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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrustle View Post
    So, I knew this day would come. Actually been dreading it for the last couple years. ...


    So.........now the time has come to find a replacement for him.
    My first thought on reading this and many of the responses is that you may be looking a little too narrowly here. You don't need to confine your search to someone who can replace your son, rather like BobW suggested, you can look at this as an opportunity for job redesign. Why not sit down with everyone in the shop and look at how the shop could be run better and see what you really need from a new person. Perhaps some of the people in the shop now can step up and do some of the more skilled work your son did and their lower skilled responsibilities transferred to the new person, or alternatively, some of their higher skilled responsibilities transferred so that you have a more focused, but highly skilled job to offer to the new guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macgyver View Post
    This thread is pretty classic why I don't relay some info if I start a thread or ask a question. Most replies here have been to the fact that he wants to drive a truck, not a reply to the actual question asked of how to find a replacement. Gets old when you are the person asking and few can get past a side note and discuss the reason for the thread.

    If I recall Russ' son has some special needs that work against his real world ability to run a business, it has been mentioned before in Russ' threads. I am confident it is not just a matter of 'he doesn't want to' or 'isn't getting compensated enough' on why he is not able to be a business owner. Russ has spent 20 years training him to be where he is now and from what I remember mentioned is that is about as far as he is going to go.

    Russ, I hope I am not overstepping or offending, if I am I will edit or remove this, just let me know. Also if I am just flat wrong let me know.

    Jason
    Nope, you are spot on. (sorry I shouldn't speak for Russ) And, I am surprised more of these long time members are soo "not" spot on.

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    Wrustle - sorry to hear of this for your sake. My two middle sons work for me and I absolutely love it. If they decided to move on I think I would close up shop. If they came to me and said they wanted to drive a truck for a living I would sell the shop and buy a truck and go on the road with them.

    To me it isn't what we do for a living as much as it is who I do it with. I have four sons - nobody I would rather spend time with in the whole world.

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  5. #44
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    Tough manufacturing market to find a good all around shop guy. Pay, bennies and interesting work. You'll need all three.

    I'm lucky, as I still have yet had the need to hire a guy. I do have a few part timers that I call on. They basically do what Bobw's gal does, the stuff I don't want/have time to do. I know Russ probably can't get by with that. He needs a well rounded individual. Or maybe he can? The kids help out a bunch of hours a week. My father in law retired a few years ago. Bored stiff. He comes out a 2 days a week or so to push buttons. I know 3-4 kids from church. They push the green button, saw parts, sweep, wipe down machines, top off coolant, etc. I more than likely could use one good full timer, but I'd be in the same boat as all the other shops in the area........really shallow pool of potential skilled workers.

    So I basically I don't have much for ya Russ.........good luck on your search.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Nope, you are spot on. (sorry I shouldn't speak for Russ) And, I am surprised more of these long time members are soo "not" spot on.
    I'm sorry if my reply was not taken as being "on topic". Hopefully, I was trying to point out an example of why it's hard to find employees to work in a manufacturing based business. For the skills required to be a successful machinist (or toolmaker, moldmaker, diemaker, patternmaker, etc.), the pay, benefits, and working conditions are the same as, or lower than, other jobs that are perceived as being easier. The only way I see to reverse this trend is for manufacturing jobs to pay more and offer better conditions, so that someone wanting to leave for a driving job or construction job knows there will be a financial penalty for that move.

    If the pay cannot be increased, I see the qualified manufacturing labor pool continuing to decrease, leading to more domestic automation and more foreign manufacturing. I have no magic solution to the "How to Find a Good Employee" question. If I did, I would be running a headhunter or job placement service, and not typing on a machinist's board.

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    Maybe you can look at this as an opportunity to change how things are processed on the shop floor.

    When I needed to hire more employees, we started to document and "automate" every thing we could think of.
    Tool lists and work instructions for each job. Pictures of the setups. In-process inspection sheets.

