Do you always use an experienced CNC Programmer to establish the technical ability of a prospective candidate?
There a difference between somebody that can set and operate a machine and edit programmes compared to a Programmer that can programme CNC controls at the machine and even Programme off line.
I think the most difficult Engineers to interview are the candidates that know just enough to be dangerous.
I’ve come across CNC Setter Operators with good editing skills that think they’ve been editing enough programmes to believe they’re ready for the next step and to start writing programmes.
Nothing wrong with this if they’re in a job and it’s a planned and supported programme of training but not appropriate when you’re applying for a new job.
I heard of a company that hired a candidate, and as they weren’t experienced CNC Programmers couldn’t really ask any technical questions, and had to take the candidate on face value.
They asked him if he could do the job and he said, “Yes”
When he wrote his first programme he put a wrong dimension in and ended up causing damage to the lathe.
The material he was using was exotic and a billet was expensive – this had to be scrapped.
The job was put behind while the Lathe was repaired and needless to say the company lost valuable time and money.
So I’m curious do you use any kind of technical test before you give somebody access to expensive
a) Machine Tools
c) Machining Time
This whole thing got me thinking about what we could do as a company to help in this situation.
So we now have an online testing facility.
It isn’t going to eradicate the problem but what it can do is establish if our potential candidates can answer 15 general engineering and G code questions.
This will at least give an interviewer something to base their questions on.
I think when it comes deciding who to hire the solution is to use on of your Programmers to have a chat with them about how they approach a job, how they construct a programme etc.
What do you think?
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