Space Headhunting: Recruiting for the Industry

As the private sector takes more of a lead in getting humans off planet, more jobs are becoming available. That means there are requirements for headhunting. There are both massive companies and smaller firms in the industry. But what are they looking for in their employees? How do they go about headhunting for space-sector experts? To find out, we spoke to Patrick Andrews, a who recruits for the space industry. Based off his experience headhunting for companies, he shared his thoughts about matching employers and employees in the sector.

What sorts of recruiting do you do in the space industry?

Typically, I focus on engineering, operations, or commercial positions at the mid- to senior-level. My clients cover many aspects of the space industry, from manufacturing satellites and rockets to the application side of things in fields such as earth observation and connectivity. Working with a variety of companies gives me a fantastic perspective on the industry as whole, especially in terms of understanding the differences between established, more traditional space companies and the new space start-ups that are looking to disrupt the industry. 

What makes some profiles more competitive than others?

There is a real need for experienced candidates throughout the industry as more and more companies spring up. This is creating a really competitive market for companies to find the right candidates for their business. Of course, having the right experience and education is the basis for a successful candidate, however it isn’t the only thing that’s required. It’s crucial, especially for start-ups, that candidates not only have the right experience, but that they also have a good cultural fit with the company that will help continue to develop the business further – this is something I stress to my candidates. I recommend highlighting their personality and cultural fit for the business they are applying to. Obviously, though, if it isn’t the right fit from a personality side then don’t pretend it is, as this benefits no one. 

How did you personally become interested in working in the space industry?

Rockets, satellites, spaceships, and cutting-edge technology, all on a global scale? What’s not to be interested in? I’ve always had a fascination with space, stemming from a childhood love of Star Wars, however it wasn’t until my first job in recruitment that I was exposed to the industry itself. This reignited my passion and interest in space and advanced technology in a major way. Since then I have immersed myself in the industry, eager to learn as much as I can from the industry experts I speak to on a daily basis, as well as by attending industry events and conferences when I can.