Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals across the manufacturing industry are facing unique hiring challenges.

Advertising open positions through social media, also known as “social recruiting,” can help fill a position much faster.
Advertising open positions through social media, also known as “social recruiting,” can help fill a position much faster.

By: Jeffrey K. Rohrs, Chief Marketing Officer of Jobvite

While the global economy is feeling the impact of COVID-19, which has led to the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, manufacturers have remained fairly resilient. In fact, a recent Thomas study found that a majority of manufacturing companies have not laid off employees due to COVID-19, and 30% of companies are actively hiring.

The disruption caused by COVID-19 will continue to be felt for many more months, but the manufacturing industry requires skilled professionals now more than ever. These skilled workers may continue to be hard to find because many are still employed, and the manufacturing industry inherently has high demand and short supply of roles ranging from skilled production workers, to R&D and big data experts, to operational and business managers.

At the same time, disruptive technology has transformed the talent profile for much of the manufacturing industry and these companies now find themselves competing for highly educated, skilled talent, which requires a new approach to talent acquisition. With that in mind, here are some tips to help manufacturing businesses drastically improve recruiting efforts to meet hiring demands.

Utilize an Applicant Tracking System

A recent study found that 62% of job vacancies in skilled production occupations posted by manufacturing firms are difficult to fill. Recruiters in the industry can make it easier to fill these positions by leveraging an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

The benefits of an ATS are numerous, as they streamline the entire hiring process and reduce time-to-fill. Recruiters can use an ATS to attract ideal talent, automatically screen for the highest quality candidate, engage potential employees, and retain workers, all while creating a continuous talent pipeline.

Suggestions for selecting the right ATS include ensuring it offers a mobile-optimized branded career site, a recruiting branding solution, on-demand video screening, advanced analytics, onboarding, and seamless integration with other HR systems.

Focus on Employee Branding

An employer’s brand is more important than ever. Whether recruiters are hiring for today or will be in the future, they need to place emphasis on the employer brand. Having a clearly defined employment brand can help a company stand out from the competition, build a talent pipeline, improve the overall quality of hires, and reduce costs.

Social media plays an important role in developing and establishing an effective employer brand. Everything that is posted across an employer’s social media channels should directly or indirectly highlight why they are an employer of choice and give prospects an inside look into what it’s like to work for the company. This provides a perfect opportunity for job seekers to acquaint themselves with employers and learn more about the company values.

Manufacturing recruiters should use messaging in job descriptions that highlights their employer brand and aligns with the top factors candidates in the industry consider before accepting a job. According to the 2020 Job Seeker Nation report, one of those top influences is job security. With 73 million Americans planning to look for a job that is more pandemic-proof, incorporating messaging about the stability and security of a job in manufacturing can help attract and engage potential workers.

Leverage Multiple Channels

In the past, recruiting for a job meant posting only on the company’s website or a community job board. With the advent of social media, however, the opportunities today are much broader for job advertising. Advertising open positions through social media, also known as “social recruiting,” can help fill a position much faster. It also broadens the talent pool, making it easier to find a suitable candidate.

According to Deloitte, it’s also important to leverage recruiting channels that engage with the next generation of workers. Tap into local high schools and colleges to get the word out about entry-level manufacturing jobs, as well as communicate with area educators about what skills are needed from future graduates. With so many young people questioning if they will go to college due to economic and financial challenges caused by the coronavirus, there’s never been a better time to highlight the value of a manufacturing career to this audience.

Implement Internal Mobility Strategies

It’s more expensive to rehire and retrain workers in this sector, making it vital for recruiters to implement internal mobility strategies as part of a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy.

Internal mobility is essentially the re-hiring of an existing employee. It involves an employee’s change of role within an organization, which includes a change in job function or switching from one division or department to another. Internal mobility ultimately gives an employee the freedom and flexibility needed to advance in a job and promotes greater employee engagement, making an organization more resilient during economic downturns.

The ability to demonstrate to potential candidates that a company is invested in the career goals of its workers and looks within for opportunities to fill positions and promote employees helps recruiters distinguish the organization from competitors. However, Jobvite’s 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report found that internal mobility is not a common strategy as many companies don’t make it a key part of their recruiting strategy. As a result, according to the survey, 65% of workers never or rarely check their company’s internal postings. It’s not enough for recruiters alone to be invested in internal mobility. Ideally, they should partner with hiring managers to source internal candidates.

Recruiters in the manufacturing industry are continuously seeking ways to simplify their jobs and get a jump on the competition. Facing an industry talent shortage, manufacturers need to get creative in order to plug the skills gap and gain the highly skilled, loyal workforce that can propel their companies forward. Fortunately, a little innovative thinking and the right technology can help you answer some of the most critical challenges.

jeffrey k rohrs jobvite
Jeffrey K. Rohrs

About Jeffrey K. Rohrs
Jeffrey K. Rohrs is the Chief Marketing Officer of leading talent acquisition platform Jobvite. With more than 15 years of SaaS marketing experience, Jeffrey previously served as CMO of Yext during a period of rapid growth and a successful initial public offering in 2017. He also served as VP of Marketing Insights for Salesforce and VP of Marketing at ExactTarget during their IPO and acquisition by Salesforce in 2013.

For more information on Jobvite, please visit www.jobvite.com.