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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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18 Christmas Gifts Perfect For Engineers

06. 12. 2019

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of the perfect gift for that special engineer in your life. Here’s our list of 18 Christmas gifts we think any engineer would love to receive! Multi-Tool Pen Unleash their inner James Bond with this multi-tool pen. It features a black ballpoint pen, a touch screen stylus, both slot and crosshead screwdrivers, a spirit level, a pocket clip, and a 10 cm / 4-inch ruler; making it the perfect stocking filler. Mean Phantom Labyrinth If the engineer in your life enjoys puzzles, then this could be the gift for you. The Mean Phantom Labyrinth is a ball maze that you play in the dark - once you’ve released the ball, you can’t see where it is in the maze. The only clues you have are the maps engraved on the side, so it takes skill and patience to complete this puzzle! Fred PIZZA BOSS 3000 Pizza Cutter After a hard day’s DIY, it’s nice to sit back and relax with a cold beer and a slice of pizza, admiring the work you’ve just completed. The Pizza Boss 3000 Pizza Cutter lets your partner carry on playing with their power tools, even after the work is complete, when they’re cutting themselves a slice of freshly baked pizza! Thumbs Up Retro Games Controller If you’re looking for a dose of nostalgia this Christmas, why not get your hands on the Thumbs Up Retro Games Controller? With 200 retro games included, its compact and ultra-portable design makes it great fun you can share with the whole family. Wallet Ninja 18-In-1 Pocket Multi-Tool The Wallet Ninja is an 18-in-1 pocket multi-tool that fits snugly in a wallet’s card slot. Made from 1.5mm thick heat-treated steel to prevent rusting or bending, it features 3 screwdrivers, 6 hex-head slots, a bottle opener, a can opener, a letter opener, a phone stand, a box cutter, a ruler, and peeler. The perfect mini multi-tool for makers or tinkerers. Floppy Disk Coasters If your favourite engineer is a bit of a computer nerd, these are a great stocking filler for Christmas day - they help keep coffee tables clean, will stir up some memories, and will also confuse the hell out of the kids! Enamel Engineer Mug Oftentimes it can be tough to know what to buy men for Christmas, but this enamelled tin mug could be the answer. We’ve chosen the “I'm A Engineer, What’s Your Superpower?” mug, but it’s available with a whole host of different designs and is perfect to take to work, on a camping or fishing trip, or to just keep at home. Wood Trick Wooden Robotic Hand Kit If you’re looking for a way to keep your favourite engineer busy this Christmas day then look no further! This wooden robotic hand kit has 199 pieces, creating a hand with fully-articulated fingers that allow the wearer to move each finger individually, in a realistic fashion. Thermos Direct Drink Flask British engineers rely on tea to get them through the day - it’s the fuel that drives British engineering forward. But every day, because they leave their mugs in a cold machine shop whilst working, hundreds of poor engineers across the country inadvertently take a sip of cold tea while they’re working! You can help end this suffering, with a Thermos drink flask, which can keep its contents hot for up to 10 hours! Stanley Classic Lunch Box Keep your lunch safe in this Stanley Classic lunch box. Made from stainless steel and finished in Hammer Tone Green, the timeless and durable design features a metal bracket that can hold a drinks flask. Tile Pro If your loved one has a habit of losing or misplacing their keys or bags regularly, then this gift could be your saving grace. The Tile Pro is a finder tag that you can attach to those often-difficult-to-locate items; which lets you ring your things when you can’t find them. Alternatively, if you have your keys but not your phone, the button on the Tile Pro makes your phone ring, helping you locate it easily and quickly. Stanley 38 Piece Tool Set Every engineer appreciates a new set of tools. This 38 piece tool set from Stanley comes with a 5m tape measure, a hammer, combination pliers, long nose pliers, a screwdriver with 11 changeable bits, 4 standard screwdrivers, a spirit level, and a set of 16 Allen keys. Perfect for getting them to FINALLY hang that shelf you’ve been asking for! Morpher Flat-Folding Cycle Helmet We all know that wearing a helmet on a bicycle is important, but when you commute to work by bicycle it’s often the most difficult thing to transport or store once you arrive at your destination. They’re often left swinging from a bag strap as you make your way to the office, leaving them free to get scratched or damaged as they’re carried around. The Morpher Flat-Folding Cycle Helmet is a CE certified helmet that folds flat almost instantly, with magnets to keep it securely closed when not in use, leaving it free to be carried in a backpack, laptop case, handbag or hand luggage. Smarter iKettle As we’ve already established, tea is important for fuelling the minds of British engineers. But who has the time to wait for the kettle to boil?! The Smarter iKettle lets you remote boil your iKettle from anywhere with its app, letting you set alarms and prompts, and control the boiling temperature between 20-100 degrees. It’s also compatible with home devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo, with one reviewer describing how they’d used motion sensors to boil the kettle and turn the kitchen lights on when they come downstairs in the morning. Genius! LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender Set If the engineer in your life loves Lego and Land Rovers, then this is probably the perfect gift! This challenging build features a detailed dashboard, working steering wheel, forward-folding rear seats, a 4-speed sequential gearbox, all-wheel drive with 3 differentials, independent suspension, a working winch and detailed 6-cylinder engine with moving pistons! With 2573 pieces, this build will keep the big kid in your life entertained for hours. ANYCUBIC I3 MEGA 3D Printer A super gadget for engineers who love to make things, this 3D printer will let them bring their ideas to life. Compact and easy to assemble, the Anycubic i3 has build dimensions of 210 x 210 x 205mm, making it the perfect addition to any engineers workshop! ViewSonic Ultra-Portable Projector Weighing just 750 grams, and with built-in dual Harman Kardon speakers, the ViewSonic Ultra-Portable Projector offers entertainment in any room with 300 LED Lumens of brightness. Connect a phone to the projector and enjoy big-screen entertainment up to 100 inches, or use the Bluetooth speakers to play your favourite album, the 6-hour battery life makes sure you’re entertained all evening. iRobot Roomba 895 Robot Vacuum Cleaner ​ If you struggle to get your loved one to help you with the cleaning, then this could be the solution. The iRobot Roomba is a robot vacuum cleaner that allows the user to schedule the cleaning throughout the week or control it with a simple Alexa command. Buy this for your favourite engineer and they’ll never let you do the cleaning again! There’s plenty of gifts and gadgets out there to keep the engineer in your life busy, at least for an hour or two! Whatever you decide to buy, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. ​

