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Bad luck hiring experienced employees

Wow I guess I need to move away from MD. I will never get more than about $25-$30 around here. I'm one of those last guys you talked about. there isn't a machine in the shop I can't run be it manual or CNC, Mill, lathe, sheetmetal machines. I am also a good mechanical engineer, and programmer. So how much am I worth? anyone want to hire me? I believe in designing for manufacturability.

Where is your mechanical engineering degree from? If it is a half decent school you should have no problem getting a high paying job in engineering.
 
I am gonna go ahead and call BS on this dude skoobiz' post. Well okay maybe it's not bullshit but the dude is saying "good mechanical engineer and programmer"

Wait so is this person a mech-e or a machinist? Or a CNC programmer? If he is all of those things, deinitely 25-30/hr is not good. Dude should be making $40+

I have called myself many things (true or otherwise) but I have never once claimed that I am a mech-e or know jack shit about actual engineering stuff. Why? Because I didn't go to school for engineering. I do know a lot of engineering "stuff" and I might do a little "engineering" here and there developing processes (process engineer...)....but I sure ain't a mechanical engineer.

Also, mechanical engineers tend not to be running machines in a machine shop, they tend to do engineering. WHich is why they get paid more and are lovingly known as "carpet walkers"

Right on.

I do some work for a local shop that has several mechanical engineers on staff. There are also several people who call themselves engineers who have never set foot inside a college classroom and others who feel they basically know as much as engineers although their jobs are as machinists or maintenance techs.

These guys think that because they know not to make square internal corners, or know that for a hard wearing fixture you should use steel instead of aluminum, or know what H values of taps are, that they are engineers. One even told me that the only reason he doesn't have his degree is because he can't decide which type of engineering to pursue, mechanical or chemical. I told him to pick up a college textbook on differential equations and learn it cover to cover. He laughed and said engineers don't need to know that stuff.

And that is why all the people who think they are engineers because "they do the same job as an engineer" aren't engineers. Being an engineer is MUCH harder than knowing screw sizes or designing Mitee Bite clamps into a CNC fixture. Once those people can do a thermal resistance calculation and figure out the temperature rise on a heatsink for a component or solve a three variable system, I'll start believing they are really doing the work of engineers.
 
That said, most engineering jobs don't require a true engineer, they require a mechanical designer. And I've known a few people with engineering degrees who aren't very good at mechanical design.
 
Wow I guess I need to move away from MD. I will never get more than about $25-$30 around here. I'm one of those last guys you talked about. there isn't a machine in the shop I can't run be it manual or CNC, Mill, lathe, sheetmetal machines. I am also a good mechanical engineer, and programmer. So how much am I worth? anyone want to hire me? I believe in designing for manufacturability.

That said, most engineering jobs don't require a true engineer, they require a mechanical designer. And I've known a few people with engineering degrees who aren't very good at mechanical design.

yea this is very true. I work with hundreds of engineering students a year and I know enough about diff-eq and computational methods to know that yea, I definitely don't want to be an engineer. Depending on the firm you go to upon graduating, you may not do a lot of actual "engineering" muhc more designing or running experiments or figuring out operational parameters for certain items. Like what material should I make this part out of if it needs to be subjected to high heat. How much heat for how long? Lots of math.

Then again, our aerospace degreed program is incredibly math heavy and also quite theoretical. The students who go in thinking they're going to be designing airplanes and rockets are in for a seriously rude awakening. For one thing, aerospace engineering is incredibly difficult which is why we graduate 1/5 the number of aero vs. mech-e students. For another, you need to understand the foundational concepts of aerospace engineering, fluid dynamics, and mechanics of solids (ew) before you can even think of trying to design systems or subsystems.

Actual engineering school is incredibly math heavy and theoretical (with real world applications). Unless you've gone through an accredited engineering program, I would be very hesitant to call myself a "mechanical engineer" or "anything engineer". Technically I could pass as an applications engineer but I don't really feel like I deserve that title. I have no formal engineering education.
 
At a shop I worked at they hired this guy that had previously worked for a government contractor and had completed an 8000 hour apprenticeship program and he had a certificate stating that he was a "Journeyman Machinist". He didn't know any of the most basic stuff. He couldn't dial in a hole, or do any setup work. He had no clue as far as the order of operations to make something. He could run a machine that was setup and change parts . I once asked him if he had any experience broaching key ways and he said " I watched a film on it once?" Otherwise he was lost? He lasted about 4 months and quit and said he was looking for a job where his skills were better appreciated? He also said he wanted to work in a shop with better more modern equipment and all our stuff was too junky and not able to make good parts?
 
