Finding and engaging executive-level talent in the manufacturing world can be a challenge. Recruiting top candidates is always a costly and time-consuming affair, and manufacturing is a very skill-specific industry, which narrows the field further. Therefore, utilizing the expert services of professional manufacturing executive recruiters can save you time and money—time because they do the most time-intensive legwork for you, and money because in saving so much time, you lose far less productivity.
This article highlights the strategic significance of manufacturing executive recruiters in driving industry excellence and success. By understanding a manufacturing executive recruiting firm’s value proposition, partnering effectively, and leveraging their talent acquisition expertise, organizations can secure top leadership and achieve sustainable growth in the dynamic manufacturing landscape.
Understanding the Manufacturing Talent Landscape
The manufacturing world is experiencing the same organizational challenges as everyone else, namely post-pandemic recovery, the Great Resignation, the Great Resistance (getting employees back to the office), and of course, the geopolitical and economic uncertainties of our time. However, perhaps trumping all of these issues is an unprecedented talent shortage. Wiley, a multinational academic publishing company, published an annual Closing the Skills Gap report, which indicates that 69 percent of surveyed employers need help finding skilled staff to fill critical business roles. A Manufacturing Institute survey suggests that said skills gap could lead to 2.1 million manufacturing jobs in the US going unfilled by 2030, potentially costing the industry up to $1 trillion. Sounds like a landscape in which manufacturing employers could use some support, doesn’t it?
Partnering for Success
Finding quality professional and executive candidates is challenging, as the talent pool is comparatively shallow. When you add a specialized industry like manufacturing to the equation, the executive search becomes even more labor-intensive and complex, as you’re looking for someone with a unique combination of skills and business expertise.
Does your company have a strong team of internal recruiters who can dedicate their time to filling your vacant mid and senior-level manufacturing positions? For most companies, the answer is no, so partnering with a manufacturing executive recruiting firm can be vital to your success. Not only could team members who lack recruiting expertise result in a bad hire, but the task consumes valuable time that would be better spent elsewhere.
Targeted Talent Acquisition
Companies often post vacant executive positions on their website and/or a job board and hope to get a handful of qualified applicants. This method is unreliable and hit and miss; although it can sometimes yield the desired results. It’s a passive approach, though, much like when a fisherman casts a net. He generally pulls in at least some of what he hopes to snare, but he also has to throw a good portion of his catch back into the water. Professional manufacturing executive recruiters, on the other hand, proactively research the manufacturing market, reach out to their trusted network for top-rated referrals, comb resumes and candidate databases (like LinkedIn), and verify promising candidates. Their approach is more akin to hunting in that they track only the quarry they know they’re seeking.
Assessing Leadership Potential
To assess leadership potential and ensure they are only putting the best candidates forward, skilled executive recruiters prescreen and evaluate an applicant’s core competencies, career goals, experience, and personality against the organization’s needs. They deeply dive into each individual, conducting background research, pre-qualifying interviews, and reference checks on their client’s behalf. Only when they have determined someone is a good fit for the position and the company culture do they advance them by presenting their name and information to the hiring manager.
The Hiring Process
However, your manufacturing recruiter’s support doesn’t end there. They see the process through from start to finish. Once they’ve presented an organization with a short list of highly-qualified contenders, they continue to act as intermediaries between the company and those candidates. They set up and handle interview schedules, manage expectations, and relay feedback to both parties. Once the company has decided on a candidate, recruiters help negotiate contracts and salaries and, most importantly, close the deal. Professional manufacturing executive recruiters are skilled diplomats; they use time-tested techniques to woo top-tier talent away from their current positions and onto their next challenge—working for you!
Measuring the success of your partnership with your manufacturing executive search firm is easy: The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. In other words, the real value can only be judged by experience or results. When you no longer have to deal with the hassle of sourcing and vetting candidates, when you no longer have to set productivity aside to manage recruiting issues, when you know you’ll only be interviewing high-quality applicants, and when your most challenging decision is which of the world-class prospects you should hire, you’ll recognize how valuable the experience was. Most importantly, a new hire who brings a fresh perspective and exponential growth to your table will be the ultimate metric by which you can judge success.
By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano
President & CEO of Barbachano International (BIP)
Barbachano International is the premier executive search and leadership advisory firm in the Americas (USA, Mexico, Canada, and Latin America) with a focus on diversity and multicultural target markets. Outplacement and Exe