What's new
What's new

What green flags do you look for in employee or colleagues?

Spittingchips

Plastic
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Just curious on what those of you who either own or work for shops. If you use this site I assume you are a career machinist. What things do you see in someone walkng through your shop that makes you hire someone or tell the management in charge to hire that person? Talk is cheap with cnc experience so im curious what other people see in a visitor that makes them say ' hey hire that person they definatly are worth a shot over the other people ' . Maybe a poorly worded question but I had to ask. Happy new years lets bring manufacturing back to our countries! Requires all of our dedication . And on another note there is alot of opportunity in this industry atleast in North America so I would like to take a second to tell employees to atleast see what is out there if you find yourself stuck at a ship with no progression or learning or advancement or raises. Anyways thanks
 

ttrager

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Heads up, instead of heads down. Meaning, someone who notices what's going on around them, not just what's under their hands.

Good Faith. Someone who doesn't look to manipulate situations for their own personal benefit or prestige. In short, not a Disruptor.

On Time, and Reliable.

Mature, not a "Queen", avoids and doesn't contribute to Drama. This includes being willing to share / teach others and being receptive to new ideas themselves.

No Drug or Alcohol problems.

Good Judgement, and demonstrates a method of thinking to come to decisions, not knee jerk.

Demonstrates the necessary technical skills to do the work, consistent with what they were hired to do.

You'll never get 100% of each category above. Each person will be a unique mix. But, the question was "what catches your attention about someone, what do you look for", and off the top of my head those are what I'd say I look for.

We have a fellow where I'm at who, for instance, demonstrates several of the above attributes that isn't seen in some others. And I'm not knocking anyone else really. People getting their work done correctly isn't a bad thing, but the idea here is what are some distinct "green flags" you might look for beyond that.

He's heads up. He sees something in the shop that's not right (e.g. mismarked steel or a faulty bay door issue) and he comes to me or the foreman and mentions it. Others are more likely to simply not see it because they aren't "looking around", or perhaps ignores it (maybe) because it's not part of their job.

He's good faith and a thinker. He's got reasons for why he brings something up. He's not looking for brownie points or to score a back stab on someone else.

He's on-time and reliable. He's a worker not a mouth flapper or a "Queen". I've not seen him contribute to "drama", but is instead focused on work.

He's got the necessary technical skills, and one of the fellows who has been trained up through a couple of positions. He's not afraid to take on new training and he's brought ideas up for improvements, signage, and in some cases methods of doing things.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Heads up, instead of heads down. Meaning, someone who notices what's going on around them, not just what's under their hands.

Good Faith. Someone who doesn't look to manipulate situations for their own personal benefit or prestige. In short, not a Disruptor.

On Time, and Reliable.

Mature, not a "Queen", avoids and doesn't contribute to Drama. This includes being willing to share / teach others and being receptive to new ideas themselves.

No Drug or Alcohol problems.

Good Judgement, and demonstrates a method of thinking to come to decisions, not knee jerk.

Demonstrates the necessary technical skills to do the work, consistent with what they were hired to do.

You'll never get 100% of each category above. Each person will be a unique mix. But, the question was "what catches your attention about someone, what do you look for", and off the top of my head those are what I'd say I look for.

We have a fellow where I'm at who, for instance, demonstrates several of the above attributes that isn't seen in some others. And I'm not knocking anyone else really. People getting their work done correctly isn't a bad thing, but the idea here is what are some distinct "green flags" you might look for beyond that.

He's heads up. He sees something in the shop that's not right (e.g. mismarked steel or a faulty bay door issue) and he comes to me or the foreman and mentions it. Others are more likely to simply not see it because they aren't "looking around", or perhaps ignores it (maybe) because it's not part of their job.

He's good faith and a thinker. He's got reasons for why he brings something up. He's not looking for brownie points or to score a back stab on someone else.

He's on-time and reliable. He's a worker not a mouth flapper or a "Queen". I've not seen him contribute to "drama", but is instead focused on work.

