What Happens When You Deploy a Try-Before-You-Buy People Pipeline? PostedFriday, May 24,2019 at 11:36 AM Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash Over the past couple of months, I’ve attended quite a few industry events (I’m looking at you, CSIA Executive Conference!). And while the venues, hosts and people were all over the map, there was one universal topic that kept leaping out: sourcing qualified talent. This “global war on talent,” says Joe LaRussa, director of industrial engineering for the North American Seat Business at Brose, a global automotive mechatronic solutions provider, has plagued the manufacturing industry for years, including bleeding into North America. As a team leader of manufacturing and industrial engineers responsible for manufacturing process design, Joe says he finds it particularly hard to source controls engineers and people with tooling experience. “These are two key areas where capacity is really limited,” he says. “On top of this, there is the capability issue. I find many just don’t have enough experience or simply not enough transferable skillset to function well.” In times like these, says Joe, companies need to get creative and prime their talent pipeline. For example, Brose recently experimented by sponsoring a Society of Manufacturing Engineering Foundation event for college and university scholarship award winners. This strategy allowed Brose to tap into a “pre-qualified pool of talent” and “step in and connect and introduce them to the technology and the projects,” as Joe puts it. The result: 2 direct hire employees and 6 interns. Best of all, it cut costs. “The cost to host the reception vs the costs of traditional hiring made the math very easy to pitch to HR with a clear value proposition,” says Joe. “We just basically connected the dots that were already there.” To hear more from Joe, including his advice on how system integrators can better serve their customers as well as future-proof their businesses, check out his interview on the Talking Industrial Automation podcast.