A strong employer brand is a medical device manufacturer’s secret weapon for winning the war for talent.
Remember the good old days? I do. I started my first job 25 years ago. I worked in inside sales and marketing for a family-owned manufacturing company in Metro Detroit. This was back in the 1990s. If we needed a new employee, we would follow a simple four-part strategy:
- Ask someone else at the company if they knew anyone. That did the trick most of the time.
- If that didn’t work, we would post a job on Monster.com. That was considered innovative back then.
- If all that didn’t get us the person we needed, we might call a headhunter, but that was expensive, so we did not do that very often.
- We might put a sign in front of our shop too.
If we did some or all of that, we would have candidates lining up at our door, and we would have our pick of great employees. Our parking lots would be overflowing with people eager to come to work. Now, those days are long gone.
In June 1979, manufacturing employment reached an all-time peak of 19.6 million, and manufacturing represented 22% of total nonfarm employment. That share had fallen to 8.2% today, with medical device manufacturing accounting for 101,679 employees in the US in 2023, according to IBISWorld. The change in skills for these jobs, along with import competition and automation, have contributed to the decline of the employment rate for manufacturing.
More than 19 million US workers (and counting) have quit their jobs since April 2021, a record pace disrupting businesses everywhere. Companies are struggling to address the problem, and many will continue to struggle for one simple reason—they don’t really understand why their employees are leaving in the first place.
The problem is the good old days were not so good for everyone. The paradigm has shifted, and employees have the power nowadays. The same old approach to recruiting is not working. Companies need to get creative to attract the right type of employees.
A strong employer brand is your secret weapon in the War For Talent. Advance Recruitment found that 83% of employers say employer branding makes a significant difference to their ability to hire talent. The beauty of it is your employer brand can be different from your competition. In today’s hiring market, if you play your cards right, everyone can win – your company, employees, and even the other companies competing for the same talent.
Challenges Facing Medical Device Manufacturers
In addition to staying on top of regulatory requirements, keeping up with technology, and demanding quality standards, talent attraction is a major challenge facing medical device manufacturers today. The issue is multifaceted.
1. Finding qualified personnel — With the growing demand for medical products, manufacturers are struggling to find qualified personnel to fill open positions. Many medical device manufacturers require specialized knowledge and experience, making it difficult to find the right candidates.
2. Retaining employees — Retaining employees can be a challenge for med device companies, as turnover rates for medical staff can be high due to the often-stressful nature of the job. One study found that 6.5 million healthcare professionals will permanently leave their positions by 2026, with only 1.9 million will step in to replace them. Medical device manufacturers must look for ways to incentivize staff to stay and create a positive work environment to retain their best employees.
3. Cost control — Medical manufacturers must balance their hiring budget with the cost of providing competitive salaries and benefits. They need to find ways to control labor costs without sacrificing quality or customer service.
4. Compliance — Companies must ensure that all of its employees are compliant with all relevant health and safety regulations. This can be a challenge as new regulations are constantly being implemented. Manufacturers must stay up to date on all changes in order to remain compliant.
What Is Employer Brand
Amazon's Jeff Bezos famously said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re on in the room.”
A brand is visual (logos, colors, design) and non-visual (how your company is talked about). The brand is also both internal and external. A brand is not just for marketing; it applies to how employees and job candidates view a company as well.
An employer brand is the sum of the visual and non-visual aspects of a company that gives individuals a reason to believe in an organization and dedicate their careers to fulfilling its mission.
Reasons To Run an Employer Branding Campaign
Employer branding is an important tool for medical device manufacturers to enhance their talent acquisition marketing efforts. It is a great way to attract and retain qualified workers while also creating a positive image of the company and its values. Let’s take a deeper look at what medical device manufacturers need to know about employer branding, including why it's important, how to create an employer brand, and tips for successful employer branding strategies.
1. Attract top talent — An employer branding campaign helps to attract candidates who are looking for a positive work environment, competitive pay, and meaningful work.
2. Retain employees — A well-crafted employer branding campaign can help to create a sense of loyalty and pride in the organization, which helps reduce turnover and retain employees.
3. Improve customer experience — A strong employer brand improves customer experience because employees are more likely to be engaged and motivated to provide a better customer experience when they have a positive relationship with their employer.
4. Enhance reputation — A positive employer brand enhances the reputation of the company and its products, which is beneficial in the medical device industry.5
5. Increase market share — Lastly, a strong employer branding campaign can help to spread the word about the company and its products, which contributes to increasing market share.
A Measurable Return on Investment
When done correctly, employer branding will increase employee satisfaction and engagement with the company, improve employee retention rates, and help attract more qualified job applicants. Furthermore, employer brand messaging can help reiterate your core values as a company and reinforce your mission statement.
Harvard Business Review found that brands with poor company branding pay 10% higher salaries. A LinkedIn study found that a strong employer brand leads to a 28% reduction in turnover and a 50% reduction in cost per hire.
An effective employer branding campaign also has a financial benefit. According to RecruiterBox, the average cost-per-hire in the manufacturing industry is $5,159. By comparison, a well-run employer branding campaign can reduce that cost to $500-$1,000 per applicant. After a campaign is up and running, the cost can be as low as $20-$30 per applicant, depending on the tactics used.
Finding Your Why
According to McKinsey, employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. In fact, 70% percent of employees say their sense of purpose is defined by their work. Companies that have a clear reason for being appeal to employees who share their values.
The first step is getting everyone at the company on the same page about the company’s purpose. That means bringing leadership, operations, human resources, and marketing together to define the company’s “Why.”
Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” exercise is a great way to do this. His process helps teams articulate the reason organizations exist and helps businesses highlight their unique culture. A Why statement is at the heart of your brand. It’s your driving force. Your passion. A compelling Why has nothing to do with What you do and everything to do with Why you get up in the morning. This is a critical element in creating a lasting employer brand.
Medical manufacturers' products promote health, save lives, and help people live longer. This is a compelling cause for many job seekers. By telling your story and speaking about why you exist, you can attract the right type of employees and get more qualified candidates.
Case Study: Motion Dynamics Corporation, Fruitport, Michigan
Medical device manufacturing company employer branding campaign.
Motion Dynamics produces some of the most innovative custom micro springs, medical coils, and wire components in the world. The company was growing and having difficulty recruiting and retaining quality employees.
Working with an outside marketing agency, Motion Dynamics created an employee branding campaign that included billboards, digital ads, social media posts, and a series of internal communications tools to attract new employees. They also made it easier for candidates to apply by updating the application process and careers section of their website.
The first year of the campaign resulted in 70 new hires.
"We’ve always tried to fly under the radar. We were a small company. Our marketing was truthfully at $0 for a long time. We didn’t do social media campaigns, billboards, or anything like that. We were overwhelmed with how successful this campaign has been right off the bat. The amount of applications that we see coming in through our website far exceeds anything that we’ve been able to generate on our own before." said Richard Witham, Technical Sales & Customer Service at Motion Dynamics.
Employer branding is not something that is done. It's something that you do. Branding is not just for sales anymore. It is at the heart of your hiring efforts. Share your unique culture with the world, and you will be amazed by the results.
An excerpt from this article was published on Medical Products Outsourcing.