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How to Hire Manufacturing Workers

 The manufacturing industry is facing a worker shortage as more things become automated and the current workforce ages out of the industry. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find good help.  

There are plenty of impressive candidates if you know where to look. The trick is to avoid some common mistakes that manufacturing recruiters make and maximize your recruiting strategies to attract top talent at whatever level you need. 

Below, we discuss some challenges facing manufacturing recruiters and offer helpful, tactical tips on overcoming them. 

Challenges Facing Manufacturing Recruiters 

To hire manufacturing workers, be aware of the challenges you’re going up against so you know what to expect and how you may be able to solve these problems through your recruiting tactics. 

Industry Image 

The first challenge that manufacturing recruiters face is the industry’s image. For a long time, the industry has had a negative reputation as being dirty, somewhat dangerous, and low-paying, a reputation that is particularly true for entry-level jobs. 

However, this image is changing as the industry becomes more automated and high-tech. And, as the industry’s image changes, so do the type of people interested in working in manufacturing. 

That said, you’ll still need to fight against these stereotypes when recruiting for manufacturing positions. To do just that, focus on the positive aspects of the job, such as: 

  • The ability to work with cutting-edge technology 
  • The chance to join something bigger than oneself 
  • Good pay and benefits 

By emphasizing the modern and high-demand features and benefits of the roles you’re hiring, you can help applicants reframe how they think about manufacturing jobs. 

Worker Shortage 

The worker shortage itself is another challenge faced by the industry. As mentioned, the industry faces a shrinking pool of workers as the current workforce ages out of the industry. 

A factor exacerbating the manufacturing labor shortage is more open positions than workers to fill them. In fact, according to the Manufacturing Institute, there will be 2.4 million manufacturing jobs that go unfilled in the next ten years. 

You’ll need to get creative in your recruiting strategies to combat the shortage. One way to do this is by targeting a younger workforce and focusing on the long-term career potential of manufacturing jobs. 


Another challenge that manufacturing recruiters face is the need for training. Many of the current workers in the industry are nearing retirement age and don’t have the skills needed to work in a modern, high-tech manufacturing environment. 

Make it clear that you provide training for the workers you hire and consider offering further upskilling and re-training opportunities as part of the job. While this may seem like an added expense, investing in your workforce and their skills will pay off in the long run. 


The final main challenge facing manufacturing recruiters is automation. As the industry becomes more automated, fewer jobs are available for workers at all levels. 

A McKinsey study reports that automation could displace anywhere from 400 to 800 million manufacturing workers by 2030. However, even if that’s the case, there will always be certain roles and positions that robots and sophisticated AI will never be able to replicate. 

To follow the trend, you’ll need to focus on recruiting for positions that are less likely to be automated, such as: 

  • Engineers 
  • Technicians 
  • Maintenance workers 

These roles will always need humans to fill them. 

Tips to Attract Top Manufacturing Talent 

Suppose you want to hire manufacturing workers with top talent. In that case, you’ll need to use the right recruiting strategies, especially if you need to hire a large volume of manufacturing workers at once. While this can feel like an intimidating task, with the right strategies and resources at your fingertips, you might be surprised by how effectively you can attract top talent. 

Below, we’ve put together a few tips to help you attract the best candidates for the job. 

Job Advertisement Management 

If you’re looking for specific manufacturing talent, a great place to start is with manufacturing job boards, such as: 

  • Indeed Manufacturing 
  • CareerBuilder Manufacturing 

If you want to ensure your job ads are seen by the right people, in the right places, and at the right time, programmatic job advertising can help. Programmatic job advertising is software that uses algorithms to ensure you get the best performance from your job ads. They help shoulder the responsibility of getting your recruiting right. 

Talroo Ad Platform gives you key insights that other platforms don’t, which helps you hire the most qualified candidates in less time. It is especially useful for companies that are hiring many workers at one time. 

Focus on Your Company’s Culture 

When recruiting for manufacturing positions, it’s essential to focus on your company’s culture because the industry has a reputation for being harsh and unforgiving. 

To combat this, you must ensure that your company is a good fit for the type of person you want to hire. One way to do this is by highlighting the positive aspects of your company culture, such as: 

  • The opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology 
  • A supportive and collaborative environment 
  • Good pay and benefits 

Use Inbound Marketing Tactics 

Inbound marketing tactics can be highly effective when recruiting for manufacturing positions. You can use them to target your ideal candidates and attract them to your company, rather than relying on traditional outbound methods, such as print ads or cold-calling. 

Some inbound marketing tactics that you could use include: 

  • Creating targeted landing pages 
  • Using retargeting ads 
  • Hosting webinars or podcasts 

If you’re looking for ways to reduce the workload of your recruitment, inbound tactics can be particularly helpful. 

Offer Competitive Benefits and Perks 

To hire manufacturing talent, offer competitive benefits and perks. The industry is known for being demanding and high-pressure, so workers will be looking for companies that can provide them with a good work-life balance. 

Some benefits and perks that you could offer include: 

  • Flexible working hours 
  • Remote working options 
  • Generous vacation days 

Spell these benefits in all your job postings to clarify your competitive advantages. 

Invest in Employee Development 

You should also invest in employee development because manufacturing workers often look for opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge. By investing in employee development, you’ll be able to show candidates that your company is committed to helping them grow and progress in their careers. 

Some ways to invest in employee development include: 

  • Offering training and development opportunities 
  • Creating mentorship programs 
  • Providing access to online learning resources, such as e-books, courses, and tutorials. 

This change benefits your recruitment strategies for manufacturing workers and helps retain the talent you hire. 

Expand Your Recruitment Team to Include All Employees 

If you want to improve your chances of finding the best people for your open roles, expand your recruitment team to include all employees. Everyone in your company has the potential to play a role in recruiting top manufacturing talent, so why not give them a chance? 

There’s no harm in asking your employees to share job postings on social media or refer candidates they know for open positions. You could also offer incentives for employees who help with the recruitment process. Examples include bonus points or gift vouchers for any employee who refers a new hire who completes their initial probationary period. 

Check in with your employees regularly to gather feedback on any challenges they’ve experienced so you can continue to inform your hiring strategy. 

Improve Branding and Company Perceptions 

The manufacturing industry has a poor reputation in many people’s eyes, so it’s vital to improve your company’s branding and perceptions if you want to hire top talent. 

There are many ways to improve your company’s branding, such as: 

  • Creating targeted marketing campaigns 
  • Developing an employer brand 
  • Investing in social media outreach 
  • Use career sites to solicit employee reviews 

Talk to your marketing department and see how you can work together to improve branding for recruitment purposes. 

Use Technology to Your Advantage 

Technology can be a powerful tool when recruiting for manufacturing positions. Different software and tools can help you automate repetitive tasks, such as job postings, candidate screening, and email communications. 

Some examples of technology that you can use in the recruitment process include: 

  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage your talent pipeline 
  • Programmatic Job Advertising to improve the quality and targeting of potential candidates 
  • Social media to generate interest 
  • Video Interviewing Software to manage remote interviews 

Using technology will also attract tech-inclined workers perfect for our modern world. 

Keep an Open Mind When Reviewing Candidates 

When reviewing candidates for manufacturing roles, keeping an open mind is essential. The ideal candidate might not have all the experience or qualifications you’re looking for on paper. However, they could still be an excellent fit for the role. Similarly, someone who ticks all the boxes on paper might not be the right fit for your company’s culture. 

Wrapping Up 

The most important thing is to be aware of the challenges that manufacturing recruiters face and to take steps to overcome them. Following the tips in this article will attract top talent to your company in mass.