People working in office

In our upcoming 3D People podcast, following the release of our 2021 Salary Survey Report, our Founder and CEO, Nick Pearce, and Director and Podcast Host, Iulia Oprea, discuss some of the hot topics that fuelled the content for the report. As you would expect, COVID-19 took centre stage as it has, like with all industries, caused a major impact on the state of the talent market in AM. But, not to worry! The report shows that the additive manufacturing industry is in fact looking up– a sentiment echoed by Nick Pearce, who stated in our podcast: “From an employment standpoint, we are through the worst of the crisis.” This should come as a relief for many, but what does that mean for employers and employees who offered or took jobs during the pandemic? And how has this impacted the salaries and the overall satisfaction of employees in the market? Let us take a closer look.

 

It is the first time in 6 years, that we at Alexander Daniels Global have seen “unemployment” in the AM market. Based on the most recent survey report, there is currently a 20:1 candidate to job ratio in North America, and an even higher 24:1 candidate to job ratio in Europe. What this means for the job market is that the power is no longer in the candidates’ hands; employers have had the liberty to set the bar this time instead of the candidate, advertising vacancies at salaries sometimes $20,000-30,000 lower than pre-pandemic, and candidates have been taking them on.

Some questions we ask ourselves at this point are:
– Are these lowered salaries a trend? Will we see this leading towards a standardisation of salaries in the industry?
– And since the industry is rapidly heading out of the crisis, leading to hiring thaws, will a candidate who settled for less start searching for more?

Let us delve a little deeper.

 

A standardisation of salaries is something that still seems relatively far-fetched, especially within such an adolescent industry, but certainly it is something we can hope for in future, we will be looking forward to seeing what the 2022 Salary Survey Report might reveal about that. However, in looking at the potential for employees to change jobs, let us start by referring to the numbers – our 2021 salary survey report uncovered the following:

  • 50% of AM professionals were either extremely likely or very likely to leave their job within the next 12 months and a further 24% were unsure.

What could be triggering this? As a result of job uncertainty following redundancies, furloughs and in some cases budget cuts (due to COVID), it would seem an opportune moment to start casting the net out in search of security elsewhere. Opposingly, the results can also be explained by growth in the AM industry creating new opportunities and causing professionals to want to expand their experience into different areas of the sector. Perhaps someone working in a start-up is wondering what it would mean to work in a larger, corporate organisation and vice versa.

Whichever may be the cause, there are a few things that employers should bear in mind when it comes to maintaining employee satisfaction, and we will explore those now in our Top 5 Tips for Employee Retention, so get out your pen and paper and prepare to take some notes on how you compare to our findings and suggestions:


Tip #1 – Make Sure You are Offering Enough Opportunities for Career Progression

One of the areas covered in our 2021 Salary Survey Report was employee satisfaction. Through the responses we gathered, we started to see an outline forming of the points that were most highly regarded by AM professionals in the industry. Ranking #1 we saw that salary is no longer the most important thing to your employees, but rather the chance for career progression.

So, ask yourself, are you or your business offering employees the opportunity to grow and progress? With 60% of respondents agreeing that it was either very important or important to them, it may be something to consider in your next business review. Internal career progression could look like anything from internal promotions to up-skilling your team through relevant industry courses and seminars. It is important to recognise the strengths in your employees and nurture them. An employee who feels recognised and appreciated for their efforts in their business is more likely to stay loyal to said business. Remember: investing in your team, is investing in your business.

Tip #2 – Measure the Financial Compensation You are Offering Your Employees

Ranking #2 in our Salary Survey Report was…you guessed it…salary. Now, as mentioned earlier in this post, and as many of you are probably aware, salaries in additive manufacturing are far from consistent. Where one company may compensate an R&D specialist with a salary of $100,000, another may be offering $130,000. This leaves potential talent the freedom to set the bar for what is expected from industry salaries. As great as it is for the talent, it does not leave much room for a balance to be found in the market.

This is why we at Alexander Daniels Global work to create the annual Salary Survey Report for you, in the industry, to gain an insight into what the averages are, year on year, in respect to salary, discipline, location and satisfaction of employers/employees. You are therefore able to use this report as a tool when it comes to salary benchmarking, especially in cases of recruitment into the business, alongside consultation from specialised recruitment agencies, or alongside market research, to help you level out the playing field and work towards ‘normalisation’ of the salaries we currently see in the talent market.

