Core engineering earlier this year welcomed the green shoots of increased consumer demand, revitalizing growth for the sector once again.

With a 27% share of total factories, engineering is the largest of the industrial sectors in India. Indian industrial exports experienced a significant increase of 45.51% YoY in FY2022, a clear indication that core Indian industries have made gains in global competitiveness. According to published data, FDI inflows and global collaborations have also been growing at a steady pace. The availability of finance, and favourable policy initiatives like ‘Make in India for the world’ are opportunities for companies to move further ahead the competitiveness journey. However, a crucial factor that underpins the capability to be competitive is the availability of a skilled and relevant talent pool including good engineering talent.

So how can companies in the core sector grow in global competitiveness? Is the industry equipped with the right engineering talent? Where is this talent available and how can companies overcome obstacles in hr talent acquisition? How can companies gain access to niche skills through talent sourcing?

What engineering companies are missing to be globally competitive

The Indian engineering sector is driven by R&D intensive industries like Automotive, Industrial, Energy, Railways, and Aeronautics to name a few. However, India has the potential to scale and compete with global engineering giants.

According to India’s premier policy think tank, Niti Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant, Indian firms can get five times the value in global markets than in domestic markets if they are part of global supply chains. Why then is Indian industry missing out on being globally competitive? Let’s take a closer look at some key areas. 

Losing out on new global value chains:  Global supply chains have been severely impacted by the pandemic. The global shortage of semiconductor chips required for newer vehicles has grossly affected the global automobile industry for one, or the inadequate supply of FDA approved baby formula in the US which also made headline news are two such glaring examples. Such instances have driven many global businesses to consider alternate geographies like India as their manufacturing hub or to augment their timely supply of goods. This is the prime time for Indian manufacturers to build size, scale, meet quality expectations, become globally competitive and join the global supply chain. To succeed, a good talent acquisition strategy along with skilled engineering talent sourcing is key.

Insufficient focus on sustainable practices: The deleterious effects of human induced climate change has led to a stronger clarion call for industries to build a circular economy. As citizens and stakeholders up the ante for businesses to follow sustainable practices, core sector companies have to incorporate sustainable methods into their production cycles. For the oil and gas industry, or a diesel power plant, sustainable oil and gas engineering is the answer to reducing carbon emissions, following greenhouse gas protocols and achieving carbon neutrality. Companies in such industries therefore have a dire need for their engineering talent to incorporate innovative sustainability solutions to achieve net zero transformation.

Industry 4.0 and the absence of cross specialization of talent: Engineering professionals have long been specialized respectively only in single streams like mechanical, civil, electronics, electrical, automotive etc. With industry 4.0, digital technologies, 5G and the connected factory are driving data driven businesses to lead their markets with innovative products that have embedded software.

Enterprises staffed with engineers who have core engineering skills, core engineers with digital skills as well as embedded software engineers, are the ones that will succeed in being globally competitive. 

Ability to scale on efficiencies: The engineering domain is fast evolving driven by advances in technologies. Firms in manufacturing and consumer durables need to incorporate more efficient production processes, digitize their supply chain and embrace automation to save costs and remain competitive. They should evaluate the economies of scale with automation and overcome the inertia of investing in automation. Their employees can be upskilled to do more value-based work that is motivating and makes them more productive.

Meeting safety and compliance: With increasing urbanization comes the risk of incidents. Power management is one area where power sector or utilities companies need to balance safety and compliance efficiently. Therefore, a lot is at stake for a power plant engineer whose chief aim would be to prevent a blackout and ensure the efficient running of a power management system.  Offshore oil and gas is another core industry sector that needs competent engineers to meet safety and compliance standards.

Recently, EPC giant L&T was the only Indian multinational to emerge as the second strongest brand in the 2022 edition of the ‘Most Valuable Global E&C 50 Brands’ by UK based brand consultancy - Brand Finance. Backed by key success factors like the right engineering talent mix to take on some of their toughest engineering projects around the world, L&T is confident of building on its strong foundation and cementing its leadership position in the global arena. L&T with a footprint across 50 countries and a workforce of over 52000, is a shining and inspiring example of a diversified engineering giant forging ahead on global competitiveness.

So what does the future hold for Indian and international engineering firms operating in India?

The government has a slew of measures like the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for strategic and sunrise industries and the easing of cross border transactions by the RBI. These were introduced to help the Indian engineering industry get a leg up on boosting production. While the future is bright for the sector, companies in the core sector that have a robust talent acquisition strategy are best equipped to overcome competition and succeed in the market. It is talent acquisition and retention that will be pivotal for the manufacturing industry in the next decade. Click here for HR trends in the manufacturing sector that might interest you. 

Total workforce solutions can help core sector companies compete globally 

Engineering jobs of today will make way for jobs of the future to keep in step with new advances in technology. Companies need engineers who can think creatively to solve engineering problems. Engineers are also increasingly required to have non-technical, leadership, and good communication and soft skills. Engineers who have graduated from tier-2 engineering colleges are less likely to change course to higher paying non-engineering roles. This is unlike many engineers from the top echelons of engineering institutions who change careers to non-engineering roles like consulting or banking.

Solving the engineering talent conundrum in attracting and retaining talent lies with having the best of total workforce solutions by global talent acquisition experts

Randstad has been a leader in engineering solutions for the past 30 years. We’ve been serving in a broad range of sectors like Automotive, Consumer Durables, Construction, Oil & Gas, Telecom, Chemicals and many more core industries. We’re a trusted partner for industry leading clients across India and here’s why:

  • We have customized engineering capabilities that are designed to offer the flexibility you need
  • Our engineering recruitment team is staffed with qualified engineers who can understand and deliver on client mandates
  • Our CV to selection ratio of 5:1 is one of the best for engineering recruitments
  • We’re well versed with sourcing engineering candidates for contractual or payroll employment options
  • Our nimble and robust team is well equipped to meet your mandate to build a database of engineering JDs or enable immediate or on-the-job placements
  • We have a pan India presence that helps our specialized recruitment team of technical and non-technical experts to swiftly funnel candidates to you, for regular and niche roles

Making the case for niche engineering talent

Sourcing, Identifying and recruiting talent is always an uphill task, and when it comes to engineers and niche talent, it is even more challenging.

Strategic talent acquisition is a key value driver for organizations. That’s why a leading global wind turbine manufacturer partnered with Randstad. The client needed niche skilled resources to be ‘windtechs’ for the production and assembly of their wind turbines. Find out how our Randstad Engineering team delivered and ensured hiring was complete for the client’s critical project to start on time.