Like many companies, manufacturers often begin workforce development initiatives in the spring, hoping to reach graduating seniors in either high school or college with an interest in engineering, welding, machining, or technical work. If this sounds like your current talent acquisition strategy, there are some other factors you may want to consider. Making recruitment a continuous part of your marketing strategy, rather than an annual event, will yield better results in both quantity and quality.
Why It’s Always the Time For Student Recruitment
The primary reason why you should be working to build your talent pipeline continuously is because both graduating and prospective students are making critical decisions about their futures much earlier, not just before they graduate. Driven, career-minded students are making decisions about their future as early as sophomore year of high school, and regularly take standardized tests that indicate where their aptitudes lie. Students deciding between a four-year college program and an apprenticeship, or a Master’s degree and a few years working in the field will want to know what you have to offer them. By making recruitment a perpetual component of your overall marketing strategy, not only will you connect with more potential candidates, you will be able to inspire much younger students still learning about their passions and show them what the world of manufacturing has to offer.
It’s entirely possible that your business isn’t able to build the talent pipeline it needs because prime candidates don’t even know that you exist during the time when they’d be the most receptive to your recruitment efforts. Recruitment is just another form of targeted marketing, and all marketing ventures sink or swim based on timing.
How to Build a Continuous Talent Acquisition Marketing Program
Many manufacturers don’t view recruitment as an arm of marketing, but we disagree. Instead of marketing your products or services, you are marketing a lifestyle, a work atmosphere, and your company culture. And when looking at the student demographic, it’s often just as important to market to the parents as it is the students. To do this effectively, students need to see the manufacturing jobs you have to offer as realistic alternatives to traditional higher education tracks.
With the heavy burden of national student debt, innovative training strategies in technical fields are becoming increasingly attractive to America’s youth as they plan their futures. If you are able to provide in-house training or some form of certification that allows for continued upward mobility, then make those growth opportunities central to your messaging.
That’s a lot to convey, and it can’t be done in an interaction that only lasts a few minutes at a job fair. In order to reach new recruits, meet them where they’re at. Younger generations spend more of their time online than any other, which makes a digital marketing strategy essential to reaching the most eligible young candidates. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to dedicate some website space to describing your company culture and some of the benefits your company provides, particularly in additional training opportunities. Some additional methods for leveraging the internet in your recruitment strategy could involve social media advertising, video marketing, content marketing, career-centric podcasts, and online classes or programs geared towards educating high school and college students about manufacturing technology.
Recruitment is a lot more than career fairs and job postings. For more information on how to make the most of your talent acquisition efforts, get in touch with one of our marketing experts via the Contact page.