Five Traits You Should Look for in a Maintenance Operator
Depending on the industry, a maintenance operator’s responsibilities can range from production equipment maintenance and troubleshooting to operating a forklift and landscaping. While specific job descriptions may vary, employers should look for these following characteristics when hiring a maintenance operator for their business.
Record of Responsibility
In any field, a maintenance operator will have access to and handle powerful machinery and equipment. Whether it’s a lawn mower or a state of the art printer, operators should be able to clearly demonstrate not only skill with these machines, but also safe and responsible usage, maintenance and upkeep. What types of additional responsibilities has your candidate been assigned in the past?
Strong Communication Skills
Even though operators are primarily working with machines, they still need to be able to effectively communicate and coordinate with other workers and laymen. For example, if there is a safety problem or an issue with a certain piece of equipment, they need to be able to explain what is happening in order to get it fixed. Meet candidates in person so you can see how they communicate. One tip is to have them explain to you how to perform a complicated task — you should be able to follow along, regardless of what the task is.
Good Work Ethic
As you can probably guess from the job title, maintenance operators are critical to maintenance, production and overall business operations — which means, a lazy or sloppy operator can cause a serious blow to your productivity and output. When interviewing candidates, get as many details as you can about their previous projects and assignments. How long does a project typically take? Do these numbers match your expectations?
Sometimes, maintenance operators will be assigned new or various tasks that may not necessarily fit into their original job description. This could include learning to operate new machinery, doing inventory, implementing safety procedures, repairing equipment and performing administrative duties. If you are unable to hire an operator who is gifted at doing all of the above, your next best option is to find one that can or is willing to learn how to do it. To gauge whether a candidate is a quick learner, ask them about skills they have learned both on and off the job. Are they motivated to take on different responsibilities?
Focused on Safety
Anyone who operates or works with any type of machinery must be safety minded — maintenance operators are no exception. Be sure to ask candidates how they ensure safety in the workplace. Are they familiar with standard safety precautions and regulations? Have they taken courses or participated in safety training? The answers to all of these questions should be a resounding “yes.”
Once you focus on finding a candidate who possesses these five characteristics, you will be well on your way to finding the right maintenance operator to join your team.