IoT, a manufacturing trend that recruiters should prepare for

The manufacturing sector has undergone a lot of changes of late. As the economy continues to rebound from the crippling effects of the recession, the industry is showing signs of life with respect to hiring and innovation.

When it comes to staffing, manufacturing recruiters are finding that they are inundated with open needs that their clients need to have filled. Job seekers with experience working in manufacturing facilities are discovering that they have their pick of opportunities to choose from, signaling that the sector has once again returned to good health.

However, there are a number of innovations that are coming in the near future and that forward-thinking manufacturing recruiters should be aware of so that they can begin sourcing for candidates that have experience in certain areas.

Changes on the horizon in manufacturing
Like most business sectors, the industrial industry is driven by innovation. As improvements are made to specific products that encourage consumers to buy more of them, these items will need to be mass-produced in order to meet the demand. As a result, many of the tools needed to manufacture these products will need to be operated by skilled professionals.

Global Manufacturing listed a number of changes that will become standard in the industrial sector that recruiters need to be on the lookout for:

  • 3-D printers: These devices have been discussed heavily in the news of late. These machines could very well become standard items in production lines across many manufacturing sectors. Individuals with experience in programming and operating these printers will soon find themselves in high demand.
  • Social media: Facebook, Twitter and other such social networking tools may seem out of place in a manufacturing environment, but in the future, they will play a pivotal role. More companies will begin mining for consumer feedback on products through these channels and will need staff that is competent in collecting this data and applying it to future product changes.
  • The Internet of Things: IoT is an innovation that could reshape the entire manufacturing industry. As more products are being outfitted with sensors that connect to the Web and relay data back to manufacturers, many organizations will need a skilled workforce capable of interpreting this information.

Why IoT is the future
Manufacturing recruiters unfamiliar with the Internet of Things should begin researching it now. According to a report by Blue Sky Innovation, IoT will help companies lower costs, become more operationally efficient and create products that consumers will find essential, ultimately generating higher profits.

"Today's hierarchical corporate business structure was built to optimize from the top down for the average decision, in average circumstances, so that on average a business could make money," Guy Turner, managing partner at IoT investment firm Hyde Park Venture Partners told Blue Sky. "IoT changes this, allowing every decision to be customized based on real-time information in the field. It is a new way of thinking and acting."

However, not only will organizations utilizing this technology need to employ individuals who can read IoT data, because this particular solution is Web-based, security of transmissions will also be an important consideration that will need to be made as well. Turner stated that within six years, there could be 50 billion active IoT sensors used all over the world. This highly sensitive data must be protected at all costs.

"If the world is completely interconnected, I cannot overemphasize the need for highly secure systems for IoT," Prith Banerjee, managing director of Accenture's Global Technology and Research division, told Blue Sky.

Data security will be another area of focus for manufacturing recruiters to begin developing strong candidate pipelines to address the coming needs.