MSI Recruiting

MSI Recruiting | Florida Hiring Professionals and Staffing Agency

Is your manufacturing company facing a talent shortage? Be prepared to rethink your approach to recruitment in the near future. 

A recent study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, revealed that 77% of manufacturers say they are experiencing ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining workers in 2021 and beyond. 

This statistic underscores the pressing need for manufacturing companies to adopt a better company culture that not only attracts fresh talent, but maintains job satisfaction year-round. 

Below, we will delve into expert insights and effective strategies to help manufacturing companies attract, engage, and retain the growing workforce — Gen Z and Millennials. 

What are Millennials and Gen Z looking for in a company?

In order to grasp the ambitions of the emerging workforce, it’s important to understand their preferences and priorities. Millennials, individuals born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, and Gen Z, individuals born from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s, seek more than just a paycheck from their employers. They crave a workplace that aligns with their values, offers growth opportunities, and fosters a sense of purpose. 

For the manufacturing industry, specifically, this means building a workplace culture that values innovation, sustainability, and meaningful contributions to society. Millennials and Gen Z in manufacturing roles aspire to work for companies that prioritize environmental responsibility, technological advancement, and social impact. 

Additionally, they seek a supportive environment that encourages continuous learning and development, aligning with their desire for a dynamic and purpose-driven career. The manufacturing sector, embracing these values, can attract and retain top talent from the younger generations, contributing to both individual success and industry innovation.

How to attract the Millennial and Gen Z workforce?

According to Monster, there are seven main criteria that determine effective hiring in today’s workplace landscape:

Social media recruitment

Both generations are accustomed to using social media as a primary means of communication and information-sharing. Therefore, incorporating social media recruitment strategies is crucial in aligning with the communication channels that resonate with Millennials and Gen Z. 

From showcasing company culture on platforms like Instagram to utilizing LinkedIn for professional networking, a social media presence not only enhances the employer brand but also provides a direct channel to connect with the digital-native workforce.

Application processes

Gen Z candidates exhibit a preference for streamlined and mobile-friendly application processes. Having grown up in the smartphone era, they are less tolerant of lengthy online application forms that are not optimized for mobile devices. On the other hand, millennials, while adept at both new and traditional communication methods, may display more patience, particularly for higher-level positions, when faced with lengthier hiring processes.

In general, when recruiting millennials and Gen Z, employers must prioritize the candidate experience, recognizing that both generations closely evaluate the hiring process as a reflection of the overall workplace environment. Unlike hiring practices observed in the past, which were common for baby boomers and Gen X, the younger workforce values efficiency and a more user-friendly approach to the application process.


For younger workers, particularly Gen Z, a higher salary stands out as the primary motivator for job switches. While millennials also value competitive salaries, they place a greater emphasis on fairness and equity in compensation. Millennials are skilled at researching their market value, using salary tools that consider factors like geographic area and job title. Employers are advised to ensure their salary ranges align, or slightly exceed, industry standards.

Transparency is key for both generations in matters of compensation. Misleading information about compensation policies or offering significantly disparate wages and benefits for individuals with similar roles and tenure can lead to disillusionment and prompt them to explore alternative employment options.

Opportunities for growth

Unlike the traditional model of spending decades with a single employer, millennials are looking for workplaces that provide avenues for rapid skill acquisition, frequent advancement, and exposure to various facets of the industry. Employers who recognize and actively promote such opportunities for growth will attract and retain top talent from this forward-thinking generation.

Gen Z, on the other hand, demonstrates a nuanced approach to employment stability, especially considering their entry into the workforce during a global pandemic. While they share the desire for continuous learning and career development, this generation may initially prioritize stable employment opportunities that offer a sense of security. 

Work-life balance

The days of extensive overtime and minimal benefits are becoming relics of the past as millennials and Gen Z increasingly prioritize work-life balance. This shift in perspective underscores a desire for a healthy integration of professional and personal life. 

Manufacturing employers that champion flexible schedules or even remote work options will resonate with these generations. A global survey by Adobe, found that 74% of Gen Z employees and 78% of Millennials would switch jobs for a better work life balance. 


The digital generations perceive teamwork opportunities as a dual-edged sword. Millennials, known for their collaborative spirit, often excel in team environments, leveraging collective strengths to achieve common goals. For instance, in the manufacturing setting, a team of Millennial engineers might collaborate seamlessly on designing and implementing innovative production processes.

Conversely, Gen Z individuals tend to lean towards autonomous work, preferring independence and self-reliance in their tasks. This may translate to a Gen Z technician working with a high level of autonomy to troubleshoot and optimize machinery. Ultimately, 

depending on your workplace environment, understanding and balancing these contrasting preferences can enhance overall team productivity and satisfaction.  

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion 

According to Forbes, Gen Z is the most diverse group to enter the workforce and strongly values inclusivity and representation. Any employer who aims to attract and retain talent from Gen Z must prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. This involves creating a workplace culture that not only acknowledges individual differences but actively embraces them.

A Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute study also found that “diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives exert a growing influence on workforce trends and can help manufacturers fill these empty jobs”. Meaning, fostering diversity can be a gamechanger in ensuring your company fills the growing skill gap in the next decade.  

Why is company culture important to Gen Z?

Company culture is crucial to Gen Z and Millennials as it is one of the biggest influencers of their decision-making process, apart from compensation and remote work. Organizations that prioritize modern values, professional development, inclusivity, flexibility, innovation, and a positive work environment will immediately separate themselves from the pack

Not to mention, as the manufacturing sector evolves, so does the importance of cultivating a culture that resonates with the new workforce. With the future of manufacturing pivoting towards AI and automation, a new wave of job skills is in demand. Gen Z will be tasked with filling these technically-advanced roles.  

As a result, employers must find ways to adapt company culture to meet Gen Z and Millennials expectations. 

How Gen Z will impact your workplace

Both Gen Z and Millennials are ambitious and career-driven individuals but don’t necessarily want to “live to work” like generations past. Instead, they want to pursue a career that allows them to achieve their professional goals without compromising their personal well-being. 

While some employers may view this mindset as a challenge, there is no choice but to embrace the shifting workforce, and reevaluate the traditional work models that became customary during the Baby Boomer era. 

Ultimately, a Gen Z workforce introduces a wealth of digital skills and perspectives. Their innate technological proficiency and collaborative approach in virtual spaces can contribute to the technological innovation within the manufacturing industry that’s already taking place.

Contact us

At MSI Recruiting, we recognize the importance of staying ahead of the curve in talent acquisition. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you build a workforce that not only meets the demands of today but is also prepared for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. Reach out to us at or call (561) 314-7170 to start a conversation about how you can position your manufacturing company for success in 2024!

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