Automation & Industrial Technology Talent Trends for 2018

By Robert Cohn, Managing Partner, Direct Recruiters, Inc.
What’s in store for 2018 when it comes to talent within Automation & Industrial Technology? Here are 8 talent trends that will help to shape the workforce in the New Year:

1.  Widespread Adoption of People Analytics

As Millennials move into management roles, they’re turning to analytics to better understand the effectiveness of people practices, programs, and processes. By creating employee dashboards like Microsoft’s “MyAnalytics”, managers expect workers to measure how much of their time is being spent on projects, meetings, daily tasks, etc. as well as gauge their progress toward organizational goals. Ultimately, people analytics is meant to help managers and executives make decisions about their workforce.


2.  Candidate-Driven Job Market Continues

For most industries across the US, we’re expecting the candidate-driven job market to continue and the Automation & Industrial Technology Industry is no exception. For job seekers, this is great news. It means they have the power to be very selective regarding job opportunities and employers.  For employers this means it’s high time to review talent acquisition strategies. Employers need to prioritize the way they source candidates, the experience those candidates have, and the offers they eventually make.

3.  Need For Speed When Hiring

Since we’re in a candidate-driven job market, employers need to move fast on qualified candidates. Top talent gets snatched up quickly these days. In fact, they are often off the market within 10 days. In 2018, the mindset that a longer hiring process will ensure adequate time to compare candidates in order to hire the right one, has to change.  If not, organizations will most likely miss out on nearly every in-demand candidate.


4.  Growth of Sensors Market Within Automation & Industrial Technology.

According to Allied Market Research (AMR), the global market of sensors is poised to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3 percent until 2022, when the market would reach $241 billion. Key drivers of growth include: adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), demand for wearables, advancements in consumer electronic products, sensors in smartphones, and the overall growth of automation industry. Companies will be on the lookout for professionals in the areas of research and development, engineering, hardware, software, and coders.


5.  Working Remotely Takes Off

Working from anywhere and at any time will become a normal everyday thing. In fact, by 2020 it is expected that 50 percent of US workers will be working from home or another remote location. Having virtual employees is not only a way to get things done round the clock, but it is also a way to find skill sets from every corner of the globe.

6.  Women Closing Skills Gap.

Since one of the most important application areas for automation technology is manufacturing, we thought it was important to note a recent study by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte, and APICSWomen in Manufacturing: Stepping up to make an impact that matters . The study consisted of more than 600 survey responses from women professionals in the manufacturing industry, along with nearly 20 manufacturing executive interviews. Results indicate that there’s one critical element that can aid in closing the skills gap in manufacturing and that is by increasing the number of women at all levels in the industry. The insights point to how companies can effectively recruit, retain and advance talented women and illustrates how women are already starting to make an impact in the industry through programs like STEP Ahead.


7.  Social Media Continues to Play Role in Recruiting

A recent survey by SHRM shows that the use of social media for talent acquisition is growing with 84 percent of organizations using it currently and 9 percent planning to use it. Furthermore, recruiting passive job candidates, which accounts for 82 percent of recruits, continues to be the top reason that organizations use social media for recruitment. Social media has been effective when recruiting for non-management employees, management employees, and executive level employees.  LinkedIn remains the most popular social media platform for recruiting.


8.  Robots Killing Some Jobs, Creating Others

A recent report produced by Pricewaterhouse Coopers states that 38 percent of U.S. jobs (nearly 4 in 10) will be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence (AI) by the early 2030s. With so many jobs disappearing, many futurists and economists are considering the possibility of a jobless future. We’re more optimistic. While it’s true that some people will see their jobs become obsolete, there will be opportunities for workers to acquire new skills in order to obtain other well-paying jobs. Robots in the workforce will not merely take jobs away, but also create them. Hottest jobs in Robotics right now are Robotics Engineer, Software Developer, Technician, Sales Engineer, and Operator.


About the Author

Robert Cohn is a Managing Partner at Direct Recruiters, Inc. He also remains the head of the Automation Practice with a special emphasis on Sensors & Controls, Electrical, Industrial, Robotics, Packaging, and Material Handling industries.
About DRI
Since 1983, Direct Recruiters, Inc. (DRI) has been recognized as a relationship-focused search firm that assists top-tier organizations with recruiting, acquiring, and retaining high-impact talent for mission-critical positions.

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