As the manufacturing industry continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, a major challenge preventing many companies from a “return to normalcy” is attracting and retaining high quality talent. Today, manufacturers are still struggling to fill open roles. Our Industry Pulse Report: Manufacturing and Distribution recently found that only 9% of companies are able to fill open roles in less than 30 days. It’s equally worth noting that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently forecasted the addition of 11.9 million new jobs through 2030 but only 8.9 million new entrants to the labor force.
With this large of a talent gap, posting open roles on job boards or reaching out to trade organizations is no longer enough to fill roles. Companies, in the current job market, must take advantage of their number one asset to drive awareness and attract prospective talent: their current employees.
Here are four ways to drive employee engagement in recruiting efforts:
Optimize social channels
Social media is one of the most efficient ways for employees to reach a large number of their peers at a time. Manufacturers must arm their employees with tools to utilize these social channels. First, encourage employees to check that their profiles are updated with the proper employer, job title and responsibilities. Employers can also encourage team members to utilize a company-branded banner on their profiles to optimize visual brand recognition. Companies can even gamify this process – for example, an organization could host a raffle amongst all employees that have listed the company as their employer on LinkedIn.
Encourage social promotion
Once employees have optimized their profiles, companies can provide them with content to share. This can include any company or product news, employee and colleague work anniversaries, welcoming new employees and – of course – current job openings.
While employees shouldn’t copy and paste exact posts word-for-word, companies can share links to content and post templates to better facilitate employee engagement. Company leaders should make the posting process as easy as possible for employees.
Monitor review sites
Employer review sites, such as Glassdoor, can be a valuable tool for both prospective talent and employers. Company leaders can comb through reviews for feedback on how to improve their organization’s environment and culture. And happy employees can leave reviews describing the benefits of working for the company, which prospective talent can then use to make job decisions. An employer response – to both positive and negative feedback – is also important to demonstrate that the company values and is receptive to feedback.
Ultimately, manufacturers must ensure their profiles are updated with the most relevant information and encourage happy employees to post reviews.
Engage with alumni groups
What’s one place where organizations often forget to look when it comes to finding new employees? Their former employees. Alumni groups allow manufacturers to stay in touch with past talent and continue the relationship. By sharing job openings with these groups, employers may attract talent that is already familiar with the company, requires less onboarding and training and brings back institutional knowledge that the organization had previously lost.
Potential employees want to know what it is like to work at a company before joining the organization, and what better way to demonstrate this than engaging your existing employees. The more optimized a company’s social channels are and the more engaged current and former employees are online, the more insight candidates can yield on the company’s culture and level of engagement. To speak with our team of marketing and communications experts to do a review of your social engagement, please contact us at The Agency at Sikich. To work with a human capital management expert to streamline your resources and communication tools, contact our HCM team here.