Many recruiters are trying to pinpoint exactly what will attract better workers to their business. Is it higher wages? Do candidates want more in terms of benefits? While these two things do have some impact on the talent you receive, they aren’t the only deciding factors when it comes to getting the attention of top candidates. Actually, training and flexibility have become more important to prospective candidates over the years.

Flexible Work is a Requirement for Many Applicants

The attitude towards flexible work schedules is changing. Applicants, both younger and more seasoned individuals, are looking for more flexibility in their roles. In fact, it is something many job seekers are prioritizing during their search. Many employees believe some flexibility leads them to be more productive on the job too.

When workplace flexibility is discussed, the conversation is typically centered around strategies that are only realistic for desk jobs – alternatives such as remote work come to mind.

That leads us to the question: Is there a place for flexibility in light industrial roles?

Shift work is already part of manufacturing. Why not leverage it to give employees better work/life balance and improve retention? For example, if a first shift worker runs into a childcare snafu, why not let them work the second shift rather than miss the day entirely? They could swap hours with a second shift worker to keep staff levels balanced.

Career Development is Important to Employees

While some workers just want to get their work done and clock out, others look to the future to see how they can boost their skills and income. Offer growth opportunities to ensure they don’t have to leave your company to achieve their goals. Talk to employees regularly to gauge their interest in training options or promotions. Whether they want to earn forklift certification or become a line supervisor, be sure they know they can come to you first.

Internal development opportunities are also a good way to attract better talent to your business. Do you have any clear career path people can follow to grow with the company? They will be more likely to pursue employment with you if they can see how the job and business fit into their career.

In general, companies that place a focus on training and development have happier employees. When you have happier, more engaged staff members, your retention rates will improve, and you will have well-trained, talented employees on your team. The idea here is to train employees well enough that their skills and experience put them in a position to leave. However, treat them well enough that they don’t want to depart from the company.

At the end of the day, attracting and retaining good employees depends on your organization’s ability to stand out in the industry. Get to know what the top candidates in your industry are looking for from their employer. Then, you use that information to supply exactly what they are looking for. One thing is for sure, though, you need to provide the two perks above to even get on their radar.