As we enter yet another new year as a specialist manufacturing recruitment company, we are often asked what are the latest trends when it comes to recruitment. 

Though 2018 is likely to have similar challenges to 2017, there are several trends that will start to make a bigger impact in the field of manufacturing recruitment. 


The ‘Elephant In The Room’ Candidate Shortages  



Before we look at some of the most critical trends lets talk about candidates. Though, this statement sounds like a stuck record. The challenges of the last major recession and the pull back on education and apprenticeships have created a skills gap across the manufacturing and STEM sector in the UK. 

The fact that manufacturing is now on a considerable growth curve globally is good news. However, this does provide challenges for companies who need the ‘right’ people in place to deliver the projects they have from design experts to production and logistics.  

Therefore a number of trends you will see over the next couple of years are based on finding the right candidate who can deliver in the role and is ‘fit’ for the organisation in question. 


The Rise Of The Specialist Recruiter 

We covered this in depth a couple of months ago, and you can read the post here. There is a saying in our industry that the recruitment sector is the first sector into a recession and the first out! The context of this is that when the economy grows companies need people and the fastest way to find them is by using a specialist recruitment company. 

Think about it; if you want a specific skill set and your recruitment has been on hold, your network will be small. Contrast this to a specialist recruiter in the manufacturing market.  

Literally on an hourly basis, they are identifying and registering manufacturing candidates who might be a fit for your manufacturing company. 

For example here at Sigma Recruitment, we are one of the biggest manufacturing recruitment companies in South Wales, and our extensive network reflects that. That is why manufacturing companies on a growth curve come to us first. 



Employer Branding Is Crucial 

Skilled manufacturing talent is in a commanding position in the current skills short market, meaning that companies must strive to attract new hires by creating an employer brand that people want to work for. 

A combination of company values, culture, training programs and employee perks is often what drives candidates to choose one company over another; as a recruitment company in the field, we have seen this play out time and time again. 

This trend is getting ever stronger as more Millennials dominate our workforce. This group rate culture and continuous learning as some of the most critical factors in their career decisions.   

Whether you like it or not Social Media and social networks dominate the recruitment market. Candidates will often judge an organisation as their likely new employer by checking out their social profiles and what other people are saying about them online. Do you communicate what it would be like to work for you in a positive and upbeat way ? Do you share what career progression could look like ? 

How good is your candidate hiring experience? Unfortunately, bad news travels fast in today’s viral world; ask United Airlines if you want to understand the impact it can make. Though this was an extreme case. A quick chat down the pub with friends about how awful the interview process at ACME Manufacturing was could go viral in its own way. 



Profiling Tools And A Refined Process 

Though there is a skills shortage, it’s also important to hire individuals with the correct personality profile for the role that will deliver for your organisation. 

For instance, if you are recruiting someone for your innovation department an individual who is methodical or who dislikes change would not be a great hire; though they could be ideal and a better fit where their approach would be an advantage rather than a challenge. 

Using profiling can help with this. With poor hiring mistakes costing organisations dearly watch out for more recruiting tools and methodology associated with this. 


What Next ? 

At Sigma Recruitment 2017 was a busy year. We have always had a critical eye on the manufacturing and recruitment space and are constantly aligning our service to fit. If you would like help with your recruitment this year get in touch here. Or call us on 02920 450 100. 


Best regards  

Rhys Wiliams 

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