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Head hunter experiences?

ttgam

Plastic
Joined
Jan 18, 2024
We have a big need for some help. I have put ads here and on Indeed and Linkedin. I have tried the long winded job descriptions with all the trendy points, I have tried the short and sweet. We have had no real response. We need a CNC machinist with pretty specific experience, which I know makes it a harder, but I think the pay is high. What hiring practices have you found helpful? I am considering a head hunter and wanted to see if anyone here has one they would recommend.

Business is great and we have so much more work knocking at our door. We have the machines, just need another person or two. Honestly I would take CNC machinist and/or a well rounded manual machine journeyman. Most important in the CNC is someone who can do large shafts with tight tolerances in a Mazak. I give you a print, you give me a shaft. OD and ID turning and grinding for the manual side of the house.

Thanks
 
I am going to make a few assumptions here:
1. You are paying a fair wage for the area, type of work, and experience required
2. You offer, at a minimum, a standard benefits package
3. You have good equipment, good facilities, and good management

If those things are all true, I have found good success using local headhunters who have direct experience in industry. It is important that they are local, and have experience in industry. If the headhunter does not meet those requirements, you will be doing an interview for a machinist and find out the candidate is a diesel mechanic who used a drill press once.

A headhunter will likely have a pool of candidates they work with. They will have a little more access to people who are not actively looking for a job, or may know a candidate who doesn't look great on paper, but would be a great fit for your shop.

Other than that, a headhunter doesn't do any more than you would. Write a job description, post it around, review resumes, filter out the garbage, do initial phone screenings with potentials. This is all stuff that takes a lot of your time, and can easily be done by someone else. My opinion is that it is worth the cost to let someone else do all that leg work, and just let me review the resumes and interview candidates that make it past the initial screening.

It is expensive to use a headhunter though. Over the years I have averaged 15% of an employees annual salary to the headhunter for a successful placement. I always negotiate terms like: no payment until candidate has been employed for 30 days, free placement of a new candidate if the first one doesn't make it to 90 days, and prorated fees if I take a gamble on a candidate at the recommendation of the headhunter.

All in all, a headhunter is just another tool you can use to gain some momentum for an employee search. I will emphasize once more: Local headhunter and experience in industry.
 
When I was in machining school and looking for machinist jobs, there was a trades manpower agency in town that would send people out on jobs. In Farmington New Mexico. I strictly remember machinists, welders, and carpenters all could go get essentially 2 weeks with someone. The employer and the employee would then decide they weren't a good fit and or they were and hire them on. The employer paid more but the agency did all the dirty work. I went to one shop with them, moved to shop 2 after 2 weeks, stayed there. I went to move on later from there but now knew which and what shops to go to.
 
If you are getting little to no response, your missing something. There is something about the work, your company, the location, etc.

There is a company north of me that has constant adds trying to hire. The owner is very vocal about how there is no one available to work and they can't hire. They are located in a VERY high cost area, and their "very good pay" is less than what most production workers make. Their benefits are meh, and their time off is terrible.

I have a friend that would be a killer candidate for you. Has years of experience doing large shafting for the hydraulic industry. Doesn't balk at precision tolerances, buries his co workers in productivity, and goes out of his way to be constantly looking for improvements. He makes $36/hr, in a climate controlled shop, with excellent benefits and 4wks vacation.

What about your company, the work, the location, the pay, the benefits, would attract him to your work?
 
If you are getting little to no response, your missing something. There is something about the work, your company, the location, etc.

There is a company north of me that has constant adds trying to hire. The owner is very vocal about how there is no one available to work and they can't hire. They are located in a VERY high cost area, and their "very good pay" is less than what most production workers make. Their benefits are meh, and their time off is terrible.

I have a friend that would be a killer candidate for you. Has years of experience doing large shafting for the hydraulic industry. Doesn't balk at precision tolerances, buries his co workers in productivity, and goes out of his way to be constantly looking for improvements. He makes $36/hr, in a climate controlled shop, with excellent benefits and 4wks vacation.

