DJUGL is back

DJUGL is back!
Our London based Python/Django community is busy preparing for the 3rd instalment of the year, being held on 17th July 2018. For full details about the event and to book your free place click here.
 
For those new to DJGUL, we’re linking up great companies and developers of all levels within the Python/Django space. We meet quarterly for engaging tech talks and conversation. It’s a fun social event for developers who are keen to expand their knowledge, share news, niggles and of course meet new people. Jamie Janner, Python Consultant for London, explains how being a part of this community can have a positive impact on your career: “It enables developers to experience a more 360 view of the community and understand new technologies, best practices & other roles & avenues available to them in their careers.”
 
So whether you’re looking to upskill, speak in front of your peers or learn something new – join our community and become a Djugler.
 
Our London team of specialist tech Consultants have immersed themselves in this community. With their unrivaled technical knowledge they’ve been helping to run Djugl and support developers and companies who use Python and Django, since 2008. Austin Fraser’s own Python Consultant, Ross Lewis explains: “It allows us to be a face and have a presence within the communities we engage with day in day out. We are able to experience the industry through their eyes and hopefully learn more about the work they do. In doing this, we are able to connect on a deeper level”.

Jamie Janner – [email protected], Ross Lewis – [email protected]ustinfraser.com and team will be on hand during the event, so book your free place, grab a beer and slice of pizza and let’s talk.

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200
Celebrations are set to take place across all Austin Fraser offices, following our second consecutive placement in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. 2018 sees us come in at 20th in the ninth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.
 
Growing our international presence
How have we achieved this? In the qualifying two year period, we’ve seen exponential international growth, with revenue rocketing up over 115%. Global locations have doubled in the past 18 months, too, opening offices in Berlin, Denver and Dallas. And we have more ambitious plans for Europe and the US in place.
 
Strategic leadership
As many of you will have seen in the media, earlier this year, we announced a significantly expanded leadership team, with the aim to propel Austin Fraser’s organisation’s global growth. At the same time, the business has been developing deeper relationships across our specialist sectors across Technology, Automation, Aviation and Life Sciences industries
 
Strengthening our culture
International growth comes with its own set of challenges. So we were delighted to see other regional players like the Bullit Group and Westcoast in the league table.
We’re a people-led business to our core and have nurtured a culture that supports, fosters and rewards success. As a recruitment partner, our teams are genuinely motivated by a core desire to ensure both our clients’ and candidates’ success. We couldn’t be prouder of every team member for making this happen and look forward to celebrating and thanking everyone in person.

Understanding Developer Typology

Understanding Developer Typology
Ahead of our June 2018 Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg we speak with 1&1’s Matthias Wittum, Head of the Source Center and Christian Rehn, Software Developer in 1&1’s Customer Selfcare Solutions about their highly developed frameworks and models which are specially designed to examine developer typology. Their frameworks and models are proven to support developer teams, strengthen communication and optimise design decisions.
 
Matthias Wittum explains that whilst working with Christian Rehn, they identified how different developers can be when it comes to reaching a design decision and how this has an impact on development teams. We know that developers are unique problem solvers who draw on different approaches, knowledge, cultures, experience and principles to produce software solutions. Developers naturally approach projects uniquely, and the outcome can play to a particular focus or strength. Of course within a development team this can lead to several solutions being found and so the challenge is often finding one team solution or design route.
 
There are enough personality tests out there, but no tests or frameworks based specifically on developers. We felt that some instruments were needed to enable better production efficiency and to help develop teams according to their orientation and typology, so we started filling the gap. That’s how the Design Types Model for instance, came to fruition. It sets out to define developers’ typology via a relatively straightforward base of questions for each developer to answer. The answers provided help classify their typology and then you can group them accordingly. Using this model makes it easier to gain an impression of whether the tasks, the way of working and the environment are a good fit.
 
Here are three Models which we have formulated to identify developer typology, aid better case arguments to reach design decisions more quickly and to help optimise development teams:

Design Types Model – sets out to identify why software design is individual and often leads to discussions with colleagues.
Design Cards – great interactive tool using a set of predefined cards used to aid technical discussions by using proven arguments.
Design Matrix – helps you to examine technical problems from all perspectives.

