Employers, Are You Winning the STEM Race?
If you recruit staff in any of the STEM-related sectors – science, technology, engineering and maths – then you probably already know how increasingly tough that is. Not least because so many commercial and industrial organisations are embracing the technological revolution and joining the search for people with these key skill sets.
This can leave many recruitment campaigns falling short of enough candidates to interview, even before you pinpoint the applicant who fits the job spec perfectly! The situation is further exacerbated if you’re a relatively small company. In the race to recruit staff with STEM capabilities, the winners tend to be the organisations with the deepest pockets.
However, that is not always the case. There are things you can do as an organisation to close the STEM gap and attract candidates with the right experience and acumen.
Mind the gap
First, let’s look at the problem in more detail, for more background to some of the decisive actions you can use as solutions.
You will no doubt have seen headlines about the global shortfall in STEM skills. The talent pool needed to take full advantage of improved connectivity, automation, AI and data science is not well enough stocked.
The global figures for hard to fill vacancies make for sober reading. So it’s not surprising that the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) feels the UK’s skill shortages are at “critical levels”. (source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/01/10/skills-shortages-critical-levels-risking-uk-growth-research/)
You may also be aware of the campaigns and projects launched to address this serious skills gap, including a drive to attract more women into engineering and technology careers.
Is it working? There are reports that suggest current measures are not going to solve the problem any time soon! In fact, the number of adults in training or education has actually fallen to the lowest levels on record. (source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/08/23/skills-crisis-number-adults-training-falls-record-low/)
According to Department of Education figures, only 37% of people in the UK undertook training of some form over the last three years. When you compare this with the peak in 2001 – 46% of adults in skills training – it shows the numbers are going in the wrong direction.
Recruitment is not always salary-focused
One of the most important things employers must recognise when trying to attract candidates with STEM proficiency and experience is that wages are not everything. People are motivated by more than just money, and developing a career path that takes account of that is vital.
Among the things applicants look for is how ambitious you are as a company. If you can demonstrate that they will be part of a forward-looking team, and that their contribution is a key element of a robust business plan, it all helps! Recruitment of STEM candidates as a knee-jerk reaction, with a muddled job spec or unclear career path, is liable to reap poor results.
Also, an employer with a culture that enables staff to bring their “whole self to work” is potentially going to receive more applications from the right calibre of candidate. This could include flexible working practices, empathy for family commitments and offering good health and welfare support in the workplace, for example.
Equality and diversity
Job satisfaction is more assured if you can demonstrate that you are a diverse and inclusive employer. This is a really important point, and not simply in terms of making your workplace attractive to STEM applicants. It is also about your attitude as an employer.
Sometimes, your STEM recruitment policies need to be fluid and responsive, rather than being run along fixed perimeters. For example, you may need to look for someone who has creativity, ideas and a passion for technology, rather than someone with academic prowess or a long list of previous employers.
Inclusivity needs to factor in more than the usual race, age, gender, religious and disability issues. The best fit for the role may be someone who didn’t look good on paper, for example!
As there is such a serious shortfall in STEM applicants – and a growing number of companies hungry for these skills – you need to look further ahead as a company. Your recruitment policies may need to be focused more on where you are going as an organisation, rather than your current business needs.
That way, you can constantly be seeking candidates with STEM relevancy, ready to “grab” them and put clear career paths in place. If you are in the engineering sector, in particular, you may need to think in terms of more young applicants that you can train up. Apprenticeships in STEM-related areas are undoubtedly a key way to develop the workforce of the future.
As attracting enough STEM candidates does now involve a “hard sell” in recruitment terms, it makes sense to bring in expertise.
Time Recruitment invests heavily in creating a fertile talent pool, but also in matching potential staff and employers in an intuitive way. This avoids time wasted and gets jobs filled – including STEM-related posts – as quickly and effectively as possible.
Balancing a Full Time Job with Looking After Your Mental Health
Every year, one in four adults in the UK will suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition, most commonly depression or anxiety. Although not a cause of mental ill health per se, stress and a poor work-life balance place individuals at greater risk and can exacerbate any difficulties that someone is already experiencing. Workers in emotionally taxing professions such as healthcare, or those who work variable and unsociable shift patterns, are especially likely to be diagnosed with poor mental health. So, if you have a full-time job and are trying to balance your work with a family, social life, and all the other demands of modern living, what can you do to help safeguard your mental health?
Stress is a leading contributor to poor mental health. Far from being “all in the mind”, stress is a very real physical condition. When we experience stress, the body releases increased quantities of the hormone cortisol. In small amounts, and for short periods of time, cortisol can be beneficial. Human beings evolved on the plains of Africa, where cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones were beneficial in helping us run away from lions and other animals that would otherwise have had us for lunch. However, over long periods, high cortisol levels can lead to hypertension, heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, and anxiety. Stress is also a key risk factor for depression, psychosis, and schizophrenia.
Reading that last paragraph has probably been enough to increase your stress levels all by itself! So, what can you do to reduce the amount of stress in your life? Leading mental health charity, Mental Health First Aid England provide a free resource on their website called the “Stress Container.” This simple model can help you to identify the areas of your life – whether they’re related to work, money, family or elsewhere – which are causing you stress.
Once you’ve identified your stress factors, you can begin to plan how to deal with them. That could mean talking to your line manager about stressful issues at work, or perhaps having a conversation with your partner or family about how they can help you reduce stress at home.
Managing stress when it does happen
However hard we try to reduce the sources of stress in our lives, we are all going to experience stress from time to time. So, when you’re up against it in the office, or there’s just a lot going on in life, here are a few things you might like to try to help manage your stress.