#Christmas
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4 Steps To Building Your Employer Brand

29. 11. 2019

As recruitment grows increasingly competitive, companies with a strong employer brand are likely to come out on top. Having candidates who want to work for your business, rather than simply choosing you because you offer the best salary within commuting distance of their house, can have a real impact on the quality of candidate you hire and, in turn, business performance. So how can your business build its employer brand to attract the best candidates possible? First, let’s start with the basics. What Is Employer Brand? The term “brand” has its origins in the brands used by cattle ranchers to identify their livestock, but as the term became more common within the business world, the meaning shifted somewhat. David Ogilvy, the so-called Father of Advertising, described a brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” When it comes to employer brand, the CIPD defines it as “a set of attributes and qualities, often intangible, that makes an organisation distinctive, promises a particular kind of employment experience, and appeals to those people who will thrive and perform best in its culture.” In short, employer brand is the perception potential, and existing, employees have of a company based on the interactions they’ve had with, and the feelings they’ve felt towards, that company. Why Is Employer Brand Important? Despite the intangibility of employer branding, having a clear strategy can have a real impact on a businesses metrics by helping your business stand out from the competition in a number of areas; including recruitment, investment, customer acquisition and sales. Being a candidate’s preferred employer increases the likelihood of your business being able to hire and retain a team of highly skilled workers ahead of the competition, increasing the effectiveness of your workforce and business. This improvement in the culture and performance of your employees could ultimately have an impact on your customer acquisition and sales, further increasing the strength of your business and employer brand. How Do You Build An Employer Brand? Building an employer brand isn’t something that can be done overnight, and if you’re serious about making lasting changes it’s going to take consistent effort. While the strategy is relatively straightforward, it does require investment and, often, counterintuitive decisions to be made. There are 4 basic steps every business needs to take in order to develop and grow its employer brand: 1. Define Your Mission Or Vision The first step is to identify your companies mission, in order to communicate to employees where the business is heading, what it aims to achieve, and how it sets out to achieve it. All of your existing employees should be working to support the business’s mission, and it should become the guide for all decisions made within your company. When you’re bringing in new employees, having one over-arching target to work towards allows candidates to quickly decide whether or not they want to be a part of that journey. 2. Understand How Your Brand Is Perceived To understand how to reach your newly-defined objectives, your business needs to get an idea of where it currently is, and how it’s currently perceived. Surveying current employees to find out what they think of the business, its strategy, and how they perceive their role will help to paint a clear picture of your current standing. Asking customers or clients can also identify ways you may not be communicating your objectives clearly, and help to establish ways you can address these issues when pivoting to a new strategy. 3. Build A Cohesive Culture As the company’s new vision becomes the focus, it’s important to develop a culture that supports the objectives needed to realise that vision. Define the types of people that you want to hire based on the culture you want to build, and begin to change your benefits packages and policies to attract those people to your company. This could mean a shift in the way your recruitment process works, hiring for culture fit first and skills second, but it’s worth remembering that skills can be taught whereas personality and attitude can’t. 4. Improve Your Candidate Experience Candidate experience is a huge factor for potential employees when it comes to building a strong employer brand. If a process is too complicated then candidates will give up on their application and move onto another company. There are several ways you can improve your candidate experience, but one quick method is to think of your application process as an online shopping experience. If you’re trying to buy something online and the page takes too long to load, or it asks you for pages and pages of information, you’re likely to give up and abandon your cart. Amazon, probably the most successful online retailer in the world, has done everything it can to minimise friction during the purchasing process - even offering one-click purchasing to make the entire process as simple as possible. This same approach should be applied to your application process - make the process of applying simple, and more people will be encouraged to complete their application. How Do You Measure Employer Branding? So you’ve changed your whole recruitment process and made a big effort in building your employer brand, but how do you know if it’s working? Establishing a set of KPIs that you can measure the results against, that fit in with your newly defined objectives, will allow you to track how your employer brand is performing over time. For instance, did the number of applicants for your roles increase? Or did you get the same number of applicants, but of a higher quality? Was there more engagement on your online channels? Did you have more career site visitors? Was there an increase in the offer acceptance rate? All of these factors can point to an improvement in the strength of your employer brand, but it’s important to focus on those that are most important to your business. Improving your employer brand is not something that can be achieved overnight - nor is it something that can be done once and then forgotten about. It’s an ongoing process that needs constant reflection and changes to make sure it’s delivering results for your business’s recruitment efforts. As the company grows, and recruitment continues to get more competitive, investing in employer brand will be crucial for businesses who want to stay ahead of the competition. Are you going to get left behind?

