Manufacturing is faster-paced and more technologically advanced than ever before – and with this transition, the need for a workforce with a more complex skills has emerged. Today’s employers need fresh approaches to the recruitment and retention of highly sought-after professionals if they intend to successfully grow with the times.

American manufacturers grapple with:

  • An aging workforce and the imminent retirement of “grey beards” with a wealth of experience and knowledge. In the US, Japan, Germany and the UK, more than half the industrial working population will be older than 40 by a year from now.
  • Mounting concern regarding a lack of qualified entry-level works to backfill talent pipelines.
  • Acute talent shortages at all levels in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
  • Outdated employment value propositions.

Recent HR industry studies have shown that manufacturing employees:

  • Have relatively high dissatisfaction rates with their training and career development opportunities, as well as the level of growth potential offered by their employers.
  • See room for improvement when it comes to their benefits, typically to offset the reality of long work hours.

Best Practices to Bridge the Gap
Talent management must be an integral and ongoing priority among senior manufacturing leaders. Their strategic plans need emphasis on:

  • Competitive benefits: Workers with advanced computer and technology skills seek benefit packages that provide work/life balance despite their demanding jobs. Options such as flexible scheduling and job sharing can make a company a front runner as these high-demand workers choose their next employer.
  • Training and development: Your commitment to making this happen will not only boost satisfaction levels among your current workforce, but also prove highly valuable to your reputation as you seek new talent. But you have to be deeply committed. In other words, training is just as important as production, as hard as this may be to digest during periods when ticket attainment projections are teetering.

Go “Glocal”
As supply chain and plant footprints have gone global, manufacturers must think beyond boundaries –literally and figuratively – to leverage creative talent sourcing practices. This means cultivating “glocal” (global and local) organizational cultures, brands and EVPs.

  • Work with a specialized recruitment firm. Look for a staffing partner with experience in global talent sourcing. Ask about their track record in building process improvement and product design teams and defining concrete solutions to meet your unique demands.
  • Always be recruiting. Continually scour all possible talent sources. This is HR continuous improvement at its best. Mine passive talent and aggressively sell your employer brand as you build a robust talent pipeline.
  • Partner with academia. Fill your STEM talent pool via college and university partnerships. Go beyond campus recruiting to develop custom curricula, integrate workplace experience with classroom studies, and identify and develop promising candidates early in their academic careers. Actively assist international students in meeting residency and citizenship requirements.

Plan Now to Win Tomorrow
The victors in the global manufacturing talent war will be those who develop robust pipelines using innovative recruitment and retention methods, employer brands and EVPs. Your industry is changing by the day – and you need to, too.

To learn more, read our related posts or contact the recruitment experts at Premium Staffing today. We specialize in heavy industry, engineering and skilled manufacturing placement in the Chicago market and beyond, with an emphasis on “glocal” success strategies.

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