    My VMCs have probing and a tool presetter so setting tools was easy. Probing was incorporated into the part program. After the M30 we started with N99 and a set of instructions where to jog the probe, then hit cycle start. Allowance for stock removal was adjusted, any indexes to new WCS (4 axis) were calculated, etc.

    Sure it took a lot of work up front, but it ended up being worth it. Now you can grow with less skilled people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    Maybe you can look at this as an opportunity to change how things are processed on the shop floor.

    When I needed to hire more employees, we started to document and "automate" every thing we could think of.
    Tool lists and work instructions for each job. Pictures of the setups. In-process inspection sheets.

    My VMCs have probing and a tool presetter so setting tools was easy. Probing was incorporated into the part program. After the M30 we started with N99 and a set of instructions where to jog the probe, then hit cycle start. Allowance for stock removal was adjusted, any indexes to new WCS (4 axis) were calculated, etc.

    Sure it took a lot of work up front, but it ended up being worth it. Now you can grow with less skilled people.
    AWESOME Lean Machine Shop Tour: Pierson Workholding! - YouTube There are some good ideas in this video.

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    I'm beginning to think the people at "practical machinist" are posting these questions, trolling all of us?

    The important thing now is to stay in touch with him, you're going to need a cb radio and cool handle and learn to use that smokey n the bandit lingo, "breaker breaker, anyone got a 20 on any gumball machines?"
    I would go with the truck driving job too, lots of testosterone with that big diesel engine. He'll get to listen to country music 24/7, and see all kinds of hot a_ _ at teh truck stops, not to mention all that good methamphetamine there.

    all you need to do is throw an ad on craigslist, "must be at least 18, height to weight ratio within reason, red hair is preferred, but blond hair is ok....no experience necessary, will train!"

    What else do you need help with???

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    Your local vo-tech school or community college is your best bet.

    Go talk to the instructor, get to know him a little. He will gladly refer you his top two or three students, and those are the folks that will almost always work out well - as they are driven and will work hard to get ahead and further their careers.

    And it does not have to be the machine shop class! Although that's probably the ideal, you could hire a cracker jack youngin' out of the welding shop, auto mechanics, or even drafting.

    PM's own "Ries" uses this exact approach, hiring young whipper-snappers right out of welding class...and he's had a lot of good luck doing it.

    Now be forewarned, these sharp kids will learn and soak up knowledge like a sponge, and they will always be looking for new challenges. We shop owners tend to forget just how boring running a cnc machine all day can be!

    Good luck with it Russ! You should be proud of how you have been able to work with family in the business all those years, and your son deserves a chance to get out and find his place in the world on his own. And like a lot have said, I wouldn't be too surprised if he came back in a few years wanting to get back into the shop...and he will have enough real-world experiences by then to be able to handle it!

    ToolCat Greg

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    If the boy want's a change of pace, the first thing he could do,
    is to help in finding his replacement. That would be a helpfull thing to do.

    If not, and he "Just walks out" remember that in your will.....

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    If I recall, isn't one of your other kids in the military? What about reaching out to them and see if there is someone that is getting out that would be looking for a career? There might also be a program in place already to help find them jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrustle View Post
    Craigslist? Temp agencies? Job recruiting agencies? Does anyone under 50 even read the newspaper anymore or know what it is? Is it even a viable search method anymore?


    I would welcome your thoughts and ideas and most importantly, your proven methods if you want to share them.

    Right now I have to get back to work.............doomsday is approaching fast!

    Best Regards,
    Russ

    InDeed has worked most recently in bringing in candidates. Too early to tell if they will pan out.


    Craigslist to a degree has also worked...but found way too many applicants just answering anything and everything listed with little idea as to what kind of job they are applying for. Still have found a few good guys that route.

    Newspapers are a very good way to spend money...pricey and last few times I tried, all I got were sales people from other papers trying to get me to place an ad with them.


