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Just as industry trends are changing in additive manufacturing, so are hiring trends. Economic factors, the state of the industry, and industry consolidation are some of the factors that influence job creation in AM. Kensington Additive, a global research company specializing in the 3D printing industry, is here to share insights into how recent events, such as the pandemic recovery and rising inflation, are influencing the state of hiring and how the continued industrialization of AM is changing the nature of job demand.

How has the 3D printing market transformed, adapted and expanded

The additive manufacturing industry has seen steady growth in recent years. This can be seen in the 3D printing market and in the job market. There are 78% more active AM jobs in November 2022 compared to the same month in 2020with hotbeds of 3D printing talent in the United States such as Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Boston, Cincinnati and Texas. In Europe, the main countries are Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

AM has seen this continued growth primarily due to increased funding for AM companies and the recovery of the entire industry from the Covid-19 pandemic. At first, the pandemic boosted sales for companies like Siemens and GE, which were among the first to apply their 3D printing resources to produce much-needed PPE, such as face shields. Additionally, medical implant specialist Stryker completed an acquisition and expanded into the Australian market.

There are also broader hiring trends within the additive manufacturing industry that Kensington Additive has observed. According to Philip Hodson, co-founder and CEO of Kensington Additive, much of the demand for AM centered around technical capabilities. Those with the skills to develop AM processes and application engineers able to demonstrate customer business cases were most in demand. “However, once companies launched their products into the market, there was obviously a huge push for trade professionals,” he explains. “We always see this curve, depending on where companies are in their 3D printing journey.”

AM has matured considerably. It has moved from the heavily technology-based focus it had in the beginning, when technical experts focused on prototyping on a case-by-case basis, to an evolution towards a broader approach to applying AM to product groups. in industrial markets or consider AM as a viable part. manufacturing alternative in some cases. Vast sums of investment capital have been injected into the industry over the past 20 years, and now is the time to realize the business rewards and further push ROI through business cases and more applications. wide.

This is seen in the growing demand for companies to hire experts in sales, account management, supply chain and operations. In other words, people who can optimize and scale value chains and ultimately help AM companies achieve full industrialization.

What will 2023 look like?

As 2022 draws to a close, Kensington Additive looks to 2023 and forecasts the trends in the AM industry. The state of individual industries and global economic trends will influence the growth of additive manufacturing and labor demand.

Using aviation as an example, the company foresees a continued rebound from the decline of Covid-19. Looking at the two major Western manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, as they seek to recover from the severe global impact of Covid-19, ongoing supply chain and production issues. The two major OEMs are working to rebuild deliveries, with Boeing focusing on the 737 MAX and 787 and Airbus focusing on narrow-body deliveries of the A220 and A320.

In 2021, the two OEMs combined delivered 898 aircraft with the aim of significantly increasing that number in 2022 as they intend to produce over 1,100 aircraft. Both outfitters are looking to increase those numbers in 2023 with the aim of achieving a full recovery in the years to come. The ripple effect of this in the supply chain will be significant and will surely increase the demand for employment in the Boeing and Airbus supply chains, with a good proportion being heavily AM-focused.

The medical and healthcare markets are expected to continue to grow, especially in areas where AM plays a key role, such as orthopedics, dental and bio-printing.

AM oil and gas market opportunities are still considerable and are expected to increase despite high regulation which drives a cautious approach to the adoption of new technologies, especially in what we see as a challenging future economic climate. Industrial tooling continues to grow, with many companies changing the way they manufacture by adopting AM for tooling and fixtures. These apps continue to be strong growth opportunities given their highly customizable features. However, predicting how PESTLE factors affect demand here is extremely difficult given the case-by-case specific aspects.

Of course, we have to take into account the impending energy crisis and the dramatic increases in energy costs, especially across Europe. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the decline in Russian gas and fossil fuel exports and the ensuing supply chain disruptions will inevitably influence the ability of businesses to grow.

Rising interest rates could also limit growth, especially for companies that borrow or lend money. In the United States, the federal rate is expected to increase to 4.5% by the end of 2022 and reach 5% in 2023. AM companies will therefore face higher interest rates on loans, which could lead to budget cuts and layoffs .

Given the global economic landscape influenced by rising inflation rates and supply chain challenges, there is no doubt that AM job creation will be affected in the coming year. Already, we have seen that some of the larger players in the AM industry have become more conservative in their growth strategy. That said, many of Kensington’s SMBs and startup partners have solid growth plans for 2023. They are actively looking to expand their teams and make greater use of the recruiter’s services.

Another influential factor, particular to AM, is the trend towards industry consolidation. Mergers and acquisitions in 2021 and 2022 have resulted in potentially fewer opportunities. However, companies with a strong value proposition in their specific AM vertical will continue to thrive in 2023.

Kensington Additive Trends

What are customers looking for when it comes to hiring 3D printing talent?

As a recruitment specialist in additive manufacturing, Kensington Additive has a unique vision of the needs of its customers. In fact, understanding the nuances of the AM industry allows Kensington Additive to source prospects and candidates with specific skills and experiences that meet or exceed their clients’ expectations.

“We are a long-term partner for clients, helping them succeed throughout their recruitment process,” the company says. “A long-term partnership means we can apply a more profitable model focused on volume hiring. In other words, the more placements, the lower the cost per placement. This approach is ideal in an environment where cost control is a priority and where hiring and growth are key strategic points. In addition, this model is also conducive to a longer recruitment guarantee, which reduces the risk for our clients.

The costs of a bad hire can have a significant impact on a company’s trajectory and growth, something many companies have little clarity on when considering all the factors involved. The cost of hiring is only part of the overall cost when you consider onboarding, supervisor time associated with on-the-job training, and unproductive hours associated with not having this position. does not add value. Breaking down these costs is important when hiring, and selecting the right methodology to hire correctly is fundamental to achieving long-term success where the employee maximizes value for the organization. This is an important factor in all organizations, but more so in startups where every hire is essential because skills and competencies are wide and varied. It is well documented that replacing an executive can cost a company up to 213% of their salary.

Ultimately, Kensington Additive understands that customers are looking for employees who add value immediately and over the long term. Using the latest recruitment assessment tools and techniques, such as video interviews, skills profiling, and a deep understanding of their clients’ culture, helps ensure the right candidate is found and hired. is able to add value and stick to the intangible glue or in other words the culture for the long term. Our mission is to achieve the mission of our clients by hiring the best talents in the world.

This article was published in collaboration with Kensington Additive.


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