Sourcing and recruiting specialists for the aerospace industry

Published: 31 May 2018

Gemma Dendurent

As the operations director of rapidly expanding aerospace recruitment and contract placement business MSB Global Resources, Gemma Dendurent solves staffing concerns for aerospace firms across the USA.

What was your educational background and how has it helped you get where you are today?

During my studies for a degree in strategic communications I learned how to actively listen to what people are saying, and also hear what they may not specifically be saying, which is often more telling. In terms of providing the right people for the right roles this is an invaluable skill and one that I use on a daily basis.

What does your career look like to date?

After time spent working with a large corporation I was invited to help start the US division of MSB Global Resources. I was interested in the MSB philosophy which seemed to empower employees, and embrace personnel, as if part of the family. Having used their resources for a number of years I feel so fortunate to be part of the development of a company from the ground up, yet have the backing of the parent company Sogeclair. It’s a really great position to be in.

What does your typical working week look like?

I don’t believe there is a typical day when you are involved in a new company, and quickly learned that the day you plan for yourself rarely happens! The underlying focus is to ensure that MSB Global Resources is known as the company that retains highly qualified and experienced team members that can creatively solve staffing concerns for aerospace companies all over the USA. This means during a single week I may participate in executive meetings, make operational decisions, source, recruit and place engineers, work external HR related items with our staff, file for state licences as we expand into different states, as well as make coffee for the team so we can keep going with smiles on our faces. There is nothing that I expect from the team that I wouldn’t do myself.

What is the most challenging part of your work?

The most challenging aspect of my role is ensuring we remain ahead of the curve in regards to staffing shortages. A large amount of my time is spent gathering trends information to anticipate and understand shortfalls in the engineering market. The real challenge is to find solutions to bridge those gaps.

What has been one of your most valuable career lessons?

Early in my career I worked with a flight test centre and was blessed with fantastic mentors who taught me everything I needed to know about hiring for every position from telemetry, avionics, mechanical, project management, and flight test engineers through to pilots. It was intriguing to learn how the functions combined to ultimately support the safe flight of experimental aircraft. I haven’t forgotten that each role is part of a network; that is important to remember.

What has been one of your more challenging positions to fill?

For me every position is interesting and sometimes a seemingly simple role may turn out to be the most complex. It is our responsibility to investigate and establish what a company really needs. Just recently we had the challenge of finding a Japanese technical translator/interpreter position for one of our clients. Finding a candidate who can speak perfect technical Japanese and translate into perfect technical English is not an easy task, especially as we don’t have a Japanese speaker on the team. I was proud that we could meet the needs of our clients by thinking laterally about the process.

What are the greatest challenges facing aerospace recruitment?

I personally believe that companies are going to have to get creative with workforce solutions due to skills shortages in the aerospace industry. MSB understands where the gaps are, as we are finding solutions for our clients on a regular basis. However we anticipate as the industry continues to grow at such a quick pace there will continue to be a gap between enough available experts, and the growing number of roles to be filled. Finding solutions to fill the voids will need creative teams, with excellent international networks. That’s what we’re aiming to create with MSB Global Resources here in the USA.

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