Should You Change Your Hiring Strategy for Manufacturing Jobs in 2021?

Evolving for the 3 Ss of Safety, Skillsets, and Society

Manufacturing jobs are changing. We have all been affected by the pandemic that swept the globe in 2020. Some industrial sectors across the United States were forced into a complete shutdown.

In its recent analysis, Deloitte predicts that 2021 will be another challenging year for manufacturing. As manufacturing industries adapt to the new environment and the challenges ahead, hiring policies and processes may evolve in line with the three Ss of safety, skillsets, and society.

Creating a 2021 Hiring Strategy

Hiring for manufacturing jobs today is a world away from what it was a year ago. A global pandemic along with nationwide protests have brought things such as health, tech skills, and diversity and inclusion into sharp focus. The challenges facing hiring managers are likely to shape your workplace, your candidate requirements, and your hiring strategy.

Here are three major areas where change is likely.

1.    Safety

Safety is now the top priority for employers. To keep your manufacturing operations running, you need to ensure that employees are safe at work.

Workplace safety for things such as machinery and equipment have likely always been one of your top priorities. However, now safety precautions must be adapted to include factors such as social distancing due to the risks of COVID-19.

Within your hiring strategy, you will now need to look to recruit employees who take these health risks seriously. You will also need to thoroughly explain how your company is creating a safe work environment. Having clear, documented procedures will help put candidates’ minds at rest and help you in recruiting talent for your manufacturing jobs.

Your hiring process is likely to change, too. For example, in an interview room you will have to consider how you conduct panel interviews.

2.    Skillsets

Manufacturing was already an industry greatly affected by rapidly-changing technologies. However, due to the global pandemic, the pace of change has accelerated. Tech solutions to problems that did not exist before are being adopted, and candidates should demonstrate ability to adapt to new technology seamlessly.

In more senior roles, candidates should be forward-thinking and able to deliver safe and effective new processes at pace as regulatory changes take place.

Hiring strategies are adapting to the changing environment. Perhaps one of the most visible evolutions is the increase in virtual interviews, a process that 81% of talent professionals believe will be here to stay post-COVID. Benefits of virtual interviews include:

  • Improved safety by reducing the number of visitors to your workplace
  • Time and money saved
  • Environmentally friendly, as no travel is necessary
  • A faster interviewing and hiring process

However, interviewers must be aware that virtual interviews also present challenges – such as the lack of body language to interpret meaning – and so may need extra coaching in technique.

3.    Society

In 2020, the United States experienced nationwide protests calling for greater racial equality across all aspects of society, including the workplace. Manufacturing companies will be kept accountable in 2021 of their diversity and inclusion.

Diversity should not be a ‘feel-good’ initiative for your company. It needs to be an essential part of your hiring strategy and is a business-imperative decision. Diversity will bring new ideas, perspectives, and processes to your production, which will be essential to staying ahead through the challenges you will face in a rapidly-changing world.

To Sum Up

2020 has been a year of unprecedented change. To stay relevant and keep afloat in these strange times, your business needs to adapt. Part of this will include changing your hiring strategy for your manufacturing jobs.

Priorities are changing. What you look for in candidates and what candidates look for in a place of work are different from what they were last year. Safety, skills, and society are now the top priorities for candidates and employers.

For help finding great candidates for your manufacturing jobs, contact MForce.