By Aaron Griffin, Senior Consultant, Aerospace & Defence reporting from the Paris Air Show 2019.

The Paris Air Show is an absolute must-attend event for those working in the aviation and space industry. As recruitment and consultancy specialists in the sector, Carmichael Fisher send delegates to the show every other year to ensure we are up to date with all of the latest goings-on, and this year was no different.

Of all the trends we witnessed this year, perhaps one of the most significant was the clear intent from both US and Europe-based organisations to extend their business on the opposite side of the Atlantic. From the east  coast , there’s Lockheed Martin who are currently expanding their European offering and in the pacific northwest  France-based Daher have made a recent acquisition to expand their US footprint. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

For those in the sector that want to grow, transatlantic operations are now almost mandatory. After-all, there are two major players – Airbus and Boeing – one on each side of the pond, and organisations are likely to want to work with both of these. So there are plenty of opportunities for businesses both in the USA and in Europe, but there’s one thing needed above all to succeed: talent.

Yes, expanding operations undoubtedly means growing the workforce, which can be a challenge for organisations, particularly given current skill-shortages. So what should businesses contemplate with regards to talent when it comes to bridging new waters?

The first consideration is location. Clearly, some thought has already gone into this, with organisations wanting to get closer to where the demand is in order to win more business. But proximity to customers should not be the only factor in choosing where to set-up shop, businesses must also consider the available workforce. Location is a huge aspect in talent acquisition, so organisations should think carefully about early stage mapping in order to attract the skilled workers needed to sustain growth.

Then there are cultural differences to think about. How will your Chicago based entity differ from its Parisian counterpart? The needs and expectations of workers will be different based on their varying locations and this is something organisations will need to anticipate. Partnering with a recruiter with experience in both markets can be a huge benefit to businesses when expanding their organisation to new territories.

And it’s not just location-based markets that will be different, either. Expanding to new areas often means creating new product and service offerings which may be outside of an organisation’s current expertise. In order to excel at this, businesses must acquire talent outside of their traditional verticals, again creating a need for a partnership with a search team specialising in several different industries, who can advise across sectors.

Making a move across the Atlantic is a bold move for any organisation, but nevertheless it seems to be a growing trend for businesses ready to seek new opportunities overseas. As with many endeavours, the true make-or-break for businesses will be finding the right talent to ensure sustainable growth in a new market. Ultimately, the organisation which considers its workforce first, will be the biggest achiever.

This is the first of a series of articles based on trends witnessed at the Paris Air Show. Click here for our next article on electrification in aviation.

By Aaron Griffin, Senior Consultant

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Aaron Griffin

Senior Consultant