What about your company, the work, the location, the pay, the benefits, would attract him to your work?
We have a new climate controlled shop, new machines, and for this job we would pay $45/hr. Benefits are good, but probably not like working for Boeing. You're right I must be missing something, and I appreciate the help trying to find it. We are in near New Orleans and cost of living here isn't bad. I'm sure there are people out there that would fit great, but I can't seem to find one; either I am not getting my ads noticed, there is something wrong with what I'm offering (like you said), or people just don't want to move. There is plenty of oil field machining around here but thats not very precision and honestly some people just don't want to leave their town.

And this is why I was interested in a head hunter. Maybe there is a reason there is an industry just for people finding people. It is easy to google "CNC machinist recruiter" but there is so much junk on the internet I was hoping I could get a good reference from here.
 
I am going to make a few assumptions here:
1. You are paying a fair wage for the area, type of work, and experience required
2. You offer, at a minimum, a standard benefits package
3. You have good equipment, good facilities, and good management

If those things are all true, I have found good success using local headhunters who have direct experience in industry. It is important that they are local, and have experience in industry. If the headhunter does not meet those requirements, you will be doing an interview for a machinist and find out the candidate is a diesel mechanic who used a drill press once.

A headhunter will likely have a pool of candidates they work with. They will have a little more access to people who are not actively looking for a job, or may know a candidate who doesn't look great on paper, but would be a great fit for your shop.

Other than that, a headhunter doesn't do any more than you would. Write a job description, post it around, review resumes, filter out the garbage, do initial phone screenings with potentials. This is all stuff that takes a lot of your time, and can easily be done by someone else. My opinion is that it is worth the cost to let someone else do all that leg work, and just let me review the resumes and interview candidates that make it past the initial screening.

It is expensive to use a headhunter though. Over the years I have averaged 15% of an employees annual salary to the headhunter for a successful placement. I always negotiate terms like: no payment until candidate has been employed for 30 days, free placement of a new candidate if the first one doesn't make it to 90 days, and prorated fees if I take a gamble on a candidate at the recommendation of the headhunter.

All in all, a headhunter is just another tool you can use to gain some momentum for an employee search. I will emphasize once more: Local headhunter and experience in industry.
Thank you, that's good advice if we go that route.
 
I know we spoke privately before and I have been thinking about you and your situation.
In the past the best headhunters have been tooling sales people. They are in the shops, they talk to the guys and usually know when someone is looking to drag up.
Also you could try some targeted Facebook adds, I'd try the Lafayette area for some one for your type of work. They do a lot of completion and liner hanger work out there, tight tolerance shaft/tube work.
Another thought, that $45 an hour figure may be scaring away mid level or younger guys that you might be able to successfully train. All my best people I have personally trained, some on the specifics of our product some completely from scratch. You are unlikely to find that perfect candidate but if you get a mid level guy from a larger shop and treat him well for long enough he'll eventually start working as a recruiter for you, trying to convince his old coworkers to join him. Just be careful with that, I have learned the better of hiring groups of friends for various reasons.
Nothing about growing a shop is easy.
 
Thanks everybody.. yall have given me a few ideas and I'll see what I can do with it.
 
My experience with headhunters has been all negative. They have been glorified used car salesmen, trying to put an ass in a seat and collect a large royalty. They have even put pressure on me to try to get me to hire an unsuitable candidate so that they can get paid. I actually had that happen, to my expensive regret.
A headhunter will likely have a pool of candidates they work with. They will have a little more access to people who are not actively looking for a job, or may know a candidate who doesn't look great on paper, but would be a great fit for your shop.
If you can find this kind of headhunter, give it a try.
 
I’m not interested because I’m retired and more a grinder guy.
But if interested I might ask if the shop has a product or is a job shop and how long has the shop been in business.
I think $45per is very good money.

