“We know nationally there are 1.2 million technology roles to fill between now and 2030, so we’ve got a significant challenge on our hands,” explained Vicky Gale, Head of Service Delivery Workforce Management at Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand. “To grow the business and take on new contracts, we need a well-forecasted supply of tech talent coming into the business.”
The traditional model of recruiting based on CVs and existing skills wasn’t bringing in enough people. And speed was another complicating factor.
“Because we’re dealing with defence, there are often long wait times to get clearance, so when we do manage to find someone with the skills we need, recruiting times can be drawn out,” she said.
When Vicky came across WithYouWithMe (WYWM), an organisation that helps fill in-demand tech roles by identifying and upskilling talent in overlooked sections of society, she was excited by the opportunity it presented.
As a leading social impact organisation, WYWM draws from a diverse talent pool including neurodivergent individuals, veterans and their families, refugees and Indigenous people.
Partnering with WYWM would not only allow Fujitsu to get the talent they need but also help them push for a more sustainable and equitable recruitment model.
“We know we need a more sustainable way of sourcing technology talent. And we need diversity of people across our organisation that reflects the customers and society we serve,” Vicky pointed out. “As one of the biggest IT companies around, I think we’ve got a responsibility at Fujitsu to lead the charge on that.”
Fujitsu decided to use WYWM's talent creation solution – called Discover Potential – to bring 50 new permanent hires into their National Deskside Support unit, a group of analysts and project teams who support Fujitsu’s defence clients. Candidates were sourced using WYWM’s Potential tool, an AI-powered platform that uses scientifically-based psychometric testing to identify candidates with the aptitude to thrive in tech-based roles.
And although hiring for aptitude over experience was new for the business, Fujitsu immediately saw the benefits and embraced this approach.
“The quality of candidates that have been coming through is really high,” Vicky said. “They’re all hitting the base level we’ve asked for, with many exceeding our expectations”.
Fujitsu has onboarded 12 new hires through the WYWM program so far, including four veterans, five women, and three people who were a great culture fit for the organisation.
“The team has been really impressed with the success of the program so far. We thought, ‘if that's the level of candidate we’re getting from just 12 new hires, that’s pretty outstanding’," Vicky said.
“WithYouWithMe has helped us hire tech talent faster. It means the business can move swiftly and take new opportunities because we have the talent to support it.”Vicky Gale
Head of Service Delivery Workforce Management, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand
Although there have been a few stumbling blocks along the way, including drawn-out timelines and forecasting issues, Vicky says the WYWM team has been nothing but understanding and supportive.
“What’s impressed me most about WYWM is their patience,” she revealed. “As a business, we were slow to get started and we’ve had some teething problems, but with the help of WYWM we’re working things out.”
Vicky says the WYWM team brings a sense of lightness and a positive “glow” to their work.
“The team is upbeat, positive and fun. I can go from a heavy meeting at work and walk into a WYWM meeting and feel energised and excited about the opportunity they’re presenting us with. They have a very real passion for what they do and it clearly comes across when we work with them.”
Vicky was also impressed with the effort they make to ensure candidates are thriving. She recalls worrying about whether the organisation was set up to support neurodivergent talent, and WYWM being proactive in offering training and advice to guide them through the process.
“The added value they give is incredible,” she said. “There’s a whole bunch of extra support they offer that’s not necessarily billed, and that comes from a genuine interest in partnering with us to help us succeed.”
The twelve initial WYWM hires are now an integral part of the business, with some progressing in their careers already. “We’ve already had one person move up to a higher technology role and we’ve got another one who’s now in a team lead role,” Vicky said.
Word of the success of the WYWM program is spreading through the business, and Vicky says lots of people have approached her to ask how she’s finding these great candidates.
“Most people think you need to have an IT background to come into technology roles. These are teachable skills and we’re changing our mindset and culture around that at Fujitsu.”
And with the skills shortage unlikely to be resolved soon, this is a welcome change.
“The reality is it’s only going to get harder to recruit technology talent. We’re going to need to find more sustainable pathways to getting the skills we need and WYWM is one of the ways we’re going to do that,” Vicky finished.
To find out how your organisation can create a similar pipeline of diverse tech talent, explore Discover Potential