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When hiring the right manufacturing talent, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad! There’s nothing new about the shortage of skilled manufacturing help. An aging, craft-intuitive workforce has given way to automation and technology that have considerably softened the talent pool. Plus, there’s a public image issue that needs to be addressed—and rectified. But, when you do find yourself looking to hire the right person, take my advice… No matter the industry or the position, a hiring strategy that’s worked for me is: When interviewing prospects, thoroughly evaluate these three attributes: 1. Talent. Does the candidate possess the innate intelligence and skill set to perform the job at hand? And, how quickly will s/he learn to do so in an efficient manner? 2. Experience. How long has the candidate been performing the work that’s required? With what types of companies and/or environments? Does this experience include directing others? If so, what functions? 3. Chemistry. Do the candidate’s temperament and character traits align with the company’s culture? Is s/he a good fit who will work well with other team members? Then, rate each attribute using a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the absolute best), and hire only 8’s or higher across the board no matter the position. But here’s a tip: the one attribute where compromise is possible is Experience. Both Talent and Chemistry are innate qualities. They’re inherent to the individual and, to a great extent, independent of experience. And, a person who rates highly in Talent and Chemistry can achieve the desired experience level over time. So, if Talent and Chemistry are good, I would allow Experience to...