Manufacturers - Focus on tech to attract talent

Earlier this month I wrote "Building Product Manufacturers - Losing the war on talent?" ( In my role as a Senior Consultant in Executive Search, I often discuss securing senior appointments within manufacturing environments but frequently find I am led by what the organisation wants rather than why any strong, targeted candidate should be interested in them.

There are a handful of interesting figures in the below article, although all are geared around the American market.  The main points, however, are as easily applied to Europe.

Especially concerned with those candidates who are within the their first five years post graduation, construction material manufacturers are battling with perceived "sexier" industries for the best talent.

This article sparked a thought with me in that, again, boards rarely appeal to the market with the business innovations and investments.  They often front the conversation with what they need to satisfy these investments.  These needs can be tested further down the process.  Drive intrigue from the market by ensuring you sell any:

  • CapEx projects this person will run / influence - new lines and major machinery upgrades; new systems updates / implementations (e.g. ERP / SAP)
  • Technological advances - Adoption of Internet of Things, augmented reality, robotics in warehousing
  • Sell the manufacturing environment - I have recruited production orientated leaders for plasterboard and adhesive manufacturers, two product sectors which candidates from outside the industry would perceive as dirty environments in which to work.  This, often, is a misconception but leaders are unaware of preconceived ideas.  

Engineers and senior production staff are drawn to innovation, ownership of projects, changes to production. Ensuring you sell these to them will bear fruit.