Read more about these interactive Models here.
 
Ever since the agile movement, technical decisions are increasingly discussed or reviewed within the team. Collective Code Ownership means that everyone is now jointly responsible for the software and as a result, it is important for developers to be able to argue precisely and comprehensively, to be able to put oneself into the motives of your colleagues. With our models, we want to support exactly this and strengthen communication in development teams.
 
Leaders in Tech
Thanks to those who joined us at our Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg meetup held on 21st June 2018 when Matthias and Christian give a complete overview of the developer typology, as well as the Design Cards and the Design Matrix. As a start, to understand the concepts and the overall context.
 

3 Top Tips to Building a Successful Engineering Team

3 Top Tips to Building a Successful Engineering Team
 
We spoke with Florian Gamper, freelance CTO/CIO whose background is in Software Engineering from Enterprise Backend to Web and Mobile. Florian is a speaker at our Leaders in Tech: Berlin event and over the years he has built numerous startups, Engineering Teams and Ventures for Companies like Dr. Oetker, BCG Digital Ventures and Columba. Resulting in projects like Coup (Electric Scooter Sharing for Bosch), Mein-Dach (Community Platform for Brass Monier) or backen.de (Oetker Digital).
 
As a Leader in Tech, we asked Florian what his 3 Top Tips are for Building a Successful Engineering Team
 
TIP 1 – Recruiting and interviewing your dream team
It starts with finding the talent. No longer do you have to wait for them to find you, now there’s a much more bi-directional process where you apply to them directly. This helps both sides engage in a deeper partnership. Be prepared to give your ideal candidate(s) an interesting story behind your company and an explanation as to how together, the projects can help take them to the next level.
Don’t ruin their first impression of your company! Before any interview takes place make sure the right people are in the room, and that you’re set up with a proper internet connection and good video chat system for remote interviews (not kidding … falling out of interviews all the time ruins your first expression … so ditch skype).
Finding and recruiting the right people to build a successful Engineering Team takes a lot of time. Don’t rush the process and if you have the funds to use freelancers for the intermediate, do it, it helps a lot. Never hire in doubt or rush.
 
Now it’s time to build your team.
 
TIP 2 – Cultivating the perfect environment
To create the perfect environment for an engineering team to thrive, the culture, supported from the top down, has to be right. To excel, you need to create a supporting culture with a welcoming and open mindset, which each member of the team needs to be a part of. To achieve this there are three simple rules: you have to build a culture that doesn‘t blame, gives fame, has no shame (it’s ok to admit a mistake) for the team to thrive. Set guidelines within which they have the freedom to experiment and thrive.
Glitches can appear if you don’t have the right processes in place to support your successful engineering team. To help track and record workflow you need to have stable processes in place such as CI/CD, Wiki, Tasks.
Listening, can help you spot the early signs that you’ve got the culture right. People will not only talk to each other about work, but also about their lives and hobbies. Bonds form and they’ll do some stuff together after work, ensure these are never siloed in the engineering team.
 
Never fear to lose the wrong people.

 
TIP 3 – The Future for Engineering Teams
Engineering Teams have to prepare to be more and more involved in production processes. Continuous deployment is a key to fast and steady delivery. In the near future teams will get more diverse in skills and topics as ML and other Cloud Technologies are going to be part of wider projects.
 
 

Creating a workplace of the future in our Reading HQ!

The launch of our brand new office refit in our Reading HQ!  
We partnered with design firm Area Sq to create a workspace of the future in our new, Reading-based HQ in Thames Tower. Throughout the initial briefing process, Area really got to grips with our why. They understood that our people are at the core of our business and helped us create a dynamic space, to accommodate our equally dynamic workforce. Our space deliberately encourages collaboration and innovation in the way our teams approach their work and each working day, ensuring our employees the resources and support to truly succeed in their roles. We’ll take you on a tour of our office and the progression of our refit in the video below.
 
