Attracting the best employees

Attracting the best employees

What do candidates want?

Many companies are assessing their hiring requirements and looking to grow their workforce. Whilst this is great news for candidates seeking new opportunities, it also creates a lot of competition for hiring companies to secure new team members. Not only do hiring companies have to battle with potential counter offers from candidates’ current employers, but they also must ensure they are the candidates’ first choice as a new employer.

As much as salary and compensation are key factors in almost all job searches, companies cannot rely on remuneration alone – they need to go above and beyond to be a desirable workplace. Companies need to look at what they offer beyond salary, and how they can support employee wellbeing.

When we speak to candidates, we always talk to them about their motivations and aspirations; not only does this help us understand them as an individual, but it also helps us better understand what they’re looking for with potential employers. One of the main things they seek is not just what the day-to-day purpose of the job is, but also what the future progression within the company is. Companies who are willing to train, develop and support their employees and have a clear progression pathway are more appealing to the most ambitious and skilled candidates.

For our clients who have been successful in attracting top talent, they have been able to showcase the plans and initiatives they have in place that develop the hard and soft skills of employees and are able to explain how this will put potential employees in good stead for future promotions. Ultimately, candidates want to see a ‘promote from within culture’ and a clear pathway within the business.

One major selling point in the eyes of many candidates is flexibility. Whilst it’s understood that some hands-on, technical roles need to be operated from within the lab, many roles can be operated on a hybrid basis. Ever since COVID-19, candidates are used to working from home offices. Many feel that reducing their weekly travelling time means they’re less fatigued and more productive.

Not just working locations, but working hours are important to employees. We speak to so many candidates who have family commitments (such as picking children up from school). Showcasing flexibility and autonomy for candidates is an important step in the recruitment process for successful employers and can often be what gives them the edge over other opportunities a candidate may have.

If you’ve been struggling to recruit the best talent or would like to discuss how you can better sell your business to candidates, reach out to us today and we’d be happy to share our expertise.

Call us on +44 (0)1606 212020

Email us at [email protected]


How to get the most out of your recruitment partner

How to get the most out of your recruitment partner

If you have already engaged a recruiter partner to support you with those difficult-to-hire positions, then you could be off to a great start. If you have taken the time to select the right partner and done your due diligence, they will have experience hiring in your sector, a strong network built from similar successful searches, and various strategies and techniques to headhunt the right people for your organisation. But how do you ensure they prioritise your search assignment over the other organisations they also represent? What can you do to help increase the likelihood of a successful hire?

These questions of even more prevalent when you are under time pressure to have this hire in place, to coincide with wider business objectives or to take pressure off other members of the team. Bearing that in mind, here are a few ways to get the most out of your recruitment partnership.

Effective Communication – This sounds straightforward but ensuring clear and concise 2-way communication throughout the hiring process will help to strengthen the relationship between yourself and your recruitment partner. Regular communication is key to ensuring any possible problems or challenges are discussed and overcome swiftly before they delay the hiring process. This is even more vital when hiring in a candidate short market where your competition is looking to hire similar people and moving quickly.

Full job briefing – Taking the time to provide a detailed job briefing for the position you are hiring for will not only give your partner a better understanding of the position, but it also helps them to understand the culture of the team this person will be joining and what type of personality would best fit. 

Making this job profile as detailed as possible will help the recruiter make accurate assessments when screening and interviewing candidates on your behalf. Make sure you give tangible insights to your company to help them understand what makes your business great and why someone should join your team.

Where possible it is always good to go through the briefing in person, invite your recruitment partner to your office so that they can see things first-hand for themselves. Providing a full and detailed brief instils confidence in your recruitment partner that you are invested in the process and greatly increases the chance of you receiving suitable, well-vetted applications from someone who truly understands your business.

