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We’ve noticed a common concern with manufacturing clients when it comes to recruiting new talent, even before the turbulent workforce shifts in the last couple of years. In an increasingly competitive job market, how can they reach the right prospects and communicate the value of a career in manufacturing?

Using two projects for clients in the manufacturing sector as examples, we'll examine some ways that your website could become a more effective hiring tool.

Project Shift

The Project Shift initiative was developed by the Automotive Technician Collaboration (ATC), a group of 10 auto OEMs looking to help high school grads and other job-seekers find high-tech, in-demand work in the industry. The idea is that investing in improving the perceptions of future workers while they’re still determining their post-high school path will continue to grow the employment pipeline years down the road.

We worked with ATC to develop a name, brand, website, video and media plan to support their efforts.

Shift perceptions about the industry

We’ve learned how important it is to confront stereotypes and change expectations about what careers in manufacturing can be. Today’s students are looking for more, because the whole world is open to them in ways it wasn’t even 10 years ago. Aligning with STEM, showcasing inclusivity, and presenting opportunities for advancement and training can help companies reach this new generation of workers and change some of their potentially outdated perceptions about manufacturing.

For this branding project, we explored name options that would appeal to students and communicate the opportunity they can find in this industry. We landed on Project Shift for the obvious connection to driving, but also prompting a shift in expectations in the primary audience of future job-seekers.

Tell real stories

Part of the reason some job-seekers have outdated perceptions is they just haven’t been exposed to the reality of modern manufacturing careers.

Showcasing real employees on your website is an easy way to communicate the truth of what it’s like to work in manufacturing today. The Project Shift homepage features stories of real automotive technicians who talk about their backgrounds and describe what a typical workday is for them.

We were also able to make a strong case for this career through looking at the numbers. We used an animated video to bring data to life about salaries, advancement opportunities, and comparing technical training to a traditional 4-year degree. This video is housed on their website and also broken into smaller chapters to be used in digital ads. Learn more about our digital campaign for Project Shift.

Student select


Tailor messages for the right audience

Effective websites are designed to let each audience find what they’re looking for. In this case, this was prospective job seekers (students) and their parents or teachers. We created different content experiences for these different groups, so they could easily see content and find resources that are tailored to them.

Logo for Project Shift animates onto a dark background

More on Project Shift

Take a deeper look behind the scenes of our Webby-nominated work for Project Shift, including a custom Craft CMS site in tandem with naming, logo development, and campaign video production.

SMC Packaging Group

Another recent project was a website and digital brand refresh for SMC Packaging Group, a corrugated box manufacturer that recently celebrated 50 years in business.

Early in our planning process with SMC, we learned that recruitment was a priority along with training for current employees. With a large percentage of their workforce looking toward retirement in coming years, training the next generation of employees is a priority.

They also see the importance of changing mindsets about manufacturing for prospective job seekers. From top-notch technology and design capabilities, to a thriving and caring culture, SMC has a convincing story to tell. We helped them do just that through a new website.

SMC Cares


Bringing community involvement forward

Many employees want to know what impact their company is having on the community and the world. Sustainable business practices and investing in the community as a company and on an individual level are important parts of SMC culture, so much so that they’ve branded their community initiatives. We built a section into their new site that showcases SMC Cares, along with one central location to tell their sustainability story.

Learn from industry benchmarks

In our website planning phase, we looked at aspirational peers outside of SMC’s geographic area and industry segment. Through this exploration we noticed several best practices:

  • Feature the purpose, experience and opportunity of working there—beyond the expected PTO and healthcare benefits

  • Bring your culture forward and show the kind of welcoming group you’d want to join

  • Use real employee profiles to show range of experience and job types while putting a human face on the company

  • Highlight opportunities for different career stages: from students and grads to experienced professionals

  • Relate careers to tech innovation, sustainability, and real-world problem solving to show relevance to potential hires

Looking for a partner to help boost your hiring efforts through your website?

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