As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve and grow, the demand for skilled workers remains high, making recruiting a crucial aspect of success for any manufacturing company.
While every industry must work hard to attract and retain talent in a competitive market, manufacturing faces unique challenges. In addition to finding skilled labor for roles such as fabricators and machinists, recruiters must also attract candidates who can work on the cutting-edge technologies that have shaped the growth of this dynamic sector. However, rising retirement rates and difficulty attracting new talent can make recruiting efforts feel like an uphill battle.
In this post, learn about the three key areas that can help hiring professionals overcome manufacturing hiring challenges and successfully attract talent in this fiercely competitive market.
According to a recent Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute report, manufacturing employers will face a shortfall of 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. The cause? A shortage of talent with the skills to keep manufacturers operating today and ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow. As more manufacturing employees retire, there isn’t enough young talent to take their place. According to one estimate, for every college graduate majoring in a manufacturing-related field, eight manufacturing employees retire.
In addition to the manufacturing skills gap, attracting young talent to manufacturing roles has also been a struggle. Despite offering well-paying roles and the challenge of working with the latest STEM technologies, manufacturing isn’t often a top choice for young people entering the workforce. In a 2022 Conexiom survey, 73% of Gen Zers said they have not considered a career in manufacturing, with lack of interest being the most popular reason.
Despite the challenges of hiring manufacturing talent today, there are specific actions hiring professionals can take to stand out to candidates across multiple generations, geographies, and skill sets. By successfully showcasing all the organization has to offer, including cutting-edge technologies, competitive compensation and benefits, and a positive company culture, it’s possible to educate potential candidates about available manufacturing careers and challenge any outdated notions they may have about the industry.
Here are three critical areas that can make all the difference:
Employer branding is more than a buzzword, and in case there is any doubt, building a strong brand goes a long way in helping to attract candidates. A Glassdoor survey found that 75% of job seekers are likely to apply when the employer actively manages its employer brand.
When done right, employer branding helps prospective employees see the organization's uniqueness, so they can envision themselves building a career there.
The following steps will help to cultivate an employer branding strategy that achieves stand-out results for manufacturers:
The employer brand should project an image of what an organization is all about today and the exciting opportunities candidates have to be a part of it. Articulating the uniqueness of organizational mission, values, and culture isn’t always easy. Hence, a great place to start is to create an employee value proposition (EVP) that effectively describes what the organization looks for and can offer prospective employees. With a strong EVP, candidates will better understand the tangible and intangible benefits of building a career in that organization.
With the manufacturing industry becoming increasingly competitive, building brand awareness has become a vital component for companies looking to differentiate themselves from competitors and attract new customers in a crowded marketplace.
Many attractive candidates may still view manufacturing through the lens of the past. They may think career opportunities are limited to more traditional roles like welders and mechanics. And while skilled labor opportunities exist, it’s necessary to help candidates become aware of opportunities to work with innovative manufacturing technologies like robotics, AI, and quantum computing. In doing so, manufacturers can build a talent pool of job seekers previously unaware of available opportunities, including upcoming college grads, individuals in other industries, and the recently laid-off.
Candidates might be surprised to know that nearly 70% of manufacturers have recently expanded their employee upskilling and reskilling activities, and that many provide training to help employees learn the technical skills required for many roles. With this information, candidates who might have thought themselves a poor fit for manufacturing may now see manufacturing as an industry where they can acquire the skills necessary for career development and advancement. After all, candidates want to grow with a company, and offering opportunities for skill development helps them envision a rewarding future.
By focusing on skill development, manufacturing hiring professionals can attract more candidates who are still building technical skills and industry experience. Many of these candidates may already possess the soft skills essential for success in manufacturing, including digital thinking, problem-solving, and innovation. Additionally, investing in onboarding and mentorship programs can also go a long way in helping candidates gain relevant skills. It can also support a more robust candidate experience and employee value proposition.
Highlighting organizational values is no longer an optional task for manufacturing companies, as job seekers today look for companies that align with their values and beliefs.
Candidates today aren’t looking merely for a paycheck. They also want their work to have meaning and to align with their values. This reality offers an opportunity to showcase efforts to cultivate an inclusive culture, for example, by highlighting employee resource groups and internal diversity initiatives. Another great way to educate candidates about company values is to point out recent sustainability and corporate responsibility activities, including efforts to limit waste, minimize the organization’s carbon footprint, and support the local community.
Every open position is an advertisement, offering an opportunity to make the position come alive for candidates. By targeting specific audiences through advertising, companies can attract candidates who are a good fit for their culture and those with the skills and experience needed for the job.
Advertising helps meet candidates where they are and can help manufacturing companies attract more qualified candidates, resulting in a higher quality hire.
Here are three advertising elements that can help talent acquisition professionals increase organizational visibility among prospective manufacturing hires:
Using recruitment videos has become an effective and innovative way for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Video is everywhere, from social media platforms to individual websites. And it’s no wonder; people love it. A 2023 Wizowl survey revealed that 91% of people want to see even more online videos from brands. Manufacturing employers can benefit from embedding videos in job postings, and using them as stand-alone resources that showcase the company’s work environment, equipment, and culture. Videos can also enliven company social media posts, career sites, and ads on job boards, providing candidates with a better understanding of both the company and its employer brand.
Social media platforms, like LinkedIn and Facebook, are powerful tools for engaging with potential candidates and sharing company culture and values. Whether it’s a post about specific job opportunities or stories about a unique career path, social media can be an invaluable source of candidates. Keep in mind that generations have different social media preferences – where Millennials and Gen X frequent Facebook and LinkedIn, Gen Zers are more likely to engage on Instagram and TikTok.
Tip: Social media and online platforms, such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor, are increasingly used by manufacturing companies to promote their employer brand. Employers use these platforms to share company culture, showcase employee experiences, and engage with potential candidates.
In the digital age, geotargeting has become a powerful tool for recruitment, allowing companies to reach the right candidates in the right location, ultimately improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their hiring process.
Geotargeting allows organizations to deliver job ads to pre-selected geographic locations, where manufacturing hiring professionals can use this technique to target ads to specific areas. This includes those with high concentrations of potential candidates or locations with newly opened facilities. By targeting specific geographic areas, employers can direct advertising dollars to areas with the best-fit candidates.
Just as technology has helped manufacturing companies improve operational efficiency and output volume, it can also transform the recruiting function. A Capterra survey found that 94% of HR professionals who use recruiting software said it had improved their hiring process. Modern recruitment technology goes way beyond the applicant tracking system (ATS); it uses targeting and analytics to help organizations reach more candidates and track the effectiveness of recruiting activities.
Here are just a few of the technology solutions that can help to elevate manufacturing talent acquisition:
Tip: Technology helps companies understand recruiting ROI holistically. Recruitics analytics products are configurable to the needs of manufacturers, and provide rich real-time dashboards and reporting to support smarter recruitment decision-making.
Manufacturing organizations face extraordinary recruiting challenges against rapid technological advances and a worrying shortage of skilled talent. But with employer branding solutions and tools to target candidates and monitor recruiting ROI, it’s possible to turn the tide and attract a higher quality and quantity of talent.
For help getting started, contact us! The Recruitics team is available to provide the support needed to build a winning recruitment strategy that attracts high-quality manufacturing talent and learn how we can leverage our industry-leading iON platform to target candidates!