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3 Ways to Improve Hiring in Manufacturing

There are three things all organizations want when it comes to hiring. They want to hire quickly, fi...

Posted by Berkshire on May 21, 2019 1:54:41 PM

There are three things all organizations want when it comes to hiring. They want to hire quickly, find quality people, and also save money.

But it’s impossible to intersect all three. If you hire quickly and cheaply, you’ll find that quality talent is hard to come by. If you hire quickly and well, you’ll spend extra money on salary. And if you want to hire a quality person for cheap, you’ll spend a lot of time searching for your needle in the haystack.

It’s especially challenging in manufacturing, where there can often be rushes of hiring for seasonal work as well as high turnover that can be especially challenging to handle. But too many manufacturing organizations are not making use of the in-house resources they have for hiring talent. Often, the trail that leads to your next employee begins in your building. Here’s a map to help you find it. 

Make Referrals Simple

There are numerous, cost-effective ways to advertise for employees: billboards, Craigslist, job boards. But data has consistently shown that most employees come to organizations through referrals—regardless of whether we’re talking about manufacturing or a different sector.

However, referral systems are broken, or processes are antiquated, especially in manufacturing. As Tim Sackett mentioned in a recent article there is no reason for companies to wait till 90 days after hiring a referral job seeker, that in effect means 5-6 months before anyone sees a dime. Why not offer instant rewards at the completion of every stage of the selection process, in installments. 

Also, most referral platforms are using outdated technology. One easy technological solution can be for every employee assigned (or instantly create) a unique URL with a unique tag to share an open position within their network; when someone applies using that URL, it should be easy to track those referrals and to identify referred candidates, who can be processed at faster pace in the selection process.

Most of us access the Internet largely through a smartphone. In fact, 85 percent of hourly workers only access the Internet through their smartphones. So it is imperative to create a referral system that is intuitive and mobile-friendly. A burdensome referral process can be the difference between getting a great employee quickly and not getting one at all.

The same goes for your application process. Mobile-friendly is the name of the game, and if you aren’t prioritizing it, you’re behind the curve.

Rediscover Your Candidates

The No. 1 mistake recruiters make is failing to search through past candidates when considering an open position. Many applicant tracking systems have features like silver medalist candidates, which can help match previous applicants with current openings.

This is especially helpful for seasonal work. Instead of going through the trouble every year of marketing for open positions, you can search your database and reach out to past candidates, saving you both time and money in the process. For seasonal workers that you would like to bring back next season, mark them with appropriate disposition or add a field in their profile as Rehire Candidates. Use standard emails but to be more engaging, Text them a month before you are ready to start the recruiting process again. 

But don’t limit your thinking to seasonal positions. You may have had experiences in the past interviewing candidates who did not have the qualifications for certain jobs. However, as the years go by, they may certainly be qualified for the same position or others. There’s a good chance that they applied to your organization for a reason, and the possibility of working for you may still be enticing.

Make Turnover a Thing of the Past

This is going to sound obvious, but there is only one time-tested way for recruiters to bring in the best candidates: have fewer job openings. That way, recruiters can focus their energies on finding the best people possible.

Many organizations, especially fast food and manufacturing organizations often assume high turnover is simply part of the cost of doing business. But this doesn’t have to be the case. To keep turnover low, leadership, managers, and recruiters need to think laterally about the company culture, policies, and recruitment strategy.

Examine your programs but most importantly, look at your policies. Often, organizations have one-size-fits-all policies for their employees, particularly when it comes to absences or working hours. Rarely, though, do they account for the realities many hourly workforce—whether they are transportation issues, childcare complications, or other personal emergencies. Instead, many organizations fire someone upon their first unexcused absence being tardy. 

Wal-Mart has recently introduced a policy allowing multiple unexcused absences throughout the year. Other organizations have introduced flexible start times or overlapping shifts, which are especially helpful for working parents. Some organizations are looking at baby-boomer workforce as well as the use of substitute and floating concepts commonly used in of education and banking industry. 

It’s a great way to show your employees the respect and trust they’ve earned—and earn their loyalty in return. 


About Manoj Tiwari:

Manoj Tiwari is VP of Product Development at Berkshire Associates and oversees the development of balanceTRAK talent acquisition system. But most importantly, Manoj is an HR technology enthusiast and has spent the last 18 years helping HR professionals work smarter through the use of innovative HR technology.

Manoj has emerged as one of the industry’s leading authorities on engineering SaaS-based solutions. He has held distinguished positions at companies like IBM, EDS, Amtrak, and KPMG. In addition to his excellent business acumen, designing innovative software solutions and executive management experience, Manoj holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from University of Miami.  

See more articles from Manoj on TalentTalk or connect @TalentTechie on Twitter.

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