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How nuclear employees go about finding the perfect candidate

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

This post is not necessarily about who you getting into nuclear but is about how potential recruiters go about finding that perfect candidate. This should give you a great opportunity to gain some insights on how recruiters will be trying to source people looking for a job in the nuclear industry so that you can be pre-prepared and put yourself in the right position to be ready to pounce what opportunity knocks.

Okay, so...

How a candidate is sourced for a nuclear job in the UK Nuclear Industry - the more traditional approach:

nuclear job research
nuclear job advertisement
  1. A good recruiter will research the market and get to know the role inside and out. This is not just about the outline job description. The recruiting person should find out more about the company that the successful candidate will be working for, what the company does, how they do it, what is their mission statement and values, their market share, the culture place of work and most importantly the package (salary, benefits, location, work shift pattern etc.)!

  2. The next step is to create a Job Description; the job description has two key functions, not only is it helpful for candidate as it defines the roles, the location, the skills, qualifications and experience required and gives a guide to the package but is also enables the nuclear jobs employer to define their need and validates exactly what it is that they are looking for in a prospective candidate. A perfect job description would always find the perfect nuclear employee for the employer and perfect role of the candidate looking to get into nuclear.

  3. The next and fundamental step is to create an advertisement. An advertisement is shorter than a job description and is the time to sell, sell, sell! When planning an advertisement there are a number of things that the recruiter needs to consider before finalising and issuing their nuclear job advertisement:

  • Where to advertise? - there are numerous options to be considered, some obvious, others not so but can be just a fruitful in finding the perfect nuclear candidate. There are newspapers/magazines, online websites, your website/social media channels, the JobCentre / Universal Jobmatch, recruitment agencies

  • What's appropriate? - there will be consideration made to who the nuclear employer wants to see the ad. Budget will also be a key consideration here - it is much more expensive to run an ad through a website such as LinkedIn than is it to put an advertise in the local newspaper.

  • Is their Government support? - this is going to become more prevalent as the nuclear industry growths over the coming years with the increase in nuclear decommissioning works, nuclear defence accelerations and of course the nuclear energy new builds. The demand for jobs is high and is going to continue. Nuclear Employers will continue to look more and more at the jobs centre / benefits office options.

  • Are there options for Internship? - this is not the immediate consideration when trying to fulfil an immediate role but there are some really good candidates that can be found who are recently graduated or out of work who are happy to get stuck-in on an internship basis.

  1. It is then key to optimise for keywords to ensure that the advertisement is seen by the correct people looking to get into nuclear. The keywords can be derived from key skills, qualifications, experience, nuclear site names, company or project name, location.

  2. Definition of the ad channels is essential. A usual methodology is to google the particular role and pick the 2-3 preferred channels depending on the budget to utilise to reach enough people to find that perfect candidate.

  3. Once the advertisement is live there needs to be a strategy in place for the managing of any applications made. This can be done manually by the nuclear employer utilising email, using a nuclear recruitment agency or a specific application management software.

  4. Once the applications management strategy is finalised a method needs to be established for the screening. It is not only competencies and capabilities. This is so so important!!

  • they need to go beyond skills and qualities - that is to not just consider the CV, but the person behind the skill qualification and experience relevant to get into nuclear.

  • the will browse your social media. This tactic is employed to find out more about a persons personality, likes, interests and even associates.

  • they will call you to try and build rapport outside of online channels. This is something that is a mainstay in the nuclear industry and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. The first go to medium for recruiting in the nuclear industry is to pick up the phone.

  • they will help to prepare the nuclear candidate for interview. It is important that they know the questions that are going to be asked by the nuclear employers and has a good insight into the expected answers and behaviour to the demonstrated.

  • They will finally wish you luck and try to reassure you prior and post interview. The best will give you good feedback once a decision has been made, particularly if you have been successful on this occasion of getting into nuclear. Additionally the most attentive of recruiters will check-in after a couple weeks into the post to ensure the induction process has been completed and everything is as expected.

  1. The final step in the recruitment process is to measure and track everything after the event. Learning from experience is something that is fundamental throughout the nuclear industry on the premise that what gets measured gets managed. This is no different throughout the nuclear recruitment process and any and all candidates details will remain on the recruiters database for further reference and opportunities.

Hopefully the above insight gives you a couple of things to consider when preparing yourself to get into nuclear. It is important that you consider that you CV and the interview are not the only steps in the process and you have many more opportunities to impress upon the nuclear employers in the uk nuclear industry.


With this in mind...

How a candidate is sourced for a nuclear job in the UK Nuclear Industry - the modern approach:

  1. LinkedIn - a great way to advertise in the nuclear industry. Gives the facility to search and contact directly any perspective candidates using identified nuclear roles keywords.

  2. Facebook - can be utilised using one of many groups already in existence or using the recruiters own page. A great way to network and recruit by interests.

