By Guest Blogger Hale Foote, President of Scandic

All manufacturers are bemoaning the scarcity of skilled employees. It doesn’t have to be that way! Our metal stamping and spring making business has been very successful in recruiting and retaining new employees, using some common-sense tactics:

  1. Advertise on Facebook Jobs. That’s where your youngest candidates are looking for work.
  2. Craigslist costs only $75 per listing and has generated lots of leads for us (and a great hire from Mexico).
  3. Sign up with your local universities and community colleges via the free Handshake program. It’s a great connection to smart students.
  4. Register for an online job fair. Our local community colleges (we have 26 campuses in Northern California) sponsored an online job fair that led to an immediate toolmaker hire. Toolmakers in our industry are like hen’s teeth; you grab them whenever you can.
  5. Always be recruiting: I was in line at a sandwich shop and marveled at the multi-tasking person behind the counter. I slipped her my card with a note “we’re hiring, call me” and she did, trading an erratic 32-hour a week schedule for full-time employment with more pay, fixed hours, full benefits, and a good chance at career advancement. This single mom is advancing! We have hired from diverse sources like family members of current employees, kids of our church friends, and local high schools (after they tour our factory, some kids ask if they can work here.)
  6. Talk frankly about career potential: This position pays $20/hr, with training it’s $25, with journey-level achievement it’s $45.

Finally, do your part and invest in the future. Start an apprenticeship program and let your employees know the career opportunities this creates; one new employee came to us specifically because we have a toolmaker apprenticeship track. Open your business to visits by students and community groups. Send some of your most charismatic employees into local schools to talk about STEM careers. Open your doors to a summer internship organized by your local schools. Tap your trade organization for their employee development academies, and always pay for continuing education — both are great employee retention tools for your best talent.

These tiny investments will pay off, for your business and for the manufacturing community.

About the Author

Hale Foote is the President and Owner of Scandic in San Leandro, the largest stamping and spring company in Northern California. Scandic was founded in 1969 and has a worldwide customer base of industry leaders in the electronics, medical, and automotive industries.  Mr. Foote joined Scandic in 1991, after a career practicing law in Washington, DC. In addition to serving on Manex’s Board of Directors, he serves on the national board of the Precision Metalforming Association and the board of The Bishop’s Ranch in the Episcopal Diocese of California. He received an A.B. degree in Literature and a law degree from Georgetown University.

Students engage in Scandic’s CNC manufacturing processes.