Hiring is a common problem for all industries and has been for several years. I remember people back in the seventies complaining about how hard is was to get good employees.

The problem, in my opinion, is that hiring managers do not have a system in place for evaluating potential candidates on an equal basis. Employees are hired for knowledge then fired for attitude.

Potential employees need to be evaluated first for attitude, then aptitude and lastly knowledge. Knowledge is the only one of the three that can be taught. It may take several interviews and lots of questions to dig deep enough to find the real answers. People try to present themselves in the best light, so do not ask if they can do something. Find out a way "go in the back door" to get the answer. For example; do not ask if they are neat and organized, instead, walk them out to their vehicle and look in it. If the inside of it looks like trash can, they are not very organized or neat.

Most people hire too fast and fire too slow. It is better to hire hard and manage easy, then the other way around.
 
Hired for knowlege -fired for attitude......love that!.....but I have been at some crazy places......first manager at the painters got hit by a car while on a phone call.....figure that one out.....next manager got cold feet about EPA crimes and quit.....last one was into kiddie porn,got a tipoff the law was comin....now works in the Emirates ....licensed engineer,MBA ,and he could weld as well .....I liked him.
 
Hiring is a common problem for all industries and has been for several years. I remember people back in the seventies complaining about how hard is was to get good employees.

The problem, in my opinion, is that hiring managers do not have a system in place for evaluating potential candidates on an equal basis. Employees are hired for knowledge then fired for attitude.

Potential employees need to be evaluated first for attitude, then aptitude and lastly knowledge. Knowledge is the only one of the three that can be taught. It may take several interviews and lots of questions to dig deep enough to find the real answers. People try to present themselves in the best light, so do not ask if they can do something. Find out a way "go in the back door" to get the answer. For example; do not ask if they are neat and organized, instead, walk them out to their vehicle and look in it. If the inside of it looks like trash can, they are not very organized or neat.

Most people hire too fast and fire too slow. It is better to hire hard and manage easy, then the other way around.

This ---------------^
 
Once hired an out of work psychology graduate......he messed with the heads of all the dumb guys,you could see him winding them up.I said to him if one of the guys snaps ,youll get carved up like a roast chicken .Couple of times he set fire to stuff ,he claimed it was an accident,wernt......he set fire to some paint thinner and burnt out a job that had been rubber lined ,big dollar loss.....He got real cocky ,and stole some ally sheets bought special for Cols horse float.....he was so brazen,he borrowed a company truck to take the sheets home......Was all on security cam ,but Col wouldnt fire him,just docked his pay for the ally sheets.
 
To the OP: When you are hiring someone, briefly outline what steps you are taking to train them at your place.

Is it word of mouth only, or predominantly?

Are you doing the training? Are any of your people you consider solid/key training? Or is it pass the person around to everyone to get some verbal instruction piece by piece?
 
I hired but unfortunately for reasons unknown to me wasn't allowed to fire guys that were useless or pulling time theft, you just have to sometimes go through 20 guys give them 2 weeks max before you might find 1 person. Aswell as cnc has a huge lack of schooling and training outside of the actual businesses, I can't for the life of me understand why alot of buisness owners don't approach young people currently in school, like go to the colleges and what not and offer jobs. These people are already spending money and time trying to learn the trade and they are willing to start at the absolute bottom. I am young but I have helped a few companies hire guys and they have kept every employee I have gotten them including the ones I would have fired myself. Putting out an add in the paper or the internet is for the most part a fruitless effort for finding good employees. If you can't train people either due to certain circumstances you need to advertise above top dollar wages and quiz them hard and fire them immediately if they are full of themselves. I wish I lived close to you , I would take a commission helping you find good hands to work I know it can be difficult with everything else shops have to worry about.
 
I can't for the life of me understand why alot of buisness owners don't approach young people currently in school, like go to the colleges and what not and offer jobs.

I was in a position to hire a shop assistant a few years ago, so I called Dunwoody, where I got my AAS in Machine Tool Tech in 96. I asked if they had any promising students I might offer a job, and they laughed at me. Every one of their students gets an internship the moment they start school; two large local shops teamed up to monopolize the school's student output.

They said I was welcome to buy a table at their job fair.
 
