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Recruitment & Hiring in Manufacturing: 3 Simple Ways to Do It Better

The pandemic has rocked the labor market in all sectors, hitting manufacturing and distribution businesses especially hard. With the amount of open positions outpacing the number of qualified and willing people to fill them, industrial companies are finding it more difficult than ever to keep operations running smoothly. It’s no secret that the labor shortage is a major cause of today’s supply chain disruption, and you know what that means: longer lead times, raw material shortages, shipping delays, empty store shelves…need we say more? 

So, the $64,000 questions are: how do we get the right people in the door and how do we make them want to stay? How can I attract the right people when everyone out there seems to be promising the same things?

We can’t promise that it will be easy, but we can help you start smart. In this article, we’ll cover three simple ways you can amplify your recruitment tactics so qualified candidates can find you, get to know you, and apply for jobs that fit their skills.

1. Create a Simple, Consistent Application Process

If a candidate is searching for a job opportunity at your company, is it easy to find? Adding a careers page to your website is a great way to share the positions you’re looking to fill.

Once a candidate applies at your company, there needs to be a process in place to move those candidates through the hiring process. Maybe you have a solid HR team that helps process these applications or perhaps you’re a smaller organization that handles applicants ad hoc. Having a process in place makes sure your candidates are getting consistent experience and helps your team know how to process those applications. This consistency reduces friction in the hiring process and helps you snag solid candidates before your competitors.

A few questions to ask are:

  • Do we want to meet this person via phone, Zoom, or in person?
  • How many rounds of interviews do you need to make an offer?
  • Do you need to complete a background check?
  • Does this candidate need references, and who’s checking those references?
  • How do we make someone an offer or let them know we’re not moving forward? Phone call? Email? 

2. Use Specific Language and Targeting 

Think about one of your top employees. The person that makes you say, “If I just had a few more people like that person, we’d be in a great spot!” What qualities and skills does this person have that makes you so eager to keep them?

Knowing what you need in a candidate and matching those traits to prospective employees is crucial to finding and retaining quality talent. When crafting your job descriptions, start out by writing it as if you’re persuading your best employee to work at your company. Describe what’s great about them and why they add value to your organization. Specific language that targets individuals with specific traits can go a long way in helping you with your screening process.

Another way to get the right people in the door is through digital advertising. Have you ever seen an ad on Facebook and thought, “Wow! It’s like that ad was specifically for me.” That’s because social media platforms use what they “know” about you from your online habits to send you relevant ads. The same is true for job postings. You can set up ads to target people in a specific geographic area, job titles, even personal interests that are relevant to the candidates you’re looking for.

3. Promote your benefits

How will someone know how great your company is to work for if you don’t tell them? A higher wage might get team members in the door, but it won’t make up for a poor experience in the long term. 

Make sure you’re promoting the benefits your company offers, along with the ways you help team members lead fulfilling lives. It’s important to state basic benefits such as health insurance and paid time off, although these are expected. Think about the other perks you offer. Do you provide a stipend for work gear? How about flexible scheduling? Make sure your website and job postings make your company look attractive when stacked up against the competition.

We know it can be tough to find time to work on recruitment when you’re already short staffed and dealing with operations issues. But we also know that sometimes, it’s important to slow down for a moment so that you can speed up in the future. We hope you found these best practices helpful! Follow us on LinkedIn for more tips on better marketing for your manufacturing or distribution business. You can also check out our sister nonprofit organization, Conflux Co-Learning, for webinars and events aimed at helping industrial companies succeed!

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