Engineers are “having to reinvent their skillset” to accommodate the changes in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, said recruiting expert Jorge Puente.
As car companies and startups go electric, they need talents more than ever, and engineers who can demonstrate experience in the field will attract their attention the most.
The labor shortage is impacting all industries right now, and the auto business is no exception. Car makes carmakers, and electric vehicles startups desperately need new engineering and supply chain talent to launch their companies into the future of electrification.
The EV industry requires a particular and technical skill set, requiring specialized training, certification, and industry-specific experience. Unfortunately, the shrinking pool of talent in the economy made recruiting into the EV industry even more difficult.
According to top recruiters, here’s how to nail your application in the white-hot EV business.
Data from famous staffing firm Kelly Services showed that job postings for roles in the EV manufacturing industry have increased by more than 150 percent since the beginning of last year and by more than four times since five years ago.
As a result, it’s a golden age for applicants to the auto industry. That doesn’t mean engineers, software developers, supply chain analysts, and manufacturing workers shouldn’t have an advantage.
Top industry recruiters revealed how applicants in the EV industry could stand out to automakers. Here’s their best piece of advice.
Consider what kind of engineering talent companies need and how your experience fits in.
The auto industry’s multibillion-dollar shift to electric vehicles necessitates hiring new types of engineers. There is a huge need for niche-type engineering roles, process robotics, or anything in the automation and design spaces. Nonetheless, some level of traditional automotive experience is still being sought after but at a slower pace before the shift.
“We’re seeing large manufacturers shift their focus away from maintenance technicians, paint technicians, and assembly line operators,” Jorge Puente, vice president of Kelly Engineering, Kelly Services’ automotive staffing arm, said.
EV companies are also looking for more electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineers and produce industrial engineers, product or process engineers, and control systems engineers. Designers and supply chain managers are among the other positions EV automakers require the most.
In your application, include keywords from the job description, such as “efficient,” “quality,” and “performance.
Electric vehicles introduce lots of new problems to fix, such as charging infrastructure, battery chemistries, and long-term sustainability — and companies are looking for people who can solve them.
Crafting a résumé to fit each job posting improves one’s chances of getting an interview, including the keywords listed. For instance, Rivian’s job postings include phrases like “creative,” “collaborate,” and “maintain communication.” On the other side, the latest Tesla job postings have keywords such as “products and processes,” “risk mitigation,” or “efficient and effective.”
In addition, unique skill sets, credentials, certifications, training, and industry experience should all be included in an application, primarily if the company uses software to screen applications before scheduling interviews.
Demonstrate your ability to solve engineering problems quickly and adapt
Experts stress the need to show that you are willing to be resilient and flexible, especially for EV startups. Fast-paced players such as Rivian and Lucid and traditional automakers such as Ford and GM may hire an employee for an EV project that requires them to think quickly and be willing to switch roles as needed.
It is equally important to convince employers that you can overcome specific challenges, take up leadership roles or attend to any demand from the assembly line.
Puente said, “Folks like industrial engineers that used to focus on certain factors, productivity, efficiency and things like that are still being called in, but they’re having to reinvent their skillset to be able to address the different approach that a lot of the EV makers consider in manufacturing.”
Don’t hesitate to make demands.
Since all businesses struggle to fill vacancies, employers are going above and beyond to attract employees. An expert advises all applicants to inquire about how company benefits are changing, whether upfront payments or signing bonuses are available, and whether the company offers tuition assistance or flexible work schedules.
“The large manufacturers are taking this seriously and ramping up at a good rate,” Puente revealed. “It could be due to the large number of startups chasing them in that ecosystem. Rivas, Lucid Motors, and even Canoo emphasize what makes their companies unique and cool to attract the same talent. Large manufacturers must work hard to keep up. I believe they are feeling the heat.”
As car companies and startups are focused on manufacturing electric vehicles, they need talents now more than ever, and engineers who can demonstrate experience in the field will attract their attention the most.