How to Quickly Scale Teams in the Chips and Semiconductor Industry

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A semiconductor is a material that can conduct electricity only under certain conditions. A chip is a small piece of semiconductor material that has been etched with a circuit pattern.

The current global demand for chips exceeds production. Chips are incredibly complex to produce, making a chip one of the most capital-intensive manufacturing processes in the world.

Semiconductor fabrication plants (fabs) are equipped with a multitude of valuable and sophisticated equipment. These highly specialized machines need to achieve precision at a miniature scale, and producing a single chip can require hundreds of process steps.

When a new fab is constructed—a multi-year process that costs billions of dollars—utilization depends on hiring the thousands of qualified field service engineers needed to keep it running. Rushing this process can be costly.

This article examines the risks of scaling chips and semiconductors teams too quickly and explains the benefits of hiring an experienced staffing agency to facilitate the process.

Barriers to Successfully Scaling Chips and Semiconductors Teams Quickly

After billions were invested into a new fab and its equipment, the pressure to scale a team quickly is formidable. While this sense of urgency is understandable, hiring too quickly can lead to problems in the short and long term.

Here are four risks companies face in scaling their chips and superconductors teams too quickly.

1. Hiring Unsuitable Workers

In a rush to hire quickly, it’s easy to focus on quantity over quality. But overlooking critical factors such as skills, cultural fit, and potential growth can lead to an underperforming team. Less suitable hires can strain other team members, leading to burnout and poor morale.

2. Neglecting Employee Onboarding

The onboarding process can easily be overlooked in the chaos of scaling chips and semiconductors teams quickly. Onboarding plays a critical role in setting the stage for new hires to succeed within the organization. An inadequate onboarding process can result in higher turnover rates.

3. Hiring Solely on Technical Skills

When building a team of service engineers, an emphasis on technical skills is natural. It can be tempting to accept everyone capable of doing the job, particularly if you need to scale rapidly.

Technical proficiency, knowledge, and experience are essential factors. However, an exclusive focus on hard skills can overlook important soft skills such as adaptability, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork.

The result can be a team that struggles to resolve conflicts and adapt to new challenges or that fails to collaborate effectively.

4. Failing to Consider Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The perspectives, experiences, and skillsets of a diverse team result in greater innovation, better problem-solving, and improved team performance. Remembering to foster DEI during the hiring and onboarding process creates a robust and capable workforce.

How a Staffing Agency Can Find Quality Candidates to Help You Scale Rapidly

Here are a few of the ways partnering with an experienced staffing agency helps avoid the risks of scaling.

1. Use Established Systems to Make Solid Hiring Decisions

A staffing agency will help you clearly define roles and requirements before starting the hiring process. This helps streamline the search and target ideal candidates for the role and organization.

A staffing company follows a thorough and well-structured interview process to assess technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and cultural fit. By the end of the interview process, the hiring team will have a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

This intentional, well-established approach implemented by experienced recruiters and hiring managers means you build a high-performing team equipped to take on the challenges that come when an organization scales rapidly.

2. Handle Onboarding Paperwork for You

With an expert staffing agency to handle the hiring and onboarding processes for you, your teams can focus on operations. A well-structured onboarding plan provides new hires with an introduction to the team and its processes, as well as an overview of the company culture and values. It includes any required training and a clear outline of their job responsibilities.

When employees have this information upfront, they understand the job expectations and start strong on day one. By understanding their roles and responsibilities quickly, they can integrate into the existing team.

3. Ensure Your Team Is Well-Rounded

A staffing agency has the experience and knowledge to delve beyond technical skills and elicit the soft skills that are vital for success. They can incorporate behavioral questions into the interview process. These questions elicit unscripted answers that provide insights into a candidate’s experiences working in teams, handling conflicts, or adapting to changes or new technologies.

The staffing agency will also take the extra steps that an in-house hiring team is often too overwhelmed to consistently include. For example, asking follow-through questions to references that focus on interpersonal skills.

By hiring well-rounded candidates as you rapidly scale chips and semiconductors teams, you create a more harmonious working environment. You also get a team more able to tackle complex challenges.

4. Intelligently Build DEI into the Hiring Process

A diverse, equitable, and inclusive team can be more creative, resourceful, and able to excel in the face of challenges. Here are a few of the ways a staffing agency can intelligently approach DEI in the hiring process.

  • Create job descriptions that attract diverse candidates
  • Address unconscious bias by implementing blind hiring practices
  • Provide consulting and support for employee resource groups (ERGs)
  • Set data-driven goals for DEI

Diversity, equity, and inclusion can seem like buzzwords, but they have a real and measurable impact on the culture, resilience, and capabilities of your team. When you are rapidly scaling a team to increase utilization, you want individuals who can excel at the technical duties, but you also want a team that can overcome challenges and work together to ensure smooth operations.

Formed within the limits of the pool of available candidates and the goals of the organization, a diverse, equitable, and inclusive team is more vibrant, innovative, and adaptable.

Rapid Scaling Done Well

Quickly scaling chips and semiconductors teams to increase the utilization of an existing or newly constructed fab is daunting. By partnering with an experienced team of expert recruiters, you free your current staff to focus on management and operations.

With more than 20 years in the staffing industry and over 800 Fortune 1000 clients, Insight Global has the network and experience to help large companies scale quickly and successfully. With local offices in many cities throughout the country, we have our pulse on top talent. To find out more about how we can help you scale your teams rapidly, ensuring excellence at every step, connect with our team.