Reading Between the Lines: Job Ads as a Source of Competitive Intel in the Space Industry

The rapidly evolving nature of the space industry necessitates that businesses remain informed about the actions of their competitors. One unconventional but surprisingly rich source of intelligence is job postings. Businesses can leverage job postings for competitive analysis to gauge the strategic directions, technology focus, skill needs, and growth areas of competitors.

The Role of Job Postings in Competitive Analysis

When businesses in the space industry post job advertisements, they inadvertently reveal important information about their strategic plans. These postings can give away information about upcoming projects, new technologies being adopted, the focus of their research and development efforts, and their expansion plans into new markets or regions. This information can be important in a competitive analysis as it provides real-time, forward-looking insights into a company’s operations that are not available through traditional financial statements and reports.

Example of a July 2023 job posting from ICEYE signaling their intention to enter the global re/insurance market.

Methodology for Utilizing Job Postings

Keyword Analysis

Performing keyword analysis on job descriptions allows space businesses to identify the skills and technologies that are in high demand. This can provide a sense of the industry’s direction. For instance, if multiple competitors are hiring experts in satellite technology or asteroid mining, it could indicate that these are upcoming focus areas in the space industry.

Position Levels and Locations

By noting the levels (entry, mid, senior) of the roles advertised and their locations, businesses can identify where their competitors are expanding or which areas they are focusing on in terms of workforce growth.

Roles and Responsibilities

The detailed description of roles and responsibilities often indicates the kind of projects or initiatives a company is undertaking. For instance, a job posting for a ‘Spacecraft Thermal Engineer’ could suggest that a company is working on a spacecraft project.

Tools and Platforms

Job Posting Aggregator Tools

Aggregator tools can be used to compile job postings from multiple job boards. This enables a company to track and analyze a large number of job postings without manually visiting each job board. Examples of such tools are Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.

Text Analysis Tools

Text analysis tools, such as natural language processing (NLP) software, can automatically extract relevant information and insights from large volumes of text data, including job postings. These tools can automatically identify key skills, technologies, and trends from job descriptions.

Data Visualization Tools

These tools can be used to visualize the data extracted from job postings in a more understandable and insightful way. Examples of such tools are Tableau and PowerBI.

Summary

Using job postings for competitive analysis offers valuable, real-time insights into a company’s strategic direction, skill needs, and growth plans. Space businesses can employ a range of tools and methodologies, from keyword analysis to text analysis tools, to derive these insights and stay competitive. However, while this strategy is useful, it should be part of a broader competitive intelligence strategy that includes traditional forms of business research and analysis.

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