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Five Tips for Testing Manufacturing Candidates

February 26, 2013
manufacturing assessment

Whether you have a high- or low- volume need to fill and staff your entry-level manufacturing needs, there are some legal and candidate care issues that could arise. Sometimes it can be difficult to manage a large volume of candidates, or any volume of candidates,due to limited HR staff. Here are 5 tips to help you in your manufacturing focused hiring process:

1. Identify the minimum qualifications for each position.

These are the “must haves” or the “required upon entry” knowledge, skills or abilities. Many times the manufacturing or maintenance managers may desire that new hires posses certain skills before being hired, even if those skills can be learned in less than a week. I think we can all appreciate this. Considering our busy schedule, why spend time training someone if we can find and hire someone who already possesses that skill? But as we learned from Griggs v. Duke Power Co., a selection process must consist of standards that fulfill business needs and are valid measures of an applicant’s ability to learn or perform the job. Setting the selection criteria to allow minimally qualified candidates through initial stages of the selection process will ensure that you’re focusing on the right factors and maintaining legal defensibility.

2. State the minimum qualifications on the job description.

Once you have determined the qualifications that a minimally qualified candidate must possess to successfully perform that job, make sure to state them on the job description and display the job description early in the selection process. Not only will this provide the candidate with clear job expectations, but it will allow you to use those criteria to screen candidates out of the process as early as the online application.

3. Invest in a realistic job preview video.

Let’s be honest, sometimes candidates do not clearly understand what they are getting themselves into. A well-written job description helps, but some companies also invest in a realistic job preview video. In this video they provide an overview of the day-to-day activities performed by team members. It allows team members to provide positive, yet realistic testimonies of the job where they describe the noise level, temperature, difficulty level, repetitive nature and type of shift one could expect to experience. Candidates viewing the video could see team members in uniform wearing their personal protective equipment and get a glimpse of the plant floor. You would much rather a candidate self-select out of the process early in the selection process rather than a week into their employment.

4. When choosing a candidate tracking system, ensure you are able to monitor both demographics and overall pass rates.

It’s important to not only report to the EEOC or the OFCCP, but also to be able to pull data relatively quickly when working on internal diversity initiatives. You will want this type of data for every step of the process and only for candidates who are considered applicants. This will provide you with insight to monitor the effectiveness and fairness of your selection procedures.

5. Provide an automated candidate status update system.

One technology development that has worked well for manufacturing clients, who have a relatively thin HR staff compared to the number of candidates they process, has been a status update system. With this system candidates can not only log on to check their status, but they are also able to update their contact information should they change their address, phone numbers or email address. The system can be tied to your candidate tracking system where it pulls from a pre-loaded set of “updates” based on the candidate’s status. Allowing candidates to check their status and update info electronically helps reduce the burden on HR staff and allows for a more positive candidate experience.

the comprehensive guide to hiring in manufacturing

Eli Castruita Eli Castruita