#employerbrand
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What Does a Recruitment Resourcer Do?

22. 11. 2019

A recruitment resourcer is an entry level position for people looking to start a career in recruitment. It’s a chance to learn the basic skills needed for many sales roles, whilst building a solid foundation for the move up to a recruitment consultant position. But many people don’t know what a recruitment resourcer actually does, so let’s take a look. What are the day-to-day duties of a recruitment resourcer? The central role of a recruitment resourcer is to find and qualify candidates for each of the roles the senior recruitment consultants are trying to fill. This covers the full recruitment process, so resourcers typically spend their days placing job adverts to attract candidates, conducting searches on the company database or online job boards to find candidates with relevant skills, calling them to discuss their experience, checking their qualifications and references, and identifying whether they will be a good fit for the role. Most of these tasks will be carried out on the phone, although there will be times where resourcers meet face-to-face with clients or candidates to discuss their roles. These conversations are essentially selling the position to candidates, or the candidates to the clients, by answering their questions and dealing with objections, so recruitment resourcers also need to be keen to develop their sales skills. Resourcers are also responsible for keeping all of their records up to date; keeping track of the relevant candidate and client information in the company’s database and tracking their business metrics, so a good portion of their work day will typically be spent on admin. It’s also important to stay up to date on the sector you’re working in, staying up to date with market pay rates, contract types, clients that may be looking to recruit in the future, and companies that are going to be making redundancies. What skills do you need to be a recruitment resourcer? As this is an entry level position, businesses won’t typically expect trainees to have vast amounts of experience, but there are a few key skills that will help anyone to succeed as a recruitment resourcer. Good Communicator Being a recruitment resourcer involves talking to lots of candidates and potential clients, so being confident and professional on the telephone is essential. Persuasive Being able to sell roles to candidates, and candidates to clients, is a must. Good computer skills Recruitment resourcers are typically responsible for keeping track of their sales figures, and all of the relevant candidate and client information for their roles. This normally involves using a range of software such as Microsoft Office and Outlook, and an Applicant Tracking System or CRM such as Bullhorn. Highly motivated As with any sales-based roles, calling people on the phone can result in a lot of negative feedback, so it’s important that recruitment resourcers are motivated and resilient. Competitive The recruitment industry is very competitive, so recruitment resourcers need to be driven to win! Desire to progress In order to move up the career ladder to a consultant position, recruitment resourcers must be hard working, and have the desire to progress through their company. How much does a recruitment resourcer earn? Salaries for recruitment resourcers can vary depending on the size of the company, the location, and the sector they’ll be working in. Our trainee positions have a basic salary of somewhere between £16k and £20k, with an uncapped commission. Think it might be for you? If you’re looking to start your career in recruitment, and you think you’d make a good recruitment resourcer, we’re always on the lookout for talented people to join our team. You can apply to our Recruitment Resourcer position here.

