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Three ways manufacturers can improve recruiting efforts

Aug 08, 2018

As a manufacturer, you know how difficult it is to hire good employees. The recruiting pool continues to grow smaller — making it all the more important for you to stand out from your competitors. Luckily, there are three things you can do to improve your recruiting efforts and attract top talent.

1. Define Your Employee Value Proposition

An employee value proposition (EVP) encompasses the value employees believe they gain by working for your organization. A strategic and well-defined EVP can help attract new employees by telling them exactly why they should choose to work for you.

Manufacturers with a strong EVP have five elements to their organization that combine to make the company a great place to work. These manufacturers:

  1. Foster a great company culture
  2. Provide technical/professional training and development
  3. Offer attractive compensation and benefits
  4. Actively demonstrate the importance of recognition and rewards
  5. Help employees maintain a reasonable work-life balance

Before developing your EVP, focus on strengthening these five elements to make your organization more appealing to prospective employees. After all, it’s not all about the money.

As human beings, we’re also triggered by emotions. Capture prospective employees’ hearts and minds by promoting how they can make a difference by working at your company. For example, are they creating products that have significant value in our society? Do your products help people or solve problems? What charitable organizations do you support and why?

When it comes to actually putting together your EVP, ask your best employees why they continue to work for your organization. They’ll typically give specifics about career growth, time off and flexibility, training and development, technology, being able to make a difference and, for higher-level jobs, ownership opportunities. These details will help you develop and put into words a strong EVP that will give you some leverage over your competitors.

2. Promote Your Company

Marketing matters. Your website and social media pages should promote your brand to potential employees. Tell them what it’s like to work at your company, what differentiates you from others and why they should work for you. Promote your volunteer opportunities and sustainability efforts. And highlight perks such as sports leagues, cool technology your company uses and opportunities to travel to new places.

Whatever differentiates your organization or makes you a great place to work, promote it. You’ll not only reach a larger audience of potential employees but also help convince them your company is the one for them.

3. Recruit Proactively

It’s time for a hard truth: “Post and pray” and “poach and pray” produce only marginal results. Putting an ad out there and hoping for the best just doesn’t work that well anymore — and poaching from other manufacturers brings you employees who are more liable to take your sign-on bonus, stay for a year and then move on to the next poacher.

Proactive recruiting is effective recruiting. Here are four ways to be more proactive:

  • Search job databases, type in the keywords you’re looking to hire for and then either call or text the people who pop up in the results. Millennials like to be texted, but phone calls are effective for reaching older generations.
  • Attend local, industry and school job fairs. They’re worth it.
  • Use LinkedIn Recruiter (also worth it) to find employees for technical and management jobs and Facebook for production jobs.
  • Contact your “alumni” — people who have worked for you in the past. Call them up 6–12 months later, see how their new job is going and leave the door open for their return. If the grass wasn’t greener at their new company, they’re more likely to come back and stay with you.

Proactive recruiting is also essential because your competitors are likely out doing the same. If you’re not on their level, you’re missing out while they’re getting the best employees. Stay competitive by putting the time and effort in to develop your EVP, promote your company and actively go after prospective employees.

If you want to learn more about effective recruiting strategies and how to implement them, contact Wipfli. We’re here to lend our specialized knowledge and experience to help your company succeed.


Deborah S. Marshall
Senior Manager
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