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2018 in 3d printing reviewed by Nick Pearce

2018 in review by director Nick Pearce

I set Alexander Daniels Global up almost four years ago now. I don’t think I can quite call myself a veteran of the industry yet, but I have watched how the industry is evolving and starting to mature. I think the word ‘mature’ is quite apt to describe how I interpreted Additive Manufacturing in 2018.

There have been a few false dawns before, led primarily by the theory that there would be a 3D Printer in every home. I still believe that will be the case.

I do envision a World where we will be able to print on-demand a spare part for our washing machine that has broken down.

Actually, our smart home, managed by Artificial Intelligence, will automatically tell our 3D Printer to print the part, it knows is about to breakdown and a Service Robot will already have been called to replace it. We won’t have to do anything and the performance of our washing machine will be seamless.

I digress a little with my view of the future, so back to why I feel 2018 saw Additive Manufacturing mature. There seemed to be a reality arising that post processing was an essential and inevitable part of the total process. While this is nothing new, it appeared like, with the proliferation of binder jetting technologies, with new introductions from companies like HP, post processing became more acceptable to achieve the desired application and required part qualities. Organisations started to talk more about production systems and not just printers. The complete manufacturing solution was described by EOS at Formnext where CEO Dr Keppler said, “It’s not just about the hardware…. <>…. knowledge of materials, software, quality and processes.”

Additive Manufacturing has been widely used in R&D within sectors like Aerospace and Medical. For an ever-increasing number of applications, it is now being used in production, but still at reasonably low volumes. However, another reason why Additive Manufacturing ‘matured’ in 2018 is big Automotive OEM’s like Daimler and VW started to talk more seriously about Additive Manufacturing for production. When Automotive gets involved, then high scale, volume production, at the lowest cost is essential. With this intent, the opportunity for Additive Manufacturing is huge both in plastics and metals.

There remain some challenges for the industry though, notably talent. I would say that given I run a recruitment company specialising in hiring talent for the industry. However, the problem remains and it is not one that can be solved by recruitment alone.

I had a conversation with a major Automotive OEM who highlighted their need to retrain at least 1000 engineers if they are to achieve their strategic objectives with additive. There has been a growth of learning and development for the industry but it remains fragmented, difficult to assess and frankly is often delivered in uninspiring formats. For the industry to really achieve it’s potential over the next decade, organisations need to invest heavily into upskilling and training and think differently about how to engage a new audience outside Additive Manufacturing.

2019 is set to be an exciting year. As we release our third annual salary survey, I remain hugely passionate about the evolution of this disruptive technology and the people working hard to change the way we design and manufacture.

I hope you enjoy reading through it and can take something useful away. As always, we welcome your feedback, so please contact me directly with any questions, comments or ideas we might want to think about for next year.

Yours Faithfully

Nick Pearce

Founder & Director

4 reasons why you could be losing your talented additive manufacturing workforce

4 reasons why you could be losing your talented additive manufacturing workforce

Do you think you are losing your additive manufacturing workforce? Your workforce is one of your greatest assets in your business so it is important to understand their key motivators and also drivers that cause them to leave. Here are 4 key reasons why you could be loosing your most talented Additive Manufacturing workforce.

1. A Lack Of Understanding Of Your Employees’ Career Aspirations

In today’s fast-paced and competitive employment landscape, beyond just the Advanced Manufacturing industry, all professionals have their own personal goals and ambitions. These maybe small-scale such as simply becoming even more competent in a skill that an employee already has, or on a larger scale such as wishing to acquire more responsibility and stepping into a management position. Whatever an employee’s professional objectives are, you should be aware of it, since this insight can add value to your business.

How? Employees don’t want to feel like their job is just their job- something they do everyday. The thought of going to work should fill them with enthusiasm, their work should stem from their passion and interests aligned to the tasks of their position. Therefore having an understanding of how you can assist them in ensuring that they remain motivated to achieve more and succeed within their position will be greatly appreciated by any employee.  This also adds to fostering an open and collaborative culture, where employees feel that they can openly speak about any issues, concerns, or thoughts with their seniors.  Additionally, it will give you an overview of factors, even trending and common aspects amongst your work force that points towards areas of improvements to be made in your employee retention strategy. For example, it  could be the case that a few of your employees mention that they don’t feel challenged enough in their position- something which they include in their professional goals to achieve, or maybe  an individual feels that their responsibilities are expanding yet not in the direction in which they wish to take within the company. Therefore again, having an understanding of and taking action on your employees aspirations will demonstrate they you value their work.