Exclusive search assignments – Offering a period of exclusivity on a search assignment is a good way to ensure your search is given preference over others being worked by your recruitment partner on a contingent basis. This means that for an agreed period of exclusivity (typically 6 weeks for a detailed search process) you agree to fully commit to working with this partner and no other. This option gives you the benefit of knowing your search is being given the time it requires and your search partner the confidence that you are invested in working with them to achieve a successful hire.

And let’s face it, you have a day job to do as well as hiring, so only communicating with one recruiter, saves you time. Working exclusively means your partner has dedicated time to carry out a detailed interview and screening process as well as providing you with useful feedback on each candidate’s application and suitability, meaning you don’t receive duplicated or poorly matched CVs.

Retained search assignments – Similarly, agreeing to partner with your recruiter on a retained search basis also means your hire will be prioritised over other contingent searches and hugely increases the accountability to deliver a successful search. In this instance, you agree to some financial commitment upon commencement of the search with the residual being invoiced when a successful candidate has been hired. Working in this way offers all the benefits of an exclusive assignment as well as weekly update calls with your recruitment partner and a clearly communicated and agreed timeline of key milestones throughout the search and selection process.

Delve Search has over 30 years’ experience in sourcing talent for the life science, engineering & semiconductor communities worldwide. Get in touch with our team to see how we can support you with your next hire.

Call us on +44 (0)1606 212020

Email us at [email protected]

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The best strategies for retaining your employees

The best strategies for retaining your employees

Keeping your current employees engaged and motivated can be hard, especially in larger organisations. In such a competitive market employees can be approached many times for new opportunities, so it is important to have your employees emotionally engaged to their work. Here are a few pointers on how to increase employee retention.


Leadership – Engagement starts at the top, management affects how engaged employees are, in turn effecting how likely they are to stay at the company. Leaders might underestimate how much of an influence they have on their company’s retention levels. They need to be engaged with their teams and provide a safe space for them to share their honest opinions. Employees work for people not companies.


Work-life balance – It is important to provide a work-life balance for your employees, stress and long hours can be detrimental to someone’s work ethic as well as mental health. There is now a demand for a new cultural focus on health and wellbeing and employees are less likely to tolerate such conditions. Moreover, if someone is overworked their productivity in the long run declines and their job satisfaction will decrease. Employees often feel pressured to work longer hours and not take vacation time, so making an environment where time off is encouraged will make them feel relaxed and increase productivity.


Flexible working environment – Employees are more likely to consider opportunities with a great work life balance, big factors to this are flexible working hours and environment. Now more than ever, people are working remotely or are looking for a hybrid position. It has been known a bad commute can be a big factor into employees quitting their job. Giving your employees control over their work and flexible schedules, will increase their productivity and likelihood to stay with a company. If you give your employees a little trust and leeway, you’ll get trust and loyalty in return.


Pay attention to feedback – Communication is important within a company and in developing a team. Regular one-to-one meetings gives an employee opportunity to really say how they are feeling and highlight any issues they might be having. You can really gauge their happiness and job satisfaction. It’s an opportunity to see if their expectations are met and what you can do to rectify this is not.


Inclusive culture –  An inclusive culture can positively affect an employee’s performance as well as their well-being. A diverse work force increases creativity and provides them with a sense of belonging to a company. It is important for employees to feel appreciated and get recognition for their hard work. A way to do this is publicly showing recognition by presenting an employee’s accomplishments or creating annual awards, where they can be appreciated in front of management.


Employee growth opportunities – One of people’s main motivators within a job is career growth and development opportunities. If employees remain stagnant in a role, they will want to seek new challenges outside their current organisation. It is important to set out a clear development plan and structure that employees know they can work towards. It doesn’t always have to be a new title and pay rise, but small things like new projects or responsibilities that offer a challenge can make a difference.


Even little changes can make a big difference to how appreciated an employee feels.


To find out more about how we can support you with your hiring strategy contact our experienced team.

