Subscribe

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Larry Fast
By
May 01, 2017

Are Hard Skills or Soft Skills More Important for Culture? 5 Tips on Hiring for the Factory Floor

Are Hard Skills or Soft Skills More Important? Culture Transformation & Leadership

Question: When you hired for the factory floor, what was more important to you in the candidate -- the hard skills (e.g., CNC machining experience) or softer skills like problem-solving or being a team player. And why?

Answer: As is often the case, it depends.

 

Dealing with the Hard Skills

Any time a company has the opportunity to avoid a lot of training expense and learning-curve time, it's a major plus. Of course we have to pay more up front with the starting wage, but the value to the company Day One is much higher than training our own or sending them to school to be tutored for months or years in the case of journeyman jobs like electricians, plumbers, electronic techs, etc. A technical person should be involved in interviews for these types of jobs to validate the candidate's knowledge and ask detailed questions while HR checks to validate the credentials listed on the applications (certificate/diploma of accomplishment from technical schools). HR also makes certain the applicant passes drug testing, background check, etc.

 

READ NOW: 5 Tips for Introducing Lean to Administrative Functions 

 

Evaluating the Soft Skills

Once the technical skills have been validated, then the evaluation of the talent moves to the soft skills side. I always asked about personal experiences as well as work examples. For instance, my experience is that people who have grown up participating in team sports are typically more compatible to working in teams than those who haven't. They understand there is no "I" in team. They tend to be more helpful. They tend to have more initiative for what it takes to win. They also know how to use a coach to get better. It isn't always the case, but it's a good conversation to have to learn a lot about the person.

For example, are they interested in improving their skills and behaviors to help the business prosper? We're looking for hints here: Will this person fit into the culture that we have or that we're trying to create? What kind of culture has this person worked with in other companies? Ask for an example of what his opinion is on that culture. All these factors are relevant when you're bringing experienced people in from other companies. If they're the best there is in their craft but would prefer to just do their job and be left alone, it isn't likely they'll engage in team improvement activities and become a contributing part of the new culture. It's simply not worth taking on the resistance/non-engagement that you'll have to deal with until your patience runs out and you're right back where you started--looking for a CNC operator.

 

Improve your productivity with a Company culture of Operational Excellence

 

Which Is More Valuable for Your Company Culture?

Because skills in these technical areas (the same applies for salaried engineering and lean/Six Sigma jobs) are often in short supply, or you're in a similar situation to that just described, you are probably better off hiring a smart, trainable person who thinks and behaves the right way. We can always train-in the technical skills if the person is capable of learning and performing. We can also help with the soft skills where there are gaps. For example, a relatively new engineer may be great at the nuts and bolts of her work as an IE/ME/EE, etc., but not yet have mastered how to lead the use of fishbone diagramming or lead a kaizen event. She may also need greenbelt or blackbelt skills in order to lead lean/Six Sigma projects or group dynamics, or whatever to be more effective and to "walk the talk" of the culture the company has or seeks. Their soft skills can also be improved using the two tools noted below.

 

Read More: Don't Sweat the Soft Skills - Strong Leadership and Culture in your Organization

 

As for the soft skills of applicants, there is certain testing that your HR department can provide to give you insight about personal traits that are complementary to your culture or traits that put up a red flag. Employee surveys also are helpful to developing your own database of what behaviors work best in your business. That way you can look for evidence of those qualities in new applicants. In addition to home-grown databases there are wonderful, time-tested tools available.

