Need for Talent Grows amid Shortage of Specialized ProfessionalsFri, 01/24/2020 - 12:43
There is a shortage of highly specialized talent in the Mexican automotive sector that is hindering the industry's development, says Axel Dono, Managing Director of HAYS México. “While there are professionals with skills and the experience of working at high levels, often they lack sufficient knowledge about technologies, innovation, design and other highly complex processes beyond manufacturing,” he says.
HAYS is a major global professional recruitment organization with presence in 33 countries. It focuses on recruiting middle and senior management, as well as vice presidential and C-level positions. The company’s Labor Report for Mexico 2019 showed that demand for talent increased by 50 percent for important company roles in the automotive sector and the majority of these positions involved specialized expertise in designing and managing particular technology systems.
"HAYS is conscious of the executive-level shortage of experts at OEMs and Tiers 1, 2 and 3 companies in the various niches of the automotive sector. Similarly, companies working with the automotive industry such as logistics operators, spare parts companies and other players throughout the supply and value chain are also impacted by the absence of specialized professionals,” Dono says.
Given the automotive industry’s contribution to the overall Mexican economy, talent shortages can have a widespread and critical impact. "The automotive industry is the second-most important economic sector within the manufacturing industry for employment and capital growth just after the oil and gas industry. One in five jobs in the manufacturing industry come from the automotive industry and the sector accounts for 3.7 percent of national GDP and 20.2 percent of manufacturing GDP, according to government’s data. As a result, talent shortages hinder the development of the sector," says Lillian Bustamante, a HAYS México Senior Consultant.
The absence of specialized talent is also creating an environment of competition among companies for skilled labor. “The number of counteroffers for individuals at the managerial level is shocking,” Dono says. “Some firms are ready to double an employee’s salary to prevent that individual from leaving."
Sixty-nine percent of automotive employers working with HAYS México believe there are three reasons why they have trouble finding talent. “The first is that professionals do not have the required expertise in the automotive industry or within the specific manufacturing process. Second, they lack soft skills in areas such as strategic and financial planning, negotiation, management and employee interaction. Third, they do not have a sophisticated level of English, German or Portuguese, the former being essential for domestic and international operations,” says Bustamante. While the problem persists across the entire country, it is more prevalent in certain regions. "The Bajio and the country's northern region have an exacerbated shortage and elevated demand for specific talent compared to other areas, specifically in the fields of metal-mechanics, chemical and plastics processing, coating, electroplating and other specific procedures," says Bustamante.
Although technological specialization is the Achilles’ heel of the automotive sector’s talent pipeline, HAYS considers it a key ally when it comes to talent management. “One Touch is the new global HAYS platform that includes Google's elastic search engine to search for candidates, contacts and offers automatic forum selection processes,” says Bustamante. In addition to digitalizing the recruitment process, the One Touch platform centralizes it to make it more effective. “The platform provides a centralized perspective for each and every selection process from beginning to end, so it integrates all the instruments used in a company into a single scheme, making the entire method more effective," she says.
HAYS' comprehensive strategy is to bring together specialized consultants in areas of the industry that employ technology to offer clients the candidates that best meet their needs. “We make sure that our candidates are experts in the company’s required area and we can usually provide a candidate in one week. As a result, nine out of 10 companies that work with us for the first time become repeat customers,” says Dono, adding that HAYS’ distinction is predominantly in recruiting speed and talent management. "We need to be quick as there are other firms that are also looking for talent. However, it is not just a matter of speed but of creating an appealing employment offer that guarantees talent retention.”