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How Auto Industry Can Attract, Retain Next-Gen Digital and Software Talent

Change and transformation are the new normal in the automotive and mobility worlds. Building more connected and diverse organizations that can act nimbly and are open and welcoming to talent coming from outside the industry is critical.


Wards Auto | April 16, 2020


Wards Auto

The Wards Auto article, “How Auto Industry Can Attract, Retain Next-Gen Digital and Software Talent,” was written by Russell Reynolds Associates Consultants Paul Stohr and Graham Ruddle, based on their paper, “Building a Future-Proof Automotive Leadership Team.” The article is excerpted below.

That the automotive industry is undergoing unprecedented change is not news. However, as the pace of change continues to intensify and accelerate, companies face a new set of challenges to stay ahead and remain successful.

As everyone in the automotive ecosystem races to bring new and different kinds of talent to the industry, strains are being put on leadership, organizational structures, ownership of new functions and company culture.

The accompanying paper explores these areas as they have grown from an influx of technical talent, particularly a move from hardware and electro-mechanical systems to an electronics and software-dominated world. Independent of the specific functional impetus, there are elements for success that are critical.

Leadership Buy-In:

  • For a company to prosper in today’s automotive industry, the vision, strategy and support for significant change needs to come from the top and become embedded in the organization.

  • The best organizations create employee networks, support and awareness that ease integration of new talent into the organization. This often includes direct participation by the CEO and most senior executives for employees at all levels.

  • The leadership team must understand the transition to an electronic and software-oriented business does not happen overnight and it requires significant organizational change. Those that have focused on redeployment of mechanically biased resources have found it challenging. Successful companies are willing to see through the transformation to its completion.

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How Auto Industry Can Attract, Retain Next-Gen Digital and Software Talent