Call us on +44 (0)1606 212020

Email us at [email protected]

Follow us on LinkedIn


Offer acceptance – managing the risks

Offer acceptance – managing the risks

Picture this, the candidate has verbally accepted the position, anyone would think it is all done and dusted.

However, there are so many factors to bear in mind in the time between the offer being accepted and the new team member starting in the position in the new company. 

Diligence and attention to detail is key, as the earlier you know about any potential issues, the more time you have to find a solution. 

Here are some of the risks to be aware of:

  • drop in communication beyond what is usual, usually means there is an issue
  • Any other interviews and applications candidates have ongoing pose a significant risk, so it is important to ask about this throughout the process
  • We have seen a stark rise in counteroffers recently, we follow up with candidates after they have handed their notice in to see if the company produces a counteroffer whether it be monetary, progression or anything else persuasive enough to stay in the company 
  • Personal circumstances can change out of the blue, so building up a good relationship with the candidate is key to having transparent communication should issues arise
  • If the candidate has a longer notice period e.g. 3 months, this poses more risk for anything to occur in that time.

Essentially, clear and regular communication is key in preventing factors to hinder the offer acceptance not only at this latter stage, but throughout the process.

Delve Search maintain regular contact with clients and candidates throughout the recruitment process to establish good relationships and maintain clear communication. To find out more about our strategic approach to your hiring process, get in touch with our experienced team.

Call us on +44 (0)1606 212020

Email us at [email protected]

Follow us on LinkedIn


Why an early start is key to your 2023 hiring strategies

Why an early start is key to your 2023 hiring strategies

We are only a few weeks into 2023 and the competition for talented professionals is already showing. Many companies finalised hiring strategies towards the end of 2022 with a view to implement this as early as possible.

We’ve highlighted three key reasons why an early start is key to your 2023 hiring strategy.


New Year New Me

With lots of talented individuals having had time off coming in to 2023, it’s given people a chance to think about their longer-term aspirations and the pathway that will help them achieve this. This has led to a rise in the amount of people transitioning from being a secure employee to becoming a part of the curious majority – where they might not be actively searching for a position but are now open to the idea of change.

However, the further into the year we get, the more candidates will begin to discount change due to being heavily involved in projects or tracking well to achieve targets. So, if you know a new team member will greatly benefit the company, don’t delay and strike while the idea of change is fresh in a candidate’s mind.

The idea of a fresh start in a new company early in a new year can be very persuasive.


Settling in & up-skilling

Hiring later in the year can sometimes (but not always) lead to a prolonged settling in period for new talent. One thing to consider is that bringing someone new into the business with the end of year targets or deadlines looming may unknowingly, add pressure on them. This could lead to disappointment or a more difficult time mentally adjusting to the change if they feel like they’ve not managed to achieve goals in such a short space of time.

Whereas when hiring early in the year, especially in the first quarter, these targets can seem less daunting and not at the forefront of talk within the office. This can allow new team members to settle in and not feel under pressure from day one.


Competitive market

At the beginning of the year, lots of businesses are already advertising new jobs or searching for new talent immediately. If you’re waiting until later in the year to hire new team members, it can make it difficult in a number of aspects such as:

  • already has a job offer
  • currently interviewing elsewhere
  • recently signed a contract or have only recently changed companies

You may see some of these potential candidates taking jobs elsewhere because they were already further into the hiring process before speaking to you. This could lead to delays in your hiring process or not being able to pick the person who you feel is best suited to the position.

Speak to our team to see how we can help you kick start your 2023 hiring. 

Call us on +44 (0)1606 212020

Email us at [email protected]


Candidates Clients

Top 5 challenges faced by semi-conductor candidates when searching for career progression opportunities

Top 5 challenges faced by semiconductor candidates when searching for career progression opportunities

Here are our top 5 challenges faced by semiconductor candidates when searching for career progression opportunities…

1. What is the role?

As a senior recruiter in the semiconductor industry, I know first-hand just how little even a well-written job description represents the role. A key battle for me at the beginning of a search is to engage with hiring managers, HR, and team members to fully understand what the role is, what it means to the business and why it’s even there in the first place; day-to-day and long-term.

