According to a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association, the global semiconductor market reached a record high of $464 billion in 2020, and is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. [X] This growth has been fueled by the increasing demand for semiconductor-enabled technologies, such as smartphones, laptops, and data centers. However, this surge in demand has also led to a shortage of skilled workers in the industry. Boston Consulting Group predicts that the semiconductor industry will face a shortfall of 10,000 to 30,000 engineers in the coming years. [X] In response to these challenges, the US government has recently allocated $52 billion in funding for the semiconductor industry to address the talent shortage and maintain its competitiveness in the global market. [X] In this blog, Victoria Tchachnikova, TPD’s Semiconductor Industry Workforce Specialist will explore strategies for semiconductor companies to keep up with hiring demands and attract the best talent in this rapidly growing industry.
- Be transparent
This includes transparency about compensation, benefits and incentives, growth opportunities, the day-to-day of the role. If you're short-staffed and know that you'll be asking your employees to work extra hours while you ramp up, let them know! If they understand the circumstances, they're more likely to want to be part of the solution, and once hired they'll be more engaged and collaborative.
It’s also important, to be honest about the management style of supervisors within your company. This ensures you are hiring employees whose learning and working preferences align. For example, is your production manager somebody who does frequent check-ins, or are they somebody who works best with employees who are self-motivated?
- Create a positive candidate interview experience
When candidates have a positive interview experience with your company, they are more likely to recommend your company to others looking for jobs within their network, even if they themselves are ultimately not selected for the position. This also helps you build relationships with candidates who may not be a good fit for the position you’re hiring for now but may be suitable for future openings within your company.
At TPD, we provide our candidates with timely and responsive communication to show them that we respect their time, create a welcoming environment, provide feedback post-interviews, and follow up with them about future job openings, all to create a positive interview experience.
- Implement a strategic training program
The semiconductor industry is extremely saturated and it’s crucial for your organization to make strong and lasting impressions on your new hires. Having an organized training program, with clear learning objectives is a great way to make that first impression. Trainers make a big impact, so make sure you are selecting trainers that have strong leadership skills, and who are able to engage with a multitude of personalities and backgrounds. Having defined objectives and a clear training plan will help with employee retention and avoid additional hiring costs.
Consider how the skills you need may evolve over time as the industry reduces reliance on offshore manufacturing and as more experienced domestic staff retire, and create a plan for how to fill the skill gap, whether that be through strategic hiring, training, and development, or both.
- Communicate consistently with new hires
To make new hires feel welcome to your organization, connect with them prior to their first day so that they know what to expect. Don’t forget to cover the basics, from lunch options (brown bag or cafeteria?) to how to access the building. This is a great way to start building good relationships with your employees.
Continue checking in with new hires throughout their first few months to gauge whether your interview process does a thorough job of setting realistic expectations about the job. This is also a great way of ensuring that new hires feel seen and heard. Getting honest feedback from new employees, and implementing strategies based on constructive feedback will help with employee retention and ultimately reduce the need for further hiring efforts. Check out our free onboarding plan which helps you map out a new hire's first 90 days in your company to set them up for success!
- Define a career path
To keep employees engaged long-term, it’s important to clearly communicate performance expectations and what they need to achieve to advance within the company. For example: How does one move from Technician I to Technician II? Are there cross-training opportunities? And if so, what are the benefits of cross-training for the employee? Keep in mind that “advancement” doesn’t always need to be into leadership. For example, your best engineers may not excel at training and leading others, and those who do excel at training and leading others may not have the strongest technical skills. One client, an HR lead in the semiconductor industry, shares with us that the most successful leaders in their organization have a solid understanding of the bigger picture, with strong process management and problem-solving skills.
While entry-level production employees will always be needed, when they are ready to grow and branch out, you want them to do this with your company as opposed to looking externally.
- Offer tuition reimbursement
Offering tuition reimbursements is a great way to incentivize employees who are interested in advancing their skills to help them grow within your company. One of our Semiconductor clients provides tuition reimbursements of $5000/year along with a 2-year rebate.
It is also typical to have clauses in place to limit your liability, such as requiring that the employee pass the course with a minimum grade, or that they be employed for a certain period of time before becoming eligible.
- Have an easy employee referral program
Good people know good people! Referral bonuses are a great way to incentivize your existing employees to tell their friends, family, and network about the opportunities within your company. Our biggest tip would be to make the employee referral program easy to participate in. Some examples are by sharing QR codes or surveys with employees to submit their referrals in.
- Make your company top-of-mind for potential future employees
Well-known companies typically have larger pools of qualified and interested candidates that they can ultimately hire from. Get involved with potential future employees early! Whether this is partnering with middle schools, high schools, colleges, or other similar institutions. Programs that allow you to engage with the emerging workforce can help you build a strong pipeline of future hires who are not only familiar with your industry but also may prioritize your company over others because you were the one who helped build their interest in this field.
In conclusion, the semiconductor industry is rapidly growing, and companies are facing an increasing demand for talented professionals to maintain their competitiveness. By implementing the tips outlined in this blog, companies can attract and retain the best talent in the industry. At TPD, we have over 40 years of experience in hiring top talent for semiconductor companies. We work with some of the biggest multinational companies in the industry and are dedicated to providing high-quality recruiting services to our clients.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company keep up with hiring demands and stay ahead of the competition.