Press Release

Just 8% of space job adverts are any good

The average space job advert scores just 54 out of 100 according to new research by the Space Skills Alliance. Only 8% are rated ‘good’ with a score of 75 or more.

The best adverts came from public bodies like universities and the UK Space Agency. The top score was 91 for a position at the Met Office.

What makes a good job advert?

The Space Skills Alliance sets out ten criteria for a good ad, based on recruitment research:

  1. A clear job title
  2. Salary information
  3. A good description of the company
  4. A concise summary of the role
  5. A clear person specification
  6. No overt gender bias in language
  7. Information about benefits
  8. Transparency about the application process
  9. A diversity statement
  10. No typos or weird formatting

Adverts could get up to 10 points in each category for a maximum score of 100. 44% got a score less than 50.

Most adverts did well on the ‘core’ elements of job title, company background, job description, and person specification, but didn’t provide information about salaries, benefits, or the application process, and didn’t have a diversity statement.

Bad ads impact who applies

Research by CV Library last year found that 82% of professionals voted salary as the most important factor in an advert, and 40% said they wouldn’t apply if no salary was listed.

The missing elements are also the ones that have the biggest impact on the range of candidates who apply, and the researchers believe that improving them will be key to make the space sector more diverse.

The UK Space Sector employs more than 40,000 people, and plans to more than double that by 2030. As a high tech sector, it’s competing with Silicon Valley companies for talent, so following best practice can make all the difference when it comes to attracting good candidates.

Space Recruitment Toolkit

To help address these problems, the Space Skills Alliance has developed a ‘Space Recruitment Toolkit’ with advice and examples for writing better adverts. It also covers preparing to hire, interviewing candidates, giving feedback, and more.

Joseph Dudley, Director of the Space Skills Alliance said:

The poor quality of space job adverts is shocking, but the good news is that issues we have found are not difficult to address with our toolkit. The sector has an opportunity to quickly and cheaply make significant improvements to its hiring processes to attract more higher quality applicants from more diverse backgrounds.


Notes to editors

  • The Space Skills Alliance is a think-tank working to address the skills shortage in the space sector.
  • It was set up in September 2019 by Joseph Dudley and Heidi Thiemann, who previously created SpaceCareers.uk, an award-winning early careers jobs and advice website for the sector.