Patrick Hersco of Nulite Lighting thought there was one way to hire manufacturing employees: the hard way.The way where you wade through the same old candidates who swim around the candidate pool, hire a handful, pray that a couple actually are worth keeping, and then repeat all over again the process the next quarter, frustrated.
Patrick knows this drill all too well, having used temp agencies for over 25 years, banging his head against the wall with the same maddening process. So Patrick took a long look at how they should handle future staffing, and conducted a search of about four hiring companies. Turnover was high, close to 380% with temporary employees. They needed more stability, more qualified candidates, better service, better attitudes, and more importantly, employees who understood the critical culture changes Nulite Lighting was implementing across the plant.
Putting hiring in a new light. Employment Solution was chosen as Nulite Lighting’s partner because they proved that they are not the same old answer to a very old and expensive problem.They began implementing a plan to make Nulite Lighting a preferred employer, a place people would seek out to find meaningful employment. They conducted over a dozen exit interviews with former Nulite Lighting employees, and met with existing employees two to three times weekly to find deeper insights about why people leave, and why they stay.
The changes came fast. A supervisor was placed on the manufacturing floor. New feedback systems were implemented for managers. Training improved. An orientation plan was created to set expectations. Team culture changes were implemented, with things like team lunches. Long-term career opportunities were presented to some employees.
Employment Solutions really listened. They really got what Patrick and the team was trying to do, which resulted in a strong partnership, allowing for honest communication to solve staffing challenges. They helped Patrick put together a solid platform to help determine the type of people who really should be a part of Nulite Lighting’s next chapter.
How do you really know you’re getting the right employee for your pay rate?
- “Employment Solutions knows what pay rate bands result in the quality of the individual going up. We continue to keep those thresholds at the forefront for the best interest of everyone, continually analyzing to show that it does pay off. It’s really hard for manufacturers to calculate that.” – Shad Sleeth, Employment Solutions
It’s been the right Solution.
Hersco is happy with the results from their partnership with Employment Solutions. “They’re very committed to the employee and the employer, to make sure it’ll work for both of us,” said Hersco. “We wanted someone who would approach filling hourly roles with the mindset of a executive headhunting recruiter. We don’t call them temps, they’re our associates.”
The result? Nulite Lighting has been able to lower cost of training and integration because they no longer have to train six or eight people to get one. They created an orientation guide for the new hires, so everyone knew in writing what was expected of them, long after their start date; it covers everything from approval processes to break schedules to who to call if they’re sick. They even changed processes on training in order to smooth the process on production lines.
The ideas from Employment Solutions have helped change culture, as well as the bottom line. The numbers speak for themselves: Nulite Lighting has experienced double digit growth since they’ve taken hiring in a smarter direction, turnover was reduced to 22%, and retention has doubled.
- “When you treat temp employees like full-time employees, you really see how a team culture develops, and builds the plant up.” – Patrick, Nulite Lighting
Nulite Lighting is a Denver-based manufacturer of architectural and commercial lighting. They’ve been brightening things up for customers from coast to coast since 1953. Specifiers, distributors and contractors love them for their creative custom lighting and short lead times.
Hire for good.
The changes have been a win-win for everyone; a win for the employee by getting fair wages and a fulfilling career within a good culture; and a win for Nulite Lighting by getting more loyal employees and greater productivity.
Some business owners might say that their machinery or product is their biggest asset, but Nulite Lighting has clearly found that the people who run and make those things really drive the difference. When you treat every employee like a vital team member, not a commodity, you can see the benefits of better hiring in a whole new light.