June 09, 2017

Finding the Employees You Need

by Natalia Bubis

We at Quanex are firm believers in the value of our employees, and that is not without reason. As we’ve written about previously, a shortage in skilled labor continues to affect all players across the manufacturing space in the United States.

According to a 2016 report from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, around 22% of skilled manufacturing workers are set to retire over the next ten years. That’s significant; not only will those jobs need to be filled, but organizations must account for the decades of institutional knowledge that will be lost as those workers enjoy retirement.

And at the same time, the industry is experiencing growth, compounding the challenge. As Forbes notes:

Industry growth means companies will need to add another 700,000 skilled employees. So a total of 3.4 million workers will be needed. But due to a variety of factors, the industry is projected to fall a startling 2.0 million workers short of its needs.

That means if you’re running a 1,000-person manufacturing operation, you’ll need to attract 220 new skilled workers just to replace retirees. If you’re growing, your needs will be even higher.

There are ways in which some industries are compensating for lost employees with a rising amount of work. As we in the fenestration industry look toward the busy summer months, we know that automated lines for IG manufacturing can help us do more with less.

That means making the right hire is more important than ever before. While specific figures on the true cost vary, HR Exchange notes a few things that can drive up cost significantly: The height of the position in which the bad hire was made, the longer the person stays there, and the amount of training wasted on that person.

So—what can be done to avoid such a costly mistake? Here are a few things that I think are especially critical to consider during the hiring process:

Can they do the job?
This might sound obvious—during the hiring process, of course you’re looking for someone who is capable of the work you’ll be paying them to do. But experience is not always the best measure—according to the Harvard Business Review, job experience ranks last on a list of hiring practices shown to be predictive of job performance.

So, more important to consider is whether your potential new hire demonstrates the willingness and ability to do not just the job they’re applying for, but learn new skills to grow within your organization.
Do they fit into your culture?
Just as important, if not more so, than a new hire’s ability to do the job is whether or not they are compatible with your organization as a whole. Forbes notes: “Every business has a culture or a way that people behave and interact with each other. Culture is based on certain values, expectations, policies and procedures that influence the behavior of a leader and employees. Workers who don’t reflect a company’s culture tend to be disruptive and difficult.”

Workers who don’t fit from the culture perspective can have negative consequences. Employee disengagement—which Gallup reports as a worldwide crisis—can be contagious, spreading from an employee who might not be the right fit to employees that have delivered stellar work for years.
Do they possess the right traits for the job?
People are suited for different lines of work. A doctor might make a poor salesperson, for instance. This is critical to think about when looking to fill a gap. Consider the nature of the work you’re hiring for, and what kind of person would be best suited to that work.

Be careful with personality tests, however. Harvard Business Review also notes that potential employees can and often do alter their answers as to appear more favorable to the person doing the hiring. Cognitive ability tests, integrity tests and reference checks all rank higher as effective hiring tools.
Questions or comments? Contact me directly at Natalia.Bubis@Quanex.com.

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: June 09, 2017 by Natalia Bubis Filed under: employee, hire, HR