The demand for engineering and manufacturing roles returns

Klára Pethő, Country Manager of Reed Hungary, discusses the trends which will shape salary and benefits offerings across the Engineering sector in 2023.

4 minute read
Business Colleagues Having A Conversation

about 1 year ago

​In the aftermath of the pandemic, the engineering and manufacturing industries are beginning to bounce back. With a clearer focus on flexibility and loyalty, companies across the sector are looking to increase awareness around the breadth of available roles.

In addition, we’re seeing an increase in the demand for professionals and graduates, as competition for talent continues to rise and businesses look for professionals who are passionate and committed to innovating the future.

The sector is experiencing substantial post-pandemic growth, and as such it’s an exciting time for those looking to start their engineering and manufacturing journeys, and be part of an increasingly diverse workforce.

Analysing the market

Engineering and manufacturing businesses once again are looking at ways to attract and retain talent to ensure future innovation. We’re currently battling a skills shortage, hampered by an ageing workforce, an economic shift, and a lack of careers awareness across all roles and regions. That said, throughout the market, we’re seeing a significant increase in computer numerical control (CNC) machining jobs that were affected by the pandemic, with roles in the automotive and aviation industries returning to pre-pandemic levels.

There's been a large uptake in quality roles in the last year, including electronics engineering roles, as more and more businesses actively seek new recruits. The biggest challenge for employers will be in how they promote opportunities. A larger focus on finding creative ways to attract and sway jobseekers to take up a new challenge is paramount.

There’s also a need to upskill and reskill the current workforce, which includes both digital skills and the ability to work across multiple disciplines.

Klára Pethő

Engineering Recruitment Expert

Similarly, external candidates now have a multitude of options open to them in an increasingly digitised sector, and are encouraged to take time to research different career paths and potential employers.

It’s important for professionals to have a clear understanding of roles, duties and company expectations to ensure, when making make a move, that it’s the right one. Progression within the engineering and manufacturing sectors will depend on a candidate’s own ambitions and drive, alongside whether to progress down a technical, management or commercial pathway.

Resilient professionals

Due to surging inflation and rising energy prices gripping the nation, companies need to be mindful with their business models, especially when it comes to recruitment. For example, there have been some issues for manufacturers who are experiencing increased material prices and problems procuring the materials they need, which, in turn, has outlined the need to employ high-quality professionals who are able to navigate such situations.

Meanwhile, the engineering sector is establishing a culture of efficiency and resilience to connect and support new talent. Over the past 12 months, engineers have demonstrated their expertise, agility and adaptability in the face of adverse challenges created by rising demand.

As part of a talent retention strategy, companies should have a robust interview process in place to make sure they have allocated enough time to successfully recruit candidates – any delays in reviewing CVs, booking interviews and making offers will see jobseekers go elsewhere. The onboarding process should also support the candidate’s transition into their new job, to show that the business values and appreciates their contribution.

For those who are looking to move roles within the sector, it’s a great time to be an advocate for the industry and play a part in bridging the skills gap. Sharing knowledge, experience and passion through sector events, on-the-job training or social media, can help inspire those considering their career options.

The expectations on employers

Employees now have far greater expectations from their employers, and not necessarily just around remuneration. More recently, we’ve seen an increase in jobseekers look for enhanced benefits including flexible hours, job sharing, profit schemes, enhanced pensions and the ability to buy extra holiday. Engineering firms that can offer one or more of these benefits will increase their chances of attracting the best candidates.

Of those benefits, flexibility is a relatively new concept in manufacturing, due to the majority of duties needing to be carried out onsite. To counteract this, many firms are now offering flexible working around core operating hours to open up the candidate pool further, while job sharing has also become prevalent.

Engineers still favour additional benefits over salary, with industry professionals now seeming to prioritise stability, loyalty and job security when looking at roles.

Employers are encouraged to review and evaluate current working conditions to offer employees a positive and inclusive work environment, which, at the same time, will enhance the ability to attract new talent.

Klára Pethő

Engineering Recruitment Expert, Reed

For more information on the engineering and manufacturing sectors recruitment market, download our free 2023 salary guide today.

