Woodworking Business

You are not logged in. [ Login ] Why log in
(NOTE: Login is not required to post)

Hiring Employees

scott b

I'm in the same boat as everyone else where to look for employees for our custom cabinet shop both frame and commercial. I'm asking where is your most success in new hires, we have only had one walk-in in 3 years a temp from local high school which were able to put to work. Any success with woodweb, local newspaper, craigslist, high school, ??? We need both experienced and entry level. Thanks for any suggestions.

3/26/17       #2: Hiring Employees ...
rich c.

High school for beginners, stealing from other shops for experienced. Also tell your hardware and hardwood reps you are looking. Never placed an ad.

3/26/17       #3: Hiring Employees ...
scott b

Rich,I have talked to my reps and of course everyone is asking them for the same. Could i go after another shops employees, only if the employees came to me first. Thanks Scott

3/26/17       #4: Hiring Employees ...

Go to your local fire department and check there. Most of the time they work 24 hrs and are off 48 hrs. These are usually good men that are dependable and would love to pick up some extra money. Back in the boom era I had 3 working for me.

3/27/17       #5: Hiring Employees ...
james e mcgrew Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

When it comes to other shops employees, look at why they would leave and how they will treat their exit from that shop,,

other wise you are just "Next"

3/27/17       #6: Hiring Employees ...

We have had good luck with craigslist. We have many friends of friends anf family's working here.
We usually hire no cabinet experience and build our own.

Find someone who can work with their hands, can measure and has a good attitude.

Its not easy.

3/27/17       #7: Hiring Employees ...

I agree with Bill about hiring inexperienced people rather than veterans.

Most woodworking shops are dysfunctional as business entities. They may have some profitable years but this is usually owing to a boom in the economy rather than intrinsic efficiencies within the organization. With rare exception a veteran who comes from those entities does not necessarily bring a package of skill sets you want to emulate.

You never know with an experienced worker what bad habits you need to un-train. Even if you could ascertain what needs to be unlearned you have no idea whether you can actually make this happen.

With an inexperienced person you only need to figure out what you have to get into their head. The project now moves to what is the best way to get this information into their head.

In a mature industry all opportunities for innovation lie under a rock. By definition these are hard-to-harvest opportunities else someone before us would already have noticed them and brought them into the market place. All of our opportunities will be found in a weak spot.

The two biggest weak spots in the woodworking industry are training and choreography. If training depends on who is doing the training (and what day they are doing it) the outcome will be similarly random. If there is no system for certification then the interpretation will be random. We leave a lot of money on the floor when we are knee deep in random.
This result is acceptable when times are booming but will kill us when times are tough.

The more science you add to training the quicker people will acquire mastery.

We recently brought a young man into our shop and made him adept at door building. He helped build doors a few times in a bucket brigade setting. He moved from station to station each time and got familiar with each process. On his first solo day we gave him three doors to build from scratch. He had to take lumber off the wall, S4S it, cope, stick and glue the doors. Somebody else cut out the MDF inset panel but he took care of the profiling himself.

He was given a list of processes and instructed to build one door start to finish. The three doors were identical sizes but we specifically did not want him batching anything. Each door was a stand alone event. We probably could have saved a little time by doing all three at once but our goal was not to build the doors but rather to build the door-builder.

By building these doors one at a time by the end of his first solo day he'd been up to bat three times. This is much more profound training doors once times 3.

As each door was clamped up he had to bring it to someone for inspection. With this approach he became his own manager. Nobody else had to remember to keep an eye on him. Supervision was now his responsibility.

The next phase in his training will be to time the various processes. He needs to be able to predict how long it will take him to get lumber ready to machine, how long the actual machining takes (cope-stick-profile panels) and how much time glue up and clamping take. By timing these events he can start competing with himself. They always tell you how much faster they are getting at each phase because now they are curious. This teaches them that minutes matter.

After they have the quality parts down they still have to maintain the supervision protocol. When they are bringing a perfect completed door to their mentor every 15 minutes they can stop on the supervisory step and can be certified as competent.

This method for training is directly out of Taichi Ohno's memoirs. According to him you can master just about any process in three days if you use small batch training. We have done this many times with much success.

The bucket brigade process is a real eye opener. We don't do it all the time because we typically just build the doors we need as we need them. What the bucket brigade will do is give you insight into how to streamline the processes relative to each other. Sometimes this is simply a proximity issue. Sometimes it's a methods issue. The important thing is that bucket brigades help you to standardize processes so that you can get more predictable results.

More predictable results make the new worker feel better about their day and their new career. (How often do you get that sentiment out of a veteran?)

  • Post a Response to this thread
  • notify me of responses to this topic
  • To receive email notification of additions to this forum thread,
    enter your name and email address, and then click the
    "Keep Me Posted" button below.

    Please Note: If you have posted a message or response,
    do not submit this request ... you are already signed up
    to receive notification!

    Your Name:
    E-Mail Address:
    Enter the correct numbers into the field below:

    Date of your Birth:

    Return to top of page

    Buy & Sell Exchanges | Forums | Galleries | Site Map

    FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards (return to top)

  • WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
  • Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
  • A valid email return address must be included with each message.
  • Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
  • Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
  • "Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
  • Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
  • Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
  • Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
  • Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
  • Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
  • Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
  • Comments, questions, or criticisms regarding Forum policies should be directed to WOODWEB's Systems Administrator
    (return to top).

    Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.

    You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.

    WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.

    Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).

    Libel:   Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.

    Improper Decorum:   Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).

    Advertising:   The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).

    Repeated Forum Abuse: Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.

    There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).

    The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)

  • Forum Posting Help
    Your Name The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
    Your Website Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    E-Mail Address Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
    Subject Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
    Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    Thread Related File Uploads Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .MP4 (Image Upload Tips)   If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
    • Air Handling Systems
      Your Best Source for Dust and Fume Collection
    • VORTEK Spaces
      Award-winning 3D Presentation Software for kitchen designers, interior designers, woodworkers and architects
    • Rangate
      Woodworking Machinery, Supplies and Knowledge
    • EnRoute Software
      CAD CAM Software by SAi Featuring 2D/3D Design and Toolpath Functions, Nesting, Rapid Texture and More, with Low-Cost Monthly Subscriptions Available
    • TradeSoft
      Seamless Management Software to Improve Estimating, Job Costing, Scheduling, Purchasing, Shipping, and Shop Floor Data Collection
    • WoodJobs.com Search Consultants
      Free Employment Service for Woodworking Related Job Seekers
    • Cabinetshop Maestro
      Web-Based Project Management Software for Custom Cabinet Shops - Manage Jobs from Prospect to Punchlist Through Scheduling, Task Management, Time Tracking and Communication
    • TradeJobPlacement.com
      Individualized Placement Services, Specializing in Millwork Design Engineers
    • Better Vacuum Cups, Inc.
      Vacuum Cups for All CNC Routers As Well As Many After Market Parts for Your CNC
    • 2020 Manufacturing Solutions
      Manufacturing Software Solutions Including an Offering Designed For Cabinetmakers, In Addition to Furniture, Architectural Millwork and Other Wood Product Manufacturers We Support
    • Macoser Inc
      Exclusive Importer of European Woodworking Machinery Since 1988
    • Impact Search and Placement
      Professional Employment Recruiting Specialists
      The Ultimate Spoilboard - ULTI-BOARD - Specifically Engineered and Formulated for the Ultimate in Spoilboard Performance - Not Your Ordinary Sheet of MDF.

    Become a Sponsor today!