Building a cost-effective alternative for employers to hire IT contractors
START-UP NATION: Roleconnect:Life on both sides of the IT business taught Kieran Logan that there had to be a better way to source contractors than through agencies
A DESIRE to eliminate the middleman led software engineer Kieran Logan to set up Roleconnect, a site which links IT contractors directly with employers.
Logan, who has worked on both sides of the IT business, as a contractor and an employer, came up with the idea following frustrations he had experienced in his own working life.
“I worked for 10 years as a contractor. The whole time recruitment agencies were telling me it was a very competitive environment and I was going to have to reduce my rates. Then I got a job as the chief technical officer for a company, a role where I had to hire a lot of contractors. Recruitment agencies were then telling me I was going to have to offer more money to get contractors as the marketplace was so competitive. It didn’t take me long to figure out where the money was going.
“At the time, the only way for contractors to get work was through recruitment agencies and I thought there must be a better way. I left my job at the start of 2010 and set about researching a cost-effective alternative for employers wishing to hire IT contractors.”
Logan applied for a place on the year-long Genesis programme (now known as New Frontiers) and got into the Rubicon centre, the business incubation centre located on the Cork Institute of Technology campus. Through the Genesis programme he received training, mentoring and marketing advice and developed his business plan and idea.
“I quickly discovered the contracting area was rapidly expanding. The number of contracting positions increased 20 per cent between 2009 and 2011. The recession meant more companies were becoming project orientated and looking to hire people for six- to nine-month periods.”
Having decided to create a site connecting employers directly with contractors, Logan recruited marketing specialist Catherine Wall to join the company.
“She was an experienced marketing professional and had a lot of contacts in the IT sector in Cork, Dublin, Belfast and the UK. I asked her to come on board and she now manages the community side of the business.”
The company had its official unveiling in April of this year and has since attracted close to 10,000 contractors from 14 different countries including the UK, Australia, the US and Switzerland. Contractors create a detailed profile on the roleconnect.comwebsite highlighting their skills, industry experience and education. The employer puts in the criteria for a position and can see who’s available and what their skills and experience are.