A Simple Invitation: How One CM Is Building His Workforce

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A Simple Invitation: How One CM Is Building His Workforce

Young candidates today get more interested when they
tour a facility and see the drafting and design part of the process.

A sign is a simple, yet productive way to attract new talent.  “We have a sign right next to the front gate that we are hiring, and we have actually had people walk in and inquire,” said David Raasch, general manager of Lloyd Truss Systems in North Mankato, Minnesota. “Some inquiries even came from a friend who saw the sign from the road while driving past the plant.”

Raasch shares in the ongoing struggle the components industry has had in finding and keeping quality employees since the downturn.  Although the number of people who actually walk in has been decreasing, Raasch said that the response to the sign has prompted them to re-examine their recruiting process and re-think how they can attract a larger pool of production candidates.

What interests young workers?

While Lloyd Truss Systems uses the traditional method of placing employment ads in a local newspaper for entry-level positions in production, Raasch said that it is difficult to get people excited about working in the industry. So, what does interest  them? He has connected with the carpentry construction class of a local high school as well as students from an agribusiness course of the local community college, and this fall he provided tours to both. At the end of the tour with the high school students, all were given applications and Raasch is following up with the class instructor to see which students will be potential employees this spring.

“It seems that the technology part of our work is what stimulates young candidates today. They get more interested when they tour the facility and see the drafting and design part of it. Young people enjoy using technology, and it’s important we appeal to the younger generation’s interest in it to attract more candidates,” said Raasch.

He explained that they use their slower winter season to review their hiring process, what actions were taken the previous year and ways to improve in the year to come. They also examine the pay structure and consider what it will take to get people viewing the positions with a career-minded focus.  The question, said Raasch, is: “How do we approach the younger generation to let them know that there is potential to build a career in our industry?” He said they need to spread the word that this industry has numerous interesting jobs and that a job here can lead to a career: “We need to show them that here’s the ladder to get on when you start.  Follow along to see where it can take you.”

About the Author: Lena Giakoumopoulos joined the SBCA membership development team in 2014 and also focuses on workforce development and other management committee initiatives. She holds a masters degree in global marketing and has experience writing for newsletters, manuals, brochures and websites.

Visit SBCA's Workforce Development site for more tools to build your skilled workforce.