Manufacturing companies face a dual challenge of attracting the next generation of talent and retaining longer-tenured employees in an era of intelligent manufacturing. On the employee side, workers need to keep their skills up to date in a world that feels like it’s changing right in front of them.
In addition, there are factors operating at the macro level. Almost all developed economies have historically low birth rates, which contributes to an aging workforce. The negative perception of manufacturing for young workers means that when experienced, knowledgeable workers retire, they are harder to replace. The result is a growing skills gap in manufacturing.
HR is feeling the pressure to recruit strong candidates matched to open positions, but in the competitive and complex landscape of today, reactive recruiting is not enough. Companies are also looking at how to expand the overall pool of available talent. According to the ManpowerGroup, 36 percent of companies are being more flexible about education and experience requirements. Thirtythree percent are looking at demographic factors, social media, or candidates such as retirees or parents returning to the workforce.