If you think you are already compensating your employees fairly, it may still be worth considering this tip for future, should you be hiring soon.

Tip #3 – Is the Power of ‘Why’ Reflected in Your Work Culture and Environment?

If you’ve ever heard of Simon Sinek, you may recognise the intent of tip #3. ‘The Power of Why’ written by American Author, Simon Sinek, talks about the importance of knowing your ‘What’, ‘How’ and most crucially, ‘Why’ of your organisation. The ‘Why’ concerns the reasons behind what your business does. It all always starts with a belief, an idea, a passion or a set of values that helped to build an organisation from the ground up, and as it grows, it can become easy to forget where the roots of the business were planted.

So, tip #3 is all about asking yourself the question: “Do we, as an organisation, promote internally that which we stand for and believe in? Are my employees and colleagues able to explain with conviction why we do what we do?”

If your answer is no, perhaps it’s time to brainstorm some ways that you can use this to improve the environment and work culture that you create for your employees. What is it that you value? And how can you work to promote that from within? Perhaps it’s through finding ways to stay more connected through this period of remote working, through mapping in time for catch up meetings between managers and teams or something as simple as allowing employees to manage their own schedules to optimise the way they work. Within Alexander Daniels Global, we can proudly claim that which ties us together is the belief that 3D printing will change the World, and we recognise that every effort we put towards realising that belief – whether in the form of consulting, management, recruitment, or marketing communications – is equally supported and celebrated.

As business is all about people, internally and externally, you mustn’t forget to ‘refill that well’ every now and again – figuratively speaking of course. Promoting your company message internally and celebrating the strengths of the individuals in your team is a good place to start.

Tip #4 – Optimise the Benefits Offered to Your Employees

Every organisation has certain benefits they offer their employees, and usually these benefits do not vary drastically from business to business. We are talking about paid sick days, private healthcare or 401Ks, perhaps a company car or in some cases relocation packages. All great offers, and also points highly regarded by respondents to our Salary Survey, but let us turn to what respondents voted as the most desirable workplace benefit:

In first place, with 75% of respondents marking it as attractive, was flexible working hours and working from home. Thanks to COVID-19 we have all had a taste of the good life – working from home, managing our own schedules, and surprisingly still meeting deadlines and hitting targets. For some it has been a saving grace, for others it has felt like an eternity in purgatory. Difficulties faced by AM professionals following the introduction of homeworking range from loneliness due to lack of human interaction, to technology issues and poor work environments – things we have all been touched by. On the positive side, however, the benefits of working from home for AM professionals range from no need to commute, to better work-life balance and increased independence. So, it is without surprise that 44% of respondents voted that they would prefer working from home, albeit from time to time.

This seems to be the direction that the World is heading, especially with projects such as the Hoxby Foundation’s ‘Workstyle Revolution’ initiative, which is promoting part-time, flexible working from home schedules to be introduced to workplaces, replacing the standard, droning 9-5 work schedule that has dominated for decades.

Ask yourself, “do I, or does my organisation, promote flexible working schedules – in terms of work hours or days spent in the office – and do I, or they, recognise me or my colleagues for their individual and unique working styles?” This should give you some ideas for what you can do to make the work environment you offer that much more attractive to your employees.

If you are interested in reading more about the Hoxby Foundation’s Workstyle Revolution, you can follow this link here: https://www.workstylerevolution.com/

Tip #5 – Create a Really Great On-Boarding Process for New Employees

An age-old adage talks to the importance of starting every relationship as you mean to go on. That is something equally applicable to the work relationships we enter into. As vital as it is that you, the employer, finds the perfect fit for the role, as equally important is it for a candidate deciding whether you offer the best career move for them. Sealing the deal with a well-thought out on-boarding process would not only allow a new hire to feel welcomed, but also celebrated and instantly valued for their new presence in your company.

That on-boarding process could look like anything from a document or company ‘bible’ that helps them to get settled in with the way things work, or if you don’t have the time or resources to get something like that set up, a great alternative would be a branded company welcome gift and a helpful card of go-to contacts for the questions they may have as they get started in their new position. Being thoughtful never fails.

