Talent Management Takes Top Billing in the Manufacturing Sector

Talent Management Takes Top Billing in the Manufacturing Sector

Despite supply issues and labor shortages, the manufacturing industry continues to experience growth surpassing the expectations of previous years. To maintain this growth, leaders are focusing on supply chain resiliency and, critically, strategies for the future of work.

Addressing the tight labor market and workforce churn has remained a top priority for most manufacturers in 2023. Despite a record level of new hires, job openings in the industry are still hovering near all-time highs. Additionally, voluntary separations continue to outnumber layoffs and discharges, indicating substantial workforce churn. This workforce shortage, which is reducing operational efficiency and margins, has manufacturers pursuing several approaches to strengthen their recruitment and retention efforts:

Pay increases. Talent scarcity is compelling more manufacturers to consider raising wages. Although the industry has historically had a higher baseline wage for production workers, competing industries such as warehousing and retail are increasing wages more quickly than manufacturers.

Upskilling and reskilling. As the use of digital technologies proliferates across the manufacturing sector, the workforce increasingly needs advanced technical and digital skills. But skilled workers are in short supply in the manufacturing industry so manufacturers are embracing reskilling strategies and investing in startups to access new technology and talent.

Partnering with specialized recruiters.  MRINetwork has placed nearly 2500 skilled candidates in the manufacturing sector during 2022 and 2023, all commanding six-figure salaries. Many of the recruiters who specialize in the sector have come from its ranks and have the knowledge, experience and network of contacts to find the right people and guide them through the process to a successful hire.

DEI strategy. The industry is focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to attract more women and racially and ethnically diverse groups to the workforce. Manufacturers are increasingly adding leadership that focuses on advancing their DEI goals, from meeting representation targets to creating more inclusive environments where diverse talent can build careers.

Flexible work arrangements. Manufacturers are actively seeking ways to structure the work, the workplace and the workforce to adapt to the broader shifts in the overall work culture. As a hybrid work culture begins to spread to parts of the manufacturing sector, companies are exploring ways to add flexibility across their operations and implementing new ways to attract and retain workers, such as addressing factors like well-being and flexibility.