This week I have attended a number of events held in honour of international women’s day. One of those was a Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia event held at BDO Brisbane and whilst listening to the wonderful Heather Mattes speak about her career and the challenges she faced it got me thinking about the current challenges many companies are facing in what has quickly become a candidate market.
2019 really is going to be the year of the engineer. Queensland in particular is leading the way with multiple major project really ramping up. But the story is similar across the country, there are currently not enough skilled engineers to meet the demand and whilst the Federal Government and Industry are working to future proof the industry, that is a number of years away.
So what can you do as a business to ensure you are not only attracting the right people to your business but what can you do to retain the best people, and what has this got to do with International Women’s Day?
Attracting the best people or “top talent” and attracting diverse candidates, especially in an area of candidate shortage mean you as an organisation have to not only re-think your hiring strategy but also your companies value proposition. Then you also have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
It is not just diverse candidates that are looking for better work environments, flexibility, challenges and support, growth opportunities and career development. It is all candidates and many people know their industry, they know who the companies are that look after their people and truly do value them as individuals.
So what are the top companies doing to make them so attractive, and usually it has very little to with pay?
- Providing true flexibility, understanding that it takes a family to raise a family and that life doesn’t stop just because a project has got busy.
- Recognising all their people and making them feel responsible for their own careers but giving them opportunities to grow.
- Involving them in change and giving them ownership of change.
- Listening to them and acting on their ideas.
- Making them feel valued.
- Giving them the opportunity to explore, it is all too easy to keep your subject matter experts in the same role, but not only is that a huge business risk it also stifles your employees and encourages them to go elsewhere to get the new experiences they are looking for.
With the number of projects that are coming online and the actual number of STEM graduates in decline (https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australia-skill-shortages-stem-study-fields-2018-11, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-10/australia-facing-critical-shortage-of-mining-engineers/9851142, https://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/numbers-for-women-engineers-worse-than-five-years-ago-20190215-h1bak6), for the short term at least, this skills shortage is going to get worse before it gets better. So it is worth the time now to invest in the people you have before you have to go talent searching elsewhere.
Engineering the Future is an initiative from Inventra Recruitment, helping organisations retain their people and recognise the need for a truly inclusive and diverse workforce. Inventra Recruitment specialises in the recruitment of technology specialists, trades and engineers. Inventra provides workforce planning and recruitment strategies that are truly personal and creative.