It’s certainly something to consider.

So, there we have it, our top 5 tips for employee retention. Many of the points raised throughout this post are based off of findings from our 2021 Salary Survey Report, which you are welcome to download here https://www.alexanderdanielsglobal.com/salary-survey-2021/ for more in-depth analysis of the talent market and industry salaries.

Should you wish to get in contact with one of our recruitment consultants to discuss any recruitment needs in the event that you are currently, or will soon be, looking to hire, please follow this link to our online contact submission form https://www.alexanderdanielsglobal.com/for-employers/

Thank you for tuning in, until next time.

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SOPHIE PONTOPPIDAN

Digital Marketing Executive
sophie.pontoppidan@alexanderdanielsglobal.com

Formnext Connect highlights: day 1 (10.11.2020)

SLM Solutions Launch additive manufacturing machine 3d printing

Sustainability, optimism, and enthusiasm. These are the key words we would use to describe the first day of Formnext 2020.

Here are our top 3 highlights from today:

 

1. SLM Solutions Launches groundbreaking new 12-laser, 20x faster metal 3D Printer

SLM Solutions’ CEO, Meddah Hadjar, calls the new machine “the start of a new era in manufacturing”. SLM Solutions has today launched a new machine in a new technology series, and what they call the boldest and most game changing machine to date: NXG XII 600.

The new SLM machine has 12 lasers and is lightening fast. The machine is designed and optimized for high-volume, serial production, and will be an important integration into serial production using additive manufacturing. Exciting!

Read more about the machine here and watch the launch video here.

 

2. Formnext Startup Challenge Impact Award

For the first time, the Formnext Startup Challenge included a specific Impact Award, an award focused on startups that take important steps in making the additive manufacturing industry more sustainable.

The winner of the Impact Award, MolyWorks, has invented a closed loop metal recycling system turning metal scrap into metal powder, and turning that into parts. MolyWorks’ invention and drive is an important step towards enabling the circular economy and we are excited to follow them!

 

3. Great partnerships announced

DyeMansion announced several partnerships in their endeavour to industrialise additive manufacturing. The new partnerships include Siemens, Paragon, and Digital Manufacturing Centre in the UK.

Read more about the partnerships here.

An additional partnership announcement coming from Formnext is Stratasys teaming up with nTopology to design tools that will help manufacturers to move through product development and production quicker, combining Stratasys’ expertise with the powerful software platform from nTopology.

 

Follow us on LinkedIn for more updates, and make sure you catch tomorrow’s top 3 highlights!

Let us help and guide you

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. If you have any questions or if there is anything you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out to us – we are happy to help!

how to be a good remote manager

how to be a good remote manager

How do you manage your remote team well? And how can you be a good remote manager?

We share some of our advice, to help you become a better remote manager in additive manufacturing.

1. Communiate often

Communication and transparency is key now more than ever before. Make sure you communicate often, both on a one-to-one basis and as a collective team, and encourage your team to communicate with each other.

2.  Set goals

Set up regular and realistic goals to keep your employees engaged and focused. Make sure your team shares their progress on their projects, to create a sense of achievement.

3. Maintain culture

Focus on maintaining company culture virtually – make sure you talk about something other than work as well and make sure to celebrate the wins together.

Try and do virtual team building events too. There’s an increasing amount out there: museumhack.com/virtual-team-building-for-remote-teams/ 

4. Show compassion

Show compassion towards your remote team and understand that people deal differently with working remotely – some people thrive with it and some people feel uncomfortable. Make sure you listen to each individual.

5. Motivate your employees

Motivate your employees. Keeping up motivation is one of the negative sides to remote working. Make sure you keep up employee morale.

E.g. by recognizing good performance, staying positive, reinforce your purpose, and be transparent.

6. Maintain work-life balance

Maintain work-life balance. Give your team flexibility to set their own schedules, and promote healthy habits. Be the role model for a good work-life balance, and do not for example message your employees late at night.

Let us help and guide you

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. If you have any questions or if there is anything you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out to us – we are happy to help!

