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First Employee for 2 yr old shop

Thank you everyone for the helpful responses! I do think it’s time to call it quits for my current helper and go back to the drawing board. One thing I’m struggling with too is that everytime I have to run out to do something, I can’t let him do anything unsupervised as he has to constantly be fed tasks to do, so if I have a meeting that I’m gone for the day for, I have to tell him to stay home. I might look further into a robot, my only concern with that is that I do a lot of high mix stuff and use a ton of custom soft jaws so I’m not sure how well a robot would do in that application. I did see 5th axis makes vices that are intended to be picked up by robot essentially creating a mini pallet pool kind of system which would probably work well but I’m a newbie when it comes to automation. I also think that on my next hire, I will be targeting a higher level guy rather than someone that needs a lot of training, I really need them to be as productive as possible from day one and need someone that can keep things going while I’m away at meetings/handling admin. I’ve tried the lower cost up front in trade for training and so far it hasn’t been working well. Thanks again for all of the help!
 
Experience yea....but you still may not get what you're looking for, could have been in a shop for 4 years and be the sluff-off guy they are trying to get
rid of......
These days it's all motivation and interest......re read Alek95 post, the kid has no motivation.
Find the person that actually shows interest, then take the time, REAL time to train them, then things will work.
If you won't commit to real training in your shop, then shame on you..........the way you are writing you want this new person to walk in the door and run your business.
That person will have his own shop.
 
The best noob low cost employees I ever hired were from community college machining courses.
They gave up 2-3 years for this, they want to learn and work, and actually know some things, and care!
 
maybe he needs glasses, so he can see 'all' the chips?
or re-evaluate your cleaning method, maybe break it down into a 'sing-song' routine?
Maybe he needs a little more incentive: dock his pay for every chip dented part...or better yet, offer a reward/bonus for each day without a chip. Offer a Visa gift card, etc at the end of the week. Get a dry erase board, and red / green makers - hang it by his work area and have him celebrate the wins, document the losses with tic-marks in the win lose columns. A little "real time" visual feed back may work much better than your verbal admonishments.
Another consideration, since you mentioned you have to step in and do the job while he watches: When I started in biz, hiring my first employees, a wise mentor told me, "If you want some one to learn how to drive, get out of the driver's seat, and put them behind the wheel, while you offer instructions.
I own two machine shops, going on 61 yrs in biz - for the past decade, we try to hire folks with good "soft" job skills (showing up, being on time, dressing appropriately, good personal hygiene, able to speak/communicate ...we can teach 99% them the 'hard' skills, chew gum and walk etc. We do have weekly evaluation meetings during a 90 day probation period, in case we encounter that 1% that just can't grasp the "hard" skills.
Sometimes, we 'down-grade' an employee that is having a hard time doing critical tasks - for example, when I was just starting out, I made a list of all the menial, but necessary tasks that consumed my time in the shop. Things as simple as making coffee in the morning, sweeping & cleaning up in the evening, clearing chips & hauling out the trash, cleaning the bathroom, packaging/shipping products, filling coolant, minor maintenance, prep raw stock, etc.
Then review the list with the rookie ask him if he can help you with these task. Adjust pay accordingly, Basically, teach them to walk, before running...ease them into the more tech demanding tasks, with adjusted pay based on merit not clock time (base + commission).
Didn't always work, but at the end of 90 days, we could make a decision without regrets. Best of luck.
 
I never understood people who do this :nutter:
We all know about the head butting between Production and Quality that sometimes goes on. I'll give you an example from another place I worked, and I was on the Quality side. All I can tell you is that I do NOT subscribe to the tribalism others were afflicted with. It's about doing the job, that's it.

The point relevant to this thread and some of the issues with new hires and training that have been brought up here is: It can be a problem if employees have to have someone sitting on them to get anything out of them. That if they aren't directly supervised and fed work, they can't be relied on to take the initiative. Instead they go "dormant" until someone else hands them something to do.

