Manufacturers: What is the Key to Recruiting Fresh Talent?

Manufacturers: What is the Key to Recruiting Fresh Talent?

UK manufacturers are facing a skills shortage.

Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, has previously emphasised that the sector is struggling to find the right people with the right skills.

One of the issues is the perceptions potential employees have of manufacturing, as Adrian Waine, from Photography for Industry, points out.

“There’s a lack of technical skills among applicants because the perception among many people is that manufacturing is still about repetitive, manual tasks. What modern manufacturers need to do is more accurately convey the essence of their industry.”

What Does Modern Manufacturing Look Like?

According to Make UK, manufacturing in this country:

  • Employs 2.7 million people
  • Represents 69% of business research and development (R&D)
  • Provides 13% of business investment

The UK’s manufacturing strengths are especially concentrated in specialist technical areas of engineering and computing, but there is also room for plenty of growth in the manufacture of composites and automated technologies.

Increasingly, manufacturing is adopting and developing smart technology, and the data analytics that go with this. But the challenge to recruit a skilled workforce remains.

“One solution for manufacturers is to improve how they portray what they do, using industrial photography.”

The Benefits of Industrial Photography

The same care that a company takes in how it presents itself to its customers should apply to how it appeals to potential employees. It is all about brand building.

“As a visual medium, photography has the power to be immediately impactful.”

“Good industrial photography can evoke so much more than a simple visual documentation of objects and settings”

Adrian Waine, Photography for Industry

Manufacturing involves movement, for example, so capturing a sense of the dynamics involved in processes is essential in conveying the essence of what is going on.

“You can express a strong degree of authenticity but still make things look intriguing and attractive.” Many employers make the mistake of relying on stock imagery which has no personality. Don’t be afraid to be real. Your potential future talent is looking for employers that will stand out from the crowd.”

Value Added Imagery

In the search for greater exposure, many businesses, including manufacturers, rely on putting out press releases and public relations statements.

As with online searches, the most powerful results are those that are organic, or at least appear to be.

“If you are telling a story in the hope that the media will pick up on it, then a powerful image will do much of the leg work for you, adding inherent value because it already captures the drama of the story”

Adrian Waine, Photography for Industry

How does this work to support filling the manufacturing skills gap?

Today’s potential workforce wants to know more about an employer than simply the size of the salary they’re offering. They want to get a feel for what’s involved, what the business stands for,” Adrian concludes.

To discover how photography can you to attract the talent that you need, please call Photography for Industry on 0151 356 3855 or 07981 653512, or visit

Top image by Adrian Waine: Spray Painting Steelwork.  Shot commissioned by DuPont Personal Protection at Severfield plc, Thirsk