How to online network in additive manufacturing

networking additive manufacturing

The additive manufacturing industry is normally full of networking events, trade shows and meet-ups. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a lot of these events have moved online. While it’s easy to attend an online webinar or talk, how do you make the most out of general online networking and actually interact?

We share some of our advice, to get you on track for online networking in additive manufacturing:

1. Make a good impression

A good impression is as important online as offline.

Make sure you present yourself in the most professional manner; if you are using LinkedIn to network and connect with people, make sure your profile and photo are up to date. 

If you attend virtual networking events, dress professionally even though you are sitting at home. Virtual networking events can be tricky if you wish to make conversation and actively participate. Lagging connections or multiple people attempting to speak at the same time can come across as interruptive and rude. Make it known that you wish to interact and let the moderator steer you into the conversation.

2. Keep in touch

Success in online networking isn’t about having a large number of connections that you will never speak to. Being selective with who you connect and taking the time to find the right people and strike up a conversation can yield more successful long-term connections.

3. It’s a two-way street

Don’t just turn to your network when YOU need them. Give something back; share interesting news, comments and posts and ask how you can help. You want to be seen as a resource to others. When you then eventually ask for help, be specific and not pushy.

4. Choose the right channel

LinkedIn is the natural choice for a lot of people when it comes to networking. But keep your eyes out for other channels like online communities, LinkedIn Groups, forums and joining virtual conferences and events. Building a digital presence across several platforms may help you build your ‘personal brand’ and increase the chances of people recognising you, digitally.

 

Check out some forums and groups listed here: https://all3dp.com/2/best-3d-printing-forums-boards-and-groups/

5. When you can, take it offline

We will meet again, after Covid-19. There will be conferences, networking events and meetups – eventually. When it is possible, take your networking offline to strengthen your relationships. It may be as simple as chatting over a coffee or taking a break at an event you’re both attending.

Want to connect with us?

Follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date on new jobs, more career advice, etc.

What does good employee management look like in a time of crisis?

How to manage employees coronavirus crisis (2)

How you manage your employees now, in the Coronavirus crisis, will leave a mark on your business long term. It will affect your employer branding, employee engagement and your reputation in the rather small additive manufacturing industry. So, what does good employee management look like in a crisis? Here are some tips and advice.

1. Create trust by transparency

Trust in leadership additive manufacturing

Trust is an important factor in any good employee management. According to Deloitte, trust starts with transparency.

It is an uncertain time for everyone, and whilst there may be some details that you cannot share with your employees, it is highly advised that you keep your employees in the loop as much as possible. Brief them on your organisation’s Coronavirus response and how the business is going, to the extent it is possible.

Relationship is about ‘knowing’ your employees, so make sure to engage in their situations. Lastly, experience is about whether you reliably do what you say. In uncertain times, trust is increasingly reliant on your demonstrated ability to act on and address unprecedented situations.

2. Answer your employee’s questions

Stakeholder management is a natural part of any crisis management. But the employees are often overlooked. According to Deloitte, nearly 30% of crisis professionals believe that employees are the most overlooked stakeholders when their organization is dealing with a crisis.

Though there may be questions you cannot answer, it is important to show that you try. As an example, you could create a publicly available Q&A section on your website or host virtual ‘office hour’ where employees can dial in and ask questions.

3. Understand that your employees deal differently

Some people thrive in a flexible environment and being able to work from home, and some people struggle to not have a fixed schedule, a fixed place to be, and to not be surrounded by colleagues. It is a weird time, so help your employees understand that it is normal if they are not at their maximum productivity level right now.

Have open chats with your employees to try and find out how they are dealing and what issues that may cause a low productivity or demotivation and try to help them.

Empathy in leadership additive manufacturing

4. Layoff with compassion

Sometimes firing is a necessary evil. For many companies, both in- and outside of the additive manufacturing industry, this is the case now due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis that follows. While there is no right way to fire someone, it is important to do it with compassion. Here are some simple principles to make the uncomfortable situation more graceful and humane

1. Have the conversation in person (or in a virtual meeting)

Take your time to have the conversation with the affected employee in person or in a virtual call. Do not simply leave them with a redundancy email. You want to split with your employee on as good terms as possible. This is especially true if you are letting your employee go as a direct consequence of the economic crisis – because it may turn out, that you will be able to hire back that person as we come out of the crisis.

