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Posts from the ‘Engineering’ Category

Leadership Tips for Engineering Professionals

Sandi Hokansson, a WXN TOP 100 Women Award winner, successful C-level executive and Great Place to Work champion, now runs a successful Leadership Coaching practice at www.soundleadership.ca

Many times, career advancement in the engineering field comes with leading even greater numbers of people and as an engineering professional, you may not readily see this as your strength.  You can easily demonstrate the core strengths common to most successful engineers, namely; a desire to figure things out, applied creativity, math skills, mechanical skills, teamwork and problem-solving skills. However, when it comes to softer skills such as advanced interpersonal skills, social and emotional intelligence, and, employee engagement leadership, you may feel you are out of your depth. You rely on your knowledge and expertise as your main contribution to your team and wonder — how can I add more value to my team?

A good starting point is to review the most common expectations employees have of their leaders. If you can deliver in these areas, you will be well on your way to adding more value to your team and stepping up as a leader.

There are four main expectations that employees have of their leaders that easily resonate with all of us. Employees expect to be:

  • Kept informed
  • Asked for input and have a voice
  • Recognized when their performance warrants it
  • Given the opportunity to grow and learn

Tips to advance your commitment in these areas

  • Regular communication with your team — keep them informed even if it’s to say that you don’t have any further information at that time.
  • Set up formal and informal communication channels to seek employee input. You can clarify and set boundaries on who has ownership and input on what — the key is to give employees as much input as possible, in the areas you can.
  • Frequent recognition of individuals and teams for their contributions. You can inject a lot of energy and creativity into this one — have fun with it!
  • Create a space that fosters an opportunity to grow, give stretch assignments. Don’t forget to share your own career/leadership journey as well. Personal stories help others to see how they too can achieve career progression.

It’s true there is a lot of pressure on leaders today — pressure to be all things to all people and accessible all the time.  Thankfully, it’s not realistic nor necessary to live up to this. You can however round out your leadership competencies and augment your professional inherent strengths, by making a commitment to deliver on these top four employee expectations. Employee engagement and morale will improve, and you will become a talent magnet because you will be providing key leadership in the areas employees want.  Before you know it, you will be seen as having stronger interpersonal skills and greater emotional intelligence because you put employees’ expectations first.

For further reading on Successful Engineers, here is a great article from www.interestingengineering.com   https://interestingengineering.com/personality-traits-successful-engineers

For other thoughts on leadership, visit https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/listening-your-employees-key-building-great-place-work-hokansson/

If you are interested in Leadership Coaching to support your leadership journey, reach out to me at sandi@soundleadership.ca

LEAD WELL!

Sandi

 

 

 

Recruitment Trends in Engineering and Technology

Ready to improve your recruitment strategy in 2019? Roevin has you covered with the latest recruiting trends to keep your business competitive in the search for top engineering and information technology talent.

Securing the top engineering and IT talent can be challenging for a business in today’s candidate-driven market. Traditional recruitment methods combined with a competitive compensation package are no longer enough to snag those top candidates. So, if you’re planning your 2019 recruitment strategies, keep these top recruitment trends in mind.

Internships

Not only are internships a great way for organizations to show their support for students by offering them real work experience, they also offer great benefits to the employer. The internship period acts as the perfect opportunity to teach young professionals about your business as well as providing on-the-job training for prospects. While it’s not a new concept, internships continue to be one of the best ways for new engineers to find employment.

Social recruitment

Social recruitment simplifies the process of networking between hiring managers and qualified candidates. LinkedIn is easily the most popular, but there are several other industry-specific networking websites to take advantage of. Websites such as The Engineering Exchange, Engineering.com and Design News allow engineers to exchange content, stay up to date with emerging trends and learn about job opportunities with other professionals solely within their field, making these networking sites a great resource for hiring managers.

Predictive analytics

Even the best recruiters can’t determine the likelihood of a candidate accepting a position or how long an employee will stay with the firm. Predictive analytic platforms can help identify the factors that differentiate two applicants who appear identical on paper but whose behaviour may differ greatly. This technology helps the employer select talent with the skills, experience and education to complete the job and the behavioural habits that fit their corporate culture.

AI in the Interview process

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been assisting recruiters through their hiring and on-boarding processes for a long time, but its role within recruitment continues to grow. AI can now be used in the interview process to form questions based on the organization’s needs, saving time for the recruiter to focus on a training program that guarantees success. Further, AI software can track facial movements from candidates including unusual eye movement and stammering that may indicate excessive nerves or lying.

Chatbots for candidate screening

Screening candidates can be a timely undertaking that often produces few, if any, potential candidates. Utilizing chatbots to screen potential candidates is a great way to automate the hiring process. Candidates answer a few questions about their skills, experience and education and the chatbots search through the results to identify matches to the organization’s requirements. Not only do chatbots speed up the hiring process, they also improve the candidate experience by providing quick confirmation and feedback on candidates’ applications.