He's got the necessary technical skills, and one of the fellows who has been trained up through a couple of positions. He's not afraid to take on new training and he's brought ideas up for improvements, signage, and in some cases methods of doing things.

Let's hope that YOU pay this "Dream Employee" well....Very well.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
Wouldn't that be something to find that guy, 30 years ago perhaps, I think he has his own shop or foreman's position he is happy with, I don't think he is out looking for work. If for some reason he was going to need a new job he would already have 6 shops that have promised him a position.
 

McClure Machine

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Just curious on what those of you who either own or work for shops. If you use this site I assume you are a career machinist. What things do you see in someone walkng through your shop that makes you hire someone or tell the management in charge to hire that person? Talk is cheap with cnc experience so im curious what other people see in a visitor that makes them say ' hey hire that person they definatly are worth a shot over the other people ' . Maybe a poorly worded question but I had to ask. Happy new years lets bring manufacturing back to our countries! Requires all of our dedication . And on another note there is alot of opportunity in this industry atleast in North America so I would like to take a second to tell employees to atleast see what is out there if you find yourself stuck at a ship with no progression or learning or advancement or raises. Anyways thanks

First thing, if they bring their phone in turned on ( not in silent or airplane mode), pull it out to look at it, etc. Tour or interview is over.
 

ttrager

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Let's hope that YOU pay this "Dream Employee" well....Very well.

It's odd though that all the things in my list you equate to dream employee so he/she needs to be paid more, all relate to things that should come with someone at no additional cost off the top. These are conduct/character/policy adherence things no one should have to pay extra for. Some of what I listed are common sense and articulated in employee handbooks across the board such as No Drug or Alcohol problems, no disrupting a co-worker trying to get work done, clock in on time, do your work reliably, etc.

Stick to your standards, your "green flags", consistently and you WILL see a trend in that direction over time. Ignore those standards, or don't have any at all beyond peeling steel, and you accepted the path to the poorer result. Because that's how people work. I listed those points, because those are the points I personally look for in co-workers. It's not about holding up unrealistic standards for a "dream employee".

The question asked was what are the "green flags" you look for, and I listed those I keep in mind. And I followed with an example out of a machine shop where we've hired someone with those attributes, where there has been active coaching and recognition given when that person has stepped up.

Because those are very good things, "green flags", to have in a co-worker in a practical and real sense.

If the conclusion is we have to pay people more, meaning more than what we've already costed out for the job like add-on option costs on a car, so people clock in on time, don't screw around with your co-workers when they are trying to get work done, don't come to work with drug or alcohol problems, don't be a drama queen yapping to people to cause problems, etc., then the problem isn't with a the labor pool to draw from in the marketplace, it's with "us".

People should be "paid well, very well" (meaning a bump beyond standard yearly or seniority increases) based on two things in my experience: 1) Increases in responsibilities and accountability, and 2) Technical skills increase (capability) or performance levels, such as advancing to EDM work or 5-Axis milling & CNC programming, or consistently producing 30% more than anyone else reliably.

Everything else I've listed are things that . . . should . . . but sometimes don't based on the person . . . come with the job at no additional pay. All that remains is what are our standards for the shop? Are we promoting those standards reasonably and consistently? This is hard work, it's uncertain because it's "people stuff". But it's important, and it makes a difference.

Just an opinion based on experience.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
It's odd though that all the things in my list you equate to dream employee so he/she needs to be paid more, all relate to things that should come with someone at no additional cost off the top. These are conduct/character/policy adherence things no one should have to pay extra for. Some of what I listed are common sense and articulated in employee handbooks across the board such as No Drug or Alcohol problems, no disrupting a co-worker trying to get work done, clock in on time, do your work reliably, etc.

Stick to your standards, your "green flags", consistently and you WILL see a trend in that direction over time. Ignore those standards, or don't have any at all beyond peeling steel, and you accepted the path to the poorer result. Because that's how people work. I listed those points, because those are the points I personally look for in co-workers. It's not about holding up unrealistic standards for a "dream employee".