Science is increasingly showing us that exercise is a fantastic tool for managing stress and improving your mental health. Physical and mental health are connected, so eating well and taking regular exercise are very helpful in improving mood and lowering stress. If you can find something that you enjoy, and you can do it regularly, then make the time for it.
Take some “me time”
When we’re busy at work, it can be tempting to work that little bit of overtime, skimp on lunchtimes and breaks, and generally work harder to get the job done. The reality is, there’s nothing worse for your mental health than not taking any time for yourself. Make sure that, every single day, you set aside time to do something you enjoy, and that will make you feel good. This doesn’t have to be anything complicated or expensive – curling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a good book is perfect. Positive emotions, though, help to build a buffer against stress, so take some time to create those happy moments.
Learn something new
Many people find great satisfaction in learning a new skill or hobby. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play the guitar, take up painting, or learn a new language? Take a look around and see what opportunities are available near you. Most further education colleges offer community classes, many of which are free.
Share how you’re feeling
It’s OK to ask for help and support. Everyone has up days and down days, and it really is true that talking a problem through with a friend, colleague, or loved one can help.
Be organised enough to switch off
When you’re not at work, you’re not at work. At the end of your shift or working day, take five minutes to reply to any emails, tidy your desk or locker, and put away your equipment. Then, when you walk out of the door, switch off. Turn off your phone, stop checking your emails, and get your mind out of “work mode” and ready to relax. After all, you’ve been working hard all day, and you’re not paid to spend your evenings and weekends working too.
Following these tips will be enough for many people to begin to address the sources of stress in their lives. However, if you’re struggling and want to talk, there’s help out there for you. You can call Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123, or email [email protected], contact your GP, call NHS 111 for advice or, in an emergency, visit your local A&E department and ask to speak to the Mental Health Crisis Team.
Succession Planning and Flexibility: Vital for Management
Now more than ever before, both employers and management job seekers need to think ahead.
Economic pressures are crushing more big name brands every week. And some of the longest established UK organisations are being left behind in the race to seize the coat tails of technological advancement. New levels of data science, automation and connectivity are exciting beyond words, but failure to keep pace with the changes demanded can be fatal!
The construction trade is a perfect illustration of this. There is massive demand for new housing in the UK and relative buoyancy in other sectors. Yet, in the third quarter of 2018 the number of UK companies going under in this sector increased by almost 80% when compared to the same period in 2017.
The reasons for this are complex
However, the one thing no organisation can currently afford is to have key posts left unfilled for long periods. The window of opportunity to seek and appoint a suitable candidate for decision making and leadership roles is now smaller than ever!
In fact, the battle to juggle profitability and harness change means losing one of the management team even for short periods can have a serious knock-on effect. Also, handover periods can be unsettling and distracting.
Apart from handcuffing executives with long notice periods (which can be off-putting for suitable applicants), what else can organisations do, to survive management churn?
And what are the implications for applicants for executive positions?
Well orchestrated recruitment and retention
Succession planning is something many organisations do in a piecemeal fashion. In fact, it should be a central part of business strategies.
How can your organisation be sure of a structured and sustained management profile, over the coming years?
This involves having a great deal of transparency and control over current job specs and talent mapping what you already have available. It also means constantly planning ahead, tying recruitment campaigns to the positions you may need to fill, rather than solely focusing on current needs.
Who is set to retire? Who can double up on responsibilities when a key post becomes vacant unexpectedly?
Putting a clear succession plan in place also needs to include setting up systems to act more speedily and decisively when sudden departures occur. For example, having a recruitment agency on hand who knows your business (and its plans) well enough to be extremely responsive.
One of the most important ways to underpin succession planning, is to protect and nurture your management “assets”.
This includes having clear career paths for junior and new managers; and equipping them with the training and support needed to reach their full potential.
The funding for management and leadership development is contracting. This may become more noticeable during the Brexit phase, as EU funding streams dry up.
Yet the need to constantly upskill supervisors and middle management has never been more important, not least to stop them looking elsewhere for the next rung in their career ladder.
Changes to recruitment practices
Another solution is to create a more fluid and flexible recruitment culture, as part of your organisation’s determination to create a healthier succession profile.
So for example, you may have a management post that ideally should involve a permanent contract. However, are there ways to use temporary or interim recruits to avoid leaving significant gaps in the team?
The benefits of this can outweigh the concerns that it’s not a permanent fix. Using more temporary contracts offers the opportunity to recruit key skills and experience you need for the “now”. Then, as your business changes and grows, you can vary the attributes you are seeking from your recruitment campaigns.
If you are facing change, opportunity or even a financial crisis, getting temporary staff with important skills on board only works if you have access to the right calibre of candidate of course. This too can mean having access to a recruitment agency that knows your business well. And one that you have sufficient faith in, to match your temporary recruitment needs effectively and fast.
Applying for management roles?
From the applicants’ point of view, the new and increased emphasis on succession planning brings important considerations.
For one thing, you need to look for future employers who can show how you fit into long-term business plans. And how they intend to develop your role, including investing in your training.
You also have more opportunities to discuss temporary and interim contracts, leading to a more permanent post. This can provide you with opportunities to vary your experience and develop your cv, or at the very least “check out” an employer before agreeing to a long-term contract.
Harness recruitment to business planning
The ability to introduce effective talent mapping and succession planning relies on recruitment systems that are well planned and executed, and unfailingly successful.
To underpin your business plan with proactive and reactive recruitment measures, talk to the team at Time Recruitment.
