There is a great deal of discussion in manufacturing about job openings not being filled. They talk about educating catching up to meet the needs of the employers. So, what about the co-workers that your suppliers do have, are they ensuring they will be there to carry you through to a solution? As with any shortage, certainly hanging onto the talent they have is important. Taking steps to assure that their talent has the environment they are looking to excel in also reaps benefits when looking to add to their ranks.
There are the tangibles like vacation, 401k, medical, etc. Then there are the intangibles, work environment, work engagement, satisfaction. Regardless of whether or not they can find the talent necessary to grow, where do they sit in being able to retain the talent they have?
For many years, manufacturers have been benchmarking, implementing lean, and adopting best practices in their operations areas trying to become best in class operationally. They then applied it to their office areas trying to drive out excess cost. All of these are geared at meeting the needs of the organization and allowing the organization to continue to thrive. How about their internal work environment and its condition, is it all it can be? Efficiency aside, is their company an environment where their coworkers’ needs are met? Are they providing an environment where workers can thrive? If not, they may not just be looking for the new talent they require, you may just be looking for talent to replace coworkers they already had, that went looking for greener pastures.
As available “talented” labor continues to thin, retention will begin to play huge in the marketplace. Programs like When Work Works” http://www.whenworkworks.org/ will be paramount in assuring you that they are looking to protect YOUR interests by retaining the talent that helped sway you to approve them as a source. https://www.plasticert.com/2013/05/plasticert-is-a-recipient-of-the-coveted-2013-alfred-p-sloan-award-for-excellence-in-workplace-effectiveness-and-flexibility/
Knowing we need to retain as well as find talent has always been a focus here at PlastiCert, our average tenure is 10.0 years. Interesting enough, our median is 9.3 years spanning 20 years to a new hire. As far as our technical staff, 13.8 years average tenure helping customers here at PlastiCert.
So when evaluating your sourcing partners, as the employment field evolves, it’s not only how are they going to find and train new talent. They should be addressing how they retain the talent they have.