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Attract and recruit for Industry 4.0

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​Last week I attended Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Manufacturing, hosted by the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). It was a great opportunity to see live, cutting-edge technology demonstrations, share knowledge and discuss future collaborative opportunities and funding. However, one of the biggest concerns amongst the delegates was the difficulty in recruiting the right skills and experience. 

It is undoubtably becoming more and more difficult to attract and recruit for Industry 4.0 and this is particularly true within automation and digitalisation. However, contrary to popular belief, high calibre candidates do exist – they are out there and open to opportunities.


Digitalisation, as we know, presents much opportunity, but also presents a huge learning curve. Everyone has their own take of what it is, what it means and how It will improve their business. Despite its wide scope of application, there are some common success factors that every business should adopt for digitalisation to be realised:

  1. Buy-in from the top and strong leadership

  2. Digitalisation instilled within company culture – embracing change and continuous improvement

  3. Not relying on traditional recruitment methods

  4. Diversifying and widening your candidate pool

As employers and recruiters, we have to understand that candidates in automation, big data, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) come from a completely different demographic – and it’s not what our industry is used to. Candidates with the right skills and experience are typically Millennials or Generation Z.


Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Many businesses recruitment practices are based upon attracting people from Generation X or even Baby Boomers. Perhaps it’s not so surprising that you maybe struggling to find people?


Recruitment practices should be adapted to engage these generations. This is not just thinking about where you advertise but addressing your entire recruitment process to continue engagement; from application, assessment and interview, through to the on-boarding process, continued personal development and training. Reliance on a big blue-chip brand alone is not enough to attract and resonate with these candidates.

It is also important that your recruitment teams understand digitisation, build a new network within these advanced tech fields and understand the skills and experience needed to effectively find and attract candidates with future skills.

If you choose to work with a recruitment provider, make sure they are invested in your business and keeping ahead of the curve too. I speak with all too many people who choose their suppliers based on price, size of the business or historical relationships – they are not asking if they actually understand these skills, the industry and the challenges it’s facing.

Having a recruitment partner on board should provide you with a realistic understanding of the skills and individuals available. They should also be able to help you with skills mapping to allow you to understand the geographical location/clusters of skill-sets across the country and indeed globally.

If you are having trouble finding automation and robotics candidates, then get in touch. 

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