A recent survey of small and medium-sized metalworking manufacturers found that 91% of them are experiencing significant challenges in finding qualified employees. As I travel about the country meeting with manufacturers, many tell me that finding qualified team members is their number one challenge. What to do about it?

Not long ago I stumbled across an article entitled “13 of The Most Creative Recruitment Campaigns”, authored by Ben Slater and posted on the website: social-hire.com, in which the author compiles a summary of some of the more interesting strategies employed by companies in the efforts.

In one example, well known furniture company Ikea placed job descriptions in every package of furniture it sold, enticing the purchaser to learn more about potential career opportunities. Advertising jobs directly to your customers who presumably already appreciate the value of your brand, brilliant!

Yes, brilliant, but likely not particularly practical to a contract machining outfit engaged in the business of providing product to its customers. Mining the employees of one’s customer may win the recruiting organization a great employee, while losing it a great customer. That math doesn’t work so well. But…