#Recruitment
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5 Surprising Recruitment Statistics

15. 11. 2019

With the recruitment industry constantly shifting, it’s important for hiring managers to understand the ways they can positively impact their businesses recruitment process. But when there’s so much information available, where do you start? We’ve gathered together five of the most surprising recruitment statistics your business should learn from, to help point you in the right direction. 49% of millennials would quit their current jobs in the next two years. Despite experiencing the highest employment levels since the 1970s, almost half of millennials would leave their jobs within the next two years; up from 38% in the 2017 report. The most cited reasons given those asked, according to the report by Deloitte, were “dissatisfaction with pay and lack of advancement and professional development opportunities.” In order to improve the loyalty of millennial employees, it’s important for companies to address these concerns by introducing initiatives that will help to improve employee retention, such as giving employees a clear progression plan for their time at the company, and offering a flexible working schedule where possible. Organizations that invest in employer branding are three times more likely to make a quality hire. According to research conducted by the Brandon Hall Group, companies that take the time to invest in their employer branding are three times more likely to make a good quality hire than those that don’t. Employer brand is a potential employees’ perception of a company’s image and reputation, and while this might be difficult for businesses to quantify, the research also found that organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70%, making this a worthwhile investment for any company looking to improve their recruitment process. 89% of talent professionals say bad hires typically lack soft skills. While it’s clearly important that an employee has the relevant hard skills for a role, a survey by LinkedIn found that 89% of talent professionals say that bad hires typically lack soft skills. Screening candidates for soft skills is much more difficult for hiring managers, and despite changes in other areas of the recruitment process, asking behavioural questions and reading body language are still the most common ways of assessing a candidate. Findings from the Brandon Hall Group’s research also showed that organizations that lack a standard interview process are five times as likely to make a bad hire, suggesting a structured interview process may be the key for companies that are struggling to find candidates with the soft skills they’re looking for. 81% of job seekers say employers continuously communicating status updates to them would greatly improve the overall experience. When asked what employers can do to improve the overall candidate experience, a survey from Career Builder found that 81% of job seekers said that they would like employers to continuously communicate status updates throughout the hiring process. While this may not be feasible for every company, or every position, it does highlight the fact that many job seekers are becoming frustrated with the lack of feedback they receive during the job application process. Companies who tackle this feedback dilemma are likely to see a positive reaction from candidates, even if they’re not successful in their applications; something that will help to greatly improve their employer brand. 50% of human resource managers say they currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. For hiring managers, the high levels of employment are making it increasingly difficult to find workers, with a study by Inavero finding that 50% of human resource managers have open positions they cannot find qualified candidates for. Finding qualified candidates is one of many recruitment challenges companies are facing, and it may be time for businesses to make changes to their recruitment process in order to reach those hard-to-find candidates needed to fill these open roles. If you’re struggling to find talented candidates for a large number of roles, it might be worth considering bringing in a specialist recruitment agency to see where you may be going wrong, and to help speed up your time to hire. Statistics like these can make recruitment sound like a daunting task, but it needn’t be. Most businesses can make a big difference to their time to hire by making a few simple changes to their recruitment process, and taking the time to consider the impact their recruitment process has on their candidates. If you’re struggling to find qualified engineers for your roles, then one of our consultants would be happy to help - give us a call today.

#RecruitmentStatistics
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8 Ways to Shake Up Your Recruitment Process in 2020

