2016 Manufacturing Outlook Survey: Qualified Applicants Wanted

An increasing number of U.S. manufacturers now struggle to find qualified applicants for open positions, according to the ASQ 2016 Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

What did respondents give for the biggest challenges when hiring for a vacant position? The lack of qualified applicants, followed by the time it takes to hire a new employee. Lack of budget to fill open positions also was a hurdle for manufacturers.

In order to help find skilled applicants, 55 percent of manufacturers say they’ve hired an agency and 41 percent are working with local colleges on programs that teach the required skills.

While manufacturers are split on the impact retirements will have on their organizations or quality, the overwhelming majority rely on on-the-job training to transfer knowledge from retiring workers to new employees. Company-provided classroom training and training through a third-party are less common.

Although the respondents are less confident in the economy compared to past years, the majority expect their organization to increase salaries. And, according to the data, while 19 percent of manufacturers expect their organization to reduce staff, 81 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels or hire additional staff.

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