There is a lot of potential for the cloud and cloud-native applications to transform manufacturing. It’s an industry that both relies largely on physical infrastructure and generates reams of data from its core processes—a development and optimization dream for the right cloud engineer.
The problem for most manufacturers is that cloud engineers don’t seem to be interested in the manufacturing sector. They’re flocking to finance, tech, and other places where the problems are more abstract but exceptionally well-publicized.
Recruiting this type of talent requires changing the narrative around what exactly manufacturing companies have to offer top cloud engineers. By crafting and distributing strategic messaging around the many opportunities that exist for cloud professionals, manufacturing firms can attract top-tier engineers who have the capacity to make meaningful changes to their operations.
Here’s a look at how to improve the talent acquisition process.
1. Eliminate information silos and strengthen internal communications
To get word out that you’ve got amazing cloud opportunities for qualified engineers, your recruiting teams (in charge of publicizing open positions) have to be in touch with your IT teams (who understand what exactly gets cloud engineers’ pulses racing).
Too often, though, communication between departments is limited. A recruiter responsible for filling a cloud engineer role may not know which opportunities to highlight in the job posting or how to frame the opportunity to attract qualified candidates.
Maximize your odds of attracting top candidates by having your recruiting team sit in a room with some IT leaders to hash out job descriptions that appeal to the best and the brightest.
2: Emphasize innovation potential in job descriptions
What exactly should those descriptions include?
If you’re hoping to attract top-tier cloud talent, it’s smart to emphasize the opportunity to innovate. Many cloud engineers are hungry to solve problems with large amounts of data and complex systems in a way that has never been done before. They want a greenfield data project. Your manufacturing organization can provide that—but you have to come right out and say so.
Job seekers read dozens of postings, skimming through company profiles and responsibilities in search of something that resonates. This is why it’s so crucial for the people who understand the opportunities your business has to communicate with the people writing these descriptions.
Effective postings highlight the opportunities cloud engineers will have to make a material impact on business operations by “innovating with untapped data resources,” for example, or “scaling company infrastructure through cloud transformation” and “creatively solving technical challenges.”
3: Highlight innovation opportunities in company messaging
Job descriptions aren’t the only place it’s important to showcase the opportunities available for cloud talent. Website copy, marketing materials, and PR initiatives are all excellent ways to communicate that your manufacturing business has the kind of openings cloud professionals covet.
In a blog post, for example, you might write about how IoT and data-driven applications are transforming the manufacturing industry and how cloud engineers are becoming increasingly important to the health of any manufacturing firm.
As part of a public relations push, your CTO or lead engineer might give an interview about the wealth of data your operations generates every day, and how the right cloud engineer could use that data to power AI and machine learning applications that would lead to time- and money-saving innovations.
Your CEO might publish a piece on LinkedIn about how your company is moving toward a “smart manufacturing” future, detailing your plans for leveraging data to reduce injuries, decrease downtime, and improve efficiency.
Collectively, these efforts will communicate to cloud engineers on the job hunt (who will undoubtedly research your company after seeing a posting) that your company is an exciting place to work.
4: Hire a few rockstars to inspire internal transformation
Chances are, once you start considering the ways cloud technologies can transform your company, you’ll find a lot of opportunities--far more than what one or two new team members can implement.
But that’s OK: even if you don’t have the budget for an entirely new IT team, bringing on just one or two cloud engineers can have a transformative effect. This is especially true if you hire with the intent of having your cloud engineers lead and train internally, so that your entire team is eventually equipped to tackle the exciting challenges the cloud presents.
For best results, be clear about your goals from the outset and provide all your employees with the support they need to train, learn, lead, or adapt.
Change can be scary if people feel like they’re being phased out. Overcome that fear by working with HR to develop messaging to explain to existing IT employees what the goals for the department are, how you plan on getting there, and how the new skills they’ll acquire will not only improve the company’s operations but also position them for their next career move.
The opportunities to innovate and grow via cloud solutions are virtually unlimited in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers looking to tap into those opportunities should focus on updating their communications efforts so that qualified engineers recognize the potential and seek out careers in the space.
Once the message is out and cloud engineers understand what manufacturing has to offer, they won’t be able to resist its promise.
Chris Rechtsteiner is a vice president at ServerCentral Turing Group (SCTG), which offers cloud-native software development, AWS consulting, cloud infrastructure and global data center services.