This article originally appeared on the KETIV Blog. To read the original article in its entirety, click HERE.
Recruitment and retention of talent have been a struggle across industries since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from Visier, one in four workers left their job in 2021. And the “2020 Retention Report” by Work Institute shows that the number could grow to one in three workers if the trend continues.
The manufacturing industry has not been immune to these hiring and workforce challenges, meaning that the companies that make things on behalf of our government and military are struggling to find and hire the people they need to operate effectively. Anthony Rodriguez of KETIV recently shared three trends in the manufacturing industry that are contributing to the issue of hiring and keeping top talent in an article on the KETIV blog:
The “Great Resignation” continues
The Great Resignation–a trend that saw thousands of workers voluntarily leave manufacturing jobs for better wages and work-life balance–has left the sector depleted of talent. The bad news is that it’s not over.
The manufacturing industry is in for a tough time. The competition for talent will be fierce. According to a recent report from PwC, one in five workers say they’re “extremely likely” or “very likely” to switch employers within the coming year.
Boomers are retiring (and nobody wants to replace them)
Further exacerbating the current skills gap is the aging workforce in the manufacturing industry and the retirement of the baby boomers. Nearly one-quarter of the manufacturing sector’s workforce is 55 or older, and as they retire, the industry loses a significant amount of knowledge, skill, and expertise.
The reality is, for the younger generation of digital natives (millennials and Gen Z,) the manufacturing industry just isn’t viewed as sexy. Companies like KETIV are working to revitalize American manufacturing, but the education system still fails to prepare younger people for a manufacturing career. The “brain drain” is a big concern.
Digital Manufacturers are Stealing All the Top Talent
Manufacturers that undergo digital transformation often find it easier to attract and retain top talent. They can offer employees modern and efficient ways of working with digital tools and technologies that remove frustrating obstacles and let them achieve their potential.
Companies at the forefront of digital transformation are seen as more innovative and dynamic, which can be attractive for top talent looking for exciting and challenging work.
However, not all is lost. There are two things that manufacturers can and should do to help them to overcome these challenges and begin to build a new workforce. According to Anthony, these two things include:
Reshaping what it means to work in manufacturing
The responsibility lies with manufacturers over the coming year to create a modern, diverse, and authentic working environment appropriate for the new world of work. To attract, engage, and retain talent, companies need to offer job flexibility, competitive pay, and benefits that encourage a healthy work-life balance.
Address the skills gap with technology
Digital technology is changing how work is done and creating skills gaps in the manufacturing sector. Even with improved hiring and retention, these gaps must be addressed by broad re-skilling and upskilling of the existing workforce.
Technology offers us a solution to the re-skilling imperative. First, manufacturers can upgrade to no-code software that allows non-coders to build and maintain apps for efficiency and automation. Second, they can provide access to artificial intelligence that handles the most technical tasks.
The issue of attracting new employees is a daunting challenge. However, this could be an opportunity for manufacturers to invest in digital transformation and modernize their work environment to be ready for the digital age and the next generation of employees.