SMT007 Magazine

SMT-May2017

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24 SMT Magazine • May 2017 After struggling to find the right job fit for a few months, she got involved with a Michigan employment agency to find work. When she initially interviewed at Lectronics in Decem- ber 2014 for a stockroom specialist position, the hiring manager was so impressed by her that he recommended her for an entirely different position, documentation assistant, where he thought her skills would be better served. She used the documentation role as an op- portunity to get her foot in the door, and to ab- sorb everything she possibly could about print- ed circuit board assembly. Within six months, Vemuri applied for an internal process engi- neering role as that work appealed to her longer term career goals. In process engineering, Vemuri managed the processes for hand solder, repair, stockroom and quality. Within this role, she also success- fully completed training to be an IPC 610 certi- fied trainer, where she had the added responsi- bility to train new employees. "I like training. I get to meet new people and understand them better," said Vemuri. Vemuri recently transitioned to quality manager in February 2017; in fact, she put her- self forward for a position that wasn't even post- ed. In hopes of moving into the quality depart- ment, she sent a passionate email to HR and the VP of Quality about why she wanted to be in that group—specifically, where she would like to make improvements, and why she would be so successful in that group. "I'm always full of ideas," commented Vem- uri. "People at Lectronics have been great about noticing and appreciating good ideas. These promotions from within are great for morale; instead of hiring someone from the outside with a specific piece of paper, it's better that we give an internal employee a chance—someone with a background at the organization." Vemuri admits that she never envisioned being a manager so quickly at Lectronics. The pride in her voice is apparent when she talks about her goals for the group she now manag- es. She's extremely grateful for the internal sup- port system, specifically from the HR team and her direct manager, Scott Sober. "Scott likes to give high fives," explained Vemuri. "He's great about giving constant feed- back. He'll tell me that I am doing well at the things that I know, and for the things that I don't know, he's willing to offer guidance and support to help me learn. I don't have to pre- tend that I know something that I don't." While the investment is higher, and the risk can be greater, hiring and onboarding green em- ployees typically pays off; these workers tend to be more committed to the organization overall. As seen in the three narratives above, these em- ployees are grateful for the chances they've been afforded, the training that the organization has invested in them, and the support and encour- agement they receive from Lectronics' leadership team. It' s apparent that each of them are eager to keep expanding their careers in manufacturing. For other manufacturers that may be feeling discouraged by the talent gap, consider re-eval- uating recruiting, hiring and onboarding strat- egies for new employees. Until improvements can be made within high schools, community colleges and four-year universities to offer tech- nical training, initiate a new HR strategy for po- tential employees without previous work expe- rience or manufacturing skills. Instead of eval- uating a candidate's skills on paper, look for positive characteristics that fit well within the specific organization. Develop a training pro- gram that grooms the next generation of skilled manufacturing workers—specifically for your manufacturing floor. SMT Davina McDonnell is the director of marketing at Saline Lectronics. GROW YOUR OWN TRAINING PROGRAMS " I like training. I get to meet new people and understand them better. "

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