4 Ways to Fill the Talent Gap in the Semiconductor Industry

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of chip and semiconductor shortages were plastered across news outlets and caused havoc. Car prices skyrocketed, production of new cars was scaled back, and electronic device releases were pushed, all because manufacturers could not produce the chips needed to manufacture consumer electronics. While things have improved, some chip shortages could remain through 2023 and into 2024, and it’s largely due to a shortage of talent and skilled workers in the semiconductor industry.

While potential talent shortage estimates vary widely, the projected semiconductor talent gap is vast. According to Deloitte, more than 100,000 skilled workers will need to be added to the industry worldwide annually, reaching over 1 million by 2030. Another estimate focused on doubling chip production within the United States suggests that the semiconductor industry needs to add 230,000 workers.

In the current labor market, employers and recruiters will need to get creative in their quest to find semiconductor talent within the massive talent gap that exists within the industry. Read on to learn more about how your company can overcome this major hurdle.

Text: Here's why the U.S. is investing so heavily in chips and semiconductors. Image: field service engineers in a fab.

 Upskill Current Workforce

Arguably, one of the easiest ways to fill talent gaps that exist in the industry is to invest in your current workforce and focus on upskilling. Employers should take stock of the specific skills and job gaps within their organization and evaluate what skills existing employees could learn to help bridge them. Furthermore, employers will need to be specific on which skills will need to be learned. They also need to ensure that the selected employees receiving upskilling can take on the new skills.

Reskilling or upskilling employees could involve a variety of tasks, including providing on-the-job training, formal external or classroom-based professional development courses, or larger in-house training programs. How your company may decide to employ an upskilling effort for your employee base will depend on your budget and time constraints. This may pay off quicker than hiring skilled employees outright, as it’s not always easy to find such candidates.

Develop New Talent

Another way employers across the country can overcome the semiconductor talent shortage is to focus less on hiring employees that already have the necessary skills. Instead, you can focus more on finding entry-level employees who are eager to learn the technical, hands-on skills required in the semiconductor industry. This strategy is similar to that of upskilling your current workforce, but it addresses the need to bring more bodies into the industry. Many entry-level employees are eager to learn and acquire the necessary skills to excel at their job; they just need to be given a chance.

If you implement this strategy, consider partnering with experts in the semiconductor and chips educational industry (e.g., trade or technical colleges or traditional universities) to properly identify the right entry-level talent. Additionally, this partnership can ensure that the new hires will have the professional development support they need to grow their skills effectively.

Bolster Attraction and Retention Strategies

If you’re competing in the labor market to attract skilled workers, and you want to retain your top talent, you should evaluate your attraction and retention strategies. You’ll want to assess your workplace benefits, recruiting strategies, and other workplace perks (e.g., gym discounts or employee recognition programs).

The top workplace perks to improve attraction and retention include the following:

  • Workplace flexibility—Workers across the United States want to work for companies that support work-life balance by allowing workplace flexibility. This may come in the form of remote work, hybrid work, flexible hours, or alternative schedules. If it’s feasible for your business’s operations, consider allowing employees to add flexibility to their work schedule. Additionally, employers should consider revising paid time off programs to ensure that it meets industry standards.
  • Expansive health and wellness benefits—Many employers in the United States are required to provide health insurance, but employees want more than just insurance coverage. They look to their employer to provide mental health benefits, which could be achieved through a comprehensive employee assistance program and more ancillary perks, like a subsidized gym membership or onsite fitness centers. If you require employees to be onsite and provide food (e.g., catered lunches or vending machines), consider including healthy options to support wellness at work.
  • Career development—Many employees want to grow their skills and advance in their careers. By investing in and promoting training and development programs at your organization, you will attract new talent and entice current talent to stay at your company. Other options for investing in employee career development include sponsoring or paying for workshops, webinars, or conferences and creating department mentorship programs.

Please note these are general ways to improve your company’s attraction and retention efforts. Based on your budget and the size of your company, you may need to be strategic with the changes you make. However, investing in expanding certain areas of your workplace benefits can help you stay ahead of the competition and attract and retain top talent amid the skills shortage.

Partner With a Recruiting Agency

Despite your best efforts, you may find attracting and retaining top employees amid the semiconductor talent shortage difficult. That’s why it’s important to partner with the right recruiting agency that knows the market and can help you get the right employees into your organization. Insight Global has been helping companies recruit the best and brightest talent since 2001 and is here to help your business in the chip and semiconductor industry.

Don’t Delay Finding Ways to Overcome the Semiconductor Talent Shortage

The global economy depends on the chip and semiconductor industry, and demand for goods from this sector will only continue to grow. Finding ways to overcome the talent shortage is critical for moving forward. By considering upskilling current employees, investing in developing entry-level employees, and bolstering attraction and retention efforts, your business can successfully navigate the talent challenge.

Hire Semiconductor Talent with Insight Global

We can find you qualified candidates in as little as 48 hours. Questions? Call us toll-free: 855-485-8853