Although manufacturing jobs took a significant hit during the recession, they’re now seeing positive growth in more recent years. In fact, Progressive Economy reports “U.S. manufacturing employment is rising at its fastest pace in 18 years and accounts for 19.1% of the world’s manufacturing output.” In order to keep your fast-growing manufacturing company on track, you need to find top talent. Here are some traits to look for, to help you spot the right candidate.

Self Awareness

Due to the close proximity to heavy machinery, many positions in this industry come with inherent dangers and require an individual to be aware of their actions and surroundings at all times. They must also be able to operate computers and computerized machinery correctly to ensure the highest-possible quality standards. Consequently, this requires a person who knows what’s going on around them, and how their actions impact overall production.

Strong Attention Span

Being easily distracted is a recipe for disaster in a manufacturing environment because it can be the catalyst for both low production quality and/or injuries. For that reason, it’s important for a candidate to have an eye for detail and to stay engaged in their daily tasks. A small mistake could lead to more serious problems, so they need to stay focused on production and follow safety protocol at all times.

Personal Drive

A strong work ethic and a tendency to take initiative are also characteristics that an ideal job candidate will possess. You’ll definitely want someone who wants to do more than the bare minimum, and doesn’t require constant supervision to ensure that tasks are completed on time. That’s why it’s critical to look for a candidate with a naturally strong drive and a take-charge mentality.


Because a manufacturing environment can be unpredictable at times, it’s smart to find an individual who is able to “roll with the punches” and adapt to whatever curveballs are thrown at them. Whether there’s an equipment malfunction or another employee calls out and you’re short-staffed, a solid employee will have the flexibility to improvise and make sure that everything is taken care of – regardless of the situation.

Communication Skills

For your manufacturing company to be successful, it usually requires a team effort where everyone works together as a cohesive unit. As a result, a job candidate should possess sound communication skills and be able to collaborate efficiently with others. This should not only make production run smoother, but should minimize the potential for accidents.

Once you know what traits to look for in a job candidate, it should streamline your search and help you find the person who’s perfectly suited for the position. In the long run, this can help you establish a stable workforce of professionals and expedite the growth of your company

For more advice on talent acquisition and other staffing solutions, please check out our client resources.


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