I’ve been recruiting for the IoT market for almost four years now, and I make it a priority to keep my market knowledge as up to date as possible. Yes, I have my ‘google alerts’ set-up, and I regularly read various articles on new partnerships, acquisitions, investments being made etc., however, I find that my most valuable insights come from general conversations with people working in the industry, who give me an idea of what’s happening across various environments. In return, I can share with them the insider knowledge I gain around hiring trends, which are not widely understood in this still emerging market, and advice for their future career path.

I occasionally get put on the spot to ‘prove my salt’ as it were on my expert knowledge, typically when speaking with current and potential clients who are keen to understand that I know I am talking about. My most recent example of this was probably my greatest test to date when yesterday I found myself at an IoT Salon hosted by Digital Leaders at the SapientRazorfish London office. I had turned up to the event expecting it to be the usual affair of listening to a few speakers present, followed by networking and drinks, similar to the Women in Tech event that Salt hosted in the same venue a few months ago. Instead, I was confronted with a ‘round table’ situation, where a fairly intimate group of around 30 people gathered to have a general discussion about what was happening in IoT, with an emphasis on Smart Cities.

Panic thus ensued as I wondered whether I would be able to contribute relevant insights into the progress of IoT and how it was affecting our lives. I was sat with some real leaders in the industry, as was evident when we were asked to go around the table and introduce ourselves. I promptly said, ‘Lauren Chamberlain, IoT Principal Consultant at Salt’ consequently omitting some of the details of my profession, for fear that I would be burned at stake for daring to bring my recruitment face into such an event.

What followed was a highly insightful conversation over a 90-minute period, followed by ‘networking drinks’, where I was able to broaden my perspective on various issues due to the great mix of people in attendance. Whilst listening to people speak I knew that I would be able to add real value into the topics being raised, both with ideas I had heard at other events (a washing machine paid for using the consumer's data, anyone?) and from the regular conversations I have with global IoT professionals. Twice I gave the eye-contact and slight nod required to the moderator to take my turn in speaking, and although I felt somewhat nervous, afterwards I could see that people had appreciated my insights and were coming back to the points I had raised when making their own. I had even admitted by the second time speaking that I was ‘supporting global business in their hiring of senior IoT professionals’ in order to give context to a point I was making, and there were no scandalised looks, or pitch-forks coming out, for which I felt comforted.

Overall it was a great experience and a reminder that I should never forget the importance of keeping on top of my market, no matter how much I think I know. The Internet of Things is constantly evolving, something I personally find very exciting, and I look forward to seeing it shape our futures in the years to come.