6 Construction Career Paths you Should Consider
Despite the UK building industry growing each year (it was worth nearly £164 billion in 2017), job seekers still overlook construction as a potential career path. Often, people buy into the preconceived notion that you have to fit into a specific group for a career in construction when in reality it’s a suitable area for people of all ages and genders – according to Statista, there’s over 2.7 million people currently employed in the sector (https://www.statista.com/topics/3797/construction-industry-in-the-uk/). Below we’ve detailed a range of different options you may not have considered before.
- White collar
If you come from a white collar background, you might be excited to hear that the amount of white collar jobs in the UK construction market is on track for massive growth – the Construction Industry Training Board predicts that 158,000 UK construction jobs will be created before 2022 (https://www.citb.co.uk/news-events/uk/2018/construction-set-for-growth-despite-brexit-uncertainty/).
The industry is eager to modernise and boost productivity, and instead of blue collar construction workers, it’s white collar professionals who will be most equipped to help with this. White collar construction jobs will include professional and managerial positions (i.e. BIM managers and estimators). However, these professionals will be based away from building sites in office spaces, IT suites and meeting rooms.
- Blue collar
Of course, the skilled labour of blue collar workers will still be very much in demand as well. The skills needed for these types of roles vary by occupation, but they include good balance and strong hand-to-eye coordination. Typical blue collar construction roles are labour intensive, so good physical strength is vital too. Blue collar roles such as labourers, welders, plasterers, ironworkers, roofers, and carpenters are still necessary in construction, and these jobs come with practical hands-on learning and progression.
Refurbishment projects offer various challenges, and they often employ a range of different individuals from start to finish. Early in the process, they require building surveyors who can provide expert advice in regards to the building’s condition and the work that will need to be done to ensure the integrity and safety of the structure – they can then help calculate the costs of these repairs. Moving forward from this stage, refurb projects will need architects who specialise in refurbishment to help envision the future of the building. Finally, refurb projects require a great site team of blue collar workers who can turn these plans into a reality.
Despite retail construction declining between 2007 and 2017 due to the recession (https://www.amaresearch.co.uk/products/retail-construction-2018), this sector does offer high volumes of work. In particular, the discount grocery sector has remained strong, with expansion plans offering great opportunities for contractors.
In a retail setting, construction know-how is applied to creating great spaces for retail-related businesses to flourish. This very specific type of design must take into account the needs and goals of the business itself, as well as those of potential customers. Potential jobs in this area include architects, structural engineers, logistics managers, site technicians, and quality assurance managers, among others.
Dominated by the private sector, the leisure construction industry has experienced better construction output conditions than many other sectors in the last five years (https://www.amaresearch.co.uk/products/construction-hotel-leisure-2018). Investment has mainly focused on budget hotels, health and fitness resorts, and pubs and restaurants. Current forecasts, however, indicate good overall growth for the leisure sector as we look towards 2022.
Construction jobs within the leisure market are particularly good for those who are looking to travel to new and interesting places. Of course, not every site will be in an exotic location, but leisure projects are often being planned and built in areas that people enjoy visiting. If you yourself have a background in the leisure or hospitality sector, your knowledge of what makes a great environment for downtime will be invaluable. Though leisure is about enjoyment it’s also vital that these projects create spaces that are functional. Roles in this area could include project managers, site surveyors, designers and architects, as well as blue collar roles such as painters, decorators, and electricians.
The commercial building sector experienced a resurgence earlier this year (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/03/02/construction-sector-hints-recovery-commercial-building-picks/), with a greater focus on constructing offices, industrial property, factories, and institutional buildings. These projects can vary vastly in scale and requirements but are often larger projects like warehouses or expansive office blocks. They need very different kinds of structural, plumbing and electrical work compared to other large-scale projects and are built with functionality as the priority. In this sector, you’ll have the chance to work with lots of companies who are willing to put in the extra money to design and build something that really meets the demands of their growing company.
We hope that after reading some of these routes you can take you might be more open minded to pursuing a career in the construction industry. We assure you there are few things more rewarding than seeing a great project you’ve worked on come to fruition. No matter your age, experience or gender, you’ll find a niche within construction that you can really excel in. Our website has a range of construction positions that you can apply for right now. Why not make your first step into this exciting field today?
Exciting Nursing Career Options in 2018
A nursing career offers speciality paths, which allow nurses to work in many fields – clinical or nonclinical. Nurses plan and provide medical care to people in various settings, and they work together with doctors and other medical and non-medical professionals to provide high-quality care to patients. To work as a nurse, you need to first complete a nursing degree or diploma. Most nursing degrees have an option of specialising.
Licensing and registration
You have to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) so you can get a practising licence and the licence needs to be renewed every three years. Apart from just paying for the renewal fees, you need to have attained at least 35 hours of continuous professional development and have at least 450 hours of registered practice in the last three years. You also have to pass the Disclosure and Barring Service check.
Apart from having the technical skills gained from going to school, there are some personal attributes that you need. You have to be compassionate, committed and dedicated to helping people get better. You must also have excellent organisational skills.
Nursing offers a wide array of exciting career options that have many opportunities for promotion. Some nurses work in primary care, which is the first point of contact when providing health care. Others work in secondary care, which happens after first contact and involves the provision of specialised medical treatment services.
Nurses can choose various specialities based on a specific demographic of patients like: adults, the elderly, people with learning disabilities or people with mental issues. These specialities include mental health nursing, general nursing, paediatric nursing, learning disability nursing or geriatric nursing.