2. Not empowered to innovate

Every employee who is truly invested in their position and the company they work for often feels empowered.  Empowerment is giving your employees the power to do something, the level of control they desire within their position and the confidence to suggest things. Of course there are structures and boundaries but giving the opportunity for employees to have a say in a decision that affects their work environment is really valued by the work force. Furthermore, taking the time out of your schedule to sit down and conduct an appraisal with each employee allows them to not only speak about what they desire but also enable you to  gain valuable suggestions on areas to improve the efficiency or operation of your business. After all, suggestion to change is never a bad thing

3. Routine Jobs

Every employee appreciates the responsibilities of their position, yet working on a relatively narrow-set of repeated tasks everyday can become boring. It is therefore important to understand how you as an employer can keep your employees motivated and engaged in their position: enabling them to conduct their daily tasks but also add a level of spontaneity or change every now and then to their job. For example, this might be giving an opportunity for an employee to work on a project of a slightly different nature to what they are used to, which would still require their skills set, or taking into consideration and giving the autonomy to an  employee to try and approach a particular project in a different way.

4. Focus on specialization and not cross functionality in a position

Organizations are too focused on specialization and not enough attention is on cross-functional roles that enable professionals within a company to have a general overview of the projects they are working on. This lack of understanding can affect the inter-team dynamics and ability to see how the work that your employee does adds value to the business. The limited transfer of knowledge between employees can therefore reduce the ability of the business to grow. Additionally, there is an element of risk for the business when an employee with very specific expertise leaves the business and takes that knowledge with them, leaving a knowledge gap in the workforce.

The four points highlighted above are limiting AM companies’ capability of keeping the AM knowledge in-house and hence affecting the medium/long term success potential of the business.

Alexander Daniels Global are specialists in the arena of Talent in Advanced Manufacturing and 3D Printing, if you would like to learn and understand more about how the industry, and more specifically our business can overcome the challenges of identifying, engaging, and retaining AM talent  then get in touch with us.

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!

5 questions to ask before engaging with a recruiter

5 questions to ask yourself before engaging with a recruiter

The talent shortage in the 3d printing and advanced manufacturing industry leads companies to collaborate with recruitment partners in order to secure the right talent. But how do you know you’re choosing the right recruitment partner to work with?

These are 5 factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right recruitment partner for you.

1. WHAT EXPERTISE DO YOU HAVE IN MY INDUSTRY?

This is most likely the most important qualification for a recruitment company.

Today’s workplace demands specialist skills, and recruitment companies that focus on particular skills have access to a vast pool of candidates with the most in-demand skills. The specialised recruitment firms understand your hiring needs which allows you to be confident that the candidates they present meet or exceed the requirements of the role

2. WHO HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING WITH?

You can tell a lot about a recruitment partner from which companies they have worked with previously; it will help you get an idea whether the company has experience with clients of your size, type and hiring need.

3. WHAT IS THE HIRING PROCESS?

A good recruiter will add value to your hiring process and handle the heavy lifting for you, while continuously keeping you up to date so they only present candidates who meet your unique needs. Take time to understand their process, and ask questions like how long it will take to have a shortlist; how many professionals will be included; and what evaluations will be performed by the recruiter.

4. WHAT WAS YOUR TURNOVER RATE FOR INTERNAL STAFF LAST YEAR?

A low internal turnover is a strong signal that the recruiters in the company are in it for the long run, and has earned a deep knowledge of the industry and the trends – crucial for being able to recruit top professionals.

5. CAN THEY BE A STRATEGIC ADVISOR?

You will want to partner with a recruitment company that knows the trends and recruiting issues in the industry. They should be enlightened in all aspects of the industry to be able to provide you with the best possible candidates and address the issues at hand, while guiding your HR in strategic hiring.

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!

3 interview tactics we always forget

3 interview tactics we always forget

You know the ‘usual suspects’ of interview tactics; bring a resume, make eye-contact and wear clothes that don’t distract.

Although that is good advice, there is much more to landing a job today.

For your next interview, consider these tactics to go the extra mile in a contest typically won by inches.

1. Have something to say about the industry

Because the Additive Manufacturing industry is still very young, it often happens that candidates do not have 3D Printing / additive manufacturing experience but has experience in similar industries with synergies to AM. If that is your case, remember to study the industry, read news reports and blogs, in advance of your interview, and be ready to work important issues into the conversation.

2. Know the company challenges

Dig into the company’s recent successes and failures and in the client and customer base to show that you are aware of their most vital challenges. This will reveal your dedication and prompt the interviewer to envision you in the role

3. Talk about the competition

A strong understanding of what keeps your boss-to-be awake at night is one way to put any doubts about your candidacy to bed.

Want more career advice?

