STEM workers

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These disciplines are often referred to collectively, especially in government policies, education / employment statistics, and news articles - you've probably seen a lot of headlines like these:

STEM jobs were hardest to fill in 2016

Women still under-represented in STEM industries, report finds

New STEM education programme rolled out in selected schools

As you'll know if you've ever read any of the stories attached to those headlines, STEM as a whole has a lot of problems at the moment. Many organisations have great difficulty finding qualified workers to fill demanding science jobs, and in addition to the much-publicised lack of diversity in STEM fields, there simply aren't enough young people participating and pursuing a future in STEM, which means that the problems faced by these industries will likely get worse as time goes on.

But is that an issue for everyone else? Just how important is STEM to the world at large?

Why STEM should be important to everyone

The answer, of course, is that STEM is very, very important for the whole planet, and crucial to the continued prosperity of the human race. It hopefully goes without saying that modern society as we know it relies heavily on STEM industries and the talented workers within those industries. Here are just three examples:

  • Computers - The modern world relies on computers to an extent that would have been virtually unimaginable just a few decades ago. We use computers to talk to friends, do the shopping, listen to music, and learn about everything from the history of the world to the correct method for laying a floor. Computers tell us where to go and what's happening there. You probably use computers in any number of different ways over the course of an average day, and it's all because of skilled people in STEM roles who worked hard to make this possible.

  • Medicine - While it's unlikely that mankind will ever eradicate all diseases, it cannot be understated how much safer we all are today thanks to modern medicine. In the last century alone, talented STEM workers saved countless lives by curing smallpox and developing vaccines for polio, measles, diphtheria, and countless other illnesses. One expert has predicted that we will see a "sudden surge" in effective cancer treatments within the next five to ten years. At this very moment, countless people are living and breathing and going about their lives because of the medical advances made by STEM workers.

  • Transport - It's easy to take modern transportation systems for granted. Cars allow you to travel miles in minutes; railways keep entire countries connected; aeroplanes take thousands of people from one side of the world to the other every day. Once again, all of this is thanks to STEM visionaries who never stop working to bring the world closer together and create more and more efficient ways to get from A to B.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

Candidate Journey

‘Candidate experience’ isn’t just some distant buzzword that your science organisation can safely ignore – because, let’s face it, the candidates for your vacancies certainly don’t, and nor do your competitors. According to a survey on the UK candidate experience cited by online recruitment resource Onrec, 94% of the UK recruitment and HR professionals quizzed considered a positive candidate experience a priority.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s exactly an easy or quick process to cultivate a great candidate experience at your company. It’s a task that will require constant effort at every touchpoint, so here are some of the things you can do to optimise the candidate journey to the benefit of both the jobseeker and your own firm.

Try out your own organisation's application process

Past research has indicated a huge disconnect between candidates and employers as far as their perceptions of the candidate experience is concerned, with many candidates finding themselves taking hours over an application process that the given company may think only requires 30 minutes’ of time investment.

So, this particular advice is simple: go through your own organisation’s application process to ascertain the reality of the situation. You may well immediately spot issues with the process that you never expected to see, and it’s fair to say that there’s no such thing as an ‘over-optimised’ job application process – there’s always room to improve.

Place the emphasis on relationships rather than CVs

Even in the marketing world that for so long seemed to treat customers in a somewhat impersonal manner, it is becoming widely accepted that people need to be treated like people, rather than numbers. This has led so many firms to invest heavily in creating a customised experience for those who wish to purchase from them – so why isn’t the same happening with employers for candidates?

As articles like this one from CNBC indicate, “ghosting” – the phenomenon of an employer suddenly ceasing to communicate with a candidate in whom they previously seemed interest – appears to be becoming an ever-greater problem.

With statistics continuing to suggest a frighteningly large percentage of candidates who never hear back from a prospective employer after their last interview or even simply the initial job application, it’s fair to say that there’s huge scope for your company to stand out when it really works hard on the candidate journey.

Consider what the ideal candidate journey may look like

This is the kind of thing for which a team meeting and a load of A3 paper could come in very useful. Planning out the process that you would like to unfold for people applying for a job with you – from the initial point of contact, right through to onboarding – could throw up many obvious optimisation opportunities.

If that sounds a bit intimidating, ask yourself some teasing questions first, such as “What does the ideal candidate look like?” and “What is the kind of communication from a prospective employer to which that ideal candidate is most likely to respond?”

You should also consider how you can make that candidate feel welcome at every stage of the application process, and if all of that sounds like too much effort, you might think about how communication of a more automated nature could be used at various stages.

Would you like to strengthen your own organisation’s chances of filling its open science jobs? A linkup with the science recruitment experts at Hyper Recruitment Solutions might turn out to be the perfect first step.

