Cher-Make Sausage Co. Wins with New Strategies to Attract and Retain Employees

Company Profile:

Founded by Emil and Regina Chermak in 1928, Cher-Make Sausage Co. serves the branded and private-label industry and produces hot dogs, bratwurst, summer sausage, ring bologna, chicken sausage and smoked sausage. Products made at the company’s plant in Manitowoc are sold throughout North America. The company traditionally has had a workforce of about 120 employees, although employment fluctuates due to seasonal demand.


Cher-Make produces sausages with high seasonal demand. As a result, Cher-Make’s business cycle is heavier in the summer and fall seasons and slower in the winter and early spring. The fluctuating demand causes production staffing to fluctuate as well. Staffing in slower business times is about 100 employees and may grow to 150 employees in the peak season. Cher-Make has traditionally hired seasonal employees during its peak period. In recent years, Cher-Make has had a more difficult time finding production employees to fill the open positions for the summer season. Cher-Make uses two staffing agencies to fill positions. In 2021, the staffing agencies struggled to find employees to bring to Cher-Make for interviews and employees that were hired from the agencies typically did not last on the job for more than 20 days. Cher-Make was down 50 employees and going into its busiest period and needed a new way to recruit new employees or be forced to turn away business.


Cher-Make hired WMEP Manufacturing Solutions to facilitate the Winning the War for Talent strategy. WMEP worked with Cher-Make’s executive team to develop strategies to attract new employees. WMEP created a referral culture that used existing employees to attract new workers. Also, WMEP developed an external advertising campaign that was used in social media strategies, television spots and radio ads.


  • Attracted 33 new employees
  • Achieved an 85% new hire retention rate
  • Met seasonal demand as a result of new hires and didn’t have to turn away business from customers