The RecruiterGuy.com Blog is written for executives, corporate recruiters, third party recruiters, and candidates. Based on recruitment, recruitment consulting, and training since 1981 across many industries, Bill Humbert is an expert Contract Recruiter Consultant,Public Speaker, and Author of "RecruiterGuy's Guide to Finding a Job".
There are always going to be naysayers and those who
want us to believe the negative.While
we were almost beginning to believe that all manufacturing has left or is
leaving the US, we are now seeing evidence of its return - or maybe some never
left.There is also a not so quiet
addition to the American manufacturing story – foreign manufacturers who are
successfully finding talent and building their products in the US.
What is really interesting are the headquarters
locations of some of the companies that have experienced success manufacturing
their automobiles within the US for some time – BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Toyota,
Honda, and Nissan.With them are their
suppliers.Over one third of all cars
produced in the US in 2008 were produced in US plants owned by foreign
Now the folks who thought all of our manufacturing
was taking in place in China and India are complaining that there not enough
trained workers in the US to re-shore manufacturing here.
There are times we need to be careful what we say –
and what we ask for.If enough people
are fed that propaganda long enough, they will believe it.Then we may really have problems.
The evidence shows that there are manufacturing jobs
in every state.Obviously there may be
states where there are more experienced manufacturing talent or states where
there is a greater need for experienced people for manufacturing jobs.This is not an unusual situation in other
industries.Remember Software Engineers
in Silicon Valley in 1999/2000?I was
out there recruiting for a client then.It was a free for all.Did the
need for more software engineers end that growth?No, more likely it was the fact that there
were more poor business plans than lack of experienced software engineers that
caused the Dot Bomb.
Where do we go from here?Somehow Honda has found experienced workers
in Ohio since 1982.They produce a
popular and quality Honda Accord there.Subaru
builds their quality Outback in a zero landfill manufacturing facility in
We need to get manufacturers in high schools to
begin to discuss the new clean and well lit manufacturing facilities and whet
the students’ appetite for these jobs.Let them know there is a future career in manufacturing.Get into Community Colleges and make them
aware that manufacturing is alive in the US.
Recruit out of areas that have excess manufacturing
talent.People will move if they find
the right job and find housing.Work
with technical and community colleges to create training programs that train
both recent high school graduates and previously experienced workers for work
in production facilities.During the
telecom boom in the 1990’s, Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland,
Kansas created such a quality telecom outside plant training program that there
were often more recruiters than graduates from their program (I usually got my
share!). Many of their students were not
traditional students.They were experienced
in other fields prior to attending Northwest Kansas Technical College.
Work with these schools to create manufacturing
training programs like the one I mentioned above.It could become your own minor league
development location until other manufacturers learn about it.If your production facilities use Lean/Agile,
this training could include all aspects of eliminating waste and continuous
process improvement.Possibly create a
certification program that enables workers to work and get paid while learning
Take a look at this website http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm/"target”_blank” As of December 31, 2012 BLS table U6 shows
that over 14% of all workers are unemployed or underemployed.Are there potential manufacturing
professionals in those 23 million people out of work?With that kind of potential source of
candidates, I would love to recruit production workers for a client with a
Lean/Agile production facility!
Work with your state’s economic development and workforce
development groups to create the training needed; and let’s get workers back to
work – and more manufacturing back in the US!Every time one person finds a new job, our economy improves.
Obviously companies do not intentionally, knowingly set out
to find the wrong person to fill a job.On the other hand, if they do not seriously create meaningful job
descriptions, this is the path they are on.
Several months ago we discussed that every company has a
Recruitment Strategy whether they are aware of it or not.Some Recruitment Strategies are very simple –
“Just Recruit”.Obviously those
strategies make it difficult to improve because there are no processes defined.
This series of recruitment process improvement articles
continues with the most important fundamental of the Recruitment Process – the
Job Description.As the foundation of
the Recruitment Process, the Job Description determines:
1)The Sourcing Process;
2)The Interviewing Process;
3)The Selection Process;
4)The Offer Process;
5)The Final Candidate Due Diligence;
6)And will positively impact the first year’s
The job description is that important.
