The power of using video to attract and retain the best employees

Did you know that according to a 2013 industry report, for every four business positions workers are removed from, the industry produces only one replacement? That’s like putting 4 socks in your dryer… and only getting one back. You may be wondering, how do we deal with labor shortages? There are millions of unemployed Millennials, facing an unemployment rate that is twice the national rate. Why don’t we have enough people to fill those vacancies?

Here’s the scoop. Over the past two generations, young people haven’t exactly jumped at the opportunity to work in the manufacturing industry. It may not be sexy enough. They may be looking for ways to manufacture higher video game scores. But an actual JOB in the making? Mmm no.

Part of the problem is the stigma – you’ve seen it on every TV show you’ve ever seen. What do the plants look like? They are dirty, dirty, hot and smelly workplaces. It’s stagnant… a stagnant stigma. The thinking is sooo outdated and there is no room for growth, unless of course you aspire to be a shop foreman and have to be the son of a foreman to get that position. Nepotism. (As opposed to nap-otism, which means you can fall asleep on the job without getting in trouble because you “know someone”). For those who haven’t been to a plant, that’s pretty much what people think, right?

However, there is a more significant problem with the perception of manufacturing. And those are the parents who discourage their kids from going to trade or technical school because they want them to go to college and get a “real job.” Some parents believe that the only reason to go into the trades is if you don’t have “college stuff.” And parents want their kids to be “college material.” Unfortunately, many of these “college stuff” kids end up living at home with their parents…which would be nice if they went to technical school and could fix things!

Now that the United States is experiencing a “manufacturing renaissance” and looks to produce its products on American soil again, there is an urgent and growing need for new talent. Along with that is the need for new ideas and new ways of doing business. It’s time to modernize your brand. If your technology is older than the people you’re trying to recruit, guess what: they won’t join your company.

How do you modernize your brand? I have three words for you: social networks and video. In February 2017, it was estimated that people upload 500 hours of video every MINUTE to YouTube. In case you’re doing the math, that’s 65 years of video every day. If you do the math, upload a video on your coffee break, he’s ready to retire come quit time. We also watch billions of hours of video content every day. Yes, that’s a BILLION with a “B”. With so much video being consumed, do you think it’s possible that some of your potential employees might be looking for you online?

If they go online, what do they see? Do you see an old home movie that says, “Welcome to the wonderful world of manufacturing!” Or do they see an organization that would be a good place to work? The best part of using video is different than the video camera of yore: remember those big honking machines that seemed to carry an 8-slice toaster on their shoulder, now you carry a video camera in your pocket: your cell phone. These videos don’t have to be huge Hollywood blockbusters! Sometimes the more ‘perfect’ it is, the less effective it is. Make it real and make it count.

You can use the video in many different ways. Let your employees share why they like working for you, make sure you run them through HR first, give them some attention. Use an accelerated version of elapsed time to create a “day in the life” video, so potential employees can see what’s happening in your plant. Use videos to welcome your employees to your company before they walk in the door. A client uses a “video handshake” in which employees film a short video about themselves – their interests, likes, responsibilities, fun facts, you name it – and put it in the email signature. Now your new hires will recognize the people they work with, before they meet in person. Use them for orientation videos – bring employee handbook rules and records to life!

Incorporating video into your recruitment and retention strategy is a great way to modernize your brand and improve your image online. Not only will you attract new hires, but you’ll also give the rest of your team bragging rights to share about your fantastic job and employer.

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