how to hire a machine operator.

how to hire a machine operator.

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If you're looking for a machine operator in your manufacturing facility, you're hardly alone. Labor market analysis provider Burning Glass classifies this position as in high demand, with more than 129,000 job postings in the last year, and an average of 33 days to fill an open role. Given that machine operators are essential people in your manufacturing company — they help keep day-to-day operations going and maintain expertise in the machines they work with — it's important for these vacancies to be filled both efficiently and quickly. 

Here's a checklist you can follow to ensure a super — and speedy — machine operator hire: 

Ready to dig in and learn more? Let's get started.

1. speed up your hiring process

Machine operators are a crucial backbone for manufacturing businesses, since they're responsible for both the production and transport of goods. Finding a quality machine operator can help ensure that a company runs smoothly, meets production deadlines and can quickly troubleshoot and find solutions when problems arise. 

So while you don't want to be hasty when it comes to recruiting for such an important role, you do want to be efficient. Use this diagram to help determine where you can make your hiring process more time-effective.

2. develop a competitive compensation package

A competitive salary is the foundation of a strong job offer — especially in the age of salary transparency and employer-review sites. Simply put, knowing salary trends and what makes for a strong compensation package puts you in the driver's seat when determining the best amount to pay prospective employees. 

A great place to start is taking a look at Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide, which offers insights into hiring and salary trends in the industry. And to kick things off, here are the nationwide hourly wages for machine operators, broken down by level of experience:

entry-level
$16.46/hour

mid-level
$19.64/hour

senior-level
$22.69/hour

While averages are a good starting point for auditing your compensation levels, a good pay rate is always relative to the worker's location. Using our salary calculator can provide you with the most up-to-date data on compensation for machine operators in your specific area. 

3. identify the top skills for machine operators

In order to write an effective and compelling job description, you need to know what to look for in a candidate. What skills and traits are necessary to get the job done efficiently?

Skills can be broken down into two different categories: "hard" skills (those that directly relate to the operation of machinery); and "soft" skills (that generally speak to people and social skills). 

Here are the skills that are most requested for machine operators:

hard skills

machine operation

packaging

machinery operation

forklift operation

repair

soft skills

detail-oriented

communications

physical and lifting abilities

organization

teamwork/collaboration

4. write an eye-catching job description

A job description that's able to draw candidates in and excite them to apply is key. Here are three pointers to remember when writing engaging descriptions.

don't write like a robot
Job descriptions often read like they're being written for the machine, not the operator. Lists of duties and matter-of-fact sentences strictly covering responsibilities and expectations are not very alluring.

Rather, appeal to candidates by using personable language and highlighting the human aspects of the job. Make skills such as attention to detail, communication and organization a focal point while also answering questions about the "people" aspects of the job, like: What is the team structure? What's the work atmosphere like? Remember, you're trying to hire a person, not a robot — so don't write like one.

show how the job is meaningful
A sense of purpose is a driving factor for many candidates when it comes to choosing an employer. Through a narrow lens, one might see machine operators as only responsible for their machines, but it's much more than simply that. They collect operational data and maintain records in order to monitor overall performance as well as to better predict when malfunctions will arise. So be sure to call out the expertise they'll bring to the company.

Highlight this role's contribution to workplace safety as well. Showing candidates that they're also responsible for other people is much more rewarding and gives a much higher sense of purpose. 

Candidates will also want to know the possibilities for individual growth. Are there apprenticeships available? Will they start with light machine work and then move to heavy machine work? What other opportunities are available to advance internally?

speak to the role's value in workplace safety and the ways they'll help keep their coworkers safe.

make it easy to skim
The goal of a job description is to paint the most appealing and accurate picture possible in as few words as possible. Making your description easy to skim is the best way to ensure prospects get all the need-to-know information without feeling overwhelmed or zoning out.

But this doesn't mean you skip out on everything but the quick facts — rather, it means you package everything to be easily digestible. Bullet points, short paragraphs and front-loaded sentences are all helpful in this regard.

If you'd like further guidance, read more writing tips and insights in our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.

5. brush up on the latest industry trends

Knowing how trends in the manufacturing and logistics industry will impact the quality and quantity of your hires can only strengthen your recruitment — especially as advances in tech continue to change the game for many roles in the manufacturing arena.

Here are a few trends to pay attention to today:

  • Fifty-eight percent of hiring leaders at manufacturing and logistics companies note that recruiting and retaining talent is the most pressing internal threat to their growth.

  • Those hiring leaders cite three main drivers for poor employee retention: unsustainable workloads, poor relationships with colleagues and better compensation from competitors. 

  • The top five states leading the demand for machine operators are California, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois, so employers in those markets are going to need to be extra competitive when sourcing talent.  

To get a deeper understanding of manufacturing and logistics space, read through our 2019 guide to hiring trends in manufacturing and logistics.

6. choose your channels to find candidates 

There are many different paths in which an employer can go about finding candidates for open positions, but not all are equal in merit. This is true when hiring machine operators, who are crucial to the day-to-day health of any manufacturing business. So you need to find someone you can depend on. 

If you've already posted the position to several job boards, asked current employees for referrals and are still coming up short, consider working with a professional staffing firm. Partnering with a staffing agency means getting access to a pool of prescreened, vetted candidates — a great path forward to mitigate the risk of hiring a bad apple.

Sounds good, right? We have manufacturing and logistics experts ready to discuss your machine operator needs today. But if you'd rather peruse your options a bit first, check out the high-quality candidates we have waiting for you in our Find Employees portal.

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how to hire a machine operator.

