It is well known that Michigan is the auto industry hub. It is also well known that the industry is struggling to find talent. Very few candidates are applying for jobs, and when they do, the quit rate is out the roof. Michigan Manufacturers Association has brought in a new director of workforce development and increased the budget to help combat the labor shortage.
What is the problem?
The auto industry is not keeping up with the times of today. Most people prefer remote jobs, and the auto industry/ manufacturing industry positions mostly require a physical presence at the jobsite. Low starting wages, lack of benefits, and lack of flexibility deter candidates from applying to jobs.
There is also another issue surrounding the auto industry- the parts shortage. However, this actually isn't hurting the auto industry from a manufacturing standpoint because even if they did have all of the necessary parts, they don't have enough labor to keep up production. If the parts shortage is resolved, the labor shortage will be even more problematic.
In the manufacturing/ automotive industry, laborers who are lower in seniority are often assigned to work second or third shift, and they get burnt out on it very quickly. On top of the odd hours, the jobs often take a toll on your body because of the physical labor required. This leads to high turnover rates.
What are the benefits to Automotive Manufacturing Jobs?
The pay of these types of jobs has historically been higher pay with good benefits. However, with the minimum wage on the rise, people can work at Walmart, McDonalds, or gas stations and reap similar wages. The idea of the middle class is slowly disappearing, so the appeal of the manufacturing jobs that could get you to the middle class is also disappearing.
Automotive Manufacturing plants are going to have to get creative in how they attract talent in the next coming years.
Here are some suggestions:
- Sign on bonus
- Increased benefits
- Paid time off
- Maternity Leave
- Employment security
Another creative way to combat the turnover is to hire temp workers. Hiring temp workers has been around since the 1970s in the automotive manufacturing space. By hiring temp workers, employers can get them acclimated to the environment, then hire them full time with a pay increase. This is a good way to see if a worker is going to stay long term.