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  1. #41
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    Suggest reading some management books to your potential candidate. If they don’t act on the suggestion consider another candidate. A good book to start with is The Goal which teaches the theory of constraints and bottlenecks in a manufacturing environment.

    A big problem is almost no one actually teaches practical management skills at any level. Almost everyone can see bad management but few know what good management looks like. I set up a new manufacturing operation in another state and trained the manager. He was working on his MBA at night and commented that I ought to teach because school is all theory and I was showing him how actually apply it. 18 years later a customer called to tell how well done the product they got from that company was. So doing things the right way can last as long as things done the wrong way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousmudbogger View Post
    ..
    What are you guys paying for a foreman?

    What do you consider his tasks? .....
    What do you consider his tasks?
    People have recommend books, I wonder their age. Hard to get the new generation to do such.
    You are going to hire which means not bringing up from the inside.
    That person will not "be good" at your processes. They may be very effective as a foreman.

    A part of this is the pay pyramid which sort of says the "lead guy" gets paid more than all those he is responsible for. That lead to problems.
    I sense that you see tech skills of how , maybe people skills and why should get some thinking.

    Why would you ask us what his/her tasking should be?
    That's kinda of your job.

    Perhaps gone south in the past as it always does.
    Why? Is going outside the best or only option?
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    What do you consider his tasks?
    People have recommend books, I wonder their age. Hard to get the new generation to do such.
    You are going to hire which means not bringing up from the inside.
    That person will not "be good" at your processes. They may be very effective as a foreman.

    A part of this is the pay pyramid which sort of says the "lead guy" gets paid more than all those he is responsible for. That lead to problems.
    I sense that you see tech skills of how , maybe people skills and why should get some thinking.

    Why would you ask us what his/her tasking should be?
    That's kinda of your job.

    Perhaps gone south in the past as it always does.
    Why? Is going outside the best or only option?
    Bob
    I ask what you consider his or her tasks to see if I am off in my thinking of what I consider their tasks. I do not want to hire someone and ask more of them out of the gate than what a good foreman can do. Obviously this is all dependent on who is hired. Being a family biz everyone wears multiple hats from pushing buttons, programming, to cleaning toilets. If one is too good to do anything needed they are not needed here.

    Going outside is required as all of the guys are not leaders or really people persons. I truly believe a great foreman will need to be a people person someone looks up to, relates, and can motivate without pissing everyone off in the shop, drive employees to be better at their current position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousmudbogger View Post
    ...

    Going outside is required as all of the guys are not leaders or really people persons. I truly believe a great foreman will need to be a people person someone looks up to, relates, and can motivate without pissing everyone off in the shop, drive employees to be better at their current position.
    So you have just described someone needed by almost all companies. Many of those companies can afford to pay much more than a manufacturing company. In addition, those companies often have defined career path development for interested candidates, not the typical glass ceiling of a family owned and managed affair. And that is before you consider having to pay relocation and high enough wages to entice someone to move somewhere north of BFE.

    I think you will be further ahead trying to grow your own than trying to hire someone else's talent.

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    Sounds like you should entice this guy to move west....:
    Shop Foreman's attitude toward other employees - What's crossing the line?

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    I am a machinist in Montana. If you want to be a machinist in Montana, I hope you have a wife/ husband that makes good money or you will starve. I get paid ok, but I am also a fabricator, welder, supervisor, programmer, operator, troubleshooter, reverse engineer, janitor,among other things. I am tired and wore out. My shoulders are starting to fail. So if you got a management position for me, I would take it, as long as I don't have to move!

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    I think a foreman should talk about fishing. walk about the shop being nice to the guys. have plenty of time to bring in and do hobby jobs, use free company steel and aluminum and get about 75 bucks an hour.. I can start next week.

    Just kidding even at that I would not take the job, I like being retired.

    Belgrade looks like a nice place to live. I would bring my pan and bucket.
    MONTANA GOLD MAPS, MONTANA GOLD PANNING, MONTANA GOLD PLACERS, MONTANA GOLD PROSPECTING, GHOST TOWNS MINERS CAMPS, METAL DETECTING,

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousmudbogger View Post
    Im looking to hire a Foreman. Not the first time, we have transitioned machinists or others into the position but has never worked well as they were usually good at that one thing but not all areas of the shop, usually people management was the not so good.

