Hiring Skilled Technicians for the New Era of the Supply Chain
One of the biggest challenges facing supply chain manufacturers today is hiring skilled workers. According to the 2016 Material Handling Institute (MHI) Industry Report, more than half of respondents (50 percent) answered that hiring and retaining a skilled workforce was the No. 1 challenge in their supply chains. This report also notes that approximately 600,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S are left unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers.
As companies look to hire new supply chain technicians to meet their growing needs, Westfalia's Bob Douglas, Service Manager, notes three tips that can help steer them in the right direction:
- Get involved in the recruiting scene. To truly overcome the talent shortage, manufacturers should get involved in the recruiting process as early as possible, sometimes as early as the high school level. Those employers that actively mentor potential canidates from high school to technical degrees often enjoy a much higher success rate in finding and retaining high-quality employees.
- Look for candidates with the right skillsets - and natural interests. More often than not, supply chain technicians who have always had an interest in their field are those who will excel in their line of work. In addition to mechanical and electrical troubleshooting, computer skills are also a necessity as today's automation typically interfaces with software like warehouse execution systems - not just the equipment itself.
- Provide the proper training materials and support. Take the time to build a comprehensive training program for your technicians. The more people in the know about best practices, maintenance procedures and how the equipment works from the very beginning, the better that knowledge is sustained.
As the talent gap continues to grow, and companies turn to warehouse automation and technology, now is the time to take an active role in preparing the next generation of supply chain workers. The future of your company depens on it!