Know Your Labor Market

Editor's Message

Know Your Labor Market

Recently I talked with John Morse, director of human resources for Trussway Manufacturing, Inc., who mentioned the importance of benchmarking when it comes to hiring and retaining employees. “The more we know about competing employment opportunities, the better we can position ourselves as the employer of choice and the best in class.” This sentiment raises several questions: What resources do you use to gain an understanding of your local labor market and compensation? Is your own compensation structure based on how much you’ve paid in the past, in-line with comparable positions in other industries or tied to an industry-specific metric? What factors influence your choices in putting together benefit packages?

If you’re one of the hundreds of component manufacturers (CMs) currently challenged by finding and retaining a large enough skilled workforce to accomplish your business goals, there are no wrong answers to these questions. The only strategy to avoid is making decisions without good information.

“As a HR professional, I’ll take any benchmarking I can get my hands on,” said Morse. “One of the many sources of information we use is SBCA’s Wage & Benefit Survey (WBS). It can be a valuable resource for a CM to have.”

One of the main benefits of SBCA’s biannual WBS is that the data it gathers is specific to component manufacturing. Another is its broad range of information; it includes details on everything from hourly wages for individual positions to the health insurance packages and matching 401(k) contributions your peers offer. The 2016 WBS, which compiles data from the 2015 calendar year, was recently released. 

Sharon Hoyd, president of Sharpen Business Analytics, gave a pre-session talk at BCMC last month that addressed how to get the most out of both the WBS and SBCA’s Financial Performance Survey (FPS). She noted that “knowing the labor market in your region is a critical component to ensuring your compensation structure helps with employee retention. The WBS provides a regional benchmark specific to the component industry, something not provided elsewhere.” Hoyd added: “I would recommend all SBCA members participate in the WBS and take advantage of this valuable benefit of being an SBCA member.”

CM members who contribute their numbers to the pool of data receive a robust set of metrics at no charge. Every-thing they need to make informed decisions is at their fingertips! I hope you’ll join them by committing to participate in the 2018 survey; and keep an eye out for an invitation to participate in the 2017 FPS early next year. 

Did you miss the last WBS? You can still get your hands on the survey results. Commit to participating in the 2018 survey for calendar year 2017, and you will receive the current results for only $200.