Hiring in Manufacturing: Meet the Challenges and Create Interest

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Is your company feeling the crunch?

Businesses are struggling with a 'blue-collar drought.

With roles becoming increasingly technical and demanding, but fewer people choosing to pursue education and training in sectors like manufacturing. 

The salary in the manufacturing sector is a good deal and the future of the manufacturing sector is brighter than ever, yet HR can’t seem to entice people, especially the younger generation, to join the industry.

Challenges in Recruiting a Skilled Workforce In Manufacturing

  1. It’s an Image Problem: 

“boring, outdated and not creative”. 

In a Deloitte survey, 45% of respondents cited “negative perceptions towards the manufacturing industry” as a cause for projected job vacancies. Imagine the HR nightmare.

  1. The Impact of Automation and Robotization

Historically, there has always been a fear that new technology will mean fewer jobs. 

The reality? New technologies actually create different opportunities.

  1. An Aging and Retiring Workforce

One of the reasons the sector is facing a shortage of workers is the high number of recently retired or are approaching retirement age. 

But older workers should be viewed positively. 

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that in the eurozone, workers aged 55-74 accounted for 85% of employment growth between 2012 and 2018.

  1. The need for manufacturers to upskill

According to the World Economic Forum, 54% of all employees will need to be upskilled by 2025 to prepare for the increase in automation and artificial intelligence (AI). 

Workers will abandon technical tasks to develop skills robots cannot perform, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. (So much for the robot uprising, huh?)

Upskilling your workforce is essential to overcome the skills gap.

  1. Employee Retention. A recent survey showed that only 36% of manufacturing companies budget for employee development, yet two in five companies have an annual staff turnover of at least 20%.

 So what can you do to combat these challenges? Hire the right people!

How to Find Employees Best Suited for Your Business

It is challenging to find employees with the exact skills and qualities you wanted for specific roles, but you must exert your best effort since choosing the best hires is critical to your company’s ongoing success.

Create compelling job descriptions

Writing an attention-grabbing and thorough job description is one of the most important parts of the hiring process.

Work in manufacturing can be exciting and certainly can provide an ideal work environment for work-life balance and career advancement. Make them excited with a description of day-to-day activities in which they can make use of their soft and hard skills. 

Look internally

Before seeking qualified candidates outside your organization, consider if any current employees are looking for a change or promotion and might make a good fit. 

Not only do you already know this person’s strengths and experience, but because they know the manufacturing world, they do not need as much training and background knowledge as a new hire. 

Besides, you may be retaining an employee who otherwise might leave your organization to pursue a similar position elsewhere. 

Reducing employee turnover helps attract good talents. 

Job candidates are attracted to workplaces with a track record of employee longevity.

Help employees become brand ambassadors

There’s no better brand ambassadors other than the employees themselves. 

Have employees speak about how they love their work and how exciting the new applied technologies are. This fuels the interest of jobseekers.  

And the job seekers lured by this type of strategy take a short period of adjustment and are usually the best performers.

Consider new job seekers

There’s no reason not to consider candidates who are fresh out of school or looking to make a career change.  If a job seeker possesses the soft skills and personality traits that you’re looking for, then go ahead. 

Give the candidate and yourself a chance. You might discover gold. Just because someone doesn’t have a great deal of experience in the manufacturing field doesn’t mean they won’t make a great employee.

 Never underestimate the power of a motivated individual who is eager to learn. 

Use social media

Social networks are excellent platforms to get the word out about open positions. If you use these channels, make sure to be available to answer questions from interested jobseekers. Encourage sharing. the more people share your post, the wider the audience is. The more job seekers become aware of your vacancy. You may include photos and videos to help generate excitement. 

Assess the Job Fit

A job fit is when an employee's strengths, needs, and experience match the requirements of a particular job. A job fit is undeniably one of the most significant factors whether an employee will thrive and stay in their jobs or not.

Cultural fit: Will the organization’s culture match the applicant’s needs to be successful in a particular work environment? 

Values, beliefs, outlook: Does the employee share the prevailing values of his organization and its workforce? 

Experience: Does the candidate have the work and life experience necessary to excel in the job? Does it matter?

Education and Training: Does your candidate have the right education and training for the job? Can she obtain it in a timely manner?  Or, does your organization have the confidence and expertise to provide it? 


  • When it comes to finding and hiring great people that will fit in well with your job description, you have to be patient, persistent, and creative. 
  • Optimizing your flexible workforce is essential. 
  • Develop a strategy to take full advantage of flexible and contingent talent. Take control of the factors you can influence.  
  • Put your company in the best position for the future.

The manufacturing industry’s future is beckoning brightly!