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Can't find the skills you need - where do you look next?

12th July - Valencia

Over the past decade, few issues have caused more concern amongst CTOs and R&D Managers in the Electronics and Semiconductor Industries than the shortage of highly skilled Embedded Software & Hardware Engineers to meet the demands of their R&D programs.

According to KPMG in a survey conducted among Senior Managers from the Semiconductor Industry (including CTOs and R&D Managers), over 20% of respondents cited operational risk at their No.1 threat to growth. The question was not, ‘Where do our opportunities lie’ but ‘how do we align our resources and opportunities to optimise the growth opportunities? ‘

These industries are finding it even more difficult every year to attract and retain good quality engineers while their need for these engineers continues to grow at staggering rates.

During the global slowdown in 2007 the gap narrowed a little, however most CTOs from that time will tell you, the gap never really closed. Even in the midst of the global crisis, while many of the major global electronics companies were making huge redundancies, most of them held on to their highly valued specialist engineers. Since the beginning of the recovery, demand has grown at a staggering rate, leaving it almost impossible for companies to keep up with the demand.

In addition to this, the nature of today’s Electronics market requires a lot more flexibility than before. As the range of skills and experience required for certain tasks becomes more and more specialist, companies often need to find highly specialised engineers at a moment’s notice, in order to meet the demands of their R&D projects. This is compounded even further by the need for specialist skills to cover peak demand, during critical stages of a project. As a result, embedded engineering is one of the most sought after engineering specialisms and is one of the Hottest Jobs in engineering right now.

Traditionally, most companies have turned to the contract market to find specialist engineers who can fill these requirements with a few days-notice. However the demand for these contractors has also grown at a staggering rate over the past decade, leaving it virtually impossible to find good specialist engineers available at short notice. This has resulted in companies having to pay a lot more money for a lot less talent in today’s contract market.    

According to CIS Electronics Engineering who have been analysing and monitoring these shifts closely over the past decade, the only solution is to think global!  For them, the answer is simple; first you need to identify where the talent is and the next step is to decide on how you can incorporate it, from wherever it is. Sometimes you will need experts on-site full time, other times you may only need them on-site, part-time and in some instances, you may not need them on-site at all.

Richard McCullagh, Head of Contracting Services at CIS, explains, “There is more than enough quality talent to go around. If companies were only able to organise themselves in a way that allowed remote working or part-remote working contractors as a strategic alternative. Project managers are having to spend more and more time trying to fill urgent vacancies with contractors, paying huge premiums and still in the end, often failing to find any good contract engineer to help with the project.”

“Many clients are now starting to realise that it is more effective to buy-in the best talent (working remotely) from across the globe. Although it is not as convenient as having all engineers working in the same location, there are many benefits which usually far outweigh any negatives. These include;

  • less time recruiting contractors
  • higher delivery ratios
  • less dropout
  • superior skills and experience available at far greater value and best of all,
  • project managers can return to managing the project delivery!”

Over the past two decades, CIS has forged relationships with many of the leading Embedded Software & Hardware Engineers from around the world, who are looking for international contract opportunities. This, combined with an extensive European network of engineers, gives CIS a unique capability to offer clients the ‘right people in the right place at the right time’.

“We are constantly tracking the movements of the best engineers worldwide,” says Richard, “to be best positioned to deliver the right solutions to our customers in the shortest possible time at very competitive rates.”

Now that the market is changing and traditional solutions alone are no longer enough. CIS is leading the way into the future with a unique mix of on-site, part remote and fully remote solutions from across the globe with CISXperts, euroXperts and globalXperts.