Scenario:

CNC Production lost their night supervisor. They pulled an "experienced" Die Cast super from that building to handle things at the CNC building for a time until they found a replacement. I was a Day shift Inspector. They put me on the night shift for a time to fill in there because we lost our night shift Inspector.

The "Supervisor" was someone who needed to be Supervised as it turns out. No initiative, no focusing on the job. If I went out on the floor to do a walk around or deal with a first piece inspection he got out of the chair in the Inspection room he was lounging back in talking about (whatever, not work related), followed me out, and walked round pretending he was doing something. I watched him, he was doing nothing. He wasn't actually checking with Operators or LOOKING at anything. Not really. It was an aimless show of wandering around.

Then when I headed back into the Inspection room he followed me and resumed his slouched back camp out routine talkin-talk again.

I'm doing work at my desk between floor & operator checks. He's camped out talky-talkin, not taking the initiative, not LOOKING for something that needs doing on his own. He's not checking with Operators regularly making his presence as a fill in Supervisor more personal/comfortable.

Camp back and wait for someone to tell him something needs to be done I guess.

Or, maybe I'm just an Elitist with a bad attitude. /shrug
 
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We all know about the head butting between Production and Quality that sometimes goes on. I'll give you an example from another place I worked, and I was on the Quality side. All I can tell you is that I do NOT subscribe to the tribalism others were afflicted with. It's about doing the job, that's it.

The point relevant to this thread and some of the issues with new hires and training that have been brought up here is: It can be a problem if employees have to have someone sitting on them to get anything out of them. That if they aren't directly supervised and fed work, they can't be relied on to take the initiative. Instead they go "dormant" until someone else hands them something to do.

Scenario:

CNC Production lost their night supervisor. They pulled an "experienced" Die Cast super from that building to handle things at the CNC building for a time until they found a replacement. I was a Day shift Inspector. They put me on the night shift for a time to fill in there because we lost our night shift Inspector.

The "Supervisor" was someone who needed to be Supervised as it turns out. No initiative, no focusing on the job. If I went out on the floor to do a walk around or deal with a first piece inspection he got out of the chair in the Inspection room he was lounging back in talking about (whatever, not work related), followed me out, and walked round pretending he was doing something. I watched him, he was doing nothing. He wasn't actually checking with Operators or LOOKING at anything. Not really. It was an aimless show of wandering around.

Then when I headed back into the Inspection room he followed me and resumed his slouched back camp out routine talkin-talk again.

I'm doing work at my desk between floor & operator checks. He's camped out talky-talkin, not taking the initiative, not LOOKING for something that needs doing on his own. He's not checking with Operators regularly making his presence as a fill in Supervisor more personal/comfortable.

Camp back and wait for someone to tell him something needs to be done I guess.

Or, maybe I'm just an Elitist with a bad attitude. /shrug
It's called work ethic, I was taught it by my father, and I teach it to my son.
A lot of peoples are shit!

I'm kind of(totally) an asshole at work, I don't care if I'm your boss, don't care if your mine, I'll tell you to get the fuq back to work.
Some try to argue back, "your not my boss", but to avoid the alpha male argument, they always got back to work.

In the end, they know its correct, and what they are getting paid for.
 
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Used to be standard union practice ....no one works when the boss is away .....anyone who does gets the message very soon.
A good boss tells his guys what needs done, then leaves, although they sometimes initiate a BS session, just to break the monotony of the day. Most that I've worked with despise bird dogs.
 
I knew one business where despite the daughters efforts to close it down,it kept going ........the employees were all over pension age .........eventually the daughter screaming at customers and throwing stuff around did close it ,and the fathers will then allowed the building to be sold.
 
