As COVID world continues to drive more people to be influenced by website impressions, every move a company makes in marketing their company is magnified. Too many manufacturing company business owners are not listening to the experts, to employees, to their HR departments or to outside staffing firms regarding recruitment strategies. Owners are not investing in upgrading website marketing opportunities to attract the next generation of talent.
With outdated images that overemphasize stark images of shop floor; rows of big, noisy presses; unattractive lighting; employees in uniforms next to stacks of boxes or standing at a machine — all inside windowless metal buildings, with fencing and gates, in some cases. An American flag flies in front of the building, void of signs of human life. No less than 40 candidates in the past five years have said to me, after they reviewed a typical plastics OEM website, "That place looks like a prison!" And they're right.
In an attempt to demonstrate to customers that your company has capacity and equipment to make the stuff, you are also creating disinterest in young workers looking for an engaging, enticing and promising place to work. There is a way for companies to demonstrate both production capabilities, as well as show that they are an employer that invests in and understands the new generation of workers that have to be attracted. Yes, it is true: You are a manufacturer and can't make it appear you are a open-concept campus like Facebook. You can, however, create a more compelling presentation to attract more talent.
So, in the meantime, what can you do to secure better and more talent now? Placing all the blame on the lack of talent due to baby boomers retiring, or young people not being interested in vocational programs, is like blaming the basketball for not going through the hoop: It's the person holding the ball that is the issue.
As a professional deeply involved in the talent acquisition world of manufacturing, I would propose a number of immediate ideas and observations (as shared over the past 10 years) to fix many of the challenges to attract talent. By taking a "right now" approach, there are many ways to overcome the challenges of securing talent in our present economy.