Candidate Pools & Proactive Recruiting

To Recruit Workers, Manufacturers Pitch to Parents

Companies may not want parents attending job interviews with their adult children, but a number of employers aren’t above targeting parents in an effort to recruit their offspring.

Source: PhonlamaiPhoto / iStock / Getty

The Wall Street Journal reports that manufacturing companies in particular are pursuing parents, with the goal of candidate attraction.

Getting to Know Us

In Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere, manufacturers are hosting parents’ nights. At these events, employers promote careers in the trades. The advantages of such careers, according to The Wall Street Journal, are many.

Companies are often willing to foot the bill for trade school or training, and salaries are lucrative. For example, the starting salary for a technician at Michelin North America Inc., upon completion of a two-year program at a technical college, for which the company covers costs, is reportedly around $53,000, with eligibility for overtime and benefits that include tuition reimbursement for future degrees.

For parents facing the cost of a college degree followed by employment uncertainty, a stable, alternative plan can be attractive. At least that’s what companies are hoping.

There is also the added advantage of a local job—which means their children will remain nearby.

Group Effort

Some companies hold their own onsite events for parents. Others participate in events held by a local chamber of commerce.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest trade association for the manufacturing industry, has also gotten into the act. The Wall Street Journal reports that last year the association launched a social media campaign, aimed at parents.

Indeed, NAM is heavily focused on parents. In November, the association issued a press release promoting its “Creators Wanted” campaign, which includes a link to a website. At the website, the headline reads, “Encourage Your Kids to Consider a Career in Modern Manufacturing.”

In the press release, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons is quoted: “The future of work is now in modern manufacturing. We are intent on shattering the stodgy stereotypes of what manufacturing careers look like. Parents and kids across America need to see that modern manufacturing is about creating the future—and giving people not only jobs but also lifelong and rewarding careers.”

Why are companies and others in manufacturing aggressively pursuing parents? The answer is in another quote from the same press release.

“Unless we change minds about manufacturing, we will have more than 2 million jobs unfilled over the next 10 years,” said Carolyn Lee, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute, the nonprofit affiliate of NAM. “Manufacturing Day and ‘Creators Wanted’ are our chance to turn the tide to convince parents and students we need the next generation, and we have a lot to offer.”

Editor’s note: Manufacturing Day, held every year on the first Friday in October, is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.