Are you looking for a job or looking to hire someone in the 3D printing industry?
We hate to be so direct, but it’s not always so simple. Recruitment is a long process with many hurdles to overcome along the way, and that goes for both applicant and employer.
But, where better to come to for guidance than to Kensington Additive, a specialist head-hunter with over 7 years of experience recruiting professionals in the additive and advanced manufacturing industry?
This month we’ve all teamed together, and the business is wanting to help you with any questions you may have, so here’s a list of frequently asked questions we get from both our candidates and clients. We hope you find the answer you’re looking for, but if not feel free to contact us.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in the 3D printing industry?
Phillip Hodson:Understand where your experience fits in the AM value chain i.e., are you more likely to be interested in employers who work in machine manufacturing or service provider or printing parts for their own use? Connect with the major trade journals and know the industry. Use LinkedIn to connect with people, and follow companies that you're interested in. Identify which companies you would like to work for and why.
Mark Ainscough: Show that you have a good understanding of a few different 3D printing methods. If you don’t have experience with a particular software or technology, then show an eagerness to learn. Before an interview read up on the company and if you can, ask questions in the interview to work out how you could be beneficial to them. Many 3D printing companies are start-ups and are still learning the best way to run their business, they’ll be impressed if you can explain how you could improve their performance. Find out about the latest in 3D printing news.
What roles are in highest demand now in AM?
Liam Atkinson: Sales, Field Service, and Application engineer roles are always in high demand.
Mark Ainscough:Software, Field Service, Sales, Mechanical Engineers
How necessary is relocating for a job in the industry?
Liam Atkinson: It isn’t a necessity and that has become more apparent after the last year with flexible working and working from home. However, some roles will require you to relocate.
Henry Hodson: This all depends on the original location, if you live outside of the AM hotspots then it may be worth reconsidering a move if your job function doesn’t allow for home working, I.e., an engineering role that requires you to be on-site.
How can candidates stand out amongst their competition on a CV/Resumé?
Phillip Hodson: This depends on who the audience is. If you don’t have experience in additive or advanced manufacturing, you will need to start by explaining what experience you do have and why it could be relevant to employers in this space. Make sure you explain any gaps in your CV/Resumé. Share your achievements and the value this could bring a company in the 3D printing market.
Jason Thomas: A CV/Resume should be kept clean and simple, in an easy-to-read format. Outline all the relevant experience and qualifications to the job application. I feel the biggest mistake is having one generic CV that is used to apply to several positions. Candidates need to be prepared to tailor-make a CV to a specific application, this will make them stand out when the hiring manager is reviewing many CVs.
Should candidates chase feedback from hiring managers or accept that no response is a rejection?
Liam Atkinson: Getting feedback is always good for self-improvement, so I would advise chasing feedback.
Jason Thomas: Feedback is key to future job applications, but candidates should also be of the understanding that a large percentage of hiring managers will not reach out to offer it.
What should a candidate do if they keep facing rejection?
Liam Atkinson: Evaluate why you are being rejected and work on these areas, ask yourself, is this role suited to my skill-set and what the company is looking for? Don’t be too disheartened and keep going, seek advice from one of us and how you can improve your chances.
Phillip Hodson: Firstly, ask yourself if you are applying for the right level of jobs. Do you meet at least 70% of the job specification? If not, then it is likely that many other candidates will. Make sure you’re being consistent with the type of job you are going for, there is a problem if you're applying for VP of Eng then a Sales Director job.
What advice would you give to a company looking to scale up its workforce?
Mark Ainscough:You will need to have a defined plan on what roles you require and when they need them for. Realise that it takes time to hire the best candidates, so you need to start recruiting at least 1 to 2 months before you require that position filled.
Rebecca Hamilton: Ask yourself, do you have the time for the right hiring process? Having a robust hiring process is key. Companies that are growing rapidly may not have time, but you can’t rush recruitment. It is important to understand what challenges the company is facing now and what skills are most in-demand to help with these challenges. Money can be a barrier to hiring, so if you’re looking to scale up you need to assess whether you can afford to hire all at once or if hiring should be spread over the following months.
How should a company prepare for its next hire(s) in AM?
Liam Atkinson: Assess all your options and evaluate which is the best recruitment route for you and which is best suited to the role you are recruiting for. For niche positions where there is a skills shortage, relying on applications isn’t going to help you find the best candidate.
Phillip Hodson: Ask yourself these two key questions: ‘What is the reason for you recruiting for this role? What problems is it going to solve?’ Understanding the objectives for the recruit will help you measure if the process has been successful.
What advice would you give to a company that is unsure what recruitment method to use?
Henry Hodson: Speak to a specialist, who knows the market well and can give great advice, has strong relationships, and knows how other companies have approached this.
Rebecca Hamilton: It’s good to understand which recruitment methods are best used in certain situations, honestly, the best way to do this is to speak to a recruiter, even if you don’t plan on outsourcing help. The key considerations are understanding what the required roles are, time frames, and how important the roles are to the company’s needs. From here, you can decide if it would be better to get external help from recruiters that specialise in hiring your roles, or if you feel you can find the talent solely from advertising then this route is a good place to start.
How important is it for a company to be aware of its competitors' recruitment strategy?
Phillip Hodson: Very important, as their main strategy might be to hire your people. Figure out which areas are they trying to grow, what roles they’re hiring, and what vertical markets they’re developing.
Mark Ainscough: Very important, everyone is looking for the best candidates within a finite pool of candidates in AM.
What are the most crucial elements of the recruitment process to ensure it's a success?
Liam Atkinson: Detail is key at the early stage and providing as much detail as possible about the role, package, benefits, etc. Also, providing clear and concise feedback after each stage in a timely manner will provide an overall successful experience for you and the candidates involved.
Phillip Hodson: A structured and planned process with key milestones for a delivery focused on quality candidates, not a race to find the best CV.
Mark Ainscough: Timely feedback once CVs have been submitted and a solid interview process. Competitive offers and good benefits are also key.
What should companies consider when recruiting in AM?
Phillip Hodson: It is a niche market and candidates who have experienced a poor recruitment process are inclined to share this with their network, so feedback is key. Be flexible to the people that are in the market as their value can be massively instrumental to growth and company value. Sometimes breaking the ceiling on a wage range must be done to take the business to the next level.
Rebecca Hamilton: The AM industry is very fast-paced and there are always new and upcoming projects/developments happening within the industry. Due to the ever-changing nature, it’s key to be adaptable and understand which roles are in high demand, to ensure that you remain competitive and don’t lose potential new hires to competitors.
Jason Thomas: The candidates with years of experience can be hard to find, so entertain candidates with strong educational backgrounds within AM/Advanced Manufacturing, and consider offering training or development, which are also desirable benefits.
We really hope that you found the answer you were looking for, however, if you have a thirst for more knowledge we're happy to help anyone with more questions. Call us on +44 (0)1257 268273 or contact one of our experts here.