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Posted 02/18/2016

How to Attract and Retain Top Manufacturing Talent: Part I

7 Start-Early Ideas  Precision Manufacturers recognize that a qualified and skilled workforce is essential to their success. Sadly, fewer young people are choosing careers in manufacturing because they are unaware of either the opportunities available or educational requirements needed. This diminishing talent pool for precision manufacturers to choose from has led to a real shortage of workers.  Manufacturers must think both inside and outside the box when it comes to pursuing, attracting and retaining talented workers. Here are seven commonsense and creative ways that could boost your success in the future.
  • Plan a career day
Don’t wait until students are near high school graduation to begin recruiting. Start much earlier…when students reach age 10 and emotionally look for heroes. Visit different school districts each school year within your defined region. Send two or three job-diverse employees who are good story tellers. Stories are the best way to engage any audience. Be sure to leave time for questions. Don’t leave the classroom without asking who would like to visit your facility and see what you talked about in action.
  • Schedule plant tours (an old fashioned field trip)
Don’t stop with your visit - bring the classroom to you for a tour of your facility and a first-hand look at different jobs. Keep groups small (five to seven) so each student can see and ask a question or two. Also, prepare a list of sentence starters or questions ahead in case you have a quiet group so you can engage students in brief conversation. Have an incentive for anyone who shows a compelling interest.
  • Sponsor a competition for High School Juniors and Seniors
Entice students who are interested in STEM by offering competitions with monetary prizes, scholarships, and potential jobs. Publicize the event with lots of photos of the winner and runners-up. Develop and foster those relationships.
  • Provide a job shadowing opportunity
Invite a high school student of working age to job shadow for three to five days. It is important that the student sees daily life on the job with its issues, challenges, and successes. This is a good time to determine “fit” as well as aptitude. Don’t be shy about suggesting an alternative shadowing experience if warranted.
  • Invest in a co-op program
A co-op program can be a training opportunity for a vocational student while he or she fulfills requirements for graduation. For high school students who are not in a vocational program, a co-op program can still be of interest; so, don’t neglect these students when garnering young workers. Sometimes those in an academic program prefer the trades as a career.
  • Develop a summer program
Allow promising high school students to work for a summer break in your facility. Give them an opportunity to “try on” a career in manufacturing. They gain hands-on experience and work with team members as well as engineers, technicians and scientists. They learn about the company as well as contribute. In fact, students who start as part-time workers in high school often progress to higher company positions, becoming supervisors, managers, and executives.
  • Co-sponsor a community day
A community day (not to be confused with a career fair) is usually an outdoor gathering with food and activities suitable for families. This is a great time to provide demonstrations, hold information sessions, or explore opportunities. Not all potential candidates can be reached via schools; so extend your reach to the community who may be uninformed or not know how to connect. These seven ideas work mostly for future talent. The hope is to nurture talent so that when hired, they can become the ones who continue the hiring and nurturing process. It is a way the pipeline of talent will grow. MPS Technical has multiple resources to help you find qualified employees. Because we live in the area we serve, we understand the specific needs of precision manufacturing. We have a reputation for providing great employees who fit with precision manufacturing and for nurturing those employees through a smooth onboarding process. Let’s talk today. We have a branch located near you and are ready to discuss your needs.