How to Leverage Social Media to Attract Younger Generations to Manufacturing
There is a tremendous concern right now about the generation skills gap in manufacturing. Many predicted that the rise in automation and A.I. would lead to the end of manufacturing jobs, but quite the reverse has happened. With more manufacturing jobs being created than anyone ever anticipated, the demand has grown by double digits since the middle of 2017 and is approaching record growth.
What this means, unfortunately, is that a huge manufacturing skills gap is looming, as millennials and post-millennials are rarely enticed by opportunities in manufacturing. In fact, one study estimates around 2.4 million positions will go unfilled over the next 10 years.
How can you, as a manufacturer, use modern strategies such as social media engagement to attract younger workers and mediate this skill gap? Here are some ideas.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites the younger generations use today — much more than say, Facebook, which tends to attract the Gen-X crowd in greater numbers. If you don’t have an Instagram presence yet, it’s time to get one post appealing pictures of and about your business to it regularly.
2. Posting About Internships
Offering internships are a great way to introduce younger people to the manufacturing industry and potentially groom the skilled manufacturing workers of tomorrow. But those internship offers are not going to get to the people you want them to unless you reach out through social media. As with just about everything else, social media sites are where the younger generation is going to look for jobs and internships, and you need to be there when they do. If you have internship opportunities, blast them across all your social media sites — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. — and do so frequently.
Certain frequent users of social media sites are known as “influencers,” people who set the trends on social media that everyone else follows. These influencers can be famous actors or singers, younger people who have made themselves into social media sensations through their unique style and ability to attract followers or people who are known to be knowledgeable in a particular area of interest to younger people, like fashion or videogames.
As the name would indicate, the influence these individuals have can be massive, so much so that some may receive thousands of dollars for a single post promoting a particular product or event. Getting even lower-level influencers to expound on the benefits of working in the manufacturing field can turn your image into that of a boring assembly line to a vibrant, exciting factory where anything can happen in an instant.
The reality is that even if you are a traditional, old-fashioned manufacturing business, you are going to have to do what it takes to court younger workers if you are going to fill those skill positions. Social media is an excellent place to start.
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