After two long years of the COVID pandemic, it seems we will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. As U.S. health officials announce that we are “out of the pandemic phase”, most of us can return to our daily lives as we once knew them. What they haven’t warned us about is a new, worsening pandemic: staffless-ness.
In July of 2019, 522,000 manufacturing jobs remained open.
“About 2.1 million manufacturing jobs are likely to be unfilled by 2030” says a report released by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute (MI). It also warns that such shortages could damage the U.S. economy by about $1Trillion.
“...Recruitment and retention of solid employees is just difficult... They're not finding the right talent", says Courtney Berg, founder of CourtSide Consulting. She feels that the priority should be in the hiring process.
In the past, Baby Boomers have made up a large part of the manufacturing workforce (34%). As more and more are reaching retirement age, the industry feels the strain. They struggle to fill higher-paying and entry level positions that need skilled workers.
The influx of retirements makes Millenials and Gen Z the targets to fill these openings. The problem is that old recruitment strategies have become out-of-touch.
36% of younger workers lack interest in the industry. Most assume that these kinds of positions are for those who didn’t pursue a college degree. This is a common misconception. Many of these jobs need some degree of higher education and even doctorate degrees.
Staffing issues in industries like manufacturing aren’t due to widespread illness. The pandemic has forced all of us to adjust our ways of living. Most notably, it's made employees realize how much they value work-life balance.
Younger generations are looking for jobs that fit their lifestyle. Many don’t view manufacturing as an industry that allows for that kind of flexibility. For some industries, this means adjusting the workday. The traditional 9-5 no longer interests younger generations.
The top priority for many Millennials and Gen Z is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
It’s not only younger workers that make this a priority. 76% of job seekers consider diversity to be an important factor, according to a survey by Glass Door. Meanwhile, 32% would not apply to a company that lacks diversity.
This is an important factor in curating a workspace that will make employees want to stay.
Gen Z in particular is very interested in upward mobility within a company. Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of the Manufacturing Institute (MI), says
"You’re not necessarily choosing the thing you want to do forever, but you’re choosing where you want to start”. says Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of the Manufacturing Institute (MI).
“I would be hard-pressed to find another sector that has as much upward mobility as we have in manufacturing."
In an age where technological advancements happen often, retraining is essential.
In the past, manufacturers have been able to get away with a revolving door of employees. According to RecruiterBox, the average cost-per-hire in the manufacturing industry is $5,159.
Neglectfulness in training is no longer an option due to difficulty in staffing.
Employees most often leave their position due to a relationship with their manager. The assumption? The management is a direct reflection of the company.
While this isn’t always true, it highlights the importance of a thorough hiring process. Those in a management position must be equipped with management skills and be good trainers.
Managers must engage with their employees. Building relationships with their employees on a basis other than work is another good way to make employees feel cared for.
Many companies are finding that employees who are engaged are more likely to stay with their current employer.
HR is essential in retaining the workforce. With record low staffing, their job has become especially important.
HR has hands in all the above areas. From hiring strategy to fostering a welcoming work environment through DE&I, HR does it all.
Training for manufacturing continued education and career development, motivational speakers, and benefits like tuition reimbursement are all ways in which HR can reduce the strain on the industry. However, 83 percent of employees find on-the-job training most effective in helping them perform well in their job, compared with classroom-based training, self-paced training (i.e., e-learning), and more
They show existing and incoming employees that they are a valuable asset to the business. It lets them know that their employer is willing to invest in them.
Clarity encourages employers to put extra care into the recruitment process. The more time you spend with employees, the more they will be committed to success.
In 2022, we recognize that this may push your bottom line in ways that might make you uncomfortable, it is important if retention is a priority.
Do annual analyses of your total compensation package to make sure it can still compete with other companies.
Anything from flexibility with employees to appreciation programs, “thank you” goes a long way with employees and makes them feel taken care of. A good work culture goes a long way today. Need more ideas, read our blog on How Empathy Impacts Work Performance HERE.
Right now, we know it is difficult to fill open positions in manufacturing. Making it even more important that these positions stay filled. In July 2019, there were 522,000 manufacturing job openings, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). today, we know that number has only climbed in 2022. Do you need help attracting top manufacturing talent? Contact Clarity HR today.