When Will We Actually Close the Skills Gap in Manufacturing? Featuring Ann Wyatt

Manufacturing professionals have been talking about the skills gap for a long time now – but when will it finally close? While we don’t have a crystal ball on Manufacturing Happy Hour, we have a guest who comes close.  

Ann Wyatt, President and Agency Owner of Ann Wyatt Recruiting joins the show to share some great insights, advice, and predictions for the future of the industry. Ann’s a long-time listener of the show and has been part of the Manufacturing Happy Hour community for a while now. So, this conversation is long overdue! 

Ann dives into the skills shortage problem, what manufacturers can do to compete for talent, how to remove friction from the recruitment process, and why we need to rethink how we advertise jobs. She also explains why companies need to do more brand awareness and not just rely on job boards to find talent.  

Aside from recruitment and the skills gap problem, we also have some great chats about karaoke, punk rock, and glass blowing. So tune in for a very informative and varied conversation this week! 

Make sure to visit manufacturinghappyhour.com for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty. 


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. It may be time to look at other industries for people with transferable skills that could be valuable in manufacturing. Tech is an obvious choice, but there’s also a need for greater soft skills that can be found in various other industries.    
  2. Job boards alone aren’t enough to compete in a candidate’s market. Companies need to do more to build brand awareness, whether it’s promoting employee testimonials or even delving into TikTok. 
  3. To improve retention, you need to commit to maintaining good company culture on a daily basis. Remember, the candidate experience doesn’t stop after onboarding.  

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “Making sure that you have a short hiring process right now is super imperative.”
  • “We were looking at industrial maintenance individuals from a mechanical perspective. Now we are looking at them from a mechatronics perspective.”
  • “The candidate experience doesn’t stop once you go through the onboarding process. I think that you’ve got to really commit yourself to your culture on a daily basis.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

Do you want to connect with other leaders that are moving the needle in manufacturing everyday? Then make sure to join us in the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community on LinkedIn. 

TRACTIAN is the all-in-one industrial workspace designed to make maintenance more streamlined, reliable and profitable. TRACTIAN’s solution integrates condition monitoring IoT sensors and an asset management software to create the most complete maintenance ecosystem on the market. Hear our full interview with their Founder Igor Marinelli. 

Interested in generating leads through videos, podcasts, or other digital content? Then make sure to check out our 6 Strategies for Growing Your Manufacturing Business Using Social Media. 

What We Discuss with Ann

  • How manufacturing skill needs have evolved 
  • Why we need to look at transferable skills from other industries 
  • Why job boards alone won’t attract top talent 
  • How to reduce friction in the recruitment process 
  • Why company branding is key for advertising roles 
  • How manufacturing companies can attract more talent 
  • Predictions for the industry in 2-5 years 
  • Why Industry 4.0 is important for closing the skills gap 
  • How to retain great talent  

Recommended Resources

  • Ann Wyatt Recruiting, providing manufacturing clients with the candidates they need 
  • COVID-1985, a great parody cover of Bowling For Soup’s 1985 that your host wrote and recorded in 2020 
  • Lipz Lounge, karaoke bar located in Straight to Ale in Huntsville, AL’s Campus 805 

Connect with Ann

LinkedIn | Twitter