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Engineering Recruitment Experts

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We are a specialist engineering recruitment agency helping employers secure top class talent, and helping outstanding engineers land challenging and rewarding roles.

Whether you’re an engineer looking for your next opportunity, or an employer eager to hire the very best engineers, Entech has the experience, resources and approach to help.

After 20 years of working with the world’s leading engineering firms, and with seven teams of specialist recruiters who are each experts in their own industry sector,  there’s nobody better placed to help you find your perfect job, or resource your projects and develop your business effectively.

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12 Interview Questions Every Engineer Should Prepare Answers For

10. 07. 2019

If you’re in the process of applying for an engineering job, it’s likely you’ve already written (and re-written!) the perfect engineering CV, and you’ve done everything you can to try and make your cover letter stand out. But there’s a part of the recruitment process that often gets neglected by job hunters in the engineering sector - the interview. The interview is your chance to show a potential employer that you’re the perfect fit for the role, so it’s important to invest some time into some interview preparation. But with an endless supply of interview questions on the internet, which ones should engineers focus on perfecting answers for? Here’s our list of the 12 interview questions that we think every engineer should have an answer to: 1. What was the most demanding engineering project you've worked on? How did you overcome the challenges you faced? This question gives you a great chance to go into the details of a particularly challenging project you’ve been a part of. It’s an opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills, and demonstrate how you’ve used your engineering skillset to overcome challenges during a project. The interviewer is trying to get a better understanding of the way you think through, and solve, problems. Tie your answer to a project you’ve been involved in, and be sure to highlight the thought process you went through when you made decisions at each stage of the project. 2. How would you present technical concepts to a non-technical audience in a stakeholder presentation or client meeting? At some point during your engineering career (if you haven’t already) you’re going to have to present complicated technical plans to someone with no technical experience. This question is designed to gauge how you would go about distilling the key principles behind a complex idea down into something that clients and stakeholders will understand. Ideally, you’ll have professional experience in dealing with non-technical clients or managers, and you can use these examples to demonstrate how you conveyed the principles behind the project to them. Try to think of specific techniques you used – perhaps relating the principles to more common day-to-day experiences, or into an example relevant to your audience – and explain how those methods helped your audience to understand the concepts you were presenting. 3. What methods do you use to manage your time during an engineering project? Despite everyone’s best efforts, there can often be delays in the schedule of an engineering project, costing businesses time and money. This question gives you the chance to explain the ways you work to avoid these delays, and how you handle large and demanding projects. No one is expected to be perfect, and most people will have projects that have been delayed for reasons outside of their control, but you can demonstrate the ways in which you’ve personally improved your time management during your career, and the methods you use to help ensure your projects run smoothly. 4. How do you keep up to date with the latest technology and news in engineering? With technology moving so quickly, advances in engineering happen almost every day, so it’s important for employers to find engineers who are willing to stay up to date with the latest trends in their sector. This is also a great opportunity to show managers that you’re willing to learn new skills and processes, and gives you a chance to show your adaptability. Give the interviewer examples of the sources you use to keep up to date with what’s happening in your sector, and explain why you feel it’s important to do so. 5. What engineering skills have you developed or improved over the last year? As well as keeping up to date with all of the latest industry changes, companies also want to see that you’re proactive about keeping your knowledge and skill-set relevant to your role. Use this opportunity to show the skills you’ve taken the time to improve, and explain why you chose the skills you did. There is no right or wrong answer for why you prioritised one over the other, but this is your chance to defend your choices. 6. How would you handle someone who pushes back on parts of an engineering plan that are in place for safety reasons? Sometimes a client may not like a certain aspect of a design that has been added for safety reasons, putting engineers in the difficult position of having to defend their reasoning and explain the importance of the feature from a safety perspective. Take the opportunity to explain how you’d re-iterate the importance of the feature in the plan and, if you’ve experienced the situation before, relate it to an example where you had to do just that. 7. Can you describe a time when you managed a difficult client? What would you have done differently? Most of us have worked with a nightmare client at some point, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to explain what working with that client taught you, and how you’ve changed the way you work in the time since. You can explain the ways in which working with that client highlighted areas you could improve your workflow, and clarify how you would approach the project differently if you had the chance to start from square one. 8. What measures do you take to ensure that your work is accurate? A small miscalculation can have potentially huge implications in engineering, so it’s important that an engineer’s work is always accurate. Interviewers asking this question are looking to test how seriously you take your role, and how you go about minimising errors in your work. Take this opportunity to explain all of the best practices your workflow uses, and any safety standards you have experience of working to, to show that you have experience in making sure your projects are safe. 9. Which software packages do you consider yourself an expert in? Interviewers might ask a variation of this question to get an idea of what software you have used in a professional environment. By the interview stage you should have a good idea of what software the role is going to be using, so it’s worth highlighting something that’s relevant to show you’re well suited to the role. Try and give examples of the tools and features you’ve used within the software that show that you have a good grasp on how it works, and the ways in which it might help in the role you’re interviewing for. 10. Can you give an example of a time when a project didn’t go to plan? What would you do differently in the future? This question is typically used as a way to gauge your problem-solving skills. Some engineers try to avoid answering this question by acting as though nothing has gone wrong on their projects, but this is a bad idea. The best approach is to highlight a time when things did go wrong, but where you managed to remain calm, and fix the issues before they cause even more damage. You can then explain why things went wrong, and show what that experience taught you; showing you’re capable of learning from your mistakes and bettering yourself. 11. What do you enjoy most/least about engineering? Everyone knows that there are good parts and bad parts to every job, but an all-too-common mistake candidates make is to list one of the key responsibilities of the role as one of their least favourite aspects of engineering! To give yourself the best chance at getting the job, your answer for your favourite aspects of engineering should include some of the main responsibilities of the role, and your least favourites should be areas you have experience with, but that aren’t key to this job. The most important thing, though, is to be honest. You shouldn’t pretend that you love doing something that you actually hate – or you could end up having to do that job all the time! 12. Where do you see yourself five/ten years from now? A classic job interview question! A new employee is a huge investment for a company, and they will want to see a return on that investment into the future. Make sure your answer explains how you will grow within the business, and what impact you’d like to have before moving up the organisation. Companies generally like to see that engineers want to master the technical aspects of their role before moving up to a more senior position. But again, the most important thing is to be honest! You’ve already taken the time to make sure your cv and cover letter are the best they can be, so make sure you give yourself the best chance of getting the job by preparing yourself properly for your interview. While practicing answering these questions will take some time (and might feel silly), it will make it much easier for you to answer them if they do come up in your interview; giving you the best chance of coming across confidently and succinctly when the pressure is really on. Getting an interview can often feel like the most difficult step, so once you’ve got your foot in the door, and you’re confident with your answers, make sure you’ve done everything you to prepare for the interview. If you’re struggling to land yourself an interview, make sure you haven’t made one of these common cv mistakes!

