Hire for Safety Over Skills

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You’ve narrowed your candidate pool down to a handful of final contenders, and you’re starting to notice a pattern. As the best applicants emerge from the crowd and the rest disappear, you’re left with a few candidates who seem willing to do step up to the plate and do anything to improve productivity. This determined group will do whatever it takes to produce—including working long hours, putting in double and trouble shifts, and pushing their personal speed and focus to the limit. They’re likely to exceed their quotas for sure…but at a cost.

The applicants in the other group are equally hard working, equally dedicated, and equally qualified. But these applicants have the wisdom and experience to see the big picture. And they know that limits exist for a reason. They would rather get an appropriate amount of sleep then work triple shifts operating dangerous machinery. They don’t bend traffic rules, they don’t put their coworkers at risk, and they don’t cut corners when it comes to safety. Which group should you hire?

Safe Candidates Improve Your Organization

Hire from the second group. In fact, even candidates with modest skill levels are a better bet if they come with a strong sense of situational awareness and a clear respect for safety related policies and procedures. Here are some of the best reasons to choose safety over skills.

1. Accidents and incidents cost more than any minor variance in productivity.

An injured worker, a broken piece of expensive equipment, a fine for a safety violation, a failed audit, or a lawsuit can cost far more than the advantages gained by a productive employee. It doesn’t matter how hard she pushes the company forward—You’ll lose all of those gains plus more if she’s too focused to attend to safety protocols or too busy to put on a hardhat.

2. Safe workers shape the culture.

Safe employees have an indirect but powerful impact on the behavior of those around them. So do unsafe employees. In your workplace, safety should hold a higher priority than profits, and the best way to cultivate this attitude is from the ground up. Hire leaders and role models who reflect the behavior you’d like to see in your entire team.

3. Safe workers become safe managers.

Safe workers eventually gain the trust and respect of everyone around them, and as this happens, they step into increasing positions of responsibility. Their influence spreads, and their direct reports receive the training and personal role modeling that can elevate the entire organization.

For more on how to identify and hire safe manufacturing employees, reach out to the staffing and management experts at Career Staffing Services.

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