What  Makes  A  Great  Manufacturing  Leader?

What Makes A Great Manufacturing Leader?

Manufacturing is a diverse and exciting sector, perfect for those with a passion for innovation.  

From engineering and transportation to production and installation, there seem to be countless manufacturing careers to choose from. Of course, one thing that all these manufacturing departments need to be successful is a great leader.  

While good products a robust sales and marketing department and great production processes can give a company the tools it needs to compete in the marketplace, it's great leadership that will ensure every element of that business is geared towards success. The question is, what turns an employee into someone with leadership potential? How can manufacturing star stand out from the crowd? 

Here, we'll look at the key attributes manufacturing managers demonstrate all the way from their CV, to their employer interview when they want to showcase their skills.  

Strong Knowledge of Current Standards 

The manufacturing sector is incredibly agile. As employers start their search for the ultimate hire, they'll be looking for industry specialists who know their way around the latest standards.  

The best manufacturing employees can demonstrate their knowledge in their CV. For instance, someone interested in the medical device industry might highlight the recent training they did on healthcare regulations and privacy strategies. Alternatively, a production manager in the food space might draw attention to a previous role where they helped to reduce waste from a process by adopting a new technique during a specific stage of the manufacturing process.
Detailed knowledge of health and safety procedures is crucial. A manufacturing plant can be a dangerous place, and employers need to know that leaders can protect and guide their team. A recently-acquired certification from a well-known organisation can help to showcase this on a CV or cover letter.  

Strong Leadership Skills  

Leadership skills can be harder to demonstrate on a CV, but not impossible. A carefully-tailored cover letter that explains how a manager previously worked to motivate and streamline their staff can show a recruitment agency or hiring manager which candidates are right for the role.  

Using examples of past experiences that highlight your leadership skills without being asked for them allows an individual to stand out from the crowd.  

For instance, a chemical production technician might mention in their cover letter how they ensured safety in their previous jobIf they have an understanding of the company’s current safety procedures, they can also share their ideas on how improvements can be made if they were to be apomited into the role.   

Exceptional Organisational Abilities 

Just like with leadership skills, a candidate can use their cover letter or application to highlight their organisational abilities. Manufacturing leaders often oversee dozens of members of staff at the same time. They're responsible for ensuring that everyone works according to deadlines, maintaining quality standards, and keeping team members safe.  

An easy way they demonstrate this is by organising their CV to include only the information that's most relevant to the role. They also work with recruitment agencies to research the employer and the position so that they feel prepared for the interview 

A well-thought-out application and a structured approach can subtly show hiring managers that their would-be manufacturing leaders have the right organisational skills.  

Excellent Communication  

During the actual interviewing process, most employers will be looking for impressive communication skills from candidates. After all, these people are responsible for sharing company goals, ensuring the smooth running of operations and delegating tasks as part of developing their teamThey need to be able to express themselves clearly and concisely to get the best results.  

During a telephone-screening interview or even a competency-based interview, hiring managers can begin to assess a candidate's communication skills. The right leader will often be someone who knows how to answer questions quickly, and effectively, without losing focus. They also know that listening is even more important than talking. They'll know to how to absorb interview questions and think about them fully before sharing a comprehensive response.  

Flexibility and Problem Solving 

Great leaders succeed in their roles because they're ready to respond to challenging situations. Manufacturing managers know how to avoid overwhelm in the workplace, and adjust their strategies when problems arise. With a competency-based interview, a company can test for this skill during one of their first conversations with an applicant.  

Competency questions ask interviewees to explain how they responded to certain situations, and what results they achieved as a result. For instance, an employer might ask: "Can you tell me about a time when something went wrong in your production line and how you managed the situation?"  
This gives a candidate the opportunity to demonstrate their problem-solving skills. The best applicants will be the ones who have the flexibility to respond well in a crisis.  

Though different companies will often search for specific things from their new hires, the elements above can be what separates a great manufacturing leader from the crowd. All the way from submitting a CV, to nailing the interview process, the right candidate knows how to showcase their skills