Automakers haven’t made the best sales pitch in making employment seekers realize the auto industry in a good place to be in. It’s innovative, it’s competitive and someone is always pushing the limits on how far technology and engineering can go in the industry. Mark Reuss, GM’s global product development chief, has recognized this and has reversed the trend of seeing engineers as commodities.
“We were chasing (low-cost) labor markets with engineers. That’s a big mistake,” said Reuss. “Engineers, frankly, were treated as commodities.”
More and more engineering work has been outsourced to low-cost labor markets such as India in a search for experienced talent at bargain prices.
“It was assumed that (offshore) people could have the same capability of people who actually had the experience of engineering many cycles of something that required deep technical expertise,” Reuss continued.
When General Motors began searching for 500 new engineers, the company was surprised when it found bountiful talent in America with people who had the pedigree to match what they were looking for.
“We’re getting new engineers who want to work for us because we have exciting products,” Reuss said.
The procedure is a complete one-eighty on how things used to operate in Old GM, where after failing to meet sales goals in a quarter, the company would match the shortfall by axing its structural cost. That meant shedding engineers to keep itself afloat.
Reuss also explains how GM is even exceeding its recruiting goals from universities, with the University of Michigan in particular. He explains when he first came aboard two years ago, potential candidates thought very low of the company with minimal interest in joining GM. “Well, since then, we have exceeded our recruiting goals from U-M every year,” Reuss said.
For the entire story on Motor City’s renewed importance in the technology industry, and its engineers, visit the link here.