08. 11. 2019

“They’re just not a good fit for us.” How many times have you heard a colleague or a manager say that as they turn down yet another candidate you think is perfect for the job? If you feel like you’re hearing this more and more frequently, the problem could lie somewhere in your recruitment process. First of all, let’s get a better idea of what we mean when we refer to the recruitment process. What are the steps in the recruitment process? Recruitment processes differ between industries, with some requiring a more hands-on test to determine whether or not a candidate is capable of doing the job they’ve applied for, while entry level positions only need to confirm a handful of basic criteria are met. Generally, there’s 7 basic steps: Identify a need Prepare a job spec Advertise the job Screen applications Hold interviews Offer the job Onboard the employee Let’s take a look at each step of the recruitment process and explore the ways you can shake things up in your business. Identify A Need The first step of the process is to determine who it is you’re looking for. Typically, this will have happened because a manager or department head has decided they need to bring in a new member of staff to do a specific job. (Duh!) But this goes beyond just deciding you need a new employee and putting an advert out. First of all, you need to decide what level the employee needs to be. Are they going to be an intern or junior, or do you need someone with a few years of experience? What skills do they absolutely have to have? Some skills would be nice-to-haves, but which ones can’t you live without? How is this role going to impact the business? Is this a critical hire that could stop the business if it’s not filled, or is it something with less of a direct impact? How to shake things up? Try not to hire someone It can be tempting to fill a role without questioning whether or not the business still needs someone there to do the work full time. With the technology we have available, and the “gig economy” we’re experiencing, it may be possible to hire a freelancer to do the work remotely. Or perhaps this job can be done by splitting the workload amongst existing employees without compromising the quality of their existing work? Make sure you’ve explored all of the options before going ahead with hiring someone new. Prepare A Job Spec Once you know why you’re hiring, you can begin to pin down the details of the role you’re recruiting for, and the type of person you’re looking to do it. At this stage, many companies make the mistake of handing the hiring over to HR to work on getting the role filled quickly, without first speaking to the person who will be working most closely with the new employee to find out what will be expected of them, and what skills are an absolute must. How to shake things up? Take a step back from education or experience University isn’t for everyone, and with a number of high-quality online training courses now available for many professions, asking for a degree from a prestigious redbrick is becoming more and more dated; especially if you’re trying to recruit younger employees. Someone with 3 years of junior experience will likely have more practical experience than a recent graduate, so try not to corner yourself with your education requirements; or perhaps consider hiring someone who’s coming from a different industry and is looking for a change in careers. Advertise Now that you know the type of person you’re looking for, it’s time to start advertising your job. There’s 3 main places businesses typically advertise their jobs - their own website, social media and a job site. Advertising on your own website works well if your business has a strong brand, and social media has given companies the ability to get in front of more and more candidates, but both typically underperform when compared to job sites. These platforms have an audience of interested job hunters that are looking for a new role, and because users can filter by salary, location and job title, the people seeing the ad will be some of the most relevant. How to shake things up? Revamp your job descriptions Try making your job descriptions stand out by avoiding the clichés like offering a “competitive salary” or “fantastic benefits.” Applying for jobs is a laborious process, and expecting candidates to spend precious time applying for your position without knowing whether the job will even cover their bills isn’t a good candidate experience. Let the experts have a go If you’re advertising your job but not getting any good quality applications, it could be worth hiring a recruitment agency. Specialist recruiters will not only have access to a large database of qualified candidates, but they’ll also be able to advise you if your salary offer is too low, or you’re not aiming your advert at the right people. It may seem like an expensive option in the short term, but it’s much cheaper than making a bad hire. Screen Applications Once you’ve received applications, it’s time to start screening the candidates’ CVs. Make sure to review what the job description and person specification are looking for, and check each application against these criteria to shortlist the applicants. It’s the candidates’ responsibility to prove to you that they have the relevant skills and qualifications, so if they don’t do a good enough job or getting this across to you quickly, move on to the next. You’re trying to get the list down to the most qualified candidates, who you can then call to discuss their experience and qualifications, to make your decision about who to interview. How to shake things up? Take a look at their old projects or call their references If candidates give an example of a project they’ve worked on, or mention a particularly interesting point about an old position, it’s worth doing a little digging. For positions like designers and web developers, there’s always the opportunity to look at old projects they’ve completed. Try to mimic this for your role if that’s possible. If you can’t look at old projects then you can do the next best thing - speak to their references. Waiting until you’ve offered the job to check references is, quite frankly, absurd. Why waste time on scheduling interviews if you don’t know that the person is even suited to the role? Calling their references is a great way to get an idea of what they’re like as an employee, and can be a good opportunity to confirm they’re at the level they say they are. Just be sure you don’t call their current employer! Hold Interviews Now that you’ve screened the candidates, it’s time to schedule the interviews. By this point, you should have a solid group of candidates who you think would be a great fit for the position, and who have shown that they have the skills and qualifications you’re looking for. The most important thing with interviews is to evaluate how well each candidate is likely to work with your existing employees. How to shake things up? Act like the candidate is interviewing you I don’t mean setting up some elaborate role-playing scenario; instead, just be conscious of the fact that the candidate is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. If they’ve made it this far you must already think they’re qualified to do the job, so turn the tables by acting as though you’re trying to pass THEIR interview. They want to know they’re making the right decision in joining your company, so it’s important to look for both parties that you’re hiring someone who’s the right cultural fit for your team. Rather than asking them all the questions, open up a dialogue and try to address any concerns or questions they may have about the position and your company. Tell them honestly what it’s like to work for your employer, and the things you enjoy about your job, and it’ll be much more likely that you hire someone who will thrive at your company. Offer The Job So, they passed the interview? Great! All you’ve got to do is let them know they got the job, draft their employment contract, and sit tight until their due date! Unless you want to send their job offer by carrier pigeon, or skywriting, there’s not really any ways to shake this process up, except for one simple thing many businesses seem to forget… How to shake things up? Don’t ghost candidates! If you’ve interviewed a candidate, but decided to go with someone else, the least you can do is tell them. Offering some explanation as to why you went with the other candidate, and how they might improve, isn’t always something an applicant will want – but if they do ask for comments from the interview, the least you could do is give them some constructive feedback about why they missed out. Onboarding The first day of a new job is a rollercoaster of emotions. Employees can be excited and nervous in equal measure, so it’s great to keep things simple. Most people expect a few standard things on their first day - some paperwork to sign, company policies to skim read, directions to the loo, and the logins to their computer. But there are a few small touches that can make all the difference when it comes to helping someone settle into their new position. How to shake things up? Revamp your onboarding process Onboarding can start before a new employee even arrives at the office. A week or so before they’re due to start, send them an itinerary for their first few days and let them know what they’ll need to bring. There are some offices where everyone goes out for lunch, and they won’t want to feel left out if everyone else is leaving the office and they’re stuck with leftovers from last night’s dinner. Consider scheduling a lunch with a few colleagues to help new employees get to know them, or give them a buddy that they can spend the afternoon with. There’s really no limit here – just try not to overwhelm someone on their first day in a new job! This article isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list of the ONLY ways you can spice things up in your recruitment process. It’s a starting point – some suggestions to consider. The key takeaway should be that sometimes processes become ineffective without us noticing, and oftentimes recruitment is one of those processes that is pushed to the bottom of the pile. A few changes to your recruitment process could have a huge impact on the type of candidates you hire, your time to hire, and your employee retention levels; so make sure yours aren’t costing your business now!

