Andrés Sánchez
Managing Director
Randstad México

Employer Branding Can Attract, Retain Automotive Talent

By MBN Staff | Mon, 04/01/2019 - 13:43

Finding the right talent does not come easy for automotive companies. These companies should pay attention to employee branding and offer the right incentives to blue- and white-collar workers to brave the ongoing talent war, says Andrés Sánchez, Managing Director of Dutch talent management company Randstad México. “To successfully build employer branding and attract and retain top-quality talent, companies must be coherent in what they offer and what they deliver, starting from the first steps in the recruitment process,” says Sánchez. 

Benefits that boost staff retention may depend on the type of job profile at hand. For Sánchez, being able to offer career plans within the company can go a long way to retaining white-collar staff. However, blue-collar workers require different incentives. “These employees change companies for small salary increases,” he says. “Offering transportation from the place of residence to the work place can be a key differentiator for employees at this level. Insurance schemes, cafeteria services and even convenience stores within the plant can also make a difference.”

Another factor that comes into play when trying to retain blue-collar workers is job stability related to automotive companies’ production cycles. According to Sánchez, these production cycles are directly related to OEMs’ demand for components, so the introduction of a new model can mean laying off many temporary workers only to rehire them later. Being aware of these cycles can generate greater stability in a company’s production process, which in turn translates to job stability for workers and increased employee loyalty. However, the nature of a company’s processes may preclude constant production. “In these situations, it is important to dismiss workers in a way that lets them know they will be considered for future rehiring,” he says. 

As more automotive companies land their design and engineering operations in Mexico, new challenges have arisen to find the highly skilled talent with the experience that such tasks require. “When these profiles are unavailable, the only alternative for companies is to train their people. The creation of automotive-oriented academic programs could make this process easier,” says Sánchez. 

In Mexico, automotive is one of the priority business verticals for Randstad’s talent management solutions. Sánchez says the company doubled its revenue from this sector in 2018. The company offers a range of talent management services, including staffing, professional talent hunting, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and in-house services for the hiring of large numbers of temporary workers. “In some cases, Randstad will station employees directly at clients’ assembly plants to engage directly in recruitment and staff management operations,” says Sánchez. Randstad’s solutions for automotive clients have had a good reception in Mexico thanks to the company’s True Fit methodology, which has helped it to accommodate the product that each client needs in terms of personnel. Randstad’s True Fit methodology assesses recruits based on three dimensions: Job Fit, Company Fit and Boss Fit. “This methodology is deeply embedded in all of Randstad’s solutions; it ensures that we hire the right candidate for each position,” he says. 

Looking ahead, Sánchez says in 2019 the Mexican automotive industry is expected to grow as much as in 2018 as automotive companies maintain their regular operations. The Mexican automotive industry has experienced such growth since 2000 that remaining competitive is a challenge, he adds. However, “despite the new regulations on salaries established in USMCA, the good production quality and competitive manufacturing costs that Mexico offers remain attractive for automotive companies,” he says. Even the increase in the minimum wage enforced in January 2019 may only have a marginal effect on Mexico’s automotive industry, explains Sánchez, since only 8-10 percent of the country’s economically active population earns the minimum wage. “Mexico has a strong economy that will remain attractive and growing, unless worryingly adverse signs for FDI appear as to how the federal government will impact Mexico’s attractiveness for foreign investors.”  

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