When people think of a typical manufacturing worker, chances are they envision a man standing at an assembly line. This perception is woefully outdated in many cases. Manufacturing jobs have seen a major transformation in recent years, and the literal face of the industry is changing, too, albeit slowly.
According to Deloitte, women constitute one of U.S. manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent, making up about 47% of the U.S. labor force as a whole, but only 29% of the manufacturing workforce.
It’s critical to reach this untapped labor pool, especially in light of expectations that the global manufacturing industry will experience a deficit of more than two million workers by 2020 (and potentially 7.9 million by 2030). Inbound marketing methodologies are simply the best recruiting tools you can leverage to close the gender gap and address the labor shortage.
How is Inbound Recruiting Different Than Traditional Methods?
It seems at every turn you see how manufacturers are trying to get the word out about job openings — from brochures to billboards. But these old-school marketing tactics are just a shot in the dark and do little to target ideal candidates who would seriously consider applying, especially women.
One study suggests that 65% of companies do not have an active recruitment program to attract potential female employees. Part of the reason is that companies used to be in control of the recruiting process and had more applicants — both men and women — than they new what to do with. Now, the tables have turned.
In today’s labor market, 75% of job seekers start their job search online. If your company doesn’t rank on the first page of Google, chances are you’ll be overlooked. Because of this online shift, inbound marketing needs to be the method of choice for recruiting. This is especially true for recruiting women since they use the internet slightly more than men and typically seek to connect on a deeper level.
That desire to connect perfectly aligns with the core principles of inbound marketing. Inbound recruiting uses your brand content and marketing strategies to build relationships with potential candidates and connect with job seekers, engage within their networks, and delight them throughout the application and recruitment process. With industry executives reporting that six out of 10 positions go unfilled due to a manufacturing skills gap, recruiters need to think more like marketers to create an engaging and helpful candidate experience for untapped female workers.
Inbound Tips and Strategies for Recruiting Women Candidates
There are many ways you can leverage your website, email campaigns and content to appeal to female workers. Here are just a few to get you started.
1. Help women see themselves at your organization
One of the easiest ways to let women know they’re welcome in an organization is to make sure they’re represented on all your online channels, including photos on your website, social media and elsewhere. Also include video testimonials of women in various roles and, if you have women in leadership, get them to talk about opportunities for advancement and how they find purpose in their roles.
2. Tailor your content and job postings
Create a narrative in your blog posts, web content and job descriptions that speaks to women using wording that typically aligns with their interests where applicable, including:
- Work/life balance and flexible workspace options
- Attractive compensation packages
- Interesting/challenging work
- Positive and engaging culture
- Family-like atmosphere
- Career development and growth opportunities
- On-site daycare and family leave benefits
3. Promote your company culture
Showcase the positive atmosphere and opportunities your company provides on your website and social media channels. Once again, ensure that women are well represented visually, and include photos showing the ways in which your employees engage with each other both on and off the job, including collaborative sessions, company outings, volunteer work in the community and various events.
4. Connect with current and future female candidates where they’re at
The labor shortage isn’t expected to wane in the next decade, so proactive measures are needed to not only fill positions today, but to meet your needs in years to come. Consider partnering with trade schools to foster potential hires and target up-and-coming job seekers. Combine your inbound efforts with some good old-fashioned mentoring opportunities with younger generations in classrooms. Strengthen your company presence on LinkedIn and industry-specific websites, and leverage the insights offered through organizations such as Women in Manufacturing, a national trade association dedicated to providing year-round support to women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry.
How Inbound Helps Recruiters Improve Processes
A major benefit of inbound marketing is the insights gained from your recruiting efforts through marketing automation software, such as HubSpot. The hiring process becomes more automated through online applications and subsequent emails and follow-up assignments, and the activity stream on a contact record can help you see their level of engagement. This helps you qualify potential leads so you spend your greatest efforts on those who are truly interested.
Furthermore, you can help recruits choose you just as much as you choose them by enrolling them in automated nurturing campaigns. You’ll be able to see whether they read your emails, clicked on links and how much time they spent on your website and on which pages. Consider including personalized video in targeted emails to help build trust and show why your company is awesome, rather than just telling them.
There’s no doubt that leveraging an inbound recruiting strategy can help manufacturers attract and retain more talent — both male and female — which can help positively impact their businesses in many ways, from HR to marketing to business growth. Want more ideas on how to use inbound marketing to increase your recruiting success? Check out our free guide below, Inbound Recruiting Essentials: A Guide for Industrial Sectors.