Virtual reality/skills assessments

Through AI, machine learning and implementing VR platforms, organizations can better assess how candidates will respond in practical on-the-job settings — ultimately giving employers a more realistic idea of a candidate’s on-the-job performance before making a positive hiring decision.

Having trouble keeping up with evolving recruitment trends? Leave your talent search to the pros. Contact Roevin for assistance on all your engineering and IT recruitment needs!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

The Growing Skills Gap in Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) is set to enhance innovation while providing financial benefits and efficiency improvements across the engineering landscape. Yet, despite this vast potential, the skills gap in AM — and STEM more broadly — poses a threat to the competitiveness of Canadian organizations worldwide.

Additive manufacturing (AM) broadly describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material. This includes 3D printing, rapid prototyping, direct digital manufacturing and layered manufacturing. A growing trend in engineering fields, AM is a cheaper, waste-minimizing form of manufacturing that gives designers improved control over components manufacturing.

As AM takes hold in manufacturing processes, it will become increasingly important for Canadians to learn and adopt these practices in order to stay relevant and competitive on a global stage.

Competing in a global arena

The Canadian government has already taken steps to promote AM within the Canadian marketplace. In the past few months, the federal government has invested millions of dollars into additive manufacturing facilities, creating more jobs for Canadians and protecting our global competitiveness.

The May 2018 announcement of a $14 million investment from the federal government plus an additional $7 million grant from the government of Ontario to advanced manufacturing company Burloak Technologies puts that company on the path for global AM leadership. Similarly, the announcement of up to $21.1 million for TEKNA Plasma Systems Inc. from the federal and Quebec governments will allow TEKNA to increase their manufacturing capabilities to remain competitive globally. The projects are set to create 295 and 170 jobs for Canadians, respectively, while promoting AM within the industry.

Overcoming the skills gap

For organizations to stay competitive within their field they must review their workforce structure to take advantage of new technologies and to ensure they’re not left behind. Unfortunately, as the additive manufacturing field grows, there is strong competition for a limited talent pool. Few candidates, paired with constantly evolving AM technologies, materials, and practice, mean employers face growing gaps within their workforce.

To stay competitive globally, and help bridge the skills gap, employers should focus on promotion — evangelizing the benefits of AM will help draw attention to both the innovation itself and the skills required by this new technology. Other ways to help find and develop the talent necessary to take full advantage of AM include:

Training/re-training – Promoting from within can be a great way to help boost colleague moral while bettering your workplace culture. Consider offering online training programs or providing existing employees with financial assistance to develop their knowledge of additive manufacturing technologies.

Education initiatives – Organizations may consider visiting local elementary and secondary schools to promote the STEM fields to today’s youth, and at the same time encouraging the next generation of workers to explore careers in additive manufacturing that they may otherwise disregard.

Apprenticeships – There are many benefits available to employers by partnering with post-secondary institutions to offer apprenticeships for students or graduates within STEM fields. Not only do apprenticeships yield a positive return on investment by creating employable, trained candidates, they also help your organization build a relationship with educational institutions and students in these fields, effectively pipelining new talent for future employment.

The lack of suitable candidates in this field highlights the increasing importance of education, training and skills as AM technology continues to transform many industries. Interested in a STEM position to join the revolution? Talk to your local Roevin office today!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

The Rise of 3D Printing

3D printing is becoming increasingly common and revolutionizing the Canadian market. With this new industrial revolution, Canadians can expect to see some changes to the labour market as we rely less on outsourcing production to other countries.

Though 3D printing has been around for over 30 years, its progression has been slow. The concept was originated as a toy, developed into a prototype and only recently, considered a solution for cost effective production. 3D printing is finally set to revolutionize the way we produce, with implications on where, how and when we manufacture.

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Sustainable Energy and Engineers

The green movement is increasing pressure on governments and industry alike to develop efficient renewable energy sources. Engineers play a crucial role in the development and implementation of these sustainable energy sources. 

In a conscious effort to minimize the use of fossil fuels that are harmful to our environment, we are moving towards a greater reliance on re-useable energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric. The growth of these areas has increased job opportunities for both recent graduates and experienced engineers.

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Women in STEM. Closing the Gender Gap

Although the STEM fields have historically been male dominated, many are mindful that it’s time to bridge the gender gap and work towards encouraging female innovators and leaders of the next generation to explore opportunities in this field.

Women have accounted for 30% of employment growth in STEM since 2010, but still make up less than one-quarter of employment in these occupations. The persistence of low female representation will bear a larger and larger economic cost with time. [iv]

To promote the willingness and inclusion of women in STEM, everyone has a role to play to shift away from keeping the status quo it being a field that is male dominated, and, encourage and spark the interest of females early on.

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