What's the best way to access technical talent?
Lots of companies complain that it’s hard to find good talent and in our specialist sector, it’s certainly true that recruiting ready-made experienced staff can be tough. Consequently, at least part of the answer is to grow your own talent as part of your growth and succession planning strategy.
A good example of how this philosophy works in practice is Kyle Wasley, one of our HVAC Design Engineers. Kyle started his career with us as a Building Services apprentice straight after his ‘A’ levels and from day one, we were impressed by his mathematical abilities and problem solving skills, along with his attitude to learning and enthusiasm.
From the very beginning of his apprenticeship, Kyle was given the chance to work on live projects, with support and mentoring from senior colleagues, working across different areas of our business so that we could establish where his talents lay and what interested him. It was clear that he had lots of potential and that with the right training and development Kyle could be a real asset to the business. Therefore, we supported him through a part-time degree in Building Services, which he carried out at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). Kyle worked hard, combining his role here in Rochdale four days a week, with his studies in Preston one day a week and at weekends. He graduated last summer and continues to show us, and our clients, that he is a valuable member of the team and a shining example of home-grown talent.
It’s a successful outcome for all concerned but Kyle’s learning and career development journey won’t end with his degree or his current job role. Career progression remains flexible and although for the time being at least, Kyle is likely to continue developing his technical skills he may ultimately prefer to move into project management. For us, the specific career progression goals are less critical at this point than objective of playing to Kyle’s strengths and giving him the scope to develop in a way that benefits him, the company and our clients.
We actively encourage all our team to continue training, and Kyle, together with over 60% of our team have undergone our tailored leadership programme. For Kyle, the next step might be a Master’s degree or training in a specialist area such as LEV or cGMP compliance – his future development plan will be based both on his personal goals and ambitions and on the needs of the business.
No doubting that our people are our most valuable asset here at BES and creating a work environment where members of our team have an opportunity to work to their strengths and develop their skills is critical to retaining talent.
We are proud of our commitment to the training and development of young people and have a rich history of success with many of our trainees now playing important roles within the business. We have high hopes for Kyle too and his comments demonstrate the success of our investment - “There’s a structured template for apprenticeships at BES but no rigid one-size-fits all approach. I have been able to develop my skills and competencies through project involvement aligned to my course and work that builds on the areas I enjoy the most. The senior management team communicates closely with all employees, which has installed a positive and open culture within the business. My colleagues are very supportive and work collaboratively to achieve better results. Now as a qualified mechanical engineer, I feel even more motivated to help BES succeed.’