Skills for the manufacturing industry are in their shortest supply in more than 30 years. That means an Avengers Endgame level war for talent that I’m sorry to say, not all of you are equipped to compete in. So, I’ve put together this handy guide on how to go about winning your own wars…
We simply can not afford to lose sight of the human beings behind the maintenance engineers, design engineers, production managers and all of the other roles crucial to the operation of your business. Deciding to move on from a current role is a bloody hard decision, we need to help those people make that decision by showing them how worthwhile it will be going through what is often a very stressful process, from application and interview through to handing in a resignation letter and walking out of the doors one final time, none of that is fun and people need a good reason to go through it.
It starts with the job advert and it ends on their first day, so let’s go through it chronologically:
- A job advert should be an advert, not a list of demands. The most important person to an individual reading a job advert is themselves, not you or your company. The advert should do everything it can to make that person want to apply, not act as psychometric test to see if they can battle to the end of 2 pages of job and person specifications. We have a great marketing bloke who can help!
- Make the hiring process a positive one. Make it as painless as possible, don’t make applicants jump through unnecessary hoops and introduce them to the team they’d be working with as this forms part of the decision-making process for all parties. Candidates know that they can afford to be picky and a long-winded process is only going to put them off.
- You have to do all you can to compete. Salaries should be regularly sense-checked against your competition. I know what your competitors are paying, do you? If you find that you’re behind, do what you can to match others, and if you can’t, find other perks such as an annual training allowance, corporate discount schemes, better pension contributions, flexible working options etc etc, the list is endless so get creative!
- Once you’ve successfully recruited, engage, regularly. The best way to win the war for talent you keep hearing about is to avoid engaging with it unless absolutely necessary. For most companies, that means staff retention needs to improve, often quite dramatically. Ask about their career ambitions and do what you can to support them, give them a mentor, allow them to deputise when possible, send them on training courses, whatever it is and whatever you can do, do it. Employees who feel listened to and supported are far more likely to stay.#
- If you do find you have leavers, start tracking why. We’ve written on staff churn previously and you can read it here. If you’re not tracking why, you won’t see trends and if you don’t see trends, you’ll probably make the same mistakes with your next hire.
- Perhaps read our article on the fourth industrial revolution too. There are some handy pointers in there about a commitment to training being pivotal for all, I believe that companies who recognise and adapt to this will find more and more of their staff staying for longer.
I don’t intend to teach granny to suck eggs, but it’s these fundamentals that I find most often are forgotten about when I speak or meet with businesses.
I’d love to chat with you about what else you can do to avoid having to pay recruiters like me. Strange, I know!
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