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ReVive : Episode 13 | Recruitment in Manufacturing

Recruitment in Manufacturing – Tips, Trends, Expectations and How to Rank Candidates

In this episode of ReVive, host Jared Falkner is joined by Todd Nickerson, the Recruitment Director of MBS Advisors. MBS Advisors is a professional M&A Advisory and recruitment organization focused exclusively in the manufacturing space, similar to how Vive is focused on marketing for manufacturers. Todd shares some key insights on recruitment in manufacturing and presents first-hand knowledge on industry trends, how to rank candidates, tips on hiring, and what expectations there are for salaries.

Give me the high-level: ReVive in 5

To get started, give us a little insight on MBS Advisors and your expertise in the recruitment field. (2:34)

“MBS Advisors offers professional recruiting support in plastics, packaging, rubber, tooling, and machinery. We offer customized and confidential searches – we’re niche recruiters focused exclusively in plastics manufacturing for more than twenty years. We use state-of-the-industry tools, our extensive network, and our knowledge of plastics processing roles and responsibilities. We source and engage active and passive candidates, to introduce our clients’ career opportunities to them. Beyond that, we provide hiring advice, salary and market trends, interview participation, assistance negotiating offers, as well as background and reference checks in the process.”

Could you share what you’ve seen in the last year or so how it’s been a struggle to connect with having individuals actually come to work? (5:21)

“Obviously, beyond the tragic amount of lives lost, there’s been many impacts to the employment world. It’s forced employers into a flexible hybrid ‘work from home’ situation, which a lot of them were hesitant to get into, and I think what a result was a lot of people found out that it actually worked. People liked it, the employees liked it – they liked the flexibility. So, I think one trend that I’m generally seeing is that when I’m engaging with candidates on behalf of our hiring companies, I get a significantly higher response rate from candidates if the companies are open to considering remote work rather than traditional office or plant jobs.”

“Another thing that you may have heard of at this point… COVID spurred the Great Resignation or The Big Quit, which is basically employees resigning and retiring in record numbers, reevaluating their work-life balance, and basically no longer willing to put up with the lower pay, stress, work conditions that they accepted prior to the pandemic.”

Do you think that hiring managers or HR teams have adapted to the change in recruitment efforts? (9:35)

“I think some have. I think there’s still a fair amount of the old school mentality, a lack of flexibility. They have a rigid or low salary range, and the hiring process itself is just a long, drawn-out slog. On the flipside, there are companies that are starting to embrace this, and I feel like they’re going to be the ones that are going to be more successful moving forward.”

In your opinion, what makes a great candidate, and what should the decision makers be looking for when they’re trying to fill this oh-so-needed position? (13:42)

“I’d say the biggest thing I look for on behalf of our client companies is relevant work experience. Is this candidate within the same industry? Are they manufacturing similar parts? If a candidate is molding medical components in an ISO 13485 environment, then that experience is going to be critical to a medical molder. We’re looking for candidates that have relevant work experience above anything else. Beyond that… candidates that are responsive to communications, they’re engaged in the process, they have honest motivations to make a job change, and there’s obviously the all-important cultural fit, which is subjective and varies with each hiring company.”

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