Ethics in AI
July 11th, 2019
When I incorporated KDR 15 years ago this month I had a simple mission. I wanted to run the market leading agency in its field placing contract staff with experience of working with the emerging data warehouse tool Kalido. I still have the original business plan that stated that I wanted to be a one-person business, I wanted to recruit ethically at all times, and I wanted to be able to work anywhere through the use of technology. What I didn’t know at the time was quite how easy it would be to become the leader in that market. This isn’t meant as a boast but it’s simply because the Kalido market at the time was so small! However, market leader we did become, as far as I can tell, because at one point or another in my first few years in business we must have placed over 80% of the true Kalido experts in the UK.
If 15 years seems like a long time ago in my life, it certainly seems like a very long time in the recruitment industry. Like pretty much every industry, the recruitment industry has gone through, and it still going through, a period of seismic change. I remember being told about 20 years ago that the internet would kill the recruitment industry. Then it was job boards, then LinkedIn and now AI. But the recruitment industry has gone from strength to strength; the UK recruitment market was worth £32.2 billion in 2017 and the US market $428 billion and so has KDR. We may no longer be market leaders; heck, we recruit across the whole data industry now rather than ‘just’ data warehousing, so to be leader in this market would have meant I’d be running an enormous business with probably hundreds of staff; and that was never in the plan!
That doesn’t mean however that we haven’t grown and developed as a business. We now employ 20 people supplying contractors and permanent staff to the data, technology and analytics markets. Within the data market we still supply people with data warehousing skills as well as business intelligence, data governance and master data management. In addition to that we now place a number of data engineers and people with data application development, DevOps and data ops skills, which is where things have started to get more technical. And of course, we now place large numbers of data scientists with predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning skills.
Our geographical reach has expanded considerably too. In Europe we now have clients not only in the UK but in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain as well. In the USA we have clients in New York, Chicago, Denver and Tampa and are firming up our plans to open an office in one of those cities in mid-2019. Watch this space!
Underpinning this growth has been our use of leading-edge technology in a number of areas in our business. We have an exclusively cloud based IT infrastructure with everything from our emails and phones, to databases, CRM and accounts systems all being somewhere in the cloudy skies above Cheshire. In fact, we are going through two major projects currently with a new ATS system and new website due to be launched in early 2019. We’re also looking to double our UK office space near Manchester next year, having done the same thing three years ago!
The over-riding factor to our growth and success has been the help I have had along the way and continue to still do. The people who have helped are too many to name, but we have had some great supporters and mentors, some paid, and some who have just offered advice along the way. From the current KDR team, some past employees who have gone onto develop their careers elsewhere, to clients, candidates and colleagues in both the data and recruitment industries. A heartfelt thanks to you all. If you are reading this, hopefully you know who you are!
I am very proud of the fact that the team at KDR have some client relationships going back 15 years. Who knows if we will still be working with these people in 15 years’ time, it would be nice to think so. I can be confident though that we will continue to recruit people into leading edge data and technology markets with the highest standards of ethics and integrity.
How do you think the recruitment and technology industries have changed in 15 years?