#jobinterview
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The Most Common Recruitment Mistakes Businesses Make

03. 07. 2019

Hiring a new member of staff can be a daunting prospect for some businesses. It can be time consuming, and expensive, and, even after you’ve found someone, 29% of new hires leave within 90 days; so it can be difficult to definitively know whether you’ve made the right choice until months later. But there are some common recruitment mistakes that businesses should avoid to give them the best chance of finding the perfect candidate for the role. These are the 10 most common recruitment mistakes businesses make: 1. Not Creating an Accurate Job Description 2. Overlooking Current Employees 3. Not Creating Processes 4. Ignoring Cultural Fit 5. Not Trusting Your Instincts 6. Not Checking Employee References 7. Rushing the Process – Or Taking Too Long 8. Rejecting an Overqualified Candidate 9. Not Following Up with Candidates 10. Not Hiring Enough People 1. Not Creating an Accurate Job Description The first step when recruiting for any role is to prepare a job description that accurately reflects the responsibilities of the job. It’s impossible to find the right person if you don’t know what the role entails, so make sure you take the time to speak to the person who’s currently in that role, or the line manager who will be responsible for managing the new employee, to get a clear overview of what their day-to-day tasks will be. Writing out the tasks involved gives all of the stakeholders a chance to decide whether making a new hire is actually the best move, and can sometimes reveal a role needs to be divided up across multiple positions. It’s important to be honest in this process, as that will give you the best chance of finding the right candidate for the role. Sugar-coating the amount of work could lead to an unhappy new employee, which could mean you end up searching for a new employee a few months down the line! 2. Overlooking Current Employees Sometimes the perfect person for a new position might already be working for your company. An existing employee already knows the ins and outs of how your business operates, meaning you can skip the basic sections of the induction and jump straight into the technical aspects of the role; speeding up the entire process. Hiring from within can also have a positive impact on employee morale, showing staff that there is room for them to grow within the company, which is always a good thing. 3. Not Creating Processes Creating a standard recruiting and onboarding process for your business is no easy feat, but it will result in a positive impact on the success of finding and retaining top employees. The process needs to cover every step of a candidate’s journey, from sending over their CV, to starting a role, and staying with the company long-term. This not only allows you to track the progress of candidates going through the application process, but also allows you to ensure every candidate has the same experience with your brand. 4. Ignoring Cultural Fit While it’s beneficial for businesses to build diverse, multi-cultural teams; it’s also important for new employees to fit in with the culture you’ve created within your business. For example, a laid-back, casual person probably wouldn’t be a great fit for a fast-paced, formal position at a global bank; even if they have the relevant qualifications for the role. Finding out about a candidate’s hobbies and interests, or having a potential colleague sit in, during their interview is a great way to test the waters and see what makes them tick; and you should be able to get a good idea of how well they’d fit into your team. 5. Not Trusting Your Instincts Sometimes we can’t help but have a gut feeling about someone – whether it’s good or bad. It’s important during the hiring process to remain impartial to give all of the candidates a fair chance at getting the job, and it’s essential to find a balance when it comes to trusting your gut. Having a set of criteria to score candidates against will prevent you from basing your hiring decisions on your instincts, and will help to see how candidates compare to each other objectively. That being said, your instincts are there for a reason, so if someone matches all of your criteria but you still don’t feel right, make sure you dig a little deeper before you make the final decision. 6. Not Checking Employee References Sometimes the stars align and you find yourself with a candidate who has great qualifications and experience, and is a great cultural fit for your team! Time to send out the offer letter and get them started, right?! Not so fast… No matter how perfect a candidate might seem, it’s still important to check their references before offering them the position. People can embellish, or even flat-out lie about their experience or qualifications, so make sure you verify that they are capable of what they say they are! 7. Rushing the Process – Or Taking Too Long Sometimes an important role comes up that needs to be filled yesterday, and it can be very tempting for a business to hire the first person who comes close to fitting the job description. But this approach often ends up costing businesses more in the long run, as eventually a new member of staff will need to be brought in and trained. In contrast, some companies do the complete opposite and will try to wait until the perfect candidate walks through the door. Unfortunately, “perfect” candidates are very rare! This ultimately leads to the business missing out on fantastic employees who accept offers from other companies who are quicker to act. Most skills can be trained, so it’s important not to blinker yourself to “perfect” when you’re looking for new employees. 8. Rejecting an Overqualified Candidate It seems all too common for companies to disregard candidates who have more experience than the job specification requires, writing them off as “overqualified” for the role. But with candidates being at the centre of the job market, it seems strange that companies would want to turn down the chance to get a better employee for a lower rate. Provided the candidate has seen the salary range in your job advert, it seems that they have already decided the rate on offer is enough, and have clearly shown their interest by applying to the role. This is a great opportunity to get an experienced member of staff into the company, and many businesses miss out! 9. Not Following Up with Candidates Most of us have been on the receiving end of this treatment. You’re looking for a new role and you send what feels like hundreds of applications to roles far and wide. You might get one or two automated emails thanking you for your application, but for the most part you hear nothing back. It sucks! It’s worth trying to follow up with as many candidates as you can. Some of them may not be a good fit right now – but they could be in the future – so leave things on good terms! 10. Not Hiring Enough People Smaller businesses often fall into the trap of pushing their employees too far before bringing in any new members of staff. This can not only lead to burn out in the employees, but can also have a negative effect on customer service and, ultimately, sales. It’s fine for staff to be busy, but expecting too much of them will lead to the need to hire more people in the long run! The Bottom Line It’s likely that at some point your business has already made, or will make, one of these mistakes – that’s just business! There’s a whole host of recruitment challenges businesses face, but we hope that reviewing these common mistakes will help you to identify the pitfalls in your current processes, and make it much easier to fill the roles your business needs to fill. If you want to take the pressure off of hiring qualified engineers, give Entech a call today to discuss your company’s needs.

#hiring
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29% Of New Hires Leave Within 90 Days – Here’s How to Stop Them

