»Lots of people are itching to get started«

2019-11-06  Text: Thomas Masuch

The consistently rapid rate of growth in the world of additive manufacturing is ensuring that specialists are always in high demand. At Formnext, companies can find outstanding new employees – including from various regions of Asia. Exhibitors just need to make corresponding preparations, as HR expert Samia Boutari reveals.

As a budding industry that combines unparalleled future prospects with a great deal of creative and innovative potential, additive manufacturing is proving highly attractive with graduates and young specialists. Unlike other industrial sectors, the personnel shortages in the world of AM offer plenty of opportunities according to Samia Boutari, senior consultant at the HR and business consulting firm proJob in Cologne, Germany. »It's an industry young people find exciting,« Boutari points out. She goes on to confirm that the demand for talented and qualified employees nevertheless continues to surpass the supply by a significant margin.

In Boutari’s view, the sharp increase in the courses and ongoing training offered by universities, industry associations, and other sources has not done much to change the situation because the number of graduates in Germany (and greater Europe) is far from sufficient.

The corresponding job openings show that sectors like manufacturing, food products, consumer goods, and transport are the main areas looking for skilled AM employees. The early adopters of industrial 3D printing in the aerospace, medical technology, and automotive industries appear to be in better positions with regard to their personnel. Meanwhile, hardware and software manufacturers are also very much on the hunt for engineers and software experts.

All this has prompted Formnext to offer support to both companies and the young specialists and applicants they want to attract at a career day in this year's AM4U area. On the third day of the exhibition (November 21), visitors will be able to learn everything about the job market in additive manufacturing and get to know potential future employers in person. The career day will also feature numerous highlights, including personalized career advice, an application photo shoot, consultations with HR representatives from exhibiting companies, and special presentations on the AM4U stage.

Optimally trained applicants from abroad

After helping to oversee the Formnext career day for three years now, Samia Boutari believes that the event's highly international visitors hold a great deal of recruiting potential for the companies presenting themselves to the world of specialized AM in Frankfurt. »On the one hand, we're seeing a lot of demand for specialists in AM,« she explains. »On the other, you often have applicants who have undergone fantastic training abroad – in India, for example.«

While the market for European AM experts has been more or less picked clean, Boutari has had very good experiences with prospective employees from Asia. »Lots of people are interested and itching to get started, which doesn't always seem to be the case with more local prospects,« she says. Boutari adds, however, that applicants from distant lands and cultures can still pose greater challenges to many companies. »Small and midsize enterprises in particular aren’t adequately prepared; in some cases, they don’t even have the basics down,« she says.

Boutari has seen enough cases where no internal considerations have been made as to the language requirements applicants should meet, for example, or where companies opt to leave a position unstaffed for fear of related complications (linguistic or otherwise). »I'd advise companies to just be more flexible in dealing with these situations,« she says. »Otherwise, a lot of resources will remain unused in the end. Leaving a position unoccupied can even result in significant costs, as well.« A well-prepared booth is key In her experiences at past editions of Formnext, the HR specialist has learned that Asia is one of the main regions visitors come from with an interest in getting information on career opportunities or particular companies.»It pays to be prepared in this regard, but unfortunately, not all the companies in attendance are,« Boutari says. »Potential applicants often leave a booth with nothing more than a link to a company’s website.« This is why she considers the teams assigned to booths part of the basics of exhibitors’ recruiting efforts. »While it might not be an event's main focus, every exhibition is also a place where companies market themselves to the attendees as potential employers,« she affirms. To better account for this aspect, a booth should have at least one person who is responsible for the topic of employment. In addition, it helps to have young employees on hand who can engage with applicants on equal footing and make it easier for them to approach the booth. Since established experts and managers with steady jobs sometimes still keep their eyes open for new challenges, Boutari also recommends having a separate meeting area where people need not worry about being seen by their current boss.

AM4U-Area at Formnext 2019:

  • Hall 11.1 - Stand D29

  • Career day, 2019-11-21  / 10 – 16 Uhr