Hiring people for technology jobs is more important than ever — and it is getting harder.
In response, companies are looking for talent from humanities and non-tech courses.

TA Leaders are asking.. 

Does this role really require a four-year tech degree, or can we take someone with a different educational base and then teach them the skills on the job?

Take a look of this example in action... 

Of course, when Network Rail invited art students from across country to design postcard showing a place in Britain they were looking forward to seeing again (once travel opened up), they were speaking to the nation - their customers - and connecting with sentiment and longing to see special places that we have all missed. 

At the same time, this initiative is a very clever way to get the Network Rail employer brand into the hearts and minds of Arts Students up and down the UK. 

Why is this a good idea? 

Over the last decade, tech companies have realised that arts and liberal, creative thinking makes them stronger.  

As this Forbes article summarises: "Engineers may still command the biggest salaries, but at disruptive juggernauts such as Facebook and Uber, the war for talent has moved to nontechnical jobs, particularly sales and marketing. The more that audacious coders dream of changing the world, the more they need to fill their companies with social alchemists who can connect with customers--and make progress seem pleasant."

All in all 270 students created submissions for the Network Rail competition that saw their work exhbited to thousands of eyes up and down the nation. The pictures are beautiful. From St Michael’s Mount (Cornwall), or Lyme Regis (Dorset), to Llandudno Promenade (Wales), via Glenfinnan Viaduct (Scotland) and Bridlington (Yorkshire) - you can buy postcards here

This works as a recruitment marketing tool on so many levels! 

1) It differentiates Network Rail from other STEM graduate employers - I rarely see STEM companies with art projects in their marketing. 

2) It puts their brand in front of increasingly in demand Arts Students. 

3) It sits so well within their brand voice which cares about their staff (hear Eve talk about happiness and #pride) and the public (practically every other post addresses idiots and level crossings #crosswithcare)

4) The winners receive £2,500 for the rights to their images with all the pride and accolade of being chosen. 

I dearly hope that there has been a talent pool set up to stay in touch with these students and engage them in Network Rail careers. Perhaps there'll be a new artistic employee starting at Network Rail when the next intake starts in Sept 2022.....