How We Recruited Skilled Talent Amid The Great Resignation

Rinnai, the top-selling brand of tankless gas water heaters in North America, was stymied by hiring challenges when it opened a new manufacturing facility. Then they came up with a plan.

As we all know, talent has been hard to come by in the current job market due to the Great Resignation brought on by the pandemic. The lack of skilled labor within the manufacturing industry and beyond has also added to the dilemma. The culmination of these two issues has pushed leaders of an organization to invest in creative solutions when seeking out talent.

Rinnai America Corporation, manufacturer of the No. 1-selling brand of tankless gas water heaters in North America, was recently in this predicament, having recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Griffin, Georgia. To entice new talent to work for Rinnai, we had to go about recruiting more aggressively than ever before. We launched a recruitment campaign, using multiple channels, including paid social media, Out of Home (OOH) installments and events. Through these endeavors Rinnai has onboarded the full number of employees needed to fully staff our manufacturing line, and we expect to fill more roles this year as we continue to execute our ramp-up plan.

The tactics we used went beyond anything done by Rinnai before. We worked with a local recruitment company and advertising agency to discover unique ways of attracting skilled talent. Below are several tips on how we went about creating that successful recruitment campaign.

Look into targeted advertising

It’s been decades since placing an ad in the paper has worked in gaining the right talent. We’ve since moved to place job openings online via Indeed or LinkedIn, but those job postings may not reach the right audience. To reach the specialized, diverse audience we needed, Rinnai worked with our advertising agency to select two key tactics, including paid social media and OOH.

From December to May, Rinnai invested in two billboards, one specifically targeting highway traffic heading into the Griffin area, which was estimated to have over 1.9 million impressions. During that same timeframe, paid social media was able to target the local Griffin area, receiving over 9,000 clicks, 1.4 million impressions and a conversion rate of 41%, which is well above industry standard.

By using targeted advertising, we were able to achieve excellent results, receiving thousands of applications over the six-month campaign run.

Utilize enticing events

In addition to advertising campaigns, we hosted several job fairs throughout the year in collaboration with our recruiting partner MAU. At a recent job fair event held at the new manufacturing facility, we had a high attendee turnout that resulted in over 100 offers being extended on-site and several more pending.

The above is an example of just one job fair held throughout the last two years. In total, we hosted five job fair events over six months, and enticed candidates by providing snacks, raffles, Rinnai swag and impressive tours of the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. Making the job fairs fun and exciting resulted in stellar turnouts at each event, which then led to a significant number of offers being extended.

Partner with local schools

By partnering with Southern Crescent Technical College’s QuickStart workforce training program, we were able to start three employees right out of high school. This provided an excellent opportunity for investing in the local community while setting up young professionals for success with a high-paying, successful career.

Invest in your employees

Just as it is important to attain new talent, it’s important to retain talent. Rinnai is committed to cultivating a culture of mutual respect for our fellow employees and community in an atmosphere that makes people proud to work here. The quality of our products takes priority, but just as important is the quality of our culture and dedication to each other. Annual employee engagement surveys guide our actions to continuously improve what it is like to be a part of the Rinnai team, as well as following our commitment to Creating a healthier way of living.

During the onboarding process, we provided over 37,000 hours of training for our new employees, which translates to a $750,000 investment. We care about our people, our employees. We want them to have a safe work environment and succeed not only at Rinnai but in life, which is why putting time into the necessary training and guidance is important for the company’s success.

With these tactics, we received over 1,000 applicants for the open positions. Out of offers that were extended, we have successfully onboarded 75% of our new hires. That number will grow as we continue building our manufacturing capabilities and utilize the recruitment tactics put in place.

Since joining Rinnai America Corporation in 2014, President Frank Windsor has supported the organization’s vision for future growth by leading the development of Rinnai’s North American manufacturing strategy, the expansion of the company headquarters in Peachtree City, Georgia, and the introduction of a product innovation strategy designed to expand the company’s product offerings. Windsor joined Rinnai as General Manager, was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2016 and was named President in 2019. Previously, Windsor spent 23 years with Kohler Company in various leadership positions.