The value of Investing in People
In order to sustain Denca’s recent strong growth, we need to ensure access to a pool of qualified, experienced staff. We need them to support our client partners and their increasing demand for day to day and project needs.
Denca has been successful in recruiting the right people. Qualified, experienced and highly competent, ready-made engineers and project managers. However, the truth is that there are simply not enough of these type of people about, let alone candidates readily available to instantly hire and start work on Monday, or sooner! Consequently, we have to grow our own. We need to develop young people who have an interest in our world. Individuals who have worked through the education system to an appropriate level. These are the basics for Denca to start training for hopefully greater things.
Solid recruitment and training processes are only the beginning. We also recognise the importance of a good working environment. Denca supports staff with skills and careers paths. We also aim to enable a positive work/ life balance to attract and retain our valuable workforce.
Training for School Leavers and Graduates
Previous articles have talked about Denca’s well run and respected Apprenticeship scheme originally started in 1999. Through this programme, we have taken on young people with promise and guided them step by step. Successful trainees emerge as qualified, skilled young electrical engineers, instrument technicians or design engineers. They have real potential for successful technical careers.
However, Denca has another scheme aimed at university graduates. Launched back in 2009, Denca’s 3-Year Post-Graduate Training Scheme was introduced to train suitable graduates for roles in Denca’s software development team. Until recently all our recruits found our training programme via Denca’s website or by word of mouth. However, we have recognised the value in spreading the word more widely.
Denca Operations Manager, Richard Lee, took on the role of recruiting for Denca’s Graduate Training Scheme. Richard brought in some important changes including partnering with Liverpool’s John Moores University (LJMU) and introducing a Graduate Internship where selected students can spend 3 months working at Denca to gain experience of the world of a successful and competent Systems Integration Engineering company.
It works both ways. Enthused students often wish to continue to work at Denca post-university. Also, Denca gets an opportunity to take a good look at the student. The first internships started in 2018 and already we have made our first job offer with the role to start in September 2019.
Recruiting the best trainees
Through LJMU, Denca attended a Jobs Fair last September and took a number of CVs. We are always learning! We might have been hoping for some quick recruits but during the fair, we realised that jobs actually need to start in February – March and not in September! However, in practice, 6 months isn’t very long. As a result of September’s Fair, 9 candidates were interviewed, two have been selected for Denca Internships with one starting in June and the other in July. Denca will attend the September Jobs Fair again this year.
Increasing the number of people we have in training has had a spin-off benefit. There is no question that different trainees have different aptitudes, skills and interests. Rather than simply developing people to work at Denca, a larger cohort of trainees opens the door to allowing individuals to experience work across Denca’s 5 key ‘service-boxes’ and then ultimately focus on a particular area of interest.
A 2-way street
Training is a two-way street. To attract the best, Denca needs to present itself as an attractive proposition for both training provision and career opportunity to match individual ambitions. From Denca’s standpoint we seek graduates with the potential to become the competent engineers with the attitude and capability to develop long and successful careers with Denca.