The question asked was what are the "green flags" you look for, and I listed those I keep in mind. And I followed with an example out of a machine shop where we've hired someone with those attributes, where there has been active coaching and recognition given when that person has stepped up.

Because those are very good things, "green flags", to have in a co-worker in a practical and real sense.

If the conclusion is we have to pay people more, meaning more than what we've already costed out for the job like add-on option costs on a car, so people clock in on time, don't screw around with your co-workers when they are trying to get work done, don't come to work with drug or alcohol problems, don't be a drama queen yapping to people to cause problems, etc., then the problem isn't with a the labor pool to draw from in the marketplace, it's with "us".

People should be "paid well, very well" (meaning a bump beyond standard yearly or seniority increases) based on two things in my experience: 1) Increases in responsibilities and accountability, and 2) Technical skills increase (capability) or performance levels, such as advancing to EDM work or 5-Axis milling & CNC programming, or consistently producing 30% more than anyone else reliably.

Everything else I've listed are things that . . . should . . . but sometimes don't based on the person . . . come with the job at no additional pay. All that remains is what are our standards for the shop? Are we promoting those standards reasonably and consistently? This is hard work, it's uncertain because it's "people stuff". But it's important, and it makes a difference.

Just an opinion based on experience.
You read just like some dreamers on dating websites like "Match.com"

Instead of listing their qualities that they would bring to a relationship, rather they simply post up a long winded list of the "perfect man" and must "ride in on a white horse and sweep me off my feet".
But they don't reciprocate in kind.

"No difference in pay" ?

You can purchase oats qty (2) ways.....one more (much more) expensive than the other.
 

ttrager

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
You read just like some dreamers on dating websites like "Match.com"

Instead of listing their qualities that they would bring to a relationship, rather they simply post up a long winded list of the "perfect man" and must "ride in on a white horse and sweep me off my feet".
But they don't reciprocate in kind.

"No difference in pay" ?

You can purchase oats qty (2) ways.....one more (much more) expensive than the other.

Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. Again, no employer on the planet should have to uplift someone's pay for things like don't come to work with a drug or alcohol problem, I'm not paying you extra to ensure you clock in on time, and you aren't getting more money to purchase your cooperation in NOT messing with your co-workers when they are trying to get work done. No, no one gets paid "more" for the things expected to come with the package to begin with.

You should be paid more for greater responsibilites and accountability, and technical skills. No argument there.

I gave you opinions based on experience across two different industries. And I stand by what I said given many of the points I mentioned are things any boss looks for off the top regardless of what they are being hired for (e.g. Accountant vs Machinist vs whatever). Nothing I've said is particularly radical, or even unreasonable as "green flag" attributes that cause you to say, "that guy, he's good to work with."

Wasn't that what the OP asked for? This isn't "being a Dreamer". This is understanding what you have to filter against during hiring, and what you have to coach against on an ongoing basis. If you don't bother because it's just too hard, any of us end up with environments that suck. For everyone.

I'm just stepping up and saying it, while many people prefer to ignore it. It's complicated, uncertain, and messy being people stuff. I get it. But it can be picked apart and dealt with, over time, if you focus on it. For everyone's benefit, not just a boss playing tyrant.

Opinions vary, and advise freely given is also only freely taken, whether in whole or in part.

No harm, no foul. Hope everyone had a great Christmas.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. Again, no employer on the planet should have to uplift someone's pay for things like don't come to work with a drug or alcohol problem, I'm not paying you extra to ensure you clock in on time, and you aren't getting more money to purchase your cooperation in NOT messing with your co-workers when they are trying to get work done. No, no one gets paid "more" for the things expected to come with the package to begin with.

You should be paid more for greater responsibilites and accountability, and technical skills. No argument there.

I gave you opinions based on experience across two different industries. And I stand by what I said given many of the points I mentioned are things any boss looks for off the top regardless of what they are being hired for (e.g. Accountant vs Machinist vs whatever). Nothing I've said is particularly radical, or even unreasonable as "green flag" attributes that cause you to say, "that guy, he's good to work with."

