“Traditional staffing” has got it all wrong when it comes to the needs of industrial companies today. What industrial businesses need is a great source of skilled permanent employees in the middle of a skilled labor shortage, not a revolving door of untrained bodies to fill seats.
The unfortunate reality in 2018 is that the gap between supply and demand in labor is a wide one. A 2015 Deloitte report projected that 2 million manufacturing positions will go unfilled in the United States over the next decade. That’s a large number across one industry. The skilled labor shortage is likely to persist.
Utah-based Xemplar Skilled Workforce Solutions recognizes the Darwinian reality of the zero-sum labor environment. Labor is a constraint on business, but companies positioned as superior employers can win when they utilize customized recruiting tools designed specifically to address the challenge. Xemplar’s Industrial Trades Pros has those tools.
A Modern Industrial Problem
The rise of high-tech manufacturing, automation, and the culture of process improvement have brought a sharp increase in labor productivity. Any worker can generate a far larger output than was previously possible. But this advancement has a trade-off: fewer workers are required, but they tend to require more skills to complete their streamlined role. Why? The more skilled a position is, the more difficult it is to streamline or eliminate. The result is that we find ourselves in the age of the skilled labor shortage, a disruptive disconnect between the demand and supply of these workers in America.
As experts debate the cause, industrial companies are already facing intensifying constraints on their growth due to labor. The ability to expand a division or purchase equipment is married with considerations regarding how that division will be staffed or who will operate or program the new equipment. These changes have happened slowly, but they have created a state of confusion among industrial managers. There is not a manufacturing association meeting that I attend where talent constraints are not named as the biggest issue facing manufacturing businesses.
Possible solutions to the shortage include boosting apprenticeships, technical colleges, on-the-job training, and high school outreach programs. Some of these initiatives aim to train those ready to jump at the attractive wages offered by these jobs; others aim to alleviate the current stigma against blue-collar jobs in America. States are starting to recognize the issue and dedicate significant funding to the problem.
Where Smart Recruiting Comes In
Staffing services have traditionally focused on the commoditization of labor in the name of speed and volume. If a client had a production need, it was easy to get an individual out to the job site and up-and-running the next day. Speed was the imperative, and the ability for a staffing company to place a worker on an assembly line one day and then into a warehouse the next was a significant advantage. The more that industrial clients need to fill specialized or skilled orders, the more strain was put on the traditional staffing company business model. With C-suite demands to accelerate interviews and starts, staffing professionals rarely found the time to give these orders the attention they deserved.
Temp-to-hire staffing became a service that sounded great to managers because it reduced their employment risk and commitment to employees. But in practice, it created high turnover and lowered employee standards across operations. Our firm found through testing that, when measured, this temp-to-hire staffing service results in an approximately two-thirds failure rate for all employees placed. Definitely not the goal of the employer.
A New Way Of Thinking
Xemplar decided to develop a better service to help industrial companies win. With its new industrial staffing service brand, Industrial Trades Pros, Xemplar combined its industrial recruiting expertise with a niche marketing platform targeted towards industrial trades professionals. The model aims to slow down the staffing process to match not only skill set but also long-term compatibility with the client. Xemplar invests in clients upfront to understand the complexities and differentiators of their business, so that recruiters can leverage that information in assessing candidates and promoting opportunities. The firm then leverages that knowledge across the client’s diverse skilled positions and its locations nationwide. The result is an industrial staffing service proven to be two times as effective as temp-to-hire staffing in finding skilled, productive, and permanent employees.
Launched in April, Industrial Trades Pros promises to be a model that redefines industrial staffing as a service more relevant than ever to the future of industrial employers. Perhaps surprisingly, in an era long distant from that of the ”Kelly Girls,” industrial staffing is seeing some exciting, new innovation.
Additional information about Industrial Trades Pros is available here.
Adam Himoff is President/CEO of Xemplar Skilled Workforce Solutions, based in Salt Lake City, UT. Founded in 2013, Xemplar’s mission is to enable its industrial clients to beat “The Skilled Labor Shortage.” Adam has significant past work experience in finance and entrepreneurship and lives in Park City, UT with his wife and children.