Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The Six Words That Will Massively Improve Your Employee Recruitment in 2022

now hiring banners
Credit: iStock

This blog is part of a monthly series brought to you by the America Works initiative. As a part of the MEP National Network’s goal of supporting the growth of small and medium-sized manufacturing companies, this series focuses on innovative approaches and uncovering the latest trends in manufacturing workforce development.

Up and down busy streets nationwide, the same six-word banners stand outside in front of hundreds of businesses. Affixed to poles on front lawns or hanging above entrance doors, these inescapable banners, while the numbers may vary, almost always have the same wording:

“Now Hiring! $18/hour, plus benefits.”

“Join Our Team Today! $16/hour.”

“Start Today! $17/hour plus healthcare.”

The problem? These banners aren’t working. These six words – umpteen dollars per hour plus benefits – have lost all their meaning in a world with a talent shortage and simply not enough workers.

Put simply, $18 per hour plus benefits is table stakes. That’s what today’s employees are expecting, and you’re just another face in a crowd when you advertise only your starting salary. Would you eat at a restaurant that proclaims, “Eat here today! We have food”? Would you go to a movie whose tagline reads, “Something to do for two hours”? Would you travel to a country that advertises, “Visit here – we’re not your house”?

Of course not.

So, think about it: if you get a potential candidate’s attention on your banner for five seconds, why would you advertise the least interesting aspect of working for your company?

Let’s face it, your six-word banner has been failing you, and it’s time to move on.

The solution? Shake up your employee recruitment banner. Six word stories have an incredible power to engage people, cutting through the clutter with a concise, poignant message. So stop advertising your manufacturing business like a commodity and start pushing what makes manufacturing exciting. Before today ends, go online and order yourself a banner that proudly proclaims:

Make Cool Stuff with Awesome People.

Want to riff on this? No problem! You could be more specific with something like, “Build Medical Equipment Alongside Amazing Colleagues.” Or maybe switch it up, with “Join Incredible Doers Developing Cool Technologies.” Or consider driving home the local aspect: “Connect with Cool Clevelanders Constructing Computers.” Feel free to use whatever works best for your business but keeping it short and simple is critical. Couple it with an outstanding recruitment video that follows this script, and you’ve got yourself a vastly improved employee recruitment strategy for 2022.

Six Words to Stand Behind

Why do I stand behind these six words? I’ll let the research speak for itself.

First, the “Make Cool Stuff” answers the critical question, “Why should I work here?” Yes, you may be a Tier 4 supplier to an automotive or aerospace OEM but tying that gasket or fixture to a cool end product (for example, a car or airplane) is absolutely critical to your recruitment marketing. As one CEO put it recently, employees “want to work for companies that have a mission and a purpose that they believe in.” Plus, those three words add clarity, saying to potential applicants, “If you want to make cool stuff, join our team, because that’s what we do here. If you’re more interested in healthcare, or law, or some other more intangible industry, that’s fine too, but save us both time and effort and don’t apply to work here because you won’t be happy.”

The second part, “with Awesome People,” addresses two essential components that today’s employees are demanding. Research shows that workers want to join an inclusive, accepting community. If you’re going to get people off their couches, or to stop working from home, you have to give them what every human seeks: new and meaningful relationships.

At the same time, workers want recognition for their efforts. As one article discussed, we’re moving from “The Great Resignation” to “The Great Retention,” and retaining workers is all about recognizing employees for their efforts. Every gesture counts, so why not call out your amazing workforce right there on the employment banner that hangs outside your plant 24/7? Using just those three words, you can clearly demonstrate your respect and appreciation for your employees. This says a lot not just to a potential candidate, but to the workers you rely on every day.

Of course, attracting that applicant is just the first step. The Great Recognition is not just about improving marketing, it’s also about improving your workplace and becoming an “employer of choice.” For example, back up your “awesome people” claim by encouraging personal and career development through apprenticeships and other learning opportunities; attract the best people by offering flexible shifts and benefits that people actually want; and make sure to invest in that sense of community through employee resource groups and team events. As I’ve argued in the past, workplace development is the new workforce development, and 2022 is the year of investing in your workplace. But it starts with attracting people’s attention, and a banner that talks about why someone should join – and advertising the inclusive, supportive community they’re joining – is a great start.

So don’t delay. Order that banner today, display it prominently, and let the employment applications start rolling in!

About the author

Matt Fieldman

Matthew Fieldman is currently Executive Director of America Works, a nationwide initiative to coordinate the American manufacturing industry's training efforts, generating a more capable, skilled, and diverse workforce. Based at MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, Matt works across the nation's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) system to increase collaboration, efficiency, and impact of local and regional workforce development efforts.

Previously, he was Vice President of External Affairs for MAGNET, a nonprofit that helps Northeast Ohio’s small- and medium-sized manufacturers grow locally while competing globally. In this role, he launched the Ohio Manufacturing Survey; mspire, a regional startup pitch competition; helped launch manufacturing apprenticeships for inner-city youth; and is responsible for fundraising, legislative relations, media relations, and more. Concurrently, Matthew is the founding Board Chair of EDWINS Restaurant and Leadership Institute, Cleveland's first nonprofit restaurant and one of the first of its kind nationally to train formerly incarcerated individuals to work in fine dining. He raised over $600,000 to start EDWINS and was named “2014 Fundraiser of the Year” by Fundraising Success magazine for his efforts. He is also the founder of Cleveland Codes, one of the nation's first nonprofit software bootcamps devoted specifically to training low-income adults for careers in technology. Originally from Orlando, Florida, Matt earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, cum laude, from the University of Florida, a Master of Business Administration from The George Washington University, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve University. He is a former Ariane de Rothschild and American Council on Germany Transatlantic Fellow, and is currently a Civil Society Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Related posts

Making it Happen in a Man’s World

With a career of more than 40 years in the manufacturing industry, I can look back now and see that I was greatly influenced by my father, who worked for an


Add new comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Please be respectful when posting comments. We will post all comments without editing as long as they are appropriate for a public, family friendly website, are on topic and do not contain profanity, personal attacks, misleading or false information/accusations or promote specific commercial products, services or organizations. Comments that violate our comment policy or include links to non-government organizations/web pages will not be posted.