The State of Labor Shortage

Labor shortage. Dreaded words in the manufacturing industry making everyone from Fortune 500 companies to small shops in the back-country scratch their heads.

By Elsa Souchet | Oct 3, 2022

The State of Labor Shortage

The labor shortage has been one of the hallmarks of the pandemic era with all companies having a much tougher time hiring across their whole organization.

In this podcast, Yacine Mahdid and Hamad Anwar will give their thought on labor shortage in the manufacturing sectors and cover the following topics:

  • Quantitative and qualitative status of labor shortage.

  • Why is it difficult to hire talent in the manufacturing industry?

  • What about the different demographics?

  • How can innovation projects improve employee retention in the short and long term?

  • What is the impact of increased automation on the level of skills needed to operate the setup?

Simple ways of curbing labor shortage:

  • Broaden your horizon on where to source new candidates for your job. Putting more emphasis on training than finding the exact right job-description-matching candidate.

  • Increase the wages if possible, but don’t underestimate the quality of work for your employees. Ensuring that your employees have meaningful and fulfilling work to do is a top priority.

  • Don’t underestimate how important a flexible work schedule is in the 2020s. If you can make it flexible it should be heavily considered.

  • Be mindful of the cultural shift in the workforce and the fact that comfortable jobs that are well paid never have been more available.

  • Consider upskilling already engaged people through heavy investment in mentoring and training.

  • Consider over-specialize your manufacturing shops so that the automation is easier to do and the ROI is much stronger.

Out-of-context quotes:

> Even in a big enterprise it’s hard to attract talent. I’ve seen it all across the board.

> There is a varying degree to which manufacturing shops are affected by the labor shortages. Some shops were super bleak and others were bustling with life.

> Over 60% of executives say that because of labor shortages they can’t scale as well as they would want to.

> In the manufacturing industry, to get more jobs they need to have more people to operate. Otherwise, they can’t unless they automatize further.

> Some of these manufacturers are a bit in random industrial areas (from an employee point of view). In one company I visited that was 1hour drive away, the office employee I was meeting over there lived literally next door to me.

> This generation of employees cares way more about quality of life and quality of living. It’s not just about wages anymore.

> Best shops I’ve seen went from a company that uses skilled labor, to one that creates skilled labor through training!

> The role of innovation and research to stimulate intellectually employees is one of the best ways I’ve seen to keep people engaged.

> The net benefit of automation has increased the number of jobs because someone has to know how to build these automation systems and how to operate them.

We also have a full article on the status of labor shortage made in partnership with DeepSight and InPilot.

See you in the next podcast! 👋

Yacine Mahdid

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