Fusion OEM at just $12 million is considered very small, but it’s profitable and founder Craig Zoberis is very happy, because he is meeting his twin goals.
While lots of other manufacturers have moved operations to China or Mexico, Zoberis has kept his plant in the United States – and considers it a point of pride to pay his 55 workers above-market rates. Workers with no experience start at $14-an-hour, he says, and by completing training and gaining skills can reach $18-to-20-an-hour, plus overtime and bonuses, for total pay near $50,000 a year, within a few years.
Zoberis doesn’t expect his people to buy his products, but he did want to have a place to work that matched his MAP and not his father’s.
My father and his partner never did a good job of hiring the right people with the right attitude. I wanted to be excited to go to work every day, and working for my father’s company, I was not.
Fusion OEM has never had a layoff, but finding great workers in its industry is just as difficult as finding great programmers, hence the need for a creative, long-term solution.
My colleagues were always complaining that there aren’t enough skilled workers who have the right attitude. When I talk about skilled workers I’m talking about machinists (…) What we discovered halfway through our life at Fusion is that we couldn’t always look outside for skilled people. We decided to hire for attitude and train for aptitude.
Fusion OEM is enjoying double digit growth, but Zoberis isn’t interested in taking outside investment. He loves going to work, saying, “This is my hobby, my income, my life,” and knows that hyper growth can kill you.
You can’t grow your company any faster than you can get the right people. If it goes too far, you might go beyond your capabilities and you’ll fail.
This is a short post, because you need time to read the links.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a CEO building an executive team or a newly promoted supervisor, interviewing is critical to success — the team’s, the company’s and, especially, yours.
The most important things to learn from your interviewing aren’t about hard or soft skills.
The truly critical factors are
how they think; and
That should be the “make or break” information you come away with.
There’s a lot of help to be found here; look in the hiring category and use the various interview* tags — and, of course, today’s links.
Asking slightly off-the-wall questions that candidates can’t prepare for is a good technique as long as you have a valid goal in mind — one that is well beyond just being discomforting.
The technique is used by CEOs from companies diverse companies, including Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Stormy Simon, president of Overstock and Ashley Morris, CEO of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop.
Use them as a guide, because the same questions probably won’t work for you. First, they will become well-known as they are passed around the digital world, and second, because they won’t be relevant to your particular situation.
“It’s hard to say why a candidate would do some of these things,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human-resources officer for CareerBuilder, tells Business Insider. “Maybe he or she is nervous, thinks an employer would find it funny, or perhaps the candidate simply has no boundaries.”
More than 2,600 hiring managers and employers shared with CareerBuilder the most memorable job-interview mistakes candidates have made. Here are 25 of the most unusual things that happened:
I sent this link to several friends; here is the response of one who is a senior manager at a large industrial enterprise in the southeast.
I’ve been offered a blow job, been asked out, been introduced to the “cruising” area of my city, threatened with a sexual harassment suit and shouted at. Interviewing is no joke…
Managers are still sticking their respective feet in their respective mouths.
It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.
Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.
Greetings and welcome to 2017. I thought we’d start the year out with a bit of critical hiring wisdom, especially since hiring so-called stars is still high on most founders’ agendas.
The problem is that hiring often reverses the old adage, ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ and the promised star is, in the new environment, a dud. (Note: the compensation described is from 2007.)
My entire career, even when I was a headhunter, I’ve condemned guaranteed pay packages and sign on bonuses, whether stock or cash, because of a passionate belief that people who join just for money/stock have no loyalty and will leave for more money/stock and that what a person did for their previous employer is not a guarantee of what they will do for their next one.
Obviously, my efforts have had no impact whatsoever, outside of my own clients, especially in the executive suite.
The practice is now so common that it’s been named the “golden hello,” a sure sign of broad acceptance.
Such packages are based totally on candidates’ historical actions for another company, frequently in a different business, their interviewing/negotiating skill, charm, and the threat that doing so is the only way to acquire their talent.
Just how much is all this worth? Penny gave its new COO“…a base salary of $750,000, to be reviewed annually starting in 2007, with a cash bonus that could be as much as 150 percent of her salary…stock option awards and restricted stock awards valued at more than $20 million in recognition of forfeited benefits at her former employer, Capital One, as well as a minimum cash bonus for 2006 of $1 million.”
She was fired six months later, because “…Ms. West not being a good fit for the company,” according to Deborah Weinswig, a Citigroup analyst.
Further, “…Ms. West had a severance agreement and that the retailer intended to honor its terms.” and you can bet that her golden goodby will contain a goodly portion of her golden hello.
I understand executive paranoia and the desire not to lose what they already have, but change always involves risk.
Penny isn’t talking, but if the analyst is correct about the fit, why was Ms. West hired in the first place?
Who wrote the job description? Who interviewed her? Who checked her references? Who thought she was such a good fit that it was worth doing anything necessary to land her?
“Who,” of course, is plural, nobody, especially at senior levels, is interviewed by just one person any more.
That’s why I keep telling my clients that, as their companies grow, they must make hiring, including skilled interviewing, a core competency at all levels.
