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Making Chips Podcast for Manufacturing Leaders

MakingChips is hosted by a set of multi-generational manufacturing leaders who are on the factory floor everyday, living their lives in the world of manufacturing—they know first hand that manufacturing can be challenging. Founders Jim Carr and Jason Zenger released their first podcast in late December 2014—releasing over 300 episodes to-date, reaching more than 650,000 downloads—all while striving to deliver on their mission, to “equip and inspire the metalworking nation.” In 2019, Nick Goellner, another multi-generational manufacturing leader, joined the MakingChips hosts, bringing a third generation of manufacturing leaders to the table. Join the hosts as they work through industry challenges with leaders such as Titan Gilroy (Titans of CNC), John Saunders (NYC CNC), Mark Terryberry (Haas Automation) and more.
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Making Chips Podcast for Manufacturing Leaders
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Sep 20, 2021

The U.S. labor market is still struggling despite record numbers of job openings. Businesses aren’t able to hire as quickly as they need to. What’s the holdup? Is there a lack of candidates in the market? Are people choosing not to return to work? In this episode of Making Chips we dissect what’s happening—and a few things you can do about it. 

Segments

  • [0:18] Check out ProShop ERP for manufacturing software!
  • [2:30] What’s happening in the Making Chips world
  • [8:43] Manufacturing news: The U.S. Labor Market
  • [19:41] Accelerate your digital transformation with Xometry
  • [20:36] What I’m learning through the hiring process
  • [35:35] How to recruit high caliber candidates
  • [41:34] Learn about Amper Technologies monitoring systems

The U.S. Labor Market Isn’t Adding Up—And This Is Why

According to Andrew Hunter’s research, we’re seeing a high level of job openings but low levels of hiring. Millions of Americans are quitting and many aren’t re-entering the labor market. It’s claimed that the labor market is healthy, but the numbers don’t add up. Why? 

  1. Subdued Employment: 8.7 million Americans remain unemployed. Before the pandemic, 5.7 million Americans were unemployed. 
  2. Record Job Openings: The number of job opportunities is high and rising, reaching 10.1 million at the end of June with 590,000 more openings than the month before. 
  3. Low Hiring: Hiring isn’t keeping pace with job growth. June saw 6.7 million hires, but that’s 3.4 million short of the number needed to fill open roles.
  4. High Quits: Referred to as the “great resignation,” 3.9 million people quit their job in June. It’s partly the response to job opportunities. Workers are confident in their ability to find better jobs. 

The incentive to stay home and not work will decrease as the double unemployment payments are pulled back. The economy is recovering but worker confidence isn’t returning at the same pace. Autumn 2021 may bring the correction needed to balance the market. The outlook is optimistic. But until things turn around, what do manufacturers do?

Find creative solutions to your problem

A client of Jason’s had a key person in their shop that was doing some things that he deemed worthy of firing. But Jason’s client couldn’t afford to lose—and be forced to replace—this person. So he took a risk and sat him down for a conversation. He gave him the option to fix the problem or he’d be fired. This person turned his life around completely. This may not be an option for everyone, nor will it work in every scenario, but it was a creative way for this business owner to solve a problem. 

Two ways to hire for difficult positions

Recruiting for regional sales positions has been a huge focus of mine recently as we are restructuring our sales. But I don’t want to hire the first warm body. Everyone has heard “Hire slow, fire fast,” right? But if your machinist quits, you can’t hire slow because it causes production problems. 

So what am I doing right now? Finding a way to work with a candidate before we commit to hiring them full-time. If there’s a way to test the relationship, do it. Making Chips is a podcast and marketing agency. We brought someone on as a contractor to try out on a trial basis before we commit to hiring him full-time. It’s great for both parties to make an educated decision about each other. You can even put it in writing so it’s transparent and fully agreed on. 

What else can you do to hire for a difficult-to-fill position? Use LinkedIn’s recruiting tool. The price is steep—approximately $30,000—but you’re given access to highly qualified candidates interested in a new position. LinkedIn will even train you how to use it. The opportunity to do it yourself is available for larger companies who can make that number work. 

Listen to the whole episode to learn more about how the hiring process has gone for me and get some in-depth details on my two strategies. 

BAM!

– Nick

Shameless plug: If you are interested, we’re all hiring!

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