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My First X:ED Event

8th Nov 2016 Shefali Sharma

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Having been in the recruitment industry for a year and a half now I established the fact that building a desk within any vertical (Digital / Technology) can turn out to be challenging in this market. All the more so within the UI/UX space. Having been trying to understand the market in the space for a couple of months now made me realize how niche the UI/UX space is in Singapore.

Recruitment 101 I was told, œIf you want to build a desk, networking is the key! And that's exactly what I did. For months I met up with professionals from agencies, start-ups, fin-techs, and consultancies and named them candidates (when you don'™t know whether your meeting will turn into a client/candidate meeting). The meetings were exceedingly insightful and gave me a good overview about the market. 

Facts established:
The UI/UX market in Singapore is still amateur and small compared to EU, AUS and USA        It's challenging to find good talent in the market: Clients/ recruiters are often having to source for candidates outside the market 

  • Clients/candidates don’t have a clear idea about the difference between UI & UX
  • Clients don’t have a clear idea on what’s really required for their team (e.g. do they need a UX researcher? UI designer? UX designer? Or all in one?)
  • Clients often are looking for ‘unicorns’ possessing all skills that don’t exist simply because they do not have budgets to hire specialists
  • Candidates on the other hand don’t understand the skills they require to get employed in this market

So, is it just a matter of managing expectations between clients hiring and candidates looking out? Well, it's a start!
After having established all these facts I thought it would be a great idea to organize an X:ED event. And who better to partner with other than General Assembly (GA)! This was Xpand Singapore's 1st X:ED in partnership with GA so we had Matt P from our Hong Kong office help us out (having had various events organized with GA in HK) and who also volunteered to act as the moderator for the event!

And that'™s when I came about UX:pectations  How to source, build and be part of a design team. 

The event was a huge success! We had UX experts from all kinds of industries selected as panel speakers for the event through our network (Kieran from Huge, Lucila from Thoughtworks, Maik from Citibank and Jon from Aviva). The event was held in the beautiful space of Aviva Digital Garage (thank you, Jon!) and we had a turn out of about 130+ people! The audience was a mixture of clients, candidates looking to switch career paths or just to gain more insight within the space. 

The event was in a Q&A session form and some of the questions revolved around their hiring process, type of skills candidates should possess, difference between UI & UX, the challenges faced in the market, team structure etc. and ended with a Q&A session with the audience. After which everyone stayed back to network over beer, wine & pizza with the UX gurus, Xpanders and the GA team!

Great turn out, excellent feedback from the audience & panel speakers and surely a significant accomplishment for a recruiter building a desk within a niche space.

To many more X:ED events!