The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing is a very real issue. As the baby boomer generation retires from manufacturing over the next 10 years, they will leave behind 2.7 million jobs that need to be filled. With these numbers, it may seem like a daunting task to prepare for the future, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right training, Millennials can help fill this gap and help your company grow.
Here are some tips to help create a great match when hiring Millennial employees.
Look for those who are a cultural fit. You know your work culture. Not everyone from the baby boomer or Gen X generations would have been a good fit, and the same thing holds true for Millennials. They are individual people with their own personalities and preferences. As much as Millennials are grouped together, they are not all the same.
Create employee engagement and respect a work-life balance. Make it clear that your company will work hard and play hard. If you can, offer the opportunity for a flexible schedule. Consider creating an employee committee for organizing office events such as Christmas parties or luncheons to celebrate company milestones or other achievements.
Pair up with local institutions, including higher education, military, and government agencies, to educate them about opportunities in manufacturing. You can attract quality candidates by offering apprenticeship programs for pay or school credits. Take part in job fairs and highlight the high-tech nature of your positions when talking to potential employees. Get the word out that you are looking for these positions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Highlight how your company contributes to the community on social media and at job fairs.
Offer a benefit program that meets the changing needs of employees. As Millennials start to have families, health insurance and life insurance will be very important to them. Highlight the opportunities in your firm and the ability to continue with education. Some Millennials may come to you from a different career path where they could not find work, such as those who earned a 4-year degree and haven't been able to find related employment. Also, highlight any sort of student loan repayment programs you may offer.
Pair older workers with younger workers to create a mentoring environment. By doing this, you are creating a supportive environment for younger employees and giving older employees new meaning in their work. When they share what they know, their legacy lives on at the company and younger workers feel supported.
Insight on Manufacturing: March 2018. Course Correction by Jessica Theil