The US manufacturing and reliability sector has hundreds of thousands of unfilled job openings. The problem is, these positions require a highly skilled and trained workforce that can be difficult to find. On top of this, older employees are retiring, and young people tend to view blue-collar work as low-ranking options, so job opportunities remain open.
If your manufacturing company is struggling to attract qualified candidates, it’s helpful to get inside the minds of those you wish to hire. Find out why candidates are choosing or not choosing to accept certain jobs so you know what changes to make within your own company.
10 Reasons Candidates Say Yes to an M&R Job
Here are the most important aspects of a manufacturing job that make candidates more likely to say yes:
- Competitive wages: Compensation is often the first thing candidates consider when comparing job offers.
- Better benefits: Robust benefits packages—complete with excellent insurance coverage and retirement plan matching—attract qualified candidates.
- Additional incentives: When it comes to recognizing hard work, small rewards go a long way.
- Job opportunity close to home: Job seekers are often drawn to nearby companies to avoid a long commute, especially since M&R opportunities are not remote like many other positions since the pandemic.
- Shifts or hours that align with their schedule: Some people may be interested in working 12-hour days if it means they always get a three-day weekend.
- Industry passion: You can’t train candidates to be passionate—they must be inherently interested in the industry to thrive in it.
- Smooth hiring process: Candidates are attracted to companies that respect their time by eliminating bottlenecks in the hiring process.
- Good company culture: A healthy work environment is about more than the job itself—candidates must also meld well with the existing team.
- Company stability: The events of the past year have drastically disrupted the job market. Candidates want to know that any position they accept isn’t going away anytime soon.
- Opportunity to grow: Job seekers want to progress within the company. If a job offers the chance to expand their skillset, they are more likely to accept it.
7 Reasons Candidates Turn Down a Manufacturing Role
Candidates may look elsewhere if an M&R job has any of the following:
- Low compensation: Most people work to make a living that can support their passions and family needs. If a job offers noncompetitive wages, qualified candidates are likely to turn it down.
- Subpar benefits: Employer-provided benefits for M&R jobs tend to exceed those offered in non-manufacturing jobs. Companies that aren’t aware of this could supply subpar benefits without knowing it.
- Shifts or hours that aren’t compatible with what they need: Candidates who want to work specific hours may turn down jobs that don’t fit their lifestyle. Today’s top candidates care more about lifestyle than many other factors that are considered when weighing opportunities.
- Complicated hiring process: Initially eager candidates may back out if the hiring process is time-consuming and convoluted.
- Poor company culture: Job seekers may change their minds about working for a company if the mission statement doesn’t meld with their personal values.
- Incorrect skillset: Candidates who are either overqualified for the role or underqualified for what the company is asking may not be the right fit for the job and will likely move on to another opportunity.
- Minimal safety regulations: Because of the inherent risks behind M&R jobs, safety should be a top priority. If it’s not, candidates are likely to look elsewhere.
8 Reasons Candidates Leave Their Current M&R Job
Just because candidates accept a job offer doesn’t guarantee they’ll stick around. New recruits may change their minds for the following reasons so it’s important to ensure you have a plan for retention and not just filling roles with bodies:
- They find a “better opportunity” with higher compensation and benefits.
- They get burned out from a long commute, so they start looking for jobs closer to home.
- They need a healthier work/life balance with less extreme hours and more days off.
- The job doesn’t meet their expectations because the employer made empty promises about job duties, hours, pay, and growth during the hiring process.
- They want to start something new to expand their skillset.
- The company changes management, and employees who are loyal to the boss rather than the company decide to leave.
- Their responsibilities increase without appropriate compensation.
- There’s no room for advancement or growth, or employees have advanced as far as they can go, and they still want more.
9 Ways to Differentiate Your Manufacturing Company
Once you know what candidates are looking for in an M&R job, the next step is to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Here’s how:
- Review your compensation rates and benefits. Align them with what other companies in your area and industry are offering to be competitive.
- Offer valuable incentives, such as profits-interest plans, gain-sharing plans, paid days off for exceeding targets, and gift certificates for demonstrating key company values.
- Provide clear expectations so candidates have an accurate understanding of their responsibilities, hours, and more before they apply.
- Simplify the onboarding process: Define what experience level, soft skills, and cultural fit you’re looking for to help pinpoint qualified candidates.
- Develop a strong training program, remembering that you should hire for traits and train for skills.
- Create a diverse culture that is communicative, welcoming, and comfortable.
- Maintain open communication between leadership and employees, as well as from leader to leader.
- Challenge your employees to keep them engaged. Help them utilize their strongest skills and work outside their comfort zone to spur personal growth and feelings of accomplishment.
- Allow room to grow and advance with a clear career path. Make employees aware of advancement opportunities to incentivize better performance.
M&R Hiring Services
At Progressive Reliability, our job is to help you find qualified candidates for your M&R roles. Innate skills such as determination, punctuality, curiosity, and social awareness are all characteristics we look for in candidates to ensure the right fit and reduce turnover. If you’re eager for a better long-term bottom line instead of short