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Posted 06/30/2016

Answering the Challenges Businesses Face: Part One 

“Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level.”  Peter Drucker In this three-part article, we will address some top challenges faced by manufacturing organizations:
  • Decreasing level of skills presented by entry-level candidates including those of both written and verbal communication,
  • An increase in employee “no shows” and “no calls,”
  • The inability of companies to adjust to market realities, and
  • Why workers, especially temps, seem less engaged
  Deficits in entry level candidates Choosing a new hire can seem like betting on a roulette wheel particularly when candidates seem to lack even basic skills. Deficits appear in different ways, including:
  • No previous job history
  • No evidence of time management or organizational abilities
  • No exposure to behavior-based training
  • Immaturity and irresponsibility
  • Poor communication skills
Employers find it undesirable to hire a candidate with skills deficits because their goal is to sustain business. Anyone who challenges that goal becomes a problem. So how does one assess deficits? For entry-level candidates, structure the interview to disclose soft skills. Questions that encourage examples are most helpful, and suggestions below may help you learn more.
  • Has the candidate completed an internship preferably three months or longer? If yes, ask about a typical day’s activities. Inquire about the step-by-step process, outcomes, and implementation. Ask the person to tell about a time when things failed to go according to plan, what occurred, and how it was handled.
  • Ask about social action experience. Has the candidate volunteered for local elections, summer camp counselors, homework help, highway cleanup, serving homeless, or other cause or activity? If yes, discuss the candidate’s level of experience, how often and in what way the candidate participated.
  • Pose a hypothetical teamwork situation and ask the candidate to consider how he/she would react. Listen and observe to assess attitude, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, social graces, and communication. You might also discover attributes such as motivation, commitment, and leadership.
  • Try not to be put off if a candidate quickly brings up the subject of salary. Sometimes candidates are fearful of a firm’s stability and are trying to ascertain not only how to manage expenses but also potential for advancement.
  What about poor communication skills?
  • If a candidate’s communication skills are not the best but skills like teamwork and strategic thinking are desirable, determine if the person may be open to online training as a job objective. Or, if the candidate has real potential, perhaps a membership in Toastmasters or a few classes with a speaking coach might be helpful.
  • Finally, take note if he/she expresses thanks for the opportunity to speak with you. Good communication also comprises good manners. A lack of gratitude can indicate a sense of entitlement, a very undesirable trait.
Check out next week's blog for part 2 of this trilogy. MPS Technical can help you find an employee that is the best fit for your organization. We ask the kinds of questions that determine skill levels and characteristics that meet your needs and goals. We send you the best candidates from the deeper end of the talent pool. We have been connecting the best precision manufacturing companies with the best candidates for every position at every level for more than 20 years. Contact us today.