4 Ways to Attract and Retain Top Talent in the Manufacturing Industry

4 Ways to Attract and Retain Talent in the Manufacturing Industry

By now manufacturers have probably grown tired of hearing about the skills-gap facing their industry. With many companies seeing the effects already, the focus has shifted to what can be done to reduce the impact of an aging workforce. Attracting and retaining new talent is always a challenge, one that has only gotten harder with a shrinking talent pool. There is hope, however: agility and education are crucial and can be implemented today.

Shift Your Focus and Foster Talent

Some of the scarcity of skilled talent is a consequence of employers having a limited scope. Many manufacturers aren’t willing to look to other industries during their talent search. Not only changing focus, but also looking for potential rather than experience can increase success.

Working with trainable hires can build loyal and skilled talent for your workforce. Lean on veteran workers who are looking to retire to use their expertise. Offering part-time positions to recently retired workers can open the door for a strong mentorship-based workforce development program.

Invest in the Future of Skilled Manufacturing Talent

The perception of a career in manufacturing has hurt the pipeline of talent seeking training and education. Manufacturing careers already offer attractive compensation packages and growth opportunities, which means it’s time to look at education.

Some training institutions are creating degree-level manufacturing training paired with employers. This gives valuable experience while providing the students a chance to receive training without accruing the substantial debt that accompanies other careers.

Local governments have been affected by the skills gap as well. With many states seeing the manufacturing industry suffer, they have thrown their hats into the ring of workforce development. Just like training institutions, many state-run programs are partnering with local manufacturers to build on the job training into their development programs

Embrace Change Brought by Automation

For a vast majority of manufacturers, the biggest driver of the skills-gap has been digitalization and automation. With a lot of previously skills-based manufacturing jobs being taken over by machinery, the time has come to embrace that change and hire additional skill sets.

Expanding manufacturing recruitment efforts to include automation-focused skills can be a boon to any recruitment search. Developing this new workforce will also help to set manufacturers up for the future, allowing them to stay on the cutting edge of technology.

Look at Your Offerings

In the end, maybe training isn’t enough to attract a new workforce. Looking at what you have to offer employees outside of salary can go a long way. Many millennials have avoided manufacturing jobs because they see a lack of career development and advancement. Taking the time to invest in the goals of your workforce can boost retention.

Especially when slim margins prevent increases in salaries, taking time to shore up your employer brand and culture can go a long way with younger employees. Focusing those efforts on office employees but leaving out the shop floor staff is a mistake many companies cannot afford to make.

Building a future workforce pipeline may not be the easiest process for many manufacturing companies, but it is the long-term solution to a mounting skills gap. Addressing the reluctance of the new workforce to plan for trade-skilled industries, as well as looking to foster potential, rather than search for, the experience can greatly increase the pool of available workforce, no matter the industry.

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