How to hire & retain top Manufacturing talent – Part 1

There is no quick fix to this and isn’t something that can be done overnight. You need to review your hiring process and make sure you’ve covered as much as your business can possibly afford to do if you’re serious about attracting the best talent.


Hiring & attraction starts long before your 1st stage interview!


1. What does your employer brand say about you?


Whether we realise it or not, all companies possess an employer brand in one form or another. Do you have a careers site and identifiable career structures in place? Are you viewed positively on websites like Glassdoor, where employees and people who have attended interviews can review your company? Are your employees active on social media and LinkedIn? Are they professional, are they outspoken, do they have free reign or is their speak very corporate?


Does your company have employee outings for fun or are they active in engaging with and supporting their communities? All these public perceptions of your company to potential employees can allow talent to take a view on your company and decide whether it’s a company they want to work in and see themselves being successful in. Start by looking inwards and see what your employer brand says about you. Is it an accurate reflection of your business and how you want to be perceived? Once you’ve got an employer brand that is accurate and reflective of your company, embrace and publicise it!


2. How long is your application process?


We’ve seen it time and again that when people apply for a job, they’re directed to a talent website where they must fill out copious amounts of information which was already on their CV and can take hours to fill out. Typically these databases are used by large companies who receive many applications, but some of the best talent simply don’t want to take in excess of 1 hour to make an application. On more than one occasion we’ve witnessed these forms crash out and you have to start from scratch. Nothing is more annoying to a potential hire and we bet you they won’t be reapplying.


Research shows that you can lose talent at your application process if it’s too long. In today’s market people embrace a Netflix and Amazon style service where they can access content and experiences when they choose, often out of working hours, with little human interaction and preferably in a 1 click format. See our next point below.


3. Treat your candidates like customers


Various research points to the facts that when new potential hires are considering roles, they are treating it more and more like a shopping experience and leaving reviews. They want to know what people who work in your business are saying and they want to understand your culture and employee satisfaction levels.


A.I. is beginning to play a large part in this and it’s something that we’ve been trialling during our own recruitment process and have been achieving excellent results from. For example, chatbots are letting candidates engage with our brand in the same way they would with large web companies. Automated email follow ups are encouraging people to continue their application processes at a time convenient to them. It makes applications very simple to make as candidates can ask questions to a bot that they aren’t as comfortable asking a human being.


They’re able to decide whether a role is suitable for them without the fear of feeling pressured in a pre-interview process. They can monitor & update their application at a time that’s convenient to them and be kept updated by the A.I. for relevant roles again on their terms. Whatever it is you do, make your processes as simple as possible for talent to engage with your brand. Read more on our blog on A.I. in recruitment.


4. Revise your job descriptions and narrow down the must haves


We see this all the time with job descriptions and person specifications stipulating everything that you must have to be considered for a role, but are these all strictly necessary? We know when our current  clients recruit via us, they expect the best, and we agree with this but sometimes compromises need to be made.


Will 5 years’ manufacturing experience versus 2 years manufacturing experience have a damaging effect on your business? Or is it more important to have someone in the role who can still bring new ideas, experience and ways of working, and in the long term prioritise that your key roles are filled with talent who can bring something to your business and allow your business to pursue it’s growth targets? Furthermore, putting people into positions before they’ve been in that position before means that they will work harder, enjoy the added responsibility, and flourish in the role by way of being given an opportunity that isn’t readily available elsewhere.


As Richard Branson puts it:

“Generally, I’m a huge believe in giving people a chance and letting them grow into their roles. If you put your trust in somebody and give them a big responsibility, they will give it their all.”


Continue reading How to retain your top talent – Part 2.