Written by James Skelton, Specialist Marketer – Smart Industry on behalf of FMC Global Talent.
Sabrina Anthoney stated that there is an increasing demand for candidates who are fluent in multiple languages, especially for sales positions.
Furthermore, she emphasized the significance of adaptability in 2020 due to the introduction of new technology on a daily basis. In this regard, it is crucial to be familiar with new domains.
Additionally, Sabrina mentioned that software houses are hesitant to hire candidates from other industries, which makes possessing relevant industry experience in the Automotive, Aerospace, and Manufacturing sectors vital to improve one’s employability.
According to Ben Marum, PLM is a well-established solution in the digital transformation era.
Consequently, roles such as Pre-sales and Solutions Architects are in high demand to aid clients in achieving a better ROI. However, there are still many organizations that are at the initial stages of their digitalization journey.
Thus, Business Development Managers and Account Managers with advanced industry and domain experience remain in high demand.
Ben Marum highlighted that while PTC, Dassault, and Siemens are the leading companies in the PLM industry, it is the smaller, more dynamic companies that are bringing about change in 2020.
These companies are introducing new systems that improve upon existing ones. Notable among them are Aras PLM, Infor, Bombyx, Lectra, Kalypso, and Bamboo Rose.
Sabrina Anthoney noted that the consolidation of the PLM industry has resulted in a reduction in the variety of solutions available to consumers.
However, it is evident that many start-ups and SMEs have growth plans that involve being acquired by larger PLM companies to gain access to more funding. In response, larger companies are acquiring smaller ones to expand their product portfolio and offer customers a complete software lifecycle.
As a result, customers are more likely to shop with vendors, which poses obvious challenges for the reseller market.
Ben Marum provided insight into the countries where clients are looking to expand their operations.
These countries include North America, France, Germany, and the UK. However, the landscape in the UK is unique. For instance, the North has experienced a decline in recent years due to Brexit, which has prompted manufacturers to relocate outside the UK.
On the other hand, London remains popular for PLM consultancy/services businesses, while the Midlands and South West are experiencing a boom in software houses. Finally, North America has been a hub of innovation, with many new start-ups emerging in 2019.
Sabrina Anthoney highlighted the potential of the graduate market as a talent pool that is largely untapped.
Although some graduates with Mechanical Engineering degrees may be drawn to software roles, most graduates from top universities are employed within the industry. To attract the best talent at this level, employer branding plays a crucial role.
However, salaries are typically lower in the reseller/start-up/SME market, which poses a challenge in competing against larger companies financially. Therefore, companies must find ways to compete to attract top talent given the limited pool in the industry.
Sabrina suggested that companies should consider talent outside the industry who possess a highly transferrable skill set.
Ben Marum predicted that the rate of digital transformation would increase in 2020, driven by the growing adoption of software.
He explained that the technologies comprising Industry 4.0 had advanced to the point where they were starting to offer a noticeable return on investment. For instance, he cited the example of VR & AR, which had undergone refinement, testing, and research to identify the manufacturing lifecycle stage where it could have a significant impact.
Other technologies, such as AI, digital twins, MES, robotics, and machine learning, had also undergone similar testing and refinement. Ben believes that these technologies will make the biggest impression on manufacturing in 2020.
While education, industry experience, and domain knowledge are often prioritized when recruiting for niche positions in tightly defined verticals such as Digital Manufacturing and PLM, it is important to consider looking outside of the channel due to the high competition for talent.
This will help the industry to keep advancing and growing. Onboarding talent in ERP software or cloud software could bring new dynamic and different ideas into the mix. Therefore, candidates working with SaaS, CAE, or other technical solutions may offer a viable alternative to the “perfect” candidate on paper.