Why Manufacturers Need Digital Marketing to Hire Talent

January 9, 2024

It’s no secret that hiring talent has been difficult for the manufacturing industry over the past few years. Longtime manufacturing workers have watched their workload increase and the number of coworkers shrink while owners and hiring managers march on with unfilled positions and a workforce stretched thin. 

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the manufacturing sector lost around 1.4 million jobs during the start of the pandemic. A staggering number may contribute to the projected 2.1 million manufacturing jobs that will go unfilled by 2030, a potential loss of $1 trillion, according to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute

Sheesh. That’s no small potatoes. If hiring is an industry-wide problem, you need solutions that help you stand out from your fellow manufacturers. Traditionally, manufacturing has been slow to embrace digital marketing, instead relying on word-of-mouth referrals and events like trade shows. As we said before, it’s 2024 — you can’t rely on these traditional means. And as the old saying goes, “Innovate or die.” While we don’t condone death threats, we do condone digital marketing. As an inbound digital marketing agency focused on B2B manufacturing, construction, and professional services, we’ve worked on more careers pages than just about any other type of project over the past year. We’ve also helped bolster many of our clients’ hiring efforts in other areas. Here’s how you can apply digital marketing to your hiring efforts to cast a wider net and even appeal to the younger generation of workers. 

Build and Revamp Your Careers Page

The days of paper applications are fading fast. Today, most job-seeking begins online, and a careers page is your company’s front door. A welcoming, robust, and fast careers page means more visitors and more applicants. 

If your careers page or website in general looks like it’s falling off its hinges, with a punched-out screen door and missing window panes — potential applicants may assume your company’s operations are no different and will drive right by. 

Over the past couple of years, we’ve had an incredible number of clients approach us about updating their careers page to help with hiring efforts, and believe us, it works. A good careers page doesn’t just make it easier for applicants to submit applications, it makes it easier for job-seekers to understand the work they’ll be performing and maybe even more importantly, the company they’ll be working for. 

If you’re in the market for younger workers, it’s critical to communicate what your company stands for. According to Gallup, Gen Z and Millennials employees look for the following in their employers: 

  • The organization cares about employees’ wellbeing
  • The organization’s leadership is ethical
  • The organization is diverse and inclusive of all people

Your careers page can be a vehicle to showcase these values. Create a page that shows off the perks and benefits of working at your company, your most meaningful impact in the community, and share your own employees’ experiences on diversity and inclusion. These details can be the difference between a potential employee freshening up their resume and hitting submit or moving on to the company down the street. 

screenshot of the Kerfkore careers page

A client’s career page in the architectural panel manufacturing industry.

Boost Your Social Media Presence

We get it. A lot of manufacturing companies adhere to practicality and feel social media doesn’t offer a return on investment to devote time to. Social media’s impact is difficult to quantify — even for B2C companies. 

Just last month, I was receiving ads on my Instagram feed for Carhartt flannels. I thought, “That would make a great Christmas gift for my Dad.” 

Though the Instagram ad included a link to purchase online, I went to the Carhartt near my house in Detroit and bought the flannel there. The poor Carharrt social media manager who created the ad can’t take credit for my purchase, but without the ad — I may have ended up getting my tough-to-purchase-for Dad something else, maybe a Detroit Lions sweater or Tigers hat.

The impact of B2B social media may be even tougher to measure, but there’s no denying the role of social media in the hiring process. 

According to Glassdoor, 79% of job seekers use social media platforms in their job search. Not to mention, according to a survey of 1050 professionals by Career Arc social media is now the most popular recruiting platform among employers and job seekers, over things like job boards, job ads, employee referrals, recruiting agencies, and recruiting events. 

Hiring talented employees is kind of like dating. Potential employees are hoping to create a lasting relationship and in 2024 that means creeping on social media and finding out exactly what kind of manufacturing company they’ll be spending their time with. 

If you’re hoping to strengthen your hiring, you absolutely need to make social media a priority. 

Expand the Rest of Your Online Presence 

Your company’s social media and careers page are the pillars of digital job hiring, but bolstering your surrounding digital presence only further increases your chances of attracting talent. Here are some other areas of digital marketing that will complement your hiring efforts. 

  • A strong company or about page can help potential employees learn more about what your company does, the people who work there, and the overall culture — allowing them to feel a real connection to your company. 
  • Another strong education tool is content. Content like blogs can give job seekers more insight into what your company does, how you approach your work, and the tools and processes you use. 
  • Content can also contribute to your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. When your company website is strong in SEO, it means you get more visitors and thus, more potential job seekers. 

Hivehouse Can Help You Hire Talent

As we mentioned before, we’re no strangers to building careers pages that convert, strengthening social media presence, and creating company pages that tell your company’s story. If you’d like to work with us to find people to work with you, let’s talk! 

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