Experienced engineers are crucial in such a critical and technically-minded sector as engineering, and it is consequently not surprising that the industry players place a premium on the employment of those who have the years under their belts, says engineering firm Zimile Consulting Engineers CEO Shawn Gama.
He argues, however, that what the focus on experience tends to miss is that talented young engineers can play an equally important role in the development of projects and inject new ideas, perspectives and dynamism into these projects.
“In other words, young blood can bring greater diversity of thinking to the organisation and meaningfully assist to drive innovation,” he adds.
Gama notes that in order for small businesses to fully embrace young talent, andthe dynamism that young engineers bring , it is crucial that innovation and autonomy within the work space be at the centre of the business strategy.
“In my time as CEO of Zimile Consulting Engineers, I have noticed that there is a lot of untapped potential in our young engineers. While the industry tends to focus on hiring seasoned professionals ‘guaranteed to get the job done’, we have been placing emphasis on fostering a young and dynamic workforce who can offer us a new perspectives under the leadership and guidance of these seasoned engineers.”
He mentions that by leveraging the hunger to learn, the energy, flexibility and agility of these young professionals, we have found that we can deliver faster, with greater levels of innovation and commitment.
“This is not to say we don’t need experienced engineers with their years of institutional knowledge. Rather, we bridge the generational divide to reach a diversity of perspectives, experience and know-how, which enables us to get the best out of our people – no matter whether they are new to the industry, or have decades of experience.”
He says that each of these groups have their value and it is time the value of the youth is more widely appreciated. “At any rate, the approach has helped us thrive in what is currently a very difficult business landscape.”
He argues that small businesses also need to be ready to pivot into new offerings and move out of their comfort zones. “At some point, you had to build that first road. Well, maybe now it’s time you build your first pipeline and start offering solutions for water and sanitation infrastructure as well.”