Mental health nursing
Mental health nurses work with people with mental disorders and their families in various settings and teams that meet specific needs they have. Some nurses work in a clinical inpatient setting helping people whose recovery requires that they be admitted. Other mental health nurses work in outpatient centres, forensic and residential services. A lot of mental health nurses also belong to community health teams that work with patients in their own homes or within local communities.
Before you become registered as a mental health nurse, you have to complete your mental health nursing degree. After qualifying you have to garner some experience, skills and knowledge, before seeking out opportunities in roles and settings that you want to work in.
Some organisations give rotational schemes that allow new nurses to work in various settings in mental health services. This approach enhances one’s job prospects and even helps one to choose which setting would be the best for them to work in. The experience builds up their management skills and takes them from just being a staff nurse to become a consultant.
Mental health nurses need some qualities to enable them to become better nurses. They need to be good listeners, empathetic and be able to respond appropriately to their patients. They must have good observation and interpersonal skills so that they can comprehend the issues and concerns that their clients have. They need to be emotionally intelligent and be able to help their patients find solutions.
Geriatric nursing refers to nursing that entails taking care of the elderly. It can also be called old age nursing. A lot of elderly people are located in nursing homes. The nurse’s role includes assessing older clients, providing care for them and working with them together with their families. Nurses can work as regular staff or as deputies to the matron. If they have enough experience they can become matrons and be in charge of the staff and control budgets. Nurses can rise higher up the ranks and work as regional managers in charge of a group of homes. Statistics show that there are more beds in nursing homes compared to government facilities. This means that a geriatric nurse will have a lot of employment offers coming from both the government and other players in the private sector.
Learning disability nurse
People with a learning disability are impaired when it comes to their intellectual and social functions. Unlike other people, where their impairments may stem from an accident or illness in adulthood, their impairments are present from childhood. People with learning disabilities experience sensory, physical and/or mental health issues.
Learning disability nurses work together with other professionals to help people with learning disabilities, their families and even in their career lives. These nurses work with people that society has always excluded and their main aim is to help them live fully integrated into society by assisting them to meet their health, well-being and career goals. Adult nurses can work in prisons, community teams, secure services and respite homes.
At Time Recruitment we have close to two decades of experience in the recruitment and placement industry. Our job is to make sure that you meet the requirements of the job you want to apply for. We will offer you the same excellent services and attention to detail regardless of whether you are new to work or an experienced professional. We have offices in Manchester, London and Birmingham.
3 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Start a Career in Finance
The finance sector remains one of the best choices as a career path. As a vital pillar in the business and government worlds, the demand for qualified finance workers will never decrease.
To the outsider, the finance sector can appear daunting. Being a maths-based career, with levels of high risk and responsibility involved depending on the amounts of money handled, many often feel they are under-qualified to pursue a career in finance – but this isn’t true.
The key to building a stable career in finance is knowing where to start. We considered the many routes into the financial sector and have concluded you need to answer just three questions in order to decide whether a career in finance is for you, and which part of finance you should work in:
- Where can I fit into the current job climate in finance?
The UK is a big territory for major companies such as Deloitte, KPMG and PwC, as well as well-known brands such as Barclays, HSBC and Santander. Keep an eye on their employment trends and the kinds of finance workers they are looking for, which are generally an indicator of national trends.
If you’re not interested in working for a major company, or have a specific area of interest, e.g. working for a charity, do your research into the employee profiles of three to five companies you would like to work for. This will help you compile a list of qualifications or experience you need in order to progress.
Changes to the nature of jobs available in finance may change as a result of Brexit. The availability of financial services jobs – mainly retail banking or insurance – is something to keep watch over before you pursue a career. Conversely, jobs in debt management, collection or lending may increase in availability.
- Which route should I take into finance?
There is no set route to take to succeed in the financial sector, and there are many positions that do not require certain qualifications or experiences. All routes can be summarised into four main choices:
- A BA/MA degree in finance, followed by a graduate-level job.
- Higher Education qualifications available as full-time or part-time programmes, such as an AAT diploma or CICM certificate.
- Apprenticeships at certain companies, more often available to school, college and university leavers.
- Entry-level job in administration/payroll departments.
If you are currently studying for a degree, finance or not, companies tend to look for 2:1 or above before offering a graduate position in finance. Depending on what you choose to do in finance, you may be required to take on further qualifications. This tends to be the case in accounting or credit management.
If you are not currently studying, it is possible to enrol on a Higher Education course at any age. Many often take an entry-level role in finance with the option of having further studies funded.
- What type of career do I want to have in finance?
Accounting is often the first career path that comes to mind, but many prospective accountants do not realise the many different types of accounting there are. Accountants can work in advisory, assurance, auditing or tax roles, and have their services used by businesses, private clients, governments and in special cases such as market analytics, fraud investigations and bankruptcy recoveries. All accountants must hold qualifications from a chartered body such as the AAT, ATT or ICAEW.
Another growing career option is in debt, lending and collection. From credit controllers upwards, the need for finance workers in the debt space is ever pertinent. Working with debt means chasing outstanding payments and adjusting payment plans or coming to alternative arrangements if a client faces financial difficulties. Starting routes into a career in the debt space are usually as a credit controller or debt collection agent. Through the educational route, business-related degrees are considered desirable. Through work experience, employees may choose to undertake a Chartered qualification from CICM.
