Monday, July 21, 2014
As the unmanned robotics industry grows, one area where we are still lacking is in the availability of quality, trained engineers who understand this industry and have the skillset to take companies to the next level. The technology is still just so new that the number of engineers experienced in this field hasn't yet caught up with the demand.
Because of that, attracting those top unmanned robotics engineers comes with fierce competition. But if you want to come out ahead in this industry, you need the best of the best working as part of your team.
Cultivate an Enviable Corporate Culture: When it comes to both recruiting and retention efforts, the best card you have in your pocket is building a corporate culture people want to be a part of. This means treating your employees well and rewarding innovative thinking. Focus on providing employee benefits that may not be available elsewhere, such as on-site childcare or other services your employees express an interest in. Even more importantly, encourage your employees to think outside the box and give your engineers opportunities for growth.
Pay for Top Talent: Let's face facts - money talks.The top engineers today know their value, and if you want to attract and keep them, you have to be willing to pay them what they are worth. Otherwise, you can be sure that some other firm will. The problem comes with justifying those higher rates when we don't yet know when the regulations will change so that unmanned robotics can truly flourish as an industry. When making those budgetary decisions, though, remember that you get what you pay for. Two high quality engineers may very well be more valuable than five mediocre ones.
Utilize Employee Contacts: The engineers you already have on staff are likely your best resources for the contacts you want to be making. They are already out there networking with other engineers in the field, often having attended school and joining similar organizations with many of them. Not only that, but they are your best advertisements for the corporate culture you have worked so hard to build. Offer employee incentives for referrals and give those employee recommendations the attention they deserve.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014
It can be difficult managing a deployed workforce. There is a lot that goes into training your workers and no guarantees that any of them will ever be up for more than a single deployment
Even those who seem eager and willing to take off for work abroad often underestimate the challenges that working overseas will present. Which is why it becomes your job to understand and anticipate those challenges for them. The more cognizant you are of the unique issues your deployed workers face, the better prepared you can become to help them overcome those hurdles.
· Culture Shock: Don't make the mistake of sending your workers off without some sort of cultural training. There is a big difference between talking about living abroad and actually doing it. Prepare your workforce for the different cultural traditions and austere living conditions they will come up against and buffer them from too much transition anxiety by providing as many comforts from home as possible.
· Family Separation: Even some of your young, single and childless workers will find themselves missing the friends and family they have left behind. For those with spouses and children, the hardships presented by those separations can be even more difficult to endure. Provide open lines of communication for your workers, including readily available computer stations for Skyping and the accommodation of care packages from home.
· Life Management: For workers who have never deployed before, the intricacies of managing life from abroad may initially feel impossible to handle. From knowing basic home necessities will be taken care of to ensuring that all the bills are paid and no important mail is missed, there are fine details many of your workers may not think of themselves prior to deploying. Show them you have their backs by compiling a list of things they can do to make managing deployed life easier, before they pack up and leave.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014
The unmanned robotics industry is currently on the cusp of the next big push forward. We are all waiting for FAA regulations to catch up to the technology, fully aware that once that happens - we will be primed to take off into the next stage of development.
The problem is that in the meantime, most companies are doing everything they can simply to keep the lights on. It is a delicate balance, hiring a workforce that can keep your business afloat while lacking the ability to estimate when that business will truly be able to flourish.
Place a Premium on Quality: Sure, you need the general workforce to keep business going abroad while we wait to bring our workers home. But you also need engineers with innovative thinking who can take your business to the next level when the time comes. So when it comes to those higher-level positions, focus on quality rather than quantity, keeping just enough workers on staff to maintain the business, but hiring the best of the best so that when it is time to take off - you will already have your future leaders in place.
Offer Incentives for Multiple Deployments: There is a cost involved to hiring and training a revolving door of workers for the same jobs. High turnover is the nature of the beast when it comes to sending workers abroad, but it doesn't have to be something to which you completely resign yourselves. Offer incentives (whether that means bonuses, additional benefits or title promotions) to your workers willing to complete more than a single deployment.
Maintain Connections: In some cases, it may be better to hire contractors for the time being rather than full-time employees. Maintain connections with the best of those contractors and facilitate relationships that could turn into potential employment offers in the future. Most contractors understand the intricacies of the business and the limited full-time positions available today, but by fostering a solid working environment now you can set yourselves up as a first choice employer when those positions do start opening up.