2. Keep it short and to the point

3. Be helpful

Empathize with your employee and offer them all the help you can give them – offer to write a reference letter and offer offboarding using an outplacement service. We can help you with outplacement services, read more here.

5. being a good virtual manager

Leading a virtual team comes with many challenges. Here are a few simple tips on how to be a good virtual manager:

Communicate regularly

– both on a one-to-one basis and as a collective team, and encourage your team to communicate with each other

Create routines

Schedule regular meetings and agendas and keep the line of communication open

Use video

Now that we are not physically meeting each other, it is important to use video as a tool of communication. Being able to actually see people gives you insight into how the other person is feeling, making it easier to manage them

Talk about something other than work

Make sure your meetings are not all about work – after all, the watercooler moments now have to happen online

The additive manufacturing industry is still rather small, and the pool of talent is scarce, making it ever more important that your organization maintains and manages your employer branding by, first and foremost, treating your employees right. How you behave now may affect your ability to retain your best talent, and recruit great talent, when prospects start to improve.

Let us help and guide you

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. If you have any questions or if there is anything you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out to us – we are happy to help!

Interim: a solution to crisis management

interim management additive manufacturing

“Never let a good crisis go to waste”

Winston Churchill

While this quote may sound cynical, it could be the turning point for a business. The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis, and while many companies are downsizing, this may be a great opportunity to implement a low risk, low cost form of hiring, and hiring for skills critical in a time of crisis.

In times of crisis, what were previously ‘non-issues’ or ‘minor weaknesses’ suddenly become clearer and more threatening than ever. In times of crisis, businesses must review strategies, client terms, essential tasks, and so on. In times of crisis, leadership requires different skills than leadership in good times. Skills that may not be found in current management.

This is where the interim management solution comes into play. Interim employees are professionals working in a company on a temporary basis, often to fill a skills gap or to tackle a specific project or task.

Interim managers with a different skill set

In challenging times, interim managers can be ‘injected’ into a business to deal with with controversial and sensitive problems, and take an (often much needed) objective review of the business – a review which is necessary for a business to come out of the crisis in the best possible way. Interim managers are often characterized by a high level of independence, problem-solving competences and a strong will to succeed. Companies benefit from the flexibility and specialized knowledge of the interim manager, as well as being able to temporarily hire to bridge a skills-gap that fits that situation.

Janina Kugel, former Chief HR Officer at Siemens, says in an open video at Forbes, “Usually topics like empathy, agility, resilience and network are dismissed as ‘nice to have’. But exactly these skills are vital in a crisis”. If these skills are not found in current management, hiring an interim manager to help deal with the crisis could be a vital turning point for the business.

Flexibility and uncertainty drive the need for interim solutions

The interim employee solution to help deal with crisis, does not only apply to management, but could reach much further. For the additive manufacturing industry, the current coronavirus pandemic has prompted temporary and permanent layoffs. Moreover, the crisis creates uncertainty about the stability of future economies, making it difficult for companies to predict future revenue and therefore future hiring needs. Uncertainty and a need for flexibility is a driving factor for interim amongst businesses, where they may have permanent hiring freezes in place. The layoffs in the AM industry has created a pool of experienced additive manufacturing professionals, who may be available for interim assignments. This is a unique opportunity for businesses to ‘not let the crisis go to waste’ and hire talented professionals on an interim basis.

Examples of interim

Examples of what interim projects are focused on are

  • Change Management
  • Process Optimization
  • Project Management
  • Cost Reduction
  • Business Management.

According to the ddim.de (Dachgesellschaft Deutsches Interim Management e.V.), 77% of organisations taking on interim employees say that the project could not have been solved internally, underlining the importance of a fresh perspective. In Germany, the average daily fee for an interim manager is €1200 and interim contracts last on average 160 days (ddim.de).

Besides the immediate benefits of interim hiring, there are also long-term benefits of the interim hiring for organisation. Particularly, knowledge transfer. The knowledge and expertise the interim hire comes in with will be transferred to your team and remain long after the interim has left.

Tell us your experiences 

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are working on interim projects in the AM industry, and they would like to invite AM businesses to share their approach, thoughts or questions regarding working with interim talent. As a thank you for completing this 2-5 min survey, you will receive a free version of our Additive Manufacturing Talent Market Whitepaper.

