Attracting top talent in the manufacturing sector has never been more critical, and your employee value proposition (EVP) can make or break your chances of securing the best candidates. Whether you’re a leader, a hiring manager, or a HR professional in the manufacturing space, you will need to understand the changing priorities of the talent pool and craft a compelling EVP if you want to build a thriving and productive workforce.

As a specialist recruiter in the manufacturing space, I regularly see just how important a strong EVP is for success. Here, I’ll be discussing what makes a strong employee value proposition in manufacturing and how to go about creating one in your organisation. 

Making your EVP stand out in a crowded market

Today’s candidates are looking for more than has traditionally been on offer. While free lunches and team drinks are certainly nice to have, candidates will see them as merely gimmicks if they aren’t accompanied by flexibility, work-life balance, hybrid working, and higher value rewards.

Gone are the days when an average salary was enough to attract top talent. When it comes to building a leading EVP, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You also need to integrate desirable perks and embody the right values. While these considerations might not feature prominently in the job description, they give you something to bring into negotiations to help secure your desired applicant. 

Ultimately, manufacturing professionals in 2023 are looking for much more than just a payslip. They want to work for a company that aligns with their values and purpose. Your EVP should not just be about perks and benefits, but also the societal, environmental, and cultural values your organisation champions – and how staff can participate in these programs.

Embracing hybrid working in manufacturing

We are seeing a growing number of businesses in the manufacturing space introducing hybrid and remote working as permanent fixtures. Employers that fail to meet this new market standard will struggle to attract the top talent they need. 

Candidates now value their time and work-life balance just as much as a competitive salary, and this is already having major ramifications for talent acquisition in manufacturing. I have seen candidates accept lower salaries for roles which offer them superior work-life balance – in many cases, this leads to better performance.

Sustainability: Key to cracking the talent market

Alongside hybrid and remote working, another big factor is an organisation’s attitude toward sustainability. During a hiring process, don’t be surprised if the best professionals you engage with want to know how sustainable your business is, and what you are doing to maximise your positive social and environmental impact.

This is a topic Michael Page Manufacturing regularly consult on with clients and discuss with the wider industry. For instance, our Operating Director, Ruth Hancock, recently interviewed the winner of the MX Awards’ ‘Young Manufacturer of the Year’ Natasha Lyth, on sustainable manufacturing. Our Director, Joe Walton, also spoke on a panel discussion at the Sustainability Symposium, focusing on driving employee engagement with sustainability initiatives

Attracting top talent: Top priorities for manufacturing talent

To help employers better optimise their employee value propositions, we recently surveyed hundreds of UK manufacturing and supply chain professionals, asking them what they wanted from prospective new employers. 

Three values emerged as top priorities for manufacturing workers:

  • Work-life balance 
  • Job security 
  • Good colleague relationships 

Broad topics like those above can be hard to encapsulate in a job description, but it’s important to remember how influential they could be throughout a hiring process. For a comprehensive breakdown of our survey results, check out the full article today

An essential step: Communicating your EVP

Of course, even a leading employee value proposition has limited use if the best candidates within the manufacturing talent pool aren’t aware of it. That’s why the final critical stage of building your EVP is communicating and promoting it. 

When you discuss your EVP – whether in job descriptions, on social media, or in conversations with candidates – you should prioritise truthfulness, representing the total experience of working at your organisation. This will attract people who will thrive in the everyday reality of your workplace. At the same time, inconsistent messaging about your company’s values and the experience of working there must be avoided. It will make it harder for potential employees to decide whether your organisation is a good fit for them, and for you to attract the right people. 

What's next?

At Michael Page Manufacturing, our work with manufacturers goes beyond hiring. We also work closely with clients to help them effectively build and promote the key points of their EVP, whilst engaging our unique network of in-demand professionals and helping them to understand why your organisation is the right place for them. 

To discuss your talent needs, get in touch with the team today or contact me directly on the details below: 

Tom O’Donnell, Consultant, Michael Page Manufacturing
E: [email protected]