A Manufacturing Team Lead can be a tricky role to fill. On one hand, you need a person that’s precise and technical. On the other, they should have strong people skills, both managerial and relational. If you’re hiring a Manufacturing Team Lead, here are a few qualities to look for that might not be evident on a resume.
A Manufacturing Team Lead has a lot to juggle. They ensure processes are compliant with various industry standards like ISO or Six Sigma, put together scheduling, monitor/update safety procedures and keep track of budgets (to name a few).
So, how do you interview for organizational skills? You can simply ask, “would you describe yourself as well organized?”. These kinds of questions don’t always have to be sneaky. Look for answers that draw upon specific examples. For example, they make a to-do list or use specific programs to organize their schedule and tasks. For some other great tips, check out this article from the balance.
To varying degrees, most manufacturing floors have their safety risks. The Manufacturing Team Lead needs to emphasize proper safety training on a continuing basis. If you’re screening for this role, ask what their top three points of focus on the manufacturing floor are.
A few things that an effective lead should ensure: All employees are wearing protective clothing, proper emergency measures are in place and understood, the manufacturing space is clear of debris or any safety hazards and all employees are well-versed in equipment operations and trained on a continual basis.
Works well with people
A strong team lead establishes healthy communication between workers and management. Certain people have the innate ability to interact easily with different personalities and experience levels. Ask probing questions to evaluate this softer skill:
- Tell me about a time that you didn’t see eye to eye with your manager(s). How did you approach that situation?
- How would people that have reported to you in the past describe you?
- Describe the kind of people you find difficult to work with.
Ability to give direction
There is a distinction between having strong interpersonal skills and being directive. Effective communication, from a managerial perspective, combines a bit of both. A manufacturing team lead will assign tasks, monitor work progress and also provide insight and knowledge from their own experience. If these are areas of discomfort for them, it won’t be a good fit.
Ultimately, a Manufacturing Team Lead’s role is complex and varied. Hopefully, these tips offer a flexible starting point for evaluating potential hires.
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