I have said this many times, but I will say it again- since about 1988, I have been hiring employees who are just finished getting 2 year AA degrees in the trades from local community colleges. I did this in Southern California, and from 3 different schools in Washington State. I, myself, went to night school in machining at LA trade tech, and hired grads from there.
A kid who has committed 2 years of time, and their own money, to taking classes, which include things like math, and writing, that not everybody likes, has already proven they are committed to working with metal and can stick to it.
Like a job, you dont get to graduate unless you show up, do the work, and arent stoned or drunk.
Check into local community colleges.
CALL, not email, the instructors, explain your business, and ask them who to hire.
This works. I find that the instructors pre screen, and almost always, send me people right for my shop. They are all, in my experience, deeply interested in seeing their students succeed.
I have hired, over the years, probably between 30 and 40 men and women, from welding, machining, manufacturing tech, and automotive design programs.
Many worked for me for 3 to 5 years.
This is the best answer you can get. My instructor from college was constantly posting jobs in the class and had a whole list of shops that would call him every few months to ask if he had anyone that would work well at their business. After I was done with my two years, he would email me and other classmates jobs if we were still searching. I still call or text when I get stuck on something and he enjoys helping because he likes to see us succeed. Best teacher I ever had in all my years of school.
 
For $20/hr in California, you can't expect someone to be able to load a part into a vise properly with any kind of consistency. It will sometimes be crooked or be marred by chips.

As others noted, there has to be some motivating force. 20 bucks just doesn't get you there. I have wondered if prisoners would make better workers. Only the best behaved are allowed to work and only the best of those are chosen to work for private enterprise at minimum wage instead of $1/hr stamping license plates. Anyone here tried hiring from the prison system?
 
Funny you should mention that .......bosses employed jailbirds for the one off bonus payment ...around $5000,if they stayed employed for 6 months,much more for aboriginies .......One pulled a knife on me when I told him to get his feet off the dash of a truck..............two others had a right carveup when one pushed in front of the other at the snack truck........then there was a disagreement between two room mates in the hut at the refinery ......ate a piece out of a choc bar ,and rewrapped it ........The foreman said he'd never seen so much blood as was all over the lunchroom.
 
Whomever, wherever ..
I had fantastic results with 1/20 random people.

So some people are good for anything, basically. (Me also).
And fantastic results out of industrial engineers, with minimum 10 years experience, paying about 8k€/month plus 2-3k comission.
 
For $20/hr in California, you can't expect someone to be able to load a part into a vise properly with any kind of consistency. It will sometimes be crooked or be marred by chips.

As others noted, there has to be some motivating force. 20 bucks just doesn't get you there. I have wondered if prisoners would make better workers. Only the best behaved are allowed to work and only the best of those are chosen to work for private enterprise at minimum wage instead of $1/hr stamping license plates. Anyone here tried hiring from the prison system?
Maybe having a decent work ethic? Or is that a lost cause these days.
 
I learned attention to detail from old motor bikes .....if they broke down ,you pushed home.....I had no one to ask,had to figure it all out for myself..........a lot of what people told me was BS ,stuff they made up cause they didnt know.
 
Attention to detail.....the tiniest detail.....just doesnt exist any more.
Yea ...it still does....I can't elaborate about the process but one of my customers detail of their hand assembly "thing" is crazy.
And this is not a one/two thing...but continuous production.
 
I have said this many times, but I will say it again- since about 1988, I have been hiring employees who are just finished getting 2 year AA degrees in the trades from local community colleges. I did this in Southern California, and from 3 different schools in Washington State. I, myself, went to night school in machining at LA trade tech, and hired grads from there.
A kid who has committed 2 years of time, and their own money, to taking classes, which include things like math, and writing, that not everybody likes, has already proven they are committed to working with metal and can stick to it.
Like a job, you dont get to graduate unless you show up, do the work, and arent stoned or drunk.
Check into local community colleges.
CALL, not email, the instructors, explain your business, and ask them who to hire.
This works. I find that the instructors pre screen, and almost always, send me people right for my shop. They are all, in my experience, deeply interested in seeing their students succeed.
I have hired, over the years, probably between 30 and 40 men and women, from welding, machining, manufacturing tech, and automotive design programs.
Many worked for me for 3 to 5 years.
Excellent advice. Something I have found is that applicants with above average mechanical aptitude work the best
for me. I look for gearheads. That has been the most common attribute of all the best employees I have had over the
years.

Good luck!
 








 
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