2. What’s the culture of the business?

Impossible to know unless you already know people in the business. The semiconductor industry is a small world but it’s still rare that a candidate will have a clear view. Most recruiting processes fail because of cultural mismatches – pre AND post hire. That is why we always get to know the people in the business before launching a search and the foundations of our Delve screening and interviews are built on cultural-fit, matching motivations and aligning on aspirations.

3. What are the businesses expectations, goals and projections?

I’m yet to work with a business that publishes their internal strategies, investments, growth plans etc on a job description and it makes perfect sense. Trust is a key pillar of our values at Delve, this means clients will share valuable insights about their business for us to relay to candidates who we believe could be a great fit. Candidates who will buy in to their goals and ultimately, have a positive impact on them.

4. Why would I leave when the going is so good?

I rarely come across candidates who are unhappy with their current employer or assignment. We work in a fascinating industry with ongoing innovation, exciting problems to solve and end products which have a beneficial impact on our societies and environment. The ‘going’ is often very good and even more so now, than ever. What I will say is that under these circumstances, businesses must adapt and be more flexible in their recruitment because far fewer candidates are actively looking. This means, the going has also never been as good when it comes to landing an opportunity that you may not have been accepted for in the past.

5. What if I feel bad about moving on or burn bridges?

I always empathise with candidates here. Signing an offer with a new business can be hard and we should never overlook any emotional or sentimental associations with your current employer. Often, they will have played a very important part in a candidate’s career and created a great place to grow. I personally believe it’s right to feel some sadness when making a change rather than being happy to get out.

I recently placed a candidate who had spent eight years with a leading semiconductor IDM and had similar concerns. The candidate eventually took the opportunity, is very happy, and I met them for the first time face-to-face at an exhibition – alongside his ex-employers stand. My point being, if you’ve worked hard, given your notice and continue to work hard until the end of that period – you won’t burn bridges. Plus, it’s highly likely your superiors or colleagues have or will have been through the same experience as you – empathy full circle.

Written by Nathan Falconer, Senior Search Consultant at Delve Search GmbH, Munich.



Why investing time into recruitment is so important for companies

Why investing time into recruitment is so important for companies

The hiring process is just that, it takes time to make the right assessments across technical skills and cultural fit into your business. However, so many companies can be ‘too busy’ to hire or just don’t see the value investing the time to work in partnership with recruitment companies. This means the crucial first steps of fully understanding what the requirement is, what the dealbreakers are, and what can/can’t be flexed in the ‘wish list’, can detriment the rest of the process, making it more time consuming. 

We have included below our key points to consider when recruiting:

  1. Feedback both ways is important, this enables for tweaks to be made to the search if needed to find the right candidate. For example, feeding back to the client if the salary bracket isn’t aligned with the current market
  2. The effect to the business in having the role vacant can be very costly and when you’re solely focussed on filling a role asap, the longer-term perspective can be overlooked 
  3. Having a high volume of CV’s sent over defies the point of working with a recruitment company, especially when it is from multiple recruiters. This doesn’t increase the chance of hiring the position, you will ultimately be spending more time going through a lot of CVs that aren’t right for the role
  4. The same role in one company will likely differ to another company due to factors such as the size of the company, whether they are part of a larger group, reporting lines in the business, sector differences etc so the recruiter should want to understand what this looks like in your business, approaching the role as a bespoke project.

At Delve, we will always aim to get the crucial information from our clients in person at the start, this enables us to see the environment for ourselves, understand the right person to fit to the business and build a transparent relationship with the client moving forwards.

For further information on our bespoke approach to engineering recruitment, visit our Engineering page or contact us on +44 (0)1606 212 020.

