Shortage of Skilled Quality Personnel reaches critical point
Difficulties in filling Quality Vacancies are on the rise and frustrating the market and recruiters alike. If you ask any recruiter or head hunter which jobs are most difficult to fill, they will tell you straight away Quality Jobs.
There are so many vacancies for Quality Management jobs and Quality Assurance Jobs on the market and recruiters are finding it more and more difficult to fill. There are many reasons for this of course, and there isn’t published research specific to this problem.
Much has been talked about in social media and within companies as to the possible causes. Below are some examples and by no means an exhaustive list
· Most recruiters do not understand the role of Quality. Most cannot distinguish between a background in Quality Assurance and one in Quality Control or even with document or configuration controller.
· Job Specifications not clear from end customers. Companies pass on job specs that often cross lines between Quality Assurance and Quality Control and other elements
· Companies wanting many skills in one person. Cost cutting is forcing companies to look for multi-skilled people. Where in the past, document control was done by one person, audits by another and so on. Now, one-man band is the norm. It is not unusual to see roles labelled QSHE/QSHES. This means they require all the skills of Quality, safety, health, environment and even security.
· Markets are dictating what is in demand, forcing skilling to address market needs. In the Middle East for example, the vast majority of quality professionals are skewed towards Quality Control as that is what the demand is for, while in western Europe, the shift is towards Quality Assurance
· Industrial sectors have also had an impact where food and Pharmaceutical industries have gone more stringent with the skills requirements some other industries have slimmed down in favour of multi-skilled Quality professionals
· Salaries for quality positions have stayed put since the 2008 crash while other “Core” roles have done better
The Quality role has always required transferrable skills that are not industry specific. The more industry specific we go, the more we shift back towards quality control.
We need to reengage and reskill our people in the quality field to ensure that we not only meet market demand, but influence it when specifying roles.
The risk is that current shortages caused by lack of adequately skilled resources will impact the visibility of value add from the role of quality. This of course will have severe consequences on the perception of quality and the desire of more and more people to go into quality profession.
The problem is then compounded with more skills shortages and less respect for quality
By Sam Zaidan
Published: 19 August 2019
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