Automotive

Accelerating progress with innovative talent solutions

Never has there been a more dynamic era in the automotive industry. Autonomous driving, connected vehicle technologies, ride sharing, new mobility services, active safety technologies and hybrid and electric vehicles: the automotive industry is now all about technology. As technology continues to disrupt the commercial and consumer automotive markets, businesses need to begin planning, starting with their human capital. In the next few years, many automotive leaders will be retiring and taking their knowledge and experience with them, leaving behind a tremendous leadership vacuum. Few players in the industry have adequate bench strength to fill these critical roles.

Korn Ferry knows that the greatest challenge facing the automotive industry isn’t technology: it’s the workforce. That’s why we’ve hired the most experienced consultants in the industry—and we’ve handled more than 4,600 engagements in the automotive sector alone. Our global automotive team has worked with some of the most prominent multinational corporations, private equity investors and startups in the world, from automakers to suppliers to the aftermarket.

We’ve helped our clients build boards and recruit some of the most successful CEOs in the automotive industry. We’ve guided manufacturers through cultural transformation and digitization. Whatever the challenge, our automotive consultants are ready to help your company accelerate through it.

Whatever the challenge, our automotive consultants are ready to help your company accelerate through it.

What we do

Our automotive consultants can help you attract, develop, and retain best-in-class talent for your organization. The enterprise leadership of the future will both maximize organizational performance and  transform the business for the future.

Adjusting to constant disruptions in the market requires an agile pipeline of leadership talent prepared to weather the storm. We work with you to assess the full spectrum of your talent-related needs. 

Where we can help

Your performance and results are what matters. We partner with you to continually evolve and optimize to reflect the changing needs of your business. We have helped our automotive, commercial vehicles and recreational vehicle clients, including more than 150 leading clients spanning OEMs and component manufacturers around the globe, address challenges like these.

Acquiring the right mix of talent

Electronics have replaced mechanical engineering as the prime driver of automotive features and specifications. As consumers have grown accustomed to swift upgrades by makers of their smartphones and tablets, they’ve started expecting the same of car manufacturers. Companies need to develop different skills in the workforce to achieve this: they need employees who understand software, not just hardware. But often, top technology talent opts for other industries over manufacturing, creating a talent vacuum. That also means that automakers have a difficult time recruiting diverse talent, especially women and people of color, given traditional stereotypes surrounding the industry.

Our consultants help automotive clients overcome talent-based challenges every day. We tap into the global talent market, helping automakers find skilled professionals at every level in every major market in the world. We also help organizations position themselves to attract new talent, including through diversity and inclusion initiatives. Once organizations have acquired the talent they need, we help to strengthen their workforce with the skills and competencies that they need for today as well as tomorrow.

Pivoting through the digital transformation

Automobiles today are more about features like connectivity and electronics-based convenience than about enhanced engine performance and road handling. As electronics have replaced mechanical engineering as the prime driver of features and specifications, those who work in the industry need new competencies. The shift in skills already has been enormous, as reflected by the entry of new players in the industry, including Tesla and Google.

To deal effectively with rising levels of disruptive industry change, automakers and suppliers need a talent strategy that seeks to identify and develop leaders equipped with the requisite skills and capabilities. We help automakers build talent strategies that align with their strategic objectives and culture. We also create talent profiles that define the skills and core capabilities essential to thriving in the new digital future of work. Then we assess your workforce against these profiles, so you can determine the best path forward: reskilling and upskilling your employees to meet new needs or recruiting new talent to address gaps.

Realigning the organization to match your needs

Change is disrupting the auto industry at a breakneck pace. As digitization and other trends take hold, many automakers are adopting new business models and strategies. But many organizations don’t account for how these changes will affect the shape and composition of their workforce.

Our experienced automotive consultants engage in strategic workforce planning, helping our clients align their organizational and talent strategies. We advise automakers on how to choose the optimal structure and cost optimization strategy for their business, whether that’s right-sizing, outsourcing or insourcing. We also work with businesses to improve their employee engagement strategies, elevating the productivity and efficiency of their workforce, and devising Executive Compensation plans that reward and retain employees.

Improving diversity and inclusion throughout the organization

Women make up half of the U.S. labor force, but they hold less than a quarter of the jobs in the automotive industry. The numbers are even more dire for women of color, who occupy roughly 10% of automotive jobs. And, although these numbers have risen from where they once were, few women reach the industry’s executive ranks: less than 20% of first-level managers and executives are female. The automotive industry is falling well short when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Our automotive consultants are ready to help you increase the diversity of your talent and leadership ranks. We’ll work with you to develop targeted, sustainable initiatives that are designed to recruit and develop more leaders who are female and of color. You’ll also be able to reach into a pool of more diverse candidates than ever before, using our extensive network and advanced assessment technology. We’ll also work with you to eliminate conscious and unconscious biases and foster an organization that embraces different leadership styles and motivators, welcoming a more diverse group of people to the next level.

Let us be part of your success story. Contact us to discover how we can help you drive new levels of performance. 

Let us be part of your success story

Contact us and see how our industry expertise can help you achieve your business goals.