Even if you don’t have a lot of time to invest in recruiting and retaining workers, these 5 techniques will pay off by generating excitement about the future of manufacturing for your upcoming workforce. We’ve highlighted some straightforward recruitment and retention strategies that will attract Generation Z and Millennials to manufacturing jobs sooner, and keep them longer.
5 Go-to Recruitment and Retention Strategies
1. Hire Based on Skill Set
...instead of hiring people and trying to fit them into jobs they may not have the aptitude for (the old way of hiring). You can find out what foundational skill sets your applicants need and hire people who already have them. You then match employees with the right job right away saving you from training workers who end up not being right for the job. As examples of skills to look for in applicants, RBC’s “Humans Wanted” report suggests six that are in high demand:
- Digital literacy
- Active listening
- Social perceptiveness
- Critical thinking
- Complex problem solving
If you hire applicants with these skill sets, you can transfer their skills into manufacturing training that meets the specific needs of your manufacturing sector right from the get-go.
2. Promote Diversity
Generation Z will be one of the most diverse workforces to date, and 77% of them say the level of diversity will affect where they work.
As an employer, you may be interested to know that diverse workplaces are:
- 8 times more likely to achieve better business outcomes
- 6 times more likely to be innovative and agile
- 3 times as likely to be high performing
- 2 times as likely to meet or exceed financial targets
3. Facilitate Upskilling
Allow employees to work while enrolled in programs that meet the future needs of manufacturing, such as computer programming, welding, engineering and management. You benefit when you upskill your workers because then they can grow into more skilled jobs, encouraging job satisfaction and job retention. You can:
- Give them flexibility around their class schedules
- Offer benefits upon completion of school programs
- Make sure summer, seasonal and peak operating times are available for employees to get extra shifts so they can focus on their studies off season
- Encourage semester on/semester off programs in exchange for tuition paid in part or in full
4. Work-life Balance
Millennials want to work in environments that are positive and support mental health. 63% of Canadian Millennials are at high risk for mental health issues, according to an Ipsos report. Only 29% of Millennials currently feel engaged in their jobs, according to Gallup.
For Millennials to remain in manufacturing, they need to feel their mental health will be taken into account, and also feel they are necessary to their workplace and job.
Actions you can take to support Millennials’ work/life balance includes:
- Giving routine job feedback
- Providing opportunities for continued learning and professional development
- Prioritizing happiness in the workplace
5. Face-to-face Communication
It may surprise you but Generation Z, the first digital generation, prefers to communicate with co-workers and managers in person. Rather than talking on the phone, emailing or texting, this generation is looking for a human connection at work.
You can start a dialogue with Generation Z through:
- Trade fairs
- High school information sessions
- Post-secondary programs
Then you can continue the human connection once they work in your manufacturing sector by:
- Ensuring human contact with managers regularly, such as with quarterly feedback and weekly stand-up meetings
- Calling colleagues by their first names for a more personalized experience at work
- Encouraging communication among different employees by organizing picnics, dinners, cocktails and other events that bring people together face to face
In the next four years, Canada will offer 2.4 million more job openings as the Baby Boomers retire, so why not give those job seekers what they’re really looking for so they come and work in your manufacturing sector, and stay there.
How to Engage Your Future Workers Face to Face