Our Toronto executive recruitment team shares the latest insights, tips and tricks to help you hire the right leaders for the right opportunities.


Manufacturing recruitment trends to watch

Competency Interviews

In 2024, Canadian and U.S. manufacturing companies will continue to experience labour shortages.  

As most companies struggle to find skilled workers and leaders they will need to embrace new recruiting strategies and opportunities. 

To remain competitive and develop effective hiring practices and talent development strategies, manufacturing hiring managers must understand labour trends and stay up to date on key trends in manufacturing recruitment.

Our recruiting team works extensively across numerous industries, including in-depth work in recruiting manufacturing roles for companies of all sizes. Here are our team’s emerging trends in manufacturing recruiting to watch in 2024.

Continuing labour shortages 

85% of manufacturing companies are experiencing challenges filling open roles, both skilled and leadership positions. Some of the main reasons driving the shortages include an aging workforce and a mismatch of skills and talent. 

The average manufacturing worker is 55 or older, which is much older than the average Canadian worker. Many of these workers are nearing retirement age. This means that manufacturing hiring managers must develop recruitment strategies to deal with labour shortages and attract a new generation of manufacturing leaders while also navigating growing retirement rates.Some of these strategies include upskilling and reskilling, mentorship programs and wage and benefit incentives to attract talent. 

Expanding the talent pool 

The manufacturing industry in Canada must think outside the box regarding their recruitment strategies.  To expand their talent pool, hiring managers in manufacturing companies can focus recruitment efforts on women, immigrants and candidates with transferable skills. 

Historically, women have been underrepresented in the manufacturing sector. By actively targeting and recruiting female candidates, companies can tap into a diverse pool of talent with unique perspectives and valuable skills. Initiatives such as targeted outreach programs, partnerships with educational institutions, and mentorship opportunities can help attract and retain women in manufacturing roles. 

Similarly, immigrants represent a rich source of talent for the manufacturing industry. Canada's diverse population offers a wealth of skills and experiences that can contribute to the success of manufacturing companies. By actively recruiting immigrants and leveraging their diverse backgrounds, companies can enhance innovation, creativity, and global perspective within their organizations. Providing language and cultural support, as well as recognizing foreign credentials and experience, can facilitate the integration of immigrant talent into the manufacturing industry.

Additionally, focusing on candidates with transferable skills can help manufacturing companies address skill shortages and fill critical roles. Many individuals possess relevant skills and experience from other industries that can be applied to manufacturing roles with proper training and support. By casting a wider net and considering candidates from diverse backgrounds, companies can identify hidden talent and bring fresh perspectives to their teams. Transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability are highly valuable in the fast-paced and dynamic environment of manufacturing.

Automation and technology 

AI and digital technologies are transforming every industry, and this includes manufacturing. The increasing integration of automation and industry 4.0 technologies in manufacturing technology will create a faster, safer and more cost-effective manufacturing process.  Manufacturing companies will use AI to improve all aspects of the factory floor from inventory management to supply chain visibility. 

All of these technologies will increase the need and high demand for manufacturing talent and leadership skilled in robotics, programming, and operating advanced machinery.

Manufacturers should evolve and enhance their talent strategies now to target technically advanced and high-potential candidates.  They should also invest in upskilling and reskilling to help current workers succeed in a technology-heavy workplace.

The landscape of manufacturing recruitment in Canada is undergoing a profound transformation. By embracing these trends and adapting to the evolving needs of the workforce, manufacturing companies can position themselves for success in an increasingly competitive recruitment marketplace.

Not sure where to start? We can help.

At South End Partners, our Toronto executive recruiters work with large and small organizations across industries (from technology, to manufacturing and supply chain, to sales and operations) to help them find the right leaders for the right opportunities using an objective, data driven approach.

We also provide comprehensive HR consulting services including onboarding support, interview coaching and training, and strategies to develop your superstar teams.

Reach out to find out how we can help you today!