26. 06. 2019

A recent survey by Jobvite has found that as many as 29% of workers have left a job within the first 90 days. With the cost of replacing an employee estimated at over £30k, an employee leaving so soon can have a significant impact on the company’s bottom line; so how can companies stop new employees from jumping ship so soon after starting? Involve the Right People in The Hiring Process The first step is to ensure that the right people are involved from the outset. The interview process is a chance for both the candidate and the interviewer(s) to form a solid relationship which, if they’re successful, will become the foundation for their working relationship. Because of this, it’s important to bring line managers into the process early on to give candidates the chance to get to know the people they’ll be working for. Inevitably there will be some people who won’t get along with a particular manager, but having them meet each other before offering the job means that you can find this out before committing to hiring someone. If the current line manager is going to be leaving, then it’s important to involve the person who’ll be replacing them to make sure there’s good chemistry between them. Set Clear Expectations and Goals Having the right people involved from the start of the hiring process will also help to set clear expectations for the candidate. Astonishingly, only 47% of workers believe that job descriptions accurately reflect a role’s responsibilities, so it’s important to make sure it’s clear what will be expected of them in the role, and what their targets and goals will be. It’s no good if you tell candidates customer service will only make up 10% of their week if they then spend the first month dealing with customer complaints all day. They’ll feel like they were mis-sold on the job and be much more likely to reconsider their options. Be Realistic About Your Culture It’s important to be realistic about your company’s culture as 46% of people say this is one of their most important considerations when finding a job. In fact, nearly a third of job seekers would even be willing to take a 10% pay cut for a job they’re more interested in or passionate about. If a company mis-represents their culture it won’t be long until new employees figure it out and get a real feel for how the company operates. If they’ve been lied to, they’re much more likely to consider looking elsewhere. Some companies have even been known to use sites like Glassdoor to falsify positive employee reviews in order to try and improve the perception of their culture, but this will inevitably result in more people being unsatisfied when they discover the culture isn’t what it’s been made out to be. Rethink Your Onboarding Process Creating a clear onboarding process not only helps every new employee get up to speed, but also gives them more insight into how their role has an impact on the company. This is a great opportunity to get across the culture and values of the company, whilst also giving new employees the chance to see how their work is going to influence the company’s future. It’s also the perfect time to help new starters build relationships with the different departments they’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis. Assign a Buddy For candidates, starting a new job can be daunting. The first few weeks are filled with a blur of names and faces, and it can be very overwhelming for people to settle into their role and feel like part of the team. Assigning a buddy can give new employees a friend to discuss any issues they may be having, and helps to establish relationships much more quickly within the team. It can be daunting for new employees to approach managers with problems they may be having, so a buddy can help to increase the feedback from the employee, which can then be fed back to the relevant manager. Having a system that addresses these small problems sooner, without directly involving a manager, can prevent problems becoming so big that they consider leaving the company. Define Their Career Progression While 19% of job seekers said money was their number one reason for leaving; 13% of the younger workers who left a job reported that a lack of growth opportunities was their reason for leaving. There may be plenty of progression options for your employees, but if they’re not made clear from the start then it can be easy for employee can think they’ve ended up in a dead-end role. Make it clear how they will be able to move up through the company, and what impact they’ll have to do in order to do so, to reduce the chances of them thinking they’ve made a mistake. Check-in Regularly For the first few months of their employment, it’s important to check in regularly with new employees. For the first month, it’s worth having a weekly recap session on a Friday to talk about how their week’s been, and if they have any questions about anything. These meetings can be scaled back to once a month once the employee is more settled. Checking back with new employees regularly can make sure a small problem doesn’t grow into a big problem that causes them to leave! Keep Training To keep employees engaged and happy, it’s important to continue training long after the induction period. Training offers employees a chance to prove themselves, or gain a new skill, and so can help to increase their sense of purpose within the company, giving them more reasons to stay. Many companies make the mistake of training employees to the level needed to do their job and leave it at that, leading employees to become frustrated that they’re not developing further, and potentially to start looking for a new job. Deconstructing your entire hiring and training processes can seem like a daunting task, but some time invested now will pay dividends if it prevents just one person from leaving your company. But increasing the level of staff retention doesn’t just have a positive impact in the short term. A better onboarding experience and increased staff retention helps to increase employee engagement, and a study in 2009 found that organisations with highly engaged employees had revenues 26% higher per employee than those without. If that’s not a reason to re-think your hiring and onboarding processes, I don’t know what is! Had an employee leave suddenly? If you’re looking for technical candidates for a quick start, our team of consultants can help.

#employeeretention
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How to Prepare for a Job Interview in 8 Simple Steps

19. 06. 2019

Congratulations, you’ve landed yourself a job interview! But after the excitement wears off, it’s time to start preparing to give yourself the best chance of getting the role. So, what can you do to prepare yourself for a successful interview? We’ve broken down interview preparation into 8 simple stages: 1. Study the job description 2. Research the company 3. Plan your journey 4. Plan your outfit 5. Prepare answers 6. Prepare questions 7. Ace the interview 8. Follow up It’s important to give yourself enough time to consider how your goals and aspirations fit in with the role you’re interviewing for, and how you’ll fit into the company as an employee. To get a better understanding of what the interviewer will be expecting, here’s our list of the 8 interview preparation stages. 1. Study the Job Description The job description is going to contain most of the info you need in order to ace your interview. Pay attention to the duties it lists, and the required personal qualities it sets out, and come up with examples of times you’ve shown you have those qualities. It’s likely they’ll ask you these types of questions, so it’s important to know how to justify that you match the job description they’ve set out. 2. Research the Company Make sure you take the time to understand what the company does, and the products or services it is selling. You should have an idea of this anyway, but it’s always good to make sure there isn’t an aspect of the business you’re not aware of. Take a look at their competitors and get a feel for the way the industry operates. You can also look at industry news sources to get the latest news stories, and can check out the employers “News” page on their website (if they have one) to see what’s been going on recently. Although this may be classed as something obvious, you will impress the employer if you are aware of not just the products they produce, or the industry they’re in, but also if you have an understanding of any other sites they operate, and the differences between what the other sites may manufacture. 3. Plan Your Journey First impressions matter, and being just 5 minutes late to an interview can start you off on the back foot, so make sure you plan the journey to the place you’ll be interviewing. Consider having a trial run to get an idea of how long it’ll take you to get there - especially if you’re relying on public transport! You should aim to get to your interview at least 15 minutes early, as this will give you a chance to compose yourself before you walk through the door, and make the best first impression possible. 4. Plan Your Outfit Make sure you plan out your outfit a few days before your interview. There’s nothing worse than having to scramble around to find, or even buy, a clean shirt because the one you planned on wearing is still in the wash basket! We all know that you need to look smart for an interview, but that means more than just wearing a shirt and tie. Make sure your shirt and trousers are ironed and your shoes are clean. If you’re going to an interview from your existing job and you’re going to be changing clothes, make sure they’re stored neatly so they’re not creased when it comes time to change. And if you work with your hands – make sure you wash them! Extending an oil covered hand as you introduce yourself to your interviewer probably isn’t going to start you off on the right foot! "If you're not sure of the dress code, always over-present yourself - first impressions are everything!" - Roya Robeson 5. Prepare Answers By now, most people have heard all of the stereotypical interview questions. Questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” may be overused clichés, but do you know how to answer them if they do come up? This is where knowing the company and job description pay off, as you can practice ways to incorporate your skills and align them with the company’s strategies. Take some time to look for common interview questions online, and make sure you know how you’re going to answer them if asked. 6. Prepare Questions Interviews aren’t just a one-sided affair; it’s also your opportunity to ask questions about the role, and the company you’ll potentially be working for! Sometimes it can be difficult to think of questions when you feel like you’re not the one in control of the situation, so make sure you’ve prepared a few questions to ask when the time comes. Make sure you select questions that will help to show the employer that you are interested in knowing more about the business and the role you’re interviewing for rather than asking about the pay and benefits – that’s a big no-no! 7. Ace the Interview Having a great CV will get you the interview, but only you can get yourself the job. If you’re having trouble communicating your key achievements, referring back to the job spec will help you keep track of what’s relevant. It’s full of everything you need to talk about, and is a great guide for relating your experience to the new role. Remember though, interviewers won’t typically be interested in hearing about attributes like being a ‘hard worker’ or a ‘fast learner’ - you can prove that to them when you get the job! "Being confident in your abilities and asking about career progression is great, but it’s not ok to tell the interviewer that you want their job. Nobody likes a show off!" - Roya Robeson 8. Follow Up After your interview’s finished, make sure you follow up with the interviewer and/or your recruitment agency contact. This not only helps to show you’re genuinely interested in getting the role, but also gives you the chance to clarify anything you said or bring up things you may have forgotten to mention. At this point, you can relax – it’s out of your hands and you’ll just have to wait to see whether you get the job! If you get the job – congratulations! However, sometimes you can do everything in this list perfectly, have a great interview, and still not get the job. Try not to let that get you down – it’s not a reflection on you; it just means that the company had a candidate who was better suited to the role. Take any feedback you can get from the recruiter/interviewer, thank them for the opportunity to interview, take a deep breath and get back to finding roles to apply for. Good luck! If you’re looking for your next engineering role, why not send your CV across to one of our recruiters to see if they can find you the perfect new position?