Our break out area where we spend our lunch times, monthly meetings and host local Meetups and events
 
Our recent move of our Reading HQ into Thames Tower coincides with our tenth year of business. Over the last ten years we’ve expanded internationally, opening offices across Europe and the USA within the digital, technology, aviation, automation and life sciences industries. As a business, we were keen to set a precedent and create a truly inspirational space for our centralised hub in Reading. We’ve really considered the long term and ensured our space facilitates growth for each of teams to expand into.
We have a versatile range of meeting spaces for our teams to collaborate in
Thames Tower offers a 360 panoramic view of the Thames Valley, a rooftop garden where we regularly host and attend events, as well as a prime position in Reading Town Centre, with access to all the town, has to offer. Our office refit had to maintain these incredible standards and Area accomplished this and made our vision a reality.
 
Our classroom, where we provide immersive training experiences for our staff
 
CEO, Peter Hart says, “We really believe that what Area Sq has created represents the future workplace. It will play a huge role in helping Austin Fraser reach the next level of growth with the right people, technology and environment. It was important for us to have an office environment which offered different types of space to accommodate the different types of people and working practices that run throughout the business. This inspirational workplace will play a key role in helping us to continue to attract and retain the very best talent.”
 

Want to take a look for yourselves? Take a look at this video we worked on with Stanton Media and Area Sq…
 

Are you investing in future management?

The importance of investing in future management

 
In order for a business to succeed it needs to have solid foundations of senior members of staff who have the knowledge and willingness to lead and develop teams to help push the business forward.
 
What happens when the good manager’s begin to hand in their notices, or retire? We typically go to job boards, post an advert or look for internal candidates and start the recruitment process. This brings us back to the issue of attracting the most talented and engaged candidates to fill these roles.
 
These traditional hiring methods are not always effective in terms of longevity due to the demographic of the market.  If we continue hiring from the very small pool of candidates that is currently available, we’ll effectively be recycling the same management throughout the industry.
 
We need to modernise our teams. We need to start thinking about are our future management.
 
One of my favourite examples of future management is one I featured in my previous blog, Brit Rocks – Women in Quarrying. I successfully introduced an Assistant Quarry Manager to a business in October 2015. This young woman has since been promoted to Quarry Manager and is highly spoken of by her peers and management. The business she’s joined genuinely believes she will positively contribute towards the continual development of the company.  
 
It’s reassuring to know that with time and commitment a junior member of management can make such a huge impact. Many businesses neglect to see the value in hiring junior members of management as they typically are not able to make an impact on the business immediately. However, this example shows that through the support of her business and her personal willingness she has found her feet and is excelling in her role.
 
I’m by no means saying that we shouldn’t employ people straight into managerial positions…that would be ludicrous! If you have a vacancy we need to recruit. However, what I am saying, is that whilst we have teams in full operation, it’s important to focus on bringing in skilled and determined candidates. These need to be people who have the ambition to develop into management but are also passionate about our sector. We need to create a team of potential managers who truly care.
 
This will create a cycle whereby great managers will create great teams. If the cycle is successful, these teams will then go on to create their own teams of future management through coaching and support. If we get people in early doors, who are eager to learn and determined to succeed, it puts us in the best possible position to enable this cycle.  
 

 
Stop thinking about the now, and consider the future. How can you utilise the strongest members of your team to help you, to create your next generation of management?.
 
Personally, I find these three hiring methods help my clients to identify the best candidates for said generation.

Assessment Centres
Open Days
Trainee Programmes

 
Throughout my career I have successfully introduced six future managers to various business via these methods. Having followed up with them all, it’s great to see that they are showcasing promising signs of a bright career ahead.  It’s prompted me to think about why other businesses aren’t focusing more effort on securing their future too.  
 
It’s all well and good now while we’re all fit and healthy and willing to manage our business, but why not start thinking about our successors?  These are the people we can to train and mould to ensure the continued success of our business after we’ve left.
 