Candidates Clients Uncategorized

How to attract life science candidates in a competitive market

How to attract life science candidates in a competitive market

When you are looking to grow your business in the life science sector, brining in the right people is one of the biggest challenges you will have. This is often ‘make or break’ and companies find themselves in a reactive and high-pressure situation leading them to poor hires.

Our advice is to get ahead of the curve – it’s not just about engaging with the right search practice, there is a lot you can do yourself. We are obviously advocates of using search companies but there are hires you can make yourself with some effort at the front end.

Invest in promoting your business – This is not just about marketing your products or services this is about promoting you and your team.

  • Networking – Everybody in your business can help, actively encourage people to talk to their network. Hold social events – naturally your team will spread the word for you if they are happy (and unfortunately the same applies when they are unhappy!)
  • Social Media – You don’t have to look far to see businesses championing themselves on a social level on LinkedIn. Follow liked minded companies and use their ideas, you don’t always need to re-invent the wheel. Find someone in your business that is a natural promoter within social media and give them the chance to take it on.
  • Culture – Be yourself, your culture is you and you want people to fit with that – if people don’t then possibly, they are not right for your business.

If you are innovative shout about it. If you agile and flexible tell people. If you are a group of academics working things out – the right people will engage with you.

If people know your business exists there is far more chance of them engaging with it. If you do the hard work up front, build your social followers, promote a positive and engaging culture, then, when you promote an opportunity, you have a much better chance of finding the right person.

Take a strategic long-term view – Networking can be hit and miss. No doubt. However, it’s about taking a long-term view and having the right expectations. Like business development, hiring strategy can be the same. You can’t expect to only meet people where you always get an immediate return (as nice as that would be) however these people can play a part in your hiring for the future. Recommendations are often great hires so you should leverage that route to market.

Partner with the right search business – With so few candidates actively looking for roles there will come a point where you need to invest in a proactive approach to recruitment and work with a search business. These are some golden rules:

  • Look for specialists not generalists – They will have a more relevant network to start from and their knowledge of the market will give you (and candidates) confidence.
  • Take time to get to know them – and they should want to get to know you. Considering a new role when you’re already in one is a risk – the relationship with the recruiter has a direct impact on their confidence in you – you need to empower your recruiter to sell.
  • Look for trust and use your instinct – do they listen, and do they act in a way you want. Don’t compromise on this.
  • Set clear and realistic expectations with mutually agreeable timescales and goals.
  • Communicate regularly – this is for both parties’ benefit! Sometimes you need to change tact and the quicker you do this the better. Feedback will lead to better decisions and a better outcome.
Candidates Clients

Top tips for retaining today’s semiconductor employees

Top tips for retaining today’s semiconductor employees

As companies expand and become more successful, so does the need to recruit and retain great people to build their teams.  Working in the semiconductor market, we have seen phenomenal growth over the past few years across many of our clients. This has resulted in a hugely competitive candidate marketplace and more emphasis on the conversations around how to find and retain the best people. 

Delve is here to help customers find the right candidates for their business but also to support and advise on the equally important subject of retention. We speak to people all day, every day, who are looking to leave their role and one of the first questions we ask is ‘why?’, giving us a great insight into how best to retain your team.

Here are our top tips on how managers can stay ahead when it comes to retention and in turn drive more engagement in their teams…

Effective onboarding and communication – From the day they sign their contract make sure the communication is open and regular. Great onboarding is essential and sets the tone for a working relationship. The probation period is crucial and although it’s a time where employees need to shine and show their worth, managers also need to realise that it’s a two-way street and they also need to show that their company is the place to be! Beyond this, having regular and open communication with team members enables managers to ensure they are aware of any threats, challenges, or demotivating factors early.

Training and development – Whether it’s a new hire, or someone who’s been in the company for years, training and development should be a regular talking point. In our experience, employees who feel like they are being invested in are more likely to stay in their roles. 