No knowledge or understanding of the subject; just the blind focus on the written words — kind of like talking to customer service when the rep keeps repeating their script no matter how you phrase the question — and no recognition that they may wrong.
The call started off well but as the interview progressed, Guathier got an increasing number of questions wrong. His frustration grew as he tried to discuss the answers with the Google recruiter only to find that the recruiter wanted the exact answer in the test book even if alternative solutions were better.
The company is Google and it should be noted that they approached the candidate, as opposed to his applying.
But locking technically ignorant recruiters into accepting only set responses to tech question rates right up there with algorithms and brain-teasers. And I say this as someone who was a tech recruiter for more than 12 years.
Of course, managers’ interviewing skills won’t matter, since the best, most knowledgeable, most creative candidates will be screened out before they ever see them.
“There’s two ways to manage. You can hire to be the smartest person in the room or you can hire to be the dumbest person in the room.” –Michael Lebowitz, founder and C.E.O. of design firm Big Spaceship (He says he works at being the dumbest.)
Being a boss means many other things, too, but master these three and you’ll be well on your way to being a great boss.
Even after working decades with bosses at all levels, from CEOs to team leaders and first-time supervisors, their ability to make inaccurate, let alone stupid, assumptions based on nothing solid still astounds me.
The smartest/most creative people only attend top tier universities. No they don’t. The wealthiest/most indebted, unless they were on scholarship, attend those schools.
I can spot instantly talent, even with just a casual conversation. No you can’t. What you can spot are people like yourself.
Some companies look spend millions in recruiter fees and poaching candidates from their competitors; others are more creative.
Those in the second category are open to staffing solutions far outside the box — even the standard race/creed/color/gender/national origin diversity box.
It’s called neurodiversity — those with some kind of cognitive disabilities, such as people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
What do you do when you have highly repetitious work that also requires a high degree of intelligence — like software testing?
That is actually a viable description of people with ASD.
Of course, that means hiring people who, for most people, aren’t the most comfortable to be around.
Roughly 60 percent of people with ASD have average or above average intelligence, yet 85 percent are unemployed.
For smart companies, such as SAP, that group is a goldmine of talent and five years ago it set a goal to have 1% of their workforce comprised of individuals with ASD.
Hiring people with ASD isn’t about charity or financial exploitation; it’s about gaining a competitive advantage and partnering with Specialisterne goes a long way to providing the right program.
So far (as of 2013) about 100 people have been hired [by SAP] for jobs including software developer or tester, business analyst, and graphic designer, and pay is commensurate to what others in those jobs earn.
SAP use an analogy that individuals are like puzzle pieces with irregular shapes.
“One of the things that we’ve done historically in human resource management is, we’ve asked people to trim away the parts of themselves that are irregularly shaped, and then we ask them to plug themselves into standard roles,” says Robert Austin, Professor of Information Systems, Ivey Business School. “SAP is asking itself whether that might be the wrong way to do things in an innovation economy. Instead, maybe managers have to do the hard work of putting the puzzle pieces together and inviting people to bring their entire selves to work.”
That approach can benefit other forms of diversity like race, gender, and sexual orientation.
“Innovation is about finding ideas that are outside the normal parameters, and you don’t do that by slicing away everything that’s outside the normal parameters. Maybe it’s the parts of people we ask them to leave at home that are the most likely to produce the big innovations.”
It’s amazing to me, but looking back over a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written. Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.
I’ve never been a fan of so-called stars. Bosses constantly waste their time, not to mention their budgets, looking for stars. As with everything, stars are often a product of a specific ecosystem and set of circumstances which are rarely duplicated in the new environment.You have only to take a hard look at Marissa Mayer’s history to see the problem in action. Read other Golden Oldies here.
This is as true of executives and management as it is of workers at all levels.
Think of hiring in terms of planting a garden—only these plants have feet.
You’re at the nursery and find a magnificent rose. It’s large, because it’s several years old, has dozens of blooms and buds and is exactly what you wanted for a particular space in your yard.
The directions say that the rose needs full sun to thrive, while the space in your yard only gets four to five hours of morning sun. But the rose is so gorgeous you can’t resist, convincing yourself that those hours from sunrise to 11 will be enough, so you take it home and plant it.
It seems to do OK at first, but as time goes by it gets more straggly and has fewer and fewer blooms.
Finally, you give it to your friend who plants it in a place that gets sun from early morning to sunset.
By the end of the next summer the rose is enormous, covered in blooms and has sprouted three new canes.
One of the things that insanely smart hiring does is ensure that people are planted where they will flourish, whether they are already thriving or are leaving an inhospitable environment.
I said earlier that people are like plants with feet. Abuse a plant, whether intentionally or through neglect, and it will wither and eventually die; abuse your people and sooner or later they will walk.
Insanely smart hiring also gives you a giant edge whether the people market is hot or cold.
By knowing exactly what you need, your culture, management style and the environment you have to offer you are in a position to find hidden and unpolished jewels, as well as those that have lost their luster by being in the wrong place. (Pardon the mixed metaphors. Ed)
These are often candidates that other managers pass on, but who will become your stars—stars with no interest in seeking out something else.
They recognize insanely smart opportunities when they see them.