I implore you to consider the importance your businesses’ demographic, and if hiring from a different pool of candidates could bring success to your business.  It’s time to start equipping our industry with the talent it needs to succeed in the future.  
 
If you want any further advice on a hiring strategy we’re always happy to help.
 
 

Brit ROCKS – Women in Quarrying

Brit explores the subject of women in the quarrying industry
 
Gender equality is a subject prevalent to many industries and despite the progression throughout wider society, unfortunately it is no secret that the Quarrying industry remains a “man’s industry”. Being an active member of this industry, I experience first hand that there is a real desire for this to be overturned. However, the current hiring process is often unsuccessful in becoming attractive to women, despite the fact that some of the most talented people I have introduced to my clients have been women.
 
Specialising in recruiting within the Quarrying and Mining sectors, I have had the pleasure of opening the pool of candidates to include a wider range of people including some highly experienced women. I’d like to share some of my recent successes within the industry.
 
Last year I placed a female Assistant Quarry Manager and have received incredibly positive feedback. Her director says she has excellent ideas that are not only going to have an impact in their business but within the sector as a whole! She has also recently received her first promotion as a result of her hard work!
 
I co-organised an assessment centre for an international business this year and a trainee manager outshone her male peers. Her tenacity and authority was unrivalled and she was one of four that the company employed. This opportunity came with promising career progression and I’m excited to follow her progress.
 
Finally, I secured a Quarry Manager position for another woman. It’s reassuring to hear that her new site is now performing at a higher standard than ever before and she is running a tight ship, earning the upmost respect of her colleagues.
 
I don’t want these stories to be odd occasions. How refreshing would it be if these stories were a regular occurrence? By no means am I saying the female gender are superior to others. What I am saying is that as an employer you should strive to emulate these success stories.
 
There’s a common denominator across these stories and it’s not just that they are all successful women. The businesses who hired these women have mastered their recruitment process.
 
I was recently invited by the Institute of Quarrying and the British Aggregates Association to speak to their members. The advice I shared has already been widely taken on board and drastically improved many recruitment processes. If you want some more information on how you can modernise yours, don’t hesitate to contact me!
 
I’d like to reach out to you and encourage you to share your stories of successful women in the Quarrying industry so we can create a platform to celebrate this success and help change people’s opinions of the industry.
Brit Wagstaff
[email protected]
https://www.linkedin.com/in/britwagstaff
+44(0)1189520152

Brit ROCKS: Stone Age Recruitment Methods

Our business is all about providing true consultancy. We encourage each and every specialist here to become a true expert in their specialist vertical markets so they can provide the most valuable advice to their clients and candidates. Each market is extremely different and so Brit Wagstaff, specialist consultant here at Austin Fraser wanted to share her findings on recruitment within quarrying and mining industry. 
 
The quarrying and mining industry is one of oldest industries in the world and yet, when it comes to recruiting, many of the processes belong in the Stone Age. I’ve spent the last year immersing myself in this industry and I’ve learnt a lot about the different recruitment methods people currently use. If managed well, it can have a huge positive impact on a business; if managed poorly however, the outcome can be unexpectedly negative. As the first instalment of my blog series ‘Brit Rocks’, I wanted to give an overview of what I’ve uncovered.
 
Old Stone Age Recruiting: Industry Related Media
Industry-specific trade press is a traditional starting point for recruitment as it provides peace of mind that you’ll be targeting the right audience and acts as a great advertising tool. Those interested in the industry are able register for their digital newsletter which keeps them up-to-date with the latest industry trends and jobs nationwide. This experience has the potential to leave a sour taste in the mouths of candidates when applying for jobs. Often these candidates won’t receive any meaningful feedback from the hiring managers, if any at all.
Candidates invest a lot of their time into preparing a CV and often a covering letter too. They do this because they genuinely believe they would be suitable and as such, when they don’t receive any communication from a hiring company, this can reflect badly on that company’s reputation.
 
Middle Stone Age: Local Job Boards
Local job boards are a great source for local candidates actively seeking work in their locality. One of the challenges of this local-centric approach is that it limits a huge network of potentially suitable specialists outside of these areas from even being considered for the roles.
 