#recruitmentprocess
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My 3 Key Takeaways From Advanced Engineering 2019

01. 11. 2019

Yesterday I visited Advanced Engineering 2019 to get a close-up view of what the engineering industry is talking about, what problems companies are facing, and how the industry’s leaders think it’s going to change over the next five years. Aside from the host of next-generation robotics, racing cars, and composites, it was great to see so many industry professionals getting together to talk shop, and to help each other navigate the ever-changing world of engineering. Throughout the day, at the various stalls I visited and talks I attended, there were several points that seemed to be the focal point of many conversations; so, I thought I’d create a quick run-down of my 3 key takeaways from the 2019 Advanced Engineering show. Brexit Being that the second day of the show fell on the 31st of October, the proposed deadline for leaving the EU with, or without a deal; it’s no surprise that many of the conversations focussed on Brexit and its impact on the various sectors within engineering. The industry has suffered since the referendum back in 2016, with investment being stalled by uncertainty and a lack of information from the government about how the sector will be affected. The result of this uncertainty has been a slowing of overall economic growth, which has led to a lack of innovation from the UK’s engineering sector, adding to the difficulty engineering is facing. The only certainty Brexit currently offers, it seems, is causing more damage and uncertainty in the engineering industry in the short term. Digital Transformation & Big Data Another key talking point was the digital transformation many sectors are seeing, with a particular focus on the resulting data those changes are producing. Despite a full shift to “Industry 4.0” still being a long way off, the companies that have already invested in digital transformation are struggling to process the enormous amounts of data they are now producing. During his talk, Adrian Spragg, Aerospace and Defence Industry Leader at Accenture UK, mentioned organisations that are only processing and evaluating a fraction of a percent of the data their aircraft are generating. This gap between the data being produced, and it being effectively processed, means there is still a huge way to go before the “big data” will start to have a meaningful impact on manufacturing and development. The other dilemma such vast amounts of data causes is one of collaboration – how can businesses share findings that will help drive the industry forward as a whole, while still protecting their intellectual property? And will they even be willing to do so? As more data can be processed, the speed at which advances will be made is likely to increase exponentially, so addressing the problem of sharing data and collaborating with competitors will mark an important shift in the way engineering businesses operate. Skills Shortage The final trend is one that has been impacting all engineering sectors for many years – a lack of diversity and a shortage of skilled workers. With the speed at which developments are being made, and that speed expected to increase as companies begin to harness more data throughout this fourth industrial revolution, it’s important for more to be done to address the skills shortage we’re already seeing. Simply getting more people interested in pursuing a career in engineering, and training them with basic engineering skills, isn’t going to be enough to address the shortage of skilled workers already needed within engineering. Katy Riddington, Director of NCC Connect, suggested that companies investing in these shortages alone is no longer enough, and that there needs to be a collective effort from every sector to work together on initiatives that provide the entire sector with a diverse and well-trained talent pool. Again, it seems that collaboration is the key to this dilemma, and organisations who work together to address the shortage are likely to be the best positioned as the problem continues. No matter your sector, the next few years are likely to be an interesting period as businesses are forced to adapt to the technological advances and politcal changes. I'll be watching with interest, and look forward to seeing how things have changed at the 2020 conference!

