From the staffing crisis to the current economic recession, the manufacturing industry has experienced a whirlwind of changes in the past several years. How can manufacturers ensure they’re in a healthy financial position while meeting the high demands of their customers?
Michele Vincent recommends temporary staffing agencies like MADICORP, where she has worked for the past 15 years. Unlike other staffing companies, MADICORP sources experienced talent from all across the country and offer compensation packages attractive to high-value employees.
“We’ll go in, bring the labor, help them get caught up on that backlog, and ensure that those parts are moving from the supplier sites to the manufacturing plants while keeping their manufacturing plant on schedule,” Michele explains
Don’t miss this episode of Auto Supply Chain Prophets as Michele explains the benefits of experienced temp workers and how staffing in supply chain manufacturing has shifted throughout the pandemic.
Themes discussed in this episode:
- What makes MADICORP’s staffing model different
- How COVID-19 changed the demands of temp agencies like MADICORP
- Why experienced temp employees are worth the higher cost
- Why the manufacturing industry hasn’t experienced a severe impact from the economic recession
- How to attract the right talent for your company
Featured on this Episode
Name: Michele Vincent
Title: Senior Director of Marketing and Sales, MADICORP
About: MADICORP is a national temp staffing agency that specializes in bringing manufacturing talent from across the country to the companies that need it most. In addition to marketing and sales, Michele is responsible for strategy development, business growth, and innovation. She recently launched the U.S. Manufacturing Workforce Podcast, which features conversations with business leaders about issues impacting the country’s manufacturing workforce today.
Timestamped inflection points from the show
[1:52] An atypical model: Today’s guest, Michele Vincent, explains how MADICORP’s model for providing manufacturing talent differs from others and why it works.
[4:17] The pandemic shift: Ever since the start of COVID-19, MADICORP has seen an unusually high demand for unskilled labor, a trend that persists today.
[5:13] Knowing your audience: Did you know that Gen Z is more interested in manufacturing jobs than millennials? Michele explains why — and how MADICORP has leveraged this trend to attract more workers to the industry.
[6:53] Attracting the right talent: Michele talks about some of the creative ways she has recruited talent from across the country, from traditional job boards to industry-specific Facebook groups.
[9:38] High demand, high pay: In the current market, experienced, high-value temporary factory workers are few and far between, which means a higher paycheck than most companies will usually pay off.
[11:47] Endless opportunities: Amid the current recession, are companies getting rid of the temporary workers they needed only recently to fill vacancies? Michele discussed why the manufacturing industry hasn’t seen a massive impact. Check out this recent Newsweek article for more.
[13:48] The one thing: Michele tells us why the best thing supply chain leaders can do for themselves in this precarious economy is to educate themselves about temp labor services like MADICORP.
[3:26] Michele: “For suppliers that have a backlog — that aren’t getting the parts to the manufacturing plant — we’ll go in, bring the labor, help them get caught up on that backlog, and ensure that those parts are moving from the supplier sites to the manufacturing plants while keeping their manufacturing plant on schedule.”
[6:16] Michele: “When it comes to your job ads, when it comes to what you’re posting on social media, when it comes to your jobs page, you want to understand what’s of interest to all these different categories so that you can speak to that. That’s going to help you attract labor. If you’re unsure, the simple way to do it is to go to your employees. You can look to your employees and ask them why they applied with your company, why they stay with your company […] and then leverage that information and translate that into your content.”
[8:11] Michele: “In this talent market you need to be creative. It’s important to try different things. What’s going to work for a small manufacturer in the Midwest might not work for a large manufacturer on one of the coasts. And so to be successful at finding talent, you need to try new things. You need to keep up in terms of technology and onboarding.”
[11:29] Michele: “We’re providing opportunities for people that may not have access to work with these types of companies. And so, not only are we providing value to our clients, but we’re providing awesome opportunities to our employees. ”
[14:28] Michele: “So if there’s one big takeaway from this pandemic, it’s that you need to be prepared for just about anything. And I think that that applies as well to staffing. So if you’re turning away business, if you are just sort of surviving your busy season at this point, consider different options.”