Other popular job choices in the finance sector include banking, both retail and investment (managing the accounts open and soliciting financial products such as ISAs, mortgages and loans to bank members, or following investment strategies for high-value assets entrusted with the bank), investment management (managing assets such as properties or stocks and shares and ensuring investors remain in profit) and in insurance or actuarial roles (underwriting the monetary value of a client’s possessions to insure them against their possible loss, e.g. homes, cars, or working out the statistics for evaluating items for insurance policies based on probability).
If you can answer these three questions, then it’s time to take the next step. If you need more help before choosing a finance career, our recruitment professionals can guide you through the specifics of the different pathways, such as information about particular qualifications or helping you secure work experience.
Career Advice for Young Engineers
Sometimes you go through life and get to a point where you wish you could reset the clock and you regret not applying the lessons you learned early on in your career path. As a young engineer, you have the chance to do that by following advice offered by experienced engineers about what they wish they knew when starting their engineering careers.
The modern workforce is proof of how things evolved as compared to the recent past. Statistics show that young professionals do not keep one job for thirty years at a time anymore. Young engineers bring with them a wide range of skills to the workforce and there is continuously a chance to pick up something new. Here are the best ways to make the most of your career as a young engineer:
Get a Mentor
It might seem rather obvious, but borrowing the wisdom of a more practised and qualified role model can efficiently provide the support that you need to develop in your career. Just like all other industries, finding a person to inspire you to better yourself and that pushes you beyond your limits to better yourself will downright foster your career on a favourable path. By observing your superiors, you get to learn how to exercise leadership. Take a look at the engineers you admire and adopt their strengths to your portfolio. If there are superiors that you do not admire, note their weaknesses and work on avoiding repeating them in your career path.
Learn the Skill of People Management
Creating an arsenal of proficient abilities and skills outside the confines of engineering curricula can tremendously improve your value as an engineer in an organization. The crème of this list is the skill of managing people, specifically other engineers. The underlying science and technology with engineering solutions evolve continually and so quickly that only a few people can stay up to date. However, there are always new people bringing forth new skills, enthusiasm and understanding. The key remains at recognizing your tasks as a young engineer and developing your skills as a people’s manager so you can successfully set the stage for next-generation engineers.
Contrary to popular wisdom, for the engineering world, it is dangerous to remain silent to seem wise. Probing questions enable us to consider the available options, extends our comfort zones and propels us to career growth. Questions are not stupid, and you should ask them as often as they come to mind. Even the most basic of questions can pick holes in engineering designs, so be sure to fire up your curiosity and keep it high at all times. By so doing, you get the chance to inspire others to consider diversified points of view throughout the design and actuation process. It’s been proven that even the questions that look simple and stupid can help uncover design problems and thus allow the improvement of designs. The power that lies with curiosity and asking questions in the workplace is fantastic and helps clarify things along the way. Also, these questions could provide real-time design solutions that would make your portfolio standout in future.
Never Stop Learning
As a smart young engineer, you should recognize that your diploma is just a starting point of a career that needs constant education and re-education. Even after recruitment, the vocation of a successful young engineer is marked by a continuous stream of learning curves that ultimately take you to supreme expertise levels. The education gained at the university is just the beginning, and in the practical world, you have all the tools to study and the courage to keep learning to be a professional.
Stay up to Date with Other Engineering Fields
Engineering innovation can always arise from the most unexpected of places. Although specialization will remain a highlight in the future, there is a critical need for the cross-pollination of ideas from engineering disciplines. Innovations made in the oil and gas industry can impact motor or aerospace engineering, for example, new products and materials discovered in one sector can directly influence the design of new concepts in other areas. As a young engineer, strive to keep up with as many industries as possible. Do not just follow to trends in your expertise, but in adjacent disciplines as well. As cross-pollination is now, more than ever, a feature of engineering disciplines and innovations, being at the top gives you an edge for the career growth you need.
For a steady career growth after recruitment; having a mentor; expanding one’s curiosity and skillset, and continually and expansively seeking education are crucial for a young engineer.
7 Reasons Why You Should Get a Job in the Construction Industry
Construction is absolutely booming in the UK! Worth a massive £160 billion annually to the economy (double the value since 2000), the industry has never been healthier. And with Britain’s famously growing population, every year brings greater demand for new houses, offices, and infrastructure, as well as endless need for repair and maintenance work. So you’ll be happy to know that recruitment for construction jobs has never been higher. Even better, work within the industry is plentiful, varied, and highly paid, meaning it can be easy to find a career that will keep you happy (as well as financially secure).
The top seven reasons why you need a career in construction:
Construction output in Great Britain supports nearly 300,000 firms nationwide, who together employ well over 2 million people. The UK government has also pledged to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, including many for the building and construction sector. Yet demand is so high that over 60% of construction firms report that they still struggle to find workers, meaning there is white-hot recruitment for highly skilled and experienced tradesmen. Such a skills shortage in this fast-paced and growing industry brings amazing opportunities for both beginners and qualified professionals. Quite simply, this means the pay is great. The average salary for construction jobs is £37,500, rising to £57,500 for senior appointments (compare this to the national average salary of £27,271).
2. Jobs for everyone
Mention construction and many people will simply think of builders, yet the industry is widely diverse and adaptable with many specialised roles. For example, some of the most popular construction positions include: architects, construction supervisors, civil engineers, electricians, heavy equipment operators, and planners. Work opportunities can be found in both cities and rural areas, and involve everything from individual bespoke house building, to megaprojects such as railways or nuclear power stations. Whether you want to get your hands dirty or not, there is likely to be a perfect job that matches your skills, experience, and interests.
