Ian Stammers, Head of RPO Services at Sapienza
The defence and space sectors are experiencing unprecedented growth worldwide in recent years due to several favourable initiatives from the governments and an entry of new players, namely from the commercial world. These organisations leverage high-end technology tools to enhance their productivity and meet the industry’s sky-high expectations and demands. Many of the NewSpace ventures involved in data analytics, launch, lunar exploration, in-orbit Services, remote sensing, spacecraft hardware, and software and systems engineering have also secured series A and Series B funding to scale their businesses to great heights. However, recruitment remains the major thorn for these organisations as sourcing appropriate candidates in a short timeframe is paramount to succeed in the cut-throat business environment. They need candidates with relevant technical and practical skills to give wings to their business plans and thwart the competition.
A European based company, Sapienza (Part of TP Group Plc), helps space and defence organisations tackle their complex recruitment challenges with Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) programs and innovative workforce services and solutions. “We have 25 years of expertise in recruiting highly specialised talent for the space and defence sectors worldwide,” states Ian Stammers, Head of RPO Services at Sapienza. The company delivers a cutting-edge recruitment strategy that helps organisations source highly skills candidates that fit their bill and company culture. More importantly, as Sapienza’s recruiters purely recruit for space and defence sectors, they have gained extensive knowledge of the market, enabling them to weed out relevant talents from the vast array of candidates. This allows the company’s clients to scale quickly and gain a competitive edge over their counterparts.
Depending upon organisations’ unique requirements, Sapienza offers two variants of its RPO program—Project RPO and End-to-End RPO. Organisations with in-house recruitment teams can use project RPO to extend their team for a specific project for a short period; this maybe when they enter new territories or have just raised capital. Sapienza collaborates with the organisations’ HR teams to understand their project requirements before rendering a customised project RPO for them. On the other hand, the End-to-End RPO act as an extension of organisations’ HR department to lend a supporting hand for improved efficiency of the entire hiring process. These programs, which runs for one to three years, are ideal for start-ups vying to scale their operations. Also, Sapienza’s RPO programs are very competitive in terms of cost-efficiency, allowing organisations to recruit candidates without burning a hole in their pockets.
Further, Sapienza has an AI-driven job board for space, defence, and security jobs, accessible to the whole space and defence community that matches candidates’ profiles to companies’ jobs opportunity through an AI matching engine and conversational technology, enabling organisations to drive already qualified applications directly through their HR teams more efficiently.
Ian Stammers says, “Our relatively new (launched in 2020) job board, which experiences around 12,000 hits per month has many of the leading companies from the space, defence, and security sectors.” Another noteworthy aspect of Sapienza is that the company does a free of cost branding for its clients by building microsites to ensure that the clients are candidates’ employer of choice. Not only this, but the company also has a team of in-house trainers that provides in-house as well as remote training on seamless recruitment to the clients. “Our trainers offer training on anything and everything in the recruitment landscape, be it ATS training, candidate interviews or others,” informs Stammers.
We have 25 years of expertise in recruiting highly specialised talent for space and defence sectors worldwide
Unlike traditional recruiting firms, Sapienza also offers consulting services, among other things, including professional, flexible, and effective Workforce and Software Solutions for space, defence and security-concerned organisations. “We have around 150 employees, 50 percent of which are female, which consists of recruiters, space engineers, software experts, security and IT specialists that can work on-site as an extension to the clients’ team,” says Stammers. Besides, Sapienza’s ECLIPSE software suite enhances collaboration, control, and compliance adherence of key project management processes such as configuration, quality, and risk, helping organisations in space and defence sectors achieve higher efficiency and control over the critical programme management activities. ECLIPSE offers a proven digital foundation for organisations with multidisciplinary teams, dispersed locations and/or remote-working employees. Developed initially to support critical missions within the European space sector, it delivers the capability to support sectors, such as the medical sector, where similar high-reliability, rigorous engineering and quality validation processes are required.
The company boasts a long list of satisfied clientele that includes intergovernmental and national agencies, Tier-1 system integrators, system suppliers, scientific institutes, global satellite operators, and start-ups alike. Some of the company’s noteworthy clients are the European Space Agency (ESA), EUMETSAT, NATO, EUROCONTROL, IberEspacio, Thales Alenia Space, OHB System, Airbus Defence& Space, Reaction Engines, QinetiQ, GHGSat, and many others. Stammers shares a customer success story of a Japanese Satellite Imagery Company that wanted to build out their commercial and engineering teams in Japan and Europe. Due to the internal recruitment team having not much space industry recruitment experience, the client was struggling to recruit appropriate candidates, ultimately hampering their business scale plans. Sapienza helped them, source candidates, from Japan as well as from Europe, other parts of Asia, and the US to meet their immediate scaling plans. “In the last two years, we have helped the client source many candidates to build efficient commercial and engineering teams,” says Stammers.
Established in 1994, Sapienza has been growing organically over the years and has a carved a niche for itself in the space and defence landscape. The company maintains a collaborative work culture that promotes gender equality, thus experiences minimum churn rate. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company has seven offices across Europe. Sapienza is now planning to expand its footprint across the US and other countries where it has substantial business. “In terms of business, 2020 has been a great year for us at group level and with record breaking venture capital flowing into the space and defence sectors, we are looking to double in size for the next three years on our RPO Side,” concludes Stammers.