In fact, the National Association of Manufacturers projects that over the next ten years, the country will need 3.5 million manufacturing jobs. They also forecast that 2 million of these jobs will go unfilled for lack of qualified candidates.
This means that, along with recruiting for current positions, employers should put in place a process for keeping the hiring pipeline flowing for future needs. So how do you find the right talent today while developing tomorrow’s workforce? Here are 7 suggestions:
- Burnish your image. To attract the right employees, you must present your company as a desirable workplace for career-minded individuals. After all, you’re not looking for someone who will just show up, but rather an employee who wants to build a career. So showcase all your cool, new manufacturing technologies, explain your company culture and how you value your employees. Feature testimonials from satisfied employees and customers. Put all of this on your Web site and in any other recruiting materials.
- Get social. Use social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to promote your brand and build a network of potential hires. Post job openings on these sites as well as on monster and other online recruiting tools.
- Revisit job descriptions. In addition to the skills required, explain how the position contributes to the mission of the company, and what’s in it for the employee. Most people, especially Millennials, want to understand their role in the organization and what the company is all about. They want to know about the technologies they will work with, continuing education opportunities and career advancement. The more complete your job descriptions, the better your chances of attracting the caliber of employee you desire.
- Become a partner. Work with vocational schools, high schools and colleges by offering to make classroom presentations, attend career fairs and conduct tours of your facility. You might even consider offering internships. This can’t be a one-off effort, however. You need to establish on-going relationships if you want first crack at recruiting new talent.
- Consider offering apprenticeships. It’s an old concept that’s new again. One key is to establish a rigorous screening process to insure the candidates have the capacity to learn and are committed to the process.
- Don’t overlook two underused talent pools. (1) Women make up more than half of the workforce and, thanks to STEM schools and other influences, a growing number are interested in manufacturing. (2) Returning military members often bring a high level of maturity and self-discipline to the workplace.
- Review pay and benefits. Be certain that your compensation package is competitive for each position you need to fill, including salary, medical and retirement. You can’t expect to hire a person capable of programming and managing advanced manufacturing technologies at bargain-basement rates.