I’ve been trying to fill four positions in the last three months, and I can’t even get someone to apply.

I’m turning away business because I don’t have enough people.

We’ve had a few applicants, but two didn’t come back and the one we hired went to lunch on her third day and never returned.

The pain is real. The manufacturing industry is going through a crisis and for some, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

But it could get better for you, and sooner than later.


By building the best employer brand as possible and the culture to support it.


The data to support my thesis:

Let me explain in detail what I mean by sharing some eye-opening insights.

Over the course of several weeks, I undertook an independent research project to identify how many industrial companies (with 51 employees or more, as identified on LinkedIn) that have a meaningful, relevant, and compelling employer brand.

After reviewing 100 companies, I found that:

  1. 17 do not have a careers page or employer brand on their website. The absence of both places them at a significant disadvantage when searching for and recruiting suitable applicants.
  2. 73 companies have a Careers page, and of those that do, 47 have an employer brand.
  3. Of the 47 that have an employer brand, the vast majority highlighted similar attributes. (e.g., growing company, dynamic working environment, rewarding careers, we invest in our people, join a winning team, competitive pay and benefits, paid birthdays off, we support diversity, etc.)
  4. Only the remaining few had strong, meaningful, and compelling employer value propositions expertly thought through and created with supporting videos, testimonials, photos, and calls to action.

Which number above represents your company? Statistically speaking, based on my research, your company most likely falls into #1, 2 or 3.

If this is the case for you, I urge you to focus on creating a better employer brand for your company.

For your benefit and reference, I’ve outlined a process for you below to make sure you head in the right direction.

But before I do, place yourself in the proper mindset – building an employer brand is strikingly similar to building a customer brand. You need to define your Why, list your value propositions, and articulate your brand promise.

Let’s begin…

Start with a culture assessment to identify your company’s positive and negative workplace attributes. What do your people appreciate and enjoy the most about working at your company? What attracted them to you? What’s keeping them? Is there a flight risk? Are petty politics or poor leadership causing people to leave? Create a list of questions, use SurveyMonkey to send to those with email addresses and print out for those on the production floor.

As you read the results and feedback of your assessment, you’ll quickly be able to identity your best workplace attributes. You’ll have what you need to figure out what needs to change internally. Then you can build a culture you can be proud of and promote, attracting high-quality candidates. (In many cases, a company that struggles to find and retain people has reputation for an unhealthy culture – often a tell-tale sign of dysfunctional leadership.)

Create your action plan for making the necessary changes to improve. Recruit your employees to help. Theywill become active participants in effecting and driving positive change. Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your people involved and taking ownership of change. 

While changes are underway, begin the process of articulating your most relevant and meaningful employer value propositions – distinctions you offer as an employer that make a positive and noteworthy difference in the lives of your employees. If you want your employer brand to be noticed and noted, you’ll need to put the same level of effort into defining it as you do selling your products.

Too many employers think they have a brand by listing what they offer employees, such as competitive pay and benefits, paid holidays, birthdays off, on-the-job training, being a part of a growing team, etc. This is the same “stuff” just about every employer is saying. Yawn. You’ll need to look and sound different. For example, instead of simply stating that you offer “on the job training,” you could state that you invest in the professional and personal development of every individual by mapping a course for their success.

If you complete this four-step process, you’ll have a much greater chance of attracting the caliber of people you need to grow your business. If you don’t, things will only continue to get worse.

Don’t wait too long.

Of course, if you would like assistance with building a better employer brand for your company, let’s connect