Industry article

What are the best ways to hire firmware staff in the US?

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Darryl Jelly
Posted on 26 Oct 2023 · 10 mins read

This blog looks at the latest trends in the US firmware industry and highlights some of the challenges firms looking to recruit are facing as well as providing solutions for organisations looking to hire the best highly-skilled talent in the market.

Recruiting firmware staff is challenging at the best of times. The sector is known for its exceptionally high technical remit which makes it challenging to source and hire the best firmware staff in the market. In this update we outline some of the latest market trends and highlight the best ways to hire firmware staff in the US.

Firmware recruitment market trends

Firmware forms a fundamental part of nearly every area of modern technology, however, the sector isn’t as well understood or, as potentially glamorous as others, like software development. The industry, and other highly-technical fields, have faced a shortage of materials like semiconductors, however equally pressing is the lack of available skills.

You won’t need us to tell you how challenging it is to recruit at the moment, but the problem is particularly acute in industries like firmware. The technical requirements and demands of a typical firmware role mean the pool of talent is small, which makes it exceptionally challenging for organisations to source the skills they need to remain productive.

Firmware’s potential uses cover almost every possible device and area of technology; from refrigerators through to laptops, tablets and more. However, developing optimization software, for example, does not deliver the same level of glory as developing new AI algorithms, or a new smartphone app, which is another reason why fewer talented engineers are drawn to work in firmware. But, without this key part of the technological ecosystem, the whole industry would suffer and output would grind to a halt.

The global firmware industry is largely centred in the USA, however, that’s not to say that hiring issues aren’t shared across borders. Almost every country is facing the same talent issues. Israel, for example, has a significantly smaller firmware sector than the US, but still faces a shortage of an estimated 15,000 engineers.

Skills requirements

As outlined, firmware is an exceptionally demanding field, and professionals who thrive require a combination of outstanding technical knowledge and a familiarity with hardware architecture, its specifications and limitations, and ultimately how it works. In addition, specialists need top level programming skills and the ability to use languages like C, Assembly and Python. However, more than anything, firmware experts require the ability to innovate; the sector doesn’t come with pre-set building blocks and frameworks like others such as software and hardware development do. In the majority of cases, engineers will be starting from scratch and building the very foundations of whatever technical product they are working on, which requires the ability to look at technical issues from a vastly different perspective and be able to problem-solve with relatively little external input. The technological demands are also consistently changing and engineers must stay up-to-date on the latest tools and techniques in order to remain competitive.

Best way to hire firmware staff in the US

With these challenges in mind, what are the best ways to hire firmware staff in the US? The American industry is still one of the global leaders along with the likes of Germany, South Korea and Canada. Firms are fighting over the same, relatively small, pools of talent, which means standing out from the crowd is of the utmost importance. As you may have gathered, firmware recruitment is a hotly-contested field.

Employers looking to source the next generation of firmware talent need to keep in mind that these individuals will often have their pick of the best organisations in the market, and may be speaking to multiple different potential hirers at any one time. However, the growth of remote and hybrid working has meant that firms are now able to source talent from other global markets, which makes the task of firmware recruitment slightly easier than it may have been in the past. Successful firms will need to have a strong employer value proposition (EVP) and be flexible about the types of perks and benefits that they’re offering. In addition, providing the right technological platform for these people to succeed is crucial. No firmware engineer will want to work for an organisation if they aren’t provided with the technology they need to do their job, so firms seeking skills may need to rethink their existing setups and consider whether they are hindering their recruitment efforts.

Demand will only get stronger – almost every area of technology requires firmware specialists and fields like the automotive industry will push this further in the coming years as the demand for sophisticated in-car systems and autonomous vehicles increases. The internet-of-things will also contribute to the strong demand, as will cyber security, where we are already seeing a desire for firmware specialists with crossover security skills in areas like secure boot, secure firmware updates, and secure data storage. However, without a greater number of skilled professionals moving into firmware, employers are still going to face considerable challenges when looking to recruit firmware staff in the US. If you need assistance with your firmware recruitment then get in contact with us today. Find out more about some of our latest firmware jobs Take a look at some of our other blogs Follow us on LinkedIn

If you need assistance with your firmware recruitment then get in contact with us today.

Find out more about some of our latest firmware jobs.

Take a look at some of our other blogs.

Follow us on LinkedIn.

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