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Most Manufacturers Struggle to Fill Skilled Positions with Qualified Candidates, Poll Says

A survey of hiring managers and human resources professionals about recruiting and employment trends in manufacturing and distribution found that 77 percent of manufacturers and distributors are facing challenges finding skilled workers for new positions and to replace workers who have left.

The survey, which also touched on how manufacturers and distributors recruit, retain and train workers in their companies, was conducted by LMA Consulting in conjunction with APICS-Inland Empire chapter.

"We initiated the study because … we keep hearing that manufacturers cannot find good people," says Lisa Anderson, head of LMA Consulting Group. "Even though unemployment remains higher than pre-recession levels, manufacturers and distributors cannot find the talent required to support their business. To add fuel to the fire, as supply chains have become more complex in recent years, a higher level of skills and talent is required for success, leaving a skills gap.

"The study didn't just focus on new hires, but rather the whole workforce," says Anderson. "We have nearly 90 percent of those surveyed feeling that they are experiencing a skills gap. We're at a perfect storm in terms of talent with the emergence of three key trends:

1. Employees are feeling more comfortable with the recovery and are leaving their current positions to pursue better opportunities.

2. Skilled baby boomers are feeling more secure and are opting to retire.

3. Manufacturing and systems technologies have advanced, leaving some traditional workers without the necessary skills to function in the new business normal.

The complete Manufacturing and Distribution Skills Gap report will be available in mid-December.

Source: LMA Consulting

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