Smarter hiring decisions for industry 4.0

Recruitment tips for the automotive and industrial engineering industry

Automotive and industrial engineering recruitment tips

Employers in the automotive and industrial engineering sectors often ask us for our top recruitment tips.

Recruitment can become a bit of a never-ending task that takes far longer than you originally anticipate. Sometimes months longer.

But it shouldn’t be like that.

Whether you work with a specialist recruiter, or head up the search party yourself, there are so many ways you can streamline the process.

Here are MasterSearch’s top tips for making smarter hiring decisions when recruiting for automotive and industrial engineering roles.

Automotive and industrial engineering recruitment tips

Know the market like the back of your hand

It’s no secret that this sector is in the midst of a talent crisis. Far from robots stealing our jobs, German engineering companies reported a 50% increase in vacancies in 2018.   

That’s a lot of empty desks.

Star performers are not necessarily looking for a new job so don’t assume they’ll flock to you. To headhunt successfully, you’ll need a good idea of your competitors’ team structures. Sometimes you can glean this information from LinkedIn or Xing, but usually you’ll need to do more digging.

Not every recruiter knows how to do this, but it’s not impossible to do it yourself if you make understanding the sector’s dynamics a priority.

 Automotive and industrial engineering recruitment tips Open-mindedness can open up your pool

As we have discussed elsewhere on the MasterSearch blog, with today’s landscape, don’t assume the strongest candidate will necessarily have a background within your niche.

But you can open up the talent pool in other ways. Since industry 4.0 uses automated systems, it can fit in well with remote or flexible working. If a new employee can get the right results from home but still attend important HQ meetings, you’ll find it easier to attract talented candidates who have your desired skills but don’t want to move.

At MasterSearch, we’re already seeing the trend for home working growing, with recent remote positions in sales, product management, application engineering, software architects and engineers, among others.Automotive and industrial engineering recruitment tips

Skills are important but don’t underestimate personality

The success of industry 4.0 depends on flexible employees willing to get stuck in. So, if a candidate is a good fit for the team but lacks a desired skill, consider whether you can fast-track their learning.

Yes, certain skills are vitally important for automotive and industrial engineers. But it is easier to upskill than change attitude and personality.

 Automotive and industrial engineering recruitment tips Commit time upfront to a thorough recruiter briefing 

Recruiter briefings may seem like another thing eating into your valuable time, but doing this step half-heartedly could be a false economy. Hopefully, your recruiter will have a thorough and detailed briefing process so they capture all the technical details.

The most successful recruiters will want to know your company inside out – almost as if they are applying for the role themselves. Experiencing it from a candidate’s point of view will mean they’re better placed to sell the benefits of working at your company.

Make sure you are clear on what the recruitment process will be. How many potential candidates will your recruiter send you, and how often? Will you receive progress reports? What will happen if their search proves unsuccessful?

Asking these types of questions before committing can help prevent frustration and disappointment further down the line.

In addition, are you clear on who your contact will be? Larger agencies often have a high staff turnover, so you may find yourself speaking to someone different each time.

Automotive and industrial engineering recruitment tips

Keep the interview process short and sweet

In our experience, time is the biggest killer of the hiring process. The swifter you move, the better. If you can keep the interview process as limited as possible, you’ll increase your chances of offer acceptance.

Three or four months is really too long for an interview process.

You want your new employees to be excited and motivated at the prospect of joining your company. Not frustrated and possibly looking elsewhere.

Along with time, give thought in advance to how you will deal with potential challenges, such as the candidate being made a counteroffer by their current employer.

Automotive and industrial engineering recruitment tips

Consider asking your recruiter to manage offer and acceptance

Traditionally, it’s employers who manage the offer and acceptance, but 60% of deals in this sector fall apart at this stage. It’s worth looking for a recruiter who has the experience to manage this for you. We’ve found this can boost the offer to acceptance ratio to 93%!

You can also get your recruitment agency to take care of references and background checks. We have developed a strong reference form which has really helped our clients, and constantly receives good feedback on how detailed and helpful it is.


We hope these recruitment tips make your search for top automotive and industrial engineering candidates easier.


Are you looking for a world-class Automotive / Industrial recruitment agency that can help make your job easier and support you across your entire business? Get in touch on +44 207 101 9623 or email

Our candidates and clients are never just a number: we use our honesty and openness to build strong, long-lasting relationships. Specialising in this industry means we are uniquely placed to continually adapt to changes in this fast-paced and innovative market.

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