Bridging The Skills Gap Min

Manufacturers are struggling to fill essential jobs. According to a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) survey, 65% of business leaders say attracting and retaining top employees is one of their top business challenges.

Businesses are having difficulty recruiting qualified candidates because there is a shortage of applicants with the needed manufacturing skills. During the past decade, many companies have upgraded technology, installed new machinery, and implemented digital transformation solutions. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) says 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled by 2030.

Attracting and retaining skilled manufacturing talent is key to your success because having top people in the right jobs ensures operational efficiency. According to the Harvard Business Review, top companies are over 40% more productive than their nearest competitors and have operating margins 30% to 50% higher than their peers.

This is why many companies have implemented a leading employment testing solution like the eSkill Talent Assessment PlatformTM to screen and evaluate job applicants.

What Is a Manufacturing Skills Test?

Hiring the wrong person for a job in manufacturing could create an unsafe work environment and increase the chance of accidents. It can also lead to lower productivity and increased turnover, negatively impacting employee morale.

Manufacturing skills tests allow you to use concrete data to make hiring, job placement, and promotion decisions for skilled manufacturing positions instead of relying on gut instinct. This leads to more objective hiring decisions, better workforce optimization, and improved productivity.

Types of Manufacturing Skills Tests

Manufacturing companies use manufacturing skills tests to evaluate job candidates’ skills and competencies. Common assessments used to hire manufacturing employees include:

  • Skills Tests: Skills tests measure job-related abilities and technical proficiency in specialty areas like machine operations and maintenance, software programming, and production management. You can use them as-is or customize them to match your job roles.
  • Behavioral Assessments: Behavioral assessments provide insight into employees’ behavioral traits, attitudes, values, and work styles so you can determine if they are a good fit for a job and your company culture. Over 74% of HR leaders say they have hired an employee who was a bad fit for a job or their company culture. So, they understand the importance of using behavioral assessments in conjunction with skills tests.
  • Simulations: The best way to be sure a candidate can do a job is to watch them do it. Simulations present candidates with tasks they will be required to complete if hired. For example, if you are hiring employees to operate and maintain machinery, you can include questions about machine operation and safety along with questions that require applicants to troubleshoot maintenance and repair problems.
  • Situational Judgment Tests: Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs) present applicants with on-the-job scenarios and problems and ask them to choose the best and most appropriate solution from several options. They offer an excellent way to evaluate critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills and assess candidates’ ability to handle real work situations.

How Manufacturing Skills Tests Help You Improve Hiring

Business leaders have learned they can no longer use resumes and interviews to hire top candidates because around 80% of applicants lie on their resumes and during interviews. So, a candidate who looks and sounds perfect for the job could be a hiring mistake that costs your company hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

The following scenario illustrates the importance of hiring skilled manufacturing employees and how manufacturing skills tests help ensure candidates have the skills required for a job.

Amanda, the HR manager for an automotive parts facility, needed to fill an assembly technician position. The person would be responsible for working on a production line and general maintenance and repair of machinery. Therefore, candidates needed extensive experience with the machines and systems her company used on the production floor. 

She posted the job and invited applicants who responded to complete a manufacturing skills test. When she reviewed the results, Martin emerged as the top candidate.

He scored excellently on his assessment, and his resume listed the right skills and experience. She got good feedback from Jesus, the hiring manager and references from former managers and colleagues were good. Amanda offered Martin the job, and he accepted. Then the problems began.

Jesus and Amanda soon learned that although Martin had good technical skills, he was unfamiliar with the company’s machinery. So, he did not know how to maintain it efficiently or make repairs quickly. This caused downtime on several production lines, which resulted in delays and orders being shipped late. So, Jesus had no choice but to terminate Martin.

Martin’s assessment results were excellent, but the manufacturing skills test only included general questions about assembly operations and equipment maintenance. There were no questions about the specific machines and equipment the company used. If Amanda had included such questions, the results would have shown that Martin did not have hands-on experience with the machinery and equipment and would need additional training to be successful in the job.

Get Started with Manufacturing Skills Tests

Many manufacturers are revamping their recruiting to make better hiring decisions more quickly and efficiently. For most, this has included implementing an employment assessment solution.

Are you ready to learn how manufacturing skills tests can help you attract and retain top talent? Contact us to request a demo.

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