After speaking with Christian Dow with MHI about the labour shortage within the growing Warehouse Automation industry, I felt compelled to write an article explaining how important recruitment is at this stage of industry growth. There is no doubt that the warehouse automation and robotics industry is booming, with the market expected to be worth $30 billion by 2026, double what it was worth in 2019. Companies are looking to streamline supply chains and with warehouse and distribution labor shortages projected to continue for the foreseeable, the automation industry is fast becoming an exciting area for investors and new early-stage ventures.

As with any growing industry, companies are competing for talented employees at all levels and especially business-critical senior positions, but many are making the same costly mistake: underestimating the importance of industry expertise in their recruitment partners.

We have spoken to several companies in the past month who have begun working with a generalist recruitment company and as a result, they are not receiving industry-relevant talent to take their business forward. The candidates haven’t been assessed enough, they don’t match the criteria asked for and time is being wasted. Why is this happening? It isn’t purely down to a lack of specialist industry knowledge within a generalist recruitment partner, it also stems from a lack of network in the automation and robotics industry and credibility to attract candidates to the role. Particularly when attracting someone from a more established company to say a startup or even a company expanding into a new territory, a generalist lacks the reputation and trust in the field to get the buy in needed.

The impact of all this is a lengthy recruitment process and time spent doing your own shortlisting, as well as the performance and financial impact of not having someone in place in a business-critical role. Also, due to the pace of the industry, lengthy processes often mean companies are missing out on talent completely.

In such a fast-growing market, your recruitment process will benefit from a partner with their finger on the pulse, who is constantly abreast of new investment, expanding companies, company performance and which individuals are driving those performances. Your partner needs to be working with you to build a bespoke strategy, establish your unique employee proposition in a busy marketplace and create personalized messaging and marketing materials to counteract objections and challenges, which can only come from truly understanding those candidates and the wider market.

To get the best result from your recruitment process, work with a specialist, make sure they are putting a strategy in place to differentiate your business, and not only will it save you time and money, but it will mean you have the right people in place to dominate the industry.