While organizations across every industry have difficulties finding qualified candidates, the manufacturing sector has been hit especially hard. The manufacturing skills gap is massive — and the problem is growing larger by the day.
It can take months to find and hire skilled manufacturing employees who are qualified for a position. According to SHRM, the average time to hire a production staff member is roughly 70 days.
Having an extensive hiring process hinders the long-term profitability of your company. But rushing through vetting procedures could leave you with an underqualified candidate.
Fortunately, there is a way to enhance your hiring process without compromising quality. The solution lies in the implementation of skills tests.
How Severe Is the Manufacturing Skills Shortage?
Before we look at the benefits of testing protocols during the hiring process, it is important to understand how severe the manufacturing skills shortage has become.
In a 2018 study, The Manufacturing Institute determined that roughly 2.4 million manufacturing positions may be left unfilled between 2018 and 2028. This data reveals that your organization will have an even tougher time finding high-quality candidates soon.
Skills tests offer a viable solution for fighting the ever-worsening manufacturing skills shortage. These tests allow you to ensure prospective candidates have a good JobFit, which is a good likelihood of success in a given position. If a candidate scores well on relevant skills tests and behavioral assessments, then their JobFit should also be high.
Mitigating the Manufacturing Skills Gap with Skills Tests
Skills tests are an invaluable tool when companies want to mitigate the effects of the manufacturing skills gap. These tests can benefit your organization in two key ways.
First, skills tests expedite your ability to identify qualified candidates without reducing the quality of your vetting process. Skills tests reveal whether a candidate has the skills and knowledge base to fill a vacant position. These tests yield easy-to-interpret scores that your hiring team can review. Skills tests can also help your staff choose between two candidates with similar job histories and experience.
You can even tailor skills tests to meet the specific demands of a position. Does a role require working knowledge of heavy machinery like forklifts? Integrate the Forklift Skills test with the Good Manufacturing Processes test. You can add custom questions and video prompts to refine the process even more.
Secondly, skills tests provide valuable insights into your training and education programs. Skills tests can be administered to existing staff as well as prospective candidates. After reviewing the results of these tests, you can enhance your manufacturing skills training efforts to improve the quality of your in-house staff.
A great training program will help you nurture existing talent. Employee morale will be better because staff members will feel as though your organization is investing in them. You will also be able to equip existing staff for promotional opportunities in the future, reducing the impact of the manufacturing skills gap while helping you retain well-trained staff members.
Enhancing Your Manufacturing Skills Training Program
The core benefit of implementing manufacturing skills tests into your organization’s training is that it allows you to accurately measure the skills gap. You can identify shortcomings in existing staff members and potential candidates, helping you make data-driven decisions about hiring and training. By enhancing your existing procedures, you can effectively close the manufacturing skills gap.
When refining your existing program, the first step in the process is to administer a series of skills tests. The tests that you choose should be related to manufacturing and the specific roles of your employees. There are skills tests available that focus on everything from Mechanical Aptitude to Attention to Detail.
After reviewing the results of these tests, you can design and develop skill-specific training programs. Each program should focus on a particular area of expertise. Once the program is complete, it can be delivered to the employees through an intuitive dashboard. When each training course has been delivered, it is time to reassess your staff.
The second round of skills tests can identify whether the training materials closed the manufacturing skills gap. If they did, then the program was successful.
However, it is important to collect feedback from your participants to further refine the process. This cyclical procedure effectively reduces the skills gap and sets up your organization for long-term success.
Skills testing is an integral part of designing training courses and assessing your staff’s progress. When used well, you can address knowledge and skills gaps and gain a competitive edge for your business.
Ready to Close the Manufacturing Skills Gap with Skills Tests?
The manufacturing industry moves at a fast pace. If you want to take your manufacturing skills training to the next level and improve your hiring process, eSkill can help. We offer comprehensive testing solutions, including manufacturing tests like Numerical Reasoning and Blueprint Reading.
Assessments help you close the manufacturing skills gap so you can stay ahead of the competition. Contact us today to request a demo.