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Trends by industry and job function and the key to success in mid-career recruitment in 2021 【Manufacturing, Industrial​​】

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Posted by en world Japan

6 months ago

The manufacturing industry was hit the hardest by COVID-19 while the semiconductor sector is on a recovery trend​

COVID-19 had an impact on all industrial sectors. In particular, the pandemic caused a variety of changes and heavy damage to the manufacture of goods. ​
In the automobile and aerospace fields, sales decreased dramatically in 2020, although both technological evolution and autonomous driving technology were on a recovery trend since mid-2019. In March and April, when lockdowns bed overseas, there was a serious decline in recruitment quotas until October. On the other hand, the semiconductor industry, where demand for data centers slowed, is on a recovery trend again with the needs of 5G. The renewable energy industry has been performing well and continues to actively recruit qualified talent. Companies and industries with global supply chain functions that have formed since 1990 have experienced havoc due to rapid changes and are now working to establish mid to long term measures. The outlook for 2021 and beyond remains difficult and companies are very cautious about recruitment. Companies and job functions that are regarded as lifelines in Japan, hiring positions had been maintained even during the COVID-19 pandemic.​


Apparent talent demands for automation in a company and robotization​

Manufacturing industries were not expected to work remotely and were not familiar with telework, so there were major hurdles to work style reforms, especially in manufacturing and logistics sites. Manufacturing needs response capabilities for automation and supply chains require such capabilities for restructuring and changes. Originally, supply chains and engineering chains were dependent on individual skills, so there are many domestic manufacturers that have a problem of aging equipment; consequently, talent needs to proceed with automation in a company and robotization have become apparent.​


Demand for talent with experience in different industries aimed at promoting DX will increase in 2021​

In the manufacture of goods, efforts for the creation of solutions and building new business models in a shift from single-body sales are accelerating. ​
Digital professionals are increasing their competitiveness, and talent needs for promoting DX will further accelerate. During and after 2021, moves to demand experienced workers in different fields from other industries than past manufacturing and engineering, such as mechatronics, electricity, and software, are expected to increase.​


Manufacturing and recruitment are experiencing major changes and flexibility in HR/TA  is necessary​

Successful recruitment of IoT and AI-related talent necessary for promoting DX is considered the major cause of improvements in competitiveness. How companies will evoke the attractiveness of the dynamic manufacturing market, which has a 20% share of the gross domestic product (GDP) and transforming with DX promotion into the career-change market will decide the talent that can be hired. Besides, the moves to change to flexible personnel and salary systems that defy the boundaries of existing salary tables and positions and to introduce specialist recruitment, represent the phase of a major change, and future recruitment moves will draw attention. While DX promotion is progressing in industries, companies demonstrating flexible responses early and companies that could come up with attractive DX promotion in manufacturing have been successful in recruitment.​


Communicating a company’s corporate philosophy and vision is important​

While the shift to remote working progresses, job-oriented recruitment that can easily visualize individuals’ achievements has been promoted. For that reason, it is now essential to clarify job descriptions that are in demand and thoroughly define expected achievements that are more centered on individuals. On the other hand, the thorough communication of the company culture, mission, vision, and value to society, as well as prospects, is more important than ever. It is expected that the COVID-19 pandemic will become prolonged, the future will remain uncertain, and everyone will enter a period of uncertainty. Communicating its corporate philosophy, unswerving corporate stance, determination for major change, and the future image that a company aspires for will lead to acquiring talent who can overcome the crisis together.​


The trend in the number of job orders and YoY comparison​
(Manufacturing, Industrial)​


Manufacturing, Industrial Division​
Associate Director​
Aki Nagashima​



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How to succeed with mid-career recruitment with COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 (English)
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