We really can’t predict the future because nobody can. What we can do, though, is help auto manufacturers recognize, prepare for in profit from whatever comes next. Auto Supply Chain Prophets gives you timely and relevant insights and best practices from industry leaders. It’s all about what’s happening now in the automotive supply chain and how to prepare your organization for the future. Because the auto supply chain is where the money is.
Jan Griffiths: 00:40
Hello, and welcome to another episode of auto supply chain profits. You can’t make parts without people. Oh, no, you cannot. And in this episode, you’re going to meet Michele Vincent and she will talk to us about a solution to the people problem. And it’s something that you might not have considered. So stay tuned and let’s dive right in and meet Michele Vincent. Michele, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m really looking forward to speaking with you today. Let’s hear about you.
Jan Griffiths: 01:14
Michelle, what is your story?
So, I am Senior Director of Marketing and Sales for Madicorp. We are a national temporary staffing agency. We specialize in sourcing manufacturing talent from across the United States, and bringing workers into where they’re needed most. We’ve been in business for 30 years. I’ve been with the company for 15 years. And just about six months ago, I also launched a podcast called The US manufacturing workforce podcast where I speak with business leaders about a lot of the challenges that they’re facing today, and the solutions to help overcome them.
Cathy Fisher: 01:52
Michelle, your organization has such a unique business model for providing manufacturing talent. Tell us a little bit about that.
Yes, our model is very different from a regular staffing agency or a manufacturing company that’s looking to work with a staffing agency, they typically work with one or a few in the local area. They are then sourcing their talent from around a radius around the planet call it 50 miles and they’re all fighting over the same limited talent pool especially today. What we do is source manufacturing talent from all across the country. So we are able to find more skilled people larger amounts of workers and bring them into the plant, whether that’s 2050 150, whatever it may be, drop them into the facility fill those openings provide operational stability for as long as needed. And it’s not going to interfere with the ongoing hiring efforts at the plan. The other thing that I think are of interest to your audience is the way in which companies will use our services. And I’ll give you an example. I have a client who is a global manufacturer. They have plants all across the US and one of their plants in particular is in a state with very low unemployment. This is the third year we typically bring them about 120 manufacturing workers, we’re usually there around six to nine months, but we’re able to help them through their busy season and keep their production on schedule. Concurrent with that their supply chain executives will connect us with their suppliers located anywhere throughout the country. So for suppliers that have a backlog that aren’t getting the parts to the manufacturing plant will go in, bring the labor help them get caught up on that backlog, and ensure that those parts are moving from the supplier sites to the manufacturing plants while keeping their manufacturing plant on schedule.
Cathy Fisher: 03:43
That is so brilliant. And I can hear so many opportunities for our automotive manufacturers to leverage that type of labor pool. I think about organizations that are getting ready to launch a new vehicle or, you know, going through a startup around a new production line.
Yeah, that’s another use case. So for a company that’s putting up a new production line, and they want to start it but they can’t find the labor right away. We’ll come in, bring them the labor that they need, alleviate some of that hiring pressure, and stay for as long as needed until they’re able to hire full time workers.
Terry Onica: 04:17
What changes have you observed in the manufacturing talent market as a result of COVID?
Before the pandemic hit, almost all of the time that companies came to us for labor they were looking for skilled trades workers, so welders machinists, maintenance techs, positions that require a lot of skill and experience. The pandemic completely flipped that all the companies that started coming to us during the pandemic, were looking for unskilled manufacturing labor in large amounts. Everybody that called me was looking for 50 production workers. They were scrambling, they didn’t care about experience. They needed the humans in the factory, and we always provide people experience in different manufacturing and industrial settings. And I would say things are leveling out a little bit. So companies are still coming to us for high volumes of sort of lower skilled manufacturing labor, assemblers, machine operators, things like that. But they are also now asking for skilled trade.
