Back to Blogs
Blog Img

Attracting Tech Talent to the Automotive Industry

Autonomous vehicles and EVs require a range of engineering disciplines and specialities to build, such as computer vision, robotics, data analysis, satellite systems, infotainment, and integrated solutions. All that car connectivity requires sophisticated interfaces and software that is less prone to security risks, creating demand for programming skills (Python, Java, C++, Matlab) and machine learning.

Recruiting tech talent for the automotive industry is somewhat of an uphill battle, as competition for tech talent is fierce. Automotive companies are up against both tech giants and startups, competing for the same pool of skilled professionals. Tech firms still offer impressive salaries and enticing perks – factors which automotive employers must compete on.

Compounding these challenges are issues related to workforce planning and developing a talent strategy. According to Mercer, fewer than half 49% of HR leaders in automotive understand the workforce skills they have today, while only 43% have business plans with enough detail to identify future skill needs.

To maintain sustainable business growth for the sector, companies will benefit from adopting proactive strategies for talent acquisition.

What Attracts Automotive Software Engineering Talent?

No talent strategy is actionable without understanding what candidates are looking for most. Remuneration will always be a key consideration for automotive software engineering professionals, but salary is not the be-all and end-all.

To truly stand out, it's essential to consider the additional factors that hold considerable sway in attracting top talent.

According to McKinsey's survey of individuals specialising in software engineering, data science, and cloud infrastructure, the most influential factors for attraction and retention include:

- Career development and advancement potential (42%)

- Compensation and benefits (38.5%)

- Workplace flexibility (34%)

- Meaningful work (33.5%)

- Support for employee health and well-being (27.5%)

Prioritising these aspects alongside competitive pay will better equip your organisation to hire automotive software developers and retain them over the long-term.

Tell a story – what is your company’s vision?

Tech professionals are motivated by meaningful work, so it’s important to create a compelling narrative about your company’s vision.

Paint a vivid picture of where your company is headed and the impact it aims to make in the industry and the community at large. Highlight key milestones, innovative projects, and the role that tech talent will play in realising this vision.

Articulating a clear and inspiring narrative can help your organisation attract candidates from tech disciplines who are not only skilled but also passionate about contributing to your company's journey.

Focus on core skills, not like-for-like skills

While certain technical proficiencies are undoubtedly important, such as coding languages or familiarity with specific tools, it’s just as important to look at transferable skills and aptitudes that align with your company's needs and culture.

Look for candidates who demonstrate problem-solving abilities, adaptability, creativity, and a passion for learning. By casting a wider net and valuing potential over pedigree, you may find it easier to build your dream team.

Offer Growth Opportunities

Beyond salary, engineers with specialised tech skills will consider a role's potential for career development and intellectual stimulation. Companies in the E-mobility and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) space have numerous opportunities to highlight these non-tangible benefits to potential candidates. After all, the contemporary automotive industry is one of the most cutting-edge fields in technology.

In the recruitment process – including headhunting and interviews – look for ways to showcase how the candidate can tackle complex challenges and contribute to transformative projects in the role.

Additionally, highlight opportunities for professional growth through ongoing training, leadership programs, and clear career progression paths.

Don’t Overlook Flexibility and Wellbeing

‘Flexibility’ and ‘Wellbeing’ are arguably two of the most overused words in workforce literature, but for good reason – the most sought-after talent in virtually every industry prioritises these factors when deciding to accept a new role.

Having clear policies for flexible working arrangements and ensuring employees can balance work and personal commitments will continue to be a key factor in attracting (and retaining) critical talent.

Support for employee health and well-being is also crucial and ultimately reflects company culture and work environment. Many tech professionals consider this a key factor in job selection, so organisations should actively demonstrate their commitment in this area. Think about promoting work-life balance initiatives, providing access to mental health resources, and encouraging open communication and support – as a few examples.

Speak to the Automotive Recruitment Experts

Whether you need to hire automotive software developers for short-term projects or as part of a permanent team, attracting more tech talent into the automotive sector isn’t easy. However, a targeted approach to talent acquisition does allow employers to effectively compete for talent.

For strategic support in attracting and retaining top tech talent, contact us at Fields and Rudd today. As the UK and Europe’s leading EV headhunters and automotive recruitment specialists, we can help you meet your project goals by finding the right professionals for your team.