Attracting and Retaining Medical Device Assemblers

Medical professional using medical device

Modern medical devices, now commonplace in physician offices and healthcare settings, are increasingly revolutionizing the consumer marketplace as well. In recent years, new medical devices have been developed that prioritize up-to-the-minute data collection and preventive care, enabling patients to better manage their health before their physical problems advance.

The almost unlimited promise of medical devices has led to dramatic sales growth, with no end in sight. By 2021, the global market for medical devices is expected to top $500 billion. This demand for products has spawned an increased need for specialized manufacturing talent such as medical device or “clean room” assemblers.

Medical device companies note they have a difficult time finding and retaining qualified talent for these positions, and Aerotek representatives agree that manufacturers face a set of difficult hiring circumstances.

Jim LoSapio, Aerotek strategic account executive, explains that specific business pains vary from company to company. Manufacturers located in the most expensive areas of the country may find that vacant positions far outnumber the workers who can afford to live nearby. In other locations, there may be fierce competition for the same workers. And sometimes companies can hire sufficiently but struggle to retain workers after they’re trained for a number of reasons.

What should medical device companies do?

Solving the issues takes out-of-the-box thinking, notes Kim McHugh, Aerotek strategic account executive, because the solutions vary as much as the issues that drive the need.

LoSapio agrees. For companies that have issues with attracting talent, he recommends companies assess a few factors:

  • Local market pay rates: Work with an expert who can help you analyze pay rates that align specifically with your market
  • Competitor analysis: Not only is it important to assess competitive pay rates, but it’s helpful to have a pulse on other tactics companies are using to attract talent such as higher wages or more expansive benefits
  • Pay for performance: Consider creative ways to tie compensation to performance, whether that be

Whatever the issue, a strong recruiting partner will create custom solutions that really address the underlying need.

Identifying and sourcing the best talent

The best candidates for medical device assembler positions will have a mechanical mindset, attention to detail and manual dexterity, says Luke Moran, Aerotek director of strategic sales. However, employers in the industry are looking to attract a certain kind of worker, he adds.

“Clients look for workers who have empathy for others and pride in their work, who are passionate about making a difference and helping people. They want employees who share their dedication to quality and company values. They know the best candidates realize that they could be working on products that are life-changing… that the heart valve catheter they just produced could end up saving someone they love.”

Screening candidates for culture fit is another reason to aim for quality when choosing a recruiting firm for your medical device manufacturing hires. “It’s the difference between making hundreds of cold calls vs. having a well-thought-out strategy to successfully connect job candidates with the employers who need them,” LoSapio says. “It’s working with a partner instead of just a supplier.”

Retaining quality staff

When companies struggle with employee attrition, it’s understandable that many employers worry about becoming “the training facility for the competition,” meaning that they spend time and money onboarding new workers only to lose them once they’re up to speed. Because of this, says Moran, Aerotek director of strategic sales, the best recruitment partner will view retention to be just as crucial as attraction.

“Retaining talent begins before the hire even occurs, by ensuring each new hire’s readiness for the work site, ensuring they’re engaged and prepared to be the best they can be,” explains Moran. “Even after they’re hired — especially after they’re hired — we continue to meet with them regularly to address any specific concerns and identify top performers.”

That constant reinforcement and attention is one reason why, in a job category where retention averages less than 10 percent, Aerotek consistently achieves rates of more than 90 percent.

If you want to learn more about creative solutions to attracting and retaining talent, contact Aerotek now.