Recruiting for Manufacturing Industry

By Aditya Mishra | July 13, 2019

Indian economy isn’t creating many new jobs in manufacturing sector at the moment. Automation and slackening demand are troubling the sector. However, in the long run, this is a sector which is slated to grow and create many new jobs. Sooner than later, we will see companies on a hiring spree and getting on the bandwagon to retain their key talent. It is critical that they build their systems and processes in such a way that they get the right people on board.
We cannot label an individual as good or not-good. A performer in one organization may not be a success in another. The context of the organization, the role and the norms followed there decide if the individual is a good fit or not. Secondly, we need to be at top of the mind for our target audience and communicate our value proposition effectively.

Are we talking to our Target audience?

Often companies use a document called job description to give it to their HR department or Talent Acquisition Team to indent hiring. The document often is very generic in its explanation of the role and the requirements. It normally remains unchanged for years and is used to fill multiple positions in a department over a long period of time.
Since the document is very generic, a passive candidate is unlikely to get excited about the opportunity. Let us say, we are recruiting an HVAC engineer for a factory. Unless we specify a few highlights such as the tools and equipment used, the scope of the role, the team size or the possible growth opportunity for the role, why should someone doing well in a similar role in another organization consider this opportunity?
The recruiter has to understand some of these from the line manager and the others from the HR team. How often does the recruiter get to speak to the line manager? If we need the right person, the recruiter has to understand the subtleties well so that one can set one’s eyes on the right areas of the talent pool.

Are we singing the right tunes?

Very often recruiters source candidates and screen them based on the details given in a generic job description document. They communicate about the opportunity based on the document in their hand and their knowledge about the role and the company gathered in a handful of interactions. How can we attract the best candidates when the recruiter being our first moment of truth for the candidate, is not fully equipped?
It is critical that the recruiter sings the right tunes. He or she must neither over-promise nor under-sell the opportunity. We have to get the recruiter interact with the line manager, visit the workplace and learn about the company’s culture. He or she must form an idea of the kind of person who will be successful in the role. Only then, one can say the right things about the opportunity and shortlist the right candidates.

Career Path needs to be clear

We do not see attrition in manufacturing industry as much as we see in new-age industry sectors like IT, outsourcing, ecommerce and services. Employees in the manufacturing industry typically look for internal growth opportunities and do not go window-shopping as often as their counterparts do in the sunrise sectors. So we need to have a structured approach to career growth of employees and some statistics around the growth provided in the past.
These details will help recruiters attract prospective employees with conviction and clarity. Moreover, it sets the expectations right in the minds of candidates and helps reduce post-joining dissonance. Salaries are important and hence, they need to be right, if not the highest in the sector. However, there are several factors other than salary that a potential employee considers. These are the details of the role, the opportunities, company’s track record and culture. We have to make sure that the recruiter is well-versed with all these and the potential candidates are aware of those. We will surely get the best talent on board!