Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, attended the October 1, 2015 Milwaukee 7 Summit, which was themed, “Attracting Talent to Manufacturing.” The Milwaukee 7 (M7) Talent Partnership at the Manpower Group’s facility in Milwaukee hosted the half-day summit.
The constant challenge of attracting, recruiting, hiring and retaining top talent, especially in industries such as manufacturing where technology is regularly changing and a shortage of highly skilled personnel is apparent, has caused HR professionals and businesses at large to consider new rules of engagement utilizing tools that could result in the perfect employee/employer match.
The summit’s agenda included a keynote presentation by Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin, who shared the critical advantages that make Southeast Wisconsin “a great place to live, work and play.” Following, George Bolgrem, Culture Strategy Director at The Good Jobs and Council Member and Talent Attraction Committee Co-Chair at M7, presented the M7 Talent Attraction & Retention Kit.
Subsequently, there was a panel discussion by area manufacturers and HR professionals: Angie Kasten, Recruitment & Organizational Development Specialist at Palermo’s Pizza; Rachel Lloyd, Human Resources Manager at Glenroy, Inc.; Waylon Gross, Workforce Development and Training Program Manager at Kenall Manufacturing, Patrick Jungenblut, Applications Engineering Manager at Hermle Machine Company; and Natalie Glumm, Manufacturing Sales Manager at Midland Plastics, Inc.. Alicia Dupies, VP of Community Relations at the Milwaukee Bucks moderated the panel. A Q&A session concluded the summit.
Mark Beilman recounts,
“Overall, it was a very informative summit. George Blogrem’s tool kit presentation for improving a company’s culture and attract talent was on point with remarks such as:
- Culture/Brand: Be authentic, relevant, consistent and different. Culture is most important to new hires, who want to be part of the team. Communicate culture and brand through employee testimonials, job postings, videos and website.
- Hiring: Have an effective “welcome on board” program, assign a mentor, give clear description of goals, ask for feedback.
- Retaining: Conduct micro surveys to gather feedback on what is working and what is not. Make employees feel valued.
- Referrals: There is no better way to recruit than actual employees recruiting future ones. Have an effective incentive-based program in place.
Peter Feigin spoke about the corporate brand and reinvesting in the community.
The panelists addressed recruitment, retention, and the difficulty in finding skilled employees. Two of the companies represented on the panel, Kenall Manufacturing and Hermle Machine Company, have programs in place that include talking to high school students about careers in manufacturing, and they both work closely with Milwaukee Area Technical College and Gateway Technical College to align their curriculums with the needs of area manufacturers. The other panelists acknowledged that school involvement was a viable route to take in order to improve the availability of prospective employees.”
Almost 150 people attended the summit. The Milwaukee 7 Talent Partnership aligns regional talent resources with high-growth industry clusters, resulting in a stronger, more agile workforce.