Most companies we have worked with make similar statements regarding their experiences during the startup phase: “We had an initial plan before we began the hiring process and had a completely different experience once we began taking applications.” Either the company has been lucky to find a number of applicants with a satisfactory level of experience or they have no luck at all in finding marginally qualified people. Below are some typical programs community or technical colleges offer and our thoughts on those programs.
Pre-employment Classes – These are great if you have the time, the personnel and a convenient location to house these classes. Typically, a company will offer the opportunity to prospective employees to attend these classes after they have pre-screened those individuals to a 2 to 1 ratio. This means that the company will hire 50% of the individuals that attend the class. This is a great opportunity to introduce company culture and expectations to prospective employees, but also to see how applicants handle themselves in various team environments. The down side is if a company is hiring large numbers of people at once, it can be very time consuming and, depending on a ramp up schedule, this type of pre-employment training might not be feasible.
Safety Training – Most companies will have to provide this type of training in order to meet certain OSHA requirements. This training is typically done post-hiring but pre-production. It is important for a company to understand the demographics of their local workforce. In many parts of the United States, training will need to be offered in a foreign language to comply with the safety training requirements. A company might also want to offer English as a Second Language to employees who need these skills as well.
Vendor Training – This is done on the job by the manufacturers of the equipment being purchased by the new or expanding company. It is paramount that the company negotiates a certain number of hours of training when purchasing the equipment. However, most of the time there are not enough hours of training included with the purchase of the equipment. Many community or technical colleges will put a certain number of hours of vendor training in a training plan. However, not all colleges will use the vendors themselves to do the training. This is a critical point to watch as companies are doing site and community observations to determine if this is a critical need for the startup operation. Many companies will overlook this important point and then, when it is time to implement a training plan, will have to come out of pocket for vendor training dollars if they require the vendor themselves to do the training.
Our team will be happy to provide consulting to help you with your next expansion or site search.