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People Behind the Brand: Cameron Irwin

Jan 12, 2022

In todays edition of People Behind the Brand, where you get to know the Orbis team, we sit down with Managing Consultant, SRE & DevOps specialist, Cameron Irwin. Cameron takes us through how he knew recruitment was for him, evolving into a managerial role, and the importance of industry events.

People Behind the Brand: Cameron Irwin

Tell us about your journey to recruitment…


So I actually got into recruitment because a good friend of mine from uni went into tech recruitment a year prior to me and told me I “had” to get into it, saying that it would be good for me because of my competitiveness!


What’s the best part of the job?


It’s hard to put it down to just one thing, I do love the competition, but I also love that there’s so many different elements to it that you can try to master and improve on. It’s a job that can be as complex as you want it to be. 

Last but not least I love how meritocratic a job it is, it’s very black and white what you achieve and makes progression really structured which is perfect for me.


What’s the biggest challenge?


I’ve recently gone into management so right now my biggest challenge is learning how to be the best manager I can be, it’s really put me into a steep learning curve again. 

This is also coinciding with one of the busiest periods recruitment has had, so is definitely proving challenging being able to balance all the various parts of my new job, still recruiting and also organising events!


If you had to pick one highlight from your time at Orbis it would be…


It’s hard to pick one but as a genuinely personal one to me it has to be getting a promotion to Manager. I’d worked really hard for it and it was such a relief when it happened. It really made all my efforts feel worth it. 

It also helped so much that I had a lot of support from the senior team at Orbis, I felt everyone had wanted me to do it and believed I was capable of doing it, in turn making me believe in myself.


You lead our SRE & DevOps events – Are these important to you?


SO IMPORTANT! I can’t stress enough to other recruiters how beneficial it is to organise industry events, for multiple reasons. 

At a very bare minimum it’s a chance for you to learn and get more actively involved in the tech side of your job. 

It helps massively in showing clients and candidates you’re not just another transactional recruiter looking to make money from them, you want to get engaged and actually give back to the tech community. People really appreciate and respect this and it can change the dynamic of relationships. 

And of course as a by-product it does then lead to new clients and candidates. Some of my best clients have come through the events and I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have been able to work with them via other means.


What’s the first piece of advice you’d offer to someone who’s brand new to the industry?


Don’t give up! 

Starting recruitment can be really hard, as much as it looks simple from the outside there’s so much to learn and a lot of the best recruiters I’ve met have struggled in their 1st year. I really think it’s worth dedicating a year to it before deciding whether it’s right for you to continue or not.


In another life… If you weren’t a recruiter, what would you be doing?


My answer to this changes on a daily basis! One thing I am passionate about are social issues particularly around inequality and migration. I feel like something ethical around migrant treatment in the UK is something which interests me, maybe being a researcher within that field, although I’m not sure I’d be good at it! 


Tell us what ‘ethical recruitment’ means to you…


First and foremost honesty, but further than this recruiters need to always remember that a job is a cornerstone of someone’s life and heavily impacts their life experience, this should be the foundation for every interaction we have, over and above our profits or doing “deals”. I think when you have this mindset then you naturally recruit ethically as a result.


You were a driving force within our internal D&I committee, and you’ve undergone unconscious bias training –

Have you noticed any change to diversity amongst the tech sector?


That’s a really hard one to answer as I would be lying if I’d said I’d looked at recent statistics on this. 

Personally I don’t feel I have seen a difference in diversity. 

I think currently female gender diversity is the main focus in lots of hiring plans but I still think it’s mostly seen through moving people from one company to another rather than actually changing the percentage of women entering the tech sector. 

One thing I do think an interesting by-product of Brexit is, with EU candidates now needing sponsorship I’m seeing lots more companies actually set up and be open to sponsoring candidates, which means more opportunity for people coming from other continents such as Asia, Africa and South America.


In your view, did the pandemic affect it for better or worse?


I’m not sure if it impacted diversity of employees through company redundancies. However, it should have a positive impact on diversity because of the transition to working from home. This might be the more inclusive environment we need to allow people from varying backgrounds to enter the industry.

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