3. Work that matters
Construction is one of the few industries that makes a crucial difference to our daily lives. Not only does the sector contribute to the economy, creating jobs and wealth, it also makes a positive impact on the world around us. From shopping malls, business parks and skyscrapers, to hospitals, schools and airports, construction workers literally shape the society we all live within. This makes the work rewarding, knowing that you personally have physically changed the world, improved lives, and left a legacy for the next generation to admire.
4. Collaborate with a team
Construction teams consist of many different occupations, involving architects, engineers, owners and investors, as well as contractors and subcontractors. The knowledge, experience, and effort from a diverse range of people must be pooled to tackle everyday challenges on a building site. The pleasure of working in a team is therefore one of the highlights of this career: solving problems together, overcoming obstacles and sharing the rewards of your group labour. This is how strong relationships are forged, and many construction workers often enjoy the social life and friendships they make which can extend beyond the job.
5. A lifelong career
As one of society’s essential occupations, you can rely on the construction sector being around for your whole career, allowing you to build on experience and qualifications to progress into higher positions. Today’s foreman can advance to be tomorrow’s superintendent, project manager, or construction manager. Ongoing education is also possible, and many skills are transferable from one position to another. Recruitment agencies can help you seize opportunities within different fields of construction, from health and safety, engineering and training, to even striking out and starting your own contractor business.
6. Satisfaction guaranteed
Many people love seeing the immediate result of taking tool in hand and making a direct impact on the world. Construction workers especially can take great pride in creating landmarks and infrastructure that will last for generations. The progress they make each day in construction, no matter how small, is often measurable and physically visible, culminating in a new building that wasn’t there before. No wonder that anonymous job surveys often show that construction and facility service workers are the happiest of all employees.
7. Never a dull day
It might sound like a cliché, but no two days are the same. Different construction projects can introduce you to new skills, dynamic new technologies (e.g., drones and virtual reality), with challenges that require fresh perspectives and daily innovation. Since the sector is so widespread, there are also many opportunities for travel and relocation. Construction skills are in demand globally, meaning recruitment agencies can place construction workers on prominent projects across the world. With such a versatile array of exciting projects large and small, national and international, you never know where you might end up next!
Reasons to Become a Mental Health Nurse
If you’re thinking about a career in nursing, or are currently a nurse considering a move to the mental health sector, there are many benefits to becoming a registered mental health nurse (RMN). The UK is currently experiencing a shortage in mental health nurses, having experienced a decline in the number of qualified practitioners of 12.63 percent between 2010 and 2017, so the demand is now very high for good quality professionals in this field.
The shortage of mental health nurses is leading to a high demand for jobs in both the public and private sectors. As the NHS struggles to cope with a lack of qualified professionals, the government and individuals are increasingly turning to the private sector to meet the nation’s mental health needs. A higher demand for workers means more jobs and better packages.
As people working in mental health are in such high demand, those that do make it into the profession can often count on a high level of job security. Many see it as a career for life, as a lot of mental health placements are for long-term care. Patients that need ongoing support throughout their lifetimes are likely to need RMNs that can commit themselves for the long term, thus there’s less of a risk of job cuts and redundancy.
Working as a nurse in the mental health field is a highly challenging job – you are likely to be caring for people with a range of conditions, from autism and schizophrenia to dementia and addiction. The needs of the people you are caring for are likely to be particularly high, and extremely individualised. This presents a huge amount of challenges in the daily job, and requires patience, tenacity and enthusiasm at all times. However, despite the challenges, working as a mental health nurse can bring unrivalled rewards.
Helping some of the most vulnerable individuals in the country is why many people choose to work in the mental health sector, and it provides many people with significant daily job satisfaction. Job satisfaction, as well as making a difference to society is arguably the main reason most people are motivated to become mental health nurses and, for the right people, this field of healthcare work can provide stimulation and variety each and every day.
More Hours with Patients
A mental health nurse has many roles, such as holistic assessment, developing a programme of complex interventions and delivering specialised care on a daily basis. All of these tasks are centered around building positive relationships with patients. With such a wide range of skills open for development and the frequent opportunities to interact with each patient, it’s not difficult to see why this career path can offer so many opportunities to progress.
How to Become a Registered Mental Health Nurse
If you want to become a registered mental health nurse, you will need to study for a degree and undergo intensive training. There are various universities in the United Kingdom that offer courses in mental health specifically, and their entry requirements vary depending on the establishment and its reputation.
As well as formal training, you will also need certain qualities to make it into the field. Patience, resilience, a thick skin and – most of all – a caring nature are all required of those working in mental health. You’ll also need skills for helping to rehabilitate and bring quality of life to individuals suffering from anything from eating disorders and drug abuse to lifelong mental health conditions.
Why the Private Sector?
The private sector provides most of the long-term mental healthcare placements in the UK, as well as many acute care services. This plays a crucial role in helping the government to meet the huge demand for care and to reduce waiting lists. The sector also enables the government to offer more choice in terms of types of placements and services provided.
The private sector consists of for-profit, not for profit/charity and voluntary organisations, and many mental health nurses are turning to this sector for various reasons. Firstly, working in the private sector can be more lucrative with the right organisation. The average starting salary for an RMN in the NHS is between £22,128 and £28,746 (band 5), and can rise to between £26,565 and £41,787 once you reach bands 6 and 7. Private sector companies, on the other hand, set their own pay scales, with many organisations offering a higher base salary and better staff packages.
Secondly, private sector working allows RMNs greater flexibility in their career paths; organisations set their own career progression paths, and you often have greater opportunities for negotiation in your employment terms. Finally, you also have added job security as most placements are long term; therefore, most employers will be looking for people that can commit to working with their patients for several years at least.