Cathy Fisher: 05:13
What kind of demographic trends especially from a generational standpoint are you seeing in terms of manufacturing talent that’s available?
So I’ve done some research on this. What’s interesting is that millennials are not so much intrigued with manufacturing. So I am an elder millennial. And I don’t fall into this category. However, they tend to look at manufacturing as a little bit more antiquated, and not something that’s of interest. I feel like they’re more looking into tax and things like that. That’s all, you know, fancy, but they’re not really interested in manufacturing, Gen Z. However, they are digital natives. So they grew up with technology, technology is of interest to them. The changes that are happening in manufacturing and technology are interesting to them more so than millennials. When you’re trying to hire people, especially for the higher volume roles that are, you know, either entry level or a little bit unskilled, you want to be playing to what’s important to them. So millennials also sort of they want to understand about the cause and the impact that the company is having. So when it comes to your job ads, when it comes to what you’re posting on social media, when it comes to your jobs page, you want to understand what’s of interest to all these different categories, so that you can speak to that that’s going to help you attract the labor. If you’re unsure. The simple way to do it, in my opinion, is go to your employees, right? You can look to your employees and ask them, why they applied with your company, why they stay with your company. And we do employee satisfaction surveys, you can do stay interviews, and then leverage that information and translate that into your your content.
Cathy Fisher: 06:53
Michelle, I think one of the things that’s fascinating to me about your organization is that you’re able to supply the people who have specific talents specific competencies that organizations are really struggling to find in their own backyard. Tell us more about how your organization finds this talent, because it’s one thing to be able to provide the talent to your clients. But how are you finding these people.
So we find them in various ways. Of course, we use job boards and see we’re not limited by location. So we can place ads all across the country. And we can tap into all different parts of the country, it doesn’t matter, right, because we’re bringing the workers to the manufacturing plant. So that just opens up the possibilities. There’s no secret sauce magic wand that we wave, if you’re having some struggles finding a particular category of worker, we may have the same issue. But we don’t have the same geographical limitations. So we can find them and we have access to more of them. But we do creative things. So I actually have a Facebook group with about 17,000 job seekers and recruiters, I created it specific for our industry. It’s not just a company based group. And I’ve been able to attract a lot of people and build relationships with them in this group. I think in this talent market, you need to be creative, it’s important to try different things. What’s going to work for a small manufacturer in the Midwest might not work for a large manufacturer on one of the coasts. And so to be successful at finding talent, you need to try new things you need to keep up in terms of technology and onboarding. Technology is very important, especially for Gen Z and millennials in terms of the application process, the onboarding, and then of course, it works. So in our recruiters have been with us for a while. They know where to look, they know where they have success. So, it’s 30 years of doing this, we’ve gotten pretty good at it.
Terry Onica: 08:50
And our ebooks we talk about the need for training. As a part of our five step roadmap, we have so much disruption, lots of turnover. How do you manage training of these people that you provide to these plants?
The people that we’re placing are experienced in manufacturing. So they have had training at various sites. But it’s very important when you’re bringing in temporary workers like ours, that they go through your particular training process, because it’s going to be different from plant to plant. We want to make sure when we partner with an organization, that they have a solid plan to bring our employees and we acclimate very quickly because we are bringing experienced people into the plant, you want to make sure that they are being trained on the things that they need to know for your specific plant in your specific operations.
Cathy Fisher: 09:38
And I think it’s an important point, which you’re mentioning there, Michelle, that the talent that you’re bringing forward is proven talent, it’s experienced talent. So, along those lines, that begs the question about compensation. What do you find is the expectations of your your workers but also the expectations of your clients? When are they aligned? Or is there a big gap?