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. We want you to succeed so we have created a bunch of free career advice. Check it out!

Specialized additive manufacturing jobs are booming. How to take advantage

Sales Job additive manufacturing

Sales positions within additive manufacturing are booming, with major companies from all over the world competing to push their products to market. We are seeing a lot of openings, but not enough candidates to fill those roles.

We have asked our recruiters how experienced candidates can take full advantage of this highly favorable hiring environment for sales professionals.

1. Highlight specialization

Hiring companies in the additive manufacturing / 3D printing industry are increasingly focusing on specialized sales professionals. Specifically, AM companies are looking for technical sales professionals and software sales professionals.

To exploit this, make sure that your LinkedIn profile and/or your resume clearly reflects your sector specific sales experience and what type of products/services you have experience selling. This approach makes it easier for employers to identify your specialization and match you with a job opportunity.

2. Adopt the right attitude

AM employers are looking for people with a hunter mentality; people that are competitive with themselves, ambitious and ethical. They want sales people who understand that getting a sale should be done by conveying the message and value of the product, and not by discounting the product. Employers want a lion living in the safari and not in the zoo; someone who has to work hard to be successful and not rely on the zoo keeper for every meal.

3. Build Relationships

Even though the current environment for Specialized Sales hiring is favourable for qualified candidates, don’t go through it alone. You may be missing out on opportunities that can only come through strong professional connections.

One way of building such a network and opening a new world of job possibilities is to engage with a recruiter. You will benefit from the relationships they have with employers AND they are instrumental to promoting your value in the best possible way to employers.

Want more career advice?

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. We want you to succeed so we have created a bunch of free career advice. Check it out!

Recruiter secrets to finding the right job for you

Recruiter secrets to finding the right job-fit for you

Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right career path? How can you tell if your job makes the most of your talents?

Consulting with a recruiter is a good way of finding out!

We asked our recruiters how they help AM professionals find the right fit. Asking yourself these few questions will help you choose the right job for you.

1. How do I want to feel at work?

“As recruiters we often look for, and work with, the intangible aspects of a candidate to truly figure out their motivations, and to see what opportunities are the best fit for them” says Alexander Daniels Global recruiter. “Even if you are not sure what you want to do, knowing how you want to feel at work is almost as important.

If you like to just put your head down, focus and work, then a job with some team leading responsibilities may not be right for you. On the flip-side, if you love talking to people and teaching others, maybe a team leading position may be rewarding for you – even if job duty-wise the two jobs are very similar.

2. What management style do I prefer?

Although it’s still a minor amount, an increasing amount of companies in the additive manufacturing industry are getting more location-independent. This means that they are flexible in terms of where their employees work. But this also comes with some complications. More particularly management style and independency.

If you are a highly independent person that enjoys having a big impact on the company without being told exactly what needs to be done, maybe a position in sales, as for example a Business Developer or Key Account Manager, may be the right fit for you.

3. Are there opportunities to learn new skills?

No matter what job or industry you’re in, you should always be learning. It can be a brand-new skills or strengthening an old one. Learning is a sign that there’s still more to gain in your role. Loosing your desire to grow or learn may very well be a sign that you need to make a job change.

4. If I had a free Saturday that had to be spent “working” on something, I’d choose __ , because __

This little exercise helps you realize what parts of your job you are truly passionate about. And you should aim to find a job where this is part of the job description.

“Employees are happiest in jobs that provide them with feelings of accomplishment and joy. And just because you are good at a job, doesn’t mean that that’s what you should be doing” says Alexander Daniels Global recruiter.

Want more career advice?

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. We want you to succeed so we have created a bunch of free career advice. Check it out!

How to showcase your skills in an interview

how to best showcase your skills in an interview

Managing to showcase your skills in an interview is crucial, and could be the tipping point for convincing the recruiter and hiring manager that you are the perfect candidate for this job.

We asked our skilled recruiters how candidates best demonstrate that they actually have the skills they list on their resumes. Here’s the inside scoop:

1. Share Your Portfolio

In this industry, where some technologies and job descriptions may be difficult to comprehend, bringing examples of your work can go a long way towards showcasing your skills. A good strategy is to create a portfolio of your work and your proudest projects. Consider sending this portfolio to the hiring manager or the person with whom your interviewing, prior to the interview. This way they will have time to review it, and it will allow you to go into more details about the projects

2. Prepare To Share Details

It’s one thing to list your skills on a resume or LinkedIn; it’s another to explain exactly what you have done with them. Therefore, it is important that you use the right lingo in the interview

  • DO: use industry buzz words and mention technologies, languages and tools used to complete a project.
  • AVOID: vague words and phrases that make it sound like you do not have an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter

3. Use The STAR Response Method

When the interviewer asks you the inevitable question about how, where or why you have used a certain skill, respond with the STAR (situation-task-action-result) method. By doing so, you provide all the information the interviewer needs to assess your abilities within that certain skill / field.

