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Manufacturing Recruitment Strategies

Recruitment Reports

May 22, 2024

HomeRecruitment ReportsManufacturing Recruitment Strategies
Manufacturing Recruitment Image

The manufacturing industry in Ireland is at an exciting crossroads, brimming with opportunities and challenges. One of the biggest hurdles? Finding the right people for the job. Let’s dive into some eye-opening stats that shed light on the current landscape, including skills shortages, wage inflation, the fierce battle for top talent, and rising operational costs.

Manufacturing Statistics, What Does the Landscape Look Like?

Recruitment issues are front and center, and crucial for growth and success.  Understanding the recruitment landscape within the manfucturing sector is essential for crafting effective strategies to tackle these challenges head-on.

Recruitment Struggles:

Wage Expectations:

Talent Competition:

Skills Shortages:

A staggering 91% of Irish employers have faced recruitment challenges in the past year, significantly impacting productivity and growth.

72% of manufacturing business leaders anticipate wage increases in the near future, highlighting the pressure on salary structures.

68% of employers cite competition from other companies as a primary challenge in meeting their recruitment goals.

The industry continues to have numerous vacancies, especially in roles requiring advanced technical skills.

Commonly Listed Positions:

Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Process Engineers, Quality Control Specialists, Automation Technicians

Roles Facing a Talent Shortage:

Some roles are critically under supplied, which hampers the industry’s ability to meet production and innovation targets including:

Data Scientists, Cybersecurity Experts, AI Specialists, Robotics Engineers, Sustainability Experts

Understanding these statistics gives us a clearer view of the labor market dynamics. Our role at Rent a Recruiter is to help HR teams drive strategic decisions that will bolster their recruitment and retention efforts.

Manufacturing Recruitment Image with Male Testing Machine
Manufacturing Recruitment Food Industry
Manufacturing Recruitment Operations female testing equipment

Top Recruiting Pain Points in the Manufacturing Industry

Skilled Professionals &  Competition for Talent


Negative Impact on Productivity

The manufacturing industry is grappling with a significant shortage of skilled labor, especially in advanced technical areas like data science, cybersecurity, AI, and robotics. This talent gap significantly hampers innovation and productivity.


The consequences of these skills shortages are far-reaching. Many companies are experiencing decreased productivity, project delays, and stunted growth Business World. According to Ireland survey, a striking 91% of employers have faced recruitment challenges, with 50% reporting negative impacts on productivity and 39% on key projects Business World.

Competitive Salaries and Benefits


Can't Compete on Pay

Many manufacturing companies are finding it tough to offer competitive salaries and benefits compared to other industries. This challenge is especially pronounced for roles requiring specialised skills, which often demand higher pay.

As a result, companies frequently lose top talent to competitors with better compensation packages, leading to higher turnover rates as employees leave for more lucrative opportunities.

In fact, according to a Morgan McKinley report 43% of businesses reported that they “can’t compete on pay and benefits,” making it difficult to attract new talent.

High Turnover Rates


Increase in counter offers to retain staff

The manufacturing sector is also facing high turnover rates due to competitive job markets and the allure of better opportunities elsewhere. This constant churn can disrupt operations and escalate recruitment costs.

High turnover results in ongoing recruitment cycles, increased training expenses, and a significant loss of institutional knowledge. To combat this, employers are increasingly making counter-offers to retain staff, with 35% more likely to do so now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic

Business World, PwC

Geographic Mobility


Mobility of workforce

The geographic mobility of the workforce, where employees relocate to different regions or countries for better opportunities, significantly reduces the local talent pool available to manufacturing companies.

This mobility complicates recruitment efforts, especially for roles requiring on-site presence and specific regional expertise. In fact, 13% of employers identified the movement of people to other geographic regions as a major challenge Business World.

Operational Costs


Expect increase in costs

The rising costs of raw materials, energy, and other operational inputs are putting significant financial pressure on companies, limiting their ability to invest in recruitment and employee development.

This financial strain can make companies less attractive to potential employees, as they may struggle to offer competitive salaries or invest in employee benefits and training. In fact, 51% of manufacturers expect an increase in the costs of raw materials and transport, which directly impacts their overall budget for recruitment and retention efforts. Ibec – For Irish Business, PwC

Rent a Recruiter Recommendations

A 360 Holistic Approach to Talent Acquisition in Manufacturing

HR recruiters in the manufacturing sector can effectively tackle key challenges and enhance their recruitment and retention efforts by adopting a 360 holistic approach. Here are our recommendations.

Addressing Skills Shortages


Invest in education and training programs & collaborate with educational institutions to help feed your talent pipeline.

Forge strong partnerships with technical schools, universities, and vocational programs to develop curricula tailored to industry needs. Strategies include offering internships, apprenticeships, and co-op programs to give students valuable hands-on experience.

Industry Example: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care in Limerick  teamed up with the University of Limerick to create specialised courses and training programs. These initiatives are designed to equip students with the essential skills needed in the medical device manufacturing sector.
The Outcome? This collaboration ensures a steady flow of skilled graduates who are ready to jump into the workforce right after completing their education, effectively bridging the skills gap in the industry.

In addition, focus on your current workforce, by providing ongoing training and development. Offering continuous training and development opportunities for your current employees is a smart move. By helping your team adapt to new technologies and methods, you can reduce the need to hire externally and cut down on costs. Plus, a well-trained workforce is more innovative and efficient, driving your business forward.

Competitive Salaries and Benefits


Look at offering comprehensive compensation packages, & stay competitive with industry standards.
Regularly benchmark your salary and benefits to ensure you stay competitive & attractive to potential candidates. Beyond monetary benefits, consider adding perks like health insurance, flexible working hours, remote work options, and wellness programs.

Industry Example: Intel Ireland
Intel Ireland in Leixlip offers attractive salaries and comprehensive benefits packages that include health insurance, pension plans, and bonuses. They go a step further with unique perks such as stock options and on-site amenities.
These enticing packages have enabled Intel to attract and retain top talent, even in a fiercely competitive job market.

Reducing High Turnover Rates


To combat this, focus on employee engagement and retention. Create a positive work environment by fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace culture where employees feel valued and engaged. Conduct regular surveys with employees to find out areas of improvement that will help build a positive work environment. Keeping your finger on the satisfaction pulse of  your teams are can benefit the company immensely in retaining talent and lowering turnover rates.

Industry Example: Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific, with locations in Galway, Cork, and Clonmel, focuses on creating a positive work environment and providing clear career development paths. They have implemented extensive training programs and offer opportunities for career advancement within the company.
By investing in employee development and providing opportunities for growth, Boston Scientific has successfully reduced turnover rates and retained key talent by adopting this strategy.

Mitigating Geographic Mobility Issues


Whenever possible, offer remote or hybrid work options to widen your talent pool and attract candidates from various geographic areas.

Industry Example: Medtronic
Medtronic in Galway provides relocation assistance packages to draw talent from different regions. Their support includes housing assistance, covering moving expenses, and helping with community integration.
These initiatives have successfully helped Medtronic tackle geographic mobility challenges, attracting skilled professionals who are willing to relocate for better opportunities.

Enhancing Employer Branding


Developing a strong employer brand is a key recruitment strategy in todays job market. Highlight your company culture by showcasing your company’s values, culture, and employee experiences through social media and other digital platforms. Encourage employees to share their positive experiences and act as brand ambassadors.

Industry Example: Glanbia
Glanbia, a global nutrition group, actively promotes its strong company culture and values through various channels, including social media, employee testimonials, and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Glanbia’s efforts in employer branding have made it a desirable workplace, helping to attract high-quality candidates who align with the company’s values and culture​​.

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