I had an interesting discussion at “Calculating Careers” (employer event run in Maths this week) about how employers can find the subject specialists they want to recruit, whether postgrad or post-doc.
One of the common ways they do this is through personal contacts with departments, generated through research collaborations, industrial liaison boards, or simply PhDs now working outside academia going back to their old supervisor and asking for likely candidates. However, if there isn’t anyone with exactly the right skills and knowledge looking for a job at exactly the right time in that one department, it can be difficult for employers to know where to turn.
One place they are going which you may not have realised is a site many of you will know for academic jobs and scholarships – www.jobs.ac.uk (and if you don’t know about this and want to stay in academia, head on over there pronto, as it’s the best resource for UK on-line academic job ads – currently showing about 3,400 active job vacancies).
However, in addition to the jobs this site is traditionally known for, there are also non-academic recruitment ads. Some major industrial/commercial employers like Unilever, Astra Zeneca, Tessella and Areva are currently advertising for specialist staff on this site. There are also public sector job ads suitable for those currently in academia, including vacancies at GCHQ, the Natural History Museum, the Bank of England, the Red Cross, DSTL, the Healthcare Commission, a whole bunch of NHS Trusts and more. If you fancy doing your research outside a university (or at least working for a separate institute), there are currently ads for over 80 research institutes.
To see just who uses this site, including those with current ads, have a browse of their clients page.