The right fit: millennials and manufacturing

Millennial engineers in front of a robot

Manufacturing industries put chunks of adverts out daily to replace lost skills. They need this new workforce to fill the gap for required skills as aged workers vacate their positions, leaving the industry with their expertise. Over the years, the manufacturing industry has experienced significant changes as the state of the art technologies are being introduced. The workforce, unfortunately, does not keep up with this pace.

Therefore, millennials have significant roles to play in the manufacturing industry’s future.

Above all, millennials are in search of a purpose.
Some millennials are skillful, passionate, fast-thinking person’s that are ready to achieve their purpose, regardless of what it will cost them. There is a high tendency that millennials will live longer than others. Yet, some millennials are in search of a fulfilling career that can offer them a higher value than what money can offer; millennials are ready to be a blessing to the world.

Thinking of hiring a millennial, before interviewing with them, get them to answer questions that will reveal their opinion about your company. From their answers, take note of how they will add value to your company and not just getting paid for their service. This way, you can be sure that when you hire them, they will be of benefit to your company and others, in other to foster the productivity of the company.

Establish ties with the local technological institute or research center
If you want to be entertained with a movie, you know you are to head to the cinema. In the same way, if you want a nice haircut, you will surely go to the salon.

Indeed, when you aim to get a millennial hired into your manufacturing company, the most appropriate place for you to visit is a local technological institute or a good research center. For you to achieve this, get yourself familiar with them, and establish a good rapport with them.

For example, the Fraunhofer Project Center at the University of Twente employs some of the university’s best graduates and postgraduates on challenging projects aimed at helping local manufacturing industry. Industry therefore has a chance to see these talented young professionals close up and the young research engineers get the chance to experience different engineering problems and indeed make a difference to the local economy by helping these companies solve their problems.

Offer in-house opportunities for development and training
Sometime ago, a professor recollected his thoughts on this issue and the difficult phase many people encounter in life. Starting high school, getting admitted into college, and starting a career. He had always believed that ordinary people who are entering the workforce would get anxious and scared of the unknown that will put them in the position of adding extra effort in other to accomplish their purpose in their career.

One of the fears of a millennial is what they are not used to. Irrespective of a positive outcome in the interview, millennials may get frustrated at first, which could make them develop second thought. With a development and training program, you can attract the right and best talent among them to your company.

Again, at the Fraunhofer Project Center, the young staff get to see companies close up. They can understand and experience the different corporate cultures. To industry, this is a great way to develop their future workforce. Even if the FPC researchers don’t eventually go to work for the companies they do projects with, they are still able to develop great insight into what to look for in future company interactions.

Make your outreach attractive
Make adequate use of social media to reach millennials. This is because they make use of the internet in various ways. As a result, you can get them to see your job advertisements if you properly make use of social media. In addition, try as much as possible to promote your company brand on different social medial tools, even if you will have to pay for it.

There is a significant assurance that you will attract these cohorts on social media. This is because many of them spend a lot of their time on the internet with their smartphones. Putting up your ads on the internet guarantees you a high response from them. Additionally, social media is a great and powerful medium to reach them. For that reason, make good use of social networks to attract the most qualified employees for your job adverts. You can achieve this by simply creating a profile for your brand, publish it, and announce available vacancies. You will be shocked at the outcome.

Your company should attract them
Millennials care more about the genuineness of their job and the culture of their company more than they care about the money. They love money, but they don’t prioritize it above their purpose.

Thus, millennials get attracted to a company that can offer them the value and development they desire.

Technology has brought a profound change in the time of bureaucratic jobs and, of course, automated paperwork. This may chase a millennial away from your company; remember they are more interested in a valuable development. When they see how much value they can acquire from working for you, they will be dedicated to your work and show enthusiasm.

Offer them work/life balance and flexibility
Aside from the value factor which millennials consider before accepting a job offer, freedom is also essential to them. This is because they cherish having free time to themselves as much as possible. In the quest for this, they will choose a job that promises maximum flexibility to them rather than the job that will keep them occupied all day. A lot of them paid to get their assignments done when they were in college; this is to tell you how much they value free time to attend to personal life issues.

If you desire to have millennials as part of your workforce in your manufacturing industry, you must put into consideration these vital needs of millennials. These needs can help them perform their duties and also pledge their allegiance to you, which in return will be an asset to your industry and the world at large. Furthermore, interactions with organizations like the Fraunhofer Project Center at the University of Twente can not only help a company solve some of their key technical problems, but also allow them to understand what makes millennials tick and interact with them as a way to develop an appropriate corporate culture that can get the best out of them.

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Chantal Boomkamp-Eppink


Chantal has several years’ experience in operational roles in high tech start-up companies in and around the region of Twente. In addition to facilitating internal organization and the effectiveness of FIP-AM@UT facilities and staff, she is responsible for the interaction, synchronization, and implementation of our partners’ strategic choices.