Digital Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing Events

Free digital Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Events

Springtime usually equals trade-show time.
With the current crisis however, the event calendar is looking much leaner with most trade shows, networking events and seminars being cancelled.

Luckily, we live in a time where technology helps us stay connected and being on the forefront of digitalisation, different parts of the additive manufacturing industry has created an array of digital events; events that will help you learn, grow and stay connected with the AM community

april 27th – april 28th

Digital Additive Manufacturing Marathon

Link3D, Rapid + TCT, Aerodef and 3DNatives are hosting the first Digital AM Marathon, focused on globally connecting the industry. This event comes just a week after the Rapid + TCT show was meant to be held in California. The event will have 40+ presentations from AM leaders like HP, Carbon and SLM Solutions. The event will also include virtual networking sessions to connect the community.

April 29th – May 20th

Additive Manufacturing webinars from the MTC

The MTC is offering a series of free webinars where you can develop your understanding of AM at different levels. The webinars are split in four different focuses:

  • Powder Management for AM
  • Design for AM
  • Intro to AM
  • Developing a business case to adopt AM

Continously

Virtual networking events by Women in 3D Printing

Instead of the regular chapter networking events, the Women in 3D Printing organisation is also going digital. They regularly post events and digital meetups on their LinkedIn page. 

May 27th

AM Medical Virtual Summit by ASME

Medical AM has never been more relevant than now. The ASME has created this event with the goal of bridging the gap between medicine, engineering and manufacturing. Join the virtual summit and get insights from thought-leaders and join technical sessions.

May 6th onwards

Webinars with GE Additive

Spend the extra time you may have on learning new aspects of the additive manufacturing industry. GE Additive offers free live webinars on several different topics like ‘Understanding Qualification and Industrialization’ and ‘Materials Engineering in Additive: From Powder to Production’

alexander daniels global is a recruitment company specialized in additive manufacturing

At Alexander Daniels Global, we have a simple vision:
‘To enable the Industrial Revolution in Additive Manufacturing through talent.’  We support organisations in the additive manufacturing industry to achieve their strategic objectives by partnering with them to identify, attract, engage and recruit high calibre professionals globally. We also work with talented individuals to source opportunities which will add value to their career.

The 3d printing industry's fight against coronavirus

Companies, individuals, organisations and communities from all across the additive manufacturing industry are coming together to help combat the Covid-19 crisis. It is encouraging and inspiring to see the numerous initiatives, work groups, and knowledge sharing going on in the community.

 

Some of the great initiatives are

The Mobility Goes Additive network has set up a 3D Printing pandemic task force to find ways the technology can be utilized in the fight against the pandemic.

HP is mobilizing their capabilities and machines to print ventilator valves, breathing filters, face mask clasps and door handle adapters to allow opening doors with your elbow.

Materialise has created a freely available 3D print design for door handle add-on that lets you open the door with your elbow.

Several individuals and organisations on social media are offering their expertise, help and facilities to help develop and print parts that will potentially be required by the healthcare systems around the world. Examples:

  • Individual offering his research group’s metal and polymer 3D printing systems up for printing necessary parts
  • This public Google Sheet, which was set up to gather makers from around the world, to provide their advice, services and other help. In just four days, nearly 3000 makers or AM professionals have joined the list.

Ricoh has offered to produce vital components for ventilators

Christian Fracassi, founder and CEO of Isinnova, printing respirator parts for hospitals for free, to help keep coronavirus patients alive.

This list is far from exhaustive, as so many initiatives are happening daily!

 

What other great initiatives have you seen out there to help combat the corona-virus?

Hiring in a crisis: what, how and why

Hiring in a crisis; what, how and why do it?

The Covid-19 pandemic spreads across the world and impacts economies, businesses and personal life. Increasing measures of isolation sees companies halting certain activities, including hiring. Employers are struggling to continue the hiring processes they started before the pandemic. This is because travel restrictions, quarantine, and other safety precautions are hindering face-to-face interviews. The following is our advice to companies in additive manufacturing on how to deal with hiring in a pandemic.

