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Digging into Data with Minnesota Manufacturers

The State of Manufacturing is an annual informational event conducted by Enterprise Minnesota, a business consulting organization that specializes in helping Minnesota manufacturers grow profitably.

Team Br8kthru attended this year’s “The State of Manufacturing” event on November 10 for in-person networking with leaders from the manufacturing industry located in both the Twin Cities metro and Greater Minnesota. The event was centered around findings from the organization’s 13th annual survey of Minnesota manufacturing executives, as well as a panel discussion amongst the group behind the survey. View the findings presentation along with panel participant bios here.

Uncovering Driving Forces Behind the Data

Two subjects within the survey results jump out and provide insights to think about when interacting with manufacturing companies.

Cybersecurity Is A Big Focus… For Those Who’ve Been Hacked

Of the 538 survey respondents, 84% indicated that their company has not been hacked or experienced a data breach of some kind, while 15% indicated that they had. Similarly, 84% indicated that they were confident that their company is secure from hacking, data breaches, and other technological threats while 14% indicated that they are not confident.

Cybersecurity is a big concern among those companies that have been hacked in the past, ranking it as their 5th highest concern.

Cybersecurity was ranked the lowest issue of concern among those companies that have not previously experienced a hack of some sort, with only 20% of them rating it as a high concern.

Attracting + Retaining Qualified Workers

Survey findings show a significant surge pertaining to this issue with 61% indicating that attracting qualified workers was of concern, up from 36% in 2020. 49% of respondents indicated that retaining qualified workers was a concern, up from 36% in 2020.

When asked how difficult they think it is to attract qualified candidates to manufacturers like theirs, 55% responded “very difficult”, while 32% responded “somewhat difficult, putting 87% of respondents within the “difficult” bucket.

When asked what they would say are the one or two biggest challenges their company is facing that might negatively impact future growth, 50% of respondents indicated that attracting and retaining a qualified workforce was their biggest challenge, ranking as the number one challenge identified. This is up from 32% in 2020.

Findings indicate that larger companies, such as 50+ employees and $5M+ in revenue, identify workforce challenges as something that might impact future growth more so than smaller companies.

Our Takeaway: Digital Ecosystems Support Hiring

While this event provided valuable insights into one of Br8kthru’s core verticals, the importance placed on attracting and retaining qualified workers warrants further discussion.

Digital strategies can be useful for assisting hiring managers with one of their most important challenges. Not only does this issue appear to be of concern to a majority of companies within the manufacturing industry, it is even more concerning to other industries like healthcare, education + even eCommerce.

As companies contemplate best strategies in attracting and retaining qualified workers, their websites and social media efforts will act as the key sources in communicating their values and why prospective employees would want to be part of their team. It is not enough for a company seeking talent to simply state that they are the “best”, it is imperative to highlight specific elements that make their company the best when telling their story across various channels.

If attracting and retaining employees is on your list, Br8kthru can help. We work with Clients to create a digital ecosystem that nurtures potential hires. Through the use of key messaging, multiple touchpoints, and activity reporting, we help marketing and HR teams put hiring issues to rest. Let’s talk.