PIVOT: 2020 Recruiting for Manufacturing

UMP faces changes and challenges hiring during COVID-19 and beyond

UMP faces changes and challenges hiring during COVID-19 and beyondOctober is known as “Manufacturing Month”, where modern manufacturing careers are put in the spotlight. Companies and educational facilities provide tours to students, parents and teachers with the purpose of sparking interest in the 4 million-plus skilled and high paying manufacturing job vacancies expected to arise in the next decade.  That was pre-COVID-19.  This year has required a “pivot” on many fronts, especially for a mid-size company like UMP.  As the world has gone virtual, manufacturing companies such as UMP have had to stay hands-on, safe, and staffed – requiring a major re-think for recruiting.

HR ‘retools’ the process

Christina Balint, Corporate HR Manager for UMP, has seen a lot of changes in the way she recruits for her skilled trades positions. “Going past COVID,” she says, “there will be an increasing skills gap as the Boomer generation retires, taking their skills with them. We have the training capabilities, but a shortage of interested and invested candidates who have the vision of modern manufacturing.”

There are great opportunities now and in the future for creating a more diverse workforce – especially for women who may be a real instrument of change for our industry.

Christina has turned to social media, including Facebook and LinkedIn to attract the hardworking, disciplined individuals of GenX to help take the future of manufacturing to the next level. “Written correspondence and phone calls have given way to text messages and email. It’s a whole new world in HR, and we have to adapt to the tools needed to reach each generation where they live.”

Even the sales positions have changed this year. Doug Allen, Vice President of Sales for UMP, remarks on just how much the sales team has to “be more creative, and tech savvy as they are required to use conference call tools and social media where face-to-face opportunities have diminished. As a smaller manufacturer, we are better able to adapt and foster ongoing relationships with current and future clients whatever the environment.” 

He adds that UMP experienced a sharp pandemic decline in sales during March and April, but that there has been a rebound as they pivot their resources and tactics to deal with this new landscape and serve the customer. “UMP is right-sized for recovery in this pandemic, and the people who work here are limited only by their imaginations and their desire to be innovative when coming up with solutions to help satisfy our customers evolving needs.”

The “not so hidden” benefits of the UMP Family

‘Sometimes you wanna go – where everybody knows your name.’ This familiar theme song (well, for fans of “Cheers” anyway), conveys that a family atmosphere can be found in unconventional places. At UMP, the CEO knows your name because you are part of the family and it’s personal. What began as his family business, became a legacy carried on through his daughters.

“Everyone at UMP has the ability to make an impact,” says Ms. Balint. “Everyone has their own story, their own motivations, and knows that what they do here at UMP makes a difference.”  No two jobs are alike, and everyone has the opportunity to be creative in how they approach their daily job and career. At UMP you will learn multiple skills and have the opportunity to cross over between departments. (Oh, and they’ll know your name there too.)

Value beyond measure

UMP knows firsthand the investment they have in their employees, and wants to give them the support they need both professionally and personally. Our needs are for real, full time employees who not only enjoy competitive pay, but benefits that include medical, Life and Disability, 401k with match, training and growth opportunities.

Whether you are looking for positions in Sales, Tooling, Production, Engineering or Technology, you need to take a closer look at UMP. The common thread is creativity and innovation, because you are in a place where you are not limited by who or what you are – only by your imagination and the unique gifts you bring to the table.

Now I call that a pivot.

Universal Metal Products is a WBENC certified women owned business.


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