Developers needed for AI, cloud and agile delivery
BT has announced plans nearly to nearly double its in-house digital talents, with around a third of the new Jobe being based in the UK. The UK’s flagship telco is expanding its head count from 3,500 to 6,300 people between April 2022 to April 2024. The total pf 2,800 ‘Digital Transformation’ roles range in responsibility from artificial intelligence development and software engineering to apprenticeships and returning to work roles.
There will be 1,000 new UK based colleagues but the majority of the staff, 1,800 staff will be head hunted from Indian talent hotbeds based around Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore) the largest city in the Indian state of Kamataka and Gurugram a city in the northern state of Haryana. Of the UK hires, there are plans for this number to comprise up to 400 diversity entrants, a group that includes graduates, apprentices, women returners and others starting their careers in the catch-all category of ‘Digital’.
“Digital was founded to accelerate BT’s transformation, innovation and return to growth,” said Harmeen Mehta, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at BT, “to succeed, we need to bring in and upskill the top digital talent and our efforts will boost the tech communities in the UK and India along the way.” The 1,000 new UK staff BT plans to hire will be based around BT’s hub sites in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Belfast, Ipswich and London, with the majority outside of the capital but, ideally, close enough to a regional workspace if collaboration needs to be done.
BT said it is developing an ‘expansive’ learning resource, the BT Digital Campus, using top digital skills platforms and its own proprietary BT learning content, to ensure its existing talent can be at the cutting edge of technology. The jobs that need doing are in product management, software engineering, cloud, design, data, AI and machine learning and ‘agile delivery’. The financial logic of hiring in the teeth of a recession was explained too, as BT said its FY23 financial outlook remains unchanged. The incremental costs associated with these hiring plans will be offset by a reduction in its reliance on subcontracted labour.
In order to support the recruitment drive, BT is bolstering its Digital recruitment capacity, under the Director of HR for Digital, Mark Murphy. “We’re [changing] the way BT engages with talent as we add the type of people we want in the heart of this new business unit. New arrivals will be immediately contributing to the progressive, collaborative, transformative Digital Way at the heart of how it works,” said Murphy.
The plans for recruiting the diversity 400 include working with organisations that encourage those under-represented in the IT industry, whose input is needed in order to shape systems around the real way society is structured. Organisations that help to address this imbalance, by making careers in technology seem more attractive and accessible, include Code First Girls and 10,000 Black Interns. “Diversity is a key focus in our recruitment efforts as we need a broad set of temperaments, mindsets and abilities to drive through the cultural transformation that comes hand-in-hand with this talent drive,” said Chief Digital and Innovation Officer Harmeen Mehta. BT has also signed a £30m deal with Distributed, a company that will bring ‘agile elastic’ teams to work collaboratively with BT’s Digital team on projects.