#Engineering
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Could This Be The Future Of Travel?

25. 10. 2019

In May, Lilium unveiled its on-demand air taxi prototype to the world after it completed its maiden flight in Germany. Now, just six months later, the company has released new footage of the all-electric Lilium Jet after it successfully completed its first phase of flight testing. According to a press release from Lilium, the jet, which will have zero operational emissions and is slated to cover journeys of up to 300km in one hour on a single charge, “has now been flown at speeds exceeding 100 km/h, in increasingly complex maneuvers. [sic]” The company have released a video of the five-seater jet, showing it making the transition from vertical take-off to forward flight and completing turns above an airfield in Germany. The footage comes as the company celebrated completing their first manufacturing facility, which they hope will enable full-scale production of the jet when the test phase has been successfully completed. Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO said: "It's been thrilling to watch the Lilium Jet progress so rapidly and to see our first flying taxi manufacturing facility. We are taking tangible and concrete steps towards making our vision of regional air mobility a reality and we're doing it on time.” "We believe that regional air mobility has the potential to be a remarkable force for good in society and we can't wait for what comes next." A Travel Breakthrough? If it can live up to expectations, the Lilium Jet has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel. Unlike other flying taxis, which have relatively short flight time due to the need to generate lift constantly, the Lilium Jet only uses 10% of the engines’ available 2000hp when in flight, meaning it will be able to make journeys of 300km in around an hour, and on a single charge. To put that into perspective, the jet would allow passengers to travel from London to Manchester in just 54 minutes. But Lilium isn’t planning to target the ultra-wealthy, saying on their website that their aim is to deliver “journeys that are four times faster than going by taxi, yet competitive in price.” But the company still has a long way to go before we start seeing taxis flying up and down the country. After their first test flight back in May, Leandro Bigarella, Head of Flight Test, said: "The Lilium Jet continues to meet our expectations, delivering excellent in-flight performance and remarkably smooth transition from vertical to horizontal flight. "That said, we take a relentless approach to improvement and, like any good testing program, we have had the chance to implement a number of refinements to the aircraft along the way. "We are now moving into a critical stage of testing as we prepare for high speed operations and eventual certification by the relevant authorities." With the company aiming to begin commercial operations in 2025, there’s still a long way to go for Lilium. But, as the company puts it, the jet “will not only change the way people choose to live and travel but will also connect communities at a fraction of the cost of conventional high-speed infrastructure such as road and rail.”

#future
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5 Steps You Can Take to Reduce Recruitment Bias

18. 10. 2019

As the shortage of women within Engineering and STEM industries continues, is it time for businesses to start taking a closer look at their recruitment process for recruitment biases? What is recruitment bias? Recruitment biases are formed by a person’s own life experiences. We all have subconscious preferences that have been formed over our lifetimes for the way things are done, the people we spend time with, and the way we perceive the world. Importantly, recruitment bias doesn’t just refer to race, ethnicity or gender. Biases can focus on a personal preference for introversion or extroversion, age, political preference, or any number of factors. While it may seem silly that someone wouldn’t hire someone because of their own beliefs, the simple fact is that people make decisions with inherent biases every single day. When it comes to recruitment, these biases can have an impact on the interviewers’ perception of a candidate, which can have an impact on their ability to get a job. In fact, one study found that by simply changing the name from John to Jennifer on two identical CVs, Senior Scientists were more likely to perceive John as being more competent, and would select him for a hypothetical position. Obviously, to give everyone an equal opportunity, it’s important to take these biases into account during the recruitment process. How can you reduce recruitment bias? While there are steps that can be taken to reduce recruitment bias, businesses are often not doing enough to reduce or eliminate these predispositions during the recruitment process, so what steps can be taken to reduce recruitment bias? 1. Create A Person Specification Creating a specification for the person your hiring not only gives a clearer picture of the skills and experience that will be important for the role, but also ensures you’re hiring someone based solely on how well they fit the role. Too often a hiring manager will have a “feeling” about a particular candidate that will affect their decision of whether or not they hire them. Eliminating this option helps to significantly reduce the chance for biases throughout the entire recruitment process. 2. Screen CVs Blind Another way to remove some biases and predispositions is to screen candidate’s CVs without any personal information. As mentioned above, simply having a different name on identical CVs can have an impact on a person’s perception of that candidate, so removing personal information ensures hiring managers make decisions about candidates based on their work experience and achievements alone; rather than being influenced by their name, date of birth, or even the area they live in. 3. Use A Diverse Panel During the interview itself, using a diverse panel will help to reduce bias as it reduces the likelihood of one person’s bias affecting the outcome of the interview. A diverse panel will also have different biases to begin with which should, in theory, help to cancel each other out to some degree. While it may be tempting to create a large panel for all future interviews, it’s important to make sure the candidate still has a good experience. Statistically speaking, a panel of 30 people may well be more neutral than a panel of 5 people, but that’s hardly going to be a nice experience for the person interviewing for the position! 4. Structure Your Interviews Bias can also occur because of a lack of structure within the interview itself. For example, one candidate may get the chance to talk more at length about their hobbies, while focussing less on their relevant work experience, simply because they have something in common with one of the interviewers. Ultimately, this could result in that person being offered the job because they got lucky with the way the interview was structured; even if the other candidate actually had more relevant experience for the role. Structuring interviews consistently means everyone is given as equal of an opportunity as possible. 5. Use A Recruitment Agency Using a recruitment agency can help to eliminate a lot of the recruitment bias from the sourcing and screening process because their job is to find the best candidate for the role. Agencies will also send candidates across without contact information on their CVs, meaning your managers focus is solely on the skills and experience a candidate has to offer. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to completely eliminate bias from the recruitment process, and ultimately, once a set of equally skilled candidates are selected for interviews, there comes a point where a person’s personality plays a factor in how well they will fit in with the company culture. It is important, however, that every applicant for the role is given the same opportunity to get to that point, to ensure that these final decisions really are the best people for the business, regardless of their race, religion, or gender. You can read more about Entech’s Equality & Diversity Policy here.