Situation: describe the context within which you performed the task – for example, you were working on a group project, or you had a conflict with a co-worker

Task: describe your role and responsibility in that situation

Action: describe how you completed the ask with what methods, technologies, tools, etc. Focus on what you did, i.e. say “I did …” instead of “We did…”

Result: explain the outcomes generated by the action taken – emphasize what you accomplished or what you learned

4. Ask Questions

By asking questions to the interviewer at the end of the interview shows both that you are serious about being considered for the position, and it shows that you are curious and knowledgable. Try to ask questions that show your deep knowledge of the industry and of the company you’re applying to in particular. You might ask a question about a business process, a certain technology, or about the company culture

5. Use Concrete Accomplishment Stories

Show – don’t tell. This is crucial in order to really showcase and highlight your skills. By using concrete stories of your previous accomplishments and including the impact that accomplishment had on the company, the interviewer is able to assess your skill better.

Want more career advice?

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. We want you to succeed so we have created a bunch of free career advice. Check it out!

5 job hunting and interviewing strategies for experienced candidates

5 job hunting and interview strategies for experienced candidates

How is job hunting for experienced candidates in the additive manufacturing industry? 

In this industry, job-seekers’ demographics are broad and range from very young university graduates to the older more experienced crowd. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, the younger candidates having the advantage of age and time to learn while the more experienced candidates have, well, experience and can possibly bring more value to the company.

But how are experienced job seekers viewed by employers? Do they need a different approach to job-hunting than their younger counterparts? We have asked the Alexander Daniels Global recruiters, as well as outside sources to give you the most trustworthy advice.

1. USE YOUR NETWORK

If you’ve been in the workforce for long, chances are that you have a vast professional network that you should utilise. With several years in the workforce, the chances are that you have some rather senior-level people in your network – make the most of it!

2. TWEAK YOUR RESUME

At this stage in your career, there isn’t a need to include every job you had since high school on your resume – unless they are highly relevant for the position you are seeking. Secondly, you want to come across experienced, but depending on the job you are applying for, you do not want the hiring manager to think you are over-experienced and/or too expensive to hire. Therefore, it may be a good idea to avoid starting resumes or cover letters with phrases such as “Over 30 years of experience…” unless it’s a senior role in that specific field.

3. UPDATE YOUR SKILLS ALONG THE WAY

In this industry, the technology is ever-changing and it is important to stay on top of the industry and trends. If you are lacking some of the skills need to land the job you want, consider getting training before or during your job search. Every skill acquired is one more to make you stand out from your competition. And make sure to highlight the accomplishments of trainings to show your willingness to learn and eagerness to keep up with the everchanging technology.

4. BE CONFIDENT

You want to express that you are not stuck in your ways, and that you are willing to be flexible and able to quickly adapt to a new environment. Be confident about your experience, your capabilities and what you have to offer. Another important point is to keep an open mind when it comes to taking a position or salary that may feel beneath you – once you land the job, you can work your way up.

5. STRESS YOUR EXPERIENCE

In an industry like this, where there is a huge skills gap, experienced candidates are more valuable than ever. Try to highlight your knowledge, experience and also your ability to teach others, particularly younger professionals.

Want more career advice?

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. We want you to succeed so we have created a bunch of free career advice. Check it out!

5 ways to explain a gap in your employment history

how to explain a gap in your employment

A large unexplained gap in employment history may be a showstopper for employers. Why is that?

A long unexplained gap can sometimes give employers the wrong impression about both your capabilities and your personality. It may imply that you are not capable of landing a job. It may imply that you were ‘dishonorably discharged’ from your previous job. And worst of all, it may imply that you are too lazy and don’t care about your career. You want to show career progression and an increase in scope and responsibility as a result of your good work. You DON’T want to show career stagnation. Some people leave gaps on their resume and hope to be able to explain the gap in an interview. The trouble is, that the gaps might prevent you from getting to the interview stage.

So how do you explain the gap in your resume?

1. Emphasize why you left the previous job

Be it downsizing, budget cuts, or the position being moved to far away for you to relocate, make it known and clear why you left the previous job – already in the resume. Even if you left the previous job voluntarily, mention it. It’s perfectly acceptable to mention sabbaticals – and try to highlight what you did during the sabbatical and how it might have impacted you

2. Emphasize any activities you undertook during the gap to improve your professional standing

This relates to the previous tip as you should ALWAYS make sure to mention

  • Any valuable experience: for example volunteer work or major personal projects
  • Any certifications or courses you did during the gap
  • Any freelance, consulting or contract work you’ve done. These activities show a huge sign that you have taken action and your career into your own hands.