#interviewtips
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10 Recruitment Challenges Every Company Faces and How to Fix Them

12. 06. 2019

Whether you’re a recruitment consultant at an agency or an internal HR manager, it’s likely you’ve faced some of the same recruitment challenges. The job market has changed drastically, giving candidates the upper hand in the process, and it’s important for companies to do more than just post a job vacancy to an online job board and wait for the perfect candidate to apply! If you’re having trouble recruiting, this list of 10 common recruitment challenges will help you get a better understanding of why they occur, and how you can fix them. 1. Attracting and Engaging Qualified Candidates With the UK’s unemployment at its lowest level since 1974, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies to attract and engage qualified candidates for their open positions. It’s very much a candidate-driven market, meaning it’s often the companies who are competing, rather than the candidates. Employees who have decided to make the move will have applied to a number of different positions, and good candidates will be snatched up quickly. How to fix it For your business to attract quality candidates, you have to advertise your jobs where they’re looking. Putting a job opening on your website and waiting for applications to roll in might have worked a few years ago, but it just doesn’t cut it any more. In fact, with the emphasis candidates are putting on making multiple applications, as many as 42.9% search using a job board and 32.1% search using career sites; so make sure you’re advertising on the right platforms for your industry. 2. Reaching Passive Candidates With unemployment levels so low, it’s been estimated that only 30% of the global workforce are actively looking for a new role. However, a whopping 74% of the workforce were open to making a move for a job in 2016, meaning that reaching passive candidates should be a priority for every business. But finding passive candidates can be tough because, by definition, they aren’t looking for a new position. This means they won’t be browsing job boards or looking at job adverts on LinkedIn. How to fix it Reaching passive candidates means you’ll have to take advantage of your network. Encouraging employee referrals and networking at industry events can help to uncover potential candidates who aren’t actively looking to change jobs, but might consider it after hearing about how great things are at your company. It has the added bonus of giving you the chance to get to know them before having them apply for a role. 3. Finding Local Candidates A major challenge that smaller companies often face is trying to find qualified candidates who live within commuting distance of their business. People only want to commute so far, and the skillsets available in your area will have a big impact on how easily you can find new employees. How to fix it Unfortunately, this is one of the more difficult problems to solve. If people with the right qualifications don’t live within a commutable distance there are a couple of options. Improve your package to encourage people to relocate. Advertise the job as a role in the nearest city and allow flexible working Bring in someone with less experience and invest in training them These can all be costly, but they can also be a great way to make the role more accessible to a wider range of people. 4. Slow Hiring Time Try thinking back to the last time you applied for a new job. It probably involved sending applications to a long list of companies, answering the same questions repeatedly in telephone discussions with HR Managers and Recruiters, and organizing interviews with a few companies before finally accepting an offer. It’s hard work, and candidates want to move on with the process as quickly as possible in the same way that you want them to start as quickly as possible. The average time to hire in the UK is 27.5 days. And it should come as no surprise that as much as 57% of job seekers lose interest in a job if the hiring process is too long. How to fix it Having a concise and documented recruitment process will help reduce the time between identifying a need and the new starter’s first day. Make sure any staff who are responsible for hiring are aware of the process and follow your guidelines to ensure there are no delays, and the process runs as smoothly as possible. 5. Retaining Top Employees Finding and hiring great employees is just the tip of the iceberg – once you’ve found them the next challenge is creating an environment in which they want to stay! It’s estimated that 75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials by 2025, and they’re often looking for more than just a competitive salary, so what are you offering that’s making your company stand out? How to fix it Revisit your incentives scheme and try to incorporate perks that go above and beyond, or at the very least match, what your competitors are offering. The days of a fully stocked beer fridge and a few ping pong tables keeping people interested are long gone. Many companies are now offering flexible hours and remote working options, so if you’re not offering these perks employees may be tempted to look elsewhere. 6. Building a Strong Brand With a wealth of information available at our fingertips, candidates now have the power to look into a company’s history before they even send their application! According to Glassdoor, a job applicant will read six reviews about a company before forming an opinion about them, and 69% of job-seekers will not accept a job with a company if it has a bad reputation, so making sure you have a strong brand will help ensure you’re not missing out on the best candidates. How to fix it Spend time talking to your candidates to get a better understanding of how you can improve your processes and turn them into advocates. Work with your marketing team to help show what life is really like at your company. You could encourage employees to build their personal brands, which will all showcase the culture you’ve created within your business, and help you to attract more like-minded people. 7. Ensuring a Good Candidate Experience With such a low level of unemployment, it’s no wonder candidate experience can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your recruitment. Candidates have the power to pick and choose the jobs they apply for, and will often avoid overly-complicated application processes. In fact, 60% of job-seekers admitted they’d stopped filling out a job application because the process was too long. But interestingly, creating a good candidate experience doesn’t just help you attract more candidates; 15% of job-seekers put forth more effort into their position if they had a positive hiring experience! How to fix it Simple things like including basic information, like salary scale and perks, into your job adverts will help to ensure people only apply to roles that suit them; reducing any negative feelings towards your company when someone finds out their long-winded application process was for a position paying half of their current salary! Treat your candidates the way you’d want to be treated. Let them know if there are delays in the process, keep them up to date on how things are progressing, and definitely let them know if they’ve been unsuccessful in their application! 8. Recruiting Fairly Having a team made up from a diverse group of employees has many benefits. Different cultures and backgrounds can help your businesses build a better understanding of customers’ problems, and research has shown that diverse teams can solve problems more quickly. How to fix it Using a job description and person specification helps to ensure you’re comparing candidates based on their abilities; reducing the chance of unconscious bias affecting the decision, and a diverse interview panel will help to reduce hires being made on “gut-feeling.” 9. Reactive Hiring Almost every company is guilty of reactive recruitment. Someone hands in their notice, or receives a promotion, and only then does the job search begin. It seems like a logical process. But it could be as long as 2 – 3 months between finding and interviewing a candidate, giving them time to work their notice period, and them actually start the job. Taking a proactive approach means you’re constantly working to create a network of passive candidates, which allows you to react more quickly and reduces your time to hire. How to fix it Having a strong employer brand can help attract candidates to submit speculative applications, or to respond to job roles quickly when they appear, and creating a database of candidates can also help to improve the speed at which roles are filled. If a role needs to be filled quickly, hiring a contractor could be a great way to give yourself more time to find the perfect candidate, but this can be costly depending on the skill level of the employee you’ll be replacing. 10. Not Making the Most of Data There are a whole host of metrics companies can track to help improve their hiring process, but often it can be difficult to know how to make the most of the data given how much we have available these days. It can be tempting to ignore the numbers, and opt instead for a more traditional approach, but using the data you have available can have a huge impact on your business over the long term. How to fix it At the very least you should keep track of your time to hire and cost per hire, and your marketing team should be able to help you track the source where your best candidates are coming from. These can usually be handled by an ATS and will allow you to focus your efforts and reduce expenses for future hires. Conclusion We get it – this can seem like a daunting list! It’s all too common for companies to be making several of these mistakes in their recruiting process, so don’t be discouraged if your company has made a few! But if you’re committed to improving your recruitment processes, you’ll be rewarded with a much more efficient hiring process, and more time to focus on the smaller jobs that normally get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Start by looking at the list of challenges to see which sound familiar, and begin keeping track of the mistakes your company might be making. Once you have a good idea of the stumbling blocks you keep bumping into, you can start to work towards improving those areas of your recruitment process first. Good luck! Hiring Engineers? If you’re looking for an engineering recruitment specialist, Entech have over 20 years of experience in finding and placing top engineering talent at industry leading firms. If you’re hiring engineers, get in touch with a member of the Entech team today and let us find you the perfect candidate.