New Stone Age Recruiting: Web Recruiters
Web recruiters essentially act as the ‘middle-man’ between candidates and employers. It’s a cheap and straightforward method of outsourcing recruitment, but highly inefficient. If you’re looking to get your job advertisements out to a wide range of people, web recruiters can prove very effective, though much like Industry-related media, it can leave candidates disappointed when there is little or no feedback provided. It’s important to remember that in these instances, applicants will remember this experience and draw associations with your company as a whole, which can negatively impact your reputation.
 
Twenty-first century recruiting: Generalist Recruiters
Paying an upfront or minimal fee to a generalist recruiter is a cost effective approach to recruiting and it helps to ensure you provide a degree of personal interaction with applications. This helps to maintain your business’ reputation, but the more generalist recruiters typically have a weaker understanding of the industry or the day-to-day technical expectations of the roles they’re recruiting for, which can make finding the perfect fit for your business a real challenge.
 
The future of your recruitment: Specialist Consultants
A specialist consultant is a recruiter who spends every day immersing themselves in all aspects of a specific industry and vertical market. This process is vital in an industry like quarrying and mining in order to understand who the very best candidates are, wherever they are.
By getting to grips with the real, granular detail a candidate’s drivers, along with small details that are typically unknown to hiring managers can add a huge amount of value to the process. For example, family situations, travel restrictions and perhaps most importantly, why they’re currently looking for work and what they’re looking to do in a new role all help to streamline the recruitment process and add value from start to finish.
A specialist recruiter’s job is to bring together employers candidates through detailed assessment and understanding. It’s this process that ensures a high level of synergy between both parties, helping to make sure that when they’re ready to make a decision, it’s the right one.

Brit Wagstaff – Intelligent Quarrying Conference 2015

 
Our specialist consultant, Brit, presented at the Intelligent Quarrying Conference 2015
 
 
The Intelligent Quarrying Conference creates a platform for professionals in the mineral extractives industry to network and engage with industry leaders whilst exploring new industry trends and ideas.
 
A particular focus of the conference is to take a step back and identify ways of improving performance in the industry. One way to raise the standards was identified by our recruitment consultant, Brittany Wagstaff. She feels that in order for the quarrying industry to continue its modernisation, the current recruitment process needs to change accordingly.
 
Brit was asked to present at the Institute of Quarrying (IoQ) conference in November 2015 to raise awareness of the current struggles that industry professionals unknowingly face when it comes to finding the right people for their business.
 
If you missed her presentation, you can watch it below!
 
Brit Wagstaff 
0118 952 0152
[email protected]
 
 

Iain-mcculley-controls-and-automation

#IndustryInsights – Supermarket price wars: How hiring the right controls and automation personnel in manufacturing could be the solution.

