Who needs our helP?
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, our client is a world-class metal fabricator who offers a wide range of steel products to industry leading engineers around the world. It takes an experienced and dedicated professional to endure the industrial, gritty and demanding manufacturing environment, which led to a work shortage in 2019.
"We needed to look in the mirror a little bit, especially when you have turnover that high. You can blame it on a candidate pool, but at a certain point we had to look in the mirror and realize what's going on internally."
The Challenge of finding the right talent.
In the middle of 2019, our client added a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to their team. It was immediately evident to him that the company needed a new recruitment strategy, so he turned to the experts at Rust Belt Recruiting to find a solution to combat their labor struggle. At the time, the company had recently added 25,000 square feet to their factory and $2 million dollars worth of state-of-the-art equipment. It was an exciting expansion, but internal hurdles arose when they had no one to run the new machines. The staffing issues proved to be a real hindrance to the company, adding additional problems regarding quality control. They effectively spent millions of dollars for their new investments to sit idle, producing no additional profit, while they helplessly looked for people to support their operation.
Before Rust Belt.
Our client first turned to temp agencies for quick staffing solutions, but each agency ended with the same result: failed hires. Shifting the strategy, they attempted to use a traditional staffing method to get people in their facility fast, but this also led to a plethora of issues. Internally at this point, our client had spent countless hours in an attempt to resolve these hiring issues but unfortunately made no real traction in a positive or viable direction. At this point, their CFO stepped in to see if he could be of any assistance. "If I see the team struggling, and if there is a way that I can invest some time in to prevent or clear a hurdle for the team, I'm gonna do it," he said. He explained that the company would calculate how many people were needed each week and then would call a staffing company to get temps in the door for Monday morning. The whole process ended up a numbers game; if they needed eight people, it was unrealistic for them to expect all eight people would stick around - they could only hope that four or five out of the eight might show up.
Their CFO and the rest of their leadership team knew that this was an unsustainable system and that they would need to address the root of the problem if they ever wanted to scale effectively to meet market demands. With a turnover rate of 38% in 2019, their CFO said it was time to look in the mirror and see what they were doing wrong. It soon became clear that the temp-to-hire market was not benefiting them – rather a band-aid fix for a much deeper issue. He says, "We started to realize that the temp-to-hire market was different, and it wasn't necessarily going to be a fit for us, and thankfully, we were introduced to Rust Belt Recruiting."
Their CFO recalls how he was introduced to Rust Belt thanks to a referral from a "white collar" recruiter he had previously worked with. While the two were connecting on the phone one day, their CFO said, "Do you want a million-dollar idea? Find somebody who can recruit manufacturing workers." The recruiter responded, "I got a guy for you," and shared contact info for Taylor Evans, Rust Belt’s founder and former president. Thus, the partnership with Rust Belt Recruiting was born. Rust Belt’s method is a consultative approach to the partnership between us and our clients (manufacturers). In the first few meetings between him and Evans, they dug deep during their conversations, discussing the root cause of their staffing issues. To see what exactly they were doing wrong, their CFO mentioned that he needed to step back and look in the mirror, and he credits Taylor Evans for being the person that helped him do so.
"We really kicked it off with Rust Belt. We were comfortable with their concentration in manufacturing and workforce and we view them as true experts in the field."
The Rust Belt Difference.
By working with us, you can get back to what’s important: running your business. With our client, we were able to make a significant difference in their team’s workload. Their CFO stated, "During April of 2021, we were doing a lot of the PPE (Paycheck Protection Program) and some of the other big financial projects - [your services] allowed me to really focus on those things, knowing that Rust Belt was in our conference room interviewing candidates."
Our work doesn’t stop with just candidate interviews. The Rust Belt recruiter working for the company will meet with all candidates onsite. The recruiter will walk them through the position and job site, followed by administering a brief math test similar to the shop math involved in the job. We stay in constant communication with each of our partners to ensure that we deliver quality candidates and make changes to our strategy as things evolve in the company. Their CFO says he feels a significant weight was lifted off his shoulders thanks to the weekly Friday afternoon meetings he has with his designated recruiter where they discuss how candidate interviews went while staying up to date on when each new employee will be starting. Our hires are always ready to go on day one, a full turnaround from what they were experiencing with temp-agency hires. In one word, their CFO describes the company’s culture in 2019 as "stressful," but today, with interviewing responsibilities off their plates, they can focus on simply doing their jobs and doing them right.
Making an Impact.
Our client started our recruiter model in April of 2021 and immediately had between 15 and 19 new hires. Within just a few months, they could see the impact of our partnership. Thanks to the quality of Rust Belt’s hires, the company was able to promote these new workers to advanced machinery within their first few months on the job. Additionally, production capacity thrived because of their new, efficient employees and supervisors. Their CFO states, "Right now, production capacity is up about 25%. I don't think we would be here without Rust Belt. . . we had about 70 employees during and after COVID, and we are pushing about 100 right now." Since working with Rust Belt, the company has continued to grow, increasing their number of employees by 25% year-over-year. From June 2021 to June 2022, overtime has dropped by a whopping 42%, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars. With Rust Belt handling hiring operations, their onboarding time has decreased by 100%, another seemingly small way that impacts their bottom line. Further research shows that they receive a return on investment, including both employee pay and recruiter fees, after only 90 days of employment from their hires.
Their increased efficiency, productivity, and savings have led to record-breaking months for our client, including an incredible first half of 2022. "You're kind of balancing a lot of external factors here in the second quarter, but, nevertheless, we would never have been able to achieve a very successful first half without Rust Belt Recruiting," their CFO states. We asked him if he could name one reason as to why someone should work with Rust Belt, and he exclaimed, with a laugh, "I got some time back - I'm not a recruiter anymore!" This, right here, is the Rust Belt benefit. We do the dirty work, not only so you can focus your full attention on what matters, but so your entire production and business can thrive.
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