How to Hire Smart for Industry 4.0

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How to Hire Smart for Industry 4.0

The business world’s future is arriving quickly – but you don’t need us to tell you that. Not only is everyone’s workplace getting “smarter” from the shop floor to the back office, modern robotics and workforce automation solutions are making entire industries smarter too.

With all the new devices available, it’s only a matter of time until your business technology becomes 100% connected and you’re ready to access that seamless digital thread you need to gather critical, real-time data and work smarter yourself.

Except… with the pace of business going so fast these days, you may not have had a single second to think about how you’ll hire the tech-savvy employees you’ll need to succeed in our fast-arriving, connected future.

Feel like you’re running out of time? We hear you. This guide offers secrets that’ll help you hire right so you can stay ahead of the curve, even in the face of changing technology.

The Future of Hiring – and a Current Problem

Experts predict there will be a labor shortage of 2 million people in the manufacturing industry by 2025 (which seems to have already started), and all industries are currently experiencing a skills gap in the U.S. for qualified IT professionals. As more technological products hit the market, this skills gap will only get bigger.

In short: Hiring is a serious problem right now.

Today’s savvy business leaders understand that in order to secure their future, they need to secure top tech talent for their companies. And they need to do it fast because Industry 4.0 is swiftly approaching.

Not quite sure what all this Industry 4.0 stuff is about? It affects your business, so let’s take a moment to answer a few common questions.

What Is Industry 4.0?

Also known as the digital supply network, Industry 4.0 is the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

  • The 1st Industrial Revolution occurred in the 1700s with the advent of steam power.
  • The 2nd Industrial Revolution happened at the turn of the 20th century, when electricity, mass production and the assembly line became popular.
  • The 3rd Industrial Revolution began around the 1960s, when computers reached the stage at which they could drive business efficiencies.

The 4th Industrial Revolution introduces intelligent automation to businesses, giving industrial machines the power to communicate with one another and directly affect our physical world without human intervention. This will speed the pace of business, drive down costs and provide better insight into processes and trends.

Does Industry 4.0 Affect Your Business?

Though it’s often considered to be solely related to manufacturing and distribution, Industry 4.0 affects all industries with mission-critical operations, including healthcare, finance, energy and technology.

In essence, if business downtime at your company would severely impact the general populace, your industry will be affected by Industry 4.0.

Not only will the Fourth Industrial Revolution require your business to buy new connected technologies, it will also require you to think carefully about your hiring choices. To stay competitive, you’ll need a workforce that’s not only comfortable with machines that think, but that can help you train your machines to think better than your competitors’.

The Secrets to Hiring in an Age of Digital Transformation

There’s a lot of competition right now for tech skills and, as the business world becomes increasingly more reliant on technology, those skills will soon be even more in demand.

Lucky for you, everyone else out there is hiring wrong. That means you can still find incredible tech talent – just so long as you hire right.

Here’s how:

  • Hire for aptitude

Programming language trends change all the time. Don’t hire for specific coding skills or programming languages like everyone else is doing, hire someone with an aptitude for fast learning and a passion to know more. In the interview, ask candidates about personal projects they’re working on in their free time.

  • Find creative thinkers

One of the functions of Industry 4.0 is to empower machines with the ability to analyze large amounts of data so they can find unexpected trends. However, capitalizing on these discoveries will take high levels of creativity, which is a skill that the machines may never have. You need your people to teach the machines how to optimize properly.

  • Look for a background in customer service

Often, companies check for customer service experience only in customer-facing jobs, so you may find it odd to hire for customer service in a role with no client contact. However, since one of the largest tasks of connected devices in Industry 4.0 is to predict and anticipate customer desires, it can help to have a workforce with a highly developed sense of empathy for the customer’s needs. Again, this is a skill the machines are unlikely to ever develop.

An Open Future Is Powered by Open Minds

The most important asset to look for in your new hires is the willingness to work with machines in a mutually beneficial capacity.

Good news! This is an area in which Millennials, the largest group entering the workforce, truly shine. In fact, Millennial hires are perfect for driving the charge into Industry 4.0.

Though the Millennial workforce has been much maligned for some of their work habits, we can definitely all agree that these young idealists have a deeper relationship with their technology than us older folks.

Whereas Generation X and the Baby Boomers have an inherent distrust of technology (perhaps borne from having too many important documents “eaten” by malfunctioning computers), the Millennials truly believe that technology can change the world for the better – and they’re willing to work directly with the machines to make that better world a reality.

In a future in which we give machines the power to think and act on our behalf, it’s important that we also have humans willing to work closely with the machines, helping to guide them toward an even deeper understanding of what humans want and need.

The companies that can train their technology to accurately predict customer desires will be the new digital disruptors in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and, with the right workforce, you can become one of those companies. Don’t let delayed tech hiring hold you back from the success you deserve.


Contact ISG to learn how easy it can be to hire your tech dream team. With the right recruiter, you’ll know you can always fill your tech positions, now and in the future.