9 Ways to Build Up Your High-School Talent Pipeline

Posted by IMEC on Oct 15, 2021 8:00:00 AM

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Are you struggling to find an adequate amount of young job applicants? One smart, pivotal move you can make right now is to ramp up recruitment of high-school students. By focusing on current students as well as recent graduates, you can ensure you have a strong pipeline of workers to sustain your manufacturing business.
Here are nine ideas to help you get started:


1. Be Active Online
Having a modern, well-branded mobile presence is a basic requirement for attracting young employees. Today’s high-school students are likely to use their cell phones to research companies, search for jobs, and complete job applications. So, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, features icons linking to your social media accounts, and has a dedicated Careers section that serves as a recruiting platform. You’ll also want to post frequently on your LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram pages, and respond to comments and questions to create engagement. Highlight company news, employee testimonials, training opportunities, special events, and, of course, any job openings.

2. Grab Attention with Videos
Today’s high-school students like to watch short Instagram Reels and YouTube content. Get their attention by developing and broadcasting brief videos that make your manufacturing jobs and student-oriented programs look really appealing.

3. Forge Relationships with Local High Schools
Meet with administrators and academic advisors to learn how you can help increase student awareness of manufacturing job opportunities. You can offer to share your expertise by serving as an occasional guest speaker, mock-interview coach, or participate in school job fairs and connect one on one with students. Touch base with trades-oriented faculty members to find out how you can contribute to academic learning by donating textbooks, tools, or monetary support.

4. Conduct Facility Tours
Invite classes to visit your location for guided tours, and showcase all of the different jobs that are available to high-school graduates. Use these resources to guide you in partnering with local schools and planning an in-person or virtual tour.

5. Host Job-Shadowing Days
Arrange to bring small classes or select students to your manufacturing facility to shadow your employees as they work. You can choose to pair each student with one employee, or move students around your facility to expose them to a variety of jobs. After the shadowing ends, bring the students back together for a brief Q&A session.

6. Establish Student Mentorships
By giving students opportunities to work summer jobs or serve as interns at your company, you help them develop confidence, knowledge, and important on-the-job skills. You also familiarize them with the concept of working in manufacturing – which can work in your favor when you want to hire them after they graduate. You can even develop cross-functional mentorship programs, which give students a chance to explore various roles.

7. Offer Apprenticeships to Recent or Soon-to-Be Graduates
Apprenticeship has proved to be an effective training model to attract and develop skilled workers and create a more diverse workforce. If you don’t already offer traditional apprenticeships, it’s time to reconsider. You can tailor an apprenticeship program to meet your specific manufacturing needs and use it to attract young talent looking for options other than college. The IMEC Registered Apprenticeship Program with the U.S Department of Labor is a great way to tap into the benefits of apprenticeships.

8. Participate in Manufacturing Month
Manufacturing Day is held annually on the first Friday in October, and Illinois recognizes the whole month as Manufacturing Month. Its purpose is to show the reality of modern manufacturing careers – and combat any negative perceptions among young people – by encouraging companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students and their parents. Here are 3 ways you can participate:

9. Simplify Job Applications
Ditch the idea of using long, complex application forms, which can turn off teens who are looking for work. You will capture more job candidates with an online application system that is simple, clear, and cleanly designed.

Get more ideas – watch the FIND AND KEEP: Improve Talent Acquisition and Employee Retention Webinar on demand for an introduction to the elements, focus points, and processes that improve workforce stability with improved talent acquisition and employee retention.

Related articles: 9 Tips for Attracting College TalentHiring Tech-Minded Millennials, ENGAGE AND INSPIRE: Manufacturing Month Celebration


Written by IMEC

Topics: Workforce Development, apprenticeships, manufacturing month, talent retention, recruiting, MFGDay

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