The global talent shortage continues to affect the aerospace and defence industries. Thanks to rapidly shifting talent needs organisations are faced with competition for critical skills, not only with other aerospace employers, but more widely. A recent BAE study found that 97% of decision makers in aerospace, government and defence organisations are struggling to maintain a competitive edge across data, people and technology. Consequently, these businesses are looking for new ways to attract employees with the right skills but also ways to encourage those employees to stay with their organisation long term.  

Technology can be a pivotal tool in the fight for talent attraction and offers a variety of useful methods for improving employee engagement, identifying recruitment and retention challenges, and encouraging the sharing of knowledge, expertise, and skills within the workforce. 

5 Ways technology can help close the talent gap for aerospace and defence companies 

Technology can play a crucial role in addressing the aerospace talent gap in a variety of ways, including optimising processes, training, and workflows. Below are five examples of how you could leverage technology in this way alongside businesses who have done just that: 

1. Streamlining Recruitment Processes 

Technology has the potential to significantly enhance recruitment processes whilst making them more efficient and effective ways to attract new talent to the aerospace industry. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to speed up candidate screening and selection. AI can analyse resumes, cover letters, and online profiles to identify the most suitable candidates for a particular role. This saves hiring teams a considerable amount of time and resources and allows them to focus on other critical aspects of the hiring process. 

Technology can also be used to showcase company culture and values, which is an essential factor in attracting and retaining top talent. Social media platforms and company websites can be used to promote employer branding and give potential candidates an insight into what it's like to work for the company. 

Using technology can even help to reduce bias in recruitment and increase diversity. By using AI to screen candidates, recruiters can eliminate any unconscious bias and ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly and equally and can help improve access for underrepresented candidates to training, development and mentorship opportunities. 

Based in Dublin, The Airline Pilot Club uses AI and behavioural science to break down barriers to entry and improve quality standards in the pilot selection, training, and recruitment process. They have been selected by Boeing to become a member of the Aerospace Xelerated program which aims to showcase startups using (AI) and autonomous technology to solve key challenges across aerospace and defence industry.

2. Developing Training Programs 

Technology can play a significant role in developing effective training and development programs that can keep employees up to date with the latest skills and knowledge. Technology can help increase accessibility to training opportunities, reduce costs for businesses and improve learning outcomes. 

Online learning platforms and competency-based training programs can provide employees with flexible, personalised, self-paced learning opportunities that can go a long way the skills gaps present in the industry.  

For some aerospace training programs, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tools can be used to provide a realistic and immersive learning experience. This technology can simulate real-life scenarios and provide employees with the specific skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their roles.  

One company that is leading the charge on virtual reality training is Rolls Royce, who have developed an immersive tool to educate customers on the construction, design and operation of its engines remotely.

3. Enhancing Employee Retention 

Using HR data analytics, companies can monitor employee engagement and job satisfaction, identifying potential issues early on and addressing them proactively. 75% of aerospace and defence businesses want to see more investment in their workforce analytics capabilities, with good reason, technology can analyse data from employee surveys, performance metrics, and other sources to gain insights into employee behaviour and attitudes.  

This allows companies to identify trends and patterns that may indicate a need for intervention, such as changes in workload, training needs, or workplace culture. By leveraging technology to monitor and address employee needs proactively, companies can improve retention rates and build a more engaged and productive workforce.

IBM’s workforce analytics team were able to analyse numerous streams of employee data to determine why certain business critical roles were experiencing high turnover. Enabling them to identify potential issues as much as 6 months before employees expressed dissatisfaction, resulting in a 25% fall in turnover. 

4. Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing 

Collaboration and knowledge sharing are essential components of any successful aerospace company, and technology can play a crucial role in facilitating these processes. Collaboration tools and knowledge management systems can help connect employees from different departments and locations, allowing them to share information, ideas, and expertise more easily. This can promote cross-functional collaboration and reduce skills gaps by enabling employees to learn from each other and apply new skills and knowledge to their work. 

Moreover, these technologies can help employees work more efficiently and effectively, reducing errors and improving overall productivity. Additionally, knowledge management systems can help retain critical knowledge within the company, ensuring that it is not lost when employees leave or retire.

Specialist materials supplier, Goodfellow, have developed several collaborative platforms that allow scientists, designers, students and engineers to share information and knowledge on a wide range of concepts, ideas and material applications  

5. Creating More Efficient Workflows

Automation and robotics can be used to streamline and optimize production processes, reducing costs and increasing productivity. Robots can perform repetitive tasks with a high level of accuracy and consistency, reducing the risk of errors and improving product quality. 

Most importantly, this can reduce the need for manual labour, freeing up employees to focus on higher-level tasks, driving efficiency and reducing the risk of errors, injuries or accidents. Automating repetitive or routine tasks, reduces the reliance on specialised skills for certain jobs, making those roles more accessible to a broader pool of candidates. This can help address skills shortages by expanding the talent pool for these roles and increasing the opportunities for employees to learn and develop new skills.

It comes as no surprise that NASA is developing ways to incorporate robotics into its manufacturing as well as its exploration. NASA’s Langley Research Center is using robots to automate and streamline the inspection of aircraft fuselages. Using robots in this way aids accuracy, enables full inspection coverage and allows the process to be completed much faster than human engineers are capable of.

For aerospace businesses seeking reliable and responsive recruitment solutions, look no further than Electus Recruitment. As a trusted recruiter of choice for the defence, aerospace, infrastructure, and energy sectors, Electus has a proven track record of providing top talent to the aerospace engineering industry. 

Contact us today to discuss your recruitment needs and benefit from our expertise in connecting businesses with skilled professionals in the aerospace sector.