For our latest research project, which we ran in partnership with ServiceMax from GE Digital our focus was to see what the field service engineer of the near future will look like. In the first three features of our analysis, our focus was on the changing face of the field service engineer as we see an ageing Baby Boomer workforce reaching retirement age being replaced by a new wave 'millennial' field service workers
In the first feature, we looked at the threat of the ageing workforce and the changes in training methodologies that are emerging. In part two we explored if and if and how field service companies are utilising their experienced field service engineers to train the incoming generation and in part three we asked if field service companies were reacting quickly enough to these challenges.
Now as we change tack, we explore the role technology has to play in attracting and developing new field service engineers
There is also a detailed white paper outlining the wider findings of this report which is available to fieldservicenews.com subscribers...
The field service sector is changing rapidly.
Not only are technologies constantly emerging that continue to enable field service organisations to push the boundaries of service excellence, but as we saw in our last article in this research series, the shift from an ageing workforce of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age and the Millennial generation coming in to replace them heralds an unprecedented change in culture within field service companies across each sector and in every corner of the globe.
However, one thing is certain this change is happening, it is happening on a large scale and the pace of the change is increasing day by day, week by week and year by year.
Almost half (48%) of the companies we surveyed admitted that the threat an ageing workforce poses to their business is either significant or severe. Those companies who are slow to react may find themselves with a potential crisis on their hands in the not too distant future - in fact almost half (48%) of the companies we surveyed admitted that the threat an ageing workforce poses to their business is either significant or severe.
In a previous part of this research analysis, we reported that not only did most companies acknowledge the potential threat to their service operations but also that they had identified that they would need to change their recruitment and training policies to make them a more attractive proposition to Millennials.
Yet at the same time, the majority of companies had so far failed to make any real changes in how they approached these dual challenges.
Now in this second half of our analysis, we explore the potential benefits of harnessing technology as a tool to attract, retain and develop talent from the Google Native generation.
Does technology attract talent?
One of the key findings of the research that we revealed in our first article in this series was that the role of the field service engineer is evolving into one which has multiple skill requirements.
Taking this into account, attracting the best talent to an organisation is of course highly important process for any field service company – but what role does technology play in making a service organisation an attractive option for the brightest and best recruits?
We asked our respondents if they felt that those companies who are harnessing technology such as mobility tools and Field Service Management systems to empower their field service engineers are likely to be more attractive to potential new recruits.
Here we saw a real even split of opinions. We gave our respondents three options to this question which were:
- Yes – we find that our adoption of FSM technology is a key factor in recruiting future FSEs
- Yes – but currently our adoption of FSM technology is limited and this could have a negative impact on our recruitment drives.
- No – we find that there are other more important factors such as salary levels and holidays etc.
In fact, the responses were almost perfectly split across the three options.
34% of respondents stated that they felt that adoption of technology was likely to make them more attractive but they felt they current solutions were limited, whilst 33% answered with both of the other options.
The consensus then is that technology does certainly have a role to play in attracting new talent to a field service organisation, even if a sizable section of companies feel their own levels of technology are not currently sufficient to fully take advantage of this fact.
Want to know more? There is also a detailed white paper outlining the wider findings of this report which is available to fieldservicenews.com subscribers...
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