4 Guaranteed Ways to Recruit Millennials for Manufacturing Jobs

Standing at more than 80 million people, millennials are among the largest and most-studied generation to date. Studies, blogs, and other media have touched on their tech savviness and what seems like an innate ability to multitask… but not a high level of engagement in traditional jobs, especially in manufacturing. In fact, according to a 2015 Gallup poll, a mere 28 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 considered themselves engaged at work.

This is due to a number of factors. The perception of manufacturing is often negative, associated with unsafe equipment and old-fashioned assembly lines like that of the early 20th century. This also contributes to the myth that employees are often stressed, overworked, and treated poorly in a factory setting. While businesses and community organizations are now taking the next steps toward quashing these misconceptions, your company may benefit by changing the way you approach young workers for prospective employment.

The following are steps you can take toward getting a younger, more sustainable pipeline and attracting today’s young people to jobs in manufacturing:

Create a clear and compelling picture of advanced manufacturing.
Because most millennials are digital natives, technology is a cornerstone of their way of life. It’s essential to show young workers that today’s factories do not house traditional equipment, but instead play host to innovative tech like 3D printers, CAD software, robotics, and IoT devices. You’ll also be more likely to generate interest if you open your doors for a plant tour, participate in community outreach, and act as an ambassador for manufacturing.

Provide opportunities for growth and leadership.
Due to the 2008 recession, repeated downsizing, and other socioeconomic factors, young employees are often worried about instability in their careers. The chance to develop professionally and move up the ladder is valuable, and many will respond positively to a company if they’re given the chance to grow and upskill in CNC machining, welding, and other disciplines. Giving employees chances to lead or hash out new ideas not only helps them stay happy and engaged, but also benefits your business by giving your company new ideas to help it grow, succeed, and stay relevant in a changing world.

Offer paid internships.
Internship positions and youth apprenticeship programs are a worthwhile investment for your company. Not only are you giving students on-the-job training in a real-world environment, but you are actively grooming the next generation of employees. You will have the chance to develop a working relationship with them and, if all goes well, end up with a full-time employee that works hard, knows your business, and may be the first in a sustained pipeline of young workers.

Present flexibility and work-life balance.
As millennials get married and acquire other priorities outside of the workplace, there is more focus on maintaining a healthy balance between careers and home lives. Making this idea a linchpin in your company’s foundation will not only attract more skilled workers, but also keep your existing employees from becoming unhappy, disengaged, or looking elsewhere for new positions.

Want to know more about attracting young talent and creating a healthy pipeline of engaged workers? Call Linda Barita at 216.391.7766 or email linda.barita@magnetwork.org to start the conversation.

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Posted by Michael O'Donnell in Talent Pipeline, Workforce

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