It’s no secret that the manufacturing industry is struggling with talent recruitment, specifically recruiting millennial talent. Part of the problem is a perception crisis. Headlines about the loss of manufacturing jobs have created a fundamental misunderstanding that’s scaring millennial talent away from the industry. This generation doesn’t realize that we’re actually gaining jobs that are higher paying and with better career trajectories.

The age of Industry 4.0 is creating exciting, new career opportunities for millennial job seekers with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) skills. Manufacturing companies that adjust their recruitment strategies can access a previously untapped talent base.

Millennials and Manufacturing: A Perfect Match

No matter the industry, millennials favor positions that offer the potential for rapid growth and skill development. They also seek opportunities for meaningful work that’s making a direct contribution to a company– they don’t want to be paper pushers! Manufacturing offers both: the opportunity to make an immediate, significant impact and the potential to advance quickly.

4 Strategies for Recruiting Millennial Talent

As you refine your recruitment pitch, keep the following selling points in mind:

  1. Immediate, meaningful impact. The opportunity to be a “first mover” and help a business develop its own applications is a powerful recruitment pitch for these curious, creative thinkers. More than two-thirds of millennials say they’re comfortable with artificial intelligence (AI) and more than half are likely to seek out a brand that uses AI tools. Even if your company is just starting to uncover the power of AI or the IoT, millennial talent will jump at the opportunity to help your business develop its own applications. Millennials enjoy taking risks and adopting new ideas– let them know they’ll be empowered to do both at your company.
  2. Advancement opportunities. While millennials have earned a reputation as job hoppers, they’re more likely to stay put if they have a pathway to career advancement. Let prospective hires know you’re committed to supporting their career growth, keeping their skills fresh, and helping them gain valuable leadership experience.
  3. Strong onboarding. Millennial hires without a manufacturing background may be reluctant to join an unfamiliar industry where they don’t know the lingo. They may be familiar with AI, but less comfortable with how an assembly line works. Assuage these concerns by letting candidates know your company provides a robust onboarding program so they’ll get up to speed quickly and be able to hit the ground running.
  4. Investments in continuing education. Millennials appreciate employers who are willing to invest in their future and offer a pathway to career growth. Nearly a century ago, General Motors created Kettering University to bring more engineers into the automotive space. In 2013, the university became the first ABET-accredited applied physics program in the world. Your company doesn’t need to start its own university, but offering access to continuing education programs and outside technical training is critical.

The perception that manufacturing is a stagnant, dying industry couldn’t be further from the truth. By proactively confronting these stereotypes, you can get millennials excited about the dynamic opportunities available at your company.

Struggling to source millennial talent or just want to hear about what’s happening in the market? Contact us and we will get you in touch with someone who can help.


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