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Some Tips on Recruiting Skilled Production Workers

Some Tips on Recruiting Skilled Production Workers

Feb. 16, 2021
“In factories across the country, fixed locations, tight margins and higher competition make growing the blue-collar workforce incredibly difficult," explains Heather Salerno, senior vice president of marketing for Appcast.

With so many jobs becoming remote due to the pandemic, people are moving out of urban areas. While this might be a positive move in some ways, it makes it harder to recruit for jobs that need to be done within the walls of a manufacturing facility.

“In factories across the country, fixed locations, tight margins and higher competition make growing the blue-collar workforce incredibly difficult,"  explains Heather Salerno, senior vice president of marketing for Appcast.

To illustrate her point, Salerno references a study her company did showing the number of clicks on manufacturing job ads that converted into applicants has dropped by 16.5%. The cause of this downturn is most likely due to the pandemic drastically disrupting operations at the turn of Q2, explains Salerno. Nevertheless, she advises industrial recruitment managers to review their recruiting efforts. She also suggests examining job ads to devise ways to increase the odds of turning applicants into employees.

Salerno provided IndustryWeek with some specific tips:

Simplify the Application Process

Increasingly, job seekers are borrowing from their consumer habits, applying to jobs from their mobile devices. However, that does not mean most job seekers clicking mobile job ads become applicants. "Every job seeker on mobile (or desktop) that clicks on your job ad but doesn’t apply wastes advertising spend," she says. "Therefore, industrial business leaders must evaluate if inefficient application processes are deterring job seekers."

For example, lengthy applications that take more than 15 minutes to finish experience a 365% degradation in completion rates. "This is a prime example of how conversion rates within your candidate funnel have a direct impact on your costs to acquire qualified candidates - with every point of decline in conversion rates, you ultimately end up paying more for a candidate. This can be detrimental to your recruiting budget when you scale this issue across numerous roles or numerous openings for the same role," she says.

To optimize conversion rates, ask only the questions needed to qualify a candidate. "If possible, don’t require candidates to log into your platform when applying; this will drastically reduce the candidate drop-off rate in the application process," says Salerno.

Consider Timing and Titles

Data from Appcast's annual Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report continues to show that while the volume of mobile apply traffic from job seekers is higher on the weekends, the stronger conversion rate occurs early in the week, which means it’s the most cost-efficient time of the week to attract job seekers (apply rates have a direct correlation on the cost of candidate acquisition).

From a recruiting standpoint, Salerno suggests employers:

  1. Determine what the goal is for advertising a particular job - is it apply volume or is it cost efficiency;
  2. Post the jobs according to what those goals are; and
  3. Ensure the application process is optimized for mobile.

"To attract job seekers’ attention, recruiters must be mindful of the content of their advertisements. For instance: how does the job title affect an ad’s effectiveness? Job titles should be short (1-3 words) and direct and not include special characters, like & and $," she says. "Additionally, write job titles that your candidates would actually be searching for and skip the superfluous terms like ‘ninja’ or ‘guru’ or ‘rockstar’. In many cases, the job title is the make-or-break moment for job seekers; if you lose them at the title, you’ve lost what could be a qualified applicant."

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