After years of functioning largely in survival mode, U.S. manufacturing appears to be “back,” enjoying an exciting uptick. Hiring is up; demand for U.S. products is up, along with renewed interest in North American-manufactured products; spending on equipment/machinery is up; energy costs are at historic lows; economists are optimistic—we see a lot of positive and refreshing indicators that manufacturers can rally around. Many of our clients are taking the opportunity presented by the upturn to rethink, and in many cases transform, their HR functions and processes.
The traditional manufacturing view of HR as a tactical, back-office cost center is changing. Talent is being looked at much more strategically — and rightly so. About 70 percent of U.S. Industrial Product companies and over 60% of U.S. Process companies face labor shortages (see more in Boiling Point? The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing). Companies realize that growth depends on having people who can lead the charge, as well as people who have the right skills and motivation to follow that lead. This realization is leading to transformational HR changes aimed at attracting, developing, and retaining talent.
For many manufacturers, that transformation is at a foundational level. It includes fundamentals like building the HR infrastructure and systems to understand what skill sets their people have today and what they will need tomorrow, where those people are located, how they’re deployed, how they’re compensated, and how they’re performing. Many are pursuing cloud-based solutions to lower up-front investment costs and speed deployment of new systems.
Along with transforming infrastructure and systems, our clients are also addressing some of the most important talent trends outlined in our new report, Human Capital Trends in Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities. For example:
These are just a few examples of the kinds of fundamental rethinking about human capital we’re seeing throughout manufacturing. We hope you’ll spend a few minutes with the new report and explore how recent human capital trends might help your organization overcome workforce challenges, build the talent to take advantage of the uptick, and grow your business.
|Mark Gardner is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP, currently serving as the US and Global Consulting lead for Deloitte’s Automotive and Process and Industrial Products industry sectors.|
|Tammie Potvin is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP, currently serving as Deloitte’s Human Capital Sector Lead for Process and Industrial Products and the Global Lead for Technology Adoption.|
|Ina Gantcheva is a senior manager with the Human Capital Talent practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP with broad experience in talent strategy and organizational transformation solutions.|