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Finding Tomorrow’s Workforce in New Sectors

To move in new directions and fill the talent shortage, organizations need to think different and find their talent in untapped sources.

The talent pipeline for organizations isn’t just changing – it needs to broaden. According to ManpowerGroup’s 2019 Talent Shortage Survey, global talent shortages have reached an all-time high of 54 percent since this research began in 2006. For organizations, that means there will need to be fundamental changes.

That’s why ManpowerGroup organized a 3rd annual summit for manufacturing, Women, Let’s Catch the Shift: Navigating Digital Era Paradoxes in Manufacturing. Together a panel of leaders discuss new sources for filling the talent pipeline.

Attract and upskill new workers

ManpowerGroup and Rockwell Automation teamed up to help veterans upskill and develop into new advanced manufacturing roles. The 12-week bootcamp in industrial manufacturing prepares them for a new career as an automation technician. The aspiration is to get to 1,000 veterans through the program each year. This was beneficial for both employers and the veterans who are transitioning back to the traditional civilian workforce. “This is no doubt making a difference for veterans and their families but for manufacturers as well,” said Rachael Conrad, VP and GM of Global Services at Rockwell Automation.

Look to other industries

Gina Boswell, former president of customer development at Unilever, shares the example of transitioning to the automotive industry after starting as a certified public accountant and working in the beauty industry. “People found it amusing that I moved from cosmetics to cars,” Boswell said. When starting in manufacturing, she felt unsure of herself as someone who “couldn’t even change a flat” on her car. However, the CEO assured her that thousands of people at the company could change a tire – but that wasn’t the perspective they needed for the future. “Sometimes knowledge is power,” Boswell said. “But sometimes it can be a limiter, especially in times of change.”

Redefine leadership

In the past, leaders were developed by climbing a traditional ladder up the organization. This leads to leadership becoming highly experienced, but also can mean becoming entrenched and reinforcing the same patterns. To move an organization in new directions, leaders need to think different – and potentially come from non-traditional sources. “We need to take back the definition of leader,” said Chandra Brown, CEO of MxD. “Who’s teaching you about your apps, what to do with data? It’s the younger generation. Leadership has meant age and experience. That is not the case anymore.” 

For some organizations, looking to new sources for the talent pipeline may seem like an interesting experiment. But those who have already made the shift are positioning themselves to become more innovative, be leaders in their field, and create an advantage that will be hard to compete with in the future.