Is the Higher Education Push Killing Manufacturing in the US?

Many job seekers believe that achieving a college degree is the best way to get a great job. However, some of the fastest-growing and in-demand jobs might not require higher education. At least—not if savvy employers acknowledge that many workers gain skills and experience on the job, through volunteering, in the service, or are self-taught.

Do you require degrees for jobs that may not need one?

It might pay to examine whether or not your manufacturing and distribution jobs truly require a college degree. More flexibility means more workers to choose from, especially in this tight labor market.

Consider these ways to recruit manufacturing talent in 2022:


Expand Your Search

Turn your recruiting efforts toward the next generation by targeting students at nearby trade schools and community colleges. Consider hiring military veterans, retirees, or people who need a second chance, such as those leaving rehabilitation or incarceration.

Create a Great Experience

Recruiters are competing for talent in a tight market, allowing job seekers to pick and choose among opportunities. Focus on ways to reduce friction in the application process and stay in contact with candidates once they apply. For example:

    • Create a short and easy mobile-friendly job application
    • Respond to candidates quickly
    • Keep candidates informed at each step of the hiring process
    • Consider instituting texting as the go-to method of communication for candidates who prefer it

Hire For Adaptability

Manufacturing jobs have changed considerably over the last decade. As technology becomes the norm, workers must learn new skills to continue doing their jobs. When hiring workers, prioritize their willingness to adapt and learn new ways of working.

Provide Training

When faced with a talent shortage, you may need to hire for potential instead of experience. If a candidate has a great work ethic and is a good fit for the company, they can likely be trained to perform a manufacturing role. Job seekers value employers who invest in their development and often reward that investment with higher productivity, retention, and referrals. Creating a training program for new hires can also benefit your current workforce by offering cross-training opportunities that keep your employees interested and engaged.

Offer Career Advancement

Does your organization offer a clear path to advancement? Many manufacturing jobs may not seem exciting, but they provide a stable career path that can lead to bigger and better jobs in the future. Ensuring all candidates understand the opportunities available to them within the company can lead to more productive—and loyal—employees.

Ask Relevant Interview Questions

The manufacturing industry doesn’t place a high value on sophisticated resumes. Therefore, it is essential to ask interview questions that help you understand an applicant’s skills, experience, and personality. Once you’ve covered their work history, consider asking behavioral interview questions that will tell you whether a candidate will be a good team member, fit in with the company culture, and remain dedicated to their work during difficult times.

Looking for manufacturing and distribution workers?

PrideStaff can connect you with hardworking, adaptable talent to keep your business moving. To learn more about our services and get started finding great people for your team, contact your local PrideStaff office today.


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