In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast we're talking to Patrick O'Rahilly, Founder of FactoryFix about "The Tight Manufacturing Labor Market and Solutions to Succeed". Get the answers to your "Manufacturing Labor Market" questions along with Patrick's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!
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Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go. Alright, welcome
to the industrial talk podcast. It is a great day to be in industry. This is a no legacy thinking zone right now, you always ask the question, What if and Why not? Because your industry heroes, you are bold, you are brave. You dare greatly. You're changing lives. you're solving problems, and you're changing the world. Why not? You guys are absolutely wonderful. Thank you very much for joining the podcast. in the hot seat in the industrial talk hot seat, we got a gentleman by the name of Patrick O’Rahilly. He is the founder of FactoryFix. Pretty cool name, quite frankly. And you know what they're doing? They're doing a lot of stuff and trying to match up labor, the tough labor market. How do you leverage technology to help manufacturers succeed, matching up important, critical people with the needs of the manufacturer? That's what we're talking about. He's solving problems. FactoryFixed team is solving problems. Let's get cracking.
you're looking at somebody like, Patrick. He said, hey, what if? Why not? He's asking that question in a big way. Before we get in the interview, you know what I got to do take care of little business. All right. paper and pencil once again, this is October 5 through the seventh. This is this year 2021. This is the IoT solutions World Congress, it's in the beautiful town of Barcelona. And I'm telling you, they're going to be talking a lot about IoT AI and everything that's industrial for dot o from the best of the best, great organization, IoT solutions, World Congress, as well as the industrial internet Consortium, both organizations dedicated to your success. Let's get back to normal. The other one is the manufacturing and technology show. This is in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio, which is a great place to be. This is November 9 through the 11th. It is talking all about manufacturing solutions. I'm looking at my dog on screen here, it's on the website, it's going to be out on industrial talk.com the home page. Got it. We just got to do everything we can we've got to think about getting back to normal. And events like the manufacturing technology show, November 9 to the 11th. Boom, great opportunity for you know, getting back to normal or whatever that next normal is we've got to keep moving. We got to keep pressing forward with a sense of tenacity, and speed. All right. Again, Patrick O’Rahilly founder FactoryFix in the hot seat, we're going to be talking about manufacturing labor market. Yep. skills gap. Absolutely. And recruiting and hiring had a great conversation with an individual pro today. And we're just talking once again, about that skill gap out there. We need people to fulfill these manufacturing jobs we need. And it's these are sophisticated jobs that need to be filled. We've got to do a better job at getting that message out. It's an exciting time. Let's get the people out there working.
Enjoy the conversation with Patrick O’Rahilly. Patrick, welcome to the industrial talk podcast. Thank you very much for joining this prestigious platform that features wonderful heroes all across industries. about that. I try to add on
top that, Patrick, it's an honor to be here.
For the listeners out there, give us a little 411 on who you are.
Yeah, so I am the founder of a company called FactoryFix and what FactoryFixes we're a manufacturing hiring platform. So essentially, we have a big online community of manufacturing workers. And we built some like really cool technology to match it to the right ones. And then we'll also vet out all of the applicants, so you're only dealing with the good fits for your specific company and job.
I have to ask it, how is it different than some of the other sites that are out there that sort of do something similar where I'm trying to match? You're a matchmaker of companies and individuals. How does yours differ from that?
Yeah, I mean, so when you're talking about like, you know, the LinkedIn or the world or Craigslist or indeed you know, one, we're 100% focused on manufacturing. So the people we're recruiting your network are, you know, everyone from you know, welders, machinists, maintenance mechanics, you know, electricians, even up until the higher skilled roles, you know, some of the automation technicians, robot programmers, you know, neutrals engineers. So that's that's one the focus there, but we're going deeper on each workers profile than a, you know, General job board would, you know, we're finding out if you're a machinist, for example, you know, do you work on Mills or lathes or, you know, grinding machines, even down to the brand level, if you worked on classes or amaze acts, that sort of thing. And, you know, when you as a, as an employer signs up, we do this onboarding process with you to find out what machines and technologies are you using in your facility? Right? Like, what what types of CNC machines do you have? And that enables us to make better matches and send you people that in theory will hit the ground running and be valuable from day one.
I like that. And I like that focus, because there I think your your analogy of CNC is a great example. There are a ton of CNC machines out there. And and with that inventory of CNC machines, there's a ways of using them. And if you're a better skilled at amaze, Zack versus another type of brand boom. Yeah, and I think and you're right, the other platforms that provide solutions, like you're talking about, don't go into that level of detail. By no means. No, no. So me as a an employer, I like that. Why wouldn't I like that?
Yeah, no, I mean, look, I think, not only do we have our own network, but those other networks, their partners of ours, too. So when you as a company, you post a job on FactoryFix. You know, we're also sending, you know, feeds to those other networks as well. And, you know, we just want to be like this turnkey package, almost like a talent department, you know, as a service. So that, you know, instead of having to hire a bunch of people internally, are having to post all these individual job boards, you have one source, and, you know, we can get it all done for you.
Yeah, not like that. That's a that's a neat pain relief for the topic that we're going to be talking about, because I think what we've known and I think it's out in the news, that there's a really tight labor market. And they'd be able to have that tight labor market and then match the skills, there's a skills gap. Are we doing a good job? And and I think that that's going to be a great topic to talk about. Let's talk a little bit about that problem. What are we seeing out there in the marketplace today from a manufacturing perspective? and labor?
