A Life in Tech

Hiring Hub's CTO Anna Dick shares her approach, career, and thoughts about being one of the few female tech leaders in the UK.

After working for companies like Moneysupermarket, On The Beach, and the BBC Anna Dick joined Hiring Hub as its CTO in 2017 and has since started to build her team as we develop our platform, products and services. We caught up with Anna to learn more about her approach, career, and thoughts about being one of the few female tech leaders in the UK.

What made you get into tech?

I fell into it by accident really. Funnily enough, my first job out of university was actually for a recruitment consultancy, as a trainee IT Recruiter. Unfortunately that didn’t last long, as the company went into administration and I was made redundant. But luckily enough a marketing agency based in Edinburgh, where I was working at the time, were looking for a tech graduate and I’ve been working in tech ever since.

What is it that you love about your job?

I’ve always loved working in technology and right now it’s really the variety that I love. Everything from tech support, through to working on product development strategies. I also really like building teams and working with lots of different people.

Are there any aspects that you dislike?

I’d have to say no. I guess with any job, you have days where its more challenging than others, but no – I love my job.

You’ve worked at Moneysupermarket, the BBC, On The Beach, Co-op, what’s been your most enjoyable project/team?

I wouldn’t want to specifically say one because they’ve all been quite different. When I was working at On the Beach, it was very similar to Hiring Hub, working with and growing a small team, which was fantastic; watching the business really grow and develop. Whereas working for the BBC and the Co-op, I learned a lot about working with really big teams and corporations.

What’s it like being a female tech leader?

I guess I don’t see myself as being any different. I think it’s great to have diversity in any organisation, and at any level. I also think that it’s fantastic that we’re getting more females into tech. It’s a real testament to the great work that’s being done in schools and on STEM subjects, and career development in terms of a growing girls’ understanding that there’s different career options for them, and of course some of those are in technology as well. So, I think, from my perspective it’s great to see this shift.

Have you ever felt discriminated against on grounds of gender?

No, never. I’ve been really lucky with the teams I’ve worked with, I’ve never faced that. Obviously, I’ve been the minority, especially in the early days of my career and I would always encourage further diversity in teams, not just on the grounds of gender. I think generally what makes up a good team is having that variety.

How can we get more women into tech?

I think the focus needs to be placed on schools. I think it’s all about helping girls understand that there are a variety of career options as they grow up, whether that’s looking at STEM subjects and more opportunity around maths and sciences and generally just speaking in schools more often about the career options out there.

Do you feel a responsibility to be a voice for women in tech?

I’m not sure I feel a responsibility. I do think it’s great to show others that women can be leaders in any subject area.

So, what brought you to Hiring Hub?

I’d been talking to Hiring Hub for over a year before I started, and I was really interested in the ethos around making people feel good about recruitment. I love the excitement and drive that every member of the HH team has. From a personal perspective, it was the opportunity to bring a technical team in-house and really grow that, alongside the platform, and consequently the business too.

When you’re trying to solve a big problem, where do you start? How do you prioritise what you build?

So, really where it all starts for me is around the people we hire. It’s all about recruitment, focusing on getting the right people in our team. Not just with the right skills but also the right kind of cultural fit for our team because we’re small. Then I’ll take a look at what we’re going to build first, to give the team a starting point. Following that, it’s really looking at the customer and what we can do to add the most value to the customer and the business as well.

You’re Hiring Hub’s first CTO. How do you approach that in terms of hiring a team, putting in some structure, building a culture, etc?

So it’s definitely very important to recruit the right people and not to just simply to go by skills set, but to also consider if they fit with company culture. We’ve had individuals in for a number of interviews, asking them at the final stages to spend time with the team to make sure that they’re a good fit.