How to Bring in the Best Talent to your Manufacturing in 2022

As the pandemic continues to wind down, the global economy has started to re-grow. Industries across Ontario have opened up, the mask mandate has been lifted, and the government has stopped rolling out compensations to the unemployed. As a result, people are back into the job marketplace looking for work.

That being said, due to a variety of reasons; be it changing compensation expectations, or the widening skill gap; companies are struggling to find suitable talent.

The global manufacturing industry has had its own share of problems. Pandemic breakdowns & regulations, automation difficulties, talent shortage, compensation competition, the list goes on. All of this is not helped by the recruitment hassles. Recruiting skilled labor for blue-collar jobs has hardly ever been this painful.

The problem might seem to be bigger than what you expected, but you can systematically tackle it.

Let us try to figure out what’s actually up; what real changes the pandemic has brought into the lives of your pool of candidates, and how you can really help.

Where is my ideal candidate missing?

Manufacturing is an old-school industry. 1/5th of the Canadian industrial population is at least 55 years old. People are retiring, now at even a faster rate, owing to the pandemic.

The continuous opening and closing of the economy have made workers go through a cycle of getting hired and laid off. This has discouraged people from being available to work.

Moreover, such industries; the likes of automobiles, electronics, bakeries, warehouses, etc., usually struggle to attract a new and young pool of job seekers.

People, in general, hold a negative view of manufacturing. The reasons are many; less luxurious job profiles, unglamorous and harsh physical labor, lesser wages, ill-treatment of employees, unfair wages, shorter lifespan due to automation, etc.

Young talent is hardly on the lookout for a job opportunity at any manufacturer.

Solution? Only re-branding can help.

Fixing the Brand Image

Manufacturing, despite the negatives, is a nostalgic and respectful domain of industries. Your ideal candidate might be more than happy to join in once you get rid of false stereotypes that have become concrete over time.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Work upon championing your firm as a modern workplace with apt company culture.
  • While many companies have made it to the news for being scandals or unfair to their employees in the past, you should aim to stand out. Prioritize work ethics, stress reduction and relaxation practices, community building, fair wages, health & safety standards, etc.

  • Ask your employees for honest testimonials and use the same for breaking stereotypes.
  • Hire people from different demographics, flaunt diversity in your staff. Try to focus on hiring younger workers, women, and minorities.
  • Embrace your traditional sides while marketing the innovations.
  • You can host “open house” events to allow students and freshers to see what their highly-skilled and well-paid career in manufacturing can look like.

    Another suitable example is leveraging the Manufacturing (MFG) Day that occurs onthe first of October. Open your doors and invite the public to come and witness your day-to-day operations. Showcase how your employees interact with each other and the machinery methods. Let your industry advancements inspire curiosity amongst the crowd.

  • Leverage your social media channels for posting job offers and creating brand awareness. Digital marketing is the king. It’s no longer a question of whether you should be doing it or not, the question is, how well you can do it.
  • If you are outsourcing or using a helping hand in recruiting, make sure the agency presents you well. Remember- the better your company profile, the more talented candidates you’ll attract.

The Skill Gap

Your candidate pool might not be trained in the skills that are required for the respective job profile. This can happen due to a lack of previous experience or proper schooling. This problem is further amplified by the recent need for technically skilled labor that can easily operate automated and AI-backed machinery.

Here are a few tips to counter the same.

  • Do not shy away from providing training to the newcomers.
  • Coordinate with high schools, tech colleges, military, employment agencies, non-profits, etc.
  • Collaborative workshops and courses will provide you with guaranteed, tested talent

  • One of the top benefits that workers seek today is on-demand learning so that their skillset is continuously updated. Hence, invest in upskilling and reskilling programs. This will only cost you less than what re-hiring would while keeping your employee pool relevant and valuable.

There’s also a different skills-related problem that manufacturing companies face. The industry is undergoing a huge change at a global scale, incorporating technology and AI and replacing manual labor with machinery.

Hiring for tech-specific roles such as safety engineers is as hard as hiring for line jobs like assemblers

  • Job hunters with adequate, technical skills are often under the misconception that a manufacturing company houses no job opportunity fit for them. You can tackle the same by rolling out clear JDs and making sure they reach the right eyes and ears.

A lot of burdens here can be reduced if you have a suitable recruiting agency by your side. We at M&M take pride in our smooth & efficient process of providing clients across Ontario with the best talent available.

The Art of Compensating Well

The government introduced substantial unemployment benefits during the lockdown, some of which are still continuing.

Besides, even though the minimum wage in Canada varies from province to province, big players like Amazon offer a fixed minimum of 14$/hr and an average of 18.23$/hr.

The above 2 facts raise a job seeker’s expectations. Hence, it sounds rational to consider raising your minimum wages.

Not just that, as an employer you shouldn’t shy away from providing competitive salaries. This can also be assisted by monthly/ quarterly/ annual retention bonuses.

Your package should be a healthy mix of market suitable salaries, wellbeing aids, career-advancement pieces of training, referral bonuses, investment & retirement plans, etc.

Personalized Tangible Benefits

A large portion of young workers seek a job different from the typical 9-5. They might have college to attend or other jobs too. Offering possibilities like work sharing and flex shifts can help here.

Other young job seekers might be ready to join in full-time, but with a high demand for career advancement opportunities. For older candidates, however, retirement plans might be a priority.

Clearly, manufacturing employs a range of different generations and career aspirations. A fit-for-all approach might not work. Choosing to take a more personalized approach to benefits offering is the right thing to do.

Other General Tips:

  • Have clear and well-formed job postings.
  • Implement robust job advertising
  • Maintain a candidate database, even when not hiring
  • Look for candidates in newer places, social media for example.
  • Bring in an amazing referral bonus system.

If you are on the lookout for a befitting staffing agency from Canada; one that is capable of understanding your exact needs and bringing in your ideal candidate persona, read more about us @ M&M.