As the leader of your business we know you face employment challenges. In the meat processing industry even moreso. How do you find capable, willing participants to work in your “dirty” “dangerous” “low paying” plant, and when you find them how do you retain them?

In this post, we’ll highlight the three most common employment challenges you face in your meat processing facility and how to turn those challenges into opportunities. The top 3 challenges meat processing plants are facing regularly, three words – dirty, dangerous, underpaid. We bet you’ve heard them before. How do you turn these three words into opportunities? Read on.

“I don’t want to work there because it’s dirty.” You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. How can we rephrase?

  • Have a professional photographer photograph your facility at its prime under good lighting. Presenting the facility on your website, social media, and Google Ads well is key to busting this myth. Because yes, it will ‘get’ dirty but it always gets cleaned up. Presenting your meat processing facility in its cleaned up state will encourage applicants to apply purely based on looks. Would you buy a book with a dirty cover?
  • Tour the facility with potential hires before, during and after a shift. Allow the potential new hire to experience the position before accepting the job. This gives the new hire the opportunity to experience their new position at each stage of the process, so no sugar-coating here.

“That place is dangerous.” You’ve heard this before too. While the work at your processing plant may be dangerous, it is not unsafe.

  • Potential new hires will have the perception that because they will use blades, saws, and other dangerous equipment that your facility will be unsafe. This presents a unique opportunity to educate the new hires. Education and training are key elements to debunking the “danger” myth in a meat processing facility.
  • Present your potential new hires with your safety manual, detail how you will keep them safe during work, and how if (emphasis on IF) they do become injured how you will take care of them.

“The fast food joint down the road pays more than those guys.” Have you heard this one too?

  • Yes, your local fast food franchises might pay more than you do. They can do this because of corporate incentives. However, you have a unique opportunity to draw employees from these industries with phrases like “Do you have kitchen experience?” “Do you have knife skills?” “Have you operated a saw?” Although generic and seemingly uninteresting, questions like this get the wheels spinning in the heads of those looking to make more money based on the skills they have.
  • In order to compete in your local employment arena, you need to understand the salary market. Simple tools like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data can help you get your wages right. Increasing your wages just a smidge higher than your local fast food restaurants and a little more than the construction company hiring general laborers will bring potential new hires walking right through your front doors.

Additional Tips:

  • Work with a social media manager to develop a social media strategy targeting new hires. The SMM can help write your job postings, post them on social media, and get them seen by the masses in your area.
    Spend $$$ on Google Ads. According to Career Builder, 70% of job searches begin on Google which means if you’re not advertising, you’re missing the mark.

Though your meat processing plant will likely always experience employment challenges, there are ways to turn the challenges into opportunities.

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