Closing the 3D printing talent gap? Here’s why we need a revolution


In an industry with severe skill shortage, as the 3D printing / Additive Manufacturing industry, does the HR organisation need a revolution?


Let’s first break down how traditional HR departments work when recruiting:

  • First, HR is approached by a department looking to open and fill a new position.
  • Secondly, HR creates a job posting online and/or hires a recruitment company to assist them.
  • Thirdly, HR waits for the talent to come to them.

Now this approach is good in industries with high unemployment rates and where companies can pick talent as easily as picking food off the shelves in the supermarket. But for the additive manufacturing industry, there is a significant problem with this model; in particular with point number three. Because what if that talent does not exist? What if that talent is not available at that specific moment? What if the available talent does not meet the often very strict requirements? Therefore HR and recruitment need a revolution.

Instead of this company-centered approach, where the objective is to fill some holes (employed in the traditional HR model), HR departments should strive towards a more talent-centered model, where the company adapts to the talent. This model focuses on continuously identifying and introducing talent to the clients, on a regular basis. And based on this talent, the company develop its organisation, opening jobs that are perfect for specific candidates. This is opposed to fluctuated work with the client, where talent is only searched for and identified when the client has a position to fill. The new model means that the client will be fed with top tier talent even if they are not currently scouting for it. This makes for a much higher degree of flexibility and success rate, as the client can choose to open a job for that specific person, to avoid the talent winding up in the tight grasp of the competitor. This is absolute key in this industry, because of the severe skill shortage.


Now you might think ‘but no matter the model, there is still a talent and experience shortage – how does any new model deal with that?’.  This new model deals with that issue as it provides an opportunity for recruiters to identify and transform talent from industries with synergies to additive manufacturing. Take for example a candidate that has years of experience with engineering and industrial manufacturing, to be discarded by a company because they absolutely need a person with additive manufacturing experience. This is a clear-cut waste of talent, that can be avoided if the clients agree to this more flexible recruitment and organisation model, and in addition provide a bit of additive manufacturing training to that candidate.


Alexander Daniels Global has invented and implemented this talent-centered model in our partnership model, because we believe this is the way to close the talent gap and to enable the fourth industrial revolution through talent.


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