Recognition and feedback – A lot of managers find recognition difficult, and it can take practice to get it right. Everyone, no matter what level, wants to feel valued and if you’re a manager your team probably crave that recognition from you. Managers, particularly in technical environments, need to be successful at praising and rewarding success and having processes/systems for doing this in the workplace. Feedback is also a key part of this, not everything your employees do will be worthy of recognition. In fact, sometimes you will have a deep feeling of despair around their abilities. It’s important though that managers give constructive criticism and create a positive environment to improve. Remember, people want to feel challenged but not attacked.

Say/do ratio – A very simple and effective concept. If you say you’re going to do something, do it! I can’t tell you how many candidates I’ve spoken to, who say “my manager promised me ‘X’ but it never happened”. This is a huge demotivator for employees and it is a major factor in them losing confidence in their managers.

Make sure they have the tools – If employees feel like they’re doing their job with their hands tied, this is a huge problem. I’m not saying you need to cave to every demand (my manager keeps refusing the pool table and €2k coffee machine I requested) but ensure you listen to requests and their equipment is fit for purpose. 

Flexibility – Prior to COVID, employees having so much flexibility and the ability to work from home was less common. Now it’s a topic on most of our calls with candidates. It’s an expectation that companies have flexibility and in this competitive market, your competition will be offering it. There are obvious limits to this, and it can make management, training new employees and idea sharing difficult. Achieving a balance here is key to ensuring employees are happy and results are maintained.

Company culture – As finding new people in the semiconductor market becomes more competitive, many companies are looking for employees who are relocating both nationally and internationally to satisfy this need.  This can present challenges when integrating people into the existing company culture and making sure they feel part of the team.  If they haven’t already, companies must be aware of these challenges and put plans in place to actively help relocators integrate into the business both professionally and socially.

For more information on our experienced Semiconductor consultants and how we can support your recruitment needs visit.www.delvesemiconductor.com


Why you shouldn’t wait until January to make your next hire

Why you shouldn’t wait until January to make your next hire

As we approach the end of 2022, the winding down for the festive period begins and businesses have started the planning and preparation for the new year.  

However, before the year draws to a close, there is still a great opportunity to make one final push and secure your candidates now. Here are for 3 key reasons to start ahead of the festive period.

1. Get ahead of your competition

Since your competitors will likely start interviewing in January, hiring in advance gives you an opportunity to attract a pool of talent that isn’t being engaged. They’re open to new employment, available to be picked up for their array of skills – and you’re the only one looking for them. You can capitalise on the delayed approach of your competitors by being active now, be the early bird that gets the best worm. 

Companies hiring in January must also be extra-competitive with job offers and move very quickly to even get a shot at securing their preferred candidates. Come January, you’ll be calmly conducting inductions while they’re frantically finding time to interview. You also won’t be competing with newly released budgets in Q1!

2. Budgets – use it before you lose it

Something to bear in mind, companies keep their budget close to their chest throughout the year, they predominately do not like spending it until they must, due to this you likely haven’t hired as aggressively in Q1, Q2 and Q3, which could mean you have some budget left. 

If that’s the case, then even more reason to make the most of remaining budget and use it now before you lose it and the year ends – make your hires by the end of December and start 2023 with a fresh budget intact.

3. Time – now is the best time to act

As the end of the year approaches and businesses begin to wind down, you can make use of the time as a great opportunity to complete your hiring objectives, interviewing and hitting that target you’ve been eager to reach, finally over the line. 

With a new year comes new responsibility, new targets, and new tasks to add to our list. Why not focus your attention on hiring now, instead of leaving it for the new year rush when you have new priorities to tackle after the Christmas break.  

Speak to our team to see how we can support you with your recruitment needs, whether it’s an immediate hire or to get the ball rolling for 2023, we are here to help.

Call us on +44 (0)1606 212020 or email [email protected].