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Rolling Wireless recruits software development team
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The challenge

Rolling Wireless, a global supplier of 4G and 5G modules for the automotive market, first chose Reed to help them fill a director role in 2021, which was swiftly done. The employer has offices around the world and was planning to open another in Hungary, led by their new Software Platform Director, Lajos Rancz, who was placed by talent scout, Anna Böröcz, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Reed. She explained: “After we found the ideal candidate in Lajos, we started working together to build the Hungarian software development team around him.” 

Lajos was looking to create a department of some 20-30 people and was keen to have Reed’s support and specialist tech knowledge. He said: “In the past, we tried to work with freelance head-hunters, but it was not very successful.” 

Anna was sure her team could provide the help Lajos needed, tailoring the service to the company’s budget and requirements. 

The solution

Anna sourced candidates mainly on LinkedIn, managing the hiring process with typical Reed professionalism: providing regular updates to all parties, careful to maintain “a quick reaction time and continuous feedback”.   

Hungary’s tech labour market has seen greater demands from jobseekers in terms of higher pay and the ability to work from home. Other than that, the search was straightforward, according to Anna: “I told prospective candidates the expectations of each role in detail, the tasks, and made sure they had similar experience to what was required.”  

Lajos added:

“We have now been working with Reed continuously since last autumn, recruiting the Hungarian development team, and have several Reed candidates working for us. We are happy with them, and they are a very good team.  

 “Overall, we’re very satisfied with our working relationship with Reed, who have provided us with quality candidates.”  

The results

The tech team is taking shape: so far, 11 candidates have received an offer from Rolling Wireless, of which eight have accepted.   

Of the outcome, Anna said: “Rolling Wireless is pleased with our service, which I am very happy about – I also really like working with them. The candidates are fitting in well and like their new workplace.”  

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“I can only confirm my positive experience. Frequent communication with Anna helped make the recruitment process a success – she ensured full contact between the company and me, quickly and accurately communicating messages and requests between us.” 

Gábor is also pleased with the development opportunities that his new role offers, which allows him to improve his English language skills through regular contact with foreign colleagues. He concluded: “I won't be looking for a new position anytime soon, and I highly recommend anyone looking for a new job to try Reed.” 

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Redundancy letter templates & examples
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Redundancy letter templates & examples

​Making redundancies is never a pleasant experience, but it’s sometimes unavoidable and employers need to ensure they navigate the process with sensitivity and professionalism, and adhere to the law, or they may face employment tribunals and unfair dismissal claims.

A redundancy letter is a written communication from an employer to an employee that informs them of their job loss due to a reduction in the workforce. To help employers manage this process and ensure they provide employees with clear and concise information, we have compiled a selection of adaptable redundancy letter templates for the various stages of the redundancy procedure.

When would you need to write a redundancy letter?

Employers may have to write redundancy letters in the following circumstances: 

Economic downturns

During a time of economic decline or recession, businesses may experience a reduction in revenue, leading to reduced demand for their products or services. In such circumstances, businesses may look to reduce their workforce to cut costs. 


Companies may need to restructure their operations, departments, or teams due to changes in the market, mergers and acquisitions, or changes in leadership, which could lead to redundancies. 

Technological advancements

With advancements in technology, businesses may require less manual labour, leading to a reduction in the workforce. Employers may have to make employees redundant where their jobs have been automated or outsourced. 

What is the difference between voluntary and compulsory redundancy?

Voluntary redundancy is when an employer offers an employee the option to leave their job in exchange for a financial package, which could include a lump sum payment, extended notice period, and other benefits. Employees who accept voluntary redundancy do so voluntarily, and their decision is not influenced by their employer.

In contrast, compulsory redundancy is when an employer selects an employee to leave their job due to a reduction in the workforce, restructuring, or other reasons. Employees who are made redundant involuntarily do not have a choice in the matter and may be entitled to statutory redundancy pay and other benefits.

What are the stages of a redundancy process? 

