Although we often hear “there are no good jobs out there” those of us in the manufacturing industry know there are jobs-a-plenty that manufacturers can’t fill. And this has been true for several years.
A recent issue of INDUSTRY WEEK magazine featured the article “How Manufacturing Can Solve Its Own Talent Shortage Crisis”. It first identified 3 key drivers behind the shortage of workers: (1) lack of interest & negative perception of manufacturing; (2) industry needs shifting to ‘knowledge workers’ who can work with big data analytics programs, 3D modeling & printing, robotics and other emerging technologies; and (3) looming retirement of the baby boomer generation of skilled workers.
Contrasting college graduates & their perspectives on manufacturing with U.S. employers and their needs the author said “It’s time for the two to meet in the middle.” Really? If colleges and high schools can’t (or won’t) embrace the idea that careers in manufacturing AREN’T “dirty or dangerous that require little thinking” how can we meet in the middle? And when the author of the article then stated that “U.S. employers should attract young millenials who value freedom, flexibility and entrepreneurialism by giving them what they want” part of me was ready to stop reading. But I didn’t.
The article proceeded to list 10 ways that manufacturers could solve the talent shortage by “redesigning hiring and development strategies” along with building “learning & knowledge programs with virtual platforms”. That sounded interesting yet time consuming but there were some good ideas on the list that I’d like to share:
- Be open to different resources for sourcing talent….such as technical institutes, academia, sourcing agencies
- Leverage company & industry specific knowledge….enable the best thinkers who understand your company’s unique environment, business processes and competitive advantages to train others
- Provide on-the-job coaching and mentoring to bridge gaps and empower employees
- Build external relationship with suppliers, business executives, education partners, local government officials and other business leaders who can push for change.
Nobody ever said it would be easy.
What do you think? Would your company being open to doing things differently to get the talent you need? Please let us know your thoughts…..share this blog with others…….and as always thank you for subscribing to EVERYTHING’S CONNECTED.