#recruitmentchallenges
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E-Sports, Drones & Robot Racers: The Future Of Racing?

11. 10. 2019

If you’re a fan of Formula 1, there’s a good chance you’re starting to find each season somewhat predictable. Barring any driver errors, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull dominate the race weekends, and the championship is normally all but decided by about race number four. It often feels like the exciting wheel-to-wheel racing of yesteryear has been replaced by grid penalties, undercutting pit strategies, and overbearing politics from the organisers. And while there’s plans overhaul the look and performance of cars for the 2021 season, in a bid to make the races more competitive, it’s possible many fans won’t wait that long, with many already growing tired with how monotonous the sport has become. But could new technology mean motorsport is the next industry to face complete disruption? E-Racing Last week, Millennial E-Sports announced plans to build the world’s first dedicated e-sports arena in Miami in 2020. According to a press release, the planned arena will be home to “30 racing simulators which can be raced on individually, linked with the other racing rigs in the building or globally networked to compete against drivers from all over the world.” With the global e-sports audience expected to grow to reach more than 500 million by 2021, it seems Liberty Media, the owners of Formula 1, are already testing the waters of what e-racing can help F1 achieve. If you follow F1 on social media, you’ll probably have already noticed regular content based around the Esports Series, a racing series with teams competing for their share of $500,000 prize fund. ​ The edge the Esports Series has over the regular series is that anyone can take part in the qualification process by simply racing at home on their console or PC, with the chance to become an official driver, competing in the F1 Esports Pro Series. This unique aspect of e-racing gives fans the chance to see how their times compare to the Pros, which arguably gives them a stronger connection to the racing they watch during the season. But it’s not just e-sports that could take a bite out of motorsports’ viewership. Drone Racing With sponsors like BMW, The US Airforce, and Lockheed Martin, the Drone Racing League is another sport that offers viewers the excitement that other motorsports may have lost. Described by the league itself as combining “the thrill of Star Wars pod-racing with the real-world adrenaline of Formula 1” the DRL features drones racing at over 90 mph through 3D courses that look like they’ve been dreamt up by a video game designer. But this isn’t just some rag-tag bunch of enthusiasts hiring out a warehouse. The racing is aired on sports networks across the world, including Sky Sports, ESPN, Twitter, and Fox Sports Asia, reaching 57 million fans in 90 countries! It certainly looks a lot more exciting than some of the Formula 1 races we’ve had in recent years. RoboRace If the lack of a physical car bothers you, then perhaps RoboRace will be more your cup of tea. The concept was developed to bring about the faster development of autonomous vehicles, with the final vision for the league being manually controlled cars being pitted against fully autonomous competitors. A full league is likely still a few years away, but it certainly seems that the lack of a driver would make it possible for teams to perform more outrageous manoeuvres at higher speeds – or at least that’s what I’ll be hoping for! Whichever way you look at it, traditional motorsports are going to have a lot more to compete with over the coming years, and it will be interesting to see how they evolve to cope with the increased competition.

#electriccars

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