The need for manufacturers to produce stock as quickly, efficiently and cheaply as possible has never been greater. Supermarkets are facing their biggest ever battle with prices, with the likes of Aldi and Lidl chipping away at precious market share. The race for automation in manufacturing could be the key to success, but who could win? Iain McCulley, specialist controls and automation recruiter here at Austin Fraser discusses the answer.
Black Friday is here and Christmas is fast approaching. Consumers are expecting more price savings than ever and the UK’s ‘big four’ supermarkets, Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons are entering the battle with their own approach to competitive price matching.
The growth in popularity of fast-growing discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl is posing a huge threat to retailers across a range of sectors. The pressure they’ve applied to the market has even sparked speculation of a merger between two of the ‘big four’.
This increase in price competition is naturally having a direct impact on suppliers, which in turn forces manufacturers to drive down their costs wherever possible. With advances in technology, manufacturing companies across all sectors are looking to increase the efficiency of their processes wherever possible, in particular, through automation. As such, more and more companies are putting their investment in talented controls and automation professionals as a priority.
Though the move towards autonomous manufacturing systems will inevitably reduce the requirement for ‘hands on’ engineers, it’s a fantastic opportunity for engineers to ‘upskill’, creating a shift in expertise, rather than a reduction of labour. This shouldn’t be seen as a negative change. Engineers should continue training in order to adapt and continually develop their skills and meet the changing demands of job roles.
Manufacturers have little choice but to continually improve their production processes in order to remain competitive. Since there is such little margin for error (none in some cases), the importance of getting the right controls and automation professional has never been greater. Time, quality and price are precious commodities in production and it’s vital this is mirrored in the recruitment process.
Finding the right professionals to support a business’ objectives is always a challenging process — the right person could make a team, the wrong one could break it. As a hiring manager, advertising a role, screening candidates, booking in and organising multiple interviews (often over several stages) and making a decision can be time consuming, particularly for more technical roles.
Beyond the obvious time challenges that recruiting presents for a hiring manager, both in terms of the recruitment itself and the time it detracts from operational responsibility, finding the right candidates can be extremely challenging; after all, the best candidates aren’t on the open job market for long.
Of course, engaging with a recruiter can help to speed up this process by passing all of the candidate screening, qualification and organisation through to an expert in the field. However, a truly expert technical recruiter will understand their specialist market at great depth, providing them with a significant advantage when it comes to hiring. This is particularly important within the controls and automation field as an expert recruiter will spend all of their time establishing and nurturing extensive candidate and client networks, which will give them knowledge and insights about upcoming opportunities for both hiring managers and candidates. Why does this matter? They can open doors that these individuals may not necessarily have found for themselves, creating a better chance of finding the best candidates, or most desirable roles.
The industry is moving quickly and manufacturing is changing fast. The race is on. In order to keep up with the pressure of delivering high quality, low cost product, it’s important to consider that automation is a driving force in this evolution.
Iain McCulley specialises in recruiting controls and automation professionals and interim engineering/project managers, specifically within the manufacturing and FMCG sector. Continue the conversation on 0118 342 0300 or [email protected]

Web Summit Trends #1 – Virtual Reality

 
The concept of virtual reality isn’t a new one. We talked about the potential for virtual reality in recruitment back in July this year and from this year’s Web Summit in Dublin, it’s clear this technology will command the business and consumer markets in a big way very soon.
 
With many speakers and companies at the Web Summit focusing on virtual reality technology, it’s obvious they believe this mass trend shift isn’t far from physical reality. Just a few exciting examples of virtual reality applications included Audible’s inspiring attempt to bring the graphic novel, ‘Locke & Key’ to life in a 360 degree virtual environment, Jaunt’s immersive virtual reality cinematic experiences and VRmaster’s experiential selfie ‘bubble’ creator.  We recommend you take a look at what they’re doing right now!
 
Leading the way in last week’s virtual reality discussion, Mike Schroepfer, CTO of the world’s largest social network said, ‘Facebook wants to build a device that allows you to be anywhere you want, with anyone, regardless of geographic boundaries’. Referring to Facebook’s intentions to integrate virtual reality technology into their platform, Schroepfer demonstrated real intent to unleash virtual reality to the masses. Following the social media giant’s acquisition of Oculus Rift, one of the leaders in the virtual reality race, it’s clear that their aim is deliver the ability to speak with their connections on the other side of the planet whilst feeling like they were having a face-to-face conversation.
 
Perhaps the most exciting use for virtual reality technology was in its ability to improve the user’s experience of worlds beyond their everyday reach. Chis Milk, an American music video director and filmmaker described virtual reality as ‘the ultimate empathy machine’ in a Ted Talk back in March, 2015 and Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water demonstrated exactly why. Virtual reality provides the user the ability to feel like they’re truly experiencing the environment that they’re presented with; in this case, the struggle for water in Ethiopia.
 
Scott and his team filmed a virtual reality documentary over the course of several days, allowing audiences to experience the direct impact that their charity has on communities, by watching the installation of a well and seeing what the villagers could see and sharing their emotions with them. The documentary will be released next month, you can sign up for the video here.
 
