Running a manufacturing company in South Africa can be challenging, especially when building a workforce using outdated staffing solutions. Some studies show that many companies’ labour productivity has either significantly reduced or remained flat for a number of decades, which has them seeking the most impactful ways to stay competitive.
Outsourced staffing solutions can significantly reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase flexibility in your manufacturing company. But with so many options available, how do you identify and implement the best solution for your business? This article will discuss the staffing solutions available to South African manufacturers and how to maximise them for success in this industry.
Staffing challenges for manufacturing companies
It’s no secret that the manufacturing landscape in South Africa has changed dramatically in recent years. There are several challenges that companies in the manufacturing sector face regarding staffing:
- Many companies in South Africa are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, including those in the manufacturing industry, where layoffs have become commonplace.
- Loadshedding is getting worse, a significant issue in an industry where unpredictable power outages can significantly disrupt production.
- The high labour cost has made it challenging to find qualified staff, especially since many candidates are reluctant to relocate or work long hours for lower pay.
- Because of the skills gap, it’s hard for many companies to find workers with the specialised skills they need to run complicated equipment or make high-quality goods.
- Because manufacturing work is often seasonal, it’s hard for companies to keep workers because people tend to move on to other jobs when production slows down.
- The volatility of the Rand has made it difficult for companies to budget for staffing costs, as they often fluctuate from month to month.
Ultimately, businesses must find creative solutions to overcome these challenges while at the same time looking for innovative ways to attract and retain workers.
Benefits of staffing solutions for manufacturing companies
Attracting and retaining optimal staffing levels presents a unique challenge for companies in South Africa. Outsourced staffing solutions offer these companies several advantages.
Broader talent pool
Working with a staffing agency allows you to tap into a large talent pool and find the best candidates for your specific needs. They can cast a wide net and identify candidates with the correct skill set, experience and qualifications that match your company’s needs.
Improved quality of hire
Working with a staffing agency enables you to be more selective and efficient in finding qualified individuals for open positions. This level of recruitment yields a higher quality of hire because staffing agencies are experts in the field and know what to look for in terms of talent and experience. Quality of hire is a critical recruitment metric to track for companies today.
Access to skilled professionals
Working with a staffing agency also grants you access to more qualified professionals than you might find if you relied solely on your own recruitment efforts. Whether you’re looking for someone with a highly specialised skill set or just a general understanding of your industry, staffing agencies have the resources to find and screen potential candidates that you might need help locating.
Outsourced staffing solutions are typically on a temporary basis, which offers multiple cost-saving opportunities. You don’t have to worry about benefits, payroll, or training costs, and you can reduce overhead expenses by outsourcing non-core functions. Established staffing agencies will also cover legal costs to a certain extent, helping to minimise any potential financial and legal risks associated with the staff outsourcing process.
Often, outsourcing staffing solutions provide the flexibility to use professionals on an on-demand basis, making it easier to quickly scale up or down depending on your organisation’s changing needs (i.e. during peak season). This also adds to the cost-saving opportunity, as you don’t have to pay employees for periods when there is no work or worry about the cost associated with layoffs.
Compliance with labour laws
Reputable staffing agencies in South Africa are well-versed in labour law and other employment regulations, meaning that you can access the qualified and experienced personnel you need without worrying about potential liabilities.
How to select the right partner for staffing solutions
Finding the right professional services staffing agency for your manufacturing company in South Africa can be overwhelming. To make the process easier, consider these four steps:
Analyse your needs
Take a deeper look at your company’s needs and what types of job roles you need to fill. This will help you target specific staffing agencies that specialise in areas your business requires, such as experienced engineers, specialised technicians, or general labour workers.
Do your research
Find and shortlist local agencies with a track record of successful placements in the manufacturing sector that match your immediate and long-term staffing needs. You can also check agency websites and online reviews to find other people’s experiences with different agencies. The internet can be a great source of information to help you make an informed decision.
Get in touch with the agencies and discuss how they work, how they plan to source suitable candidates, their fees, including what steps they’ll take throughout the hiring process. This will also give you an idea of their professionalism as well as how well they understand your business’s needs and industry trends.
Any staff outsourcing partnership aims to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between the company, the agency and the staff. It is vital to do your due diligence before engaging a staffing agency to ensure that you have found the right match for your business.
More tips for maximising staffing solutions
Partnering with the right staffing agency is only the first step in hiring the best workers for your manufacturing company. Here are a few tips you can implement to maximise your staffing solutions and increase the chances of success with the outsourcing process:
Create detailed job descriptions
Create a comprehensive job description and be precise with what you expect from potential employees. Even if you find the most highly qualified candidates from the best staffing agencies, they will only improve overall efficiency if their skills match your company’s requirements. Therefore, creating a detailed job description for every position is essential so that you know exactly who to hire and how long they will be working for you.
Work on your employer brand
As a company in the manufacturing industry, it is crucial to establish a strong employer brand to attract the best candidates. The most skilled professionals are in high demand and will only choose to work with a company they can trust. Managing your employer brand is about creating and sustaining a positive image of your organisation as an employer. There are a few ways you can do this, such as:
- Regularly engaging with the local community
- Maintaining solid relationships with customers and suppliers
- Investing in employee training and development opportunities
- Being transparent about your policies and procedures
- Cultivating a positive and rewarding culture within your workplace
Build a strong partnership with your staffing agency
Try to establish a long-term partnership with your chosen staffing solution provider. Doing this means they will understand your business needs better and can provide quality personnel quickly to meet those demands. This on-demand service is essential in today’s manufacturing sector, where market conditions can change rapidly due to economic conditions, customer demands, and technological advances.
Building, growing and maintaining a profitable manufacturing company in South Africa’s turbulent economy can be a more fulfilling venture for businesses prioritising their staffing solutions. The right staffing solutions can help companies navigate the various industry challenges to ensure long-term success, allowing them to establish a competitive edge in an increasingly unpredictable market.
Outsourcing to a reputable staffing agency can also provide an efficient and cost-effective way to access reliable workers when they are needed most, without compromising on quality. MASA is one of the leading staffing agencies in South Africa, delivering comprehensive staffing solutions to companies in the manufacturing industry and beyond.
We understand that companies have unique staffing needs, and MASA is committed to offering tailor-made solutions to meet each client’s requirements. Our staffing services provide employers with the flexibility to respond quickly and proactively to the changing needs of their business, ensuring that the right people are in place when needed.
Contact MASA to discuss how we can help you create a bespoke staffing solution that meets your needs and adds value to your manufacturing business.