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These days, graduates with the skills required to develop autonomous and electric vehicle technologies are in high demand. And when it comes to what they’re looking for in their careers developing the next generation of transportation, topping the list are ‘trustworthy’ employers who offer career advancement opportunities. That’s the finding of a recent study by collegiate engineering competition EcoCAR, which surveyed university students across the US and Canada to gain an inside look at what these sought-after graduates want from their future careers and employers. “Automotive and technology companies are looking for the next echelon of talent and the challenges they face in hiring and retaining engineers has become a major topic of discussion,” said Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “The EcoCAR findings provide companies with an understanding of what these students want from their employers and careers. Those who take notice will surely gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent.” Send me Driverless Weekly Email The survey’s objective was threefold: to learn what candidates are looking for in an employer; to find where candidates are looking for job opportunities; and to discover who influences candidates in their employment decisions. When considering an employer, nearly all those questioned said that an employer offering career advancement opportunities (98%), having a wage or salary that is competitive (97%) and offering learning and development opportunities (96%) are important attributes. For a company to stand out, students are looking for an employer that is trustworthy (99%), has a strong, credible reputation (97%) and is known for being innovative (96%). Location is also important for graduates, with companies based in desirable cities or regions, and offering proximity to affordable, safe housing scoring highly. According to those polled, it’s important that the company’s location is safe (61%), that it’s close to where the student plans to live and offers a short commute (59%), and that it’s in an interesting area (56%). Autonomous and electric vehicle job opportunities key to securing top talent The survey found that, when it comes to the automotive industry, students are particularly interested in pursuing careers that focus on the autonomous capabilities and electrification of vehicles. As they advance in their chosen profession, students hope to be able to advance vehicles’ autonomous capabilities and to help them rely more on electricity for propulsion. Nearly four in 10 students would be interested in working for any of the three industry business types – manufacturer, start-up and supplier – while just over a quarter (28%) say they only want to work for an automotive manufacturer. As a result, the majority of students would consider a job at a supplier or start-up. “With the increase in technology content in vehicles, we’re seeing students focus on how they can contribute to the development of that technology, regardless if that’s with a manufacturer or supplier or a non-traditional player in the mobility market,” said Kristen Wahl, director of the EcoCAR programme. “The insights revealed from this study are beneficial for recruiters because, by surveying EcoCAR students, we’re going straight to the source of the best and brightest STEM talent entering the workforce.” Searching for autonomous and electric vehicle jobs When it comes to finding the right job, the study found that job searches begin online, but connections are made in person. As they research potential employers, four-fifths of those questioned (83%) said that they examine company websites, with 58% studying LinkedIn and 56% exploring Glassdoor. The poll found that nearly two-thirds of respondents also use on-campus career fairs to search for job openings. Recruits also follow companies on social media and say they are most likely to engage with these companies’ articles and videos, ahead of infographics and blog posts. They also consult friends and family about their job hunt (70%), along with mentors (54%) and classmates (50%). Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
Mobility technology company Aptiv has announced plans to open an engineering lab in Westfield, Indiana, bringing dozens of highly-skilled jobs to the local area.  The company’s engineering lab will focus on developing next-generation technology for connected vehicles. Aptiv plans to bring 50 highly-skilled jobs to Westfield with annual salaries of approximately $80,000. Engineers in the lab will work on environmental testing, product/material analysis and on-vehicle development.  “The team at Aptiv will be working on future-focused technology and I could not be more excited to welcome them to Westfield,” said Mayor Andy Cook.  Send me Driverless Weekly Email “These are exactly the types of high-tech investments we have been working to attract. This is a statement that our community can attract a diverse workforce to support this kind of innovation.” “Aptiv is leading the development of advanced technologies that will make the world safer, greener, and more connected,” said A.J. Lasley, Director of Advanced Safety & User Experience at Aptiv.  “We chose Westfield due to its location, business-friendly environment and quality of life. We want to thank Mayor Cook for his support and look forward to being a part of Westfield’s community.” Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
In a regular series of interviews, we speak to autonomous vehicle industry recruiters  to find out what they're looking for in candidates, how their recruitment process typically works and what advice they’d give to those pursuing a career in autonomous and connected vehicles. In our latest Q&A, we catch up with Gilles Simeon, HR Business Partner / Talent Acquisition Manager at mobility services platform Bestmi le. 1. Can you tell us a bit about Bestmile and the roles you typically recruit for? We mainly recruit technology profiles, ideally people with a computer science, math, or data science background (MS or PhD), and/or that are well versed in Scala programming and algorithm development. In addition to skills and experience we put a lot of emphasis on hiring people with the right mindset and drive. Our engineers have to be good communicators, team oriented, supportive and able to connect their technical roles with our business goals. 2. What types of candidate should apply to Bestmile? Individuals with a positive outlook, skilled but humble, and with a good sense of humor!  Someone who is more likely to use the "we" than "I". 3. How does the recruiting process usually work at Bestmile? We hold between four and five interviews, all registered in our ATS, and give a technology assignment or test, which can take days to be completed! 4. What experience or expertise do you value most in applicants? We want people that are at the top of their disciplines, so that we can always get better, move faster, and grow stronger. We value a solutions mindset, being team-oriented and easy to work with, and with strong EQs and IQs. // 5. How much competition is there for the best candidates? In order to work in Switzerland you must be Swiss or an EU Passport holder. For the others the process to get a work permit is much more complicated. So, it makes our pool of candidates smaller. 6. What mistakes do candidates typically make during the application/interview process? Some of them have not spent enough time to get a clear understanding of what Bestmile is doing. Or they don’t ask more questions about "why" we are doing what we are doing. We like curious people. 7. What skills do you think will be most important for candidates as the autonomous and connected vehicles sector develops? The market is developing and there are not a lot of candidates with experience in this specific market segment. Candidates have to be very technically skilled but amongst skilled engineers, we would pick the ones with the right attitude and compatibility with the team. 8. How many roles do you expect to recruit for over the next twelve months? Around 10 positions, mainly technical positions. 9. What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking to build a career in autonomous and connected vehicles? It is a good time to apply and you will be given the opportunity to join an exciting, rapidly growing industry due to the scarcity of profiles coming from this sector. We are at the beginning of what is expected to be massive growth in the mobility business, which will provide you with many opportunities in the future. 10. Finally, what would attract someone to develop their career at Bestmile? Our company is not going to have an impact only on our industry, but also on larger social, economic, and environmental issues. For people that want their work to make a difference, this industry in general and Bestmile in particular can help you to achieve your goals.   Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
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