#recruitmentchallenges
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Why Use A Recruitment Agency?

25. 02. 2019

When a business is looking to employ a new member of staff it tends to have two options: Use existing staff members to hire the new employee, or Bring in an external recruitment agency to find candidates for you. With the cost of hiring a new member of staff estimated at around £30k, it seems logical for companies to want to get the most out of their budget. But why would a company choose to use a recruitment agency? Size Doesn’t Matter It’s often thought that the use of recruitment agencies is reserved for large companies. With so many balls in the air, it makes sense for larger organizations to hand the task over to an external agency who has the time to focus on finding them the best candidate. And when you also combine that with the fact that they generally have bigger budgets to work with, a recruitment agency makes sense. But small companies can also benefit from hiring a specialist recruitment company. In a smaller company, people tend to have a lot more responsibility in overlapping areas, and it may be difficult for staff to find the extra time to post a job, screen candidates, organize and hold interviews, and evaluate who’s going to be the best fit for the job. In fact, despite the amount of time the hiring process can take, 85% of HR decision-makers admit their organization has made a bad hire, making in-house hiring much less cost effective than it can first seem. An Agency Saves You Time No matter the size of your business, time is always valuable. A specialist recruiter will take the time to advertise your jobs in the right places, screen the applicants and vet their qualifications, before handing you a single CV. This means you’ll only get qualified candidates who are the right fit for the role. They will also work with you to schedule all of the interviews, and will perform all of the contact on your behalf, giving feedback and notifying unsuccessful applicants. This makes the hiring process much simpler - all you have to do is show up to the interview and decide who’s the right fit for the job. The recruiter will handle everything else. Specialists Know Your Industry An important benefit of working with specialist recruitment agencies is that they understand the skills you’re looking for, and can filter candidates based on their suitability for the role. Their expertise allows them to ask the right questions during the screening process, finding only the best qualified leads for your budget, and collating them for you to review in one go. They also have expert knowledge of industry pay scales, and can advise you on the type of candidate you need for the job you’re trying to fill, whilst also making sure you’re offering a competitive salary and benefits to attract the right employees. If you’re looking to fill contract or temp roles, a specialist recruiter has access to a database of candidates they can filter through to find you employees quickly. This is particularly handy if your industry is seasonal, or if you’ve experienced recent business growth, and allows you to focus on running the business while they find the staff you need. They’ll have a database of qualified candidates, ready to work at short notice, so all you’ll have to do is interview them and decide whether it’s a yes or a no. They Provide Long Term Savings The savings start almost immediately when you hire a recruitment agency. They advertise your job across their network on your behalf, saving you the cost of having to pay to advertise the role, and the labour cost of having an employee post the vacancy and monitor applications. But when you build a relationship with an agency, the hiring process will become more cost effective as your agency contact gets a better understanding of your business’s needs. It may take some trial and error in the short term, but as the relationship grows, they will be sending you candidates you’ll find it difficult to choose between! So, with all of these benefits, you may be wondering: How Do You Choose The Right Recruitment Agency? To make sure you find the best agency, and in turn the best candidates, here’s some pointers to help you in your search. Pick A Specialist It can be tempting to find the biggest recruitment agency you can in the hopes they’ll find a number of potential candidates for your role. But it’s better to find a smaller agency who specializes in your industry. Their industry knowledge will make it much easier to find candidates with the key skills you’re looking for, and they may already have your perfect candidate in their database looking for an immediate start! Build A Relationship Take the time to get to know your chosen agency. The more a recruiter knows about your company, and the work you do, the better they can sell you to potential candidates; which helps them to find better candidates on your behalf. It’s a win-win! Be Transparent Be clear with what you want, and the time frame you’re looking to work to. Recruiters will have a broad range of experience within their sector, whether it’s finding seasonal workers at short notice or a C-suite executive who needs a specific skill set, so make sure you’re clear about the type of employee you’re trying to hire. A good agency will work to your business’s needs, so make sure you let them know of any specific requirements you have. Hiring Engineers? If you’re looking for an engineering recruitment specialist, Entech have over 20 years of experience in finding and placing top engineering talent at industry leading firms. If you’re hiring engineers, get in touch with a member of the Entech team today and let us find you the perfect candidate.

#agency
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The 14 Best Engineering Jobs For The Future [For 2019 And Beyond]

