2014 Resource Directory

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M i d - M a rc h Printwear | 15 14 | Printwear M i d - M a rc h 20 1 4 a short stack of written orders (some clearly written, some not-so-clearly), and have them input the data after a short training session. I time them, and I check their work for errors. Most have some errors, so I highlight those cells in yellow and stand back, asking them if they can figure out the issues. This simple task teaches me a ton of information: • Can you follow directions? • Do you communicate/learn well? (Did you listen well and ask questions during training if you were unsure?) • Can you complete a simple task quickly? • Are you detail-oriented and meticulous? • Do you have at least a very basic level of computer skills? • Can you take constructive feedback? • Can you solve a basic problem? Since I use the same test for all applicants, it's a nice quantitative measure. I don't expect my candidates to be perfect or blazing fast, but weighing their speed versus accuracy tells me a lot about their future success, if I've taken the time beforehand to understand what's important in that role. A fast-but-sloppy worker is not welcome in my embroidery department. A job done on-time but wrong is not really on-time after all, so speed without quality is no help to us. A slower-but-very-accurate worker who shows potential to improve is a strong hire. That said, I have found that most people have their own permanent "cruising speed," and while you can get them to increase that temporarily, if you push them faster, they will either slow back down after you leave the room, or they'll quickly burnout. So, pay attention to a candidate's speed versus other candidates and current workers. In short, don't take someone's skills on faith; measure them. If they say they can set up a manual six-color screen print job in 15 minutes, put them on the machine and time them. If they say they are a problem solver, give them some simple problems to solve. Get Another PersPective If you find a superstar candidate but they can't get along with your current staff, you have a dud on your hands. Give some of your senior staff a few minutes of opportunity to interview potential candidates, ideally without you present. Candidates frequently show a different side (for better or worse) to you versus your staff. Be sure to debrief with them after the candidate departs. Your staff will very much appreciate being involved. You're showing them trust, and you're letting them have an impact on the future of their working environment. If the candidate will be working side-by-side with one of your existing staff, let that person do some of the training for tasks you use to measure the candidate's performance. If there's a personality clash, now is the time to nip it in the bud. Your Most iMPortAnt role Like it or not, your hiring methods are going to have more impact on your company's success than anything else you do. But, if you take the time to be organized and consistent, you can create a thriving culture, one great hire at a time. How To... Hire THe rigHT people Task Break Down You'll note that the "trainable" skills section reads more like actions, while the untrainable section read more as abilities (often inherent traits) required to perform the actions. Task Trainable skills/knowledGe UnTrainable skills/knowledGe applY pre-treat to garMents • Understand how garment content and weight affect required pre-treat amounts • attention to detail • identify desired print zone and clear margins • experience/ability with spray cans, air brushes, etc. • Understand how to use and maintain power sprayer • ability to learn quickly • proper care of pre-treated garments after treatment • ability to follow directions reliably and consistently create digital MockUps for cUstoMers • Use our shop's mockup templates • artistic eye • export mockups to pdf • computer savvy • determine and indicate design dimensions and placement • good listening skills • proficiency with adobe illustrator (expensive, but trainable if they are already computer savvy) • attention to detail here's an example of two tasks, one to be performed by our customer service artists, one by the employee running our direct-to- garment pre-treat. pw PW_MidMarch14.indd 14 2/28/14 1:02 PM

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