How many times have you read job descriptions and wondered
really what the person was going to do on the job?In my almost 32 years of recruitment
experience, I have seen executives require that job descriptions intentionally
be vaguely written so it gives them the most latitude in selecting the person
they want to hire.I have worked with
hiring managers who did not want to give important details because “I need
flexibility” in selecting the right candidate.One of those managers selected a candidate that I suggested may not be
the best fit.Six months later, they
came to me and told me “Your candidate is not working out.”I reminded them that we discussed the person
prior to the offer.If we had truly
specified the responsibilities and goals for the position prior to beginning
the recruitment process, the candidate/employee probably would not have been
among those selected for interviews.
Additionally candidates express frustration when job
descriptions are vague.As a result,
many times companies and recruiting firms receive many more unqualified
candidates replying to their vague postings.Candidates feel that “maybe I am a fit for this job” and then apply.How much time does these unwanted responses
cost your recruiting team?All of these
unqualified responses take time from considering candidates who may have the
right experience but not in your company’s search terms (and that is the
difficulty of allowing the applicant tracking system to “screen out”
candidates).Consider that it is fine
for candidates to decide not to apply if the job is not one that truly
interests them or they determine they are not qualified.Why attract candidates that you have no
desire to hire?
What is the best way to structure a job description?Since the person will report to a manager,
isn’t it best to train and guide the hiring manager how to create an effective
job description?Some positions like
call center and production line positions may be cookie cutter job
descriptions.Just ensure they are up to
date to cover new technologies or processes that may have been introduced.
Obviously what should be the easiest task is to list the day
to day duties for the position.Then
list any special project responsibilities, for instance people who work for the
Sundance Institute probably have additional duties during the 10 days of the
Sundance Film Festival.Determine any
strategic planning or implementations the position is responsible and list
them.What management responsibilities
are included in this position?Are
budget responsibilities included?How
many people will they manage directly and indirectly?What system of management does your company
embrace – matrix or line?
Once the responsibilities are listed and verified, it is
time to add the special sauce that really helps your company determine the best
qualified candidate and then retain them.Now it is time to list the 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 12 month goals
for the position.Once these goals are
determined, the skills and experience necessary to be successful the first year
become crystal clear.
It is important to ensure that the job description contains
management responsibilities if the person will be a manager; and conversely
that there are no management responsibilities if the person is a sole
contributor.It is important to mention
that a job description does not contain all responsibilities related to the
position.Why?Business requirements change as business
conditions change.The job description
should include any physical requirements for the position.It is also important to include EEO at the
end of the job description for public posting.
At this point, your hiring manager and recruiter have a
clear picture of the ideal candidate.The recruiter and hiring manager should discuss the best method of
sourcing the qualified candidates.Hiring managers need to be active in sourcing but that is another
conversation about engagement.
Smart recruiters create a phone screen based on the job
description and present it to the hiring manager for their comments and
participation in the search.Since the
goals are listed, the phone screen becomes more relevant and focused.Now the hiring manager has the needed
information to create an interview that measures skills and experience plus the
opportunity to probe candidate responses in the phone screen.
Why do some hiring managers dread the interviewing
process?They feel they do not have the
information needed to effectively interview and select the best qualified
candidate.This is part of the value of
a well-structured job description with the goals included.Effective interviews are enormously important
in determining the best qualified candidate who is also the best cultural fit.As candidates are reviewed after the
interview, the elements of the job description are the best way to determine
Companies do have a choice when they develop a job
description process.If an effective job
description is not a priority in a company, the recruitment process may be
“Let’s Go Find The Wrong Person!”If the
effective job description becomes a priority for a company:
1)The candidates will be more focused;
2)Interviews will be more focused;
3)Selection will be focused on the best qualified
4)And, there is a stronger likelihood of retaining
the best employees.