18. 02. 2019

With big personalities like Elon Musk and Richard Branson pushing the boundaries of technology on a seemingly daily basis, now seems like an exciting time to start a career in engineering. But despite the engineering industry being expected to continue to grow, it’s predicted that 40% of jobs could be automated by 2030. So which fields of engineering are the safest for the future? We decided to take a look. Using our experience of the engineering jobs market, and figures from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, we’ve created this list of the 14 best engineering jobs for the future to help you decide which aspect of the industry you might like to start a career in. 1. Solar Photovoltaic Installers Photovoltaic installers assemble, install and maintain private and commercial solar panel setups to provide individuals and businesses with access to renewable energy. As the price of solar panels continues to fall, they continue to become a financially viable option for more and more people. This increased demand, coupled with a change in public opinion about solar panels, means that the number of jobs for PV installers is expected to more than double by 2026. Why We Think It’s Future Proof Governments across the world are under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions drastically over the next few years, so it’s important that they invest in renewable energy sectors. As they invest in solar energy, the number of installs is likely to increase, creating more work for the installers. Even if the market became saturated, there would still be a need for PV technicians to carry out maintenance and repairs on the existing systems. Median Annual Wage: $39,490 (£31,010) Projected Employment Change: +105% Number of New Jobs: 11,800 2. Wind Turbine Service Technicians Wind turbine service technicians, or “windtechs”, work for utility companies or private individuals to install, maintain and repair wind turbines. As the shift to renewable energy continues to gain pace, and more and more people see the benefits of wind power, it’s expected that in the United States alone, total wind capacity could reach more than 400 gigawatts by 2050. Why We Think It’s Future Proof As with the whole renewable energy sector, it’s expected there’ll be a large amount of expansion and investment over the coming years. From a business perspective, if generating power from renewable energy is cheaper than existing methods then utility companies will want to invest in these areas to increase their profitability - driving demand as the sector continues to mature. That means more wind turbines to install, repair and maintain, making this job a good bet for the future. Median Annual Wage: $53,880 (£42,310) Projected Employment Change: +96% Number of New Jobs: 5,600 3. Software Developers & Engineers Software developers create the framework and applications that run the computers, phones and other devices we all use on a daily basis. As technology continues to develop, the need for software developers is growing, encompassing new and exciting sectors like healthcare, space exploration, and autonomous vehicles. Why We Think It’s Future Proof As the number of connected devices continues to grow, and the applications for new technological developments pushes forwards, there’s plenty of opportunities for software engineers to build a long and prosperous career. With Industry 4.0 in full swing, devices are going to begin to communicate with each other on a larger scale, with the ultimate goal for them to be able to make decisions without human interaction - a great challenge for talented engineers wanting to have an impact on the future! Median Annual Wage: $103,560 (£81,322) Projected Employment Change: +24% Number of New Jobs: 302,500 4. Biomedical Engineers Biomedical engineers combine their medical and engineering knowledge to develop new equipment, systems and software that helps advance the medical industry. With medicine and engineering both being industries that are constantly developing, there’s a seemingly infinite number of advances or developments that could be made in the biomedical field. Why We Think It’s Future Proof Broadly speaking, biomedical engineering relies on two factors - people being ill, and technology advancing. Both of these factors are going to continue, meaning constant industry development is almost guaranteed. As older generations continue to live longer, more active lives, new advances will be needed for devices and operations like knee and hip replacements, as well as for a range of other medical procedures. Median Annual Wage: $88,040 (£69,135) Projected Employment Change: +7% Number of New Jobs: 1,500 5. Chemical Engineers Chemical engineers use their skills to solve the problems faced in the production of fuels, medicines, chemicals, foods and many other products. Their research and findings can help companies improve manufacturing processes, improve safety, and reduce costs; and they work across a multitude of business sectors. Why We Think It’s Future Proof In industries like manufacturing and food production, the need for chemical engineers to maintain or improve production rates, or reduce waste, is highly unlikely to disappear. With developments in nanotechnology, alternative energy, and biotechnology set to continue expanding, there is likely to be a demand for chemical engineers to sit within the sectors that serve these types of businesses. Median Annual Wage: $102,160 (£80,223) Projected Employment Change: +8% Number of New Jobs: 2,500 6. Civil Engineers Civil engineers work in the conception, design, building and maintenance of infrastructure projects like roads, tunnels, bridges, airports, and a host of other private and public sector schemes. As the population continues to grow, the world’s existing infrastructure will come under immense pressure, eventually needing to be repaired or replaced. Couple this with the proposed shift to renewable energy sources, and the number of potential projects for civil engineers seems to be constantly growing. Why We Think It’s Future Proof With the rate of technological advancement, and the global economy created by the rise of e-commerce and online trade, the world will need engineers to build and maintain the necessary infrastructure to support continued growth. Whether it’s new housing schemes, transport projects, or the underlying infrastructure present in any modern city; there’s a range of challenges to explore with a career in civil engineering. Median Annual Wage: $84,770 (£66,567) Projected Employment Change: +11% Number of New Jobs: 32,200 7. Electrical and Electronics Engineers Electrical and electronics engineers work to design and develop electrical components and systems for a wide variety of uses such as electric motors and power generation equipment. They also work in sectors like aerospace and defence, making sure the electronic components on things like satellites, radars systems and communications systems are working properly; so, there’s plenty of opportunities for someone with the right education and training. Why We Think It’s Future Proof As we mentioned with the solar installers and wind turbine technicians, the shift to renewable energy sources is looming. This likely means a surge in demand for electronic components to update current infrastructure systems, as well as for things like electric vehicles and a whole host of other electrical products. As the world continues to become more connected, the need for people who understand electrical engineering can only increase, so it seems like a good bet to us. Median Annual Wage: $97,970 (£76,932) Projected Employment Change: +7% Number of New Jobs: 21,300 8. Environmental Engineers With 70% of Americans saying they believe the environment is more important than economic growth, now seems like the perfect time to start a career in environmental engineering. Using a combination of engineering, biology and chemistry, environmental engineers work to improve waste disposal and recycling processes, water and air pollution control, and public health issues to address global concerns like climate change and environmental sustainability. Why We Think It’s Future Proof People are growing more aware of the impact our society is having on the planet, and more and more corporations are working to create sustainable solutions to their business problems. When you combine this with the potentially-huge infrastructure changes caused by population growth, there’s bound to be plenty of opportunities for environmental engineers to thrive. Median Annual Wage: $86,800 (£68,161) Projected Employment Change: +8% Number of New Jobs: 4,500 9. Industrial Engineers The job of an industrial engineer is to identify ways to reduce waste during the production process by developing systems that merge workers, machinery, materials, information and energy to create a product or service. Their work can help companies improve manufacturing processes and reduce costs; and they can work across almost any business sector. Why We Think It’s Future Proof Because one of the primary objectives of industrial engineers is to reduce costs, their work is valued by a wide range of industries. With huge technological advances on the horizon for potentially hundreds of industries, companies will be relying on industrial engineers to help them identify the most cost efficient ways to operate during these turbulent times. Median Annual Wage: $85,880 (£67,438) Projected Employment Change: +10% Number of New Jobs: 25,100 10. Marine Engineers and Naval Architects Marine engineers and naval architects are responsible for designing, building and maintaining ships; from sailboats and tankers, to submarines and aircraft carriers. Marine engineers can also use their skills to work for companies with offshore oil rigs and wind farms, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore in this sector. Why We Think It’s Future Proof Roughly 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea, and with that number expected to match the rise in the world economy’s GDP and population, it looks like seaborne trade won’t be slowing down any time soon. The need to design environmentally sustainable ships is also becoming more apparent, creating a challenging environment for anyone getting involved in this sector. Median Annual Wage: $90,970 (£71,435) Projected Employment Change: +12% Number of New Jobs: 1,000 11. Petroleum Engineers Despite plans transition to renewable energy sources, the world is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Petroleum engineers work to find the best ways of extracting oil reserves from below the Earth’s surface, or improve production levels at existing sites. Why We Think It’s Future Proof Because of the focus on renewable energy, many people underestimate petroleum engineering; but the reality is that it’s going to take many years to make the transition. During this time, many more senior engineers will likely be retiring from the industry, creating space for a new generation of engineers to kickstart their careers. Median Annual Wage: $132,280 (£103,875) Projected Employment Change: +15% Number of New Jobs: 5,100 12. Surveyors Surveyors take measurements and make calculations about an area of land that’s earmarked for development to provide the necessary data for engineering and construction projects. They work closely with civil engineers and architects to develop a comprehensive plan for infrastructure or architectural projects. Why We Think It’s Future Proof With the expected increase in infrastructure and engineering projects we mentioned in the civil engineering section, there’s a natural link to a growth in opportunities for surveyors. Median Annual Wage: $61,140 (£48,011) Projected Employment Change: +11% Number of New Jobs: 5,000 13. Information Security Analysts With privacy issues constantly appearing in our news feeds, it’s no wonder the demand for information security analysts is predicted to grow over the next few years. Information security analysts are tasked with protecting an organization’s computer networks and system, and trying to stay one step ahead of would-be hackers. Why We Think It’s Future Proof As the number of cyberattacks have increased, it’s become more and more apparent to companies that their data could be at risk, and they need to take the adequate steps to protect it. As the internet of things continues to expand, the number of companies and devices that will need protecting is set to grow, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities in this sector. Median Annual Wage: $95,510 (£75,001) Projected Employment Change: +28% Number of New Jobs: 28,500 14. Computer and Information Research Scientists Computer and information scientists use their computer engineering experience to solve complex problems for the business, science and medical fields, among others. Working to improve the algorithms used in complex calculations can improve the efficiency with which the business operates, and this forms the basis for much of the work carried out in this field. Why We Think It’s Future Proof There are two business trends that many are hoping to capitalize on over the next few years: “Big Data” and A.I. As these areas continue to grow, computer and information research scientists will be in-demand to make sense of large amounts of information, and improve the way their business operates. Median Annual Wage: $114,520 (£89,929) Projected Employment Change: +19% Number of New Jobs: 5,400 Conclusion As you can see, there’s plenty of diverse opportunities across a number of engineering sectors that are likely to grow over the coming years. While some of these jobs may not be the “typical” engineering jobs many other sites list, they do reflect the trends emerging across the globe. While this list shows there are plenty of opportunities that will arise, it’s also worth mentioning how competitive it will likely be to find top-level work within those sectors. Companies will want to hire the best talent, so it pays to pick an area of engineering that really interests you, and to develop your career around something you’re passionate about. We’re really excited to see what the future holds for the entire engineering industry, and we’ll be watching closely to see how the landscape changes over the coming years! If you’re looking for an engineering job, why not take a look at our vacancies to see if you can find your perfect role? Median wage, projected employment change and number of new jobs figures from US Bureau of Labour Statistics. Approximate UK Currencies calculated from US equivalents using conversion rate of 1 USD = 0.785269 GBP

#engineeringjobs
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Contracting vs Permanent Work - Which Is Best For You?

