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June 2023

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Manufacturing Recruitment for the Next Generation of Factory Workers

The National Association of Manufacturers has reported that 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled over the next decade. Manufacturing companies are coming to understand this acute labor shortage and know they will have to compete in the market to fill these positions. Following these steps when competing for young talent can help your company gain a competitive edge.

Make the Position Description HYPE

Imagine someone's life or mobility hanging by a thread, but a medical device that came from your production cell is what makes the difference.

Did that catch your attention? If you want to fit in with the hundreds of position listings on the internet already, that is easy. Find form letters on Google, copy and paste and throw that description online. It might communicate what you want, what the job pays and the conditions, but is it speaking to whom you want? Is it persuading anyone to come to your company?

The old-age archetype of the factory worker is gone. They have retired, put in their time and are off to bigger and better things. If you want to keep your line moving, you need to find some young blood. Make your position description exciting and show the life of your business. Your position description is the first opportunity to give off that impression.

It is not all about what they are doing, but how they make a difference. Do you work on the bleeding edge of manufacturing technology? Tell them about the future and how they can be involved. Does your company make things possible, or does what you produce save lives? Show them the results of your labor, the industries that exist because of what you manufacture or the people impacted by your life-saving technologies. This younger generation cares about social impact; show them how you make some.

Partner with Trade Schools

Manufacturing recruitment does not always need to start with a job application. Trade schools are a great place to find eager, hard-working labor. These are people who are used to working with their hands, and they are looking to secure a good job for themselves as they exit the education system. Your company can offer them free on-the-floor training.

Go to your local trade schools and ask them how your business can offer work experience. Trade schools are an excellent opportunity to get potential future workers in your building to experience the job.

More than that, you can see how they work. Who works hard, keeps a good attitude and improves your company with ideas?

These people are hard to find, and in a traditional hiring model, you often guess what a prospect's work ethic is like. When you have them already working in front of you, you know. You know, and you can approach them on the floor to start a conversation about their career after trade


Internships are Monthslong Interviews

Internships work the same way. Get people in the door. Let them test drive your company while you test drive their talents. Use the internship to train someone right and then use those skills at your company.

Not all internships are paid, but if you want to unleash the possibilities of this pipeline, offer those interns a fair wage for their labor. This will increase the number of applicants because some people cannot afford to work for free. People who work the hardest are most likely to have other opportunities. Fight for the best talent by offering incentives.

If you are offering unpaid internships, make sure you are in accordance with the Department of Labor.

Change the Narrative

There is a common sentiment that kids do not want to work these days. That they cannot handle hard jobs with honest labor. This could not be further from the truth.

They are not afraid of hard work; they are scared of the factory conditions that permeate the industry. They are afraid of a miserable environment.

Movies, history lessons and stories from the industrial age have stereotyped this business to seem full of grumpy older people overflowing with bitterness. It is a picture of a miserable workforce covered in soot, prone to injury and chain-smoking their breaks away.

But you cannot just change the narrative in your hiring process. You have to focus on building a culture, not just say you have one. The fastest way to alienate your potential recruits is to sell your company as something it is not. This generation is incredibly savvy about researching companies online. If you sell your company as something it is not, the best recruits will not even bother to apply. Make your company the best it can be for all your team members, new and tenured. Our team members all deserve that.

After you build a place where people want to be, show them who you really are with original photos of your working conditions. You can even take it one step further by creating videos of current team members talking about your culture.

Use Those Assets to Your Advantage

Take changing the narrative one step further and be proactive about it. Meet young people where they are: social media. Use paid ads on social media to be in the place where your potential workforce is. Share the assets you created in step four to interrupt their scroll with an incredible opportunity.

Use these tips to up your hiring game and create a new generation of the manufacturing workforce.

Authored by Shelly Smith, Director, Human Resources, Millennium Machinery

For more information contact:

Millennium Machinery

4406 Technology Drive

South Bend, IN 46628, USA


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