If you're like a lot of manufacturers across the country these days, you probably have a few job openings that you're having trouble filling, even as millions of people are out of work. Many industry experts say this disconnect — "If there are jobs available and people out of work, what's the problem?" — may not always be easy to overcome, but there are certainly ways you can do a better job of finding the right people to hire.
The following tips should help:
1) Make it easy to apply
One of the big turnoffs for job seekers in any industry is companies that make applicants jump through hoops to submit a resume and cover letter; that's something you should avoid, according to IndustryWeek. Simply put, if you have even one job to fill, you want to attract as many applicants as possible so you can hire the absolute best person available. Those top hires might look to competitors if you make the application process unnecessarily difficult.
2) Get the timing right
You should generally have a good idea of your needs around hiring — especially if you're trying to ramp up for seasonal demand — and you need to give yourself and your applicants enough runway to enjoy long-term success together, IndustryWeek added. That means making sure you're planning weeks (or preferably months) in advance so you know exactly when you want to make the hire, give the new worker ample time to be trained on your processes, and generally ensure you can hit the ground running.
3) Promote your safety record and culture
Manufacturing businesses may have a hard time attracting talent despite being willing to train just about any good candidate in part because of some misconceptions about the industry, including how safe workers may be on the factory floor, according to Fora Financial. For that reason, it's a good idea for companies to highlight that they are highly committed to safety, and haven't suffered an on-the-job injury in many months or years. This can assuage some concerns that certain job seekers might have had, and broaden your candidate pool accordingly.
4) Strive to be highly communicative
When you have a position to fill, it's important that your candidates be kept in the loop at every step of the process, according to Wipfli. Not only is this common courtesy — since you wouldn't want to be left in the dark for weeks about a potential job opportunity, either — but it also helps ensure candidates are fully engaged with your hiring process and don't drop out due to other opportunities or a loss of interest. In addition, it's a good idea to make sure you progress through the hiring process relatively quickly, especially for entry-leevel jobs.
Something as simple as a form email you blast out to all candidates still being considered for a job, once each step of the process is completed, could go a long way toward making sure they're highly interested.