Aerodynamic Design Engineer: Italian Formula 1 Team

Project brief

A leading Italian based Formula 1 team had been a major target for Mane’s automotive team for several years. While the recruitment company has a strong track record of sourcing staff for other Formula 1 teams, it had yet to win an account with one.  However that all changed in September 2017 when the head of the automotive division at Mane approached a well-established team and through perseverance, and an ability to speak fluent Italian, managed to speak with those responsible for resourcing.

Mane was invited to attend the company’s site in Italy to introduce the team and demonstrate its experience and strong track record of securing highly skilled professionals for other Formula 1 teams. The team in question was, at the time, meeting with multiple agencies regarding its search for a permanent aerodynamic design engineer based in Italy.

Despite being an unknown entity, Mane was awarded the contract following a competitive pitch process where it demonstrated that it had the resources and large talent pool in the UK to find the right candidate. However, the assignment was not without its challenges. Not only did the F1 team require the position to be filled urgently, but the role in itself was also very niche. While aerodynamic design engineers are commonplace within Formula 1 teams, the team is just one of two players in the sector that use a specific CAD package: NX. Mane knew that this meant that there was consequently only a finite number of professionals who had knowledge of this package, coupled with experience of using it within an F1 environment.

Mane undertook a comprehensive recruitment campaign which included a range of tactics, not least mapping the market for individuals who were currently working for an F1 team and that had experience of CAD NX.  While this yielded a number of potential candidates based in the UK, Mane had to ascertain whether they would not only be interested in relocating for a new role, but also whether they would be a good cultural fit for the Italian team.  While skills and experience were clearly vital for this role, cultural fit was just as important.

Following the initial screening process, Mane found just two individuals that met the criteria. The challenge the recruitment company faced at this stage was enticing them to leave their current role for a new challenge abroad.  By demonstrating the career progression opportunities and the long term benefits of working for such a well-regarded player with the F1 sector, these two candidates were put forward to the Formula 1 side.  Both individuals were invited for an interview and one was successfully hired and started work within a matter of weeks.

Just a year on from the contract win, Mane and the Formula One team continue to work together in Italy but also for the Formula 1 team’s resourcing needs here in the UK. In addition, the successful candidate continues to work as an aerodynamic design engineer demonstrating how successful a singular hire can be when skills, experience, and cultural fit have equal weighting in a recruitment assignment.

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