Employers in the trade and manufacturing industries are facing unprecedented challenges while creating strong, effective hiring practices. Finding skilled employees to hire or new hires willing to be trained are just some of the problems that can be addressed by better recruitment strategies for industrial distributors.
Hiring new employees, keeping employee turnover low, and training new hires each come with its own set of challenges that can cost your business. To truly revolutionize the effectiveness of your hiring methods, several different strategies can be implemented.
Today, consider these four effective hiring tactics for industrial distributors and how you can incorporate these approaches into your business.
The Root Of Hiring Challenges Facing Industrial Distributors
To understand what types of recruitment strategies for industrial distributors will be effective, it’s essential to first understand what hiring challenges exist.
The unemployment rate of those experienced in the distribution industry is very low, and many companies don’t know how to recruit from outside the industry successfully. Industrial distributors say that many applicants are not qualified or in line with who they were hoping to hire. This leaves companies with large, single-generation workforces approaching retirement age and no apparent solution to bringing in new, young talent.
The root of these issues can be seen in the fact that industrial distributors need to change how they think about hiring, change how they feel about their employees, and even change how their business is structured. These aren’t problems with simple solutions, and that’s why you need effective hiring strategies now more than ever before.
1. Utilize Technology And Videos
Attracting potential candidates to your business is going to be a big part of improving your hiring process. These days, candidates are seeking organizations that are vibrant, lively, and interesting to work for. However, many may not know what working in industrial distribution actually looks like.
That’s where video and technology can help your business have better-recruiting processes.
Using a strong recruiting video to convey certain aspects of your organization can be a showstopper and include:
- What tasks a position covers
- What the organization’s work culture is like
- What the organization’s values are
- What the current employees are like
All of this can be better illustrated in a video than it could ever be conveyed through dry, written pitches by even the best HR writers. Recruitment videos can be shown in hiring ads, at recruitment events, and on the hiring pages on your website. They are a great way to bring your business to life.
Don’t let your business be a mystery. Show what it’s like to work with your fantastic team, and let technology help you do just that. You’ll be amazed at how much interest you can garner this way.
2. Differentiate Where You Advertise
When trying to bring new talent onto your teams, you need to consider changing where you traditionally advertise that you are hiring. In the past, you may have been able to rely on radio or newspaper ads or signs along the road to bring in talent. Today, differentiating where you advertise can have major benefits.
Manage Your Social Media Accounts
Utilize popular social media and content platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to generate content for your business. Showing simple snapshots of what it’s like to work at your company will give prospective candidates an idea of what to expect.
Additionally, you can use these social media accounts twofold, to build a brand culture and build out your customer base. Even if you cannot devote too many resources to social media, these types of accounts do not have to be complicated to handle. Keep things simple and authentic and it will pay off.
Advertise Through Social Media Channels
Advertising about open job opportunities and training programs can also be done through these social media channels. Your reach here goes beyond industry connections and may reach a more extensive, interested audience, allowing you to attract potential candidates who you might not have found otherwise.
3. Build Hiring Pipelines, Not Just An HR Team
When developing your hiring strategy, it’s important to think beyond an HR team and job advertisements. Business owners like you in the industrial distributor industry have reported problems retaining employees, training new hires, and bringing in skilled employees.
To find solutions, you need to build hiring pipelines that funnel more than just new hires. These pipelines need to lead people to success through better skill-building and training.
One great way to generate new hire leads is to make sure that your hiring process leverages referrals from your employees and connections in the industry.
Referrals enable you to recruit from a pool of people who might not be directly looking for your job posting. Employees who refer others try to link up their job with people they believe would be a good fit. This leads to a positive relationship for both sides.
Set your business up to reward and encourage referrals:
- Incentivize referrals if the individual is hired
- Hold informal social events
- Let your employees know when openings are available
- Connect with other businesses through organizations like buying groups
When your employees recommend someone, they are doing this because they feel that person would be a good fit. This shows they have faith in the person they are recommending. Their recommendation also lets the potential new hire know that the business is rewarding enough for the recommendation to be made in the first place. That knowledge can help hook new hires who are considering other options.
Training Future Employees
In the past, many industrial distribution companies have been stuck without enough employees because they couldn’t find those with experience in the necessary hard skills. Today, you can avoid that fate by setting up training pathways for new hires to gain the required knowledge and become successful in your company.
Loosen your requirements and focus on finding candidates who are driven, communicative, and ready to learn about the job. Set them up with a plan to advance their skills over a specific period, and keep them informed about this plan.
New employees value a company that is willing and ready to invest in their success. Encouraging new hires by setting them up with the training they need to advance in the industry will lower turnover and build the skilled team you need.
Here’s the bottom line: if you can’t find the skilled worker that you need to succeed, it’s time to help teach those skills to the workers who are ready to learn!
Invest In Young Talent
Another great strategy for long-term hiring success is to make connections with local high schools and colleges that have trade or industry adjacent programs. Tapping into this flow of learning students may be a great way to connect with future employees early on.
Doing this may not bring you immediate hires, but it will set you up for a complete and trained workforce in the future. Consider setting up summer jobs, apprenticeships, internships, or co-op programs. Planning these types of programs will enable experienced workers to enter the industry when they are ready.
4: Structure Your Business To Attract Talent
Have you updated your business structure, benefits, and culture to reflect the current desires of the workforce?
Many companies in the industrial distribution industry are very traditional in how they are set up and haven’t made many changes to advance in line changes in the mindset of potential employees. To attract new talent and convince them that they can find enjoyable work in the industry, it might be time to start considering some significant changes in your business.
Often, those seeking jobs are seeking workforces with modern mindsets and offerings including:
- Jobs with vacation time and flexibility
- Companies that offer good benefits
- Training programs as part of the job
- Clear plans for how an employee can advance
To create a robust and multi-generational workforce, you need to find the right balance of traditional and modern in how you structure your company and all related benefits. Hiring new, young employees will be difficult if you don’t offer education, advancement, and good quality of work-life balance.
Take a close look at what your business offers, and find ways to highlight advantages that will appeal to new hires. While some changes may feel out of place for your company at first, you’ll find that worker happiness is great to prioritize as you reconstruct your company culture.
Revolutionize Your Hiring Process
Finding new hires with experience in the industry is more complex than ever. Still, many of the most effective recruitment strategies for industrial distributors don’t rely on finding young people with experience. Instead, these tactics center on creating training programs and trade program pipelines that invest in the long-term health of your workforce.
Find ways to advertise job opportunities that help you hire people today, but don’t forget to consider the future. Setting your business up for the future and current hirings will improve your hiring success and lower employee turnover for years to come.
If you choose to restructure your business, we encourage you to take the time to think about the benefits of joining an industrial supplies buying group like NetPlus Alliance. You'll be able to access new suppliers, network with peers, protect your margins, and more. Contact us today!