Manufacturers Continue to Struggle to Fill Open Positions

In a previous Recruiting Daily Advisor article, we highlighted the growing need for construction workers and the difficulty employers were having recruiting this niche group. And just like the construction industry, manufacturers are also having difficulty attracting talent into their companies.


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According to recently released data from professional services firm Sikich, manufacturers and distributors claim a “lack of qualified workers” as a top barrier to growth. Furthermore, 77% of respondents said it takes 3 to 8 or more weeks to fill an hourly position.
Still, the report suggests that companies aren’t doing enough to proactively recruit and develop talent. Only 3% of respondents said they recruit employees at the high school level, and only 11% said they build a pipeline of talent prior to having an open position.
“To remain competitive, manufacturers must turn talent recruitment and development into a core corporate priority,” said Joy Duce, partner in charge of Sikich’s Human Resource consulting services practice. “Companies should work with high schools and vocational schools to promote manufacturing jobs and attract the next generation of talent.”
In a blog post, highlighted the various ways manufacturers can recruit workers based on industry-leading examples, which include:

Build a Strong Employer Brand

According to Steve Nielsen, Cofounder and CMO of aspectLED, “[B]uilding a solid online employment brand is critical. Taking the time to build out our company profiles and job descriptions so that candidates can get a sense of our culture, values and an overview of our business is more important than ever.”
Nielson adds, “In addition, we work hard to ensure that each and every job description we post not only describes the skills and experience that we need, but also helps candidates understand what’s in it for them. Whether that’s advancement opportunity, fun technology tools to work with or our company culture, we want the candidate to get excited about our role, hopefully setting it apart from all of the competition.”

Experiment with Your Social Media Channels

Social media recruiting is becoming more and more popular, and if your company hasn’t started utilizing this medium, you’re missing out on potential skilled candidates.
Tammy Clausen, Business Growth and Development Manager at Product Handling Concepts, says, “To bolster our recruitment efforts, we mobilize our established social media network—they are some of our best advocates. To break through the clutter we try to make our recruitment posts engaging, as opposed to traditional, staid job announcements. For instance, we recently featured a successful post offering ‘Fantastic Jobs and Where to Find Them.’”

Compete on Pay and Benefits

Not every company can afford to offer competitive compensation or a robust benefits package, but if you can get away with offering something, you’ll stand a better chance of finding someone to fill the role.
Craig Oaks, Vice President of Human Resources at Gold Medal Products, offers this advice: “If we want to attract and retain the best workers, we have to continue investing in our employees with competitive pay and benefits. Gold Medal provides employees with competitive pay and an outstanding comprehensive employee benefits package. We offer medical, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as short- and long-term disability insurance. In addition, our excellent 401(k) plan matches 57 cents on the dollar for the first 12% of the employee’s contribution. Plus profit-sharing is also offered to all employees annually, based on business performance.”
In February, Recruiting Daily Advisor highlighted Clutch survey findings that focused on what employers were offering in the way of benefits to attract talent to their companies; you can learn more by clicking here.

Build a Talent Pipeline Early

As the Sikich data explain, building a talent pipeline early on is a great way to get talent into the door. Andrew Gilbert, Director of Operations at Caretta Workspace, knows firsthand how getting candidates interested in your company from an early point in their careers will help build your talent pool over time. He says, “We partner with local trade programs and high-school shop classes to get in front of candidates before they even graduate. Identifying candidates that are open to learning manufacturing skills is the key to having a successful employee training program.”
These are just a few ways you can recruit manufacturing talent to your company; there are many more out there. What works best for your company? Do you have a different, successful method to recruiting manufacturing workers at your company? If so, we’d love to hear about it; share it in the comments section below.