Are you tired of wading through a sea of applicants for your open manufacturing position and finding that most don’t have the qualifications you need? The problem could be with your applicants, but maybe your manufacturing job description could use some work, too. In my 20+ years in manufacturing, I’ve learned that to get a high-quality person for the job, you really need to create a high-quality job description. Follow these 5 Tips for Writing a Manufacturing Job Description, and you’ll likely see a much better fit between your next batch of applicants and your job opening!

5 Tips for Writing a Manufacturing Job Description

“Sell” Your Company

The job market is tight right now, and manufacturing hiring managers know that top-flight candidates get hired quickly. To make sure the best candidates want to work for you, sell them on the strengths of your industry in general and your company in particular. Explain your company culture in terms that applicants will appreciate, such as “We’re a safety-first business. No deadline is so tight that we’ll ever cut corners with employee safety,” “At XYZ Corporation, we balance a fast-paced work environment with generous time off” or “Our company believes in work-life balance.”

Share awards that your company has earned, especially those for workplace culture, such as “Voted one of Big City’s Top Ten Best Places to Work for five years in a row!” Candidates are interested in job security; share facts about your company that highlight its economic health and likelihood of staying in business. Consider language such as, “Specialized Manufacturing Firm with Double-Digit Growth Seeks …” or “Leading Manufacturer of Widgets Now Hiring for Expansion.” Let job seekers know what your company values are and how those translate into a good working environment. Include benefits and special perks your company offers, such as company outings, discounts on merchandise, opportunities for advancement and education, etc.

Be Specific About Qualifications

In thinking about how to write your manufacturing job description, consider qualifications carefully. Is a college degree or specialized training a necessity or simply a way to cull out applicants? Are you willing to train a candidate with a good attitude and work ethic or do you need someone who can “hit the ground running” on Day One with minimal training? Once you’ve determined what qualifications you absolutely require, state those clearly in the job description, listing them first. I encourage employers to consider this part of the manufacturing job description very carefully: make the requirements too restrictive and you risk missing out on employees with limited experience, but great potential. Make the requirements too general, and you’ll be overwhelmed with applicants, most of whom will not be a good fit. I often recommend that employers think about their best employees in similar positions and describe the qualifications those individuals brought to the job.

Include Details of the Job

Does the job you’re trying to fill require the applicant to provide his or her own tools? Does it involve use of a specialized machine or process? If so, make sure to refer to those key details in the manufacturing job description. Good candidates will pick up on those points and highlight their experience or abilities in the specific areas you’ve mentioned, making them stand out from the pack. I’ve found that the more specific you are, including type and brand of machine experience needed, the better the candidates you’ll get for your position. Be clear whether experience with such equipment is a strict requirement or a plus for an applicant.

Describe the Work Environment

In a tight job market, potential employees want to know what it’s like to work at your manufacturing facility. They’ll be mentally comparing their idea of your workplace with others they are considering. In writing your manufacturing job description, include such information as: percent of time in the office compared to the manufacturing floor, extremes of temperature, sounds levels, and the like. Include as many positive elements as possible, such as “work stations can be hot, but break rooms are air conditioned,” or “employees in this position rotate through multiple job stations to avoid repetitive injuries and fatigue.” Describe the size of your workforce and your company’s system for integrating new employees.

I encourage my manufacturing clients to look at their company’s work environment from the perspective of a potential employee and be straightforward about the less attractive elements while drawing attention to the positive ones.

Include Physical Requirements

Make sure to list any physical requirements of the job, such as, “Employees must be able to pass a vision test,” “Must be able to lift 50 pounds multiple times daily,” or “Job requires standing for eight hours per day.” Again, wherever possible, add positive elements to these requirements, such as “Job requires long periods of standing, but company provides a stipend for supportive shoes.”

Taking the time to write a good manufacturing job description will pay off in higher quality candidates and better hires. Want to know if working with a manufacturing recruiter will help bring in Top Candidates? Contact me today!