6 strategies for hiring manufacturing workers


Black male manufacturing employee working at a machine
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Getting the right workers with the right skills requires more than posting jobs online.

Despite the fact that job postings are back to pre-pandemic levels, jobs requiring in-person work are being shunned in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic according to NPR. What happens when work is available but manufacturing jobs go unfilled? Employers have to do more than post jobs online. Here are hiring strategies and resources for attracting and retaining workers.

Create an environment where people want to work

Competitive compensation and benefits are just part of what employees consider. A workplace that’s clean, safe and makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger is a key factor in choosing an employer. The same qualities that attract people will help retain them as well.

Read more about creating a culture for attracting and retaining engaged employees from Black Line Group.

Referral bonuses

Current employees can be one of your greatest resources for finding new employees.

Referral bonuses often range from $1,000 to $3,000. Some companies pay when a referred candidate is hired and stays on the job for set period. Another way of paying referrals is through a series of smaller sums along the recruitment journey—such as when interviewed, at hiring and if the candidate stays for three months.

Learn more about employee referral programs from Workable.

Change perceptions

Before the pandemic, some manufacturers invited prospective workers to open houses. While COVID-19 restrictions hinder large in-person gatherings, there’s no reason you couldn’t host an online event. Behind-the-scenes tours, Q&A sessions, and conversations with current staff can show what a manufacturing job is really about.

Learn how to host a successful virtual event from Hootsuite.

Offer apprenticeships

Developing competency through apprenticeships is a time-honored way to build a skilled workforce. Today, thousands of U.S. manufacturers use the apprenticeship model to recruit, train and retain workers with the skills they need. Often, they partner with local community and educational organizations to expand their pool of candidates.

Explore how to create an apprenticeship program with a downloadable guide from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Recruit veterans

Many veterans are a perfect fit for manufacturing jobs because they typically possess the hard and soft skills manufacturers desire. Plus, they have experience working as part of something bigger.

Need another reason to hire veterans? You may be able take advantage of tax credits—like the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Learn more about why it pays to hire veterans from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Begin—or improve—diversity and inclusion efforts

“Manufacturing workers are deeply diverse in all sorts of ways: age, gender, race and ethnicity, ability and sexual orientation—not to mention education, life experience and socioeconomic background. To be competitive, businesses must be able to connect with the skills and experiences of a wide range of communities,” the Manufacturing Institute says.

Union Pacific, one of the nation’s largest freight railroads, sees closing the gender gap as one way to keep their worker roster filled. They’re backing this belief with a $3 million grant to the Manufacturing Institute designed create a career track for women.

Recruiting and retaining workers isn’t simple and it isn’t easy. However, with strategies like the six above, you’ll be better positioned to fully staff your shop with the skilled workers you need.

Do you have business banking questions? Contact our knowledgeable business development managers online or call 800-991-2221. We’re also available to help in person at your local office.

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Do you have business banking questions? Contact our knowledgeable business development managers.

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