Hiring a Millwrights can seem like a daunting task, do you use a Head Hunter or Employment Agency? What job boards do you post on? What to ask during an interview? How much should you offer? Below is an easy to follow 7 step guide to hiring mechanics.
If you are as busy as most the quickest and most effective method is to employ a Millwright Recruiter, the following steps are we do at Rockstar Millwrights to be effective.
- Define the Role
- Find Milllwrights
- Interview the Best
- Select the Best of The Best
- The Offer Stage
- Constant Contact
- On Boarding
1. Define The Role
It is very hard to find something if you don’t know what you are looking for, too many companies skip this step and it costs them a bunch of time and often ends up resulting in a bad hire. Millwright is a super broad term, here is Google’s definition of Millwright:
Obviously it is a bit out of date but is also evidence of why this step is so important. When defining the role consider the following
- Type of Millwright – What type of machines will they be working on i.e. PLC, Pneumatic, Hydraulics, Conveyors etc. The more specific you can get the better.
- Shifts Available – Never start recruiting until you have the shift nailed down, you could spend weeks interviewing the perfect mechanic only to find out they are not available for your shift.
- Specialties You Need – What skill set do you need, do you already have 10 Millwrights who specialize on Millwrights but you have no one who is good with Pnuematic?
- What Do You Not Need – This is equally important, if you already have more motor specialists than motor work then don’t pay high wages to a tech that can rebuild motors.
2. Finding Millwrights
Finding Millwrights is the toughest part of the process, for an in depth guide on How to Find Mechanics see our post on ‘How To Recruit Millwrights, 5 Sources to Find Rockstars” To give you a quick overview, there are 5 main sources you can use to Find Mechanics To Hire:
- Posting On Job Boards
- Trade Schools
- Use a Recruiting Firm
More details on how each of these can be used is found in the article mentioned above. This is the hard part and where you may need to use a professional but it can be done.
3. Interview The Best
When you complete your search to Find Millwrights, sit down with all of the resumes you have and schedule interviews. You will ideally get all of the interviews scheduled over the course of a couple of days so that you can easily compare each candidate. A lot of the applications you receive are going to be garbage, delete them, those that look like they have the best experience, invite them in for interviews. Things to keep in mind when choosing who to interview:
- How pretty a resume is doesn’t matter, you need a Millwright who is good with a wrench, their Microsoft Word formatting skills don’t matter
- Experience and Training are the most important things to look for on a resume
- Look out for gaps in employment and candidates that switch jobs too often
Tips for a successful interview:
- If you do not have a technical background make sure you have someone with you in the interview that does. They will be able to ask more in depth technical questions and should be able to tell you if the person knows what they are talking about
- Use the same set of questions for every interview so that you are grading each candidate on the same answers
- For a good set of Questions to ask a Millwright see our article ’25 Interview Questions To Ask a Millwright’
- Save the answer sheet to compare against the next round of interviews, if your hire this time worked out well you will want to be able to go back and see what their answers were
- Sell the Job – Millwrights are in High Demand, make sure you give them reasons to choose your company over somewhere else. Be honest with this, tell them why you like working there.
- Give them a tour of the shop so they can start visualizing themselves in the job
- Ask them to send you references via e-mail
4. Select the Best of the Best
While finding the millwrights may be the toughest part, this is the most important part, make sure you select the right candidate. When comparing the candidates you met with make sure you refer back to Step 1 – Define the Job and ask ‘Does this Millwright Fit What we Need.’
Wants and needs are different things, don’t hire the technician that you want, hire the technician that you need. One problem I see way too often is companies hire the candidate they like the best. The ‘like’ factor is a real thing but it shouldn’t be. Just because you have the same interests as a candidate and really hit it off does not mean they will be a good employee, that just means they might be a good friend and I have a bunch of friends who I love but would never hire. Evaluate them as a potential employee not as a person you want to spend more time with.
Another issue that comes up a lot is the speed of the selection process, while this is an important step it is also one that needs to be done quickly. Good millwrights do not stay on the market for long, you have to move quick before your competitor does.
“I only interviewed one millwright, I need more to compare them to” is something that I hear all the time and it can be a killer. With the mass shortage of technicians it is likely that you might only get 1 or 2 to interview. In this case compare them to the others you already have on the team, do they compare favorably or similarly to them?
One trick that works well is have your own internal millwrights answer your interview questions, how do their answers compare to the person you just interviewed?
Sometimes, actually a lot of times, you have to make a choice with very few options but don’t feel like you need to compare them against other applicants, compare them against the job description, if they match what you need then they are good enough to hire.
5. The Offer Stage
This is the most delicate part of the process, you need to make sure your offer is good enough to get accepted but not so rich that it puts your company in financial trouble. Things to consider when making an offer:
- What do your other techs earn?
- What are the Average Pay Rates in your Area
- What is the Candidate Earning Now?
- What is your cost/profit margin?
When making an offer it should be higher than what the technician is earning now but not so high that it hurts your company or causes issues with other mechanics in the shop. You can tell them all you want not to talk about pay, it will come out and when it does it shouldn’t cause a rift.
Do not try to low ball a candidate to get the negotiating started, most don’t like playing games, give them your best offer that you feel is fair and let them know that it is a take it or leave it offer.
A recruiter (head hunter) can really help here as they should have a good relationship with the candidate and will know at what rate they will accept and at what rate they walk. They should also be able to tell you what other options they have on the table.
6. Constant Contact
This is the part that most of us suck at but it is essential in making sure the person actually starts. If you do all the work above and don’t stay in contact you are asking them not to start.
Give them a day or 2 to think about the offer and then follow up asking if they have any questions. Once you get acceptance of the offer stay in contact with them until they start. Try to contact them once a week (less if the start date is a couple of months away.) This shows them that you care and that you are excited to have them on board.
Do not call them just to say ‘you are still starting right?’ you do not want to look desperate. Have a question or two to ask and make sure they have all the info they need to start i.e. start time, what to bring on their first day etc. Questions you can ask to keep them on board:
- How did it go handing in notice?
- When would you like to move your tools into the shop?
- What is your uniform size so that we can have it ready for you when you start?
- Do you have any upcoming trips or appointments that you need booked off ahead of time?
- If they are relocating – how did it go with the move? did you find a new place ok?
- Do you have any questions prior to when you start?
If you don’t like the phone this can also be done via e-mail or text so long as the Millwright is ok with that.
Constant Contact is another area that a good recruiter can really help with. They know they have a commission coming if that mechanic starts so the good ones are usually pretty good at protecting that.
7. On Boarding
Someone’s first day is special, a day they will likely remember for a long time. Most people have about 10 job changes in a career, that means only 10 first days, it is a big deal. Make sure they feel welcome, this isn’t hard, you don’t have to go over the top with a choreographed dance routine welcoming them aboard but being there is a good start. Be there and be ready for them, have whatever they need i.e. forms they need to fill out, health and safety info etc. Make sure your orientation is thorough, professional and do what you can to make it not boring.
The person you hired probably had other offers but chose yours. If you do not make them feel welcome from day one they can easily go back to one of the other offers. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste.
I hope this process helps, hiring Millwrights is not easy but if you are having a tough time, Rockstar Millwrights can help. We can quickly find you well qualified Millwrights that you can hire on to your team. Give us a call at 1 833-762-5787 to get the search started immediately.