With the February release of the 2016 Defence White Paper and the associated Integrated Investment Program, industry is preparing itself (or should be) for the upcoming forge of projects. A key element of preparing your company is attracting and keeping the right team.
“There weren't many surprises in there,” says Rob Kremer, director of Kinexus. “We'd been focusing on that for quite a long time.
“Just the fact that we're recapitalising most of our platforms, it's very exciting; lots of new technology, new entrants into the market as well.
“I was a little concerned about how we were going to orchestrate that, being over such a short time line as well, that was where my thinking went immediately.
“That's what I like talking to companies, to government about, is to help them try and be aware of how these things may interact when it comes to the supply and demand of the workforces that are going to deliver them.”
Over the 15 years Kremer has been recruiting in this space, he has observed that some companies are extremely successful at attracting and recruiting their ideal candidates, either leaving Defence or graduating from their degrees.
“Like all organisations, a combined arms approach between your sales, your operations, your HR people will pay dividends for any company looking to grow," he said.
“Some companies do that better than others.
“Some companies also understand the importance of engaging early with their customer and also with their potential new workforce early as well, at a different level.
“The companies that invest in building relationships with their future worker communities, they're going to be the ones who are most likely to get access to those people in the future.
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“In that respect, it's companies that build familiarity with graduates during their time of study, so that the graduates get to see what that company stands for, what they're doing, why their technology is cool and what the opportunity would be for the graduate.
“That's a two-way street, that also gives an organisation an ability to see what's out there and coming down the line.
“Organisations that might put industry days or free or cheap training on for experienced professionals to come in and see what that company does, or maybe even get a first insight into defence industry as well, that's a good way of building a relationship with potential new entrants.
“That's what smart organisations are doing to get access to the people that everybody else isn't going to be fighting and scrapping over and adjusting time basis over the next few years.”
Top tip for defence industry primes and SMEs
“I would recommend building a relationship with them. Companies with strong brands, companies that are recognisable by people in Defence and where people in Defence have had a good relationship or good interaction with that company, they're the ones who find it easiest to attract people coming out of uniform.”