The Technical Recruitment Sector

The technical recruitment sector covers everything from the energy industries to FMCG and warehousing. Such scope across the UK gives our specialist consultants a unique insight into the major projects/developments in their region, as well as first-hand experience of the trends that are affecting both employers and employees in these industries.

We picked the brains of three technical specialist consultants who have over 10 years’ recruitment experience between them. They revealed what it is like to recruit and work in the UK’s growing technical sphere.


technical and engineering recruitment consultants

Are you seeing any UK wide trends in the technical sectors?

Matt: The shortage of available, actively looking and highly skilled candidates is a common theme across the UK. Due to the uncertainty that Brexit has brought to the UK, numerous candidates (and clients for that matter) have taken a back seat in their job seeking. The lack of decision making or inability to plan for a future beyond Brexit has had a significant knock on effect as clients cease to hire and candidates remain safe in their existing roles.

The Engineering sector in the UK accounts for just under 1 in 5 people in the UK workforce – it is an enormous industry. There are fantastic opportunities available within East Anglia for the sector – it just requires candidates to grasp them. Across the region, the availability of technical roles is only going to grow and the availability of candidates has to grow parallel to this. If it doesn’t the already significant skills shortage will only become larger, damaging the growth of the East Anglian Technical Sector.

What other routes are available for young people to enter the technical sector?

Sam: Over the past year we have begun to notice an increase in apprenticeship schemes being offered by businesses; it seems to be becoming a more popular route for those leaving school. Apprenticeships are an invaluable opportunity for both businesses and candidates looking to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. Every company that is running an apprenticeship scheme really needs to promote these as much as possible if the skills shortage in the area is going to be reduced.

Education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects has been a focus of schools and the media, what impact has this had on recruitment?

Chris: The importance of STEM education as a means of preparing our young workforce for future employment has been pushed into the public domain only relatively recently. As a result, there is a massive skills shortage in the junior-mid level employment market; leaving STEM oriented businesses gripped by heavy competition for the available talent that is out there.

Industries are evolving much faster than ever before. Indeed, a lot of machinery, processes and procedures simply didn’t exist 10 years ago – This has become one of the major challenges facing both employers and employees, who need to keep up to speed with all the new developments in their industry, as well as obtaining up-to-date qualifications and training. That being said, the opportunity for constant learning and development makes this sector one of the most dynamic arenas to work in right now.

Describe the Technical sector in East Anglia?

Matt: There is a lot of excitement around the technical sector in East Anglia at the moment. With the news of the Vattenfall project coming to the East coast, local Engineering and Technical specialists will benefit, alongside their expanding workforces.

The Cambridge-Norwich tech corridor is another exciting prospect for East Anglia. Due to the improved transport links i.e. 90-minute train from London to Norwich and the new dual carriageway, East Anglia has been opened up to talent and opportunities from further afield. By opening up more commutable routes, tech start-ups have more chances to flourish; aiding the growth of the Technical Sector in the East of England. Now is the best time to join the industry.

What one piece of advice would you give to clients recruiting a technical member of their team?

Sam: When recruiting, make sure you’ve researched the market value of a candidate to ensure that you’re being competitive and fair. This is something we regularly help many of our current clients with by using our knowledge of the current market and regional salary surveys to inform our advice.

What one piece of advice would you give to candidates looking for work?

Chris: First impressions count. Be yourself, be honest and dress appropriately to send the right message.

Additionally, when you go to interview, have an understanding of the business and what they do before you arrive. This way you can come up with some creative, insightful questions to ask your interviewer that will make you stand out.

For more hints and tips on how to ace the interview, take a look at the advice section on our website. For more information on Technical recruitment, please take a look at our Technical hub. Still can’t find what you were after? Please get in touch with a member of your local team to discuss further.

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FINALLY… Make sure you have confirmed your interest in the job. Conclude the interview with a handshake, remembering to thank the interviewer for their time. After the interview contact your Select consultant and let them know how the interview went.