Because traditional hiring methods were no longer working, growing manufacturers had to seek new ways of finding talent in order to stay competitive. For example, a past client of ours, a manufacturer of customized capital equipment, identified new talent through temp agencies, walk-ins, and word of mouth before we stepped in and overhauled their process. And their hiring procedures weren’t much better – an application, one interview, and a reference check was all it took before a candidate secured his own office that following Monday. This “wait and see” method cost them a great deal of time, money, and resources. With so many unfilled positions and a high turnover rate, they were in serious trouble.
When they contacted our sister company, APA Solutions, a recruiting and human capital consulting firm, for help, they expressed their endless hiring frustrations. They needed candidates who are passionate about the general labor industry and genuinely enjoy the lifestyle that comes with it. With so many unemployed people out there, they didn’t understand why it was so tough to find those people. We witnessed firsthand how manufacturing employers are demanding new hard skills from mid-level skilled employees. And not just in the “get your hands dirty” positions, but in all departments, including human resources, accounting, operations, engineering, and IT.
We’ve heard it before in the monthly job reports and economic forecasts – that there’s a shortage of 350,000 positions in the U.S. – but here was an example of a real mid-level skills deficit in our own backyard. Check out these three courageous workers who were able to rethink, reinvent, and redefine their careers to fit job market needs, secure a long-term position, and increase their financial worth in manufacturing.
Tom, The Redefiner.
Tom was a high school graduate who loved working with his hands, especially jobs involving a straightedge paintbrush. Encouraged by his folks and determined to develop his skills, Tom achieved hands-on experience as both a residential and commercial painter before he decided to venture off on his own. As an entrepreneur, Tom gained an understanding of business operations and enhanced his leadership and customer service skills. But a tumultuous time forced him to close shop and pursue a position back in a corporate setting. Tom realized that the only piece he was lacking to truly redefine his career was a solid strategy and a reality check on what today’s employers were thinking and feeling. After building an impressive professional brand and learning how to market it to hiring managers, Tom landed a second-shift position as an Industrial/Commercial Painter. Within six months, he was promoted and now earns twice as much as he ever did in the past with the added benefits of a sizable pension, more vacation time, and a collaborative team culture.
Toby, The Reinventer.
Toby was a well-respected production worker in the printing industry with an impressive tenure. In his 30+ years, he started out as a Laborer and worked his way up to Team Leader before he was downsized in 2011. In order to reinvent his career, he needed to acquire some new manufacturing skills and update old techniques. After completing a 2-year educational program, enhancing his computer skills, and gaining more mechanical experience, he was able to secure a more specialized role as CNC Machinist, a growing field in manufacturing.
Rachel, The Rethinker.
Rachel leveraged her unique military background and experience working in a warehouse setting to land a mid-level position with a private, growing company that was looking for a great multi-tasker who could handle more than one role. Her current position leverages the various skills she acquired in the navy, such as management, customer service, logistics, and procurement. See Rachel’s full story and testimonial.
Demonstrated by Tom, Toby, and Rachel, there are three main categories job seekers fall into. For more information on mapping out a strategic career plan that caters to your individual, needs, consult our FREE Career Reform Reports.
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