Employers are facing a challenge that they have not faced in the past. Unemployment numbers are currently at a ten-year low, with the national average hovering right around 4%. In some states, that rate is even lower. In Wisconsin, unemployment sitting at only 2.9%. Despite the low unemployment rates, many companies are continuing to involve and develop, often times in some of the states that have these even lower unemployment rates.
Take for instance Foxconn. Foxconn is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company that is more formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. They are a large producer for a wide variety of Apple products. They recently announced plans to build a new facility in the state of Wisconsin. The facility is going to be the size of 350 football fields, over 20 million square feet, and will employ 13,000 employees. The facility will serve as the first LCD panel glass fabrication plant in the United States and will directly contribute to the manufacturing of a wide variety of TV, monitors, and even self-driving cars.
It appears that Foxconn will likely be dealing with a shortage of talent like other companies are dealing with. To some extent, this talent shortage could lead to poaching from other companies which have the talent they are looking for; however, that is not the primary approach Foxconn is working with. Even if that is the case, employers in the area may need to take Foxconn’s presence into effect. Local media reported that an employer in the area was confident that they will be able to compete. In fact, some think that the increased employment opportunities will lead to an increased demand for their products, and thus increased revenue. However, the increased demand could lead to the need for a larger supply of employees, leading us back to the main issue at hand.
As previously mentioned, Foxconn isn’t necessarily going in looking to poach talent. Instead, they are working with state and local governments to help them find the talent they need, like many other companies and states. This example worked well in the past for Toyota and Mazda in Alabama, who utilized state agencies for the hiring and training of 4,000 employees. With the help of the local government, Foxconn is also hoping to focus their recruitment on student and veterans. Finally, Foxconn is working with the state to rebrand Wisconsin. With the state’s economic development corporation, the rebranding effort will spend more than $1 million to promote Wisconsin’s lucrative career opportunities, and Foxconn hopes to leverage that branding to land top-talent themselves.