The term ‘millennial’ is a broad term that refers to people born between 1982 and 2004. By the year 2020, millennials will make up over 50% of the global workforce.According to a survey carried out by the Institute of Manufacturing and Deloitte, manufacturing businesses have a valid concern that millennials are not attracted to careers in manufacturing. The world is changing fast and businesses need to embrace the changes to keep up. Millennials have the skills and drive needed to address this, so what can Manufacturers do to attract potential employees from this pool of skilled people?
Social Media Presence
Millennial job-seekers will examine a company’s website, read articles about it in the media, research its ratings on employee-ranking websites and check out employees on business networking and social media sites as part of the job search. As a starting point, make sure your website reflects your dynamic business culture. If your business does not have a social media presence, there are plenty of specialists who can help with this. Check out DAN (Digital Agency Network) who list all leading local and global agencies.
In modern manufacturing and production facilities, many manual jobs have been replaced with automated machines, therefore, an understanding of this equipment requires an advanced knowledge of technology. It is crucial to remember that millennials don’t use technology, they grew up with it and therefore it is an integral part of their lives. This makes them ideal candidates for tech-focused developments in paper and board manufacturing.
Invest in Education
One of the biggest threats to the manufacturing industry remains the decrease in skilled labour. To combat this whilst also driving recruitment, many companies should look towards short-term investment in education and training of potential workforces. Graduate schemes provide structured training run by the employer to develop future managers within the organisation. Graduate schemes usually last 2-3 years and really help to develop the correct skills needed for modern manufacturing businesses.By choosing to provide in-house training academies or investing in scholarship opportunities to educate the next generation of production engineers, machinists and programmers, the manufacturing industry could see a huge drive in recruitment and a perception shift for those who have never considered a role in manufacturing before.
Where a millennial workforce is concerned, work/life balance is key and luckily, many careers in manufacturing do allow employees to work off site, resulting in more engaged employees. The flexibility of operational staff means that some of the benefits we tend to associate with working for IT and software companies, like working remotely, are now possible and should be explored. It is important that companies create a goal connection where a millennial employee understands how what they are doing fits into the bigger picture. Encourage input in process improvement and offer transparency into how their work makes a difference in the wider company.
Manufacturing has always been considered a hands-on career. However, as digital transformation disrupts this status quo, an increasing number of career options are opening up to people with skillsets outside of traditional ‘hands-on’ abilities. Careers in sales and marketing, alongside engineer roles within manufacturing, provide opportunities for employees to develop diverse skillsets, facilitating a career path that is flexible and continuously stimulating.
Find out what your millennial employees’ career passions are, and where they see themselves progressing within your business. Offering fluidity to move up the ladder, or experience different departments could be key drivers in millennial staff retention. This may not sound like traditional manufacturing, but that is exactly the point. Businesses of every genre have to embrace change if they want to attract the best talent and future proof their business.