Manufacturers provide creative benefits to hire, especially in rural markets
- Talent shortages in skilled manufacturing plants across the U.S. are forcing business to get creative and dole out perks to attract job seekers, The New York Times reported. In addition to offering common benefits packages, some manufacturers have created onsite daycares and healthcare providers to attract workers away from metro markets so they can keep the plants running.
- For many rural manufacturing plants, large and small, the struggle to attain and maintain head count is a full-time proposition. Some offer a free healthcare clinic for employees and their families; others give cash bonuses for referrals. To attract younger workers, many are revamping their facilities and cafeterias, even adding pool tables to entice.
- Overtime hours are increasing as business tries to avoid refusing orders with labor shortages. One company reported a required amount of overtime for every worker, including the president, per month. Ready-to-retire workers are being asked to postpone their last day of work, or return part-time or in a contract capacity to maintain productivity as businesses scramble to hire.
As manufacturing jobs continue to expand in a booming economy, many businesses have had to do a little sprucing to maintain head count or recruit even skeleton-crew numbers as talent shortages persist across the country. And as an aging workforce wants to clock out for the final time, businesses have the onus to funnel more workers onto the production floor and entice them to stay.
Local and national governments have teamed up with educators and business to address the skills gap that threatens to thwart growth in these and other industries. More and more businesses have developed apprenticeships, working in cooperation with states and government officials to recruit and train potential employees.
Many companies have introduced alluring benefits and perks as they peacock for potential employees. Initiatives like Silicon Valley's free lunches and Discover's tuition free benefit aim to engage workers, so it follows that manufacturers have taken the cue. As they continue to address the issue, leaders may also want to consider how the opioid crisis impacts their workforce. An estimated 60% of companies have been affected by the abuse or misuse of these drugs among employees. As the number of candidates failing drug screening rises, it might be time for manufacturers to take action like one Indiana manufacturer did, paying for drug rehab for candidates.
- New York Times Manufacturers Increase Efforts to Woo Workers to Rural Areas