Those interested in a career as an RMN should speak to Time Recruitment, for access to many of the best private healthcare positions.
3 Benefits of Hiring Your Employees Through a Recruitment Agency
In an economy where every business is desperately trying to gain a competitive advantage, ensuring that you hire the most talented and capable employees can help to give your company that extra edge. However, this is a well-recognised fact; the issue is how to actually achieve this desired outcome.
Human resources departments are constantly searching for the top candidates for the positions they need to fill, and in a marketplace where labour mobility is greater than ever, there is a requirement for an almost constant stream of talent into the company hierarchy. Moreover, the task is made more difficult the fact that not only are you searching for top talent, but also the candidates most likely to fit seamlessly into the company culture and practices.
That’s where specialist recruitment agencies come in. While the task of hiring appropriate talent may seem daunting to in-house human resources departments, dedicated recruitment agencies have a wealth of market experience in finding the right candidate for the right job. Using such agencies can relieve a great deal of stress, as you know that the positions within your company are being filled by candidates who have been thoroughly tested to ensure they are the perfect fit. With that in mind, here are just a few of the benefits of hiring your employees through a recruitment agency:
- Experience in identifying talent
Recruitment agencies are essentially the middle-men between employers and the talent that they are searching for to fill the positions within their company. As such, they have a great deal of experience in identifying the talent that employers are most interested in hiring to their companies. Furthermore, not only are recruitment agencies experienced in finding the most attractive talent; they also know how to spot the candidates who have the potential to cause problems within your company.
Due to their expertise in the recruitment industry, specialist agencies not only know which talent to select, but they also know where to find it. In many cases, the ideal candidate for an open position within your company may be someone who is already employed, and as such may not be actively searching for a job. A recruitment agency can access a wider pool of talent, as ambitious individuals are likely to subscribe to recruitment agencies to be aware of the potential opportunities in the marketplace. This allows your company to access potential talent who may not otherwise be aware that you even have a position available. Recruitment agencies therefore help to increase the quality and quantity of potential talent.
- Industry expertise
Utilising a recruitment agency allows your company to access the acquired expertise that comes with years of specialisation in the recruitment industry. By learning how to select the right candidates across a wide spectrum of the modern economy, a recruitment agency can help you to actually ascertain which skills would be most appropriate for the position you are trying to occupy. This can be very beneficial for SMEs, who due to their size have in-depth experience in one sector of the market, but a surface level knowledge of the wider economy. Recruitment agencies can, therefore, help to develop recruitment strategies that select candidates who can offer unique insight and experience for your company, ensuring an increase in the diversity of talent within your ranks.
Furthermore, recruitment agencies’ industry expertise ensures that they not only have access to local and national talent, but have the ability to recruit internationally. This obviously increases the depth of talent available to a company, and the increased competition for positions within your company that accompanies a greater quantity of candidates will help you to truly identify who is the best person for the job. Recruitment agencies’ industry expertise helps to select the right strategies for hiring employees, and the ability to tap into previously unavailable labour pools.
- Efficient use of budget and resources
With so many different costs that can stack up for companies in the modern economy, maintaining a sizeable human resources department with employees dedicated specifically to recruitment can seem like an unnecessary drain on resources. This can lead to companies cutting costs in their recruitment department, but in some sense this is cutting off your nose to spite your face; by focussing less on hiring the right talent, in the long run, your company will suffer from a lesser quality of talent within the ranks.
Recruitment agencies benefit from the economies of scale that come with being a specialist in the market. Allocating your company resources towards utilising a recruitment agency rather than staffing an in-house team can allow the experts to focus on hiring the right talent, with the ability to access much greater resources and expertise in the field. Moreover, this lets you focus on what you do best – making your company the best it can be.
To learn more about how using a specialist recruitment agency to hire your employees can benefit your business, contact us today!
The 3 Soft Skills That Every Candidate Should Develop
For all candidates who are entering the job market, there are a host of skills you need to develop to make yourself as attractive as possible to a wide array of employers. Whilst we all tend to focus on ensuring that our educational and practical skills are as cultivated as possible, it is often easy to forget that the most attractive candidate for a position is usually the best-rounded individual.
Hard skills vs. soft skills
In an economy that is increasingly competitive and modernised, candidates seeking employment often think of developing, for example, their computer skills as a way to stand out to employers. Developing skills such as these would be to focus on hard skills, the practical abilities that increase our general competency. Whilst nurturing hard skills is an essential task for all would-be employees, to focus on these alone would be a mistake. We also have to ensure that we are working on our soft skills, the intangible aspects of our personality that help to make us a well-rounded candidate, with the ability to be more adaptable and developed as a person.
Whilst hard skills can be essentially described as our ability to perform specific tasks, for example, computer coding or graphic design, soft skills help us to interact positively with the fellow humans that populate the workplace. As such, here is a list of just a few of the soft skills that you should be thinking of nurturing and developing to ensure that you are the most attractive candidate that you can possibly be.
Ensuring that you have the ability to communicate accurately with your fellow employees, and any potential clients, is a must-have soft skill. Often our perception of people can be more important than the reality of their personality; even if you are highly competent at your job, if people perceive you as a difficult person to work then that can negatively impact your working relationships, potential to be promoted, or your ability to interact with clients in a successful manner.
