Recruitment – a frightening buzzword for candidates and clients alike. It makes HR and Hiring Managers squirm at the thought of repeatedly being offered a "tailored solution" for those "niche positions" from a "specialist recruiter" (I say this tongue in cheek while admittedly being guilty myself in the past!).
On the other hand, candidates feel as though recruiter phone calls rank alongside PPI calls in a marketplace which is becoming more crowded and competitive every day.
As the recruitment industry goes through a time of change in a digital age where company information is becoming more readily available, candidates in the engineering market are becoming scarcer. None more so than CNC Machinists.
Gone are the days where job applicants would be one of many for a company to choose between, instead, skilled candidates now find themselves with multiple job offers to consider. So how do they decide? Quite simply, candidates desire higher salaries, some of which have increased by 50% than the previous market rate!
Why are CNC Machinists becoming so elusive and difficult to recruit?
1. Prestige Engineering Companies Entering the Marketplace
One major reason for this change is an influx of multi-national blue chip organisations completely changing the landscape. While this is undeniably a benefit for the manufacturing industry in Sheffield, it has changed the candidate outlook forever.
The larger manufacturers bring cutting edge engineering practices, an increase in skilled jobs and more opportunities for aspiring young engineers. Additionally, they bring a bottomless pit of endless resources. They can afford to pay higher salaries to attract the top-quality candidates that their products require, and their clients demand. This has seen a dramatic rise in CNC machinist shortages for SME's.
2. Skill Shortage
Let's break this down. Roll back to the 20th Century and the Engineering & Manufacturing sector was thriving. A Government-backed and structured apprenticeship scheme resulted in a rapidly growing number of skilled workers in the industry.
Unfortunately, this all changed in the '90s when the Government decided to cut apprenticeship funding. While at the time there appeared to be no immediate effects, currently, in 2019 we are seeing the detrimental impact caused to the industry. Many companies have no ‘in-between' - their most skilled workers are about to retire, and there are limited 30 – 40-year old's in their organisation.
3. Selective Job Seekers
As skilled workers have decreased, the candidate market can be more selective with their requirements. A significant number of engineer's no longer desire night or continental shifts, as they're able to earn more money working days' only shifts for large blue-chip companies.
Candidates are becoming increasingly aware of their desirability, which is evident by an increase in jobs in the marketplace. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, candidates talk.
It only takes one dissatisfied worker to mention that his friend is on £18.00 per hour to grab the attention of an entire workforce. With a wealth of information instantly accessible at our fingertips, it's easier now, more than ever, to find out if your current wage is competitive or not.
4. Confusion for Candidates
The result of this is total confusion for candidates. They no longer know whether they are competitively paid, working a reasonable shift pattern or maximizing their benefits. Currently, not much is being done to help clarify this for them.
As a result of the shortages, Hiring Managers and HR professionals alike are engaging with multiple agencies, resulting in candidates receiving calls about the same companies, some recruiters even withhold the company name, others may send their CVs without permission or remain vague on salary figures.
This only causes the candidate to become completely overwhelmed with information, and sometimes duplicate applications are submitted on their behalf (I mean, even I'm getting confused writing this!).
One aspect I've never understood is withholding a company name after an application. Really? Is this acceptable in any other aspect of life? Would you book a holiday without knowing the destination? Would you order a car without knowing the model? If anything, changing jobs is a more important and stressful decision than either of those comparisons!
5. How can we combat this?
Whilst this is no-one's fault, it's the duty of hiring managers and recruiters to make the candidate's journey as stress-free as possible.
Whilst competitiveness on pay is important, more candidates are lost through a lack of transparency or lengthy processes. It's no secret that recruiters have a bad name in the market, this is largely down to a minority who are chasing a fee to pay for their next "VIP Bottle Service" night out! As in any collective, the shortcomings of the minority tarnishes the reputation of the majority.
...But fear not Hiring Managers! There are recruitment companies out there who want to work with you in a mutually beneficial manner, not to just fill a job role with anyone - but to find the ‘right fit' for your organisation, in tandem with the right move for someone's career.
You just haven't worked with METALIS yet…