The automotive industry is under severe pressure to keep up with technology driven changes. Talent acquisition, retention and upskilling are absolutely crucial in the future. Four experts from the Adecco Group, Modis, MAN and Stellantis, held a virtual roundtable hosted by the Adecco Group and Modis, to discuss the trends highlighted in their newly launched Whitepaper The Future Of Talent In The Automotive & Mobility Industry.
During the past decade, technology-driven changes have seriously disrupted the automotive industry. Companies increasingly need to focus on the digital customer experience. COVID-19 threw the automotive industry, among many others, into “the new normal” with absolutely no pre-existing templates on how to engage with such changes. The automotive industry faces an end-to-end transformation. But how do these changes shape global
talent management strategies? And what are the most impactful megatrends that will inform and transform the future of our workplaces? Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group; Dr. Jan Gupta, President of Modis; Dr. Martin Rabe, CHRO of MAN SE & MAN Truck & Bus SE (part of the TRATON GROUP) and Franck Bernard, Group Workforce and Labour Relations Director at Stellantis with moderator Dr. Julia Saini, Associate Partner & Global Practice Leader Automotive, Frost & Sullivan discussed these questions during a virtual roundtable on May 20th.
Megatrends that drive change
“First, there is the VUCA world – we are all living in a very volatile, unpredictable, complex, and ambiguous world,” explained Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group. “The volatility and unpredictability call for more and more flexibility. Secondly, there is digitization, in other words, robotization and automation. With that, we come to upskilling and reskilling because new talents are required. “Because of digitization, more than 1 billion people will need to be upskilled and reskilled in the next decade. And thirdly, there is sustainability. COVID-19 has accelerated all these three megatrends.”
Hard to find the right skillsets
Not only has the transformation of our society changed customer demands for new transportation solutions and products, so have also automotive industry design and production processes. A product engineer who has developed combustion engines for decades may have difficulties understanding today’s modern vehicles’ key design principles and technologies. Jan Gupta, President of Modis, said: “Many years ago, a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, and an IT programmer, were three entirely different students with completely different skillsets. An engineer today must understand all these three skillsets and how to combine them in the product or the process.” Today, there is a talent shortage in the automotive industry. It is hard to find enough engineers in the market who can develop new cars focusing on the user experience. Because of electrification, there is also massive demand for system engineers, among others. However, Modis can reskill people in the automotive industry into a system engineer role within three to six months.
The best advice going forward
“We are a transformation partner in this huge movement we see today,” Gupta said. “And as much as there is a demand for a technological skillset, the automotive industry also looks for diverse talents.” Before completing the webinar, Dehaze was asked about his top advice to manufacturers, OEMs, and the industry in general, to adapt for the future. “Have a strategy and have a plan,” he concluded. “You will never be successful if you don’t know where you have to go. Start with that. And regarding the reskilling and upskilling, Modis is happy to help.”