Tech firm to create 160 jobs with average salary of £32,000

Tech firm

Texas based firm opening new office in Belfast and will also help train non-IT graduates

A Texas-based tech firm is to create more than 160 jobs in Northern Ireland – with an average salary of over £32,000.

Bazaarvoice analysis online consumer opinions, posts, reviews and other data and feeds the information back to retailers so they better understand consumer habits.

The firm, based in Austin, is making a multimillion pound investment in a new office in Belfast and will be recruiting the new staff over the next three years.

Announcing the investment, Alastair Hamilton, Invest Northern Ireland CEO said the company works with major high-street brands and retailers to “provide them with precious insights on consumer purchasing habits through collecting and analysing consumer-generated content (CGC), like ratings and reviews”.

He added: “The new office will house 168 software engineering, sales and customer service staff to help service and grow the company’s UK and European business. Once fully operational this will generate nearly £5.5m annually, in salaries, into the NI Economy.”

Bazaarvoice services over 5,000 customer websites across the UK, Europe and the US, including household names like Argos, Debenhams, ghd, and Philips.

The firm says its customer review software allows retailers and brands to collect and use consumer reviews, including product ratings, social media posts, photos and video, to influence purchasing decisions, both online and offline.

Alastair added: “The majority of the roles will be technical: software engineering, support and quality assurance; plus some sales roles. As well as offering good salaries for experienced staff, the company is also setting up an Assured Skills training programme funded by the Department for the Economy that will help unemployed and under-employed non-IT graduates enter the ICT workforce.

“We fought off stiff competition to secure this project for Northern Ireland. Not only is this great for our ICT sector but will provide excellent employment opportunities for unemployed, graduates and experienced staff.”

He said the company has been “offered £1.3million of government support towards the new jobs and skills development”.

Gary Allison, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Bazaarvoice, said the new office “will enable us to expand the delivery of cutting edge software development, provide cost effective ‘follow-the-sun’ support to our US and EMEA customers and to drive customer growth in the UK and Europe”.

He added: “Our software ensures customer reviews and visual content are valid before they are shared on a retailer’s website, as well as providing valuable information to the retailer on consumer behaviour. We might not be visible to the consumer but we are central to the retail experience, helping brands and retailers use consumer views to build engagement and trust.

“Northern Ireland was able to offer high quality technical staff with relevant industry skills, as well as a stable ICT sector, to support our growth plans. We were also impressed by the low staff turnover rates here.

“We have already begun our recruitment for experienced software professionals, and have been very impressed with the quality of the people. We spent time with Queen’s and Ulster universities, learning how to get the best from their internship and graduate recruitment programmes. I am pleased that we are now able to create significant opportunities for graduates to work in software engineering, client services and sales roles.”

Mr Allison said the firm is working closely with the Department for the Economy and will be launching an Assured Skills training programme to support non-IT graduates to “get the relevant ICT knowledge needed to work for us”.

Invest NI said the average salary for the roles in Belfast will be £32,435.

Article by Maurice Fitzmaurice from BelfastLive