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Insight: Recruiting Advice for the Satellite Industry
By Ian Stammers, Founder and Managing Director, Satellite Talent


Satellite companies of all sizes have contributed to an improving global economy, with unemployment at record lows.

In the satellite industry, this bullish environment is being driven by Space 2.0 companies such as SpaceX, OneWeb and Blue Origin, as well as by established operators such as Intelsat, Inmarsat and SES.

Over the course of a typical month, Satellite Talent works with dozens of hiring managers seeking to bring top professionals into their organizations. Based on these interactions, the company estimates that more than 80 percent of employers in the satellite industry will increase headcount this year.  In this competitive environment, both employers and candidates are constantly seeking helpful advice to achieve their goals. Here are some guidelines to help ensure hiring success.

Helping Employers Increase Their Appeal

No matter a company’s size or industry, employers are up against greater odds when hiring the best talent.

Employees are now switching jobs more often, leading to an increase in the frequency of vacancies within a company. Today’s best talent now possess an abundance of options.

While bigger salaries and bonuses and more flexible work are obvious ways to attract candidates, these are not always the most practical enticements — at least not from a budgetary perspective. To enjoy a wealth of qualified applicants, organizations of all shapes and sizes need to consider ways to improve their employer brand.

Perhaps the most important step toward improving your employer brand is to improve interviewing skills. Hiring managers spend little time learning the skills and theory behind effective interviewing — yet hiring is the most important element of one’s job as a leader.

The ability to interview and assess a person’s intellectual potential and cultural fit for the firm takes practice. Companies must invest in training those responsible for hiring how to spot the quiet superstars and potential future leaders during the interview process.

Social Media Presence Optimization

Just as employers often check the social media feeds of their candidates before extending a job offer, many candidates similarly check out the employer’s social media channels before submitting an application, making it a prime opportunity to gain (or lose) applicants.

No matter which platform you choose and no matter how many (or few) followers you have, it’s important that your company’s channels represent the type of work environment that would appeal to your ideal candidate. Posting employee testimonials, footage of team building exercises, or simply showcasing staff accomplishments tells candidates that you’re an employer who recognizes and values its employees.

In today’s strong growth environment, many top candidates believe they have the upper hand as well as the opportunity to control the hiring process and they take the extra time necessary to land the perfect position. As a result, candidates seek employers who will provide an enhanced candidate experience.

Employers can ensure an enhanced experience for an interviewee by implementing a strict recruitment procedure that includes Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that relate to response times and a hiring timeframe. Employers should also consider steps that will make the interview process fun and memorable. Such steps can include offsite as well as virtual-reality interviews and facility tours. When a company successfully builds a reputation for innovation in the hiring process, the word spreads out quickly among top candidates.

Helping Candidates Stand Out

For management positions, employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate superior communication skills, including listening, speaking and writing. They also look for candidates with experience demonstrating strong teamwork skills.

Perhaps most of all, candidates need to demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills if they wish to gain a satisfying position within the satellite industry. Employers want professionals who demonstrate creativity, reasoning and a history of past experiences that reveal they can effectively identify and solve problems.

For engineering positions, the most obvious requirement is the ability to provide case studies as to how complex engineering challenges were successfully solved. Employers are also looking for proof that a candidate has a strong analytical mind, pays attention to detail and the ability to work as part of a team.

Regardless of the position being opened for hiring, employers are seeking professionals who can adapt quickly to the changing face of technology and to rapid economic shifts, especially within the satellite and space industries.

These employers are most impressed when candidates put maximum effort into differentiating themselves from the “pack.” One notable method is by using online candidate videos streamed from their own websites and portals, such as LinkedIn.

When both employers and candidates dedicate maximum effort to the hiring process, the result will undoubtedly be a far more resilient satellite industry, which will result in the incorporation of the most viable and strongest candidates into the industry talent pool.

Ian Stammers founded Satellite Talent in 2012 which is now one of the leading recruitment firms for the global satellite and space industries. He has more than 20 years of tech-industry recruiting experience. He can be reached at ian@satellitetalent.com.