Are You Really Doing Enough about the Skills Gap?

Posted on: January 17th, 2014 by: Mary Scheibel

We probably don’t need to tell you that recruiting new talent is a pressing problem. (But if you need a refresher, this Industry Week article mentions that 10,000 baby boomers per day are retiring.)

What you may be less aware of, however, is exactly what you’re up against. Let’s put it into perspective.

In 1982, the beginning of the millennial generation, the manufacturing industry boasted 18 million jobs. Today, that number is about 12 million – meaning that in the past 30 years, the industry has lost roughly 6 million jobs. The millennials have never known anything about manufacturing other than plant shutdowns and job loss. They can be forgiven for not thinking too much of manufacturing careers.

And that’s bad news because, of course, young adults are precisely the people manufacturers must be attracting. It’s not just their numbers; it’s their skills. They’ve grown up with the computer technologies that are now so integral to the industry.

With all that in mind, it’s time to revisit whether your organization is doing all it can to attract the millennials you need sustain success. Nothing’s more important in this effort than your website. To start, ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is your website up to date? An outdated, disorganized site could turn away prospective employees (not to mention customers). Refresh your website and showcase your brand. Need tips? Our last blog post shares web design trends for 2014.
  2. Do you have a creative careers page? It’s got to be something more than an email address for submitting resumes. Does it engage candidates with a story about your mission and culture? Look to the Google Jobs for inspiration. You may not be a world-leading tech firm, but these firms are the ones setting the standard for a successful careers page. Take a hint from Google, your page should still be lively, visual and easy to navigate.
  3. Are you a technology leader? Tech-savvy millennials want to work for companies that are ahead of the game – or at least up with the times. But they’re understandably skeptical or completely unaware of manufacturers’ technical advancements. Show them your technology throughout your website, in your communications and every chance you get.

So, tell us, what steps are you taking to appeal to the next generation of manufacturing talent?

A Dream It. Do It. Wisconsin recruiting video emphasizes manufacturing technology.


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