How to Reach the Next Generation of Manufacturing Employees

Design & Development | PPC | SEO | Strategy

The manufacturing industry has been squaring off to face one of its toughest hurdles yet: A skills gap. The economic growth alongside the retirement of baby boomers will leave manufacturers with the potential shortage of 2.4 million workers within the next decade. The battle ahead will be made even harder with the incoming labor force associating manufacturing with increased outsourcing, automation, and AI.

How can manufacturers combat this skills gap and find the next generation of laborers?

Living in a digital world, traditional hiring tactics like newspaper ads and job fairs just aren’t as effective as they used to be. We now need to get in front of both customers and prospective employees by going where they are: Online. Applicants want to be able to find your business, learn about your organization, and easily apply for a position from their laptop or mobile device.

With a strong online presence and digital strategy, you can showcase to prospective employees that a career in manufacturing can be rewarding, and start receiving applications.


Update Your Website

First and foremost, take a look at your manufacturing website design. You’ll want to be sure that you have a dedicated page for your career opportunities, and that users can easily find and access it from your homepage. Your career page can include elements like employee testimonials or videos, company values, photos showing your company culture, or valued workplace achievements. Take advantage of content that will entice employees to apply. Above all, display a call to action on the page that’s clear and visible to users, like an “Apply now” button.

You’ll also want to know if your career page is optimized for mobile. As the rate of applications coming in from mobile devices rises, it’s becoming vital that both your career page and application forms are mobile-friendly. If you’re unsure, Google offers a free Mobile-Friendly Test.

Simply drop in your URL and let the tool do the rest.

Pro-tip: 60% of job seekers will abandon your online job application form because of length or complexity. Reduce the time it takes to apply to five minutes or less by limiting the number of questions in your online application, and ensure that candidates can upload their resume from a mobile device or on any web browser.


Boost Your SEO

To organically rank higher on the search engine result pages, take a look at your SEO on your website and careers page. Is your page speed efficient? Google offers a free PageSpeed Insights tool that will examine your site domain and give you a score based on your site’s mobile and desktop versions. A range of 90-100 is considered fast, 50-89 is considered average, and 0-49 is determined to be slow.


PageSpeed Insights Mobile score of 68


PageSpeed Insights desktop score of 97

Do you have unique and optimized title tags and meta descriptions? Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages as the clickable headline for a result and are meant to be an accurate description of the page’s content. A great title tag consists of effective keyword usage, branding of your organization, and should try to be maintained to 50-60 recommended characters. Your meta description serves the function of advertising copy below the clickable headline that summarizes your content. It should be readable, compelling, and limited to the recommended 150-300 characters to improve your SEO and increase the click-through rate of your page.


Sample ad of Grover Corp


If you search the simple phrase “Manufacturing jobs Milwaukee”, you’ll notice Google’s Job Posting Section that will typically list the top three postings. By adding job posting structured data to your careers page, your positions will be eligible to appear in this section of the Google results page. For optimal positioning, you can integrate with Google by using a third-party job site, like Glassdoor or ZipRecruiter.

Listing of manufacturing jobs near milwaukee

Run a Paid Search Campaign

If paying $200 to post your open position in the newspaper doesn’t seem to be paying off, a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) search campaign can be an effective alternative as you only pay for the applicants that click on your ad. With this method of advertising, your budget and targeting options are fully customizable and in your control.

PPC search campaigns allow you to show your ads to your ideal target candidates. You can define your targeting options by keyword (words or phrases your audience would be using to search for employment in manufacturing), by audience (groups of people who have interests, intents, and demographics that align with your ideal candidate), or even through remarketing (showing your ads to candidates who visited your careers page but did not complete an application). By narrowing down your audience to fit your position needs, you’re not only investing your budget on an audience that matters to you, but you’re ultimately leading to better conversions and interactions from the users that see your ads.

Facebook ads are key for businesses looking to target customers based on specific demographics, but manufacturers can also leverage this to pursue new talent. As a manufacturer looking to close your skill gap, you can narrow down your search by targeting candidates by:

  • Age range
  • Distance from your business location
  • Education completed
  • Current employer
  • Job title
  • Industry interest
  • People who like your page
  • Friends of people who like your page
  • Website custom audiences (People who visit your website or a specific URL)
  • And much more!

These advanced targeting options ensure that recruiters running ads are only matched with relevant candidates on Facebook, rather than casting a wide net on job boards or in newspapers.


Does Digital Marketing Work For Manufacturers?

You’ve seen a few snippets of one of our own clients, Grover Corp. Top Floor created a new Careers Microsite for them with an SEO focus that would speak to top talent, an updated design, beautiful imagery, and messaging geared towards the type of employees Grover values. With this new page and the help of a PPC strategy, Grover Corp. has seen over 220 online job applications.


Check out related case studies to see how digital marketing works for manufacturers.