently working within is serving as an ongoing lesson in the benefits of agile talent management.
“Hiring Jerry has certainly changed our perception on hiring a junior straight out of a UX & UI course. We actually have a lot of senior individuals at FrankieOne but from the experience with Academy Xi, we are open to taking on more individuals out of Academy Xi to fuel our talent pipeline.” – Simon Costello, Co-Founder and CEO, FrankieOne.