Wasn't that what the OP asked for? This isn't "being a Dreamer". This is understanding what you have to filter against during hiring, and what you have to coach against on an ongoing basis. If you don't bother because it's just too hard, any of us end up with environments that suck. For everyone.

I'm just stepping up and saying it, while many people prefer to ignore it. It's complicated, uncertain, and messy being people stuff. I get it. But it can be picked apart and dealt with, over time, if you focus on it. For everyone's benefit, not just a boss playing tyrant.

Opinions vary, and advise freely given is also only freely taken, whether in whole or in part.

No harm, no foul. Hope everyone had a great Christmas.

So the pay is no different as long as you come in on time, and not hung over or drunk ?
So the go-getter that you want, innovating everyday, making you more money, you pay the same
as everyone else that simply follows rule #1 "on time, not hung over" ?
 

Kalispel

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Location
Ohio
Good people make good companies.

The key is to pay well and expect a lot.

Pay and benefits absolutely matter -- it is a signal of respect.

Look in the mirror first if you feel you cannot get paid well enough to pay your people well.

Communicate clearly and make expectations known.

Engage in dialog and allow free exchange of ideas and opinions.

Demand safe, civil, energetic behavior.

Never break the trust with your people.

It is not difficult in any way.


Never hesitate to let go of poor performers, disengaged personalities or destructive people. Keeping them lowers the standard for everyone.

Finding people is easy. Hire people you admire from your suppliers, competitors and sometimes customers. If you do not have the exposure to see the "right" people, find out who does and put them in charge of hiring.
 

ttrager

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
So the pay is no different as long as you come in on time, and not hung over or drunk ?
So the go-getter that you want, innovating everyday, making you more money, you pay the same
as everyone else that simply follows rule #1 "on time, not hung over" ?

Well, then it looks like we are in agreement in what constitutes value-add "green flags" you should look for in quality co-workers and/or employees. All those things identified as "dreamers" on dating games. Kalispel articulated it pretty well I think, and that's all "dreamer" stuff that Leaders are ultimately responsible for sheep-dogging.

I'm not fighting or arguing. I'm responding to the OP, which is the focus in this thread. What are the "green flags" you look for in quality people.

You didn't like my answers, fair enough, but what are your "green flags"? The perspective is probably worthwhile.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
Back in the early to mid 80's I had been working after school and Saturdays in a small shop making shaft sleeves for PACO pumps on the bay area of California, we were out in the woods running off a big RPC. I ran a J&L turret lathe and we made these parts in 303 Stainless and cast iron. Dick, the owner came home from an evening with the boys to find the lower level of his house fully engulfed in flames and got to watch as his wife, asleep or passed out in her rocking chair upstairs was ate up by the fire. Dick, nor the shop lasted long after that. I took a few odd jobs for a while till one day I heard about a shop with computer machines that ran all by them selves. I went and talked to the owner but he didn't think my experience running a J&L turret lathe would make me verry useful in front of a VMC. He had mentioned that they ran 2 shifts starting at 7am, a year later I found out that mention was a test. I showed up at 6:30 each day and had coffee with Everett each day for just over a week, someone didn't show up on time and I was put in his place making feed horns for satellite tv dishes ( back when they were 12' in dia. It took a year or so, me and another guy became those "dream employees" in the OP's post, if we didn't know how to do it we would find out, we worked together learning every aspect of that shop and soon after he, Mike was foreman, life was great and we made a million in sales that year, about 1985. Everett sent mike, myself and the shipping/bookkeeping gal Joyce and her stick in the mud husband to Hawaii for 19 days as a reward. Mike got married to a horrible gal and soon there were lots of things messing with his head and he asked Everett to swap our positions, boom I was foreman, mike got a divorce and became almost useless in the shop, I fired him though I did set him up with a job in another shop a ways down the road hoping to shock him back to life. It took most of a year, he found a girlfriend, perked back up, I hired him back and the Mike and Mark show was back on tour, I made a handshake deal to buy the shop from Everett on his suggestion as he was ready to get out but a couple weeks he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and soon passed on.
Everett's wife didn't understand much about the shop, decided that Mike and I were going to cheat her somehow and hired 11 advisors, none had any shop experience, we were required to get the approval of at least 6 of them for every purchase over $100.
It was a very short time of this and Mike and myself were no longer "dream employees". he took a job in another shop and I started one of my own. The point in all this I recon is that a guy given the rope to do it can become the "dream employee", we didn't have much pay advantage over others in the shop, fact is there were a few "machinists" that were paid more than Mike and I but there were a lot of perks and bonuses for he and I that others didn't get, cash, trips, paid leave, etc. We were the "dream employees" then one day were were treated as though we were the enemy or at least that is how it felt to us and after some months of that we went elsewhere. Mike is thill the "dream employee" at that other shop though the shop is too big and he is not very happy there but they pay him enough he has to stay. I followed my own dreams and am likely no longer employable.
 