    Best advise I can offer...find someone who specializes in Mills for Mill work, specializes in lathes for turning work instead of looking for that one guy who can do everything.
    Yes, it would be great to find that One Guy, but I found the everything guys can do neither really well.


    As to your son...I am glad he will realize his dream job, I hope it is all he hoped for and more. Glad your a great dad being supportive in a tough situation.
    Sorry your losing your right hand man...really sorry you have to deal with finding and bringing up to speed a new machinist.


    One personal question if I may...

    If your son was to find a way to overcome his challenge with running the business...do you think that would make a difference in his decision to leave? or to come back if he should find his new career less then satisfying.

    I thought for sure I was going to be a chef, loved everything about restaurants, loved cooking intended to enroll in school for it...that was till one day I stepped behind the line on a brutal summer day for a quick stand in...salamander at my back, steam rack in front, full 8 burner range blaring behind, expediter shouting in my face. Didn't help I was in a tux...but that was it, dream died that second.
    Anyway...just saying he may not be able - nor want- to run "your" business...but could it be changed in a way he might want to run it, might be able to run it.
    My godfather gave his lucrative garment business, including the building to his son...his son sold the equipment then revamped the building into an upscale catering hall, he's doing quite well.

    Good luck to both you you!

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  20. #53
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    If you need someone good you will have to hire someone who already has a job. Be prepared to offer more money or some other incentive. I was lucky enough to find a new employee by posting on this forum in much the same way as you are. Can you present a positive job description with some specifics, maybe someone from the forum will respond.

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    It is sad to see a son head off to an away job.
    I did not wish to seem harsh but it seemed that you and your wife thought him incapable to run the business. Perhaps that seems true and perhaps it is. I wonder if the business could be better tuned so it can run more on its own?

    Agree he may find he likes driving or he may not. It might not hurt to let him know he can com back to more than just being the best machine hand IMHO

    OT: My brother drove trucks in the military.. With retiring from the shop he tried driving again and found so many crazy drivers on the road is was too much to stand..*Just saying make the shop look better for if your son chooses to come back.

    QT : Sim post 52 {but could it be changed in a way he might want to run it, might be able to run it.}
    *just found that and Agree

    My son came back home I think just from being home sick and wishing to be close to family. He left a top/fun job being a truck and race car mechanic. Now a truck mechanic but not race cars.. and not going to the races...Still I am happy he came back...Yes the owner of the company was a race car driver and owner. One day my son called me to say he did think he a very good mechanic because he could not do a truck job as fast as other guys..I replied Matt you are the only guy who has a key to the race car garage..

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    I just found and hired kid only had him 3 weeks, green as can be, had to show him how to run a torch but he is willing to learn and isn't on his phone all day.first day I had him outside in freezing weather covered in mud and oil working under equipment just to see if he would show back up. he did. I have looked for months. he was a friend of a friends son. I read in some old book you find employees like you mine gold. have to move tons of dirt for a little bit of gold. its painful, I'm a small show just 3 of us and I have hired and got rid of 2 people in the last 12 months trying to grow.then this kid showed up I will see how it works out. give any applicants something nasty if they complain get rid of them right off the bat. life to short to be pissed at employees, they are there to make your life better not worse.
    okay thats my rant

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    Quote Originally Posted by idacal View Post
    I just found and hired kid only had him 3 weeks, green as can be, had to show him how to run a torch but he is willing to learn and isn't on his phone all day.first day I had him outside in freezing weather covered in mud and oil working under equipment just to see if he would show back up. he did. I have looked for months. he was a friend of a friends son. I read in some old book you find employees like you mine gold. have to move tons of dirt for a little bit of gold. its painful, I'm a small show just 3 of us and I have hired and got rid of 2 people in the last 12 months trying to grow.then this kid showed up I will see how it works out. give any applicants something nasty if they complain get rid of them right off the bat. life to short to be pissed at employees, they are there to make your life better not worse.
    okay thats my rant
    All I got: hang on to that kid, that was me 35 years ago.