11. 02. 2019

Contract work is often the goal for many skilled industry professionals - and with good reason. If a contractor and permanent employee are both paid around £40k per year, then a contract employee working through a limited company would take home around £5k more each year. But the choice between contract and permanent work isn’t as clear cut. Let’s take a look at the differences between contract and permanent work, the pros and cons of each type of work, and a few often-forgotten considerations to see which is the best choice for you. Contract Work What Is Contract Work? Contract work, or contracting, often refers to project-based or time-sensitive jobs that are carried out by professionals for a fixed period of time - usually 3, 6 or 12 months. In many cases, contract workers are brought in because they have the specialist skills needed for a project, to cover seasonal periods and maternity leave, or to fill skills gaps or transfer knowledge to a team. Pros Of Contract Work Better Pay Because contractors are constantly moving to new companies, they have more opportunities to improve their skillset. This can help them to improve their pay scale much more quickly than someone following a traditional permanent career path. Be Your Own Boss When you’re a contract worker, you are your own boss. You get to make the decision whether or not you take on a contract position, so if a role isn’t exciting enough for you then you can wait for something else to come along. You’re also only employed for as long as the contract is running, so if you want to go away for 6 weeks in the summer when your contract is finished, then the world’s your oyster! Job Variety You’ll always be moving to new companies, meeting and working with new people, experiencing new office cultures, and working on a number of different challenges; so, if you’re the type of person that becomes uninspired after 6 months in a job then contracting could be perfect for you. Build A Network Working as a contractor will inevitably lead to you building a solid network of connections across a variety of different disciplines. This network can be invaluable if you’re looking for recommendations or work at short notice, and can enable you to bring even more value to any contract positions you’re working. International Work If you’d like to see the world while you work, contract work can give you the flexibility of taking on international positions (provided you’re eligible to work abroad, of course). Permanent employment rarely offers the opportunity to travel abroad, but you could pick up contract work around the world and travel from contract to contract across the globe. Cons Of Contract Work Job Security Job security is one of the biggest drawbacks to contract work, and is enough to put a lot of people off of contract work altogether. Whether it’s a project being cancelled, a shift in demand for your skills, or an economic downturn, your job is never guaranteed. It’s important to keep your skills up to date and be at the top of your game to try and avoid this. Administration As a contractor, you’re ultimately responsible for all of the administrative duties that come with being self-employed or running a business. You’ll also need to stay up to date with new laws and regulations to make sure your company is staying compliant. Applying For Jobs When your contract comes to an end, you’ll have to begin the application process all over again. This can be incredibly time consuming, and ultimately any time that you’re not working means you’re not earning money. This is where keeping your skills and CV up to date can really make a difference. Holiday And Sick Pay If you’re a contractor working under a limited company, you won’t receive the same holiday and sick pay entitlements as a regular employee, so you’ll have to take this into account when making the decision between contract and permanent work. Bonuses And Benefits Limited company contractors aren’t eligible for bonus schemes or employee perks like gym memberships, and paying into a pension will be your own responsibility, so make sure you factor this into your calculations too. Skills And Training You may receive some training as part of a contract position, but if you need to gain any industry qualifications or develop professional skills then you’ll have to pay for this yourself. Not paying for training courses and personal development could cost you more in the long run if it’s something employers are looking for. Permanent Work What Is Permanent Work? A permanent job is a full-time, salaried position where you’re employed to work a set number of hours per week, normally 36 or above, on a permanent contract. Permanent positions offer a fixed salary with all tax and deductions handled through your employers’ payroll. Pros Of Permanent Work Job Security A permanent work contract means that you’ll be paid your salary for the duration of your employment, which essentially runs indefinitely, until you either decide to leave the position, receive a promotion, or your employer makes your position redundant or terminates your employment. This is typically seen as the most stable form of employment as you receive a guaranteed monthly income, even if you’re on holiday or off sick. Part Of A Team As a permanent employee, you’ll become part of a team that you’ll spend time with every day, and will experience the company culture and office politics of the environment you work within. Progression Permanent employment gives you the ability to map out your future with a progression plan. You’ll have opportunities to impress your employer and go for promotions, which will help you move up the corporate ladder. Bonuses And Benefits Some permanent roles offer bonus schemes that allow you to earn a significant reward for hitting targets, or reaching milestones, as an incentive to increase company performance. Permanent employees are also eligible for pension schemes, car allowances and various other perks and benefits that contract workers may not get access to. Training And Development Employers will want staff to stay up to date with industry developments and schemes, so many permanent employees are given training and access to personal development schemes that a contract worker wouldn’t get access to. Cons Of Permanent Work Lower Pay Take home pay for permanent work is often lower than an equivalent contractor, but other perks and benefits can sometimes make up for this difference. Limitations If you have a particularly specialist skill set, you can often be limited by the systems and technology your current employers are using. This can result in you falling behind on industry standards, meaning you end up being trapped in a position because you don’t have the relevant experience to move elsewhere. Less Experience Permanent employees tend to experience the same problems and difficulties as the nature of work means they’re doing the same thing, the same way, repeatedly. Contractors can gain experience across a variety of areas within their specialism, giving them more experience to take on to the next role. Lack Of Flexibility Unless you’re lucky enough to work somewhere that offers flexible working, you’ll often be expected to work the same hours, from the same location, day in, day out. This can be inconvenient if you have a long commute, or young children that you need to take to school. Because contractors are bringing a specific skill set to the business, they often have more flexibility than permanent employees. Job Variation Unless your company is experiencing rapid growth, or is going through a significant change, it’s unlikely there’ll be much variation in your job. This can lead to frustration at a lack of challenges or change, and can lead to employees looking for employment elsewhere. Other Considerations It seems that both contract work and permanent employment have advantages and disadvantages that will make it difficult to decide which option is best for you. If you’re leaning towards a contract position instead of a permanent role, there are some more things to consider before you make the leap. Limited Or Umbrella? The first decision to make when you’re considering a contract position is whether you’re going to join an umbrella company or set up your own limited company. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to consult a professional accountant to discuss which will be the best option for you. Marketing Yourself As a contractor you’ll be relying on finding yourself new contracts every few months, so it’s important to market yourself appropriately to make sure you keep finding work. For contractors in high-demand sectors this can be as simple as building a relationship with a specialist recruitment agency who will put you forward for new contracts, but in more competitive areas you may need to create yourself a website to showcase your work and show testimonials from previous clients. It can also help to build a personal brand within your sector to help potential clients see you as an expert in your field, and build familiarity with your business; and platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn have made it easier than ever to build a professional network. Don’t Forget Soft Skills While it’s typically your hard skills that will land you a contract role, your soft skills are an important part of outshining other applicants. Soft skills will not only help in showing you’re capable of bringing that little bit extra to the role, but they will also help you with things like selling yourself to potential clients, and negotiating pay rates. Making The Transition When you’re making the transition from permanent employee to contract worker, it’s important not to rush the process. You’ll need to make sure you give your employer the right amount of notice, and ensure that you’re not going to be breaching any clauses within your contract that prevent you from working in a particular sector. Unless you’ve got some money saved up, don’t be impulsive and quit before finding your first contract as this could end in disaster. Review Each Contracts IR35 Status IR35 was introduced to prevent company having ‘disguised employees.’ If your contract work is subject to IR35 then the benefits of running as a limited company are reduced, and you may need to be registered under an umbrella company instead. IR35 is a complex issue, so it’s best to seek professional advice to make sure your contracting career is compliant with all of the HMRC directives. Conclusion As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider before you can decide whether contracting or permanent work is best for you. While contractors can earn more money for the same work, there’s also a lot more admin and paperwork that goes into working for yourself. Despite the financial benefits, many people aren’t willing to give up employee benefits like bonuses, pensions and overall stability that a permanent position provide. What side of the fence do you sit on? If you’re an engineer looking for either contract or permanent positions then get in touch with one of our recruiters today - they’ll be able to help find the perfect job for you!

