Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX, seems to have a never ending list of job openings on its website.
Positions like electrical engineer for avionics survivability and electromagnetics, avionics radiation effect engineer, satellite attitude determination and control engineer, thermal loads analyst for satellites and propulsion integration technician are just a handful of many currently listed as career opportunities.
This aerospace industry isn’t the same as it was five years ago, let alone twenty.
We’re in a different era now–new aerospace–according to Dolly Singh, who ran talent acquisition for five years at SpaceX and helped expand the company from 200 to 3,000 employees.
“I define new space as sort of the Silicon Valley ecosystem being applied to the aerospace industry and that is very different from the old aerospace world,” Singh said. “New space has been about creating an aerospace industry where innovation is a focus.”
The industry is growing and so is the need to fill these jobs. But how do human resource teams and recruiters find the right people for these highly technical positions?
“Companies go where the people are–at least smart companies. You want to go where the talent is organically self-organizing whether that’s some sort of a userboard online or an engineering competition,” said Singh.
It’s a competitive field and although different recruiters have their own styles, Singh says the best strategy for applicants is to do what they love to make themselves stand out from the crowd.
“And the best strategy for the industry and the companies is to go find people that are doing the things they love in their natural environment, see who is excelling and hopefully convince them to come work for you.”
So what advice does Singh have for people dreaming of jobs in the aerospace industry?
“Find your formula SAE team, it’s a race car building team. Most college campuses have them. Join the team. Go build real stuff.”
Singh, who no longer works for SpaceX, has a new venture on her plate – redesigning stilettos to optimize comfort, called Thesis Couture.
And yes, she’s got an astronaut on her team.