Justin Pritchard's and James Watson's trip to Houston to discuss recruitment and innovatio in the Digital Plant sector 2019

“Houston, we have no problem” – Digital Plant insights 2019

Justin Pritchard, Principal Consultant at FMC Global Talent within Smart Industry.
Justin Pritchard, Principal Consultant at FMC Global Talent within Smart Industry.

Collecting air miles

James & I recently visited our neighbors in Houston to experience the capital of digital transformation and recruitment in Digital Plant.

Alongside being sang to by Trenton (the hotels breakfast waiter) and bringing home a lifetime supply of pop tarts, the trip was quite the success!

The evolving workplace

2018 has marked the acceleration of Industry 4.0 and the digital revolution, where traditional industrial sectors are beginning to significantly invest in digital transformation.

Alongside software, the workplace environment is also evolving to incorporate new roles and accommodate the increasing demand for leading sales and technical talent around the world.

Our recent visit to Houston framed an interesting picture for recruitment in 2019, and alongside visiting some familiar faces, we gained some fascinating insights into the future of Digital Plant.

Longstanding partnerships

FMC Digital Plant has operated internationally for over 10 years, establishing relationships with some of the world’s largest software providers and consultancies for the process industries.

Houston has been a hotbed for innovation within the process industry for many years and is home to the world’s largest software vendors and consultancies.

We met talent and industry leaders in asset performance management, process manufacturing and energy consultancies to understand how digital transformation would affect the talent landscape in 2019.

Aside from gaining valuable insights, it was fantastic to catch-up with friends and associates!

2019 insights

It is predicted that 2019 will see further innovation and growth for software vendors, more adoption and integration of software by end-users and increased headcount.
Here’s what we found:

        • Many organisations we met highlighted plans to expand the team in the first two quarters of 2019.
        • Interestingly, global expansion remained a key point with new talent in Europe, APAC and LATAM highlighted.
        • Houston remains a hotbed for recruitment activity with demand outstripping supply for key skillsets including sales (new client acquisition) or domain knowledge such as asset performance management (APM).
        • No one has predicted a downturn in growth. In fact, the upcoming Jacobs and WorleyParsons merger was flagged as an indicator of market confidence.
        • 80% of companies we met highlighted talent acquisition as a potential barrier to growth in 2019.
        • Particular ‘hot skillsets’ for 2019 include operational efficiency in the refining community and related solutions providers.
        • Exploration and growth is anticipated for both the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea with US, UK and Norwegian companies planning expansion on both sides of the Atlantic, leading to opportunity for digital solution vendors as optimization and safety remain key for return on investment.

So, what does all this mean for recruitment in 2019? Thanks to continued software adoption and growth globally, talent acquisition will be a consistent theme throughout the year, particularly for candidates with software sales or hands-on industry experience.

FMC Digital Plant

Interested in learning more about our services? Open to a career move in 2019? Contact me at justin.pritchard@fmctalent.com or call me on +44 (0) 01522 812 443 for more information.