Despite the rapid introduction of new technologies in recent years, the manufacturing sector has and always will depend on people to get things done. However, the way employers hire and manage workers needs to change if the industry hopes to have a fighting chance in the war for talent. It all comes down to overcoming talent acquisition challenges and adopting a sound talent management strategy.
What is Talent Management?
Running a successful manufacturing company involves more than just hiring people to complete a role—it requires building in-demand skills, investing in ongoing training, and optimizing on-the-job performance. This is talent management, a key aspect of Human Resources that ultimately develops an engaged, skilled, and productive workforce.
A better word to describe talent management might be talent empowerment. After all, companies that invest in the employee experience empower their workers to achieve business outcomes, not just complete tasks.
Talent Acquisition Challenges in the Manufacturing Sector
Before you can manage your company’s employees, you must first hire them. Unfortunately, the manufacturing sector struggles with talent acquisition for several reasons:
- The need for skilled talent: Linework—which is non-skilled and transferable—has been largely automated these days. Meanwhile, new technology-based work requires specialized skills and training.
- Unavoidable training: Every new employee requires expensive and logistically complicated onboarding, coaching, and tracking.
- Succession gaps: Turnover is a normal aspect of any business. However, it’s especially costly in the manufacturing sector because of the necessary training required to onboard a new hire.
- Image problem: Many candidates consider manufacturing an unappealing industry and choose to apply for jobs elsewhere.
- Labor shortage: Talent resourcing is an issue because supplemental federal unemployment benefits have discouraged some jobless individuals from taking work. The aging and retiring workforce exacerbates this labor shortage.
Talent Management Strategies for Manufacturing Companies
To help your talent acquisition efforts align with the needs of your business, consider adopting these talent management strategies in 2021:
- Create a talent standard: To avoid “contaminating” your workforce with poor team players, misaligned talent, or unmotivated individuals, evaluate all potential candidates against a quantifiable talent standard.
- Hire for traits, train for skills: When seeking qualified talent, focus less on hard skills, which you can always train later. Instead, look for core soft skills that can be molded to align with your organization’s shifting needs over time.
- Conserve talent: Gain insight into what your current employees can do, will do, and want to do. Then, leverage their skills where they’ll benefit your company the most.
- Promote self-development: Give your employees access to knowledge resources, encourage them to mentor one another, and hold individuals and teams accountable.
The key to overcoming talent acquisition challenges in 2021 is to develop a proven plan and execution strategy to find qualified candidates. Then, you must help them develop their skills through strategic talent management. Progressive Reliability can assist you with both! For help hiring and retaining the right people for the job, please contact us at 833-758-0070.