Despite an industry shift towards a skills shortage, there is still good reason for candidates to stay ahead of the recruitment curve. As we approach the end of the year, it is worth maintaining momentum in preparation for the hiring booms that typically accompany Q1.
So, what can candidates do to stay ahead of the recruitment curve?
It is no secret that engineering is a network-focused industry. As such, networking should be your first step. Knowing who to network with, though, is vital for streamlining your efforts.
Be sure to stay in regular contact with your recruiter within your specialist industry. The goal is to be at the front of their mind when a new position comes up. To achieve this, you should be clear about your employment wants, whether this relates to a position, working practices, or something else. That said, do not overlook the value of simply reaching out to say hello. For some recruiters, this can be far more effective than regular business chats.
Similarly, be vocal and active on LinkedIn; it is the basis of professional online networking. Comment on posts, follow industry leaders, and produce your own content. If nothing else, the latter will illustrate your expertise and desire to create conversations. Make connections, develop contacts, and ensure the right people know your name.
Then, make an effort to meet up with some of your contacts in a social setting. It might be for lunch or a quick drink; the setting is generally unimportant. The point is to establish your networks and then follow through with in-person engagements. Talking shop is not always mandatory, but it can help maintain your expertise and learn more about hot trends in your specialist industry.
Your goal is to be ready for Q1 in the New Year. While it is not the only time companies hire, Q1 means new budgets and expansion efforts. In turn, this translates to new positions becoming available.
Hopefully, if you have nurtured your professional networks, the right people will know that you are looking for work. Better yet, they should know exactly the kind of work you are looking for. If a sought-after position becomes available, it pays for you to be the first person a recruiter considers.
On the other hand, you will know what areas companies are recruiting for and, ideally, which companies will be recruiting. Having connections “in the know” might give you early access to these positions, or even a foot in the door. After all, engineering is as much about who you know as it is about what you know.
The bottom line is that, to stay ahead of the curve, candidates must be proactive. This advice is not new, but it will always be relevant. Having connections will help you know upcoming jobs and whether it is worth adjusting your skillset for these roles. Of course, KDC Resource is always here to help, so please reach out for recruitment consultancy within our specialist engineering fields.