The recent “Carpocalypse” has not been kind to automotive engineers, as automakers cut back on Research and Development and fired white collar workers with abandon. Now, with sales regaining some momentum, OEMs and suppliers are hiring engineers again… and they’re having to work to make the hires. The supplier Ricardo recently had to take out billboards and radio ads in order to hire qualified automotive engineers… and this in a state with 12.8% unemployment. CEO Kent Niederhoffer tells Bloomberg
We’re all playing in the same sandbox, competing for some of the same talent. It isn’t as simple as throwing a shingle out there and saying ‘Job Opening.’ Attracting this kind of talent has gotten absolutely tougher and we’re trying to raise our head above the crowd.
From suppliers like Ricardo, TRW and Continental to OEMs like GM, Chrysler and Tata, everyone in Detroit seems to hiring engineers that seem to have mysteriously left town. In fact, some 82 percent of suppliers are adding to their engineering staff while only 25 percent are hiring managers. Many of the positions are for specialists versed in things like EV development and drivetrain engineering, as automakers gear up to meet rising fuel economy standards. Still, part of the problem seems to be that there literally aren’t as many engineers looking for work in the Detroit area as there once were. One applicant at at Tata’s job fair, where some 400 engineering consultants were being sought tells Bloomberg,
There are a lot fewer people at this one than the others I’ve been to in the last year or so