Project management

The science and technology industry is made up of a huge number of workers in a huge number of different roles. The skillset required to work in one scientific sector (biotechnology, for instance) may bear no resemblance whatsoever to the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in another sector (like medical affairs). Science is a massively diverse field that relies on all kinds of different people and their unique abilities.

That being said, there are some roles that can be found across almost all scientific sectors, one obvious example being the role of the project manager.


Project Manager - Role & Responsibilites

A project manager is responsible for planning projects and ensuring that each one is executed to a high standard on time and on budget. Project managers can be found in a wide array of different industries, including IT, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, construction, transport, and countless others.

The precise nature of a project manager's duties will depend on what sector they're in, but common responsibilities include:

  • Communicating with clients, acting as their primary point of contact for the duration of the project
  • Delegating tasks to the appropriate member(s) of staff
  • Overseeing project progress and ensuring high-quality outcomes
  • Making plans and ensuring that everyone follows them
  • Procuring whatever resources are necessary to the project's success

Generally speaking, it is not the project manager's job to actually carry out the work involved in any given project - rather, they will divide up the work between different parts of their workforce and ensure that the project progresses as planned from start to finish. However, a project manager will usually be expected to have a strong understanding of the work they are overseeing.

Click here to browse the latest project manager jobs from Hyper Recruitment Solutions.


Why Are Project Managers Important?

The project manager's role is a critical one because they keep everything running smoothly throughout each project. While talented workers are of course crucial to the success of any organisation, a talented project manager can be just as valuable because they will ensure that all workers are operating in harmony while sticking to the overarching plan. Without a capable project manager at the helm, projects can lapse into chaos and end up missing their deadlines and exceeding their budgets.


Project Manager - Job Requirements

While different fields require different things of their project managers, every good project manager should:

  • Have good communication skills
  • Work well under pressure
  • Know how to co-ordinate and motivate members of a team
  • Be able to work to a strict schedule
  • Have strong organisational skills

Looking for a job in project management? Browse project manager vacancies >

Image courtesy of pexels.com

Graduating from university is a great feeling, but tossing your mortarboard in the air is also the precursor to one of the biggest and scariest steps you'll ever have to take: the step away from student life and into the world of work.

Searching for your first full-time job can be a gruelling and demoralising task. If you've just left university, you probably don't have a whole lot of relevant work experience just yet, and as a result you may feel that you're at a significant disadvantage as you struggle to get a foot on that all-important first rung of the career ladder. But rest assured that there are many employers out there who are desperate to recruit talented graduates like yourself - you just have to make sure they know about you!

With that in mind, here - courtesy of science job specialists Hyper Recruitment Solutions - are 5 top tips for graduates who are looking for jobs:

1) Before you apply for anything, Google yourself.

No matter what sort of role you're looking to land, you can bet that the person who receives your job application will pop your name into a search engine before deciding whether or not to offer you an interview. This is the 21st century, and these days, potential employers will often scrutinise your online presence just as much as your CV. So make sure you're not showing them anything you don't want them to see!

Before you begin your job search, you should:

  • Type your name into Google to see what comes up on the first page of results. (If you have a common name, or if you share your name with somebody famous, you may want to try including your location in the search - e.g. 'daniel radcliffe sunderland' - to find pages that are specifically about you.) Is there anything in there that might damage a potential employer's opinion of you? A Twitter account, a news story, something you wrote years ago that you're not particularly proud of? It may not be possible to erase every piece of information about yourself, but if you're able to eliminate any red flags then you absolutely should.

  • You should also use Facebook's 'View As...' feature to find out how much of your profile is visible to the public. If necessary, adjust your privacy settings so that only your friends can view the things you post. You don't want your future boss to see those drunk photos of you from your graduation party, do you?

2) Make your CV shine.

Composing an impressive CV can be tough when you're fresh out of uni, especially if you haven't previously held a role that's similar to the one you're applying for. But don't assume that the experience you do have is worthless - just because you've never worked in an office before doesn't mean that you've never exercised the skills needed to succeed in that environment.

The key is to think outside the box a little bit. Let's say you're applying for a marketing job at an FMCG company - sure, you've never occupied a marketing post before, but you completed a degree, and perhaps you even worked a part-time job or two while you were studying. These and other experiences will have equipped you with:

  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • The ability to approach tasks creatively
  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • An understanding of how to behave when dealing with customers/clients
All of these things are highly valued by employers in all sorts of different sectors, so don't be reluctant to include them on your curriculum vitae. Don't think in terms of experience - think in terms of skills!

3) Cast your net wide.