3. Avoid negativity or blame

Even if your former employer handled your exit badly, avoid at all costs to bad mouth them. Come up with a sincere, simple way of summing up what happened.

Example:

“The former company hired a new Executive VP who decided to bring in his own people from his previous organization. It was a shock and disappointing, but the truth is that the time was probably right for me to pursue a new challenge”

4. Formatting the years on your resume

If you really want to avoid drawing attention to the dates and possible gaps of a few months between jobs, you can list only the years of employment and leave out the months.

For example, instead of:
Company A, January 2010 – January 2012
Company B, August 2012 – December 2014

Write:
Company A, 2010 – 2012
Company B, 2012 – 2014

You should still be prepared to answer questions about why you left Company A, but this will increase your chance of getting invited to an interview.

5. Prepare positive reasons

Be sure to prepare for questions and prepare your answer. Here are some tips on ways to formulate typical gaps in a positive way

Travelling

  • WRITE: I took six months out to immerse myself in a different culture and I feel that I have both gained a new perspective and learned some valuable life lessons. These months made me really ready to focus on my career
  • DO NOT WRITE: I spent six months travelling because I was not ready to start working

Family Issues

  • WRITE: I spent the last year caring for a sick relative. Their health is now recovered and I’m ready to re-enter the work force full-time
  • DO NOT WRITE:: I had personal issues that I prefer not to discuss

Sickness

  • WRITE: Due to a recurring medical condition I was unable to continue my previous position. However, I have now returned to full health and I am ready to take on my next challenge
  • DO NOT WRITE:: I have a recurring health problem that has made it difficult for me to hold down a job

Fair or unfair, as it may be, employers often worry about hiring someone coming back to work after a long gap. Especially in this industry where technology and processes change so quickly! Therefore, your challenge is to show that you have been keeping up with new developments and are 100% ready to go back full speed.

Want more career advice?

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. We want you to succeed so we have created a bunch of free career advice. Check it out!

How to turn down a recruiter

how to turn down a recruiter

How do you turn down a recruiter? If you’re lucky, you’ve had recruiters reach out to you via LinkedIn or email. If you are looking for a new position, the response is obvious: when can we talk more?

But if you’re not currently looking for anything new, how do you respond to the recruiters message without burning bridges? Because let’s face it; these days, people are likely to change their jobs every 3-5 years. So maybe one day, you will need this recruiter. And then it is important that you haven’t burned that bridge.

Being recruitment specialists, we know this situation very well, and we want to  help you sort it out!

1. Give them a straight answer

It’s professional courtesy to not waste the recruiters’ time, because they are not trying to waste yours either. Giving a clear reason to why together with showing gratitude, is also very important to maintain a good relationship.

Example: I’m flattered you reached out and considered me as a potential candidate. Unfortunately, I am very happy in my current role and not interested in making a change right now

Or

I’m flattered you reached out and considered me as a potential candidate. Unfortunately, I am currently looking for something different and more within my field of expertise. I am currently looking for a job as a XX where I would be able to develop my skills within XX

2. Keep the conversation open

You can’t predict the future. But you can prepare for it. You may not need help now, but may need it in the future. So it is important to keep the conversation open. The fact that the recruiter finds your profile appealing now means they might later, as well. Ask to connect on LinkedIn to stay in touch and hope that one day you may be able to help each other out.

Other benefits of connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn are

  • They have great networks
  • They are good to have when you find yourself looking for a job

3. Offer to help

Finally, offer them help if you can. Knowing that they are interested in people like you to fill a certain position, it is likely that you know others in the industry who could be a good fit as well.

It’s a win win: you may be able to help out a friend or colleague and the recruiter may feel like they owe you one – this one will get you to their “Hall of fame of candidates”

When the time comes, and you are looking for a new position, you have a strong relationship to leverage.

4. Turn the conversation into a positive.

Find out why the recruiter has contacted you. Were you recommended by a colleague? Has your resume or LinkedIn profile stood out? Understanding why you stood out can be helpful for future job searches.

5. Recruiters understand the current job market

You have gotten connected to a person that has a pulse on the current job market within your specific industry; use this to your benefit! Ask about hiring trends, future opportunities and expected outlook for your industry. Is there a certain skill most in demand? What companies are growing? Where are most of the jobs located? This information can be crucial to your future job search!

Want more career advice?

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. We want you to succeed so we have created a bunch of free career advice. Check it out!