As the global STEM-specialist talent partner that connects sought-after specialists in life sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics with dynamic organisations across the world, SThree is uniquely placed to report on the state of the recruitment market. Our network of dedicated specialists in 40 offices across 15 countries help consultants give our candidates and clients a competitive advantage, using market data and analytics to identify and act on international trends and regional requirements.
Our surveys and reports provide special insights both into individuals’ career journeys and into the big picture dynamics that – directly and indirectly – shape recruitment in the STEM sectors.
We gathered insights from 5,000 STEM specialists across our key global regions, including the USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands and Japan, inviting them to take part in a survey, revealing how their expectations and decision-making are shifting as their careers transition into the post-pandemic era. Respondents included permanent and contract workers across a broad range of STEM sectors, from life scientists and IT practitioners to engineers and healthcare experts.
By combining this with our STEM Youth Survey results we have created a rich data set that provides critical insights into how the priorities and goals of STEM professionals have shifted, highlighting trends among STEM talent at an early stage of their career.
The overall picture is one of confidence and assertiveness in which sought-after STEM specialists see themselves as a valuable resource. They feel positively about the demand for their skills in their country or sector. They are also leveraging their professional value to win better salary/benefits packages in highly competitive STEM markets.
Key takeaways from the survey
The rise of the contractor
The demand for contract workers is on the rise, with dynamic organisations recognising their value as they rebuild operations in uncertain post-pandemic economies.
Salary and benefits
Salary and benefits are still the top consideration for STEM candidates
when searching for new roles. Companies that delay in recognising market value risk missing out on sought-after specialists.
Flexible working options are no longer regarded as an added benefit – they are now expected to be a standard given of employment.
Widening the talent search
By extending their recruitment search to other sectors, STEM organisations can increase their options considerably – and with it their chances of finding the most suitable candidates.
Making a difference
STEM employers can enhance their attractiveness to top candidates by ensuring that they have a positive impact on society and the environment.
The survey informs an understanding of STEM career motivations that leading organisations can leverage in their search for specialist STEM talent. The findings also show how a significant number of people employed in STEM sectors are aligning their career goals with their life priorities. It’s a trend that’s consistent with other shifts that have transformed the world of work since the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
In particular, the pandemic has heightened interest in flexible working models, mainly because many STEM workers experienced its appeal for the first time, liked it – and are now demanding it. The same is true for contracting, which has seen a surge in popularity among both candidate and client respondents.
While the focus remains on ensuring the value of specialists is recognised, a key message for business leadership is that sought-after STEM talent no longer regards flexible working as a benefit
but as a standard given of employment.
How the STEM World Works
Salary and benefits are still the top priority for STEM candidates
Companies who delay in recognising market value of sought-after specialists risk losing them to a better considered offer.
Flexible working options are no longer regarded as an added benefit
Flexible working options are no longer being regarded as an added benefit – they are now expected to be a standard given of employment.
Women are a powerful source of new talent
Women are a powerful source of new talent to help address the STEM gender gap and shortages of STEM skills. But there is still work to do.
Employers need to recognise the value of career development
Employers need to recognise the value of having clear career pathways to attract and retain sought-after specialists.
Extending the recruitment search creates new opportunities
By extending their recruitment search to other sectors, STEM organisations can increase their chances of finding the most-suitable candid...
Contract workers are in greater demand
Contract workers are in greater demand causing agile, change-aware STEM organisations to rethink the ways they access talent and capability.
Making a difference is becoming an important factor when searching for a new job
STEM employers can enhance their attractiveness to top candidates by ensuring that they have a positive impact on society and the environ...
Bringing skilled people together to build the future
STEM professionals know their worth in this changing world of work. And employers need to tap into their skills if they are to build the ...
How the STEM World Works
The How the STEM World Works research provides insight into the career journeys and big picture dynamics that shape STEM recruitment.
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