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Hiring machine operators

Hiring a good employee can be one of the biggest assets to your company. Hiring a bad employee can be a huge liability. How can you go about hiring the right machine operator for your manufacturing plant without winding up with the wrong employee? Here are some simple tips to help:

Tip # 1 - Create an outline
You can hire a quality machine operator by creating an outline of the job duties. If the potential employee can understand what they are getting into from the get-go, it will be much easier for them to live up to your expectations. When you are speaking with the potential employee about the job functions, encourage them to ask a lot of questions. Convey your desire to have quality products and ask them to perform a simple test. This test can be something like identifying all the parts on a machine or actually producing the product by operating the machine.

Always provide prospective employees with a job description. Give them something they can take home or print out so they can look it over and decide what their strengths and weaknesses are. If they know how to use the equipment, they may be lacking on the maintenance of the equipment. Be sure to go over every part of the job description and help them understand all the things that will be required of them.

Tip # 2 - Be Consistent

It is easy to hire someone and expect them know the ropes within a week, but if you are not consistent with your training, they will be lost. Stay with them for the first week and basically "hold their hand" as they learn about the company, products, and equipment that are being used at the facility. Poor training on your part will lead to poor performance on the machine operator's part and it could cause a lot of problems for you with product defects and failures. It will also make the complete training process harder on the new employee because they will not be able to receive correct answers to their questions.

Tip # 3 - Personality
A common mistake companies make when hiring a machine operator is hiring the person with the "fun" personality. They will look for some that they get along with. While this is a nice trait to have, it won't help them out when they are standing in front of the machine for 8 hours a day. The job of a machine operator is not exactly exciting, so you need to find a person that can deal with that. Someone that wants to be social or entertained will not make it as a machine operator. Look for someone with a personality that maintains focus on their projects.

Tip # 4 - Establishing Compensation

Since the job of a machine operator is not too exciting, it can be hard to find the right person to fill the position. This could mean that you need to sweeten the deal by offering some extra incentives like retirement plans, health insurance, vacation leave, or even a sign-on bonus. Set a realistic level of compensation for the employee and try to avoid getting into negotiations. If you offer them the position, write the compensation amount in the contract. If the employee is not satisfied with the amount, let them come talk to you about it. Just remember, low pay usually means you will get a low quality worker. Check around your industry to see what your competitors are paying their machine operators and set your salary range based off this information.

Tip # 5 - New hire policy

Whenever you hire anyone, you always need to have a new hire grace period. During this time, you will evaluate their skills and you have the right to fire them if they are not meeting your expectations. Normally the new hire policy is 90 days, once they have demonstrated their skills to you; you can award them with a bonus and a longer contract with the company.

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