Posted by Michael Cirigliano on Sep 27, 2019 4:25:07 PM

If you're looking for a machine operator in your manufacturing facility, you're hardly alone. Labor market analysis provider Burning Glass classifies this position as in high demand, with more than 129,000 job postings in the last year, and an average of 33 days to fill an open role. Given that machine operators are essential people in your manufacturing company — they help keep day-to-day operations going and maintain expertise in the machines they work with — it's important for these vacancies to be filled both efficiently and quickly. 

Here's a checklist you can follow to ensure a super — and speedy — machine operator hire: 

Ready to dig in and learn more? Let's get started.

1. speed up your hiring process

Machine operators are a crucial backbone for manufacturing businesses, since they're responsible for both the production and transport of goods. Finding a quality machine operator can help ensure that a company runs smoothly, meets production deadlines and can quickly troubleshoot and find solutions when problems arise. 

So while you don't want to be hasty when it comes to recruiting for such an important role, you do want to be efficient. Use this diagram to help determine where you can make your hiring process more time-effective.

2. develop a competitive compensation package

A competitive salary is the foundation of a strong job offer — especially in the age of salary transparency and employer-review sites. Simply put, knowing salary trends and what makes for a strong compensation package puts you in the driver's seat when determining the best amount to pay prospective employees. 

A great place to start is taking a look at Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide, which offers insights into hiring and salary trends in the industry. And to kick things off, here are the nationwide hourly wages for machine operators, broken down by level of experience:

entry-level
$16.46/hour

mid-level
$19.64/hour

senior-level
$22.69/hour

While averages are a good starting point for auditing your compensation levels, a good pay rate is always relative to the worker's location. Using our salary calculator can provide you with the most up-to-date data on compensation for machine operators in your specific area. 

3. identify the top skills for machine operators

In order to write an effective and compelling job description, you need to know what to look for in a candidate. What skills and traits are necessary to get the job done efficiently?

Skills can be broken down into two different categories: "hard" skills (those that directly relate to the operation of machinery); and "soft" skills (that generally speak to people and social skills). 

Here are the skills that are most requested for machine operators:

hard skills

machine operation

packaging

machinery operation

forklift operation

repair

soft skills

detail-oriented

communications

physical and lifting abilities

organization

teamwork/collaboration

4. write an eye-catching job description

A job description that's able to draw candidates in and excite them to apply is key. Here are three pointers to remember when writing engaging descriptions.

don't write like a robot
Job descriptions often read like they're being written for the machine, not the operator. Lists of duties and matter-of-fact sentences strictly covering responsibilities and expectations are not very alluring.

Rather, appeal to candidates by using personable language and highlighting the human aspects of the job. Make skills such as attention to detail, communication and organization a focal point while also answering questions about the "people" aspects of the job, like: What is the team structure? What's the work atmosphere like? Remember, you're trying to hire a person, not a robot — so don't write like one.

show how the job is meaningful
A sense of purpose is a driving factor for many candidates when it comes to choosing an employer. Through a narrow lens, one might see machine operators as only responsible for their machines, but it's much more than simply that. They collect operational data and maintain records in order to monitor overall performance as well as to better predict when malfunctions will arise. So be sure to call out the expertise they'll bring to the company.

Highlight this role's contribution to workplace safety as well. Showing candidates that they're also responsible for other people is much more rewarding and gives a much higher sense of purpose. 

Candidates will also want to know the possibilities for individual growth. Are there apprenticeships available? Will they start with light machine work and then move to heavy machine work? What other opportunities are available to advance internally?

speak to the role's value in workplace safety and the ways they'll help keep their coworkers safe.

make it easy to skim
The goal of a job description is to paint the most appealing and accurate picture possible in as few words as possible. Making your description easy to skim is the best way to ensure prospects get all the need-to-know information without feeling overwhelmed or zoning out.

But this doesn't mean you skip out on everything but the quick facts — rather, it means you package everything to be easily digestible. Bullet points, short paragraphs and front-loaded sentences are all helpful in this regard.

If you'd like further guidance, read more writing tips and insights in our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.

5. brush up on the latest industry trends

Knowing how trends in the manufacturing and logistics industry will impact the quality and quantity of your hires can only strengthen your recruitment — especially as advances in tech continue to change the game for many roles in the manufacturing arena.

Here are a few trends to pay attention to today:

  • Fifty-eight percent of hiring leaders at manufacturing and logistics companies note that recruiting and retaining talent is the most pressing internal threat to their growth.

  • Those hiring leaders cite three main drivers for poor employee retention: unsustainable workloads, poor relationships with colleagues and better compensation from competitors. 

  • The top five states leading the demand for machine operators are California, Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois, so employers in those markets are going to need to be extra competitive when sourcing talent.  

To get a deeper understanding of manufacturing and logistics space, read through our 2019 guide to hiring trends in manufacturing and logistics.

6. choose your channels to find candidates 

There are many different paths in which an employer can go about finding candidates for open positions, but not all are equal in merit. This is true when hiring machine operators, who are crucial to the day-to-day health of any manufacturing business. So you need to find someone you can depend on. 

If you've already posted the position to several job boards, asked current employees for referrals and are still coming up short, consider working with a professional staffing firm. Partnering with a staffing agency means getting access to a pool of prescreened, vetted candidates — a great path forward to mitigate the risk of hiring a bad apple.

Sounds good, right? We have manufacturing and logistics experts ready to discuss your machine operator needs today. But if you'd rather peruse your options a bit first, check out the high-quality candidates we have waiting for you in our Find Employees portal.

Topics: phase:explore, industry:manufacturing & logistics, topic:problems