Career and talent resources

MRT Insights

November 22, 2023

Smell the Resin Burn: How to Deliver Value and Succeed in the World of Manufacturing with Jerry Jones

In a recent podcast episode in the series “Talent Hunters” produced by MRINetwork, industry veteran Jerry Jones shares his remarkable journey in the manufacturing sector, offering valuable insights into the challenges, successes, and transformative moments that shaped his career. The conversation delves into the pivotal decisions that led Jones to transition from turnaround management to co-owning a successful manufacturing recruiting firm, MRT, which has been a prominent player in the industry for nearly three decades.

Watch Jerry’s podcast episode here!

Discovering a New Path

Jones narrates how his career trajectory shifted when faced with the prospect of uprooting his family every 18 months for new assignments. A suggestion from another recruiter led him to explore the realm of recruiting, a decision that eventually gave rise to MRT when founders Kitte and James Carter had an interest in Jones’s career. The episode unfolds as Jones reflects on the evolution of MRT, also led by co-owners Kitte Carter, Craig and Sundae McMillan, and his wife Sandra Jones, and the experiences of navigating the demanding landscape of manufacturing recruitment.

Building a Dynamic Team and Embracing Technology

Throughout the conversation, Jones emphasizes the importance of assembling a dynamic team comprising both experienced professionals and young recruits. He credits the success of his firm to the strategic use of technology, underlining its instrumental role in overcoming challenges and achieving milestones in the competitive manufacturing industry.

Navigating Challenges and Embracing Change

The episode doesn’t shy away from discussing the hurdles faced by Jones’s firm, particularly during a downturn last year. The challenges prompted a reevaluation of marketing strategies and a shift in focus toward talent access. Jones applauds the resilience of his team, especially the younger members, for successfully implementing and executing a revamped approach to overcome adversities.

Marketing as a Cornerstone

Jones advocates for the significance of marketing in the manufacturing industry, citing the shortage of skilled talent as a driving force behind this need. He stresses the importance of communication channels, such as email, phone calls, and text messages, in establishing connections with potential clients. The evolving nature of the industry adds an extra layer of complexity to marketing strategies, making adaptability a key factor for success.

Continuous Improvement, Training, and Respect

As a leader, Jones emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement and training within the manufacturing industry. Sharing success stories within his company, he underscores the role of enthusiasm, effort, and a hunger for growth. Jones also highlights the critical need to treat everyone involved in the manufacturing process with respect, regardless of their position, to ensure long-term success.

Navigating Personal and Mental Health

In a particularly poignant segment, Jones provides advice for those aiming for success in the manufacturing industry. He encourages a balanced approach, emphasizing the importance of personal and mental health alongside professional achievements. Disconnecting when necessary and focusing on continuous improvement are key themes in his advice, challenging the notion that success should be solely measured by financial rewards.

A Call to Transform and Improve

The episode concludes with a call to transform business approaches, moving beyond the pursuit of being the best in the competition. The importance of customer-oriented thinking and the positive impact businesses can have on others are emphasized. Jones encourages industry professionals to consider what truly defines success beyond financial metrics, advocating for a holistic and self-rewarding approach to business growth.

As a recruiting firm with extensive experience in the manufacturing sector, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities this industry presents. If your company is navigating talent access needs in the New Year, our dedicated team is ready to assist. We bring a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record in addressing the workforce challenges that manufacturers face. Partner with us to unlock the full potential of your team and contribute to the transformative success of your manufacturing endeavors.

You can watch the episode at the YouTube video above, or these options below:

Apple Podcasts here:

MRI’s website:

We help build businesses. We form teams that will carry you forward. We are capable, technical, efficient, and effective.