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Attracting & Retaining Employees

The Society for Human Resource Management estimated back in 2016 that it took roughly 40 days from posting to onboarding at a cost of $4,000 to hire a new employee. Small and medium sized companies do not have the time, and often the money, to do this numerous times a year. Recruitment and retention have been ongoing issues for manufacturing since before the pandemic which makes it more important than ever for companies to work effectively and efficiently.


Our recent SEWN Series video, Upskilling & Reskilling for the Future of Work, provides highlights on how to look within at the human capital that exists in your organization. The term “investing in your employees” can include non-training options for your company resulting in better retention and improved productivity. For example:

  • Scheduling flexibility – Not every job can be done remotely, but families are still faced with modified school schedules and less child care options. Industry Week recently highlighted a company that moved to 10-hour shifts with the 5th day allowing for overtime or to make up for personal hours taken off earlier in the pay period.

  • Encourage cross-training – Employees who better understand the various bit and pieces within your company make for more confident colleagues and become excellent managers when the opportunity arises.

What about filling your current job openings? With so many workers in the retail and restaurant industries remaining laid off, manufacturers should consider them an option. There has also been an uptick in the number of college students who have considered not returning to the classroom for various reasons and may be looking at new career paths. Manufacturers should focus on advertising the benefits of our industry:

  • Working for an “essential” company can translate to greater job security (the average tenure of a manufacturing worker is 9-10 years).

  • Transferable skills from a retail job can mean a much higher pay rate in manufacturing (a stock person who pays attention to detail can be an assembler of parts with minimal training).

  • On-the-job training and/or apprenticeship programs won’t involve long semesters sitting in a classroom (or student loan debt).

SEWN does not provide human resource or training services to your company but we work with plenty of partners across the state who can. What SEWN DOES DO is work with your organization to assess operations and financials to help determine your needs. Receive our services at no-cost to your company thanks to funding from the PA Department of Labor & Industry. Let SEWN prepare you for the Future of Work.

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