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5 Steps to Recruiting the Best Manufacturing Candidates

We outline five critical steps to attract and hire top manufacturing talent – creating compelling job postings, leveraging current employees, practicing skills-first hiring, maintaining candidate engagement and making competitive job offers. We also share the benefits of recruitment automation technology.

Finding and hiring great candidates for open roles is a difficult task in any industry, but in manufacturing, it’s even more challenging. In fact, the data shows that manufacturing work requires a particularly high number of specialized workers

How can your team attract and hire the top manufacturing talent your company needs to keep production moving? Here are five steps to take.

1. Create compelling job postings.

A job posting should be more than a bland description of work; it should help candidates envision their future with your company. When writing a job posting, include details such as: 

Once your team has crafted a compelling job posting, they must share it far and wide. FactoryFix’s one-stop sourcing engine distributes manufacturing employers’ job postings across the web, from familiar job boards to niche industry websites and through partnerships with industry organizations like the National Association of Manufacturers

2. Leverage your current employees. 

You have a secret recruiting weapon that you might not be using to its full potential: your current employees. Ask your employees to share your job postings—along with a note about their experience working for your company—on social media. 

If you don’t already have a formal employee referral program, create one! An employee referral program doesn’t just help companies find new employees; referrals are also likely to be hired faster and remain employed longer, reducing the costs associated with turnover. That more than offsets the cost of referral bonuses.

3. Practice skills-first hiring. 

Skills-first hiring prioritizes a candidate’s skills over other factors, such as their experience or education, and it’s on the rise. According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Future of Recruiting report, recruiters search for specific skills 50% more often than they search for years of experience

While it’s true that an employee’s background or experience can shed light on whether they would be a good fit for a given position, their success ultimately depends on whether they have the skills required to do the work. Soft skills are especially important in manufacturing, where there can be shortages of candidates with experience using the precise machines or processes some employers need. Focusing instead on skills like adaptability and teachability can point the way to candidates who will excel at on-the-job learning. 

FactoryFix’s TalentEngage tool allows recruiters to customize screening questions to quickly determine which candidates have the skills they need. This eliminates the need for time-consuming screening calls, freeing up time for recruiters to focus on other critical tasks like interviewing pre-qualified candidates.

4. Show candidates they matter to you.

Candidate engagement is a crucial part of recruiting. Without it, your best candidates are likely to accept other positions, and your second and third choices may write you off as a poor place to work. Don’t let that happen; keep promising candidates in the loop and demonstrate your interest by having your team stay in touch through regular updates. 

TalentEngage makes it easy to streamline candidate engagement. It automatically messages candidates within minutes of their application submission and sends them personalized communications—like interview reminders—throughout the hiring process. 

5. Make an offer that’s hard to refuse. 

Hiring is a two-way street, so your job doesn’t end once your team has decided who it would like to hire; you still need to convince that candidate to accept your offer. That’s not a foregone conclusion, given that manufacturing candidates reject 19.8% of offers

How can you make a truly competitive offer? Start by ensuring that you’re offering fair pay in light of inflation and the local cost of living. A 2022 Gallup poll showed that pay was a critical factor for 64% of respondents when evaluating new job opportunities, up from just 41% in 2015. But don’t stop there. The same Gallup poll revealed that candidates also value work-life balance, job security and diversity, equity and inclusion, so be sure to emphasize your efforts in these areas. 

Recruiting top-tier manufacturing talent can be challenging, but you don’t have to go it alone. FactoryFix’s proven recruitment automation technology can help your team quickly and efficiently find qualified manufacturing talent to speak with.

Download our FREE report: Manufacturing Labor Data & Talent Strategy Insights for May 2023