By Anthony Quaranta
Your new hire brings you a First Article Inspection (FAI) with a scratch on the surface for approval. You immediately recognize that the defect is emblematic of a bigger problem, not just on the article itself, but also in the employee’s cavalier work ethic. You think back to the interview and wonder, “Why didn’t I pick this up before I hired him?”
In a mission-critical industry such as aerospace where there’s zero room for failure, recruiting talent has to be as precise as the parts you supply. The recruiting process isn’t as simple as calling HR to fill an open position or scanning someone’s resume. Finding the right fit for your organization comes down to following a few non-negotiable hiring strategies.
One of the first things I screen for during the interview process is whether the person has experience working within the guidelines of AS9100 and ISO 9001 standards. Every one of our staff has to share our same commitment to producing high-quality, mission-critical complex parts that meet these rigorous quality management systems.
Size and Tolerance:
When the majority of your work involves manufacturing small complex parts such as we do at RS Precision, experience with small sizes and ultra-close tolerances is crucial. Depending on the person’s history and experience, the tolerance they’re used to working with is also something that greatly differs from one area of expertise to another. They may work with tenths of a thousand while we work with high-precision tolerances up to +/- .0001. That’s a level of precision that comes with years of experience, the environment they’ve been trained in, and the type of parts they’ve worked on. If you don’t have the time to train someone, you need to make sure these are skills they already have under their belts.
Culture isn’t just the personality of your organization; it’s also one of the determining factors of whether someone will succeed or fail in your company. As a company that supplies specialty services to the aerospace industry, our culture is one that fosters teamwork. Seamless collaboration is paramount when each step of process machining is dependent upon the machinist before.
So, figure out what your culture is, make sure you have a mission statement, and then convey that in all interviews. It’s important for all of your employees to speak with one voice. Because one day, a fighter jet will be on a reconnaissance mission flying at the sound of speed, and the one thing that will determine whether or not the pilot makes it home safely is the part you supplied. Don’t take any chances; make sure to hire the best talent and the best fit for your organization.
What do you look for when hiring new talent in manufacturing? Share your interview thoughts (and deal breakers) below.