With Baby Boomers retiring at a rate faster than companies can replace them, there are great concerns within the manufacturing industry regarding the loss of knowledge and recruiting people with the appropriate skills. The generation shift happening in many organizations requires a change in how talent is attracted and retained while meeting the needs of both younger and older generations.
Erin Koss of Syte Consulting Group offers some insights: “It’s going to be a combination of the education systems, the vocational schools, the organizations themselves pulling from schools in the form of internships that may be hosted inside the organization,” said Koss. “But also the manufacturing companies are going to have to lean in and create some of those training programs internally because the lead time to doing that collaboration is going to be a while.”
In the midst of the manufacturing industry’s “brain drain,” Koss provides some things to consider when attracting talent (and keeping them):
Know Your Organization.
In order to attract the best talent, it’s important to know your organization’s culture and brand. Everything from vision and beliefs to systems and habits contributes to your company’s culture. Once you identify your culture, you’ll have something to communicate to the external market and it will make the recruiting process much more efficient. When you can articulate those ideals well, the right fit for your company becomes clearer and you are able to attract talent that will really resonate on both sides.
Most manufacturers do not invest time or money in “marketing” their career opportunities, so it’s also important to have a website that is informative, reflective of your culture, and exciting to someone checking it out for the first time. Knowing who you are and being able to project and communicate that is critical.
Establish a Pipeline for Talent.
When building a recruiting campaign, you want to make sure your brand is clearly communicated. Create a pipeline for talent that is proactive and offers competitive pay at a rate that will allow you to attract a reasonable talent pool for the job you are trying to fill. It’s also critical that the recruiting process you come up with is well understood by your managers and supervisors who are going to be involved with that process. In addition, students familiar with manufacturing are much more likely to consider a career in manufacturing. Trade schools and STEM programs are constantly looking for industry interaction and involvement for their students which also benefit the manufacturers by providing a brand experience with the students and potentially developing a connection with top notch future talent.
Engage and Listen to Your Team.
People who are engaged are more productive, connect with others and enjoy their work. However, people can become disengaged when they don’t feel valued. For example, a person might not have a clear understanding of their career path, or they might not have the right resources to do their job. What are the possible paths an entry level person can have with the organization if they aspire to grow and thrive within the company? Create opportunities for further training or even offer partial payment for college credit classes. One of the biggest reasons people leave a job is due to feeling undervalued and having negative feelings toward their managers and supervisors. Communication is key when finding ways to relate to your team and creating processes that will resonate with their needs.
Working with your professional advisors in the fields of career development, business planning, and compensation assessment will enable you to make the best decisions in hiring and retaining talent. By doing so, you can be one step ahead of the changing landscape in the talent acquisition process.