The redundancy process can be broken down into stages and logical steps that employers can follow. The stages are: preparation, selection, individual consultations, notice of redundancy, appeals (if applicable), and termination.

Stage one: Preparation

During the preparation stage, you will assess whether redundancy is the only option and is completely necessary before beginning the process. If you are concerned with your employee’s performance or behaviour, then you should go down the disciplinary route instead.

Redundancy is a type of dismissal where the employee’s job is no longer required. Ensure that you have covered all alternative options and if you have concluded that redundancy is essential, establish a time frame and prepare the relevant documentation.

Stage two: Selection

At this stage, you will be selecting the people who are under consideration for redundancy. You’ll need to determine the criteria for selecting those employees which should be objective and fair across the workforce.

Additionally, now is the time to inform employees of the upcoming redundancies. This should also include those who are not under consideration. You should explain that there is the risk of redundancy, the reason why it’s necessary, roughly how many redundancies you're considering, and what will happen next.

Stage three: Individual consultations

The consultations stage is a hugely important part of the redundancy process, and it’s essential that employers look at this as an open discussion with the employee, rather than using this time to just inform them of their potential redundancy.

You should explain why they have been selected and discuss alternative employment in the company. Employees will have the chance to make suggestions as to how the business can retain them and these suggestions should be considered fairly, or the employer may face unfair dismissal claims.

Note: there are legal time frames regarding consultations, so make sure you adhere to these.

Stage four: Notice of redundancy

Once you have finished consulting with everyone and made your decision, you should meet with each at-risk employee to discuss the outcome. Ideally, do this face to face, but if this is not possible, organise a phone call.

Those who have been selected for redundancy should also receive confirmation in writing, by letter or email. We have included a redundancy notice letter template for your ease.

Stage five: Appeals

If an employee feels they have been unfairly chosen for redundancy or if they think there were discriminatory issues in the process, it is essential to offer them the opportunity to appeal within a reasonable time frame after they have received their redundancy notice. This could be, for instance, five days. The employee should submit their reasons for appeal in writing. Once you receive an appeal, you should arrange a meeting with the employee as soon as possible.

If it becomes clear that the employee was selected unfairly but you still need to make the role redundant, you must manage the situation with great care. This could mean ending the employment of another employee who was informed their job was secure. It is important to communicate clearly and openly with your staff, rectify any issues with the process, and ensure a fair selection procedure is carried out. If serious problems are identified, you may need to repeat the entire redundancy process.

If you decide to reject the appeal, the employee's redundancy dismissal, notice, and pay will continue as before.

Stage six: Termination

This is the final stage of the redundancy process where the employment contract is terminated. During this stage, you should be supportive and give your employee reasonable time to find another job while they work their notice period.

All employees who have been with the company for more than two years qualify for a statutory redundancy payment. Provide the employees with a written record of how the statutory redundancy payment has been calculated and what they will receive.

What should be included in a redundancy letter?

The redundancy letter to the employee should clearly state the reasons for the employment termination and the terms of their departure. Here are some key pieces of information that should be included in a redundancy letter:

  • Reason for redundancy: The letter should clearly state the reasons for the redundancy, such as economic downturn, restructuring, or technological advancements.

  • Selection criteria: Employers should explain the selection criteria used to determine which employees are being made redundant. This could include factors such as length of service, skills and qualifications, and job performance.

  • Notice period: Employers should provide details of the employee's notice period, including the start and end dates, as well as any entitlements to pay in lieu of notice.

  • Redundancy pay: The letter should provide information on the employee's entitlement to statutory redundancy pay, as well as any additional redundancy pay provided by the employer.

  • Benefits: Employers should explain what happens to the employee's benefits, such as healthcare, pension, and life insurance, after they leave.

  • Support: Employers should offer support to the employee during this difficult time, including assistance with finding new employment opportunities and access to training programmes.

To help you navigate this challenging process, we have put together a selection of redundancy letter templates that can be used at various stages throughout the process. These include:

  • Redundancy consultation letter

  • Redundancy consultation outcome letter

  • Invitation to redundancy outcome meeting letter

  • Notice of redundancy letter