MM 084 - Recruitment Tips for Manufacturers


    This week we push the envelope and discuss recruitment and selection process in manufacturing industry. It's all about creating a culture that positions your firm as a highly desirable place to work. Here's how you can achieve that perception.

    Adrian Hargreaves, Managing Director, Hargreaves Marketing Ltd


    • [6:30] A lot of people are setting up for the "gig" economy as consultants or contractors.
    • [8:30] Adrian shares why just recruiting at a time of need is the wrong way to go. Recruiting should be an ongoing effort even when there is not an immediate need. 
    • [9:20] Recruitment should not be an island operating on its own, it should be a process integral to the growth strategy and plan.
    • [10:40] Here's how your manufacturing company can become a highly desirable place to work:
      1. Develop a great culture
      2. Develop a superb reputation for training and development
      3. Build partnerships with educational institutes
    • [12:00] Adrian shares some great examples of companies that are creating a highly desirable place to work.
    • [15:20] Best practices for manufacturers to get the very best choice for their recruitment. You need to have quantity and quality in the pool of applicants.
    • [18:10] Some ideas about writing a well balanced job description.
    • [21:15] A simple framework for creating an attractive and truthful position offering.
    • [23:30] Adrian talks about 'fit' and how a company knows if a candidate is a good fit for culture, team and duties.
    • [26:00] Your reputation as a great employer or a poor place to work spreads quickly and a company should always be working on that perception.
    • [27:40] The companies that have the highest performance are unequivocally, always superb trainers. This single attribute will attract high quality talent.

    Interview Questions:

    Question 1: Adrian, what are you seeing in the talent market place? What is the typical process when it comes to recruitment of talent in the manufacturing space? What, if anything, is wrong with that traditional process?

    Question 2: How should companies be approaching the recruitment process? I know most companies try to cram everything possible into the job description (the unicorn or the purple squirrel) and just hope for the best. Is there a better way you recommend that they should create the job requirements to ensure success?

    Question 3: How about the process itself, should firms have a specific process? What are a few best practices you would suggest to ensure a good outcome?

    Question 4: Perhaps the most important aspect of finding the right talent is ‘fit’. Fit could mean a lot of different things. I bet if we got 10 managing directors in a room and asked them to define ‘fit’ in the context of hiring talent, we would get many different answers. How do you define fit and how important is it in high performance recruiting? Finally, the recruitment process doesn’t end with the first day on the job, correct? Could you expand on that idea?

    Challenge Question:

    This week, our challenge question comes from a manufacturer of recreation vehicle aftermarket parts right here in Colorado, here it is: “We’ve been lucky enough over the years to have a few great customers who kept us busy and profitable. Lately, they are looking for other suppliers and diversifying their supplier networks. Our business is suffering. We’ve never had or needed a sales or marketing function. Now we need a strategic go-to-market function and we need to execute fast. What position should be my first hire? Sales, marketing, consultant or something else? Any real-life examples appreciated!”

    • Take a look at the internal values, do those values include taking care of the customer?
    • Make sure that every employee is aware of the customer-centric values.
    • Go out and talk to the customers that are leaving. This should be the MD/CEO making the connection if possible.
    Send in your challenge question to the show.


    • Don't wait for a vacancy for a role before you think about recruitment, make it part of your company plan.
    •  Be a magnet for ambitious, career minded people by developing a reputation for training and development and become a highly desirable place to work.
    • Develop high level level of community partnerships.
    • Treat each recruitment as a campaign.
    • The most important word in recruitment is relevance.

    Related podcasts and blog posts:

    MM 049 - Are You Truly Customer Focused?
    MM 081 - Customer Focus, the Key to Great Content Marketing


    Subscribe to the Podcast


    marketing plan sample