Case Study

Embedding new tech talent within QBE

QBE is an insurance company based in Sydney, with offices spanning 27 countries. We placed Software and Cloud Engineers into their Global Infrastructure Services team, creating more full-time employees from the ground up that are aligned with their tech stack and social impact/ diversity goals. Our _nologists have now been taken on in permanent roles, a testament to the value they added during their placements. They have also completed their Azure certification, and impressive feat made possible by their hard work and ongoing support from QBE and our _nology team. 

LizAnn Jensen

Infrastructure Engineering Manager, QBE

“I should let you know how impressed we are with our consultants thus far. They have had a lot to absorb, and they’ve been doing great taking it all in, asking questions and engaging in what we are taking about… I’m really pleased to have them as part of the team, and I look forward to watching them grow and develop.”

The Challenge

We partnered with QBE to enable them to reach their huge global growth plans in 2021 and beyond. They wanted to expand further in the Cloud and DevOps space, particularly with more junior roles. One of QBE’s main focuses as a business was improving the level of diversity within the company, in more ways than one. There was no existing tech grad scheme in place, so we sourced a diverse range of applicants for them, from a range of backgrounds, careers, and disciplines.

The first stage of our partnership with QBE was sourcing talent in the UK – this is set to develop further, with plans to use our _nology Sydney hub to train on a more global level as QBE continues to expand. The initial challenge was to train and embed these Developers within the existing tech team in a short space of time. 

Outcomes and benefits

With time to hire and diversity being key challenges for QBE, our consultancy model at _nology was the perfect fit. Our approach allows us to deploy almost immediately, with a pool of job-ready tech talent across the globe. 

We quickly placed Junior Software and Cloud Engineers into QBE’s Application Development team, and into the tech area of QBE Reinsurance, where they will continue to be upskilled internally, as well as through ongoing support from _nology coaches, across Cloud and DevOps. 

Our QBE _nologists skill sets cover full-stack development, including React, Typescript, and C#. The Cloud side of our curriculum provided training across Kubernetes, Terraform, and Docker.

Through our partnership with The Prince’s Trust, we’ve connected with high-potential individuals who’ve embarked on our training course. We’ve placed some of our Prince’s Trust cohort into QBE’s GIS team, with amazing results across the board.

In order to provide a sustainable solution for QBE, we’ve created an ongoing Cloud and DevOps pipeline. This essentially involves bringing job-ready _nology consultants into a team that suits their skill sets and transitioning them into Cloud and DevOps as they progress and develop further. Ultimately, this creates an ongoing flow of permanent hires within their Application Development team and beyond, saving QBE time and resources on recruitment fees and additional training programmes.

We’ve placed into the European Operations area at QBE, as well as added diverse, quality talent into customer-facing vacancies, like Tooling Analysts, Power BI, Power Automate, and JIRA roles.

Mark Atkinson

Senior DevOps Engineer, QBE

“The junior consultants have only just begun and you can see that soon people in the business will be saying ‘Wow – these juniors are really starting to add value to the business’ – no doubt about it!”


Projected cost savings

Our model shortcuts any spend on recruitment fees, and also provides long-term savings related to employee retention, time to hire (eg marketing fees, advertising for job vacancies etc), as well as additional training and salaries. As such, the long-term savings equate to around £50k per year, per consultant. Similarly, for short-term savings on contractors, this model allowed QBE to save around £500 per day, per consultant.

Number of placements and time to hire

We’ve placed Junior Software and Cloud Engineers with QBE UK, with plans to expand globally – our _nology Sydney hub has continued this partnership on a wider scale. We’ve placed senior talent into QBE’s GIS team in North America, too. 

Due to the way our consultancy model works, we have a large pool of tech talent which we’re continuously adding to. This allows us to choose individuals with the necessary tech stack, as well as the skills and traits that would allow for seamless onboarding and a strong cultural fit. It also enables us to keep our time to hire extremely low, with placements so far taking under 2 weeks from the beginning of the process to onboarding and start dates.  

A focus on diversity

As per QBE’s wishes, we created a diverse talent pool to source from, all of whom we felt would also have the necessary existing skill sets to thrive in a tech environment and would be a great cultural fit for the business. So far, 60% of our placements are women, and 40% are from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Potentially most notably, one was a career-changer with a 15-year background in Oil and Gas who wanted to retrain and enhance her existing skills to pursue a career in technology. 

Jackie Low

Consultant at QBE 

I had a crazy idea that I wanted to change career into a completely new field, and the team at _nology made a daunting prospect into something fun, challenging, and rewarding. The focus is not just on tech skills, but on helping you to ace the interview. Now, my career change is a reality and I’m 3 weeks into a role where I’m already doing meaningful work with a team who are really excited to work with _nology grads.

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