There was a time when finding talent to meet increased demand was not a difficult task. That time has passed.
Manufacturers must now cast a wider net in their talent search that goes way beyond the town where the factory is located. In fact companies are scouting talent from across the globe.
"Manufacturers are now considering global recruiting strategies as they gear up to meet demand. In the past they have relied on overtime to fill these gaps, but looking forward they want plans in place to make sure they have the talent they need to stay competitive," explains Kate Donovan, managing director of global RPO leader for ManpowerGroup Solutions.
One profound change in job requirements for the manufacturing sector in the U.S. is the level of technical skills now required. Finding qualified talent is increasingly more difficult. In ManpowerGroup's most recent Talent Shortage Survey of 35,000 employers across 36 countries, 34% of companies reported that they are struggling to fill jobs they need in order to succeed.
As with any function necessary to run an enterprise efficiently, there must be a process and a talent search is no exception. It needs to have the same components of identifying and tracking resources.
"Recruiting is still basically local in nature but a global recruiting model needs to look different than a local one," says Donovan. Local processes can be customized to their varying standards; with the organizational goals remaining as the premier focus," says Donovan.
However that can pose some difficulties due to the varying labor laws and standards. For example in some countries, the applicant tracking system needs to be Safe Harbor Certified. The European Union's Data Protection Directive sets restrictions on how elements of personal information can be collected, stored and shared, creating many challenges. It is illegal to share personal information between countries if proper procedures have not been followed. However data can be shared freely between countries that maintain compatible data privacy policies. In addition to the EU, other countries permit the free sharing of data, including Switzerland, Canada and Argentina. Additionally emerging markets might not have tracking systems in place.
Often HR personnel, who are adept at local assessments, are being asked to source globally. "Many times internal functions have operated independently. There is now a need to align processes globally in order to properly track, measure and monitor recruiting," explains Donovan.
"Sensitivity to cultural nuances is also necessary when conducting cross-border operations, since local infractions can snowball and have a harmful affect on the global brand," Donovan says.
Just as protecting a brand requires a long-term strategy rather than simply reacting to current needs, "maximizing employee potential will be the key competitive differentiator between companies in the years to come, which means finding the right talent from the onset," says Donovan.
To view ManpowerGroup survey click here.