Recruiting Manufacturing Roles Requires New Strategy

Esteban Gomez | July 15, 2016

In 2015, $2.1 trillion in goods were produced in the US, meaning you saw a lot more of the “Made in the USA” insignia and that it was a prosperous year for US manufacturers. However, because you can rarely have your cake and eat it too, professionals recruiting manufacturing employees were faced with the challenge of finding qualified talent to support the industry’s growth. In order to keep up with the manufacturing demands, recruiters for such roles need to adjust their recruitment strategy in order to discover top talent quickly.


Gone are the days where manufacturing roles solely require a high school diploma or equivalent. In today’s high-tech world, many manufacturing jobs require employees to be computer savvy, able to multi-task and able to transfer seamlessly between production processes. To help expand their talent pool, manufacturing recruiters at companies like WD-40 are turning to digital interviews to tap into talent pools outside of their geographic location. Digital interviews enable recruiters to send candidates interview questions for candidates to respond to in either video, voice or written format to screen candidates for certain skill sets and get an understanding of the candidate’s personality, communication skills and social skills before bringing the individual in for an in-person interview.


Wages, benefits, work environment, stimulating projects and job stability are all factors that vary in importance to certain candidates that they consider before taking a job at manufacturing plants. When recruiting manufacturing employees, know what’s important to candidates and convey it at the beginning of the interview process so that you are attracting the right individuals. Digital interviews give recruiters the options to record a welcome or goodbye video to introduce the company and set the tone for the interview.


Previously, manufacturers were considered temporary workers who were in and out of different projects. In order to avoid turnover and have a reliable staff that you know will come in every day to get the work done, you need to view employees as long-term manufacturing contributors. In order to attract employees who are there to stay, consider the follower attributes that many long-term employees obtain:

  • Thinking ability: Able to reasonably learn and apply what they are taught during training. They have inductive and deductive reasoning skills suited to dealing with the everyday issues and challenges faced by manufacturing associates.
  • Relationship skills: Get along with people and do not create interpersonal conflicts or morale issues.
  • Personality traits: Have normal, stable personalities. They do not possess personality “derailers” that would result in unsafe or high risk behavior, shrinkage and unanticipated blow-ups.
  • Work ethic: Believe in work standards and will perform their job to the acceptable standard set by the company.
  • Job fit and motivation: These individuals are suited to the work they are performing and will stay in their jobs on a long-term basis.

About The Author

Esteban Gomez is a marketing consultant with interviewstream. He loves learning and has a passion for traveling, having visited many countries including China, Colombia, Italy, and Peru.


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