Meeting the Growing Demand for Automation Positions

3 Things to Consider When Recruiting Recent Graduates

Contrary to the belief that automation in manufacturing industries will replace human labor, automation is instead driving the labor force to more specialized positions. With the rapid influx of required positions in the automation industry, companies must change their strategies for identifying, hiring and maintaining key personnel to fill these roles.

No longer does a career in manufacturing carry a stigma of low pay, little to no career advancement and job insecurity. Unfortunately though, with the rapid increase in automation, the pool of qualified recent graduates has not kept pace, leaving a shortfall of candidates to fill these positions.

In order to meet the growing demands for automation/engineering positions, manufacturing executives must consider several factors for not only recruiting recent graduates but for long-term retention of these employees as well.

Skills Needs

When identifying candidates appropriate for your particular manufacturing facility, you must first consider what type of talents and skills are necessary and more importantly, where to find them. As the work done by humans becomes more specialized, the needs move from more traditional manufacturing labor skills to designing robots, writing sophisticated programs, developing learning algorithms, implementing efficiency and optimization plans, and coordinating layout and workflow strategies.

These requirements lend themselves to candidates with strong STEM backgrounds and experience. However, the bottom line in manufacturing will not only be the technical skills and experience to operate and manage automation, but the people skills to manage projects from start to finish.

Corporate Culture

New graduates are interviewing a company as much as the company is interviewing them. They are interested in knowing what career opportunities exist, what the culture of the company is and how will they fit in and make an impact. As you consider your options to fill these new positions with recent graduates, ensure that the corporate culture is such that will attract and be appealing to these young engineers and technical personnel. Fresh out of the classroom, some recent grads may have a “know it all” mindset. Rather than squash their enthusiasm and tenacity, develop a culture that welcomes fresh ideas and thoughts and encourages the sharing of their recently acquired education and skills.

Internship programs offer a candidate an excellent hands-on opportunity to apply their education in real-world scenarios while enabling the company to demonstrate its culture, work environment and goals. Recent graduates are more likely to stay with a company after an internship than if simply recruited directly from college.

Workforce Development

Based on the time and effort invested in their recent education, candidates will look for an opportunity to climb the ladder quickly and have expectations for continued education. By providing a variety of career options, and workforce development programs, you will be better positioned to not only retain your skilled employees but also ensure a more satisfied workforce. When candidates see the investment that an employer is willing to make in them and their future, they are more willing to commit themselves wholly to their job and the company.

As automation continues its steady increase in manufacturing facilities, companies need to focus not only on the automation processes themselves but more importantly, on the recruitment process of employees to manage, operate and maintain production. In order to meet the growing demand for automation/engineering positions, be sure to consider all of these very important factors when recruiting recent graduates.