  3. Job Fairs - old-school, turned new-school job fairs are returning to popularity and are two pronged: great for the recruiters to contact people directly who are looking to get into nuclear and are also an opportunity for them to become known and approachable

  4. Twitter - enable the employers to undertake a nuclear specific keyword search and post adverts to their followers. Tweet deck is a software that allows multi-word tracking of keywords to give you an enhanced functionality.

  5. Student websites - something a little bit out of the box but there are usually free jobs boards on student (college, university etc.) websites. This is a great source to find enthusiastic candidate who are looking to get into nuclear but it must be understood that most of the sites visitors may be inexperienced - however there is the possibility to find mature or post-graduates.

  6. Graduate Fairs - again something out of the box; graduate fairs are usually free for recruiters to register and attend. Graduate Fairs are a great opportunity to find potential candidates for junior positions. Most, if not all attendees are actively seeking employment.

  7. Other recruiters - this is something that is often overlooked; recruiters network and this is even more prevalent in nuclear recruitment as the UK Nuclear Industry remains relatively niche. Recruiters in nuclear will see what opportunities and candidates are around and will be able to identify opportunities to collaborate. If they are not doing this they really should as it will pays dividends in the long-term.

  8. Conferences - there are numerous conferences throughout the year in the UK Nuclear Industry which provide an in-formal niche opportunity to hand your stack of business cards out. Conferences are a great opportunity to network and meet with like-minded people who are either looking to get into nuclear or to help people to get into nuclear.

  9. Gumtree - completely out of the box but this is an inexpensive advertising resource and is surprisingly fruitful in responses received to ads. It allows for keywords and location specific results.

  10. Pinterest - in other industries outside of the UK Nuclear Industry Pinterest is becoming the place that people love to display their work here. This gives an ideal opportunity for someone in the right functional role and is better suited to creative, design roles. Check this out if you don't believe us above should give you a little bit more of an insight into how the nuclear recruitment industry is moving and the alternative methods that are being, or are starting to be implemented by nuclear employers when looking to find candidates that are looking to get into nuclear.

Okay well we couldn't finish this post without delving a little deeper into LinkedIn which is at the moment the most influential of mediums for getting into nuclear.

Let’s get Linkedin specific:

There are numerous articles, how-to guides and reviews on LinkedIn sprawled all over the internet. The below is not aimed to be any of the former but gives you a bit more information on what will be an important platform for you when considering getting into nuclear:

  • Employee referrals - 80% of recruiters say that referrals from currently employees is the best way of sourcing that perfect candidate for the role. Get adding to and searching you LinkedIn network to find out what links you have to the UK Nuclear Industry.

  • The ‘Perfect Candidate’ is usually already employed - LinkedIn allows for you to, or be, passively approached around a role in the nuclear industry that you may be interested in. Stay active on your LinkedIn to keep yourself on your networks feeds.

  • Linkedin Referrals - This functionality allows you to link you to first degree ‘good match’ candidates. Make the intro where you can for others and in the long-term this will pay dividends.

  • You need to stand out with you approach whenever making an intro and reaching out to someone - remember that most people are only concerned with WIIFM (what's in it for me)

  • Linkedin Communities - these are satellites for specific industries or fields of work and this is no difference when looking to get into nuclear. Don't just join but contribute and add value wherever possible!

  • 20% of employed actively seeking work - this is a lot! That's about 4 million LinkedIn UK active users.

  • Graduates are a key talent pool when looking for jobseekers - you can keyword search this using LinkedIn. This is cyclical at different times of the year every year.

  • Keyword search “seeking employment” or “looking for opportunities” - What this search finds maybe not best quality as there may be a genuine reason why they are looking for employment but they are definitely a hot prospect.

  • When looking at the LinkedIn profiles of people to find that roles in nuclear it is important to consider that there are different types of linkedin candidates which will come under three categories:

  • The 'undersold' candidate - they quite clearly play down that they can do and don't add much description in their profile. You may find a gem here but mostly these types are to be proceeded with caution. If they don't take the time and have the inclination to promote themselves what will they say about your nuclear company.

  • the 'bells and whistles' candidate - the profile of these types give you plenty to go at and provide a raft of information, qualitification, experiences and achievements. You will naturally take these with a pinch of salt but there is a lot to be said for someone who has the pride in their appearance particularly on LinkedIn. These are the candidates that will get the most attention when looking to get into nuclear.

  • the 'in-betweener' candidate - they provide all of the right information about themselves and their suitability to a nuclear role. However, these candidates will need further investigation and often unfortunately get put into the same box as the 'undersold' category.

  • The nuclear recruiter should be aware that the candidate looking for nuclear jobs will search their LinkedIn - and that of their nuclear recruitment company. There they should look at the business and should have the pride in their appearance that are looking for out of that perfect candidate.

  • Finally the nuclear recruiter needs to be upfront - the Job Description, the location of the nuclear job and salary on offer in the nuclear industry need to be presented at an early stage in the interaction.

Well we hope that this different perspective of recruitment in the nuclear industry has given you some great insights from the opposite side of the fence and somethings to think about. One thing that you need to do now is to take action.


Here are a couple of potential next steps for you on our site are to:


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