Recruiting for STEM jobs has changed since COVID-19

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville city leaders say the STEM fields need workers, and technology companies are finding the pandemic an opportune time to engage young students. See how these companies are overcoming recruitment challenges.

The pandemic has given some overlooked STEM careers a chance to develop in ways no one saw coming.

“A lot of times in Huntsville, and in our area, we put a lot of emphasis on the engineering piece of STEM. But I think the current events show that the science and the technology is just as important,” Intuitive Research and Technology Chairperson Harold Brewer said.

But Brewer said recruitment is equally important, if not challenging, due to COVID-19.

“At Intuitive, we’ve been working on it the last couple years on doing virtual and augmented reality,” said Brewer. “And those technologies we’ve been able to apply to help us get through this current situation.”

Madison County Chamber Workforce Recruitment Director Katelyn Sides Baker said she’s helping companies like Intuitive fill their recruitment needs.

“A few months ago, I created our virtual recruiting events. So normally we do these in person and we call them ASmartPlace on the road. So ASmartPlace is our workforce recruitment and workforce development brand,” said Baker.

Hundreds of college students across North Alabama participate in the Zoom conference calls.
Recruiters talk about their companies in the hope that students become potential job applicants.

“This is still a great way to get in front of college students, advertise them your company and the jobs you will be hiring for,” said Baker.

Intuitive is doing something similar, and more than before, Brewer says it’s actively recruiting across digital media platforms like Instagram, Glassdoor and Linkedin.

“Hopefully young people will see careers available in STEM,” said Brewer.

The STEM jobs are out there. All you have to do is explore your options and apply.

The Huntsville-Madison County Chamber wrapped up its virtual recruitment events for North Alabama students this summer, but the chamber said local STEM companies can register for the Tennessee Tech University virtual recruiting event on July 9.