Yeah, I mean, it's beyond tight. Like, it's, it's as bad as like I've ever seen it. And not only it's not just confined to manufacturing, either of you look at any industry, frankly, I mean, you just look at like McDonald's and Chipotle, they just had to raise their minimum wage to attract people. But manufacturers have this unique problem to where, you know, they can't provide some of this, like hybrid flexibility work from home stuff, right. So there's an inherent like disadvantage of attracting talent, especially for like, some of the more entry level positions, you know, you don't have some of this flexibility that other positions can offer. But, you know, manufacturing companies do have an advantage in that, you know, manufacturing can be like, a career, right, not just a job like there is there is a progressive career steps that you can take after you get this first entry level job. But, you know, I think it's competitive as hell out there. You know, obviously, the government and like, the unemployment benefits are at an all time higher is as like, yeah, generous as they've ever been. So, you know, you have to make sure at least for some of these entry level roles, that the pay rate is above what someone would be making just kind of living off the government right now. And it's, it's as close as it's ever been. So it's very difficult.
So correct me if I'm wrong, if I want to keep my doors open, and I, and that requires people that require skilled individuals that require individuals that have the proper training and all of that good stuff and have a head about them, okay, that's tight. Secondly, I'm going to because the market and because if I find an individual that has mad skills, that individuals demand out in the marketplace is much greater. And then for me as a, as an employer, I'm going to have to raise my prices, just to retain that individual, because somebody is going to try to grab that individual, it's very fluid out there. Am I correct on on that?
Yeah, I mean, I think so. The problem is, there isn't, you know, a bunch of extra margin where you can just raise wages, and, you know, raise prices, and everything will be okay. Right. At some point, demand is going to fall off. And I guess that's where you get all these inflation concerns that that you're seeing today? Yeah, so I mean, we're, it's, it's in a tight spot.
And, and rightly so. And I know, unfortunately, listeners, I've had that experience when I owned my maintenance company. And it is very difficult for an owner to manage these valuable people to keep the lights on to keep the machine moving, whatever it is, and then the market. You can't, I can't begrudge the individual saying, hey, if I make a couple of dollars more over here, it's better for my family. I can't. It just puts people in, it's just a real trickling. What know, what do we do? I mean, how do we, it's the realities out there in the market? And I don't see it, you know, ending anytime soon. What do we do?
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think manufacturing companies have to emphasize the advantage of a career in manufacturing, right, which is, you can come right out of high school, you know, get an entry level job. And, you know, there's a natural like, career path for you within manufacturing, to where you can make 8090 100k salary, you know, within a relatively short amount of time. So I think the career there are the, the key is emphasizing this manufacturing career path that people can take advantage of, if they get into this industry. Right. That's, that's all we have. Because, you know, on the surface, if I'm coming out of high school, I see all these different opportunities. I could be an Uber driver, I can go work for tripleplay. Yeah, I can, you know, or I can try to be a machine operator, right on the surface, like, I don't know, I, Uber driver, sounds nice. I can work when I want and, you know, no boss, really, and be flexible. But there's no next step for you there, right, you're just you're still an Uber driver. What manufacturing has going for it is that, you know, there is a path for you to get to that 100k career, you know, in like, five years, even if, if if you work hard at it and learn the skills necessary. So that's what we got to double down on.
Now. You see it, right? And that's because you're, you're right in the trenches of this particular challenge. What about manufacturers, they're going to have to change, they're going to have to adapt to this, the realities of this market, and be able to educate and say, we want you on board. This is your career path. We expect you to be here and whatever. And we're going to be paying you this much. And I think that the manufacturers, some are better than others, but sometimes they fail to paint that picture.
Totally 100%. You know, I don't think it's, it's really been all that necessary, until recently. But yeah, I think too much of the hiring in the industry is very reactive, where my machine operator just quit, right? I need to fill them with someone else that's had some experience. And that's kind of it. Like, I'd be happy if he just was a machine operator for the next 20 years and just kept that spot filled. I think instead, we got to have this paradigm shift where, you know, it's very proactive. It's clear that you know, you're a machine operator for two years. And you know, if you learn these skills, To have a good record, you can get promoted CNC machinist or set up machinist. And then another two years after that you can be a CNC programmer and learn, you know, CAD CAM, almost like an up or out strategy. And I always use my wife's company as an example, because I think they're the best in the world at this. She works for Boston Consulting Group, and they basically have these levels. And every two years you either get promoted, or they help you find another job somewhere else. Like you're you're just not going to make it here. And they're very gracious about it, and you know, help you find another another company. But, you know, maybe maybe manufacturers can't get to that extreme. But implementing some of that thinking, I think is critical. And But yeah,
I never really think you know, that. It's like, if I do that, if I train these individuals, what do you think's on my mind? They'll leave me I spent all this money and they're gonna leave me and they're gonna find something else. And, and that's it's a vicious, vicious cycle.
But the reality
is, is that, yes, these manufacturers have to think that way. And they have to deploy these new types. And from my perspective, what I hear you saying, I would probably use your service all the time, just to make sure that my funnel maintains some sort of level of activity of people, skilled individuals, because the dynamics of the marketplace warrant some sort of ability to do that. And then the other element, as a manufacturer, I've got to paint that picture. Gone are the days that I say, Hey, I'm gonna hire that machinist. Come on in knowing full well, that machine is will probably stay maybe 18 months, maybe Max, good, boom, you got it, we got to rethink that. Got to create the Yeah, these are important jobs. These are important. Okay. So with all that painted, with all that reality, just sort of thrown on the desk, and and manufacturers? What are the real roadblocks right now? What do you see? What are the What's your real challenge right now, outside of all the other things that we've been talking...