From the Internet of Things (IoT) to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Industry 4.0 is transforming the manufacturing industry, creating new business models and revenue streams. As a result, manufacturing companies are increasingly facing an ultimatum: innovate and grow or stay the same and shrink. Hiring the right talent can help move digitization efforts forward that are essential to gaining a competitive advantage. The trouble is, companies can’t find the tech-savvy talent and visionary leadership they need to drive internal change.

At a time when manufacturing has never been more exciting and dynamic, the general public believes the opposite. Only 37 percent of Americans would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing due to a perceived lack of high-pay jobs and advancement opportunities, according to a 2016 Kronos survey. This public perception challenge, coupled with generational retirement shifts and the growing demand for specialized talent means 2 million jobs may go unfilled over the next decade, according to Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Tech-savvy Millennials are an ideal match for the exciting world of Industry 4.0. Companies that rethink their recruitment strategies will be poised to tap an incredible talent base. Here’s how to get Millennials excited about manufacturing’s new direction:

  1. Sell opportunity. The opportunity to be a “first mover” and help a business develop its own applications is a powerful recruitment pitch for NextGen talent. Even if your company is just starting to uncover the power of AI or the IoT, talent will jump at the opportunity to help your business develop its own applications. Being part of the team that builds a new program from the ground up is an exciting opportunity that appeals directly to millennial talent.
  2. Address industry misperceptions. The manufacturing industry is struggling with a brand identity problem. While one company can’t fix this problem for an entire industry, it is worth considering how this industry reputation impacts your employer brand reputation. One way to make your company brand feel “fresh” is through partnership opportunities with major tech companies, such as Amazon, Apple, and Google. Another is by bringing in high-profile hires in the C-suite that will set a new tone for future recruitment.
  3. Relieve career advancement concerns. Top candidates want to work for dynamic companies that are fully invested in Industry 4.0 transformation. This talent doesn’t want to spend their energy battling office politics every day and only see small developments or haphazard growth. From the initial interview to an on-site visit to the final offer, strive for a smooth hiring process that signals senior leadership is 100% committed to Industry 4.0.


For more on how companies can use Industry 4.0 to solve talent recruitment and retention challenges, download Daniel Chang’s white paper, “How Industry 4.0 is Changing Manufacturing Recruitment.”


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