Employers will prize candidates who can communicate effectively as it helps to ensure that productivity levels in the workplace are as high as they can be. If confusion and a lack of clarity permeate the workplace because of a lack of communication, there is a higher probability of inefficiency and inability to convert and retain leads. To help develop your communication, practice your writing skills to make yourself as clear as possible. Moreover, rather than avoiding public speaking and presentation due to nervousness, think of taking opportunities that help to increase your clarity and ability to present information concisely
Just like in our everyday lives, no-one can guarantee exactly what will happen in any given working day. A host of unexpected circumstances can crop up that require us to change our plans, and the ability of employees to respond and adapt effectively to changing situations is an essential soft skill that employers will search for. Moreover, if you are ambitious and aiming up the corporate ladder, then it will be expected of you not only to adapt to changing environments but also to take advantage of the new opportunities that arise.
To help develop your adaptability, focussing on stress-reducing techniques in your everyday life can help to ensure that when situations change, they do not negatively affect your mood. With a calmer state of mind, you’ll be able to think more clearly about how to adapt to new situations, and how to take advantage of them. Lastly, ensuring that you keep up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in technology will be a huge plus-point for any would-be employers, displaying the ability to identify the opportunities that arise with new developments.
Developing your leadership soft skills is as an essential task for any candidate on the job market, whether you are searching for a job or are currently employed. Employers do not want to have to spell out every little detail of your working life for you, and having the ability to take your own initiative will make you stand out from the job market crowd.
Moreover, when an employer hires you for a position, they are not just hiring the abilities and talents you currently possess; they are investing in you, hoping to see an increase in the “value” of your abilities and talents. The more ambitious you are, and therefore the further up the ladder you are aiming, the more leadership responsibilities you will undertake. Thus, if you can nurture your leadership skills, you will be a prime candidate for promotion up the corporate ladder.
To enhance your leadership skills, try taking in all the information you can about notable industry and market leaders, and see if there are any lessons applicable to your life. If you are currently unemployed, search for internship opportunities that will enhance your leadership “portfolio”. Once in a company hierarchy, take every possible opportunity to move horizontally, even if only temporarily, to gain as much experience as possible in as many areas of your company’s operations as possible.
To learn more about how to develop your soft skills to make yourself as attractive as possible to a wide array of employers, contact us today!
Steps to Become a Successful Engineer
Stiff competition and limited employment opportunities mean that many job seekers struggle to attract employers and pass interviews. This is especially true for the engineering industries. Engineering-related job hunters will need to develop and update the right soft skills, which include personal qualities and interpersonal attitudes.
Employees want professionals who are flexible with their schedules, preferences and responsibilities. Flexibility is a can-do attitude that people should act on and not just talk about. During interviews, it’s recommended to describe project experiences or workplace scenarios that required flexibility and resulted in benefits and new understanding.
Time management skills are crucial for job applicants because new hires must often juggle a variety of roles and responsibilities. Be prepared to explain how you prioritise mundane duties and urgent daily tasks to help your potential employer understand your awareness and organisation skills.
Texts with popular acronyms and casually written emails may help to establish rapport, but they may also demonstrate professional incompetency. Many business leaders and educational experts worry that technological advances are weakening people’s ability to clearly and effectively communicate. It may help to mention that you prefer to engage clients and coworkers in face-to-face conversations.
Why soft skills matter
Soft skills are not related to degree level or technical expertise because they help people re-prioritize the right tasks, proactively solve problems and communicate well with others. Soft skills encourage productivity, collaboration and excellent customer service. In fact, most consumers select technical professionals based on their abilities to establish rapport, respectfully communicate and take the time to help others.
Know what you’re talking about
Expertise is a valuable commodity. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s bad news both for you and the company you’re doing the work for. But that’s no critical job skill at hand. Even if you start with relatively little niche knowledge or precise understanding of how a prospective company uses its resources, you can learn. If you’re applying for an entry-level position, the company might actually prefer a little less hands-on experience so they can train you how they prefer.
The hottest job skill isn’t really knowledge
The most important skill is being able to articulate knowledge and have a worthwhile conversation. Every single job involves some degree of communication, and the interview doesn’t end just because you get the job. You need to be able to have a meta-conversation about what you do, not just be able to do it.
Be able to understand questions full of technical jargon
Take the time to learn engineering industry-specific terminology. Even in your own thoughts, start referring to tools with their official names. The last thing you want is a director to walk by, understand your spreadsheet, and ask you questions you can’t even begin to answer.
Be able to explain procedures to new employees and auditors
Explaining is an extremely underrated skill. You’ve probably sat through dozens of podcasts, lectures, and meetings where you want the speaker just to get to point. But when they do get to the point, it sounds like a mix of vague and technical nonsense.
If you can present yourself as having both deep technical knowledge and the ability to concisely explain it without generalizing, you have a unique asset. People will prefer to listen to you than someone who rambles or over-complicates, which makes you extremely powerful.
Access the industry
Remember, the first step to growing your career is to step into your desired industry. Job experience is key, so apply for jobs at engineering companies. While you might not get your dream job as an engineer from the start, beginning in a related position is key. You can work your way up as you build your resume.
Earn engineering certifications
Talk to your employer about signing up for training with AWS, GCP, Azure, or other platforms. You can earn credentials and certifications by doing so. If your employer is not able to cover your training, look into doing so on your own. These certifications will be worth it down the line.
The engineering industry is all about who you know. Attend conferences, connect with staffing firms, and join networking groups to meet experts and professionals in the industry. By making these connections, you can build your professional web and continue to grow in your career as an engineer.
Keep up with new technologies
No matter where you are in your career, its essential to stay educated on up-and-coming technologies. This way, you can stay one step ahead on the future of the cloud industry. So, when certain certifications are in demand, you can be one of the first to add them to your resume.