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Steve Gray, Technical and Engineering Recruitment Partner

A company that provides stability and development can help professional development, no matter how others perceive an industry to be.

Recruitment site Glassdoor recently published (5th December) their annual top 50 places to work in the UK (won this year by Anglian Water). Whilst working for the likes of BBC, Apple or Google who present attractive opportunities, let’s be honest the world is not awash of glamorous brands where everyone has a place and a salary. Nevertheless, a worthwhile career in an industry that people may not be seen as attractive, can present success and achievement for both candidates and clients.

Technical and Engineering Recruitment Partner, Steve Gray highlights the importance for clients and candidates within the engineering sector to present themselves in the best light to each other. 

 Let’s Look At The Candidate Side

Steve highlights the importance for candidates to have a sense of realism, “Whilst having high expectations is important, let’s be honest, someone who has recently completed an apprenticeship, or their education will rarely walk into a £30k plus salary. This just does not exist.”

In a previous article where we asked if social media is encouraging people to think they can achieve success quickly? The consensus was the tendency for people to expect too much money and responsibility early on. According to a survey from travel firm First Choice, more than 75 per cent of youngsters say they’d consider a career in online videos.

Steve emphasised the expectations to be real, “People need to align what they want with what they can provide to a company and industry sector.”

“For instance, I helped position someone within the manufacturing industry who had moved back into the local areas as a CNC Machinist. This was a temporary job, with a minimum of three months. I was quite frank with the candidate that progression was not immediate.”

“As the months passed, he was taken on full-time. Eventually he was overseeing many departments. This was a far cry from where he started. When it came to moving to another company, he left as a senior engineer. His new job was even bigger and presented a significant rise in salary as well as travelling around the world.”

No matter the industry, what this example illustrates is a real life example of resilience and allowing skills sets and confidence to grow. Steve highlights, “This person was presented with an opportunity to build on. Through his own application, attitude and desire, his career has materialised. It does not matter whether an industry is regarded as more attractive or has a strong public perception behind it, the important thing is how people apply themselves and build the career and life that they want.”

What Steve has seen over the years with TeamJobs are the successful candidates who can move within departments and develop their skills sets. What may start as a low skilled role, can develop into material buying or planning roles. Steve recalls another candidate, “I once took a candidate who was working for a Chinese Supermarket, with no experience, to an engineering company that was looking for a translator. By utilising his language, this provided an opportunity for both the client and himself. He started in a three month role, he went permanent and moved within the company in a number of roles. He is currently in a job that he had never traditionally trained for but has provided genuine progression. That to me, is extremely rewarding.”

Let’s Look At The Client Side

If a company doesn’t operate in an industry that attracts an abundance of talent, what should they do to look attractive to candidates?

Steve comments, “If a company does not operate in a so called ‘attractive’ industry, they can still come across as an enticing proposition. However, this does go beyond a great looking website and a social media feed that is regularly updated.”

A key area is how a recruitment company reflects the personality and heartbeat of a company.  Steve explains, “The biggest asset that a client can provide a recruitment partner is their time. This is how you get to understand the business, not just the job.”

“I need to sell the company to someone else. I need to attract the people that a business wants. That can only be achieved by knowing someone else, inside out. When you become enthused about someone else’s business, it does not matter what sector they work within, it is all about the culture that is promoted and the opportunity that is presented to others.”

“There are many engineering companies that have had the same looking website for many years, but I am completely fine with that.  If I have spent time within the walls of a client, I can represent what they want. It is easier to mirror what someone wants when there is a genuine rapport. If I can transmit that to a candidate, it becomes easier to gauge interest.”

Bringing To A Close

It is fair to say that there is no such thing as an unattractive industry.

A company may operate within a marketplace that may not be as high profile as others, but what they represent are spaces for people to be a part of, adapt, flourish and grow within.

When it comes to portraying a company image for candidates to want to be a part of, a client needs an ally with someone who can help find the best people. It becomes part of an ecosystem where a recruitment consultant can support, advise and be the link to bring individuals together. 

The rapport that people can build together is far more important than glorified league tables of noteworthy brands.

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