Hiring in a crisis - what, how and why

Why companies should not stop their hiring processes

As a reaction to the uncertainty of the coronavirus situation, companies are putting some things on pause. This includes their hiring processes. However, as it is uncertain how long this crisis is likely to last, postponing hiring for an indefinite amount of time can have significant impact on the business and its efficacy during the crisis. As the coronavirus isn’t a systematic impact on the market, but rather a shock-effect, there will likely be a sharp downturn in markets across the world, followed by a sharp upturn. By putting off hiring until the crisis is over, companies might lose the advantage to benefit from the upturn; companies may find themselves in a rather difficult situation if the market rebounds and they are then embroiled in hiring, as opposed to focusing on taking advantage of a recovering and fast growing market.

Why companies should hire and onboard Sales and Application Engineers – now

Firstly, as some companies are currently laying staff off or cutting commissions and bonuses, candidates who would have never previously moved jobs, may now be more open to moving, as they are not tied to future commissions, or may even be at risk in their current companies.

Secondly, onboarding in this period, where the markets are slow and most people have been instructed to work from home, the newly hired employees will have more time to onboard. They will have more time to understand the company, speak to colleagues, learn about the products/services and understand the way the company works. Colleagues will have more time available to invest in supporting their onboarding as well. It will mean that somebody could more seamlessly integrate into the business and can hit the ground running once the crisis is over. This is crucial for both sales and application engineers as they need to understand the products and services thoroughly before getting in contact with clients.

Lastly, if companies have hired and onboarded good sales people or application engineers during the crisis, they will be well positioned to help you take advantage of the growth opportunities when the sharp upturn comes.

HOW TO HIRE DURING A CRISIS

Hiring in a crisis

1. Replace face-to-face interviews with online video interviews

With travel restrictions in place all over the world, it is increasingly difficult for people to meet face-to-face. Moreover, many will not want to meet face-to-face in fear of contamination. Video interviewing and video conferencing are great alternatives. We live in a digital age where there is an array of video conferencing tools, the most popular being Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype.

Nick Pearce, Director and Founder of Alexander Daniels Global, says video conferencing can yield just as great results as face-to-face interviews;

“As an example, I have placed a Senior VP of Sales into an organization, who had five interviews, all of which were conducted by video conferencing. People from all over the world, from different parts of the business were connected. The decision to hire this very senior person was made, without any one of the people inside the organisation meeting the candidate physically,” says Nick Pearce.

“Another example is of a person who was required to relocate to another country for a job. Seven video interviews were held, and the person was hired without having physically met the people in the company that they were now moving countries for.” Nick continues.

 

2. Structured Process

Key to making video interviewing work is to adopt a structured hiring approach. It is vital to a successful video interview, that the company takes the time to get to know the candidate; establish rapport, ask questions about their background and experience, and do some competency-based assessment during the interviews.

 

3. Clear Communication

Having a clear communication and clear course of action is crucial to making remote hiring work.

  • Make sure all of the decision makers within the business have contact with the intended candidate
  • Agree on a clear process and set deadlines for everyone to follow structure
  • Be in consistent contact with the candidates to ensure their engagement and limit their fears during this turbulent time

As long as these initiatives are taken, decisions can and should still be made using video conferencing and remote hiring.

 

What about the fear of downsizing?

Another important consideration from companies during this crisis is the need for downsizing; one reaction to a crisis, and turndown in revenue or cashflow issues, would be to cut the headcount.

The same consequence as above applies; if this sharp downturn is followed by a sharp upturn, downsizing could see businesses lose knowledge and resources that are instrumental in taking advantage of the upturn and growth in the market coming out of the crisis. Cutting back on personnel is a short-term fix, that could ultimately impact the business more in the long term.

“Realistically, businesses are going to cut back on costs, but there is only so much fat to trim off a business. If a company starts cutting into the muscle of the business, they are effectively cutting into the strength that is going to help the business get through this crisis and succeed after the crisis”, says Nick Pearce.

Looking at the ‘fat’ of a business, means looking at where you could cut costs, and what roles or people that don’t create value to your business.

“Off the back of the financial crisis of 2008, business have been and continue to be quite lean. This means that there is a genuine risk of business cutting away muscle. I think it is important for businesses to look more long term in making any decisions around downsizing,” Nick continues.

