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5 ways Manufacturing is Tackling the Labour Shortage

Ways Manufacturing is Tackling the Labour Shortage

The Malaysian manufacturing industry is on the cusp of a digital revolution. The Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning have the potential to bring about impressive digital transformation.

However, these advantages might not capitalized due to talent shortages as manufacturing suffers from an image issue that the C-suite needs to work on.

The list below gives you some ideas on how to overcome the labour challenges we have been facing in recent years. a

Encouraging a Test Drive

According to Charlie Wilgus, General Manager, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Executive Search at the Lucas Group, workers are now willing to take shorter-range job assignments. This gives them a way of testing the waters, Wilgus says.

Manufacturers are starting to embrace this idea. They understand that a contract situation also benefits them. It gives them some insight into employees before signing them on for a permanent job.

Prospective candidates are also job-hopping to test fit, says Thomas Stone, senior research analyst at The Institute for Corporate Productivity. Prospects try out various jobs within several business units within a company. Each test drive usually lasts 6 to 8 weeks.

As an added bonus, workers get a more holistic view of the Company's operations. This also allows the business to utilize the same person, should there be sudden vacancies or need in other business units.

Advancing and Training Internal Talent

PPromoting internal talent kills two birds with a stone. Firstly, it is an effective employee retention initiative. Secondly, the Company is investing on its 'assets'.

Stone says that organizations are now placing emphasis on internal training and development for employees, especially for those who have the potential to move up the ladder.

Tapping Into Unconventional Talent Pools

Companies are looking beyond the pool of graduating students to recruit blue-collar workers, Stone says. Boeing hires thousands of ex-convicts looking to re-enter the workforce.

Manufacturing companies are also partnering with organizations that cater to veterans and minorities. Blacksmith International, an apparel manufacturing company, has started a pilot program that retrains Utah residents who have been hit hard by layoffs in the coal industry.

Looking Beyond the Résumé

Manufacturing companies are looking for workers with certain requisite skills—even if they don't have a Bachelor's degree. Vocational schools are rising to this challenge. They offer training in advanced manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing. By

checking on skillset rather than education alone, companies are

more closely aligning specific jobs to the talent they need.

The Deloitte study found that 77% of employers are willing to prioritize a candidate's skills and potential over experience. Additionally, 65% of employers say they'll train candidates on the job if they don't have a certain skillset.

Diving Into Data Analytics

Companies are also using data analytics to help address the talent shortage. Manufacturers can analyze demographic factors across the country and find out which places will have the best talent.

Factors like graduation rates and standard of living costs make helpful indicators. According to Stone, companies can act on that intelligence proactively and recruit more aggressively in areas they feel have more desirable candidates.

The new manufacturing age will require agile processes—not just on the production floor, but in hiring as well. A little creativity is helping companies solve the talent shortage both in the short and long term. With the right talent, manufacturing companies can accelerate their journey to digital transformation.


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