The younger adults joining the workforce have a different idea about what they want their jobs to look like. They’re no longer just looking for a paycheck at the end of the week (or two weeks); they want something a little more than that.
While their friends are working in media or technology, a manufacturing job might not seem as flashy or exciting. However, it is possible to help attract Gen Z workers to your company! You just have to be more creative in how you position your company and the careers it offers.
Discuss pay and benefits upfront.
Younger workers have a short attention span. They will look past any job ad that doesn’t discuss pay and benefits right away. This is crucial information that can make or break their interest level. It might not be the way your company is used to discussing such things, but if you want younger workers, you need to include at least a pay range and some discussion of benefits, including health insurance, PTO, flexible schedules, etc.
Meet their goals with opportunities.
Younger workers don’t just want to clock in and clock out. They want to know a job will provide opportunities to learn new skills and keep them sharp in their field. Understand that training courses, job shadowing, opportunities for promotion, and advancing their career will be welcomed and seen as attributes to your company — and make sure they’re real and offered. Discussing a new employee’s aspirations, as well as asking candidates what skills they’d like to learn while working for you, can help you understand where they want to go and where your company might need to take them.
Let’s talk tech.
It’s possible younger workers think of manufacturing more along the lines of being a mechanic: long days of heavy lifting that end with dirty hands and faces. There are myriad jobs in manufacturing that have nothing to do with dirt or grease, or grime at all! Highlight positions in your company in which data, technical and computer skills are at a premium and talk up how digitally savvy employees are needed in order to help your company thrive. Meet them where they are.
Work with schools.
Speaking of meeting them where they are, partner with high schools, vocational schools, community colleges, and engineering schools to appear at job fairs, drop off information about open jobs, etc. Some of the struggles your company might be facing is simply letting younger workers know that it exists and is hiring. Getting out in front of young workers by appearing where they’re out looking for work is a good start.
This might be an uncomfortable change, but if you want to bring in younger workers, some policies and practices might need to change. It’s no longer just managers who are providing feedback; employees who have the chance to voice their concerns and share their ideas have become far more commonplace. Employees who feel like they can’t speak up will speak out by finding a new job. People who don’t feel like they’re respected and valued won’t stay in a job very long, and that will hurt your company twice: losing someone you’ve already trained and the possibility that they’ll dissuade other people from applying to your company.
Mentor the Millenials.
This can be a highly beneficial practice: Pair your younger workers with those who have been around for a few years. Younger workers can help the older ones understand new technology and practices, while the more experienced workers can show the younger ones the ropes and how things work at your company and how to do things safely. This can help improve understanding and communication across the whole team — everyone has something to teach someone else, and everyone has something to learn from others.
It might appear like a hard sell to get millennials and Gen Z workers to consider manufacturing careers. It might also be a matter of changing the story you tell about your company, the kinds of positions in demand, and what your particular kind of manufacturing entails. But it can be done!
If you need help finding candidates for your open positions, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We have great candidates just waiting for the right opportunity to join a growing company, and they’re eager to start working quickly. Call Debbie’s Staffing today, and we’ll help you reach new workers.