Recruiting Manufacturing Employees: How to Find Top Talent

In spite of the widespread belief that manufacturing jobs are disappearing, many manufacturers are actually facing a worker shortage. Sound like your company? If so, you’re probably looking for new and innovative ways of recruiting manufacturing employees.

The staffing shortage is in large part because many skilled manufacturing workers have reached or are reaching retirement age. For a variety of reasons, young workers are not always interested in starting careers in manufacturing, which is one of the reasons why recruiting manufacturing employees is sometimes daunting.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to find the skilled workers you need. Check out these tips for drawing top talent to your manufacturing company.

Tips for Recruiting Manufacturing Employees

Utilize Social Media

There is no method more effective for reaching a wider audience and securing that much sought-after talent, particularly Millennials and young people, than social media. Raising online visibility and engaging with more candidates can yield a better result than the traditional recruitment methods. By using a variety of social platforms, you can also communicate with recruits in a manner that they’re most familiar with.

Give People the Benefits They Want

Set up a strategic employee referral bonus program. This strategy has been referred to as the number one source for top employees by top professionals. It’s simple logic: if you pay better than other companies you will be the obvious choice for top talents. If you can’t beat the competition wage-wise, give people unique benefits. Today’s employees are looking for work-life balance, health care, time off, 401(k) plans, profit-sharing, and more. Showcase your culture and get people excited about working for you.

Search in the Right Places

Once you’re clear on your definition of top talent, you have to figure out where to look for it. Go beyond your own website and social channels and the typical job boards. Partner with local community and technical colleges to scout or even help train upcoming talent. Or consider partnering with state and county programs that help veterans, long-term unemployed, single parents, or those who were incarcerated for mistakes they made when they were younger. Another idea is to hold open houses at your plants or offices to get a firsthand look at potential hires, before even starting the interview process.

Solicit Employee Referrals

Encourage current employees to nominate potential candidates that have the skills and abilities to meet the needs of your open positions – that tends to generate the best hires. Most employees will not nominate someone that will reflect poorly on them.

The most effective strategy includes advertising accurate and enticing job descriptions where candidates have easy access to view and apply for an open position. Make sure you set up a standard process that allows HR to view applicants and their background information, contact them, conduct an interview, and check references prior to hire.

Offer Apprenticeships

Students are more likely to be interested in manufacturing if they can see the opportunity it provides for a good-paying job. Consider working with schools in your area to provide apprenticeships for students in community and technical colleges.

Develop a Talent Pipeline

When it comes to hiring workers, recruitment is only half the battle. You also need to develop the workers you already have. Work on building training programs that help workers develop new skills. These workers will then be able to take on new responsibilities as well as train the workers who come behind them.

Prioritize Intelligence Over Experience

Experience is heralded as the most important trait when it comes to amassing a strong team. And for many roles, years of experience are a necessity. Roles that are technically advanced and require comprehensive understanding of systems need experience to build up skill sets. However, sometimes hiring someone with too much experience can backfire. Let’s say you’re interviewing a candidate with 10 years of experience at a large manufacturer but your shop is smaller. Because the candidate has been in one particular environment for so long, he or she may believe that their approach is the only approach. This mindset could make for a poor fit in your shop.

With fluid budgets, aggressive timelines and minimal resources, new teams require agility. Recruits need to be able to take a step back from their own habits and processes and rethink their approaches in the context of your company’s business model.

At ClearStaff, we offer clients a modern approach to staffing.  If you need assistance in recruiting manufacturing employees, get in touch with us today.

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