 

What are the alternatives to downsizing?

There are a number of ways companies can reduce employee costs without cutting headcount. This way, they are less likely to suffer the above-mentioned consequences of losing muscle, knowledge and resources.

Reducing bonus payments. As a means to cut costs, companies could look at reducing bonus payments or cutting bonus payments for a period of time.

Reduce salaries temporarily. To ensure your employees’ keep their jobs, you can choose to reduce salaries across the board, for a limited period of time.

Enforce holidays. For European businesses, it may be possible to enforce holidays. What companies don’t want is to see people being unproductive for the next month or so, and then taking a month off in August, like many Europeans do. Enforcing people to take two to three weeks of their holiday now, may be another way to get through this low productivity period that we will see as a result of the crisis.

As recruiters, Alexander Daniels Global advice both companies and candidates to be patient with one another in these testing times. Although video interviews will speed up the process, candidates must be patient, as companies are setting up contingency plans and try to deal with the dynamic situation at hand. Likewise, companies must be patient with candidates and understand the raised level of fear and precautions.

Let us help and guide you

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. If you have any questions or if there is anything you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out to us – we are happy to help!

Sustainability in additive manufacturing

Sustainability additive manufacturing 3d printing

2019 has been the year of environmental sustainability, with global protests and increased political and social focus. The 3D printing / additive manufacturing industry isn’t an exception; sustainability is on the agenda. But how?

We are entering a new era for additive manufacturing now. One in which the increase in adoption for production applications requires the industry to mature and demonstrate the reliability, repeatability and quality of more established manufacturing techniques. This was clear during the recent Formnext 2019, where there was a significant message coming from most OEM’s, which was more focused on delivering on previous promises made of their technology. During the recent Formnext 2019, newly appointed CEO of EOS, Marie Langer, was asked about her priorities for the coming years, she discussed a focus on delivering repeatable and transferable processes, usability, quality and reliability. However, there was another significant topic that came up during that press event, and as the week progressed, it was a topic widely discussed on the Formnext floors. The topic was sustainability in additive manufacturing.

Who are discussing the topic?

The topic was discussed in press conferences, in panel discussions, at networking events, and in one-on-one conversations.

Marie Langer talking sustainability in additive manufacturing

Marie Langer at the EOS Press Conference at Formnext 2019

For Marie Langer sustainability in additive manufacturing is a critical subject and one the whole industry should be championing. This was echoed by Brian Neff, CEO of Sintavia, who also commented on the opportunity and advantage AM has, as a more sustainable production technology than traditional subtractive manufacturing technologies. Langer spoke about developing more sustainable materials that could be recycled and re-used. Brian highlighted that for metal AM, there is far less material waste and that through distributed manufacturing, shipping could be reduced and therefore the overall carbon footprint of producing a part could be lowered.

The topic of sustainability was also on debate as Formnext TV invited experts in to talk about materials, sustainability and recycling in additive manufacturing.

 

Sustainability in additive manufacturing being discussed at Formnext TV.

 The sustainability topic being discussed at Formnext TV.

Moreover, senior leaders in companies like Carpenter Additive, HP, and DSM, made it clear, that sustainability is on the agenda. Camille Caron, HP’s Director of Education and Sustainability for their 3D printing business has recently written an article about this topic.

WHAT IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING?

AM has the opportunity to lead the global manufacturing market as a sustainable production technology. The benefits offered through reduced material waste, supply chain innovations that reduce the needs for shipping parts thousands of miles, the use of recycled plastics and metals in materials, as well as the development of new recyclable materials, can all position AM as the most sustainable production solution for companies. It comes at a time where large companies are all under pressure to reduce carbon footprint and do more to protect and preserve the environment. Therefore this opportunity is one that could further support the acceleration of the AM industry as a whole.

However, while this topic was widely talked about at a senior level, there is still very little being done to actually drive sustainability initiatives. Part of that problem likely lies with the question “Who is responsible?”. How many AM organisations, be they machine OEM’s, Materials Companies etc. have a Head of Sustainability, or at least an internal champion to take ownership?

This is something Alexander Daniels Global are going to explore more and early in 2020 plan to prepare a report looking directly at what the major companies are doing to further this very important cause.