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    My Dad had the same thing happen to him. My older brother and I apprenticed for our Dad. He is 2 years older and he worked for my dad and one day he came up to him and said he wanted to take some classes. He got a 2 year degree and stated working as a salesman and traveled all around the Midwest working for a muffler company. He was married and his wife put her foot down as she couldn't raise the kids alone. One day my dad came up to me and said "your Brother is coming back". So if he is married and has kids, he will be back sooner then later. ..i would say about new hires...you may have to pay more then you want to get an experienced person if you have a lot of work and he can walk in and know whats up. If you have the time and not so much work, call the local tech schools. Years later my brother said....he missed playing golf after work too....Good luck...

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    All good stories, and advice for the most part.

    Now.........come on guys...........I didn't just fall off the turnip wagon here. Do you honestly think I have not talked to MY SON about staying, or that I have driven him off?

    Do you not think I have not considered all the possibilities here?

    He wants to do something else. Money is NOT the driving force behind the decision. He has grown up and learned and helped and worked for me ever since I started this gig back in my basement in 1996.

    He has always enjoyed it, he has always made good money doing it, and now he wants to do something else.

    This thread is NOT a discussion about trying to convince him to stay, or theorizing about all the possible things I have done wrong to make him want to leave. Seriously???

    We do repeat production work all year long. He sees the same family of parts all year long. He sees mom and dad nearly everyday all year long.

    Can you understand now the desire to get out and explore other employment opportunities?

    You guys have told some great stories here relative to my situation, and it's good to hear them.

    Some of you have been jumping to conclusions and making false assumptions. No big deal, I am very patient and don't take to heart what many say even if I feel it to be inflammatory.

    Life's just too short to let every little thing bother you. As I get older, I find it much easier to just let it roll off my back.

    To summarize events to this point, we are putting together an ad for some websites to see what we can find. Indeed.com, and Zip Recruiter.com. I'm a little reluctant to go the Craigslist route as I've not heard much good about it. We'll see how the others pan out first before trying it.

    I have been going the co-op student route for nearly a year now. That's a tough road to hoe, and requires a shit ton of time training, and time is the one thing I have absolutely none of........ZERO.

    We had another record year last year, and this year is projected to be even better and I just can't afford to be babysitting a new inexperienced hire, or deal with the costly mistakes they WILL make.

    Someone asked about my younger son who was in the military. He's been out now for nearly 2 years and is currently going to college down on Long Island for his masters in marine biology at Stoney Brook college.

    Had the talk with him about a year ago, and he wants to make his own way in the world.


    Once he's done with his masters, he's going for his Phd, and then he will be rich, my wife and I can retire, live with him in his mansion, and live happily ever after.....................

    .............in the perfect world that is...................


    Later,
    Russ

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    Time pressures are a limiting issue. It might be time to look for some retired or semi-retired person who can come up to speed quickly, just wants extra bucks or to get out of the house. Not clear to me where to find these people or how to appeal to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_machine View Post
    Not clear to me where to find these people or how to appeal to them.
    You need to talk to people... I don't like doing it either.. But in my lifetime, I've seen more good
    people come from word of mouth than have ever come from a Help Wanted Ad... skilled or unskilled.

    If I was Wrustle, and I'm not, I would do EVERYTHING I COULD to not run a help wanted ad.. Hit the local
    watering holes, mid afternoon there are usually a bunch of trade guys there, and they tend to know a LOT of
    people. Retired guys are down at the Legion or the V..

    That nice girl down at the Dunkin Donuts, her grumpy old gramps might be a retired
    machinist that is driving her gramma insane since he retired.

    The mailman's wifes cousins husband might be a machinist that might be looking for greener pastures.

    Your neighbor might be a member of a model railroad or RC plane club, and he might know a guy..


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