By 2030, the automotive industry will likely look completely different than it does now – and companies are chasing that growth and the new workforce that comes with it. During our automotive webinar, experts discussed the ways in which companies can prepare for that growth – and how they can remain competitive.

The automotive industry is changing, and fast. Massive technology-driven disruption, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has accelerated the pace of transformation and shifted talent strategies, according to the latest report from the Adecco Group.


As a result, traditional automakers are moving to embrace new strategies. It’s becoming increasingly clear that building internal resilience and ensuring business continuity requires a deeper, more meaningful and holistic assessment of companies’ talent strategies.


In May, experts from The Adecco Group and leading automotive manufacturers got together for a roundtable discussion on upskilling and reskilling talent, having a plan to future-proof their workforce, and the importance of diversity in hiring. You can watch the full webinar below.

Here are five of our most important takeaways from our webinar:


1. Workers entering the automotive industry can’t have just one specialty. They need to have a variety of skillsets.


By 2030, the automotive industry will likely look completely different than it does now – and companies are chasing that growth, and the new workforce that comes with it. In the next 10 years, automotive companies will need more workers trained in automation, robotics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).


Because of this digitization, more than one billion people globally will need to be upskilled and reskilled in the next decade,” Alain Dehaze, CEO, the Adecco Group, said during the webinar. Part of that massive reskilling will involve creating a bridge between existing roles and new roles.


The requirements for talent working in the automotive industry is shifting, too. Autonomous vehicles are expected to be on the road by 2030, requiring an entirely new skillset in machine learning, computer vision, sensor processing, and more to design the guiding intelligence of autonomous cars. Electric vehicles, too, will continue to have a big impact on the automotive industry.


Jan Gupta, President of Modis, said that many years ago, when he first started out in engineering, , a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, and an IT programmer were three totally different people with different skill sets.


“This time is over,” Gupta explained. “An engineer today must understand all three skill sets, and more importantly, he or she has to understand all three skill sets in the products or process.”

Nowadays, Gupta said, clients come to MODIS asking for specialists in connected cars, driver assistance systems, autonomous driving, cloud systems, and UX systems – among other things.


“At the end, deep knowledge of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and more, is key for connected cars of tomorrow. The development and the production process have changed too,” Gupta said.


2. Reskilling and upskilling is crucial – especially because you won’t find all the talent you need on the market.


Companies will need to upskill or reskill their workforce to meet the demand for different types of engineers, specialists, service teams, and much more – leading to a big impact on their talent strategies.


The reality of today’s job market? There’s a lack of talent on the market, Gupta said, especially with the skill set for tomorrow.


“We have to analyse our current skill set and we have to reskill and train our people, because the capacity of engineers who can develop new cars with a focus on user experience – you will not find them on the market,” Gupta said. “You will not find enough.”


New generations of tech and automotive workers will not want to work at one company their entire lives, either, Gupta pointed out. They do want to have an impact, though, and they want to focus on meaningful projects. That attitude is something companies need to take into account when hiring.


Candidates, too, need to realize that they should upskill and reskill themselves to remain attractive in their industries.


Some companies may have workers already versed in specific skill sets, but those employees may be working in a completely different role, Dr. Martin Rabe, CHRO at MAN, part of the VW Group, said. No one has given these employees the chance to shine – and that’s why it is so important to also realize the potential of your current workforce on hand.


“We need to lift up and make the talents we have transparent,” Rabe said.


3. Change in the automotive industry is happening fast – and that’s why it is so important to anticipate the needs of your business.


By 2030, the automotive industry will likely look completely different than it does now – and companies are chasing that growth, and the new workforce that comes with it.


Change is coming fast, Rabe said, and companies need to shift their approach to match that pace of change.


“If we go on the traditional manufacturers, like MAN is, you see that our business model is changing tremendously into something different and something new,” Rabe said.


Franck Bernard, Group Workforce and Labour Relations Director at Stellantis, said the pace of change was the true challenge.


“One of the biggest challenges for us is the speed of the change. It’s not so easy to tackle even for really agile companies like Stellantis,” Bernard said.

Bernard added that one of the ways they are anticipating the future is focusing on social responsibility.


“We want to be green, we want to be competitive, and we want to offer to our clients something really relevant to reach their expectations,” Bernard said.


4. Having a transformation plan and strategy is crucial.


An action plan is crucial for any automotive company. The transformation in the automotive industry will impact just about every facet of the industry, and every layer in the ecosystem, Dehaze said, but so many companies do not have a plan.


“Have a strategy, have a plan, because many of them don’t,” Dehaze said. “You are never successful when you don’t know where you want to go.”


The shift towards a more digitized future in the automotive industry will involve reskilling a huge amount of the workforce in a short period of time. Most companies aren’t always equipped to handle that big change so quickly.


“That’s the real challenge” Dehaze said. “Because on the other side, you have this new competition coming in. they are starting from a white page and they’re starting extremely fast.”


One of the most important challenges at MAN, Rabe said, is steering this transformation – not just in terms of automotive sector, but also the digitization and the entire company. Part of that transformation begins with HR.


5. Diversity isn’t just a buzzword.


When automotive makers hire new employees, they’re looking to build out a much more diverse workforce than ever before, according to Gupta. Diversity is no longer just a buzzword for automotive makers.


“The time of automotive development centres full of male, mechanical engineers in their mid 40s is over,” Gupta said. “At the end, our clients look for diverse talents who understand the merger of engineering and IT skills. We call it at MODIS smart industry.”


Rabe, the CHRO for MAN, a part of the VW Group, said diversity has become an increasingly important factor for the company as well; the company works intensely to get more diverse teams in their company.


“We need to set up a strong team, a diverse team, that is able to run the transformation,” Rabe said.

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