Warehouse Workers going over something on a tablet, one sitting in a forklift

Tackling the Manufacturing Talent Shortage in Research Triangle Park

It’s no surprise that the Research Triangle Park region is experiencing tremendous business growth. North Carolina is consistently named one of the top states for businesses and recently WalletHub ranked Durham No. 7 and Raleigh No. 8 in its study about the best cities to start a business. And it’s not just tech and healthcare companies—manufacturing and distribution centers are booming here as well.

This increased competition, combined with advancing manufacturing technologies, has led to a shortage of skilled personnel to fill open positions on the plant floor. To address these shortfalls, manufacturing and distribution companies, along with their staffing partners, need to find new ways to connect with candidates. Here are a few strategies to consider:

Expand the Net

Whether it’s offering retirees and young parents flexible scheduling or collaborating with high schools, community colleges and other organizations, tapping into new talent pools can help manufacturers address worker shortages. Additionally, with more and more people finding their jobs on social media, it’s increasingly important to become engaged on different channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Prioritize Training

Because automation has dramatically accelerated the assembly line pace, employees need to be trained to work quickly and precisely while remaining extremely focused. In addition, advanced manufacturing tools often call for specialized training and computer programs and software systems demand higher level math skills. Whether done in-house, or outsourced to a staffing partner, training not only helps attract candidates but streamlines onboarding so workers are ready on day one.

Once employed, up-training motivated workers allows employers to move trustworthy employees into more critical positions. It also helps with retention by showing employees that the company values their work and is willing to invest in them.

Boost Pay and Incentives

Providing a competitive, market-rate salary is an effective way to draw in candidates. Another is to offer temp-to-perm opportunities. This gives companies a chance to evaluate workers before committing to a full-time engagement while also appealing to employees who are looking for steady employment.

Incentives that are unique to the contract worker community, including earned time off and earned paid holidays, can also help attract qualified candidates. Once an employee is engaged, retaining them is critical and performance incentives can be instrumental in keeping good workers.

Create a Positive Culture

While salary and benefits are critically important, more and more employees are indicating that culture is also key. To help retain employees, manufacturers should examine their corporate culture to determine if it promotes trust, encourages communication and provides opportunity for all of its employees.

Every manufacturing and distribution company has different employment challenges and finding the right solution is critical to solving them. At BelFlex, we don’t believe there’s one way to address the talent shortage. Instead, we’re committed to understanding our clients’ unique pressure points and creating a plan specific to them. Please contact our Raleigh-Durham team at 919-718-0411 or me directly at egregory@belflex.com to learn how we can help your company.

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