#contractwork
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12 Ways To Improve Employee Retention Rates

04. 02. 2019

In today’s fast-paced and highly-competitive business landscape, retaining top employees can often feel like a real challenge. Here at Entech, we’re proud of the fact that the average length of time members of our team has stayed with us is more than 8 years. If your employees aren’t happy, and don’t feel valued, they’re more likely to be tempted by competitors offers, so how can you keep hold of your top workers? Here’s 12 tips to help increase your employee retention rates: 1. Get Your Hiring Right Employee retention starts at the very beginning, during the hiring process. Having already screened potential candidates, you’ll want to take this opportunity to get an understanding of why your candidates are looking to leave their current positions. If it’s because they’re bored and fancied a change, obviously that should be a red flag. The interviewing process also gives you a chance to get an idea of their personality so you can gauge whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your company. We’ve found that having several members of our team interview candidates individually works well, and gives us the opportunity to get to know potential employees without overwhelming them with an interviewing panel. 2. Build The Right Culture Because of the dot-com era tech firms, “culture” is a word that has become associated with offices with ping-pong tables, slides instead of stairs and free beer on Fridays. But nowadays, and especially for younger employees, culture is about so much more, and should reflect the type of business you run and the industry you’re in. In banking, it’s perfectly reasonable that people would be expected to wear a suit and tie. In the fashion industry, however, it seems more appropriate for your employees to be dressed in the latest designer gear. Open plan offices can create a collaborative and creative working environment, while closed-door offices can create a culture of “every man for himself.” It’s important to create the right culture for the business you run and the type of employees you want to attract. 3. Provide Training & Progression When you’re applying for jobs it’s expected that you have the right qualifications to be able to do the job you’re applying for, but many employers don’t continue to invest in their employees once they’ve been hired. The reason many companies give is that they don’t want to invest in expensive training courses for employees to then leave, but this leads to a classic dilemma: CFO: What happens if we train them and they leave? CEO: What happens if we don’t and they stay? By investing in corporate training for your employees, or offering access to e-learning sites, you’re showing your employees that you care about them as individuals, not just as cogs in your machine, and they’re much more likely to stick around because of that. 4. Act As A Mentor Some employees just want to come in, do their work, and collect their paycheck at the end of the month. But some want to do much more than that. They may not show it, but some may have dreams of one day owning their own business, or of moving their way up through the ranks to a managerial or director position. Finding out what your employees want, and helping them to work through their problems and challenges will not only help them on their path to success, but will help show that you have their best interests at heart. 5. Pay Your Employees Well There will always be people willing to take a lower salary to do the same job, but if you’re trying to attract and retain the best employees to your business, you’ll need to offer a competitive salary and benefits package. This doesn’t mean you have to pay more than all of your competitors, but if you’re offering less then it makes potential employees much less likely to choose your business over theirs. 6. Offer Flexibility With technology letting employees access emails and files outside of normal office hours, it’s becoming increasingly common for employers to offer their employees more flexible working hours. Whether it’s letting staff work from home once a week, giving them the option to come in and leave later to avoid traffic or drop their kids off at school, or giving them complete autonomy to work wherever they want, whenever they want, flexible working is a great way to keep top talent in your business. 7. Reward Employees With Perks & Incentives Offering employees perks and incentives is also a great way to improve your employee retention rates. With jobs like sales or recruitment, where hitting targets are part of the role, offering incentives is fairly straightforward, but it’s important to remember that other staff members also contribute to the sales team’s success, and rewarding these support roles is just as important. Here at Entech, our recruiters receive a competitive salary plus uncapped commission, but we make sure all of our staff enjoy days out and perks throughout the year. In fact, in May the whole company went to New York to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday! 8. Make Work Enjoyable Most of us have worked somewhere where the atmosphere changes when a particular employee or manager walks through the door. Given that people spend a huge amount of their time at work, it’s important for them to be happy while they’re in the office. Taking time out every month to recognize employee achievements, giving staff the opportunity to get to know each other, and having a sense of humor go a long way not only helping to increase employee retention rates, but also boosting productivity. 9. Don’t Forget Efficient Employees It’s easy to spend time focusing on helping people who may be struggling, and it’s all too common for employees who’ve missed their targets to get more attention than those that consistently hit them. But it’s important to make sure you don’t forget these employees, as a lack of praise or recognition can eventually lead to them feeling as though they’re not a valued employee, and that can have a negative effect on your retention rates. 10. The Office While it’s true that culture and office ping pong tables don’t necessarily go hand in hand, your company’s working environment does play an important role in your employees’ job satisfaction. Small things like a fridge full of free drinks, or a bowl of fruit, can make a big difference to employee morale, and can help make your company a more enjoyable place to work. 11. Flat Structure With modern business being fast paced, it’s important that employees feel they have the autonomy to do their work quickly and efficiently, and having a flat corporate structure can make that much easier to achieve. There’s nothing worse than having to try and chase down a manager or director for their sign-off before you can move onto the next part of a project, and it can be demoralizing when a lack of an answer means your to do list begins to get longer! It’s much simpler if employees can knock on your door, get a quick answer and get back to work, and staff will be less stressed because of it. 12. Plan For Turnover At the end of the day, no matter what you do, there will be times where people want to leave. Whether it’s because they’ve been offered their dream job somewhere else, they’re moving across the country, or because they just feel it’s time for a change, staff turnover is an inevitable fact of life. But creating a succession plan and holding an exit-interview are great ways to make sure you’re doing everything you can to encourage people to stay in the business. Improving retention rates can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Ultimately, taking the time to understand your employees will help you create a work environment that’s perfect for them, and will make them stick around longer. We like to think our 8 year retention rate is pretty good, so if you’re interested in joining our team then why not check out our current vacancies to see if there’s a role for you?

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