Modern Machine Shop

JAN 2017

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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40 MMS January 2017 mmsonline.com COMPETING IDEAS Columnist One of the facts of business is that people leave companies. Whether it's a voluntar y or involuntar y separation, a void is created that usually, somehow must be filled. If we are fortu- nate enough to be able to replace the person leaving, we are faced with the prospect of inter- viewing candidates, and unfor tunately, this is something most of us do not do well. Sometimes, we are so anxious to replace an employee that we don't put enough time into the interviewing/ vetting process and hire the wrong person. Other times, we hem and haw about the best candidate for the position and delay making a decision to the point of losing a highly qualified person to another company or, even worse, a competitor. Interviewing is a process, and like all processes, there is always room for improvement. Prepara- tion is essential to making the process more effective and finding the right person for a job. Here are some considerations when preparing to conduct interviews for any open position: 1. Know the real needs of the job you are filling. There are usually formal job descriptions for every position, and sometimes they are even up-to-date and reflective of the job requirements. Even so, a general job description may not be enough. Take some time to list the requirements that you believe are really important to the posi- tion you are filling. While still fresh in your mind, you may want to consider all of the tasks the prior employee did well, or not so well, and see where they fit on your needs list. One of my clients recently undertook this specific effort after an employee left, and it changed his thinking about the type of person he was looking for. 2. Rank the real needs in order of priority. This helps separate the "must-have" needs from the "would-like-to-have" needs. Although you may think everything on your requirements list is impor tant, some needs are more impor tant than others. Be selective about what you must have, as the fewer requirements you stipulate, the more choices you will have to fill the position. It does no good to have so many must-haves that nobody can possibly qualify for the job. 3. Build interview questions around the real needs. Exact interview questions will vary depending on the job being filled, but the types of questions can be surprisingly similar from job to job. If the job is a management position and one of the must-haves is leadership skill, think of questions that will assess the candidate's experience acting as a leader. Such questions usually begin with the phrase: "Can you give me an example of . . . ." If the job is a technical posi- tion and one of the must-haves is mechanical aptitude, think of questions that will reveal how that person per formed in troubleshooting, or building or repairing products. After the ques- tions relating to these requirements are addressed, develop questions that will reveal additional information about the candidate's sk ills and experience. Often, this second phase of ques- tioning will reveal subtle dif ferences between Preparing an Effective Job Interview Filling an open position is a process that requires time and planning in order to meet the end goal: finding the right person for the job. WAYNE S. CHANESKI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CENTER FOR MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

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