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Important Competencies to Measure When Hiring Manufacturing Employees

October 15, 2020

We’re all aware of the “heavy hitter” competencies that are important to measure when hiring manufacturing employees – safety, teamwork, and being able to multitask, to name a few. While those competencies are critical to any manufacturing selection assessment, there are several others that should be deemed important as well.  

Including the following three competencies in your measurement can help to give a more well-rounded vision of the candidates that are applying 

Continuous Improvement 

Hiring Manufacturing Employees

Defined here as focusing on process improvements and increasing efficiencies at work, it is easy to see why this competency is important to measure. Employers will want to look for candidates that not only show up and complete the tasks that they are given, but that also take their work one step further. Candidates that do not have a drive in Continuous Improvement are likely to stick to the status quo and do the bare minimum that is assigned. Opposingly, candidates that look for ways to continuously improve processes or procedures can ultimately help to increase productivity or reduce cost in the manufacturing setting 

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In this case, referred to as taking ownership of one’s own actions and what results from those actions. Candidates with a great sense of responsibility should not make excuses or blame others for their own mistakes, but rather take primary ownership of the situation. They recognize that they can and should be held accountable for their own actions. Honesty also plays a part within this measurement. Employers should seek out candidates that are willing to step up and speak out when they make a mistake, as opposed to sweeping it under the rug or blaming someone else for their actionsDoing so can help to ensure safety and productivity within manufacturing.  

Work Ethic 

This competency can be defined as having high standards for one’s work and working tirelessly to complete tasks and meet goals. In the manufacturing setting, this competency is clearly important. Production and assembly work cannot be completed if employees are not willing to put the time and effort into their assignments. Employers should be seeking candidates that want to take that extra step and want to set those high standards in their work, rather than completing the bare minimum. Candidates with great work ethic should take pride in their work and have the drive to not only reach the goals that were set for them, but to go above and beyond.  

It's important to note that the competencies discussed above, Continuous Improvement, Responsibility, and Work Ethic, are three competencies that can also form a well-rounded image of manufacturing candidates and what their performance could look like after they are trained and working. It's also good to remember that selection is only the first step in the hiring lifecycle; training and development follow shortly after. To read more on how to effectively onboard manufacturing employees, check out our blog, Strategies For Onboarding Success In Manufacturing

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Hannah Asbury, M.S. Hannah Asbury, M.S. is a Consulting Associate at PSI Services, based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She implements and supports industry-leading, legally defensible assessment solutions and hiring processes for clients across a variety of industries. Her areas of expertise include candidate experience and communication, job analysis, and adverse impact.