The cardinal sin of business is to leave money on the table due to a lack of supply or inventory. That appears to be precisely what is occurring in the metal fabrication industry, yet it is not the fault of metal shops.
Imports that require manufacturing have increased for an incredible 14 straight months, exceeding the already high-speed rate of expansion set this past July. The country’s manufacturing center is blazing hot, yet metal fabricating shops struggle to meet demand, primarily because they are having trouble finding workers.
The Metal Industry’s Progress Paradox
Metal shops have been inundated with orders as the economy rebounds from the COVID slump. However, this hike in demand has been challenging to meet as metal shops have struggled with finding workers able or willing to perform the necessary labor. Data shows that young adults have a growing reluctance to earn a living by completing physical work with their hands.
The manufacturing economy may get even hotter in the months ahead, yet there is no guarantee metal forming and fabricating shops will meet the rising demand. The solution might be pivoting away from hiring through an in-house human resources specialist and leaning on recruiters to find skilled and qualified individuals ready and willing to work in metal shops.
Why is Finding Workers so Difficult for Metal Shops?
Finding workers is a challenge for metal shops as well as countless other businesses spanning a wide array of industries for several reasons:
- Wages are increasing, adding to the competition for workers.
- Job opportunities are opening across the board.
- People are still hesitant to work in shared spaces.
- Young adults are reluctant to work in what they assume to be physically demanding environments.
In short, there is fierce competition for workers across sectors ranging from manufacturing to entertainment and hospitality. Add in the fact that metal shops face an uphill battle in convincing prospects that pursuing a career in manufacturing is worthwhile, and the challenge of finding workers is compounded even more.
What’s the Solution?
The quickest and easiest way to add personnel is to have recruiters identify the top candidates, vet them, interview them, and help with onboarding. However, there are still challenges standing in the way of filling the entirety of open positions throughout the metals industry.
Some economists point to the extended unemployment benefits and stimulus payments as motivations for workers to remain sidelined until the pandemic ends. Others insist finding workers willing to labor in metal shops is inherently challenging simply because those jobs are more physically demanding than jobs like customer service and entertainment.
Reshaping Perceptions of the Metal Industry
There is a stigma tied to working in the manufacturing sector. The average person assumes manufacturing jobs pay little, wear down the body, are excessively monotonous, and don’t provide a career path. The challenge lies in connecting with these prospective workers and convincing them that working in manufacturing is an excellent career path that provides enough financial support to start a family and retire comfortably.
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