How to attract (and retain) top engineering and manufacturing talent

 
Recent reports from industry bodies have predicted that the engineering and manufacturing industry will need almost two million people over the 10 year period up to 2022. The Michael Page Engineering & Manufacturing salary survey highlighted that nearly 50% of our clients are looking to increase headcount in 2015. 
 
Our recent survey shows that 58% of our customers listed staff retention as a key concern. Unsurprisingly, we are being approached daily by clients stating that they find it difficult to recruit and hold on to the best people in the market. The combination of a compelling economic climate, predicted growth and a more visible job market through online advertising and social media, leave SMEs as well as large corporate companies needing more recruitment guidance and support.
 

So how do we ensure that that we attract and retain the best engineering and manufacturing staff?

 
The general sentiment in the market is that we need to drive the number of engineering graduates and apprenticeships up as well as support the focus on inspiring schoolchildren to consider careers in the industry. The youth market is a key focus for PageGroup in 2015/2016. While this will help with the longer term issues, we need to establish some mechanisms to deal with current challenges which are not about supply but attraction.  
 
There are a few steps you can take to address the issue of attraction. Firstly, make sure you are aware of your unique selling points as an organisation. Secondly, it’s important to understand that self-promotion is vital to separating yourselves from the competition. In such a candidate driven market, it’s important to make your company’s USPs clear throughout the interview process. Our recent survey showed that 89% of the manufacturing community recognises their engineering and manufacturing team’s commercial impact on the business, but this is not reflected externally. In order to attract and retain top engineering and manufacturing professionals, it needs to be made clear to those in the job market and within your own company that you recognise their intrinsic value to your business. 
 
Finally, our clients often overlook areas that are not related to business size or sector such as career progression which 54% of job seekers highlight as a key consideration. This does not need to be an imminent promotion – it can be an advancement of skills or an opportunity to experience growth through personal development plans and reviews for team members. 
 
In a candidate driven market, companies need to build their brand as an employer of choice and work hard to attract and retain the best talent around.
 
Are you looking to hire engineering and manufacturing talent? Or are you simply looking for some further advice on the engineering and manufacturing recruitment market? Contact Jonathan Abell, managing director at Michael Page Engineering & Manufacturing for a confidential discussion.
 
T: +44 121 230 9384