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While it’s good news that the U.S. economy remains strong and unemployment rates continue to drop, for professionals tasked with finding talent and filling open positions associated with manufacturing, the job has never been harder. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from July to October 2018, the unemployment rate for the manufacturing sector dropped by more than half a point — to a mere 3.2 percent.

To put the challenge that HR professionals are facing into even better focus, consider that the BLS reports showed that in September 2018 alone, there were 150,000 more job openings than there were hires. Clearly, the shortage of skilled labor in manufacturing is being felt from the warehouse floor all the way up to the C-suite. Of course, it’s important to know that in the same month, there were well over 300,000 hires. So who’s finding the talent, and more importantly, what recruiting strategies for manufacturing are proving successful in this highly competitive space?

As South Central Pennsylvania’s leading manufacturing consultant, MANTEC has a unique perspective on which recruiting strategies are yielding the best results. That’s why, to help HR professionals successfully fill open positions, we’ve put together this list of four manufacturing recruiting strategies that are proving to be the most successful.

1. Maximize Your Use of Social Media

Recruitment on social media can no longer be relegated to an afterthought. If you’re in need of new talent, you have to go to where that talent is — and millennials in particular are online. They use social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn to explore their career opportunities. To engage these young candidates, you need to employ a variety of social platforms so that you’re essentially communicating your need for talent on the busiest streets of the online information highway.

2. Carefully Refine Your Employer Brand

An often-forgotten point is that the most compelling reason for talent to choose your company — other than salary — is because they feel your culture and employer brand are a good fit for them. You can help them recognize that match by consistently telling the story of your employer brand at every opportunity.

Whether you lead the way in environmentally friendly manufacturing practices or provide professional development opportunities, once you tell prospective candidates how your brand sets you apart from other employers, you’re more likely to attract high-quality talent that’s a good match for your company culture.

3. Consider Digital Recruitment Marketing

One of the most beneficial breakthroughs in virtual recruitment is to approach your digital recruitment strategies in the same manner as you conduct your online marketing. The good news is that there’s a growing number of digital marketing agencies that can help you tailor everything from job postings and social media posts to pay-per-click advertisements and keyword selections to reach the widest, most relevant audience possible. Best of all, reputable digital marketing agencies that offer digital recruitment marketing will most often have a pricing structure for their services that meets your needs and budget.

4. Establish an Employee Referral Bonus Program

If you haven’t set up an employee referral bonus program, do so immediately. It’s a great way to turn all of your employees into ambassadors for your company and put smiles on the faces of your HR department. Best of all, since candidates from this method of recruiting have already heard about your company and know someone who works there, the interviews that follow are typically extremely informative and beneficial for both candidates and hiring managers.

If you’re looking for more advice on how to help your manufacturing business grow, contact us. MANTEC has been providing expert consulting services to Pennsylvania’s manufacturers since 1988.

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