The manufacturing and warehousing industry is facing significant challenges, not least those surrounding sourcing new talent. Finding the right employees for your company is becoming increasingly difficult as fewer people choose to pursue training and education in this sector.
As those entering the workforce have higher expectations than ever before, manufacturing and warehousing companies must adapt to the changes in the labor market and take steps to make a career path in their industry an attractive prospect.
In this ultimate guide to recruiting skilled talent in manufacturing and warehousing, we will look at some top tips to help you attract the right candidates to your organization and how to retain those workers once you have them onboard.
Understand the Current Labor Market
The labor market is constantly evolving, and that change is being felt more strongly in the manufacturing and warehousing sector.
Technology is booming, and along with it, candidates are changing too. The industry’s most significant challenge today is finding specialized and qualified manufacturing talent to fill its vacancies.
While the industry’s labor market was once relatively stable, today there are major trends that impact the workforce. Older workers who have formed the backbone of the sector for years are now retiring and fewer new entrants to the job market are expressing an interest in entering the industry.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been yet another shift, with some employees deciding not to return to the workforce in favor of remote opportunities.
It’s vital for employers to understand the current state of play in the labor market so that they can tailor their recruitment approach to meet the needs of today’s workforce and appeal to new entrants to the world of work.
Develop an Attractive Employer Brand
Almost three-quarters of candidates today research prospective employers before they even make a job application. With this in mind, it’s essential for employers to make sure that their brand is appealing and attractive to potential applicants.
If a company has a poor reputation, the chances of attracting quality talent are low. As manufacturing and warehousing is also developing an image problem, this issue is only exacerbated for the industry’s employers.
Without developing a strong and attractive employer brand, recruitment efforts can be significantly diminished, so taking steps to boost your own company’s employer brand as well as the brand image of the industry overall.
The first step toward enhancing your brand in order to attract more quality candidates is to carry out a brand audit. It’s important to find out what prospective and current employees alike think of your company.
An audit will identify your brand’s strengths while also shedding light on the areas that require improvement. With this key data, you’ll be able to keep your brand moving in the correct direction to achieve success.
Optimize Your Job Postings
The most vital part of your hiring process is getting your job descriptions right. They must be both thorough and attention-grabbing in order to achieve the desired effect.
Work in the manufacturing and warehousing sector can be ideal for career advancement and work-life balance. It can be an exciting environment in which to work, so you need to generate excitement in potential employees by describing the daily activities that will allow them to put their hard and soft skills to good use.
Nevertheless, it’s also key not to gloss over the realities of the role. You must be transparent from the beginning with prospective candidates in order to minimize the disconnect that can so easily arise between reality and expectations.
The warehousing and manufacturing sector’s biggest obstacle is worker attrition, and the primary reason for this is a misalignment between candidate expectations and the expectations of the employer.
Workers must be made aware of the mental and physical demand involved in the work in order to decrease the chances of workers leaving because of misunderstood conditions.
The manufacturing and warehousing sector faces huge expenses while trying to keep its operations running without the necessary talent. Attracting employees who have the right credentials, certifications, experience, and skills is vital to ensure production remains on schedule with minimal downtime.
If just a single key player is missing during shifts, major inefficiencies can arise.
Fortunately, having a strong and well-implemented candidate relationship management system will make it easier to engage candidates over time and make it cheaper, easier, and quicker to source the right qualified talent.
Building a healthy talent pipeline is central to this goal.
You can grow your manufacturing talent pipelines by encouraging and persuading jobseekers to opt into your career site’s communications as well as your LinkedIn page and your other digital properties.
Adding quality talent to the pipeline is essential as you may require their niche certifications and skills at some future time.
You should also organize your pipeline to suit your specific hiring needs, with common categories including a combination of different locations, experience levels, and skills.
Your pipelines must also be kept engaged in the long term. You should send out weekly emails that will highlight your current job openings that relate to the talent pools to which a candidate has already subscribed, based on their unique interests.
Fun updates, company news, and advice about searching for a new role are all effective additions to these digest emails and will help to keep your employer brand firmly in the minds of prospective jobseekers.
Retaining Skilled Talent
Not only do you need to attract the right talent to your manufacturing and warehousing company, but you also need to retain the skilled employees that you already have.
Staff retention can be challenging, particularly in this industry due to its image problems, but steps can be taken to encourage existing workers to remain onboard and to stay loyal to the brand in the long term.
To keep manufacturing workers engaged and loyal, you should consider offering recognition and incentives to your staff. Finding effective ways to motivate your employees is crucial to staff retention, and it will also help to boost productivity too.
Evidence shows that workforces that are well-motivated will also be more productive, and to that end, recognition and incentives are powerful motivators for your workforce. Rewards and bonuses that are offered to employees who meet their production goals will encourage workers to put in maximum effort and to strive to achieve their best.
Furthermore, recognition in public for hard work is another effective way of boosting motivation and morale across the workforce as a whole. Of course, all employees are different, so it’s imperative to find the correct motivators to suit your employees.
When you understand what is driving your workforce, you will be able to motivate them more effectively in order to meet the company’s goals.
Another way to retain existing workers effectively is to ensure that their working environment is as positive as possible. In the manufacturing and warehousing sector, workers are often spending long hours standing up in hectic, loud environments, so providing a working environment that’s both comfortable and safe is key.
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways of improving your manufacturing and warehousing employees’ workspace. Providing more comfortable flooring and ensuring good ventilation and lighting will make a positive difference for employees, and providing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to reduce noise exposure will also be helpful. Giving workers plenty of space to freely move around will also help to make your work floor a better and more pleasant place to spend their day.
Taking these simple steps will help to reduce your staff turnover and enable you to retain the talent that you already have within your workforce.
Recent studies have shown that workers who feel as if they’re constantly growing and learning in their roles are better engaged with their work. Therefore, promoting more opportunities for professional development within your workplace will also help to reduce staff turnover.
Employees who feel as if their role provides them with new and exciting challenges are more engaged with their job than those who feel as if their job is just routine. As an employer, you must provide plenty of opportunities for development and training so your workers can be better engaged.
A surprising number of employers, especially within the manufacturing and warehousing sector, fail to make sufficient investment in employee training and development, and those employers are missing out on all the benefits that come with an engaged and motivated workforce.
Giving your employees the chance to grow and learn on the job will make all the difference to your recruitment and retention potential.
While the manufacturing and warehousing sector is facing many issues with regard to recruitment and retention, there are steps that you can take to make your workplace as appealing to new talent as possible.
By harnessing the power of a trusted recruitment agency, you can also simplify the process of attracting and onboarding new staff members to ensure that your business remains profitable and productive.