5 Tips for Hiring a Production Manager

Business Lessons

Rarely was "hiring employees" a class you might have taken in high school or college. You may have sat through those formal interviews in your early years before pioneering into entrepreneurship. Now you are on the other side of the table. You're making your first big hire in your company.  

For years you have been the production manager. Aside from running every other facet of the business, you're burning screens, ordering garments, scheduling, matching artwork, and setting up presses.

And you've had enough.

You've decided you're going to delegate one of the most important roles in your business to someone other than yourself. 

You're at the point where your time running the business is greater than working in the day today. That is a hard and great decision to make because it is liberating yet frightening. 

Here are 5 important tips for hiring a production manager:

Hiring From Within Is Not Always the Wisest

The easy way to find a production manager is to promote from within, right?  While the skills necessary to manage production may include printing, they are different than actually performing manual labor. Some may argue that your production manager should be able to pull a squeegee or should be your best printer. Just because someone is an amazing printer, does not mean that they are suited for management. Everyone has a different skill set. You need someone who is detail oriented, organized, and can think on their feet. 

The Job Description Should be for Management

When you decide to hire that person, put out ads for a production manager and make the application available to your internal team. Let your staff you are hiring for this position, and that it is a completely different role than what they're used to. Let them apply and go through the interview process. Let them know you are looking for the best candidate, not just the best employee. 

Test for Multitasking

A press operator, puller, loader, or folder has a very specific task. They have to do that repetitive task over and over again until they are finished. A production manager has to see the entire business as a workflow and help optimize that. Therefore they should be able to multitask easily and have a sharp memory. The interview can be more hands on. Give them ten tasks that a production manager may have to do and have them lay out the most efficient way to do them. See how they think, and how they adapt to different variables. 

Source From Manufacturing Industries

It may go without saying but there are other industries that can align to the decorating industry. Seek employees from construction, manufacturing, and manual labor industries that work with employees well. A roofing, painting, or paving company has to schedule, work with staff, and coordinate with customer dates. If you find a neat, organized, and responsible manager, they can learn the printing industry, just like they learned other industries. 

Consider Offering A Salaried Position

Woah, no more hourly? That's right. The production manager has to make sure everything gets done. They are replacing you. Therefore this investment might be more than a clock-in-clock-out job. It gives the position more autonomy, because, at any given point, their tasks may be lighter or heavier. Regardless, the work has to get done, and the last thing you want is trying to manage them to their hourly pay. Incentivise their pay on team performance, and give them ownership over the sucess of the team. 

Next Post: How to Jumpstart Your Promotional Products Business

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