Recruitment is A business process for attracting, screening, selecting, and onboarding qualified employees for a job Source: Process oriented knowledge management for nuclear organizations
This article highlights some of the recruiting challenges and potential solutions for member states. Creating a talent pipeline and having a specific recruiting strategy will assist organization in meeting their talent needs.
One of the most important issues for the Member States is attraction technical talents to the nuclear plant operations community. As the new facilities are constructed and other necessary nuclear infrastructure and technology begins to emerge, the ability to attract new talent and the need to have the requisite knowledge resources to train them will impact the ability to bring new facilities and support activities on-line in a timely enough manner to keep pace with energy demand. In order to be more agile and sustainable, Member States need to adopt talent management practices that allow them to change the skill set of their employees and motivate them to change their behaviour. The key practices that will accomplish great agility include assuming the traditional job description approach to talent management and adopting a skill based motivation system that includes pay for skills and skill acquisition.Creating development programs for NPP will be critical to ensure there is a continuous supply of skills and competencies for long-term operations. Figure 1 provides an example of several NPP programs currently used by member states.
Even where there are no readily available resources with nuclear experience within the country, there are many opportunities for quickly accessing/developing such expertise, examples of which include:
- Attracting expatriate personnel who have worked in the nuclear sector abroad.
- Attracting experienced foreign personnel with appropriate remuneration packages, either as employees (if permitted by national labour laws/regulations) or as consultants. Such personnel can be a driving force in the development of the core national staff through coaching/mentoring and training.
- Recruiting experienced personnel from appropriate national industries, such as the fossil fired power generation, the process/production industries and the oil and gas industries, who will already have many of the required competencies to work in the nuclear industry.
In attempting to recruit expertise from overseas, it is important to recognize that this can be a two-way process. The nuclear community is currently truly global in nature, and this is unlikely to change in the near future; indeed, with the current upsurge in the prospect of new builds, the global demand for resources is likely to rise steeply. Hence, there is a high risk that indigenously trained personnel may be attracted to overseas opportunities, especially in more developed countries where salaries and living standards may be much higher than at home. An important element of the workforce planning strategy will therefore be the use of appropriate tools to monitor the engagement/satisfaction of employees, and to ensure that compensation packages are competitive with other opportunities nationally and, where possible, internationally. In any event, it would be prudent to build some redundancy into staff recruitment and training programmes to allow for these losses.
Another specific consideration is that of language. In many examples, when a country is constructing its first NPP, the project language and associated documentation has initially been in English, or another foreign language, sometimes with a transition into the national language at some time after the start of the NPP operation. This may be a factor in recruitment, and certainly the use of a project glossary to assist all parties concerned is recommended. It may also be necessary to consider allotting more time for additional training requirements (including language training) in workforce plans.
Overall, the future belongs to organizations that can manage a flexible, motivated workforce. This can only be accomplished by policies and practices that encourage talent to be agile while motivating them to perform well.