Finding Niche Talent

Graphcore are fast growing. But as demand increased, their software team fell behind.

The client:

Graphcore is a Bristol-based semiconductor company. They develop processors at the cutting edge of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) innovation.

Since 2016, the company has attracted millions in strategic investment and is now valued at over $2.77bn. But as demand increased, their software team fell behind. We helped them get an experienced and dedicated team of engineers working on-site in less than six weeks – “delivering quality from the get-go”.

The challenge:

Graphcore is fast growing. They’re challengers to manufacturing giants like Google, Intel and Tesla. But the team lacked an automated test system that could account for the highly random variability presented by Machine Learning Model.

Niche demands – combined with a shortage of suitably experienced Software Engineers in Test – lead Graphcore to seek specialist support from Broadlight. They needed a partner who could quickly identify, screen and introduce engineers capable of delivering a successful solution.

'Given the urgency and complexity of our demands, we were concerned if It was possible to find such talent via a partner or for a non-permanent engineer to quickly complement our team. Due to the specialised nature of our technology stack, this proved to be a challenge In the past.'

Shane Kalpage - Director of Software Operations - Graphcore

The solution:

1. Understanding niche requirements

Broadlight engaged with senior engineers across Graphcore’s DevOps, testing and software operations teams. To minimise the involvement of Graphcore's busy team, we introduced specialist technologists to help qualify the practical realities of the technical skills demands. This gave a closer understanding of Graphcore's engineering context and the skills that would provide the speed and support needed.

2. Our high-quality screening processes

Using a suitability assessment, Broadlight were able to consistently screen each potential engineer. This pre-assessment, designed in collaboration with Graphcore, allowed us to benchmark experience across several key areas, including technical and behavioural skills. Our UK team then sought out and filtered through hundreds of potential matches to find the most suitable engineers. 

3. Providing profile packs and introductions

Based on the pre-agreed submission criteria, we provided the team at Graphcore with detailed packs for each engineer. This included their technical test results, interview answers and a career profile outlining their experience.

The results:

1. A fast, no-fuss service

Broadlight had an experienced and dedicated team of engineers working on-site in less than six weeks – “delivering quality from the get-go”. 

2. Exceeding client expectations

The strategic support provided allowed Graphcore to bring product release cycles back on track faster than expected.

3. Sustainable solutions

Our team of engineering Associates automated complex tasks and processes and contributed significant improvements to the efficiency, maintainability, and scalability of pipelines. These tools and systems also became a core feature of each subsequent release, enabling faster, more robust delivery.

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