IoT is becoming incorporated into in vitro diagnostic devices, physiological monitors, mobile medical apps, wearables, and even capital-intensive technologies such as implants and prostheses, according to a report by consulting firm Cognizant. McKinsey has estimated that the annual value of IoT from monitoring and treating patients with chronic diseases could be as much as $1 trillion by 2025.
To build influence in an increasingly software-focused market, many medical device makers have begun searching for candidates with skills in advanced technologies such as AI, software science, and robotics. These skills may be necessary for research and development initiatives, advanced manufacturing, or simply to meet the evolving needs of customers and suppliers.
To maintain pace in the IoT evolution, companies must assess and carefully recalibrate their talent acquisition strategies. Just as Netflix crushed Blockbuster, firms that fail to modernize will fall behind. Medical device firms are already competing with firms in other industries for the best talent available—from experienced engineers to new university graduates entering the job market.
A Recruiting Challenge
When recruiting for this level of talent with these backgrounds, medical device makers compete with firms from a variety of industries. IoT is not just changing healthcare and manufacturing. It is rapidly altering a growing list of industries, such as agriculture, transportation, aerospace, telecommunications, and more. Jobs in software applications development are expected to grow by 30.5 percent between 2016 and 2026, making this one of the top areas for job growth in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As we enter this new era, organizations must modernize their talent management practices to engage and acquire the talent community they seek. Consider investing in university recruiting programs, updating career web pages, improving or creating a diversity program, and collaborating with “niche” recruiting firms.
Strategies that Differentiate
Through my experience in collaborating with Fortune 500 brands and small startups while working at Eastridge Workforce Solutions, we’ve collected a set of processes and best practices that have yielded immediate and measurable results. The methods that follow are applicable by any modern corporate recruiting team.
- Communicate transparently. Meet with stakeholders in the talent requisition process at least once per week. This channel of communication can yield insight to refine your search methods and to anticipate future vacancies. IoT is a fast-paced field, and as technology rapidly advances, a firm’s needs and priorities may shift as well. Talent managers must stay informed and be ready to adapt swiftly to changing needs.
- Create a robust referral and community engagement program. Establish a system to manage referrals so your top employees can easily recommend their high-performing peers for open positions. If referrals are not handled promptly and professionally, employees will stop giving them. Consider offering a generous financial incentive that makes finding the right candidate a win-win for everyone. You can also utilize social medial to promote upcoming projects and new business partnerships that positively affect company growth and its related recruiting activities. Additionally, modern talent teams create engagement and utilize hiring managers as hiring and community engagement tools. Take your hiring managers to tech talks, host happy hours where talent communities hang out, and go as far as attending quarterly community events that are meaningful and where your presence is quantifiable by key recruiting metrics.
- Cut the bureaucracy. To acquire top talent, eliminate overly complicated practices such as requesting transcripts, calling multiple references, and scheduling a series of on-site interviews. In-demand candidates will not tolerate convoluted processes. Analyze data from past successful searches, and make changes based on results, not tradition.
It goes without saying, as IoT transforms the medical device industry, and the world around it, companies must deploy thoughtful talent strategies to hire professionals with the expertise to develop the healthcare products of the future.
Abraham Penuelas is the director of search, engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain at Eastridge Workforce Solutions, a technology-enabled workforce solutions provider.