    What are you guys paying for a foreman?

    What do you consider his tasks? We are a medium sized family business that manufactures our own products but also does contract work for other companies. So more than one hat would be needed. We run 10hr days, 5 days a week and unattended another 5 hrs/ day usually

    Here is my thoughts. We are in a high cost of living area but pretty low wages due to being somewhat remote(comparing to LA or Chicago or something)
    $50,000-$75,000/ year with possibly a bonus based on a variety of things, scrap, profits, deadlines, etc.

    Thanks
    A suggestion. Write down what you believe the applicant must be capable of and then add what you'd like the applicant also to be able to do.

    Put a job add (with your main requirements) in the most suitable newspaper (or newspapers) and make it clear only written applications will be considered.

    Assuming their are applicants what is needed now are professional, well thought out, interviews and with good applicants then more than just one interview.

    It isn't just how much you'd be willing to pay for the right guy as how much the right guy would expect to be paid. It has to be a number you both feel is fair. Always, at an interview, ask about last and previous places of employment and check if possible what you're told!

    I know things like this are different in the USA to what I'm used to but the job of foreman is important enough to warrant a contract and that the first 3 months are a trial period. To me being foreman is a salaried job and not one for pay "by the hour".

    Being a good machinist doesn't mean you will also be a good foreman. Two very different jobs.

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    You have received some good advice about the qualities needed in a leader, but you have not provided enough information to really give you any specific advice.
    If you are looking for someone to do time management, supply logistics on the floor, maintaining saftey, and scheduling, you need less of a machinist but more of a manager.
    But if you are looking for someone for the above and someone who can provide tooling help, programming assistance, etc. This needs to be someone who has more machining background.
    If you are looking for someone to do all the above and train new machinist, diagnose machining issues, design part fixturing, overseeing inspection, and correcting part quality etc.
    In general terms the non-technical manager gets 15 buck hour, the guy with a little technical knowledge will cost you 20 bucks hour. A journeyman machinist/ manager will cost you 40 buck hour.
    If you are working with large very expensive parts 100k plus and you are running CNC and manual machines and need someone who can do the job, manage people, do paperwork, manage saftey etc. You just sign the check and let him fill in the amount. As there are probably not 100 people in the world who can and are willing.
    With out more information about your specific information there is no way to really offer any more specifics.
    A guy running a CNC knee mill making 10 dollar parts might make 30k year, a guy running a 120" vertical lathe making 500k complex parts might make 150k and they are both considered Machinist

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbregn View Post
    I am a machinist in Montana. If you want to be a machinist in Montana, I hope you have a wife/ husband that makes good money or you will starve. I get paid ok, but I am also a fabricator, welder, supervisor, programmer, operator, troubleshooter, reverse engineer, janitor,among other things. I am tired and wore out. My shoulders are starting to fail. So if you got a management position for me, I would take it, as long as I don't have to move!
    Sounds like the OP's job description is exactly what your do-ing now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    Highlight the above two quotes!! "Family business" is going to be a potential red flag for anyone who actually knows what managing is about.

    And managing people requires a far, far different skill set than machining. Some may be able to do both ... many will not. It may well be that a mediocre machinist--who understands their own limitations!--would make a far better manager than a superb machinist.

    The problem is, you either have to attract an experienced foreman with demonstrated skills (hard to do, and if they're good, why are they looking to move?), OR you have to grow your own. The latter sounds like the route you've been trying, but perhaps there is a better way to go about it:

    1) Look for the person who is able to interact well with everyone (or at least most) on the floor - the person who has people skills, regardless of machine skills. Ideally you want someone who is humble personally but highly motivated to succeed--or better yet, to see the company succeed.

    2) TRAIN THIS PERSON. Don't assume they can just start leading, any more than you would assume you can toss someone out on the floor and they can start machining with no training. Ask around, look for GOOD courses* on leadership / management. Consider vetting these courses by taking them yourselves--has the upper management had any training?

