Siemens embraces telecommuting in search of tech talent
Siemens, Europe’s largest industrial group, looks to Asia and the United States for the best tech workers, highlighting how remote work programs launched during the pandemic are reshaping recruitment.
“We have to get talent where it is,” Roland Busch, newly installed managing director, told the Financial Times, adding that the € 110 billion company was now able to develop software for physical products. from anywhere.
“I know for Asia a lot, a lot of these guys don’t want to come to Europe,” he added. “They say: ‘I am sitting in a huge growing market, why would I go to Europe’.”
Siemens, which announced to investors last month that it would transform into a “specialty technology company,” recently recruited talent like Cisco and AWS from Amazon. It currently employs more than 4,000 technicians in its three main units in 20 countries.
Finding the right people, Busch said, had become more expensive, but through the use of technologies such as virtual glasses, it was becoming “much easier to allocate your workforce,” thereby expanding the pool of candidates. potentials.
“During the pandemic, we could do acceptance tests [for products like switching cabinets] remotely, we could run the service remotely, guiding our customers, ”he said.
A signaling client in Germany, for example, was assisted by an engineer in Singapore, Busch said. “The world is getting smaller,” he added.
Others in Europe have adopted a similar strategy. Belgian chemicals company Solvay, which officially adopted mobile working last year, has also broadened its recruitment.
“Not only can we access a diverse pool of talent across the world, but also talent that might not have been available otherwise, as their circumstances might require them to work from home, for example,” Hervé Tiberghien, Solvay’s director of human resources, told FT.
But one of Siemens’ main competitors, the French Schneider Electric, has deliberately avoided such an approach. Bruno Zerbib, head of platform and technology at the industrial and tech company, said full flexibility in where employees are located would not be offered anytime soon.
“When you’re primarily a pure software player like Twitter, you embrace this paradigm of total flexibility more than building complex systems that connect hardware and software together,” he said. “We need people in person doing physical things, touching the device.”
Schneider is more flexible about where people work and will adopt a “hybrid model,” Zerbib said, but “I don’t think we are heading for” where you want work. “
The executive, who has worked in Silicon Valley for more than 20 years, believes the bigger issue will be how companies in the world’s leading tech hub maintain their own innovation in the face of demand for greater flexibility.
“The trend is that people want to live in more affordable areas. Will they be okay with people moving to Arizona or Colorado? ” He asked.
“At this time, we don’t expect people based in California will work for Schneider.”