Recruiting Top Talent in Manufacturing: Lead with What’s Most Important (To Them)


or all the discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in the workforce now and into the future, companies will continue to rely heavily on its people to get the job done. This shows up every day at manufacturing companies across the globe. While companies rightfully continue to invest in technology to absorb low-value work, people are crucially needed to make decisions and execute high-value tasks. That makes identifying, recruiting, and hiring the best talent essential to a manufacturing company’s future.

Employbridge is the largest industrial staffing company in the U.S., and for the last 17 years has conducted a survey that captures the annual priorities and preferences of 30,000 hourly wage earners. This year’s “Voice of the American Workforce” report highlights the survey’s findings. Manufacturing is a focal point, and this survey is a must-read for hiring managers and decision makers.

To effectively lead in manufacturing recruitment marketing, companies need to show they truly understand what hourly workers are looking for when seeking a new job. Key highlights featured in the report and accompanying webinar include:

  • Pay is the top factor – by far – when looking for work.
  • Job security is now more important to most job seekers, surpassing last year’s priority of shift/schedule.
  • Treating workers with respect is the best way to build loyalty and retain workers.
  • Manufacturing workers prefer 5-day workweeks of 8-hour shifts, while logistics workers showed an interest in 4-day workweeks of 10-hour shifts.

Recognizing and acting upon what candidates value most goes a long way in ensuring that talent pipelines are filled with the right people. With pay leading the way as the most important offering to a candidate, companies should include that information – whether it’s the exact amount or a range – in all job postings and advertisements.

Not only will candidates know in advance if the pay or total compensation meets their needs, but it also shows the company is committed to inclusion and pay transparency for all candidates. (As states around the country enact their own pay transparency laws, companies can be out in front of those requirements by sharing that information now.) If companies don’t feel their pay or total compensation package is attractive enough, sharing any other pay elements – such as quarterly, signing or referral bonuses – is worth considering.

Stability and job security are also important to job seekers. Whether a long-standing history in business or newfound success, it’s important for companies to show candidates they will have the opportunity to build a career there.

When using social media to attract talent and fill openings, showing images of employees in their work environment resonates well. Also, messages from leadership touting pay and other company benefits while also incorporating a strong call-to-action typically yield positive results.

Whether your manufacturing company is new to recruitment marketing or has been practicing it for years, strong messaging that resonates with candidates is the foundation that will help keep your talent pipeline full for years to come.

Learn more about how we help companies build world-class employer brands here.

Recognizing and acting upon what candidates value most goes a long way in ensuring that talent pipelines are filled with the right people.