Two of my favorites over the years are the Myers-Briggs www.myersbriggs.org and FIRO-B www.psychometrics.com/assessments/firo-b/. These tools are also quite effective for helping legacy employees improve skills that make them better workers and team players. Both tools historically have been used primarily for salaried employees, but they will work equally well with hourly workers.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

  1. Follow up how well the new person is being accepted in their group and contributing to good performance. If there is an issue after the person has been brought on board, deal with it. Nip it in the bud. If it persists, don't waste time in hand wringing. Get them out. On the other hand, for those who are adapting well, making positive contributions and working well with their teammates, be proactive and timely in recognizing and communicating how much you appreciate the early work, and let them know their supervisor and HR folks are always available to assist the transition from new employee to a long-service employee.
  2. Don't forget to trust your gut. If the answers to your questions seem shallow; or if you sense an underlying attitude of superiority or of entitlement; or the personality just isn't a fit for the people in similar jobs being applied for, move on to the next candidate. We can make a bad hire in an hour and spend a year pushing a rope before we have to terminate the bad hire and start over. Make sure your HR counterpart and you are in complete alignment on this.
  3. Don't settle under the pressures of the business. If the candidate isn't right as a regular employee, try to fill the immediate need on a contract basis until you find the right match of technical and soft skills. Recently retired folks are often a good temporary solution.
  4. Plan beyond the end of your nose. I sat down in the plant manager's chair in the fall of 1980 and immediately had to put together the budget for the new year. During the course of that preparation, my maintenance manager stopped by, stuck his head in my office and said, "By the way, I've got a pipefitter retiring in April so I'm putting that in the budget for the four-month overlap of expenses." There had been no planning and the slotting of when apprentices should be started to make a seamless transition for any of the trade positions. That was the beginning of succession planning in maintenance because of the special, often scarce skills they possess. We also embarked on developing a relationship with the local technical school where we could forecast our needs and "place our orders." Every company should have such a relationship.

 

Improving Productivity with a Culture of Structure Problem Solving

 

"Don't water your weeds." -- Harvey MacKay

"A certificate does not make you certified. Attitude, performance, commitment to self and team--these and a certificate make you certified." -- Author Unknown

"We don't just pay a person for their skills. We also pay for their attitudes and their behaviors." -- Larry E. Fast

 

View Larry's Profile

More Content from Larry


Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Download the most comprehensive OpEx Resport in the Industry

The Largest Leadership-Level Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Event

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards Video Presentation

Proqis Events Schedule

Proqis Digital

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards

Welcome to BTOES Insights, the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news.
Copy of Copy of Copy of Best-In-Class Training
24097-Proqis-Media-Pack-Banner-300x300
ACCESS 50 VIDEO PRESENTATIONS
Access all 75 Award Finalist Entires
pdf
BTOES AWARD - NO DATE
BTOES UNIVERSAL GRAPHIC - NO DATE
Subscribe to Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Insights Now
btoes19.png
png
2-Sep-18-2020-11-09-03-05-AM
png
DO NOT TOUCH - SPEX  - Proqis Digital Event Graphics for Forward Schedule Email (6)-1
png
19-Sep-18-2020-11-09-46-62-AM
png
1-Oct-19-2020-10-06-32-24-AM
png

Featured Content

  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Technology & Communications: IBM
  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities: Black & Veatch
  • Best Achievement in Cultural Transformation to deliver a high performing Operational Excellence culture: NextEra Energy
   
Operational Excellence Frameworks and Learning Resources, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation and more introductions
  • Intelligent BPM Systems: Impact & Opportunity
  • Surviving_the_IT_Talent_deficit.png
  • Six Sigma's Best Kept Secret: Motorola & The Malcolm Baldrige Awards
  • The Value-Switch for Digitalization Initiatives: Business Process Management
  • Process of Process Management: Strategy Execution in a Digital World

