How to Optimize Your Manufacturing Workforce

It’s hard to believe that the phrase “war for talent” was coined more than 20 years ago. Today, the fight to attract and retain talented employees rages on in virtually every industry—and manufacturing is no exception.

Throughout the manufacturing sector, there are plenty of jobs open, but not enough qualified people to fill them. If you think things are tough now, just wait until 2028. By then, there will be 4.6 million open manufacturing jobs in the U.S., but more than half of them (2.4 million) will go unfilled, according to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

Is Better Recruitment Enough?

One possible solution to this challenge is for manufacturers to optimize their recruiting programs and spread the word about career options in the sector. For example, thousands across the U.S. recently participated in the latest MFG Day events.

Many manufacturers are also exploring previously untapped sources of talent. For instance, post-service military veterans possess many of the skills needed to succeed in manufacturing.

But no matter how effective they are at attracting the available talent, it’s unlikely manufacturing firms will make a significant dent in their unfilled vacancies. The demographics just don’t add up. Effective recruitment will always be important—but in the long run, manufacturers need to focus on getting greater output from smaller headcounts.

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