Whitney

'I embraced the industry': PwC's Whitney Ragan talks tech recruitment.

PwC UK’s technology recruitment leader on how she got into tech, and what she gets out of her job.

Can you describe a normal day at PwC?

In recruitment, no day is normal. As the technology recruitment leader, my role involves everything from building on our technology recruitment strategy, and working with our business stakeholder so our strategy is in line with their vision, to attending tech events and conferences.

What made you want to work in technology?

I fell into it by chance. My degree was in human resources, and I knew I wanted to be in recruitment. Once I graduated, I secured a job as a recruiting coordinator in the tech space. I soon realised that technology was the future, so I embraced the industry and have never looked back!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love that technology is constantly changing. In my role, this allows me to always be creative and innovative around the ways that we recruit top talent.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Staying ahead of the constant changes in the industry, to ensure that PwC is at the forefront in our recruitment strategy, to recruit and retain the top tech talent.

Do you think the perception amongst students of PwC being an accountancy firm is changing?

Yes! We recognised students were associating PwC as an accounting firm, so over the past year we got creative to show students that we offer so much more. This included installing a “tech pod” on six of our key university campuses. Students were able to experience various technical activities including an email hacking game, cyber attack map and virtual reality videos, all which showcased what PwC has to offer in the tech space. This campaign increased tech applications by 128%.

What do you think are the most important skills candidates need to have a career in technology?

At PwC, you don’t have to have a technical background to join our technology practice. We look more for individuals that have a passion for technology, analytical and problem solving skills, as well as strong communication skills. From there, we’ll provide you with the training needed to be successful in technology at PwC.

What have you achieved that you are most proud of?

I originally worked for PwC in the US, but the UK office recognised my background and experience in technology, and asked me to come to the UK to lead on our tech recruitment. I was incredibly proud that I was recognised for my expertise in the tech recruitment space.

Have you got involved in any technology initiatives at PwC?

We have a great Women in Tech group here. Women from all backgrounds and levels in our technology practice meet on a regular basis to talk about the priorities of technology for women at PwC, as well as in the industry as a whole. You can learn more about it by visiting our website.

What’s surprised you most about your role?

The variety and breadth of tech opportunities here. Being typically known as an accounting firm, I had no idea of the opportunities we could offer individuals in this space.

What’s the biggest misconception about working in technology?

That it is boring. Our tech practice at PwC is anything but. Working with high profile clients ensures that every day brings a new and exciting challenge for our staff.

What advice would you give women trying to pursue a career in technology?

Take a seat at the table! There are so many opportunities in the tech space and plenty of them should be filled with women.