Recruitment strategies for manufacturing and light industrial companies must go beyond wages in competitive markets. Because budgets are limited, businesses must offer alternative benefits and perks to attract and keep talent.

The 2021 Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute Manufacturing Talent study estimated that manufacturing employers would have 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. There is a shortage of talent with the skills required to keep manufacturing firms operating. 

As manufacturing professionals retire, leave the workforce, or take jobs in other industries, not enough workers are replacing them. According to a 2022 Conexiom survey, 73% of Gen Z said they had not considered building a career in manufacturing. A lack of interest was the reason most commonly given. 

As a result, manufacturing and light industrial companies must go beyond wages to implement recruitment strategies in competitive markets. These suggestions can help. 

Manage Your Employer Reputation 

According to the Glassdoor report, 86% of job seekers read company reviews before deciding where to apply for roles. Most seek peer insight to determine what working for a company truly is like to see whether it would be a good fit for them. 

As a result, you should know what your current and former employees are saying about your organization. Then, you can respond to negative reviews and make improvements to earn more positive reviews.

You can implement these tips to manage your employer reputation:

Monitor employer review sites

Scan popular employer review sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and Comparably to see what employees like and dislike about your company. Write down common themes and notes for review.

Respond to employer reviews

Schedule time weekly to review new ratings and comments on employer review sites. Then, professionally respond to the negative comments:

  • Thank the employee for their feedback.
  • Objectively address the concerns.
  • Invite the employee to directly contact you with additional questions or concerns.
  • Show you value employee feedback and do your best to implement it.

Encourage employer reviews

Ask your employees to share their experiences on employer review sites. More positive reviews lessen the impact of a few negative ones. 

Emphasize Your Employer Brand

According to Glassdoor’s 2021 Statistical Reference Guide for Recruiters:

  • 75% of job seekers were likely to apply for a job when the company actively managed its employer brand. 
  • 68% of millennials, 54% of Gen X, and 48% of baby boomers said they visited an employer’s social media pages to evaluate the employer’s brand.
  • A strong employer brand can reduce the cost per hire by up to 50%.
  • Companies that actively invest in their employer brand can reduce turnover by up to 28%.

How your employer brand is perceived online impacts recruitment and retention. Showing your organization’s uniqueness helps professionals see themselves advancing their careers within your organization. 

Share your employee value proposition

Clarify what your employees like best about working for your organization. Examples include:

  • Your company’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives within your workplace. 
  • The ability to work with innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and quantum computing.
  • Opportunities for upskilling, reskilling, and career growth.
  • Sustainability and corporate responsibility activities.
  • Other tangible and intangible advantages.

Offer Attractive Employee Benefits

Benefits support your employees’ goals and lifestyles. Therefore, offering the benefits many employees want strengthens your recruitment strategies.

Consider offering the following employee benefits:

Health and wellness benefits 

  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance 
  • Disability insurance 

Retirement and financial benefits

  • Retirement plan with a company match 
  • Stock options
  • Performance bonuses
  • Charitable gift matching 

Paid time off benefits

  • Vacation days
  • Holidays
  • Sick days
  • Bereavement leave 

Education and skill development benefits

  • Job training
  • Professional programs
  • Educational assistance 

Work-life structure benefits

  • Legal services assistance 
  • Childcare assistance
  • Flexible schedule opportunities

Family and parenting benefits 

  • Parental leave
  • Adoption assistance 
  • Dependent care
  • Family medical leave
  • Military leave

Emphasize Employee Referrals

Employee referrals are among the most effective recruitment methods:

  • Since your employees likely spend time with others who have similar personalities and interests, they can refer connections who fit your company’s culture.
  • Because your employees work for your organization, they can learn about and explain the job duties and responsibilities for an open role. 
  • Referrals often can be fast-tracked through the recruitment process since your employees can attest to their knowledge, skills, and qualifications. 
  • Referrals typically remain long-term because they have established employee relationships.  

Employee referral strategies

You can choose among these strategies to help secure employee referrals:

  • Ensure your employees understand how the referral process works.
  • Regularly talk with your team about the employee referral process and current job openings.
  • Provide cash, a gift card, or another reward to each employee whose referral gets hired and remains for a set time. 

Target Your Job Advertisements 

Advertise your job postings to targeted demographics. These professionals have the skills and experience to excel in a role and a personality that fits with your culture. 

Targeted job advertising focuses on the areas where candidates typically spend their time. Reaching qualified candidates increases your candidate pools for higher-quality hires.

Implement video into job advertisements 

According to Wizowl’s The State of Video Marketing 2023:

  • 91% of businesses used video as a marketing tool 
  • 96% considered video to be an important part of their marketing strategy
  • 95% said video marketing has helped them increase brand awareness 
  • 70% of non-video marketers planned to start online video marketing  

Recruitment videos show how your company differs from the competition. For instance, you can embed the videos in your job postings to showcase the work environment, equipment, and company culture. You also can share the videos on your company’s website, social media pages, career sites, and job boards to demonstrate your employer brand.

Advertise job openings on social media

Share your job postings on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms that let you target your audience. You can engage with potential candidates, educate them on your culture and career paths, and encourage them to share your postings. 

Implement Recruitment Technology

Modern recruitment technology uses targeting and analytics to increase candidate reach and track the effectiveness of recruitment activities:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can automate resume screening, candidate matching, chatbot messaging, and related tasks.
  • Programmatic job advertising uses algorithms to promote job openings on the job sites that targeted candidates frequently use.
  • Analytics and reporting tools track recruitment return on investment (ROI) to modify recruitment efforts as needed. 

Partner with a Manufacturing Recruitment Firm 

Ōnin can provide you with experienced manufacturing or light industrial workers to reach your recruitment goals. Find out more today.