6 ways to use technology to support HR strategies in manufacturing

February 21, 2022

It's no secret that automation is already disrupting the workforce as we know it.

As a matter of fact, according to The Manufacturer, 34% of manufacturing roles are likely to be automated in the next decade. In turn, manufacturing workers will be asked to perform new duties, learn new skills and work side-by-side with robotic counterparts.

So, what does this mean for manufacturing? Put simply, it's time to reinvent your human resource strategy. You need to be able to fill the gaps in your workforce that are necessitated by transformative technologies. More importantly, you need to know how to hold onto talented workers once they've been hired.

Here's how to use technology to attract, retain and manage your workforce:

Targeted recruitment
Artificial intelligence can be taught to identify the best available candidates for your open positions based on your company's chosen criteria. AI not only accelerates the recruitment process but impresses younger candidates who value – and even seek out – the use of cutting-edge technologies. In turn, leveraging smart solutions is a great way to get talent in the door. Given the growing shortage of labor that transcends the industry, this is an especially important competitive advantage.

Expedited training
HR departments are now able to use augmented reality and virtual reality to supplement their training process. During onboarding, newcomers can practice using heavy machinery and other equipment before actually stepping foot on the production floor. This is a great way to avoid costly accidents, mistakes and inefficiencies during their first few weeks on the job.

Self-service technology
Whether it be an employee portal or a workforce management system, offering your workers a digital platform where they can access important resources can yield a wide range of benefits. Within a single dashboard, employees can receive and send communications to management, ask for time off, apply for new positions or perform any number of career-minded tasks.

Empowered employees
With access to the right tools, employees are empowered to perform at their best. Of course, there are no better tools than those provided by automation. The workforce, in turn, is able to fulfill their roles efficiently, proudly and with less pressure to meet production quotas or benchmarks.

Data-driven workforce analysis
Through web-connected IoT sensors, according to SHRM, the Internet of Things is bridging the gap between manufacturers and their employees. In essence, IoT sensors, automation technologies and other smart devices all collect data as they perform their daily processes. In turn, HR departments can break down data silos between disparate areas of the production floor and obtain a greater understanding of how employees are performing. Better yet, this allows managers to identify weaknesses in their production processes and coach individual employees to more efficient outcomes.