4 Ways to Fill Jobs in Advanced Manufacturing

By Nigel Hapurarachchi

Earlier this month, I was pleased to join a panel of talent and recruitment professionals to speak at an event called “Building Skilled Talent” in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Alive with workshops, a trade show, and a panel discussion among industry leaders, the event spoke to the emerging talent needs of manufacturers in and around Mississauga.

Here is a quick recap of what we discussed and what we can do as HR, recruitment, and staffing professionals to meet the talent needs of our manufacturing communities—not just in Ontario—but across Canada and North America as well.

 

1. Improve the perception of manufacturing as a viable career path.

It is important that we work with grade schools, high schools, colleges, and universities to reinforce the benefits of studying, mastering, and pursuing careers in trades, such as manufacturing. Remember, college isn’t for everyone—nor should it be. Accentuating the importance of real-world skills in our schools will guide our more mechanically minded youths to explore viable job opportunities in manufacturing.

As Acara Senior VP of BD Chris Beckage points out in his article, “What Bypassing College Could Mean for Gen Z and Recruiters” published by Hunt Scanlon Media, younger people are beginning to set their sights on technical fields like programming, engineering, and robotics. As we continue to develop and promote these perspectives, we’ll be better positioned to fill critical positions in manufacturing and other similar industries.

Are you doing enough to partner with educational institutions in your community?

 

2. Successful companies must attract new and young talent.

It isn’t enough for kids to actively pursue careers in manufacturing. Employers must reciprocate by providing healthy, happy, and worthwhile opportunities for newer and younger talent to succeed at their businesses. So, how can they do it? Here are a few recommendations:

  • Study industry trends to determine what people are looking for in an employer
  • Use social media, video, and other channels to broadcast your brand
  • Offer compensation that aligns with market averages
  • Define compelling reasons a person should join your company
    • Culture
    • Company growth
    • Career advancement
    • Authentic voice for employees
    • Work/life balance
    • Purpose-driven mission
    • Opportunities for disruption

 

3. Identify hard-to-fill positions and upskill your staff.

The hardest-to-fill positions are skilled machine operators, machinists, millwrights, welders, and tool and die operators.

Why? Business owners and hiring managers are telling us that college graduates are not equipped with the practical skills and experience needed to perform these tasks. And because younger people are being persuaded to enter college, they are entering a supersaturated workforce of white-collar professionals. To make matters worse, older workers who do have the necessary skill sets are either retired or nearing retirement.

Successful companies realize this challenge or partner with staffing firms to implement strong succession plans. In some cases, employers are carrying an extra headcount to account for the time it takes to train and upskill employees.

What skills are most important to new hires in advanced manufacturing?

  • Machining
  • Fabrication
  • Welding
  • Tool and die operations
  • Industrial mechanics
  • PLC programming
  • Adaptability (soft skill)
  • Creativity (soft skill)
  • Critical thinking (soft skill)

Related: Upskilling Employees for the Future of Work

 

4. Mix in a fractionated HR solution to save time, money, and resources.

Many businesses become overwhelmed by the number of applications they get for a single position. In my work with Mississauga companies, a significant percentage of these applications are from applicants who do not possess the necessary qualifications. This can take up a lot of time for companies that have no HR Department to sift through applicants—especially small- and medium-sized business and family-run operations.

How can a fractionated HR solution be economical and help companies in this situation?

Look at the cost of having the position or positions vacant: the cost of allocating a manager to sift through resumes… the cost of time taken away from managing your operations… the cost of overtime needed to make up for the absence of production… the cost of working your employees too thin and its associated risk of missing deadlines.

Many companies are starting to understand that they need a talent solutions partner to source, screen, and present only the top profiles of high-quality candidates to optimize their hiring processes.

It’s also important to note that in many cases, the top candidate for the position isn’t the person who actively applied for the position. In today’s market, top candidates are already employed—they’re passive job seekers—they’re not even looking for new opportunities. That’s where Acara Solutions comes in. Our recruiters are trained to identify and generate interest from these candidates, and our ATS system allows us to automatically weed out profiles that do not meet your pre-set qualifications.

 

For more talent, staffing, and recruiting insights, connect with me on LinkedIn! Until then, learn more about how Acara Solutions can enhance your talent efforts at acarasolutions.com. And don’t forget to follow Acara on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and Instagram!

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