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Manufacturers face a pressing recruitment challenge: the talent pool is shrinking and competition for the best minds out there is fierce.



As baby boomers retire and fewer young people pursue manufacturing careers, businesses are left with a shortage of people to fill STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) positions. Yet, the need for such talent is high: companies like Facebook, Amazon and Apple will need to fill 650,000 jobs by 2018, two thirds of which will be STEM roles, according to an Accenture report from 2012 ("Where will all the STEM talent come from?").


To compete in the talent market and meet their personnel needs, manufacturers will need to recruit globally. But that’s not all: they need to retain this global talent, too. Employees will want and expect to have the tools, training and accommodations they need to collaborate, innovate, develop as leaders and balance work and home life. Valued employees will stay loyal to their companies if they work in environments that let them use their existing knowledge, learn beyond it and enjoy their lifestyles.


The best way to establish the kind of manufacturing workplace that attracts and retains the top STEM talent is to put video and audio technology to work. Collaborative Decision Environments (CDEs) use always-on, unified video and audio to streamline recruitment, enhance productivity, strengthen workplace culture and deliver the best possible training and development.


In one example, a major pharmaceutical firm uses multiscreen video collaboration rooms to connect research teams around the world every week to advance molecule development. Polycom EagleEye Director automatically focuses in on the person speaking so that the global teams can clearly see who is speaking and view and annotate on any content that is simultaneously being discussed. This has taken months out of development time and significantly reduced costs.


Here are some of the ways Polycom helps power talent management in manufacturing:

  • Recruitment—Polycom makes video interviews possible no matter where in the world the participants are. Interviews are easy and quick with no required travel, and the capacity to record them lets unavailable team members screen candidates later and still contribute to the team-building process.


  • Training—With video, companies can train large groups of people in real-time and make training content available for employees to watch on demand. With mobile video, training can be delivered directly to the manufacturing floor as a scheduled event or ad hoc when a noncompliance is detected. Training at point of need.  A medical equipment manufacturer had a research and development center in California and manufacturing in Mexico. They would send Quality Assurance Engineers to Mexico for audits four times a year. With the addition of mobile video on the production floor in Mexico, the Quality group does an audit every month and if a non-compliance is noted they deliver training at the same time over video. Quality performance more than doubled after this innovative process was implemented. This combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning promotes collaboration and community while also letting people manage their own schedules. With Polycom, companies can also produce and share multiple streams of content, complete with annotation, metaknowledge tagging and keyword search for archiving. Employees can access best practice demonstrations, expert lectures, executive speeches, town hall gatherings and more.


  • Performance Management—As more and more employees choose to work outside the office, video offers an essential link between colleagues, partners, suppliers and vendors. Relationships still matter even in remote work arrangements. Face-to-face contact improves employee morale and strengthens teams. Polycom technology lets employees connect from anywhere at anytime via any smart device, including personal mobile phones and tablets.

A software development company was losing key software developers since the commuting time in southern California was painful. The company was able to reduce turnover by allowing engineers to work from home using video to stay connected with their colleagues.  


Is your company using video to better manage its talent? How could video help you do more to build and maintain a strong workforce?



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