For this line of work, because we are hiring people, you know, we pay them well, there are some guarantees that help us entice personnel to come work with us on these temporary contract projects. We guarantee them over time, they’re guaranteed at least at least 60 hours per week, they can work more than that. But that is in part how we attract them to this line of work. Oftentimes, I have companies come to me, and they try to tell me what they pay their employees and their temp employees. And they think that that is how it works. These contractors, especially right now, are in high demand. So we have to pay them a premium to get them to come out. And so we sometimes, you know, have to take a look at those pay rates and see, you know, do we need to increase them. They’re also provided per diem to cover their meals, we coordinate hotels, and we take them in vans from the plant, from the hotel to the plants, and then back every day, we fly them there. So they don’t need to worry about driving. Some cases, people will drive, but a majority of the time we’re flying them there. And so when they understand the service that we’re providing the value that they’re going to get from bringing us in, they understand that there’s a premium associated with that it’s not going to be what they’re paying their employees or their local temps.
Cathy Fisher: 11:16
Yeah, Sign me up. Michele, that sounds like fun.
It is if you if your life is conducive to that, and you can travel and be away from home for two, four, six months at a time, it’s a fantastic opportunity. We’re providing opportunities for for people that may not have access to work with these types of companies. And so not only are we providing value to our clients, but we’re providing awesome opportunities to our employees.
Cathy Fisher: 11:40
Yeah, but just think about the resumes of these workers after just a couple of different assignments.
Terry Onica: 11:47
With the recent layoffs, we’re seeing, do you have any thoughts around going from this? We need a lot of people to all of a sudden, we need to right size, the organization? Are you seeing that at all yet?
Working with a staffing agency will enable you to hire people quickly and then downsize. So we do that pretty regularly. And often, it depends on the situation for which were brought into the plant. But oftentimes, we’re coming in, we’re getting them caught up, right, and then we’re working ourselves out of the job, and we’re decreasing slowly. It’s not an all or nothing, not everybody can take 150 people at once at their plant, that’s for sure. So we come in slowly, we build up, we stay there. And then we can, if necessary, cut down on that. So there was an article, I think it was from Newsweek that talked about it was an economist stating that he foresees this being more of a white collar recession than necessarily a blue collar recession. So as it relates to the people on the plant floor, I’m not seeing anything change in terms of the demand there.
Cathy Fisher: 12:48
I’m sitting here thinking to myself back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, where people had to be itinerant, they chased the work, right. And that’s kind of what’s happening here. But in a way that it’s they’re being facilitated and finding the work, and they’re not having to go travel halfway across the country, and hope that there’s a job when they get there that you’re actually providing that opportunity for them. That’s absolutely brilliant.
It’s nice. And we have a core group of workers who they like this line of work. They pick and choose the projects for a few years. So there’s a lot of opportunity for them right now. So they can say I want this one. I don’t want this one. This one sounds great. Let’s do it. It’s pretty simple. From their perspective, they show up at the airport. And that’s about it, they get to the job site. And you know, they have to work hard, they have to do a great job while they’re out there. They have to provide that value. So long as they’re working hard, and they’re doing their job. Well, the opportunities, at least as I see it now. And in the future. They’re kind of endless right now, so.
Jan Griffiths: 13:48
Michelle, what is the one thing, the one piece of advice that you would give to supply chain leaders out there today?
The one piece of advice would be to educate yourself that this service exists, a lot of people don’t understand that it exists. So if you’re having problems with your suppliers as a result of labor issues, educate yourself on that, get some information, share that internally, discuss different scenarios that have come up for which this might be a solution or different obstacles that may arise in the future. You want to be prepared, right? So if there’s one big takeaway from this pandemic, is that you need to be prepared for just about anything. And I think that that applies as well to staffing right. So you if you’re turning away business, if you are just sort of surviving your busy season at this point, consider different options. Know what’s out there and make sure that you know your organization is considering different things because you can’t keep doing the same thing you’ve always done, expecting different results.
Jan Griffiths: 14:59
Wow. Well said, Michele, thank you so much for your time today.
Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.
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