The manufacturing industry has continued to thrive, but hiring the right workers has become a challenge for most. Finding skilled workers in the manufacturing industry is becoming harder and harder, worsen by the fact that there are many retiring every year.
There is a shortage of talent in the industry, something that most manufacturing executives have agreed on. There is a study done by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, which showed that the gap is going to create 2.4 million unfilled positions from 2019-2028. This is a huge gap that needs to be filled.
You need to be strategic when it comes to hiring manufacturing workers, which is going to involve sourcing candidates, screening them, training them, and retraining them. Of which there are many benefits for them as TRS Craft shows. Below are five strategies to help you when hiring for the manufacturing industry or a factory.
1. Changing the Perception
There is an image problem with manufacturing. When people think about manufacturing jobs, they imagine disappearing offshore, low pay, and boring and repetitive work, but this is not the case. There is a high demand for employees in manufacturing, and this varies from engineering to technology. It is not all about physically demanding tasks and heavy lifting. They need to know what the jobs are all about.
If you want to change the perception about manufacturing – you have to do it both at the company and industry level. The process is going to encourage more and more people to consider working in your company. Changing the perception is the first step to take.
2. Marketing Your Roles Well
It is important to ensure the career site is mobile-friendly and highlights some success stories of your employees – especially those who have climbed the ladder through promotion – because it is going to help in attracting candidates. When you show them the evidence of advancement, you are going to attract high-quality employees for those roles.
Another good technique to use is working with the local high schools, technical schools, and community colleges to promote careers in manufacturing. This is going to introduce many of them to the field, and it will help get the name of your company out there in a good way. This is good for your company and brand.
You can also host open houses and job fairs when looking to hire manufacturing workers so that they can see how the factory looks like and the work the jobs entail. Social media is a great tool to use because you can post about local events, and also look for groups to connect with, which is going to increase your reach.
3. Getting Your Employees on Board
Are you offering a great workplace? Good people? Good benefits? Let your employees share these experiences. Encourage them to create entries on employer review sites. You should also spotlight various employees on social media pages.
4. Asking Smart Interview Questions
It can be challenging to know what the candidate has achieved in their past position because most blue-collar workers don’t have a detailed or sophisticated resume. This makes it important to do screening interviews when hiring employees in the manufacturing industry. You should know the type of questions to ask when hiring. A good way to learn more about the candidate is by asking behavioral questions.
Behavioral interview questions are good because it is going to let you know how they are going to handle a challenge or issue based on what they have done in their past position. When you have this information, you can easily determine whether they are going to be a good team member, fit into the culture, and if they can remain committed to their work when facing challenges.
If you want to create such questions, then you need to start by listing the most important traits someone needs in the position you want to fill. Some examples are;
If you see a coworker violating safety rules, what would you say to them?
Which piece of equipment do you find the hardest to troubleshoot?
Tell me about a time that you worked on a project where you had different ideas with your co-worker. How did you resolve the situation?
When you ask the right questions, you are going to get insights into how someone thinks and whether it is going to align with the values of the company.
5. Seeking Out Trainable Talent
When there is a shortage of talent when it comes to hiring manufacturing workers, you might need to change the approach and hire by looking at core characteristics, and not the experience they have with a given task. If the person has a good foundation and a strong work ethic, there is a lot of potential working with them. It can sometimes be easier to train someone to do a given job than training him/her to fit into the company culture.
For individuals lacking some skills, it might be a good idea to invest in a training program that is going to train them on how to do the tasks. Whether it is an entry-level program that is going to last a few weeks or a full-fledged apprenticeship program, it is important to upskill new hires because it is going to expand the talent pool.
Once you have provided your workers with opportunities to enhance their skills or go up the ladder, make sure you talk about job listing on the career pages.
It is also a good idea to provide cross-training for your current workforce because they can do more than one task. This can allow you to easily move them around, which is going to help prevent burnout. Many factory and manufacturing workers love solving problems and working with their hands. If you want to retain your workforce, try your best to keep the job interests and provide advancement opportunities to them. They will have an easier time working on the task and won’t switch careers easily.