I wonder what the skill level in trade school is these days. Several years ago the place I worked was looking for a drafter. Not the same role as machinist, but all the same hiring issues, for many of the same reasons. One of our employees had a relationship with the prof, who would send his promising students our way. Only one made it past the phone screen, and his portfolio was so full of spelling errors it was distracting. Not one or two, I mean an obvious error every third word. He also had no real understanding of what he was drafting. His board skills were decent, but that’s about it. We asked the prof what the deal was, and in short all the really motivated kids had chosen different fields. All he got were people who wanted to be technical (they went for engineering), but didn’t want to do math (finance, engineering), didn’t want to work on cars (mechanic), and weren’t natural born artists. Of course to be good at drafting we needed them to have at least one of those passions/skills.
 
Guy said to me "I didnt go to school to learn how to design a house out of 4x2 hardwood and bricks.....I went to school to learn how to design a house out of cheap cardboard and knotty pine held together with staples and glue spots."
 
I wonder what the skill level in trade school is these days.

Granted, I have limited experience, but my answer is - not good. It could very well be a TN thing, but most of the teachers I see at tech schools here are older, manual-oriented machinists. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that at all - you need a foundation to build on before you go up with the floor, the walls and the roof, right? But the issue is, there is a huge lack of experience in the world of CNC with these instructors. They may know how to push a few keys and get a program to run, but actually teaching anything about G/M-codes, deeper functionality of a CNC controller, or much at all about CAD/CAM? Nope.

What I see more often than not, in the two years I was in school and the seven+ years since, is students teaching other students. Which, to me, is essentially like the blind leading the blind.

Another issue though, like anything, is compensation for these instructors. The skills and knowledge to be a well-rounded machinist instructor will command a lot more pay than schools put out. Granted, the benefits can make up for some of that - not all. Why would a programmer/skilled CNC machinist making 30+ an hour take a position making 24-25?

And a final note, too, the quality of prospective students. Again, could be a TN thing - but of the 20-22 students packed in a class with one instructor, maybe 4-5 of them have any drive or motivation. The rest goof around and distract from the instructor being able to teach anyone, as the useless kids who should have never made it out of high school try their best to get themselves killed.
 
What you said about skilled potential instructors getting far better pay elsewhere. But I also put a lot of the blame on high schools. The schools want to encourage every moderately intelligent, moderately driven student into a four+ year college degree program, and reserve trade school recommendations for the bottom of the barrel. Hands-on classes are cut like chaff; no more metal shop, wood shop, etc., because they don't contribute to college prep. I learned metallurgy stuff in high school jewelry metalworking class that I still use today.
 
But I also put a lot of the blame on high schools.

Once a year the local utility holds a recruitment event for linemen at a hotel down the street. I always notice because hundreds of 18-20 year olds will be filling up the parking lot for the building on a weekday morning.

Whenever the fire department decides to hire, they have to hold the event at a convention center.

Don't blame the schools that our industry is dying. Trades that pay well still have no problem recruiting talent. We get left with the dregs, then complain that high schools aren't doing enough to train them for us.
 
lineman school cost about 9 grand to go through, and your up around 40 an hour or the equivalent, after getting your journeyman, and tons of overtime, and all your schooling payed, probably more than that now. thats what it was, when i was reading up on it. of course its miserable work until your good enough to get off the road and into a plant or a local utility.
 
IDK 'bout the rest of y'all, but here, we have a "4 County Joint Vocational Skewl", that is .... well, what is says it is.

It opened it's doors here around 1971 ???

Machine Shop
Ag Mechanics
Diesel Mechanics
Auto Mechanics
Electrical
Carpentry

And then prolly just as many like minded courses for the gurls.

Beyond the 4 counties in our corner of the state - I have no clue what anyone else has at the high skewl level.

With that said - we have a community college right next door to our vocational skewl, and several of our seniors will take half day's out there for their senior year.

Is this not a common set-up?



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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 
And a final note, too, the quality of prospective students. Again, could be a TN thing - but of the 20-22 students packed in a class with one instructor, maybe 4-5 of them have any drive or motivation. The rest goof around and distract from the instructor being able to teach anyone, as the useless kids who should have never made it out of high school try their best to get themselves killed.


-Have to agree with the above comment for SE Tn. I know an instructor at the local vocational and he's knowledgeable enough to turn out decent beginners. There were maybe 3 students out of the 20 trying to learn, the rest were set on making custom belt buckles when they got to the CNC module of class. Not that making a personal project is wrong, but there's so many other things (tooling) to make that might be useful later. The instructor set several required pieces to be made and left several optional pieces to graduate. The instructor gave a few cautionary talks about personal focus in industry post trade school but it didn't even seem to register with most of them. Hate to say this but I don't meet many from the 18-22 year old set I'm impressed with except ex-military.
 








 
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