Nick Stephenson, Rover Group director of design and engineering, has added about 100 to his staff of 4,500 designers and engineers this year. He was interviewed at Rover's Gayton, UK, technical center by Ian Morton.
Are you looking to expand your staff?
We have more work than we can handle. I am looking for 50 more with a focus on key skills, especially in electronics. Unfortunately, there is a shortage in the UK of the skills we need.
What can you do about it?
To help cover the gaps I have asked all my people to add extra hours, voluntary and unpaid, to their working week. Some staff have always worked longer hours in order to carry their workload, but now I have crystallized the practice into a specific program. I have asked all 4,500 staff to contribute two hours a week. If they all did so, that would be a considerable extra input.
About 75 percent have already agreed. I initially asked everybody to make this contribution on Friday afternoons to extend the working week, but this is not totally convenient so I am looking at other evenings as well.