Flexible model doubles hiring rate


Known worldwide for their powerful construction machinery and equipment, Caterpillar depend on key manufacturing talent within Africa and the Middle East.

Relying on recruitment agencies, however, had proven expensive, often yielding low-quality candidates.

Then, as the business was about to move to a more efficient talent solution, company leaders announced a hiring freeze. This shift would have a critical effect on company-wide regional hiring volumes.

Journey to success

With flexibility a necessity, senior executives sought a custom recruitment outsourcing model. The model needed to be capable of supporting lower-volume periods, in anticipation of more significant hiring in future. And, with expat salaries typically exceeding local market rates, Caterpillar’s partner also needed to expertly source local candidates.

Caterpillar selected Hudson RPO for our sourcing expertise and regional experience. They also valued our ability to create a bespoke sliding scale transaction model that accommodates fluctuating recruitment volumes.

We were charged with recruiting a mix of permanent candidates for early management, engineering, sales, marketing and other head office roles. Junior roles have also arisen.

The team installed a full-time recruitment lead in Dubai to manage hiring across the Middle East. In addition, a full-time sourcer from the Sourcing Centre of Excellence (SCE) focuses on identifying talent in Senegal and South Africa.

On-demand sourcing plays a key role in reducing agency fees. Our sourcers have identified talented candidates from Africa and the Middle East. These candidates have been studying in the UK and USA, but plan to return to their home countries after graduating and will be well-placed to launch a career at Caterpillar.

We’ve uncovered niche talent in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the UK. In one year, Caterpillar’s hiring in EMEA was poised to double.

Project expansion

As Caterpillar’s needs fluctuate, more Edinburgh-based specialists have been added to the account as needed.

The partnership continues to expand, with Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar subsidiary, selecting us to recruit new engineers and blue-collar technical people in the Czech Republic. The project was related to a Czech-government incentive requiring all new employees to be Czech nationals. We delivered the project on time and on budget.

Behind the scenes

As part of our Africa/Middle Eastern engagement with Caterpillar, we’ve also provided consultancy on STEM hiring qualifications, as well as initiatives related to women in the workplace.

About the client

For more than 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three primary segments: construction industries, resource industries, and energy and transportation. Caterpillar also provides financing and related services through its financial products segment.

At a Glance

Industry served


Roles filled

Head office
Early management

Territories covered

South Africa
Czech Republic

Thanks to sourcing power, Caterpillar's EMEA talent strategy works like a machine.

More Case Studies

Start a Conversation

What are your recruitment goals? A custom solution awaits.

Download our Latest Guide