The Olympics Challenge

23rd May 2012


The Olympics Challenge


IT recruitment specialists Syntax Consultancy are gearing up for their own Olympics challenge – resourcing for companies and organisations in London and the surrounding area whose operations will be disrupted during the London 2012 period.

Syntax opened an office in London last year in addition to its long-established Derby-based operation to specifically resource for their growing number of Blue Chip clients in London and throughout Europe, and Asia. These clients require contract and permanent staff to develop cutting-edge IT Infrastructures, creative design and technology applications in addition to building effective website user experiences across the digital media, financial services and telecommunications industry sectors.

The company has, over the past year, seen increased demand from clients requiring specialist staff to upgrade their IT infrastructure in readiness for the flexible working patterns demanded by the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic games in the capital.

And, according to Syntax’s Director, Jeremy Gibson, the demand for contract staff is set to rise even further as the build up to London 2012 gathers place and then during the Games themselves as companies prepare for and feel the impact of the disruption caused by major influx of people into London and the surrounding area.

Jeremy explained: “Our London-based clients have already put in place a wide range of policies and procedures to ensure that their operations do not grind to a halt in August and early September with plans in place for more staff working from home, changing their working hours and conducting business electronically rather than face to face.

“When we first started putting our own plans in place, we quickly recognised that, rather than following suit, we would need to be stepping up our operations in the capital to resource our existing and new clients in the area and put the specialist contract staff in place for them to remain competitive.

“Two particular issues facing companies in London and the South East will undoubtedly be the desire by staff to either work remotely or indeed to take blocks of holidays during the Games to avoid the inevitable congestion on the roads and on public transport into and across London during this time.

“We have therefore already experienced an increase in enquiries from companies requiring contract staff in the short term to ensure that their IT infrastructure is fit for purpose to cope with the increased demand for remote working and then requirements for contract staff on site to replace the staff on holiday.

“Our own Olympics challenge is therefore to resource contract staff to enable them to step into the breach and work around the increased congestion and to work closely with clients to manage expectations and requirements.

“And, of course, the business of hiring new staff does not stop just because the Olympics has come to town and we will be working with clients to ensure that the recruitment process runs smoothly – particularly in terms of interviewing candidates for key positions – and discuss the alternatives that are available to them as part of their overall disaster recovery plan.”

Jeremy continued that the increased flexibility in working that the Olympics will bring to a head may, in fact, mark a sea-change in working practices initially in the South East and then throughout the UK.

“It will be interesting to see whether it will be a complete return to business as usual after London 2012 or whether employers will recognise the pay back to them of trusting their staff to work flexibly and the advantages for all in remote working and the increased use of communications technology such as Skype for meetings.

“As recruitment specialists, we will be closely watching the situation and changes in attitude with interest as this will have a knock on effect both to how we do business with our clients and the flexibility needed from contract and permanent staff that we are recruiting for them in the future.”