Women Engineering Recruiters: So What?

My business partner and I set up Sagent because we are passionate about the art of recruitment. We believe that technical recruitment has become a process driven industry, where truly understanding the needs of candidates and hiring doesn’t matter anymore. We didn’t realise that we had another selling point until clients started pointing it out. “You are a women owned engineering recruitment business”, a stakeholder at a large company told us, “that is great, we really want to diversify our supply chain.”
Really? That was our selling point?

We weren’t so sure how to feel about this. Being raised in a feminist household and having always believed in the power of hard work and my skills as a good sales person, I didn’t want to win business because I am a woman. More importantly, most of our staff, candidates and clients are men, I can’t tell them that this is our selling point!
But we were wrong. Being an engineering recruitment company owned by two women does matter. Our perspective on recruitment is female; some of the values we bring to our business are typical female values. That doesn’t mean they don’t appeal to men. Our consultants joined us because they like our values. Our candidates like dealing with us because we want to understand their career motivations and drivers alongside their technical expertise. Many men value this just as much as women.

Diversifying the recruitment supply chain matters to our customers. Most engineering companies are sincere in their efforts to attract more women engineers. Not just because it looks good on the CSR agenda, but out of sheer necessity. In a market driven by candidate shortage, our clients understand that they need to appeal to everyone, and that excluding skilled candidates will limit their ability to innovate and grow.

For a long time, the drivers in our sector have been around process improvement and efficiency, automation of sourcing to increase response rates etc. Candidates experience a slick, automated recruitment process with little personal interaction with the agency or corporate recruiter. At Sagent, we passionately believe that we will be better able to serve all engineering candidates – male and female – through a more personal approach, were conversations matter and are a real part of the pre interview assessment. Women might be less active job seekers, might welcome more coaching throughout the process, might benefit from a different interview style with the hiring manager etc. We don’t believe in positive discrimination. We will not favour female applicants over male applicants. We do however believe that our recruitment process will give female engineers a better chance to get the job they deserve. And that is why diversifying the supply chain in recruitment matters for engineering companies!