What is STEM recruitment?


STEM recruitment is the process of hiring employees with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

STEM recruitment is the process of hiring talented people with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Employers hire STEM professionals to fill positions that require deep knowledge within a specific field. The goal for most companies is to find people who have both technical skills and the ability to think critically and solve complex problems. STEM recruitment has been on the rise in recent years, as employers recognise the value of having a diverse and highly qualified workforce.  

History of STEM Rrecruitment

The concept of STEM recruitment has evolved over time, bringing together different backgrounds and skill sets to create a more comprehensive approach to finding employees. Originally, most companies focused on recruiting from more traditional fields, such as engineering. However, with the emergence of new technologies and industries, many employers began to recognise the value of hiring from a variety of disciplines. As the demand for highly skilled professionals increased, so did the need for specialised recruiting processes to identify suitable candidates. 

Recent trends in STEM recruitment 

The acceleration of technological development and the emergence of certain global megatrends, including digitalisation, decarbonisation and healthcare innovation, have all added to the demand for expertise and compounded to create a STEM skills gap. There are more jobs than STEM professionals and that has caused a significant problem for some companies. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic caused dramatic shifts to remote work and e-commerce, consulting firm McKinsey said that 87% of global senior executives it surveyed said their companies were unprepared to address the digital skills gap.  

Employers are now seeking out individuals with diverse backgrounds, including those from traditionally under-represented communities, such as women and minorities. They are also now prepared to employ talent that has come into STEM by non-traditional routes. A study by MGI and McKinsey’s People and Organisational Practice found that 44% of tech professionals started their careers in non-technical occupations. 

Core STEM skills are not always enough, however, as employers value candidates who have a variety of skillsets that extend beyond core fields such as coding, data analytics, and machine learning. Communication skills are highly prized, for example, and engineers with some technology expertise are also sought after. 

The demand for STEM recruitment had led many professionals to choose a contracting model of work, preferring the ability to pick and choose from a variety of projects over the security offered by permanent employment. Employers who may be unable to find the permanent STEM experts they need or who need expertise for shorter periods or specific projects have increasingly turned to contractors. 

Advantages of STEM recruitment 

The primary advantage of engaging in STEM recruitment is to enable a company to gain access to multiple disciplines and becoming more competitive in its industry. It can help them to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world and commercial environment and give them the ability to keep up with technological change. 

Disadvantages of STEM recruitment 

The costs associated with STEM recruitment can be a hurdle although it is likely to pay off in the long term. Companies must invest in resources, such as specialised recruiters, to ensure they are finding the right talent for their roles. Furthermore, there can be a time commitment involved in finding the right candidate, as employers must be willing to invest in proper vetting processes and research.  

Use cases 

Some of the most successful STEM employers work hard to present a powerful employer brand. Amazon's Engineering & IT and recruitment web page highlights both that its engineers are creative thinkers and that they have the opportunity to work on the latest technologies and to continuously develop. It includes case studies and videos of its STEM recruits to enhance it employer brand.  

Google’s Engineering and Technology page also features its STEM recruits and promises prospective employees that they’ll create the products and tools of the future. One of the essential truths of STEM recruitment is that job seekers want to work with the latest equipment because it is easy to fall behind in such a rapidly evolving world. 

Recruitment and retention of great STEM talent is essential. McKinsey looked at its data set of 280,000 tech professionals, for example, and found that they were paid more and moved more often than other professionals. Around 90% delivered above average lifetime earnings and moved almost 20% more often than those in other professions. Aggressive STEM recruitment has become an essential function of many successful organisations.