Bryan Burstein
Commercial Director

Talent-Searching Solutions Crucial for Companies

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 14:20

Skilled talent is among the hottest commodities for the automotive industry. Companies need capable people at all levels, from operative positions to middle and top management, and candidates looking to participate in the automotive sector are in a privileged position. Adecco’s Salary Index in 2017 showed 7 percent of the best-paid personnel in Mexico work in the automotive industry and production managers are among the best remunerated positions across all industries. The high rewards for these positions reflect the reality of a lack of specialized talent in Mexico.

“The country cannot cover demand for specialized labor, making talent-searching solutions crucial for automotive companies,” says Bryan Burstein, Commercial Director of the human resources company Adecco. “Employee turnover directly impacts productivity. Companies have to find talent but then work hard to keep it. The Bajio region is particularly competitive for talent attraction at operative levels.” The first decisive factor for most candidates at an operative level is salary and the automotive industry is competitive not only on salaries buy also benefits. “An automotive operator earns an average of MX$7,000 (US$350) per month when other manufacturing sectors might offer salaries of MX$5,000 (US$250),” says Burstein.

The industry’s constant evolution forced executives like Burstein to look for new ways to attract potential candidates to fill positions in the industry. New hires no longer approach companies. Recruiters have to go into the market and look for a fit for each client. Burstein sees an opportunity for Adecco to take advantage of the industry’s development regardless of competition for workers. “Growth in the automotive industry has allowed us to improve and integrate more technology into our operations,” he says. “It also has transformed our usual business model from transactional processes to becoming a partner, creating retention and talent-development strategies.”

The company’s Global Talent Competitive Index places Mexico in 74th place out of 118 analyzed countries and Burstein sees four main areas the country could work on.

Automation and its inclusion in the industry is one of the first areas of opportunity for talent development. “Local industry
is advancing but without integrating automation equipment into its operations,” he says. Technology integration is the 165 second factor, in production activities, corporate processes, all the way to communication strategies. Education is also a fixer-upper, according to Burstein, which fits with the opinion of many executives that think the industry would benefit from closer collaboration with the academia. “Our educational systems do not have the required flexibility to integrate professional practices and the only way for the country to improve is through the triple helix cooperation of industry, government and academia.”

The final area of opportunity that Burstein points out is flexibility. Younger generations are more focused on maintaining a healthy work-life balance than on monetary compensation. This becomes more important as people move up the corporate ladder. He agrees it might be difficult to grant flexibility at operative levels due to nonstop production lines but it is essential for middle-management positions. “Employee productivity is vital in automotive and companies realize that giving more freedom to employees leads to more targets met,” he adds. “In a globalized industry, we must include better practices to remain competitive not only in the automotive industry but in all sectors.”

Burstein says universities are incorporating industry needs into their programs, digitalization is becoming a priority for companies and flexibility is now a new norm in the working environment. Regardless of its deficiencies, Adecco is optimistic about Mexico’s international position in the talent market, which is reflected in the emphasis the company has placed on growing in the country. Mexico represents 40 percent of Adecco’s income in Latin America and is the number one emerging country for the company. Adecco Mexico manages almost twice as many employees as Colombia, the second-largest market for Adecco in this region, totaling 27,000 Mexican staff members. The automotive sector alone represents 12 percent of the company’s temporary recruitment operations and Burstein expects to double that participation by 2019.