Tag Archives: recruiting

In praise of recruiters

My current work situation is unusual.

I am doing engineering work, but often find myself at a desk sandwiched between two full-time recruiters.

I have many times been chased by recruiters to go work somewhere. And I have been the company using a recruiter to source engineers.

This is the first time I’ve gotten to see the world through the recruiter’s eyes.

Continue reading In praise of recruiters

Engineering in 2014: A Tale of Two Centuries

I have this fine morning read three articles that allowed me to travel about 50 years in time in the space of an hour.

(1) The first is yet another Fleet Street article, alleging that UK industry has insufficient engineers for its specialist sectors. That’s news? It only provides further evidence that over two decades, government and industry in the UK (and I surmise, much of the western world) have failed (or refused) to solve a solvable problem.

The article suggests that if you’re a well qualified engineer, you’re sitting pretty. The world is your oyster, you can name your price and laugh at the days ahead.

What’s weird is that a quick perusal of readers’ comments on the article will tell you that engineers today feel like doing anything but laughing.
Continue reading Engineering in 2014: A Tale of Two Centuries

Good human connections trump technology every time

An intriguing blog post has me reflecting on the value of social media, and LinkedIn specifically.

Amongst my industry peers, as well as amongst my age group, I was a very early adopter of LinkedIn. When I started playing with it, I remember thinking:

If this thing takes off, it will be the end of the recruitment industry.

My thinking was that LinkedIn would make it easy for the talented and the talent seekers to connect directly, thereby making the recruiter unnecessary. Cut out the middle man. Makes sense, right?

Eight years along, and nothing of the kind has happened. Recruiters have taken to LinkedIn like ducks to water. Most employers, the people actually needing the talent, have stayed on the sidelines. If anything, roughly two-thirds of the unsolicited connection invitations I receive on LinkedIn are from recruiters, seeking to expand their pool of possible candidates.

Just goes to show, you can’t predict human behaviour.

In hindsight, it does makes sense.

Most employers of any size above 25 have developed procedures to govern their human interactions, thereby turning them into machines. Social machines, to be sure, but machines nevertheless.

Machines that lose parts by wear, failure or attrition, want those parts replaced by more parts, identical if possible.

The fact that the part comes wrapped in a human being is, well, coincidental.

The machine’s control system would rather throw money at the problem (read: hire a recruiter to source the necessary people, sorry, parts).

The programme manager who’s short 15 engineers wants engineers in here now. I don’t care if they’re male, female, green, blue, black, what they look like, what their names are. They just have to be reasonably likeable, have skills x, y and z, and fit into our salary structure. Hurry up, go get ’em.

Time spent networking and building human relationships is, well, time wasted. (Or just plain scary.) Much easier to throw money at the problem, and get someone to do our networking for us. (I’m not sure it is, actually, but I can’t prove it.)

This rant is not to be critical of recruiters whatsoever. They deliver a service that their customers don’t want to do themselves.

What IS now clear is that it’s foolish to think that social media, or any other technology, can dig us out of a hole that only the patient building of valuable human relationships can solve.

The ones who invest that time and energy are the ones who win.

How to bore an engineer

Give her a task that could easily be done by a piece of software.

Then tell her to do it again. And again. (No software.)

And tell her it has to be this way because this is the way it was for you.

The problem now, of course, is you don’t just have a bored engineer.

You have a bored engineer who’s looking for the exit. And a possible new recruiting problem.

Yeah, I know, you didn’t leave. But youngsters today have more options (and more gumption) than your generation.

The solution to a recruiting (or employee engagement) problem is simple: Eliminate boredom.


Kickstart Your Aerospace Career – How am I Going to Get an Aerospace Job? 5 Tips – continued

(This post follows on from Post 8 – How an I Going to Get an Aerospace Job? 5 Tips)


Don’t forget that if the recruiter does his/her work well, you stand to benefit. Possibly for a lifetime. You get an interview with the hiring company. The company likes you. You get a second interview. They still like you.

Then you get a job.


Everybody’s happy. (For now, at least.)

Continue reading Kickstart Your Aerospace Career – How am I Going to Get an Aerospace Job? 5 Tips – continued

Kickstart Your Aerospace Career – How am I Going to Get an Aerospace Job? 5 Tips

How am I going to get an aerospace job?

I hear you.

As I type this, I’ve taken several months off, to focus on several entrepreneurial initiatives (including writing this series of posts). That’s several months without any cash coming in. I’ve now got to line up some paying work, to keep my family fed and clothed.

It’s not easy. I hope you’ve taken onboard what I said earlier about self-confidence being your most important skill. Nowhere does it matter more than here. I’ve been out of work several times in my career, sometimes by choice, sometimes not.

View the search for work as an opportunity to invest in yourself. (Which is the most important investment you can ever make, says Warren Buffett.)

Here are a few tips that will make a big difference:

Continue reading Kickstart Your Aerospace Career – How am I Going to Get an Aerospace Job? 5 Tips

Take advantage of two recent recruiting trends

If you’re hunting for your next job or contract, here are two new developments to keep your eye on:

1. Job listing apps for mobile phones and tablets.

Engineer-Jobs in the US have their own iPhone/iPad app, providing listings of their open positions. For the UK market, Morson Group have just recently launched their own version. You can filter the listings for location and industry, and save the searches.

One irritating thing about the Morson app is that if you run a saved search yielding zero results, the app abruptly throws you out;  you have to re-enter and go through the whole process again. Nuisance. It also won’t rotate as you tilt the iPad around.

However, these irritants are minor. Top marks to these firms for making it easier to get relevant job search information to the people that can help them seal the deal.  Far too many job listing sites are mobile-unfriendly, and build the site for their own convenience, not the convenience of the job-seeker.

Continue reading Take advantage of two recent recruiting trends