The recent Manufacturing Barometer (PDF) from the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service has a lot of interesting information about the state of industry and manufacturing in 2021, but one statistic really jumped out at us: 49% of respondents said that their biggest barrier to growth was recruitment.
Given unemployment levels, it's a little strange that manufacturers are having this much trouble finding new talent. Yet, that's apparently the case. And companies who are able to recruit most effectively are going to be those well-positioned in the years ahead.
At LogicBay, we specialize in helping companies overcome internal communications issues and improve cohesion within their ecosystems - including recruitment, training, and onboarding. We've seen companies with recruitment problems, and we have some suggestions for improving their situation.
Three Ways Manufacturers Can Improve Recruitment And Training
1. Implement better training to recruit less-trained workers
One big issue is that some manufacturers may still be expecting workers to come in with a high degree of existing training and experience. It's probably time to move past that, and accept that workers may come in untrained - but if they're willing to learn, there are more options than ever for robust on-the-job training.
Content development companies can put together professional-grade multimedia training programs that are suitable for a wide variety of audiences. You also have numerous new options in VR and AR training which are almost as good as hands-on training, but can cover any needed area - even those which would be too difficult or dangerous to train for in real-world situations.
2. Do more outreach to high schools and community colleges
Compounding the recruitment issue is that manufacturing tends to have an older workforce than in many other industries. US workforce data shows that the most common age for workers is in the 45-54 year bracket, with a large number of workers even older than that - and relatively few workers under 35. So attrition is another issue. Workers are retiring, or getting hurt, faster than younger people can be recruited.
This is an outreach and education opportunity. Manufacturers should be proactively partnering with high schools, community colleges, and other educational centers to put together job fairs and other types of outreach. Younger would-be workers need to know that manufacturing is a viable career, and one with better potential for job security than many of the "trendier" fields of business.
3. Focus more on technology and technological upgrades
Technological upgrades such as Industry 4.0 initiatives can bring about widespread improvements across an industrial operation - and that includes recruitment. Many younger people are looking for tech-related jobs, but see manufacturing as being stuck in the past. A company looking to implement data-focused processes would do well to promote this in their recruitment, and present themselves as a more
stable alternative to working for bankruptcy-prone tech startups.
Likewise, there's also room to expand work-from-home policies. Some industrial work still needs to be done in-person, but your recruitment efforts will likely go better if you have more positions which can be performed remotely. After a year (and counting) of working from home, a lot of people simply don't want to return to the office if they can avoid it. This is another opportunity to grab talent before other industrial operations get them.
LogicBay Can Bring You Top Quality Training And Communication Tools
If you're looking for ways to modernize and expand your training and recruitment, LogicBay can help! We have the tools to implement robust elearning systems within your operation, backed by expert content development specialists that can put together top-grade training programs. You can train new workers more quickly and affordably than ever before.
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