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Northrop Grumman finds diverse new talent to help fill its digital skills gap

By Cia Kouparitsas 
Published: November 30, 2022
READ TIME: 4 minutes
Its 90,000 global employees come from a diverse range of backgrounds, bringing ambitious, curious people together to create technology and solutions that advance the future of humankind.

Working towards this clear vision, the company’s 900-strong UK business (NGUK) is deploying a proactive approach to bringing new talent on board, amidst the challenging backdrop of a digital skills shortage in the market. To provide a sense of scale, it has been estimated that there were more than two million UK tech vacancies in 2021, more than any other labour area.

Northrop Grumman is adapting and evolving the methods its UK HR team uses to not only look at past experience as an indicator of suitability for a role, but also to identify the types of activities and behaviours of talent and future potential of candidates, which aligns with the approach taken by WithYouWithMe (WYWM).

NGUK’s HR team is working with WYWM to assess for potential in untapped talent pools, meaning that the company could provide people from diverse backgrounds – who may be new to a career in tech but have a natural ability to learn it quickly – with the chance to join their ranks.

WYWM is a social impact company that offers data-led SaaS workforce solutions. WYWM effectively allows organisations to build and train teams for in-demand tech roles by identifying and upskilling talent in overlooked sections of society such as Armed Forces veterans and their spouses and neurodivergent individuals.

We are passionate about attracting the broadest possible range of people and encouraging diversity of thought, experience and background to help solve our customer’s toughest challenges across space, air, land, sea and cyber globally.

The technology and digital skills divide is one that we are bridging as its key to our mission to secure the UK and our allies’ defence.

Northrop Grumman recognises the value of diversity and works hard to ensure that all our people can bring their full selves to work and so make the most of their skills and experience to build exciting and rewarding careers in technology and innovation.

Nick Chaffey
Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman UK
Europe and Middle East
Northrop Grumman - Babou Jobe
Babou Jobe, formerly a British army veteran moved into a position as a Senior Developer with Northrop Grumman UK

In partnering with WYWM, Northrop Grumman is seeking talent that will support its cyber and intelligence business within the UK’s National Security Solutions division. Using WYWM’s SaaS platform called Potential, ten individuals were identified from WYWM’s diverse talent pool that could fill in demand roles. As an AI-powered solution, the Potential platform uses scientifically-based psychometric testing to identify candidates with the aptitude to thrive in tech-based roles, and provides them with certified training to make them rapidly proficient and job-ready.

Given the nature of Northrop Grumman’s business and its highly advanced technical offerings to its customers, the quality of talent delivered to Northrop Grumman by WYWM is of paramount importance.

In August 2022, WithYouWithMe deployed its first members of the ‘squad’ of ten to the cyber and intelligence business, NGUK’s biggest business unit. Roles include business analysts, as well as software and Java developers, based in both London and Manchester.

The squad’s backgrounds are broad and varied, from a former police officer with a disability to a neurodivergent military veteran.

As Sophie Ball, Head of Talent at Northrop Grumman in the UK, said: “I am genuinely excited for the diversity of thought these squad members will bring. Beyond having impressive tech skills in some of our highest-demand positions, they also have such different life experiences and have encountered different scenarios that they can bring fresh and new approaches. The fact that they are dispersed across more than one location within the business will also be beneficial.”

Tech skills are in high demand and this won’t change.

We know there are untapped pools of skill, knowledge and potential in the UK.

We want to uncover and develop that hidden talent by breaking down biases and barriers. Partnering with a company like WithYouWithMe has given us the opportunity to meet great new people and bring them into our team, offering them a new rewarding career path, which may not have been obvious to them before.

Working in the world of defence and security we can’t always talk about the work we do but it is critical and inspiring.

Rishi Badiani
Engineering Authority, Northrop Grumman
Samantha Gillison - Northrop Grumman case study
Samantha Gillison, formerly a Met Police Officer moved into a position as a Full Stack Application Developer with Northrop Grumman UK

Northrop Grumman is just one UK organisation that has committed to WithYouWithMe’s 15,000 Futures initiative, which calls on all UK employers to help servicemen and women and their families to find meaningful employment.

Working in collaboration with WithYouWithMe to discover, train and deploy veterans into highvalue, digital industry roles, the initiative aims to help fill the chronic technical skills shortage that many UK companies face today.

To learn more, visit: 15000futures.co.uk

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