A sector defined by solutions, not verticals - TechTalent April 23
26 Apr 2023 by Joel Hard

A sector defined by solutions, not verticals - TechTalent April 23

Welcome to the new Gerrell & Hard newsletter: a way for you to follow and interact with us as we share our take on the talent, trends and technologies that make our sector so fascinating. To ensure you receive our newsletter every month, hit the subscribe button on LinkedIn.

I want to use this edition to talk about how our markets (and our role in them) are changing. We’ve always adapted our model to respond to customer needs, and increasingly find ourselves partnering with clients to identify how specific skillsets can solve problems that cross market boundaries.

Solving problems

While some of our customers operate in traditional markets, the rise in technology businesses whose products and services cross vertical boundaries is one of the defining trends of our sector.

Many of the most exciting growth technologies are now designed by multidisciplinary organisations whose focus is solving society’s problems, wherever they may be. Meanwhile, old verticals are morphing into new territories: the automotive sector is addressing wider questions about mobility (from the rise of hydrogen and EV fleet and trucks, as we see with HVS (Hydrogen Vehicle Systems) and Volta Trucks) to the diversification of older brands. WAE is a case in point: steeped in F1 heritage, it’s now helping to electrify rail systems and design mobility programmes.

Talent is crossing borders

Former Dyson chief Jim Rowan is now CEO of Volvo Cars, hired because the brand needed expertise in digital transformation and consumer product innovation. And Dyson replaced him with an automotive expert: Roland Krueger, former president of Infiniti/Nissan. The automotive sector remains best-in-class for engineering processes and automotive engineers are in demand everywhere.

What’s driving candidates?

New generations of jobseekers are asking, “What real-world problems can I solve, and how quickly?” Employers that address those questions exert a powerful appeal for jobseekers today.

Engineering jobseekers have a new open-mindedness to changing technologies or sectors. Add to that a dramatic increase in hybrid working and a rise in satellite offices and there are few barriers to prevent people from switching markets. You can live in the north and work for a tech company in London. Candidates are also asking:

  • How passionate am I about the problem I am solving?
  • Has my project got the right backing from government or investors?
  • Does this employer allow flexible working?

Technologists today: asking the big questions

As it becomes increasingly fluid, our sector is defined more by questions than markets.

Instead of seeking someone with experience of building a specific component a technology employer today might ask, “who out there has solved a comparable issue in a different market?”

And there are bigger questions that will define our sector’s (and our own) future. What kind of mobility solutions do we want in our cities? What technological movements will we embrace? How do we transport a growing population around the world whilst reducing our environmental impact?

These are the questions technologists and engineers ask themselves today, and those questions keep the G&H team on its toes! What do you think are the biggest changes impacting on talent and hiring in tech?

What caught our attention this month

Coming soon(ish) to a MINI near you? An intelligent assistant called Spike.

A team of organic chemists and engineers from Linköping University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, has demonstrated that working transistors can be made from treated wood.

Our partners

We’re proud to supply some of the most non-traditional tech disruptors in the sector, as well as some established favourites! Read more about our partners.


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