4 Tips for Hiring a New Generation of Manufacturing Professionals

Young smiling manager in sterile uniform holding tablet and looking at camera while standing in a manufacturing food factory.

The manufacturing industry is one of the most high-tech and undervalued industries in the current job market. Today, young people often don’t understand the potential for fulfillment, upward mobility, and income that they can achieve through manufacturing. In fact, many parents actively discourage the idea of their children growing up to work in manufacturing because they remember things like plant closures and technology-triggered layoffs from decades before. These reasons, in addition to the record-lows in unemployment, have made it increasingly challenging for manufacturing companies to find the skilled, dedicated team members they need to fill important roles.

So today, we’re focusing on the top five ways that manufacturing companies can increase their hiring rate among younger professionals and nurture future manufacturing professionals from the students of today.

Lift the Veil on Salary and Career Development Opportunities

Traditionally, things like salary and promotion options are kept behind the veil of employment. Many employers who hire in a traditional fashion tend to keep this motivating type of information under wraps, hoping that a salary range and a job description will be enough to draw in the talent you need.

However, part of your problem is that young people have this false idea that manufacturing is a dead-end career with low wages and no upward mobility. It’s vital to dispell this myth before a new generation of professionals can proudly and proactively choose manufacturing as a career. So it’s time to lift the veil. Begin highlighting the potential wages, salaries, and opportunities for upward mobility for young professionals who choose to enter manufacturing. Millennials and Gen-Ys are ambitious, so give them something to aspire to.

Highlight Robotics and High-Tech Integration

The other major roadblock for young people entering manufacturing is that they have this idea that technology is obsoleting the industry. There are movies and books and parental stories about the lay-off era, but that time is now decades in the past. Today, manufacturing plants are fuelled by high-tech positions where technicians work closely with the most cutting-edge technology the planet has to offer.

It’s time to change the perception that manufacturing is being obsoleted as an industry. It’s time to show young people that modern manufacturers are robotics engineers, optimizing with AI-assisted safety regiments, and are paving the way for the technological innovations of the future. Students and young professionals today want to build robots and work with AIs. Show them that manufacturing has these opportunities in spades.

Emphasize Superior Entry-Level Opportunities

The other influential approach to winning the dedication of a young workforce is beating the competition, and we don’t mean other manufacturing firms. A young professional working retail or restaurant services is already spending all day on their feet, but for less pay, less respect, and far less upward mobility options compared to a career in manufacturing. 

Parents are mistakenly allowing their students to get their first jobs folding designer clothing instead of gaining high-value technical skills in manufacturing. The highest level most students reach in retail is the store manager. Manufacturing not only features more skilled, prestigious, and powerful positions in the upward chain, it also serves as a motivation for students to excel in school and pursue advanced education to further that career. So in comparison to other entry-level options for high schoolers and young college students, there is no contest. But the young people won’t know until you show them.

Sponsor and Teach Training Programs for Young People

Last but by no means least is the creation of training programs. Many young professionals who would be happiest in manufacturing are ready to start thinking about job skills early in high school, community college, and university. Of course, there are very few programs openly available to local young people teaching the skills needed for manufacturing or showing the benefits of choosing this career path.

You and your team are the primary sources of this information and the best way to create these classes is to either sponsor or actively teach them. Provide work-study programs both in the high schools and community colleges and inside your plants to show young people what it’s like, what they can gain, and the futures they can build through manufacturing. Because they genuinely do not know.

For more hiring insights for your business, contact us today!