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How to Attract and Retain a Skilled Workforce

attracting and retaining a quality workforce

When you hear manufacturers talk about how hard it is to find good people, do you share the same frustration?

If you find yourself shuffling through a very short stack of resumes or applications submitted by candidates who don’t possess the skills, strengths and experience you need to help your company be a force to reckon with in your industry, it’s time to take a close look at your employer brand.

It’s important to build your brand to win new business. It’s just as important for your brand to attract high-caliber employees, who will help you deliver on your brand’s unique claims of distinction, win new business, and keep customers loyal and happy.

You know that average employees produce average results, do average work and provide average customer experiences. And you know that average is the biggest barrier to excellence.

If you want to fill your company with a quality workforce, you’ll need to compete for them with the same focus and vigor you have when competing for new customer relationships.

It starts with your employer brand and reputation. 

To attract these hard-to-find candidates to your company, you must first understand what attributes in an employer they are looking for and expecting.

  1. A company with a great reputation supported by a brand and vision they understand and can believe in. In other words, shared beliefs, values and attitudes.
  2. Opportunities for personal and professional growth through mentorship programs and training.
  3. To be paid more than an “average” salary.
  4. Opportunities to do what they love to do in an environment where they can learn from their mistakes.
  5. To be asked their opinion, to be heard and respected.
  6. Autonomy – to be trusted once it is earned and not to be micromanaged.
  7. Strong, consistent leadership, because crappy leaders push good people out the door.
  8. To know what they are working for and why they are doing it.
  9. A sense of purpose and pride in what they do.
  10. To be challenged. Your people want to learn and to grow.
  11. To know what it means to win – not just new business and growth, but to know how winning is defined in their specific role.
  12. To be recognized when a job is well done.
  13. To be treated fairly and with dignity, regardless of your opinions about their personal beliefs, lifestyle choices and orientations.
  14. And finally, to know you care about them as people – not just hired help.

Print this list out circle those things you currently provide. Next, distribute this list to your employees and ask them to circle those items they believe you provide to them.

When you get your feedback, you’ll know what to do to create the culture you need to attract the top producers in your industry.

And one more thing. In fact, the most important thing – to attract good people, you need to have a careers or jobs section on your website for potential employment candidates to visit and learn more about you, as an employer.

I am continually surprised by how many manufacturers – even larger manufacturers – do not have a link on their websites that lays out the company’s culture and employee value propositions. The presence of that information is a strategic call to action for potential candidates to submit resumes or apply.

With skilled labor in high demand and short supply, you need to sell potential candidates on the merits of joining your team the same way you need to sell your customers on your products.

With so many manufacturers searching for help, it’s an “employee’s market” right now. Become the company people want to be a part of.

Of course, if you would like assistance with building a strong and unignorable employer brand for your company, contact us today!

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