In this article for Control Engineering Magazine, Bundy Group provides an update on mergers & acquisitions and capital placement activity in the automation market.
Bundy Group interviewed Alex Chausovsky, vice president of analytics and consulting with Miller Resource Group. Alex and Miller Resource Group are specialists in the Automation space, and they strive to understand their clients’ vision, goals, and culture and aim to find candidates whose aspirations, skills, and values are a match. They discussed topics related to talent acquisition in the automation industry.
Clint Bundy: Business owners that the Bundy Group team represents, both in the automation sector and in other industries, say that one of their greatest challenges is finding talented employees and management. Is that your experience, as well? What are the reasons behind this skilled labor void? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel for companies?
Alex Chausovsky: To put it simply, there just aren’t enough skilled workers out there to fill all the job openings in this country. Even now, as the US economy slows noticeably from the pace of expansion witnessed over the past 18 months and heads for a likely recession later this year and into early 2024, there are still 9.9 open positions out there, including nearly 700K in manufacturing alone. With about 6 million people actively looking for work that still leaves a gap of about four million workers.
I suppose the silver lining to the worker shortage is that as the macroeconomic environment continues to deteriorate in the months to come, the gap will get smaller. However, it would take a significant recession to swing the pendulum from a candidate-driven market to an employer-driven one in the near term.
Bundy: Who are the best kinds of candidates to target in a talent acquisition search? How can an owner or executive team identify those candidates?
Chausovsky: The first step in improving a company’s access to job seekers is to understand that not all candidates are cut from the same cloth. If an owner or executive is struggling to understand why no one is responding to the job ads the business is running in online portals such as monster.com or indeed.com, in local advertising, or on a website, then they are not alone. Millions of businesses around the country are failing to hire workers because they are not targeting the right individuals. Few companies understand the difference between active and passive talent, yet it is a key element in increasing the efficacy of a talent acquisition strategy.
Active candidates are:
Passive candidates, on the other hand, are:
If your organization purposefully targets passive candidates, the improvements in efficacy can be significant, with some companies realizing nearly 70% gains in talent acquisition versus those that exclusively target active candidates with job postings.
Bundy: What kind of approach should a company be taking to become more attractive to prospective candidates?
Chausovsky: Are owners and executives treating talent attraction as a sales and marketing function within their organizations? If not, they should be! There are four pillars of talent attraction that, according to our research, have the biggest impact on drawing the top candidates to a company:
If a company can eloquently “sell” why it is an attractive place to work using the elements described above, then it will see a significant improvement in the number of people that want to become a part of the organization.
Bundy: It’s a competitive talent acquisition marketplace in the Automation segment, and it must be key for a company to differentiate with interviewees and then find ways to close with strong candidates. Can you provide some suggestions on how companies can best accomplish those goals?
Chauskovsky: When an executive interviews a candidate, does that professional know where the priorities lie for the applicant? It’s incredibly valuable to understand what motivates the people that will be working for your company. Do they care more about money, remote work possibilities, advancement opportunities, or something else?
If you know what they care about, you can structure the conversation to focus on those topics, thereby increasing the likelihood that the candidate will accept an offer if you were to make them one. For this reason, every candidate that we interview at Miller Resource Group and present to clients has something called a CLAMPS profile. See below for a detailed breakdown of this assessment.
C – Challenge; The work itself, technology, market, etc.
L – Location; Geography, ability to live & work where candidates want.
A – Advancement; Career growth, increasing responsibility.
M – Money; Overall Compensation association with the position.
P – People; The manager and coworkers related to the position.
S – Security; Likelihood of long-term employment or physical safety.
We ask candidates to rank these in order of priority to them, and then share these insights with the hiring authority so that they can tailor the conversation to focus on the items the candidate cares most about. The result is a much higher offer-to-acceptance rate, and a more streamlined hiring process.
If your organization employs the three tips outlined above and strives to lead when it comes to candidate attractiveness rather than follow the herd, you will thrive in this candidate-driven labor market.
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Bundy Group is a CFE Media and Technology content partner.