Mark P.

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
I'm really struggling with "what to do next" after the machine shop closure in October. I'm 55 and would like to do something different. It'll be a process to acclimate myself to a different atmosphere after 33 years in a family business.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Back in the early to mid 80's I had been working after school and Saturdays in a small shop making shaft sleeves for PACO pumps on the bay area of California, we were out in the woods running off a big RPC. I ran a J&L turret lathe and we made these parts in 303 Stainless and cast iron. Dick, the owner came home from an evening with the boys to find the lower level of his house fully engulfed in flames and got to watch as his wife, asleep or passed out in her rocking chair upstairs was ate up by the fire. Dick, nor the shop lasted long after that. I took a few odd jobs for a while till one day I heard about a shop with computer machines that ran all by them selves. I went and talked to the owner but he didn't think my experience running a J&L turret lathe would make me verry useful in front of a VMC. He had mentioned that they ran 2 shifts starting at 7am, a year later I found out that mention was a test. I showed up at 6:30 each day and had coffee with Everett each day for just over a week, someone didn't show up on time and I was put in his place making feed horns for satellite tv dishes ( back when they were 12' in dia. It took a year or so, me and another guy became those "dream employees" in the OP's post, if we didn't know how to do it we would find out, we worked together learning every aspect of that shop and soon after he, Mike was foreman, life was great and we made a million in sales that year, about 1985. Everett sent mike, myself and the shipping/bookkeeping gal Joyce and her stick in the mud husband to Hawaii for 19 days as a reward. Mike got married to a horrible gal and soon there were lots of things messing with his head and he asked Everett to swap our positions, boom I was foreman, mike got a divorce and became almost useless in the shop, I fired him though I did set him up with a job in another shop a ways down the road hoping to shock him back to life. It took most of a year, he found a girlfriend, perked back up, I hired him back and the Mike and Mark show was back on tour, I made a handshake deal to buy the shop from Everett on his suggestion as he was ready to get out but a couple weeks he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and soon passed on.
Everett's wife didn't understand much about the shop, decided that Mike and I were going to cheat her somehow and hired 11 advisors, none had any shop experience, we were required to get the approval of at least 6 of them for every purchase over $100.
It was a very short time of this and Mike and myself were no longer "dream employees". he took a job in another shop and I started one of my own. The point in all this I recon is that a guy given the rope to do it can become the "dream employee", we didn't have much pay advantage over others in the shop, fact is there were a few "machinists" that were paid more than Mike and I but there were a lot of perks and bonuses for he and I that others didn't get, cash, trips, paid leave, etc. We were the "dream employees" then one day were were treated as though we were the enemy or at least that is how it felt to us and after some months of that we went elsewhere. Mike is thill the "dream employee" at that other shop though the shop is too big and he is not very happy there but they pay him enough he has to stay. I followed my own dreams and am likely no longer employable.

I see why Idaho has such appeal.
 

Mcgyver

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Location
Toronto
ttrager did say you don't get all of the quantities in one individual, but its not a bad list of positive characteristics that would make you take notice.

Personally, I gladly pay for A team types, they're worth it over the DF's, incompetents, tardy, miserable, mistake making morons you can settle for if price is the main concern
 








 
Top