You’re running late for work and can’t remember if you adjusted the thermostat before leaving or locked the front door. No need to go back home to check. You can confirm your home’s temperature and double check your front door is secure with just a few swipes on your smartphone. Welcome to the new American home!

Once prohibitively expensive, smart home technology is rapidly dropping in price and becoming a homeowner essential rather than a luxury. The smart home market will be worth an estimated $121.7 billion by 2022. Do you have the in-demand skill set modern manufacturing companies need?

Increased consumer demand for convenience, safety, and energy savings is driving the smart home revolution. Consumers expect new homes to come with wireless solutions that allow them to control everything from HVAC settings to overhead lighting with a single swipe on their smartphone screens. Consumers are also retrofitting older homes with new smart devices, like smartphone-controlled front doors and remote lighting systems. Smart home technology is not limited to innovation leaders like GE. Smaller component parts companies are adjusting their processes to integrate Wi-Fi into front doors and lighting systems, too.

The Smart Home Talent Gap: Manufacturers Struggle to Find Qualified “Hybrid” Talent

The drive for smart home technology is creating a manufacturing talent gap. Today’s manufacturers need employees who have both the mechanical background and systems knowledge necessary for smart technology manufacturing. Not all professionals have the hybrid skill set today’s modern manufacturing companies demand, however. Some companies have also been slow to adjust their processes and hiring priorities. Now, they’re struggling to bridge the talent gap and keep pace with industry changes.

Compounding this challenge: in the next decade, there could be a shortage of 2 million manufacturing employees, according to research from The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. With older workers retiring and fewer Millennials entering manufacturing, companies have fewer skilled employees waiting in the wings. Acquiring the right skill set now will help you stand out from the competition and make you an attractive, in-demand hire.


Here’s how to position yourself for future success:

  1. Showcase your skills and experience.
    Manufacturing companies are actively seeking professionals with a hybrid skill set that blends mechanical with electrical systems and program engineering. It’s not enough to just list these skills on your resume, however. Explain how you’ll use these skills to benefit your new employer. How will you bring value to their company?


  1. Obtain the right certifications.
    Do you have a mechanical background but only limited experience with electrical systems or programming? There’s no time like the present to strengthen your skill set! Acquiring new skills through specialized certification programs will make you a more attractive job candidate who can command multiple, competitive offers.


  1. Solve problems.
    Imagine the challenge facing a small door manufacturer: they’re experts at producing structurally sound doors, but may be brand new to smart technology integration. They’re facing a challenge: “Should I bring on new talent to produce smart doors in-house, or should I outsource this need?” As a hybrid job candidate, consider how you can help address this need by either providing the foundational knowledge they need to build a team in-house and troubleshoot problems, or serving as a critical link between their in-house mechanical team and an outsourced technology team.


A “hybrid” leader who combines mechanical knowledge with electrical systems and programming is an essential hire for any manufacturing company expanding its smart home product line. To learn more about the most in-demand skills, contact me at


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