CEDIA NextGen: Improving the state of workforce in the smart home industry

Matt Nimmons, managing director at CEDIA EMEA talks about CEDIA’s new initiatives to develop the smart home industry workforce.

While an exact estimate of industry workforce needs is hard to pinpoint, data gleaned from CEDIA member surveys, industry trade publication articles, and conversations with industry employers suggests that nearly every business in the industry is on the hunt for skilled talent and has been for several years. So, CEDIA is offering a solution to integrators around the world.

Contributing factors to this never-ending talent hunt include:

- Increased consumer demand related to the broad adoption of various technologies.

- Higher rates of staff turnover.

- Continued diversification of business portfolios to include light commercial or “resimercial” projects.

Employers in nearly every industry struggle to find qualified talent they need to fill job openings. And, once job openings are filled, many employers have an even tougher time keeping them filled. Skilled trades also face stereotypes that these jobs are too physically demanding and not as financially rewarding as “white-collar” jobs. Within the skilled trades, the smart home industry is at an even greater disadvantage because it’s not as well-known as more established industries, but CEDIA has set out to change that.


For the smart home industry, grassroots outreach and education at the local community level are critical. By establishing and strengthening connections in local communities, CEDIA member companies can provide organic opportunities for potential applicants to interact with employees and witness first-hand the stellar work environments they provide.

Hire, develop, and promote

Employees are typically a company’s biggest asset (and expenditure), and it would be nearly impossible for most companies to generate significant revenue without a dedicated and talented team of people. A people-first approach simply means a company that prioritises its employees’ health, social, and financial wellbeing will have employees who put the company’s customers, products, and overall financial wellbeing at the top of their list of priorities. Developing a people-first approach requires a company to overhaul recruitment strategies, enhance benefits and compensation, and invest in a progressive company culture.

What is CEDIA’s role?

CEDIA has made a significant commitment to addressing the workforce development needs of the industry. It has spent the last few years working to become a viable link between industry employers and talent pipelines by developing workforce development initiatives designed to leverage the strength of the association and its partners to provide meaningful engagement experiences and educational opportunities that lead to viable career pathways in the industry.

CEDIA’s current initiatives include:

- Providing member employers with tools and resources, like the NextGen Smart Home Career Toolkit, to assist in talent recruitment efforts.

- Conducting industry surveys, such as the Smart Home Recruitment and Salary Survey, to provide members with facts and figures that will help support their recruitment.

- Securing local member champions to conduct “boots on the ground” outreach aimed at establishing and maintaining relationships with talent pipelines.

- Offering hands-on workforce training programmes that lead to industry-recognised credential attainment and employment or advancement.

- Providing employers with government funded opportunities to upskill their workforce by developing partnerships and supporting training providers to deliver the industry-led Smart Home Technician apprenticeship.

- Hosting an online “self-service” Career Centre platform where jobseekers and industry employers can create profiles, connect, and access resources.

- Providing networking and engagement opportunities for potential future talent at industry and partner events.

CEDIA’s workforce development initiatives will only be successful if the association, its member companies, and talent pipelines are working in tandem in local communities where employers and talent (existing and future) live, learn, work, and play.


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