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Top 6 Industrial Manufacturing Recruitment Considerations


We have extensive experience helping businesses in the industrial manufacturing sector with their recruitment needs, and understand the issues faced in finding the best talent. Through our many years’ experience as the chosen executive search provider for companies including Atritor, Camfil, Busch, Domino, Process Components, Gordian, Markem Imaje, Buhler, GEA, Matcon, Schenck Process, Bizerba, Multivac, Zeppelin, Gericke, Spirotech, Satake and many more, we have collated the feedback from our clients and candidates and industry knowledge to come up with the top 6 considerations manufacturing companies face when searching for top talent.

Aligning candidate experience, skills and objectives with company goals

Businesses often come to us after several wasted months trying and failing to recruit in-house or after working with a contingent recruiter who has failed to deliver the right kind of candidates, or worse, has delivered a candidate who hasn’t lasted more than 6 months. The reason quite often is hard to nail down. All too often we hear subjective comments like ‘they just weren’t the right fit for the businesses or ‘they had all the skills we were looking for but something was missing.’ That’s because cultural fit and taking the time to understand a company’s objectives and align those with a candidates are crucial to making a successful hire. Equally crucial is an understanding of the sector, experience in dealing with successful candidates in the sector, and having a network of relevant professionals to utilise in the search.

Director – Global Process Machinery Business

“I have worked with Newman Stewart since 2005. Whilst many other recruiters want to talk about what you may be recruiting, John took the time to understand our business. He talked about a long term ‘partnership’. Something that I had heard before, but in truth I had never really believed the recruiters I had come into contact with. Since then john has placed over 20 people into our business. 13 years on from when we first met John remains my recruitment partner of choice and I have no hesitation in recommending him to companies who are serious about recruiting exceptional people.”

Positioning for Success

In order to secure top performing professionals, thinking about company budget in terms of what you can afford simply isn’t enough. With today’s shrinking workforce, candidates have more choice of roles than ever. To get ahead of the competition you need to be offering a competitive package, that means salary, bonus, perks, the lot. Through salary benchmarking, we help many businesses to understand their salaries and benefits in comparison to similar organisations and offer advice on where a role should be positioned in order to attract the best. If you’ve been looking to fulfil a role for some time without success, it could be that the person with the skills you’re looking for just isn’t available for the remuneration you’re offering.

Access to the best candidates

This infographic shows why executive search can make the difference between hiring top performing candidates and mediocre candidates. It stands to reason that the best people in your industry are already employed and doing well, so you aren’t going to find them by looking on job boards or by advertising a role and waiting for the applications to flood in. A more targeted approach and access to a network of professionals within the industry is needed.

CEO – Global Process Engineering Business

“I have been dealing with Newman Stewart for many years now and John Tilbrook knows our business extremely well. Initially Newman Stewart were amongst a group of recruitment suppliers, however their professionalism and methodology set them apart and we have no qualms in using them time and time again and will be doing in the future. I cannot fault their processes at all. I recently had an international role to fill and had a little trepidation going into it, however any worries were quickly banished and Newman Stewart found me an excellent short list of candidates.”

A partner who understands your industry

We mentioned above the importance of working with a recruiter who understands your industry and exactly what makes for success in that industry. If you are looking for someone with experience in powder handling, it is no good if you are sent 5 excellent candidates, all with manufacturing experience, but that being in process equipment. Newman Stewart has over 50 years combined experience and an unrivalled reputation for delivering talent to the process and packaging machinery and materials handling sectors. This expertise also helps us to build trust with senior level candidates, and persuade them to consider new opportunities.

Managing Director – Global Materials Handling Business

“Having been in the recruitment industry myself it was very obvious from the off that Newman Stewart knew their trade………….I really can’t think of anything further they could have done to better my experience as they provided me with a great candidate who is doing very well so far”.

Owner – Director – UK Materials Handling Business

“I had to give Newman Stewart maximum marks on their customer satisfaction survey as I couldn’t fault any aspect of the service they provided. I was extremely impressed with the consultant I closely work with, he was very well connected and I thought his understanding of the industry my company operates in was impeccable.”

Candidate - Materials Handling

“Our consultant really went the extra mile to understand our business needs and specific requirements in recruiting for this particular post. In a fast moving environment, speed and efficiency are paramount to us, but never sacrificing quality. We couldn’t fault Newman Stewart in fulfilling this brief, and as a result have improved the business in two key areas.”

Candidate - Process Machinery

“Dealing with Newman Stewart was a really good experience, my consultant was great, he kept me informed, had a very professional manner but was extremely easy to talk to at the same time, his expertise in my industry was second to none. Overall I was very happy and will be recommending Newman Stewart to others.”

Maintaining candidate engagement

How many times have you got to the end of a long recruitment process having made a decision on who you’d like to offer the role, only to find that they have accepted another opportunity? On average in-house recruitment takes 13 weeks, compared to 11 weeks through an executive search provider. During that time, delays in the process trying to tie down senior decision makers and schedule interviews around day to day activities can take their toll on the process. Unless you have a robust recruitment infrastructure, it’s unlikely that you are keeping candidates engaged throughout, often leading to you missing out on some great people.

Sales Director – Global Packaging Machinery Business

“We asked Newman Stewart to find us a Business Development Manager with a difference as we required someone who understood our market and was culturally sensitive in order to build great relationships with companies in other countries. I have great respect for the consultant I dealt with and the choice he made in candidates. He demonstrated a great deal of skill in his approach. It was an extremely well run process throughout.”

Candidate - Manufacturing

“I felt that the attention to detail that Newman Stewart provided was second to none. I was incredibly well prepped prior to interview and went on to secure the role. Overall, I was happy with every element of their service.”

Are you thinking outside the box?

When was the last time you took a step back from your recruitment process to review the types of candidates you’re finding and where they generally come from? If you’ve been recruiting in the same way for a number of years, for example, using job boards, employee referrals and advertising on your website, it may be time to ask yourself if you’re accessing those extra special employees who are going to drive your business forward. Executive search can open up a number of new avenues you may not have previously thought of. Not only does this provide fresh talent to feed your pipeline, but it also helps you to build a more diverse workforce, the benefits of which have been well publicised recently.

Candidate - Packaging Machinery

“I have had difficult experiences in the past with other recruiters who pigeon-holed me in a particular industry. As my transferable skills were very technical and industry specific, they didn’t view the whole picture including all my skills and experience in order to put me forward for roles in other sectors. This was until I was headhunted by Newman Stewart. The consultant got to know me and saw past the industry I was currently in and put me forward for a role I was successful in gaining. Because of this, dealing with Newman Stewart made a refreshing change and I can recommend them to others who may be looking for a career change.”

Director Strategic Accounts, EMEA - Global Print Packaging Business

“Newman Stewart's broad contact network in relevant target segments enabled them to quickly identify and approach candidates of the right quality. At every step in the process, Newman Stewart made sure that the link between us and the candidate was maintained. Both positions were successfully filled and the new recruits are performing well.”

If you’re currently struggling to fulfil a complex role within your industrial manufacturing business, we’d be delighted to help. Call us now on 01937 541395.