The manufacturing sector of the American economy and its difficulties in finding the most qualified employees was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Drs. Kristie Abston, an associate professor of management, and Sam Zaza, an assistant professor of information systems and analytics, first aired Oct. 5 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.
You can listen to their conversation via the SoundCloud link above.
In a study co-authored with Business and Economic Research Center Director Murat Arik, Abston and Zaza examined the reasons that manufacturing plants’ human resources departments are struggling to fill positions that require specific skill sets.
One of the more surprising findings was that compensation is not always sufficient to attract the combination of experience and education needed in an employee.
“Organizations need to look not just at benefits … to try to fill these positions,” Zaza said. “They need to go a different route of maybe offering training and opportunities to attract job applicants.”
Location proves to be a challenge in some cases, the professors found. Companies that are away from large cities are finding lack of qualifications, lack of motivation and disenchantment with the town or rural area where the plant is situated hamper their recruitment efforts.
Abston said, however, that small companies in urban areas encounter the same issues.
“That’s where the training and education pipeline are even more essential, because those organizations don’t have as much strength in terms of the labor market and the labor force,” Abston said. “They’re the ones that may have to get extra creative in looking at how we train and provide education to the employees we already have.”
The study was published earlier this year in the Global Journal of Accounting and Finance.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.