Different employers advertise their vacancies in all sorts of different places, so don't limit yourself to a single website or job listings board. By all means sign up with big names like Monster and Indeed, but bear in mind that there are lots of specialist recruiters out there too - recruiters like Aspire for the digital / media sector and HRS for science jobs. Some organisations, having a limited budget for this sort of thing, will exclusively recruit via these more specialised portals, so don't kid yourself that you'll see every available vacancy just because you check Reed every day.

4) Don't go back into higher education without a good reason.

Postgraduate courses are great, and in some cases, you'll need a master's or a PhD to get the career you really want. However, far too many graduates sleepwalk into postgraduate programmes simply because they don't feel ready to compete for full-time employment.

That's usually a bad decision. Higher education is expensive, as you're no doubt already aware, and while you might tell yourself that a more advanced qualification will lead to better career prospects, the evidence on that front is somewhat ambiguous.

Yes, entering the world of work can feel like jumping into an abyss, but you shouldn't go back to university just because you're cosily familiar with academic life and scared of sampling the alternative. If you have a clear goal in mind (e.g. 'I need additional qualification X in order to be considered for job Y') then by all means go for it, but otherwise, you're probably better off taking the leap into full-time employment.

5) Remember - you're not committing to a career for life. 

When searching for jobs to apply for, try to bear in mind that your first post-university job doesn't necessarily have to lead to the career of your dreams. Many people don't even decide on a career until quite a bit later in life, so don't feel pressured to apply exclusively for jobs that are directly linked to whatever you think you'd like to be doing in ten or twenty years' time. You might only stay in this first job for a year or two - and that's okay, because it will still give you a lot of extra experience and a lot of new things to add to that CV of yours.

So those are our top 5 tips for gradaute jobseekers, and we hope they'll come in handy! Of course, there's no secret formula or trick for landing any job you apply for, but it's important to stay positive and keep striving for success even if you suffer a setback or two. Just because your first few applications didn't lead anywhere doesn't mean that you should give up - keep going, and you'll be starting your new job before you know it!

Searching for jobs in the science/technology sector? Click here to create a candidate account and browse the latest vacancies from Hyper Recruitment Solutions!

Have you considered a career in recruitment?

Here at HRS, we are looking for talented individuals who want to make a difference to the science and technology sectors through recruitment. We have a number of positions available for trainee Recruitment Consultants / Graduate Sales Executives to join our growing sales teams.

The recruitment industry is one of the most rewarding and desirable sectors to work in. If you have an outgoing personality, are good with people, and happy to work hard to succeed in life, then you are perfect for a job in recruitment. We will train you to the highest possible standards and develop your skills and knowledge of the recruitment industry. If you have a passion and enthusiasm for doing the job right, this position offers great rewards.

Apply now >

Image courtesy of pexels.com


FMCG stands for fast-moving consumer goods. An FMCG company is any company that produces these goods. Well-known FMCG companies include Unilever, Nestlé and The Coca-Cola Company.

Examples of fast-moving consumer goods

The definition of FMCG is very broad - any items that are sold at relatively low prices and consumed relatively quickly may be considered examples of 'fast-moving consumer goods'. Most of the products in your local supermarket probably qualify.

Common FMCGs include:
  • Fruit and veg
  • Meat
  • Soft drinks
  • Dairy products
  • Bread and other baked goods
  • Toiletries (e.g. toothpaste, deodorant)
  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Confectionery
  • Batteries
  • Some forms of medication
FMCGs are sold in high volumes at low prices and used up rapidly (as opposed to durable goods - such as cars, appliances and furnishings - which are purchased less frequently and expected to last much longer).



Challenges for FMCG companies

There's a lot of money to be made in the FMCG industry, but these goods tend to have a small profit margin and - in many cases - a short shelf life. This means that, in order to thrive, FMCG companies must strive to sell as many units as they can as quickly and as consistently as they can. This requires shrewd marketing (to get people to make an initial purchase) and high product quality (to keep people coming back for more purchases going forward).

Other challenges for FMCG companies include:
  • Extending shelf life of perishable goods
  • Reducing impact on the environment (e.g. from discarded packaging)
  • Keeping costs low enough to compete on price

Roles within the FMCG industry

The FMCG industry is very large and extremely varied, with all sorts of roles available for all sorts of different skill sets. Talented workers from STEM fields are highly sought-after in this sector, as these are the people who can help FMCG companies to:
  • Improve product quality / effectiveness
  • Drive down costs via technological advancements
  • Boost shelf life by delaying product expiration
  • Create more environmentally-friendly products and packaging solutions
The ingenuity, expertise and creativity of skilled scientists have long been crucial to the success of the world's largest FMCG companies, and there's no shortage of roles for gifted science/technology workers in this particular sector.


Image courtesy of pixabay.com

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