Companies are having great difficulty hiring and keeping employees in the post-pandemic world, let alone sourcing qualified candidates who can fulfill specialized positions. The manufacturing industry is particularly feeling the pinch of the labor shortage, with open positions far outnumbering unemployed, experienced workers.
One solution is to take a step back and focus on your company’s brand. Employer branding is an underappreciated way to attract top-tier talent and convince applicants to sign on with your company. As an HR leader, you may think of branding as marketing’s job; after all, branding efforts are usually targeted to encourage customers to buy products. But branding is also a great way to show prospective employees why they would enjoy working at your company.
Just what do we mean by employer branding? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Employer Branding and How Does It Help With Manufacturing Recruiting?
Employer branding includes everything about how a company presents itself to the world. From HR’s perspective, your company’s brand is defined by its:
- culture and management style,
- location and amenities,
- degree of flexibility and work-life balance,
- purpose and the fulfillment its employees feel,
- investment in its employees (through avenues such as training and education), and
- the level of compensation and range of benefits it offers.
Employer branding can help companies attract the caliber of employees they need, fill open positions faster and retain employees longer. But the benefits of employer branding can be even more far-reaching than that.
When you focus on employer branding, you show the world that you treat your employees well—and people feel good about buying from and working for companies that do right by their people. How a company treats its employees, customers and others is one of the biggest factors that younger consumers, in particular, consider when choosing which companies to support. Therefore, having a strong employer brand can generate more business and inspire long-term loyalty.
Here are four ways HR professionals can use employer branding to attract qualified manufacturing candidates.
4 Tips for Creating a Strong Employer Brand
Establishing a strong employer brand takes time and effort, but it pays off in the long run. These four tips will help you start building a brand that works.
1. Learn what current and former employees say about working for your company.
How do people view your company as an employer? You can find out by having your team interview current employees, schedule exit interviews with employees leaving their positions and look at online reviews. Use the information they gather to identify areas where your brand needs improvement.
2. Tell a compelling story.
Have your team craft a branding message that tells your company’s story and elaborates on its purpose in a way that speaks to the type of employee you want to attract. Your employer value proposition or the overall package your company offers its employees should be incorporated into that story, along with details about the benefits that accompany the position, what your employees love about working for you and how you can help potential candidates achieve their long-term dreams.
This is a great way to counter some of the common misconceptions about working in manufacturing. Your brand story can help dispel outdated notions, demonstrating how careers in manufacturing require skilled, technologically-savvy workers (even more so as AI becomes increasingly integrated on factory floors), can be lucrative and provide excellent benefits, as well as abundant opportunities for advancement.
3. Broadcast your message.
Once you have a story to tell, don’t keep it to yourself! Have your team include key branding messages in your job postings. At a minimum, make sure that job postings include information about the benefits you offer, any flexible work options you have and the overall stability, satisfaction and safety of working for your manufacturing company.
While you’re at it, coordinate with your company’s marketing team to ensure your message reaches consumers as well, spreading the word through advertisements, social media posts and other public-facing communications.
4. Hold your company accountable.
Social media, job review websites and message boards make it easy for potential candidates and applicants to learn what your current and previous employees say about your company. News about employee mistreatment has a way of getting around. Maintain the employer brand you’ve built by ensuring that your company lives up to its promises. Check in regularly with current employees to see how things are going and take any steps necessary to address any shortcomings. This will help protect your brand, encourage current employees to be better brand ambassadors and improve employee retention, which means your team might not need to spend as much time recruiting.
Once you’ve refined your employer branding message, share it with prospective applicants! FactoryFix can streamline your job postings so you can find qualified candidates faster, close the gaps in your company’s workforce sooner and help show how HR can be a revenue driver for your company..