    *IMHO, good courses will teach more than one helpful paradigm WITHOUT buying into the mantra that is found in every single book I've ever read about leadership--the mantra that THIS approach is the ONE AND ONLY way to do it, and will solve all problems including world hunger, acne, and the common cold. Some specific approaches that I think are especially helpful: 1) Good to Great by Jim Collins; 2) family systems - don't have a specific book or author to recommend, but the approach is helpful in any relational system (think of how various machinists relate to each other and to management), and could be especially helpful in a family business; 3) dynamics of social power (Gary Yukl is one author); 4) Situational Leadership (developed by Hersey and Blanchard; some of Blanchard's later development is a bit too cutesy / cut-and-dried, but the basic idea is still good). Again, IMHO, none of these is THE answer, but all offer some very helpful ways to think about how to lead effectively.
    Very good post. Just offering some thoughts on reference/leadership books...

    "Good to Great" by Jim Collins is a great read (and a better listen) but it's geared more toward the high-level organization, not necessarily the individual. I would still recommend, just offering some feedback in case someone runs out to study this...

    "How to win friends & influence people" by Dale Carnegie should be must-read #1 for anyone wanting to get into management, or anyone wanting to improve their leadership and/or communication skills. It's an excellent book, and very much focused on the individual first, then the "leader" second.

    "Extreme Ownership" by Jocko Willick & Leif Babin is another great read. This book is extremely convicting of oneself, but highlights how important it is to take on an attitude of "extreme ownership" - best described as owning responsibility through humility perhaps...




    To give you all an example of the valuable content in the last-two books --- had I read them about 3-4 years ago, perhaps I wouldn't have lost a very good job, but such is life, and such lessons come with a heavy price.

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    At least 80k for 55hrs wk

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    Why would anyone take a foreman's position, if they can make $70k+ a year without all the extra BS?

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    I have a small shop with 6 guys. I've been looking for a "working" shop foreman who could operate a waterjet once or twice a week, help my other guys on the mill or lathe, do some welding here and there, run a couple mazaks if need be, modify CNC programs, design and help make custom fixtures for the occasional batch run, do the basics in CAD/CAM, seek out process improvement, establish and enforce weekly production goals, help me keep the machines working, setup new tools/equipment, and talk to customers on the rare occasion. All stainless work, tolerances to 0.001". Some days he'd get his hands dirty, other days he'd sit down in front of a computer. I don't care what hours he pulls - could be 30 or could be 60 from week to week...we just need the job to get done. Small but growing company, good proprietary products, good group of guys. $70k, no insurance or 401k...we're just too small right now. We try to keep the shop clean, but it's a pretty tight place. No central air, but fans/huge evaporative coolers and heaters/doors wide open make things comfortable. Would definitely structure bonus linked to hitting targets. Looking for someone with 10 years machining experience, with a few years mid-level management in a small/medium company, solid technical chops, someone to be effective without being a jerk, great soft skills... We're in Savannah.

    Sent from my SM-G928V using Tapatalk

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    Some guy think they have the know-how to make a shop run near perfect because they are often thinking of the best way and so would like to be boss to make it so . Some guys might want the extra bucks the boss job might pay. Often many guys don’t realize that workers are all so different that some want to help and some want to prove the boss wrong, so being boss can be like running a ten-year old’s baseball team. Some/few bosses have just the right personality and can get along and get guys to perform and the shop run smooth. Some bosses show favoritism and so make the other guys want that boss and the whole shop to fail just to prove him wrong. In the Slip Yoke bosses head bashing incident that boss likely did not realize the mild-mannered man was at his breaking point because he thought he owned the job by doing good/best work and that rude boss jeopardized his family because he cold not afford to walk. Being boss is a tough job for many personalities. But finding that guy who can get along and get the shop to run like a clock is a huge asset.
    Another asset is when/where a guy/gay/worker with a problem can talk to a person above the boss so that someone with real shop concern can know when a problem exists. Agree a walking around chatting all day boss is not any good, the boss should seem busy most of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JS View Post
    Why would anyone take a foreman's position, if they can make $70k+ a year without all the extra BS?
    'Cause they get to swab the turlets as the "Dream Boss" that the OP wants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    'Cause they get to swab the turlets as the "Dream Boss" that the OP wants.
    Im not looking for a toilet cleaner, if I had digger doug would have been my first choice

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    Ops that was an error: sorry...
    Another asset is when/where a guy/gay/worker with a problem can talk...

    I meant to say guy/gal..sorry I don't want to start another issue that has no place in tooling talk.

    Swab the turlets and drag the stink from Blanchards got me into the trades.

    I wanted to be a lathe hand but did well being a grinder.

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