Recruiting and Retaining Millennials in Manufacturing

Last updated on June 7, 2024

If you are a manufacturing organization looking to increase profit, one of the best things that can happen to your business is Millennials because they are pursuing development. Owning America’s largest share in the labor market, the impatience of this young generation for progress is more critical than ever. Therefore, businesses being able to earn their trust at gusto have a bright future ahead of them. But when it comes to the manufacturing industry, two-thirds of employers are struggling to establish Millennial loyalty.

To be honest, it’s not surprising at all – improving your company’s relationship with Millennial candidates and employees doesn’t come easy. But the good news is there are numerous manufacturing recruitment and employer branding strategies that can help you turn the corner. 

Why are Millennials different in the workforce?

The major difference between them and the older generations is their work attitude that transformed due to technological advancements.

Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials grew up with tablets and smartphones, supported by one of the greatest indicators on Earth: the Internet.

It not only means that their computer skills are better in general. Their main advantage is that unlike their parents, they didn’t have to spend the whole afternoon in the library to find the information they needed for an assignment for school. Even when they were kids, information was just one search away. So, consuming and processing information became faster, and so did life. 

Thanks to this comfort, building knowledge and getting entertained became easier, and the belief of I can became more prevalent.

This is the reason that regardless of the level of their self-esteem, a Millennial won‘t settle for anything that doesn’t measure up to their standards.

Not doing something you don’t like may sound natural to many, but if you ask around, you’ll definitely find a few people in your environment from the older age groups who have compromised at work for a long time. In contrast, Millennials will never get stuck in a workplace where they can’t improve, learn, and enjoy their time. If they don’t see any of these happening in a short period of time, they soon become ready for the next chapter in their career. 

Moreover, a huge contradiction they are known for in the world of work is that they have the desire to belong to a team, yet thanks to skepticism in their DNA, they find it extremely hard to bond with an employer. 

What is also interesting is that this age group is often called rebellious because they are rejecting the status quo. At first hearing, once might think, “Hmmm, are you sure that we should invest in recruiting them?”, but for an employer in manufacturing, this is gold:

If old patterns won’t work, Millennials won’t adapt to them. Instead, they’ll show you what’s going to work in the future, saving you money and time and helping you keeping up with the competition.

This is the only way forward, right?

What Millennials want when job hunting

After diving deep in why Millennials are different, you may be thinking that a list of what Millennials actually want would be helpful. Here you go:

Millennials want…

  • Not any job. They want a satisfying job.
  • To be part of a mission so that they know that their work has meaning.
  • To see that you have a vision they can work for as part of a team.
  • To see a remarkable career ahead of them.
  • To feel that you appreciate them as both individuals and professionals.
  • To get competitive compensation in return for their insights.
  • A healthy work-life balance because mental health is a priority for them.
  • Ongoing conversations. They want immediate feedback to be able to develop and fix issues right away.

Millennials and manufacturing: What can you do to attract and retain them?

The key to success with hiring Millennial workforce as a manufacturing employer is earning their loyalty by building a Millennial-friendly work environment and promoting it in an engaging way.

Here is how you can achieve that:

It may be time for revisiting leadership strategies: being a tech-oriented age group, Millennials require a different management style, 70% of manufacturers say.

Focus on health and safety: Millennials tend to be more conscious about potential health hazards associated with manufacturing processes. Ensure them that you are constantly taking care of their health and that they are safe when entering the workplace.

Present tasks in a way that appeals to them: from engineers to welders, there is something in every job that can be fun for a Millennial. Invest your time into understanding the core of their motivation so that you can build work on their desires and what they find appealing.

Make them feel connected to their jobs: if everything at your company from project management to team outings reflects your mission, and your Millennial workers are certain that what they are doing fits into the big picture, you win.

Training should come first: Millennials take employers seriously only when they provide continuous training opportunities. In the first place, it helps them understand how to safely perform the critical functions of their jobs. Also, they believe that they can only remain competitive in today’s fast-evolving market if they keep learning.

Build a strong social media presence for your employer brand: manufacturing talent may not be registered on job boards like Indeed, but Millennials spend 3 hours per day on average on Facebook and Instagram. So, if you want to attract more qualified applicants, promote your employer brand with the most powerful tool, Facebook and Instagram ads. And to make sure they go ahead to explore your social platforms and website to see “what’s in it for them”, start to build unique, distinguishable feeds with educating, empowering, and behind-the-scene posts, so they will have a realistic idea of what working for you will be like.

Wrap Up

Recruiting and retaining Millennials in manufacturing is crucial for growth and innovation. This tech-savvy generation values meaningful work, continuous development, and work-life balance. You can attract and retain this dynamic workforce by revisiting leadership strategies, emphasizing health and safety, and creating a Millennial-friendly work environment. Leverage social media to build a strong employer brand and engage Millennials with compelling content because this will position your company as a desirable workplace. Embracing the Millennial workforce means embracing change and innovation, ensuring your business thrives in a competitive market.

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Adrienn Herendi

Adrienn is a Content Strategist at Boostpoint, leveraging her extensive experience in writing for the recruitment industry. With her passion for crafting unique, engaging and informative content, she is on a mission to build a community where Talent Acquisition teams thrive and succeed.

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