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Ease the Manufacturing Recruitment Crisis

4 Ways European Manufacturers Can Ease the Recruitment Crisis

Europe’s manufacturing industry is in the midst of a period of transformation and accelerated growth as companies, recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic, invest aggressively in new tools, technology, and the workers needed to keep them running.

While these circumstances create a wealth of opportunities for innovation, they have also made manufacturing industry recruitment more challenging. Unemployment is low, while vacancies — driven by the Great Resignation, economic uncertainty, and generational shifts in the European workforce — continue to rise.

Strategies to Ease the Manufacturing Recruitment Crisis

Growth in the manufacturing sector is set to continue. The industry is the largest source of jobs in Europe — employing over 32 million people in the European Union and some 10 million in the UK. It will be a key driver of economic growth in the coming years — assuming manufacturers aren’t hobbled by a lack of skilled workers. Nearly 40% of European manufacturers say labour shortages are negatively affecting productivity. How can recruiters in this sector help address the crisis?

labour shortages in Europe’s manufacturing industry

1. Invest in Workforce Retraining

Advances in technology and automation are boosting efficiency at many manufacturing firms. But these advances also mean companies need workers with specialist skills to deploy, use, and maintain new tools. An insufficient supply of applicants with the required niche skills is a major factor in the industry’s job shortages.

One of the best manufacturing recruitment ideas is something that has historically been a rarity in the industry. Retraining has become a critical tool for ensuring businesses have a skilled workforce needed to grow. The European Commission kicked off its European Year of Skills campaign earlier this year in an effort to encourage companies to invest in workforce retraining and to normalise the idea of lifelong upskilling among labourers.

2. Increase Employee Retention

Investing in upskilling and retraining staff makes it doubly important for companies to make an effort to retain employees — money spent on a worker who promptly leverages their new skills to secure a position elsewhere may still benefit the economy, but it does little for the business still facing a recruitment crisis.

One-third of Europe’s workers say they are likely to leave their current position in the next three to six months, citing concerns that include:

Manufacturers must take heed of this trend and implement talent management strategies to reduce employee churn — and be sure not to overlook the clear links between recruitment and retention.

manufacturing industry

3. Leverage Temporary Employment

Europe has the highest rate of temporary employment in the world, with the Netherlands, the UK, and France boasting the most temporary employment agencies. Persistent economic uncertainty makes temporary recruitment an attractive option to manufacturers facing skills shortages but concerned about investing too heavily in hiring for the long term.

Embracing temporary employment or contract workers can allow European manufacturers to alleviate strain caused by fluctuations in production, capacity, or demand, allowing companies to rapidly scale operations up or down as needed. Hiring workers on a short-term basis can also offer access to a broad pool of talent a company might otherwise not engage.

4. Improve Recruitment Strategies

Optimising recruitment strategies to minimise cost per applicant and ensure job postings reach a diverse pool of qualified applicants is the number one way manufacturers can help combat the effects of the ongoing labour shortage.

Programmatic recruitment programs combine human expertise with automation and algorithms to identify the most effective times and places to engage suitable candidates. They also facilitate the retargeting of potential applicants and can streamline the recruitment process to allow manufacturers to reach a wider — but more targeted — audience with job ads, faster and more efficiently.

For example:

The team at Hirematic understands the importance of addressing the manufacturing industry recruitment crisis — and we’re here to help. Contact our team today to learn how we can help you increase recruitment and retention to support your continued innovation, profit, and growth.