When we released our post on virtual reality in the recruitment space, we were met with a mixture of extremely positive feedback and some disbelief that these technologies could provide benefit to the industry. Based on what we saw at this year’s Web Summit we can assure you that recruitment is just one of the hundreds of industries that will be transformed because of virtual reality technology in years to come.
 
Whether allowing candidates to engage in interviews or experience their prospective work environments ‘hands on’, to carrying out high risk training or test exercises safely and at a low cost, virtual reality is coming and it’s going to be big.
 
 

Start at the top: The importance making the right senior appointments in engineering

 
In a recent blog post, we talked about the IET’s ‘Skills & Demand in Industry 2015’ survey and reviewed some of the key findings. One of them in particular, the fact that businesses are having the greatest difficulty in recruiting senior engineers with 5-10 years’ experience, resonated with Kimberley Haynes, who specialises in placing automation and manufacturing operations professionals here at Austin Fraser. Kimberley explains why businesses need to invest from the top down, as well as at grassroots level in order to sustain industry growth.
 
It has long been recognised that there is a skills shortage when it comes to engineering in the UK. Much of the media focus talks about the importance of investing in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects at school to drive more talent into the industry, along with initiatives to drive more women into the sector (who currently account for less than 10% of the engineering and technology sectors). Slowly but surely, the issue is being addressed from entry level, but very little discussion revolves around increasing demand for senior professionals right now.
 
There is a continuous requirement for engineering in the UK in order to meet the increasing demands of the ‘Automation and Manufacturing’ sector. There has been a considerable increase in capital investment projects within consumer manufacturing and distribution. With a surge of new technologies, process improvements and cost reduction work helping to support the rising demand for production efficiency, the next few years will be critical within the sector.
 
So far, we’ve seen the positive effect of this improved demand across a range of areas. Whether consumer manufacturing, system integration, OEMs or supplier businesses across the UK, the impact is particularly noticeable when it comes to hiring. However, there is a distinct need for more senior professionals within automation and manufacturing for a host of roles, including senior/principal engineers, project managers, team leaders and managers in order to drive new projects and support this growth.
 
One of the most common phrases I hear from my clients is, ‘I need the right person’. Hiring the ‘right’ senior professionals, whether on a projects or operational basis is critical to achieving strategic business objectives. Whether through cost reductions, improving productivity or investing in new technology or facilities, the impact that the right hire can have on a business is profound.
 
Hiring the right senior engineer can be challenging. It’s about more than just looking at technical experience and competencies — Instead, it’s about considering, ‘Is this person the right person to take the business forward?’. This is often determined by the following factors:
 

Do they share our vision?
Do they understand our objectives?
Are they the right cultural fit?
Can they lead the team?

 
There is a small pool of professionals who have the technical and business attributes many organisations look for. It’s becoming increasingly competitive when attracting the right people to businesses. Candidates expect more than a good salary package; training, progression opportunity and work life balance are among just a few of the important factors that candidates in the modern workplace look for. Finding the right senior appointment is hard and the cost of getting it wrong can be substantial. That said, if a business truly understands their identity, purpose, challenges and objectives prior to recruiting, finding the right candidate who can drive them forward is invaluable.
 
Simon Sinek, a management theorist and author of ‘Start with Why’, proposes that, ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’. When undertaking senior appointments, if businesses are able to convey an accurate sense of their mission, business purpose, values and objectives – in other words, why they do what they do beyond financial drivers – the right candidate will invest in the business because it feels right.  
 
A good recruitment partner will work hard to truly understand your businesses’ mission before they ever even consider submitting a CV for review. Strategic senior appointments can only be successfully made if the business’ objectives and motivations can be perfectly aligned with the candidate’s personal drivers. A key part of this process is honest communication — understanding and listening to the needs of clients and candidates alike is vital.
 
Recruiting for senior roles is never an easy process, but it can be crucial in securing the future of your business. Working with the right recruitment partner can draw together experience of this process and help you to structure the process more clearly, making sure you find the perfect match for the role.
 
Kimberley Haynes is an experienced specialist recruiter supporting automation and manufacturing operational professionals across manufacturing, OEM, system integration and supplier businesses across the UK.