Attracting and Training Manufacturing Workforce

Image of Hayden Woodard - haydenw@custominterface.net
Hayden Woodard - haydenw@custominterface.net

These days, the manufacturing industry has more open positions than qualified workers. Manufacturers are experiencing a skills gap in which the available workforce lacks the skills to fill the open positions. Below we list suggestions that increased the number of applicants and improved retention of both new hires and skilled workers.  

The Manufacturing Workforce and Skills Gap

The manufacturing industry lost over half a million jobs during the start of the pandemic, and nearly all of those positions remained open a year later.

According to the latest survey by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, nearly 45% of manufacturing executives have turned down business opportunities due to a lack of workers. The U.S. manufacturing industry is expected to have 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. The economic impact of this gap is significant with estimates of lost economic growth topping $1 trillion or more. 

Attracting Quality Talent to Your Manufacturing Business

To ensure your company attracts and retains skilled workers, it’s vital to realistically assess your current recruiting strategies. A successful recruiting program should average 3-5 applicants for open positions. Here are some best practices to improve results if your applicant pool isn’t attracting the talent needed. 

Reexamine Your Employer Brand

One study found that 72% of job seekers research potential employers before applying for a job. Research your company to see what current and past employees have to say about your working conditions. If your history on Glassdoor or comparable sites isn’t the greatest, it’s time to focus on improving employee culture and your workplace. 

Conduct a Skills Assessment

If a company creates an effective training program, recruiters can focus on hiring for characteristics such as work ethics, basic math/reading and familiarity with computer programs rather than specific skills. An assessment list that includes the hard and soft skills of your business ensures consistency. Job descriptions and training programs can be reworked so that new workers will consider applying. 

Hire an Advertising Agency

Simply posting your job openings on online job boards is no longer sufficient. Recruiting results will improve dramatically if advertising professionals rework your job announcements to create interest. Let the pros get your message out to popular social media platforms, trade schools and associations. 

Evaluate Your Benefits Package

Salaries and benefits remain the primary reason employees seek new opportunities. If you want to attract high-quality talent, avoid the mistake of offering too little. Today’s job candidates know what they’re worth. Make sure you research industry standards and include a comprehensive benefits package for full-time workers. Also, evaluate whether your benefits package addresses how much a flexible work schedule and educational opportunities are valued. 

Training Your Manufacturing Workforce

About 20% of new hires leave their position within the first 2 months because the training program doesn’t address the things that create stress for new employees. If possible, set up training so new hires can practice their skills in a risk-free environment explaining why each step is done the way it is. Provide pictures or samples of what quality products look like. Match new hires with skilled mentors to help build confidence while creating relationships that prevent isolation.

Also expose new workers to advanced positions so they understand the opportunities for personal growth and how their work fits into the overall puzzle. Teach them about your company’s mission and goals so they are more engaged in training and their work.

The last thing you want to do is lock everyone in a dark conference room and show them eight hours of PowerPoint presentations. If your training isn’t interesting and engaging, your employees will feel their time isn’t valued. 

Outsource Your Build Box Assembly and Prototyping

As a manufacturer, you have a lot of different areas of your business to manage. You need to hire, train, and retain quality talent. But you don’t have to handle everything in-house. Custom Interface Inc. offers build box assembly and prototyping services to businesses of all shapes and sizes. When you partner with a contract manufacturer, you can save money and time and get the best results. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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