Popular Tags

Operational Excellence Business Transformation Business Improvement Business Excellence Process Management Continuous Improvement process excellence Process Optimization Process Improvement Speaker Presentation Leadership Enterprise Excellence Lean Change Management Premium Organizational Excellence Lean Enterprise Business Challenges Lean Six Sigma Digital Transformation Award Finalist Case Study Execution Excellence Capability Excellence New Technologies Changing & Improving Company Culture Agile end-to-end Business Transformation Culture Transformation Execution & Sustaining OpEx Projects Lack of/Need for Resources Leadership Understanding & Buy-In Adapting to Business Trends Changing Customer Demands Failure to Innovate Integrating CI Methodologies Lack of/Need for Skilled Workers Lack of/Need for Support from Employees Maintaining key Priorities Relationships Between Departments BTOES18 Technology Industry Business Culture BTOES From Home Customer Experience Healthcare Healthcare and Medical Devices AI Innovation Process Automation Exclusive BTOES Video Presentations Robotic Process Automation (RPA) BTOES HEALTH Automation IT Digital Strategy Execution Customer Experience Excellence Report Lean Manufacturing Manufacturing RPAs Artificial Intelligence BPM HealthcareTechnologies Robotic Process Automation Digital Transformation Workplace Enterprise Architecture Insurance Transformation value creation Agility Cultural Transformation Systems Engineering digital operations Business Process Cloud Digital Technologies Machine Learning Process Design iBPM innovation execution Financial Services data management Awards Data Analytics Oil & Gas Process Mining Sustainability Data Healthy Culture thought leaders BTOES Presentation Slides Finance Patient Experience Banking and Capital Markets IT Infrastructure IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Live Professional Services Sales Blockchain Enterprise Excellence culture Education Interview Covid-19 Electricity Health Insurance AI Solution Innovation in Healthcare Operational Excellence Model Python White Paper investment banking BTOES19 Banking Consumer Products & Retail Government Organizational Learning Project Management Agile Transformation Algorithm Automotive and Transportation Business Environment CAIR (Client Advocacy Insights Robot) Digital Bank Digital Global Enterprise Model (D-GEM) HR Lean Culture Primary Measure of succes User Interface business expansion business process automation revenue growth Adobe Sign Business Intelligence Delivery solution E-Signatures Global Technology Learning organization Relationship Management Supply Chain Management Transportation Accounts Receivable (AR) Big Data Technology CORE Cloud Technology Cognitive learning Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) Health Maintenance Organizations Information Systems Logistics Services Medicare Operational Excellence Example Optimise Business Processes Risk Management transformation journey BPaaS Blue Room Effect Business Analytics Business Benefits CX Capability Corporate Culture Creative Passion Data Entry Digital Network Digital Network Assistant (DNA) Digital Workforce Digitization Drinks Government Programs Implementation Internet Media NPS Natural Language Processing Net Promoter Score People Engagement Program (PEP!) Program Management Portal (PgMP) Servant Leadership Six Sigma Strategic Priorities TechXLive 3D Thinking AEGIS Database Automated Money Movement Biopharmaceutical BlueFIT Capital Market Case Study Communication Crypto Digital Experience Digitalization ERP Transformation Effective Change Leaders Employee Empowerment Enterprice Excellence Culture Filmed Entertainment Industry Finance Global Operations (FGO) Financial Services Software Frameworks Hoshin Planning Hospitality Human Capital Kaizen Event Natural Gas Infrastructure Operational Excellence (OpEx) Organizational Change Pharmaceutical Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Project manager ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Strategic Business Transformation Sustainable Growth Team Leader Development Program (TLDP) Team Work Transformation Initiatives Wealth Protection Products Web Logic Portal Workplace Analytics XaaS eForms eSignatures BEAM BFARM BTOES17 Big Data Processing Business Growth Business Process Automation (BPA) Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Centralized Performance Monitoring System Child Care Program Client Feedback Strategy Creativity Denial Management Digital Supply Chain Digital Technology ERP's Educational Psychologist Financial Global Enterprise Model© (GEM) Hospitality & Construction Human Centered Design IT Transformation Integrated Decision Approach Integrated Decision Making KPIs Kaizen

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120

Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Watch On-Demand Recordings For Free

Watch On-Demand Recording - Access all sessions from progressive thought leaders free of charge from our industry leading virtual conferences.
 

Best-In-Class Training

Delivered by the industry's most progressive thought leaders from the world's top brands.
Start learning today!
 

BTOES From Home - On-Demand

The premier Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Conference. Watch sessions on-demand for free. Use code: BFH1120