Recruiting and hiring skilled production staff is key challenge for the visual communications industry – including wide-format providers. Looking to identify the trends, challenges, and actions wide-format print providers are taking to attract and retain workers Wide-format Impressions and NAPCO Research conducted a survey-based research study.
Key study objectives of the study were to identify the trends, challenges, and actions embraced by wide-format printers to attract and retain workers. Survey respondents represented various types of businesses including wide-format graphics/signage (44%), followed by screen printing (32%), industrial printing (19%), and textile printers (4%). In addition, respondents represented a variety of senior-level management positions.
The survey results reveal that companies are having a difficult time finding production staff with the necessary technical skills. More than half (56%) of respondents indicate their company’s biggest challenge is finding new production staff. Only 20% of survey participants report that they can quickly and easily find individuals with the technical knowledge, skills, and abilities that they need. Despite challenges in finding staff, only one-third of respondents have formal strategies in place to recruit and retain production employees.
Obstacles to Staffing
Respondents report several obstacles to finding and hiring staff, as shown below. The top three barriers to staffing are the strength of the general economy creating a competitive labor market, current compensation/wages offered are not attractive enough to job candidates, and a mismatch between the job’s requirements and applicant’s skills. While the state of the economy is beyond an organization's control, company executives can take action to overcome other key obstacles.
Methods for Attracting Staff
Respondents report they use a variety of methods to attract new staff, to varying degrees of success. Referrals, whether from other employees, trade associations, or personal networks are the most effective methods cited by wide-format print providers. Classified ads are still in use, with 75% reporting they are somewhat effective. Seventy-five percent also find veteran hiring programs effective. Social media, other than LinkedIn, was also considered at least somewhat effective by 89% of survey participants. Of those who use internships, 90% consider them to be effective recruiting tools. LinkedIn was viewed as being effective by 54% of providers, while 46% find it not very effective.
Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is essential for an operations long-term profitability and success. Download the full report (link to https://wideformatimpressions.tradepub.com/free/w_defa02/) to gain valuable insights into best practices for hiring and retaining workforce talent.
Lisa Cross is the principal analyst of NAPCO Research (a unit of NAPCO Media) where she conducts market research and analysis on emerging trends and changing dynamics in the commercial, in-plant and packaging industries, and the market forces that are driving those changes. With decades of experience covering the graphic arts and marketing industries, Cross has authored thousands of articles on a variety of topics, including technology trends, business strategy, sales, marketing and legislation.