Talent Acquisition

Hiring to Support Rapid Expansion

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“We’re going to need 400 hires of varying skills and experience to be trained and ready to deploy in six months to run our new plant location in southern California—and by the way, we have never operated in this market, so company recognition may be a challenge.”

Sound familiar? If you’re a global TA or HR leader, I’m sure something similar has crossed your desk.

Timing is everything in the manufacturing industry. There are schedules for raw materials, process and packaging, shipping and of course, personnel. Recruiting talent for plant start-ups, expansions and product line launches under strict deadlines can be stressful for any organization. Add the ever-changing shift in talent needs, away from machining and tooling engineering and toward process controls and automation engineering, and today’s TA leaders are tasked with daunting challenges to meet business demands by delivering needed talent on schedule.

Discover how IBM Talent Acquisition Optimization can support your organization through a time of rapid growth and challenging hiring needs.


Three ways to win in a new market

IBM Talent Acquisition Optimization was tasked with a plant expansion for a newly acquired company. This location was based on the west coast and in a region where we previously had not operated, so we devised a three-part solution to find the talent the company needed.

Market Research. By the time our TA partners learned of the plant expansion, the clock had already started. As this was a new market for us, we requested market analysis and compensation reports from our IBM Sourcing Science team. We needed to be targeted in our approach to sourcing to hit the deadlines for production.

This information was immediately translated into sourcing strategies by our lead recruiters, who are embedded in the business with the client’s HR business partners and corporate TA leaders. It is their job to know the business needs, culture and unique or niche skills, and show the urgency in delivering candidate pools.

Our research gave us insight into key companies hiring for similar needs. These organizations provided us a target list to attract everything from skilled labor to engineers. Also, understanding the compensation demands of the market helped in budget planning and offer negotiation, as well as illuminating the need to look more regionally for talent to lessen the compensation burden for the business. Subsequently, it highlighted the need for relocation and other possible incentives upon hire.


Branding & Marketing. We shortlisted 10 target companies from which to search and five advertising markets in and out of state. Using our IBM Employment Branding (EB) services, we created a multifaceted marketing campaign to advertise in the target markets and cover the various personnel needed. Billboard and radio ads attracted associate and manufacturing line workers, and electronic ads were developed for engineers.

Our EB team developed email campaigns with infographic job descriptions that jumped off the page, using video and branded graphics in emails that received the needed traffic and response rate.

All of this fed our talent pools in two ways. The first call to action was to apply to the various positions available, and the second was to join the client’s talent community, maintained by our IBM recruitment team. If a prospect was interested in hearing more about the company, but was not yet willing to commit to an interview and selection process, joining the talent community was the right step.


Sourcing & Recruitment. Thanks to the quick deployment of both of our Sourcing Science and EB teams working in concert with each other, our dedicated client recruitment teams were able to focus their attentions on advanced sourcing and screening.

As specialists in our client’s business, we understood what the hiring managers were looking for and we delivered. In three months, we identified 890 interested candidates, representing a mix of direct and indirect labor. Over the next two months we conducted interviews, including on-site interviews and video calls. Offers were extend and large onboarding sessions were held within the final month, and we successfully supported the client’s expansion.


Stay on track

When manufacturers are in expansion mode, their hiring needs are critical. Many aspects of their business, such as filling POs and rolling out a new product on time, depend on having the right talent in the right places.

As we did for this client, IBM can deploy a variety of strategic solutions to meet your urgent hiring needs and keep your business imperatives on track.

recruiting in manufacturing

Talent Acquisition Executive

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