Finding and Keeping Skilled Machinists – Recruiting the Best Talent in a Post COVID World
While COVID-19 changed a bit of the landscape with people becoming accustomed to working from home, the machining business is not exactly a profession equipped to be performed outside of the foundry. That does not prevent employees from desiring more flexible hours that afford them the ability to meet, mingle, and socialize with friends and family whose careers do offer work from home opportunities.
So how do you go about attracting top talent in the Machining & Fabrication industry?
- Get Involved with Local Vo-Tech Schools
- Support Local Scholarships
- Post Open CNC Machinist Positions, EVERYWHERE
- Empower and Promote Internally
- Employee Referrals
It is always a good idea to create a good relationship with local Vo-Tech schools. Offering plant tours, internships, and other activities are great ways to encourage youth into the work force. Offering or supporting scholarships at local schools is also a good strategic plan to cultivate potential future employees. While these are great seeds to plant, it will take time to harvest the fruits of your labor.
Next is the tried and true, if you build it they will come route. Post, post, post, everywhere and anywhere. Every job board from monster to LinkedIn. You also can’t forget the industry association boards, technical and local colleges, and local newspapers. All great places to ensure your job posting gets viewed. This is the hardest of all approaches and you rarely get the best applicants and little to no valid background data that can easily or readily be verified.
Empowering your workforce is always an effective way to build your company’s reputation. Who doesn’t want to work for a company that trusts and empowers its employees? This includes offering employee’s development opportunities that promotes employee engagement that also fulfills company goals.
It also requires full buy-in at the organizational level through a common leadership language. Break the mold by providing equitable access to development opportunities to all employees. Companies that reserve growth and training only for those deemed “high-potentials” quickly result in poor morale and participation.
Now that you have an empowered workforce, it is time to reward them by encouraging them to be brand ambassadors. There is also no one better at identifying the skill gaps than your current employees doing the work. Collaborate with your teams at every opportunity, especially when you need to fill positions.
For managers and HR professionals, this is an excellent time to identify emerging skills among other team members. Instead of replacing outgoing employees with new employees, help lift employees to grow and fill higher-level positions. This is where empowerment and trust are built. It also encourages team members to be more likely to activate their own professional networks to refer their contacts to join the company.
Recruiting doesn’t need to be hard when your employees have been professionally and personally helped to grow in the company. Keep your teams involved in the recruitment process so that they feel comfortable reaching out to their valuable connections.
We recommend all of the above to keep your workforce motivated, positions filled, and culture warm and inviting. All these attributes will create the type of environment anyone would find hard to resist. Lastly, be sure to always promote from within when filling positions. You never know when your next new hire can be filled with the help of a current teammate!