Attracting younger generational workers

March 8, 2022

A May 2021 Deloitte article states that there are more than half a million job openings in the manufacturing industry right now and that number is expected to grow. Over 2.1 million roles are expected to be left unfilled by 2030 and could cost Americans $1 trillion.

But what's causing this problem and what can businesses do to attract new talent in the face of this epidemic? This article will dive into these details to help you find the candidates you need.

A murky problem

After what is now known as the Great Resignation, the entire country is facing a labor shortage. While most of the coverage on the phenomenon is geared toward the service industry, businesses in all sectors of work are experiencing similar problems.

For the manufacturing industry, this issue stems from a multitude of issues – the first being that many of the positions previously were held by the baby boomer generation. Many of the people who have quit their jobs, according to Forbes, are between the ages of 65 and 74 years old.

Additionally, the younger generations have a different understanding of what it means to work with a business. Due to a push for college education and a negative stigma against manufacturing work, the industrial industry is considered a place for people who did not get a post-secondary education. Better benefits and opportunities for upward mobility can correct this belief.

Younger workers, according to the Deloitte article above, are also more keen on prioritizing a work-life balance. This means that they need greater flexibility in the workplace such as breaking out of the typical 9-5 work hours, paid time off, mental health days and more.

Targeting younger talent

Along with focusing on creating a flexible work environment, the manufacturing industry needs to also consider targeting more diversity. One way to target more women (an underrepresented demographic in the industry) is to offer better benefits for child care and sexual harassment training. More broadly, manufacturers need to make a point to integrate equality and inclusion training management programs.

Younger generations are also looking for more upward mobility opportunities as well. Training your staff and making a plan for the next steps in their career can pull in more go-getter candidates that are poised to work hard to move up in your business for the long term. Targeting hires who see a future in the business but don't know where to start can be the perfect launching point for creating mentorship programs, secondary education programs and training opportunities for the next step in their career.

This generation of incoming workers can be a huge asset to any business as long as you tap into their needs, understand how they approach work and their expectations for a working environment.