AI and the revolutionary change in recruitment


We’re in the midst of another revolutionary change – the fourth one to be exact. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is set to push the transformation of factories and their staff to settle them into the new age. But, what does this mean for those recruiting the next generation of workers in engineering and manufacturing?


What job roles are changing?


Although manufacturing is a human-led profession, some people are and will be replaced by automated machinery. It’s a fact. However, this will simply mean a shift towards more technical based roles in engineering. There will be more need for Maintenance Engineers or Control Systems Engineers, for example. Meaning that the type of people entering into the industry will need to have a different set of skills in comparison to what was traditionally needed.


What skills and traits we look for?


Taking into account that it’s not just the next generation who will need to develop their skills, but the more senior workers will also need to transform in order to keep up with the pace of the industry. We are highly inclusive when looking for future-proofed skillsets.


Throughout the development of the industry, we now have to place a higher importance on the technical skills which are higher level. Skilled operators will soon be in charge of overlooking the machines, and therefore more Computer Programmers, Process Engineers and Production Engineers will be needed.


It’s these everchanging industry needs that challenge recruiters like Theo James to keep ahead of current trends. We’re helping companies to place future workers in a factory that doesn’t yet have set digital processes with new technologies – despite the fact that’s the way it’s going. There are so many professional traits that will be needed for Industry 4.0, but we also need to make sure we don’t lose sight of the soft skills too.


Empathy is said to be the next best thing that will set the human workforce apart from the automated workforce. It’s these human elements that will carry significance in the future of hiring for the manufacturing and engineering sectors. These are sectors that require weighted decision making, problem-solving skills and judgment-based initiatives that robots just don’t possess.


How has this developed our role?


It’s not just the manufacturing sector that is jumping through hoops, but the recruitment sector is also changing because of the implementation of AI. It will continue to change the face of staffing and recruitment entirely through automated processes. Some say tech and namely AI will replace recruitment consultants at some stage. However, I think there will always be a need for the human approach. It’s in our nature to want to deal with other and AI will naturally aid and improve efficiencies – but the human touch is here to stay.


Whilst the manufacturing and engineering sectors continue to change and develop, they can be certain of one thing. These jobs will never completely be replaced by technology and we know that the human element is always going to be an essential factor.


By Mark Bracknall


About the author

Theo James Recruitment is directed by both Mark Bracknall and Gary Bainbridge. Mark has over 10 years of experience working within the recruitment sector. Prior to starting Theo James, Mark specialised within niche areas of Manufacturing and Engineering for five years. Gary has twenty-five years Manufacturing and Engineering experience, including sixteen years at a middle/senior management level gained in fast moving, technically demanding multi-national environments.


Utilising both of their specialisms, they, and their team, focus on recruiting for Manufacturing and Engineering sectors across the UK. Theo James pride themselves on providing an honest and transparent service throughout the recruitment process.





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