The optimum way of ensuring the right balance for SMEs in terms of sourcing technical specialists and ex-service personnel is to adopt a flexible approach, according to Electrotech managing director Stephen Renkert.
"It's fluid," said Renkert. "When we identify that we need additional technical capabilities in a certain area, the issue is not that we're presented with thousands of people who are ideally suited to that job."
He said the firm instead tended to struggle to find the people with the right technical background and the right approach to delivering equipment services.
"There are a lot of people around these days that will say that they're electronics technicians [but] what they are is basically board-swappers," said Renkert. "And that's not what we're after, we need people with knowledge of systems [and] networks.
"It's almost at the stage that if we see somebody who is superb, we'll find a job for them. That's the way we are. And I’m not sure that some of the guys coming out of defence have the [the same] level of training anymore.
"A lot of my technical guys really think very lowly of … they don't think of themselves as being salespeople, and if you said, 'Oh you're a salesperson', they'd be horrified.
"But the reality is that they are. And the better they do their job, the more they're a salesperson."
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