Hiring Skilled Manufacturing Workers

[dot_recommends] October 25, 2021 Manufacturing Trends

Responding to Today’s Manufacturing Challenges Part I

hiring skilled manufacturing workers remains a top challenge. Image shows the middle-skill manufacturing jobs with the highest projected openings from 2019-2029. Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators were top with 113,200 openings. Next was firstline supervisors of production and operating workers with 56,900 openings. Then inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers at 48,300 openings. Helpers-production workers will see 44,100 openings. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers will see 43,400 openings. Packaging and filling machine operators will see 40,600 openings. Industrial machinery mechanics will have 40,500 openings. Machinists have 38,000 openings expected.


Hiring skilled manufacturing workers remains a manufacturing challenge right now. Shockingly, unfilled manufacturing positions are expected to reach 2.1 million by 2030.

In addition to widespread entry-level worker shortages, mid-level shortages increasingly affect our partner companies.

Middle-skill positions in high demand in manufacturing:

  • Computer numerical control (CNC) machinists
  • Welders
  • Maintenance technicians
  • More specialized positions

There’s no quick fix. All these roles require 3- to 18-months of extensive hands-on, applied training programs.

So, how are manufacturers filling the gap?

Beyond Pay and Benefits: 3 Workforce Solutions that Work

Increasing pay and benefits have become necessary. But what do you do when that isn’t enough?

Three strategic workforce solutions shown to work for manufacturers:

  • Broaden how you define and cultivate the talent pipeline
  • Develop an inclusive company culture
  • Provide ongoing upskilling programs


Widen the Pipeline: Five Steps to Increase Manufacturing Recruitment

The Society of Human Resource Management recommends these five steps for better recruitment results:

  • 1. Open your factory to tours for local high schools and community colleges.
  • 2. Collaborate with local educators to add needed skills to programs.
  • 3. Rewrite job positions to focus less on experience and more on skills and traits needed to do the job.
  • 4. Recruit women, veterans, and other underrepresented populations.
  • 5. Beef up apprenticeship programs.


Win with a People-Centered Culture

Manufacturers today are increasing inclusivity and creating people-friendly workplaces. Focusing on worker wellbeing improves retention and yields recruitment results.

Offer Upskilling Opportunities

For over a decade, workforce development has focused on reskilling workers. Now, manufacturers are doing more to build ongoing skill development into their model to stay competitive.

Hiring skilled manufacturing workers may seem impossible at times, but I hope these solutions give you more ideas to work around the problem.

Do you have other ideas for solving top manufacturing challenges? Let’s talk!


Managing Partner

Image source – Deloitte



Managing Partner | + posts

With over two decades of experience, Parin leads an expert demand-generation agency, StratMg, that helps industrial manufacturing clients achieve unambiguous and quantified organic sales growth across the US, EMEA & APAC.

Parin has built & positioned StratMg to be a value-added marketing services provider that strives to create a culture of quantified sales-driven marketing initiatives leading to sustained business growth through channel management, diversification, new customer acquisition and retention strategies and tactical execution.

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