Case study

Craig Smith — Talent development manager at Babcock

babcock image

Craig Smith, talent development manager at Babcock, discusses what the company looks for in candidates and how to avoid common mistakes when applying for a place on their graduate programme

What do you look for in an applicant?

We typically take on graduates who deliver excellence, collaborate, focus on safety, are customer-focused, innovate and think creatively, simplify complexity, and adapt to change.

How is the graduate programme at Babcock structured?

We take over 150 graduates each year across a number of disciplines and locations. Our graduate programmes are between two and four years in duration, and comprise of six-month rotations.

In return for our graduates' commitment and ambition, we also offer a structured development programme alongside mentoring to aid ongoing professional development and support towards chartership.

What would a graduate be doing on the programme?

Within this two to four-year learning experience, graduates will be immersed in a variety of environments within their sector, tackling some of the most exciting projects while delivering specialist knowledge in their field. For example, our electrical and electronic graduates could be on the team designing submarines or refitting warships - or perhaps helping to build the UK's next generation of nuclear power plants. At Babcock we give graduates ownership to make an impact where it matters most.

What specific skills are you currently in need of?

Given our international growth aspirations, we're hoping to attract applications from graduates who speak other languages and those who are nationally and internationally mobile.

Also, as a provider of engineering services in the UK and overseas, engineering capability is incredibly important. We therefore welcome applications from a range of engineering disciplines, including electrical engineers and naval architects. Business and management disciplines are also of importance - to support us in managing our customer relationships and core services.

In your experience, what are the four most common applicant mistakes?

  • Not proofreading applications - you should be aware of typos and not simply rely on spellcheckers to correct words.
  • Not asking questions at the interview/ assessment centre - this is a great opportunity to show you're genuinely interested in the role.
  • Not researching the company and its values - this is a two-way process, as you'll need enough information to decide if the job's right for you, while we'd always expect to see a level of commitment to the business.
  • Not providing examples from past experience - being prepared with examples gives you confidence at the interview, and the interviewer will be more likely to have confidence you're ready for the assessment process.

What other advice would you give to students interested in working for Babcock?

If you have the time, get some work experience. At Babcock, we offer a range of internships and year in industry opportunities. These placements can give you an insight into life at Babcock and, more broadly, into the engineering sector.

How can graduates find out more about Babcock?

If you're graduating this year, you should aim to understand our business and employment requirements by taking a look at the range of information that we have available at Babcock Graduates.