The 2011 European Job-Day on the 1st of October 2011 in Brussels attracted over 10,000 visitors, and the Our Future Mobility Now team was there to meet them in a special ‘Automotive Village’. The huge annual recruitment event hooks up the thousands of young job seekers with eager recruiters, offering the chance to meet, interview and even get a job with a diverse range of employers.
The Automotive Village, was home to 6 major automotive manufacturers, Daimler, Volvo, Iveco, DAF, Fiat and Janguar-Land Rover. Hundreds of young people queued up to have a chance to speak to industry representatives. The village also promoted the Our Future Mobility Now initiative. At the end of the day, each of the companies had collected over 200 CVs!
During the day Our Future Mobility Now held a workshop, during which each manufacturer gave a short presentation about their values and their appeal to young graduates. It didn’t look like they needed to persuade people too hard: the queues of young people lined up to talk to a recruiter attest to the draw of the industry.
Young people and the industry
Ahmed, one of the Our Future Mobility Now delegates visiting the Job-Day, told us that he thinks young people want to be part of the automotive industry because “there are exciting and interesting changes taking place in what until recently felt like a very static industry. More and more, cars are becoming interfaces for mobility, offering an improved user experience.”
Another young adult, Kyle,25, said “Automotive gets the world moving – ever since the invention of the car, the pace of technological development has sped up, cultures have been mixed and changed, and the world has become a smaller and more diverse place” says Kyle, a young European with a passion for cars. “Everything changed since the car – and I want to be part of that”.
With a Bachelor’s in Physics and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Kyle is just the kind of young person that the automotive industry competes for. “I think that I have the right skills to make the difference in this competitive sector.”
On the other side of the interview table, recruiters interviewed each of the young people that come to see them. We spoke to a few from the different companies to see what they look for in their fresh recruits.
Giancarlo, a recruiter at Fiat, put it clearly. “We look for dynamism, flexibility and an international profile. But most of all we look for a passion for automotive.”
Some firms look for specific hard skills – at DAF trucks, recruiter Loes, confirmed the severe shortage of engineers “only recently we needed 50 production and mechanical engineers – it was immensely difficult to find qualified people.”
Other companies are less strict on specific hard skill sets, depending on the sector. Marie-Pierre Saint-Viteux, VP Human Resources Management at Volvo Construction Equipment, tells us: “ We believe in young people . They have fantastic energy ; they are passionate and respectful. We run a Young Graduate program to help promising young potential leaders to identify where their preferences really lie. All profiles interest us, even though, being in the construction sector, we like discovering new talents in engineering , economy and mathematics .”
The Volvo Construction Equipment Young Graduate program is one of many such schemes run in large global companies across all sectors of the economy. Volvo Construction Equipment is particularly competitive: in Sweden, there are as many as a thousand applicants per year. The Volvo Construction Equipment scheme hires 20-30 people a year, and is a 12 month programme which takes talented graduates with diverse nationalities and academic backgrounds and tests them in a variety of different business operations. Opportunities are available all over the world, and include a three month mission abroad.
IVECO were straightforward: “We don’t look for particular hard skills” says Federica, recruiter at the IVECO stand. “The skills taught in university and what we actually need a bit different. What is important is that applicants are honest and humble about their abilities, open-minded and flexible.”
During the day Daimler gave a presentation, explaining the company and its values. As a leading firm, they look for people with passion, integrity, who are disciplined and have respect for the company and for their colleagues.
The comments of the companies at the Job-Day echoed the views heard at the Frankfurt Motor show in September. On that occasion, BMW careers told us that they “like young people to want to come to BMW with the idea of building a career. We value loyalty, honesty and sociability.” These differences of approach signal that for a young person in search of an automotive career, there is a place for everyone.
By the sounds of it though, one has to start early: engineering as an academic choice has to be selected while still at school – and it’s what the automotive industry is looking for most. Beyond that, applicants should be honest, open-minded, flexible, respectful, and have a passion for what they’re doing, but after that it’s up to the young applicant to shine at interview.
With over 10000 visitors, the annual Brussels European Job-Day 2011 was host to nearly 50 employers. Held in the Berlaymont on the 1st of October 2011, it provided the opportunity for job-seekers to interact with employers. 75% of visitors were under 30 and 69% of the total were actual job-seekers.