Manufacturing Employers Through a Recruiter’s Eyes


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Bill Wright, the founder of CAD/CAM Recruiters in Charlotte, North Carolina, says manufacturing employers are frequently more logical about specifying equipment than they are about hiring employees. He recently shared some of the behaviors he frequently sees:
1. A manufacturer will spend $400,000 for a machine tool, but “pass on a candidate who can make it sing” over an impasse of $1 per hour. “Frustrating,” he says.
2. Companies that work a mandatory six-day week sometimes insist on salary instead of hourly wages to keep costs down. He says the typical result of this is that it keeps the workforce perpetually distracted with looking for a new job.
3. Employers frequently “get miffed,” he says, when candidates hesitate to accept an offer of $5,000 per year more than their current job, when the new job is based on a 50-hour week versus the candidate’s current 40 hours. Employees are expected to see only the money, not the time.
4. Most frequent frustration: Manufacturers resist offering even a clearly reasonable wage to strong candidates on the argument that the candidate would then be the highest-paid in the shop. Whatever is the current highest wage in the facility, this is a limit the employer often can’t imagine crossing.

A final point is more of an interesting observation than anything else. Mr. Wright says some employers are adamant that a candidate has to be proficient with the in-house CAM software. Other employers offer to teach the in-house software to an otherwise qualified candidate. He says the split between these two employer outlooks on software training is roughly 50-50.