I have known lathe guys with many years who were super sharp and could do anything and others with many years who knew very little.

Guess I would ask a lathe job applicant "What would be the infeed for turning a 3/4-10 thread... and expect and answer something around or between .065 and .075.
A lathe guy should be able to figure that just thinking, and I would let him use a calculator..

or "if you found a .015 taper that needed to be straight about how much might you adjust the tail stock.

Might ask "what would be good angles on a tool bit for turning not hard tool steel."

Yes apprentice questions.
 
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Thanks everybody.. yall have given me a few ideas and I'll see what I can do with it.
more or less, id be saying, you might need to be able to train the right guy, just need to find the guy who thinks things through before he does it and knows or can find the outcome.
its a tough sell, but its something I could easily do, manual lathe experience goes probably the longest way.
is there any local colleges near by? any general manufacturing or other shops that might even know of someone?
 

Head hunter experiences? Is not relative to the subject.​

Large Shaft making person needed, New Orleans. might bre better.
then in the thread CNC, manual and grinding ect.
Likely a lot of PM guys ignore a thread about headhunters.
You might ask the moderatior to change title'
Buck
 
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Likely a lot of PM guys ignore a thread about headhunters.
No, it's titled appropriately. This is the shop owners and management section, he's looking for advice not applicants.

Unfortunately I do not have anything to add, that's seems like a good job for someone. I'm about to be in a similar position of hiring so if you crack the code let us know.
 
In my opinion the one area that the internet has made worse of all things is job searching. Several years back I got laid off from my job, and had the displeasure of trying to search out a new one. It sucked there are about five websites that are all listing around 75% the same jobs with about 25% differences between the two of them, this means a job searcher whose desperate for a job must search all of them all the time which sucks.

Additionally It is super easy and doesn't cost anything for unqualified applicants to carpet bomb their resumes on millions of companies and see if one sticks. This makes it annoying for employers.

Then the other problem that the job searcher may stumble upon is how to actually search for a job. Are you listing your job to specifically, for example "Large Shaft Guy", because if I'm qualified but only searching out "machinist" I may never find the job.

In my field I am a mechanical engineer, yet I've seen the job titles for my position being project engineer, product engineer, designer engineer etc... so when I was looking I had to search for engineer. This brought up everybody including the guy who drives the train for Metro-North. It was not an effective way to search and would come up with 400 jobs each day of which only two to three might be of any interest to me.

In the end the solution for me was to just post my resume on a few websites, the headhunters called me and within a couple of days they had found me the perfect job that I love to this day. Funny thing too was I wasn't really qualified for my current job but I really wanted it and was able to explain to the headhunter why I would be a good investment for my employer and everything worked out. This is something you also may and want to consider, sometimes people are switching jobs because they want new challenges and to learn new things. Maybe the guy who's a whiz at turning small parts wants to try his hand at big stuff, if within 3 to 6 months he's up to speed and lasts you 10 years is that a bad hire? There was a time about 4 years ago that I was thinking of looking just because I was bored and tired of what I was doing with my current employer. But then they let me work in some different areas, drop certain things that I didn't like doing, and pick up new skills and now both employees and I are happy as can be.

Furthermore as someone who is now happily employed I have a profile on LinkedIn which I use to keep in touch with people professionally. It also generates a lot of interest from headhunters from time to time. Even though I've never been really interested in them they tend to pass by very very good opportunities that if I found myself slightly disgruntled where I was working I would probably give them the time of day.

On the other hand is someone happily employed there is no chance I'm going to waste my time ever again searching on LinkedIn or indeed unless I was out of work and had no other options my experience years ago was just that bad and useless.

I'm quite confident that if I wanted a new job right now and had the ability to be patient, all I would need to do is work with a few headhunters, and within 6 months I would probably be in a very nice new job. As I mentioned above I've had many really cool opportunities past my way over the last several years when I'm not even looking.
 
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