Hiring The Right People

According to my talks with companies all around the country the biggest problem facing us today is that of getting the right people and in some cases any people to come to work for us. The fact is though, that up until about five years ago we did not spend much time focusing on the right people. Even a few years ago we had plenty of skilled people to choose from. A few thousand dollars more a year and they were ready to come to your company

Actually, we did not spend much time worrying about finding the people, it just happened somehow.

But now times have changed, drastically changed. The combination of Covid, people’s attitudes, the wage gap and a lot of our “old hands” aging out. Hiring the right people, finding the right people, and then getting those people to stay once you have been lucky enough to find them has become the biggest challenge for our companies today.

I recently talked to one of the companies I work with, and they told me about hiring thirteen people and then in less than two months only two were still there.

I am sure that we can all agree that hiring the right people and keeping them has become the biggest problem we face today.

With that in mind I thought it would be helpful to spend some time during the next few weeks focusing on what we can do to solve this problem. During that time, we will be talking about how to:

  • Develop the right job description
  • Find the right person
  • Focus on the entire hiring process
  • Conduct an effective interview
  • Show that person the appeal of our industry and why what we do matters 
  • Show that person a very promising financial future
  • What to do once that person is hired
  • Orientation and training and cross training
  • Developing a planned career path
  • The review process

…and making sure that they want to stay with your company for the long haul.

Stick around, it’s going to be a lot of fun and we are both going to learn a lot I’m sure.

Let’s get right into it then.

The first step is to figure out who you are looking for. This means developing a good job description, what I call a holistic job description. By that I mean taking in all of the characteristics you are looking for in the right candidate. This also includes what we sometimes call  “intangibles,” going beyond the normal job description parameters like experience, background, and getting into things like their ambition, their passion, their curiosity, their integrity, and how they will fit in and enhance your organization as well.

When you are looking for someone to fill a position you should be looking far beyond filling that one position. You have to be building your team for the future. You have to create a vision of what the people you hire today will be contributing next year, and in five years or ten years.

When you hire someone to work in your factory you should also be looking at what possibilities this person might bring to your company.

Could she be your quality manager in five years? Could he be your production manager in six years? Could they be running your company in ten years?

These are all the things you have to consider very early on, even when you are creating the job description for the person you want to hire, you have to consider the future of the company and their potential future in your company.

Right now, when people want someone to fill in a spot on the etcher or the drill room all they consider is that job and the candidate’s ability to perform the duties of that particular job without giving much consideration as to what this candidate can do beyond that job.

Often we are so pressed to have someone fill that particular position that we settle on a “warm body” rather than a living, thinking, passionate and ambitious person who is looking for work that matters, work that will give her a future.

Unfortunately, most of us are so anxious to fill a spot that we are not taking the time to hire tomorrow’s quality or engineering manager which is exactly what we should be doing.

Think about this: go back to those thirteen people that my client hired a few months ago. How many of those eleven people who ended up leaving, would have left if they knew that they were in line to be the company’s engineering manager at ninety thousand dollars a year in five or six years?

Don’t laugh, that’s exactly what happened to most of us thirty or forty years ago, and we’ve done okay right?  It’s only common sense.