When Precision Counts, Count on Laser Cutting Technology

laser cutting metalWhen Precision Counts, Count on Laser Cutting Technology

Experienced metal fabricators know that when it comes to projects that require the utmost in precision cutting, there is no cutting corners by using outdated and inefficient equipment. Laser technology has provided the fabrication industry with not only the means to allow for more precise manufacturing, but also a way to make their operations more efficient and less costly.

What is Laser Cutting?

The origin of the word LASER stems from the acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” Laser cutting is accomplished, true to its name, through a process that stimulates emission. Laser cutters for industrial use are able to cut through flat sheets, piping or structural metals. Cutting is made possible by the laser’s ability to burn, melt or blow away the area to be cut.

Electricity or special lamps used within a closed environment generate the power needed to charge up the material that creates the laser beam. There are three types of laser cutting available to metal fabricators, including:

  • CO2 for boring, cutting and engraving
  • Nd for boring that requires high-energy
  • Nd-YAG for when high power is required

Both the Nd and Nd-YAG lasers are used in the welding process.

Different types of material require different types of laser beams using various methods to allow for cutting. These methods include, but are not limited to:

  • Burning stabilized laser cutting
  • Cold cutting
  • Melt and blow
  • Melt blow and burn
  • Scribing
  • Thermal stress cracking
  • Vaporization

A typical laser cutting setup for a metal fabrication shop includes:

  • A power source to produce a laser beam
  • Positioning table to secure material with clamps, magnets or straps
  • Laser material
  • Stimulation apparatus
  • Mirrors
  • Lens for focusing the laser beam

Pros and Cons of Using Lasers for Cutting

Laser cutting is more precise than mechanical cutting methods because machines can be easily contaminated from the materials that are being cut with them. Additionally, their blades are subjected to continual use that can dull them and cause their cuts to be inconsistent which can often lead to wasted material.

With laser cutting, you can expect:

  • Cleaner cuts without burrs that require additional processing
  • Faster production time
  • Less human error
  • Improved accuracy resulting in waste reduction

However, using laser cutting machinery does have a few drawbacks. It requires more energy than mechanical cutting methods. Because of the heat process involved, the laser process requires a cooling source, where water is commonly used as a coolant for a heat transfer or chiller system.

Advances Continue to Make Cutting Process More Efficient and Cost-Effective

Improved technology continues to develop cutting equipment that will require less laser gas and power to operate while dramatically improving cutting speeds and accuracy. These advancements help to increase production and transform other areas of the business process for metal fabricators who are taking advantage of this technology to greatly improve their bottom line.

Sheet Metal Fabrication; Electroplating vs Painting?

 Electroplating vs PaintingSheet Metal Fabrication; Electroplating vs Painting?

Choosing a finish is an essential step in the sheet metal fabrication process. Finishes can prolong the lifespan of metal parts, improve their cosmetic appearance and increase their suitability for their intended use. There are a number of options for finishing sheet metal parts, but two of the most common are electroplating and painting. Both of these options offer distinct advantages as well as certain drawbacks depending on the product’s purpose.

Electroplating vs Painting

Electroplating is the process of attaching a thin layer of one metal, such as chrome, iridize or zinc, to the surface of another base metal, such as aluminum. The plating is chemically bonded to the surface of the base metal through electric conduction. Electroplating should not be confused with anodizing, which involves bonding an additional layer of the same metal to the base product through the same electrochemical process.

Painting is more straightforward and most people are familiar with it. A primer is first applied to the base metal, followed by multiple layers of liquid paint and finally, a protective coating such as lacquer is added to protect the underlying paint.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Electroplating

Electroplating offers a much stronger finish than paint. Depending on the choice of metal used for electroplating, the object may have better resistance to chemical corrosion or increased physical durability. For example, zinc offers additional resistance to water damage, while chrome reduces the friction on the metal’s surface and tin can be used to join aluminum, which is commonly used in sheet metal manufacturing, to dissimilar materials. Certain finishing metals can also increase paint adhesion to metal parts as well.

Because electroplating chemically bonds the finish to the metal product itself, the coating expands and contracts at the same rate of the base metal itself, making it suitable for environments with drastic temperature fluctuations.

However, electroplating can be expensive and uneconomical, especially when parts are small. Furthermore, the advantages offered by electroplating may be excessive if the metal product is intended for a use that does not take full advantage of the benefits offered by the process.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Painting Sheet Metal

The most obvious advantage of painting is that fabricators have a much greater degree of control over how the finished product will look. Paint comes in just about any color imaginable, meaning that there are endless options for how the final product will look. Furthermore, company and product logos can also be added to the surface to further increase its cosmetic value.

Certain paints offer similar advantages to electroplating; some can increase the metal product’s resistance to chemical corrosion or physical damage, though not to the same degree as electroplating. Damage to specific areas of painted surfaces is easily repaired as paint can be applied quickly and easily to small areas of a product’s surface. Another advantage paint has over electroplating is that it can be applied to certain areas of a product’s surface if the entire product does not require finishing. Unlike electroplating, painting is not an “all or nothing” process.

Paint, however, is not as durable as electroplating. Furthermore, because paint is applied as liquid, it can take many applications to ensure a finish of even thickness and color.

Which Option is Best For You?

Electroplating and painting each offer unique advantages for finishing a sheet metal product. Ultimately, deciding on which finishing option is best for you depends on the intended use of your product. It is important that you consider all factors and the advantages and drawbacks of each before making a final decision.

Sandblasting Helps Save Time and Money

sandblastingSandblasting Helps Save Time and Money

A major challenge facing many industrial companies is how to get more use out of their storage tanks. Often companies simply purchase new tanks without trying to repair or restore their existing tanks. However, what many companies may not realize is that sandblasting provides an easy way to repair and restore their tanks to almost new condition. Sandblasting is a time and cost-effective method for maintaining and restoring existing tanks.

What is Sandblasting?

Sandblasting is the process of shooting a gritty, particle-based medium such as sand, glass beads or aluminum sulfide onto a hard surface to sand or polish it smooth. There is a variety of purposes where sandblasting can be useful. It can be used to clean pollutants or remove rust from storage tank walls or to prepare them for repainting or recoating.

Sandblasting is an extremely versatile process because of the many types of mediums that can be used. For example, a more delicate tank lining may require a gentler sandblasting medium such as walnut shells or glass beads. Tougher jobs, such as those found in oil storage tanks or where the tank surface must be stripped to bare metal may require a more abrasive medium such as silicon carbide.

Save Money By Recycling What You Already Own

Including installation, a new tank could cost more than $20,000. However, an existing tank of the same size can be sandblasted, have its leaks welded and then be repainted for under $4,000. This is less than 25 percent the cost of a new tank. You can add five to 10 years to the lifespan of tanks by choosing to have them sandblasted.

Most sandblasting mediums can be reused multiple times. Glass beads are often recycled from glass bottles and may be used for sandblasting up to 30 times. Other mediums, such as silicon carbide, may also be reused multiple times.

Some of the mediums used can be made from byproducts produced with a water jet cutting process used in some metal fabrication shops. This further reduces their cost. An added advantage with some mediums, such as walnut shells, is that they are fully biodegradable, thus saving money on their clean up and disposal costs.

Reap the Benefits of Sandblasting

It is possible to save time and potential headaches that come with buying a new tank or replacing your old one. It can take months to fabricate, transport and install a new tank. In many cases, the entire sandblasting process from site preparation to cleanup can be completed in less than a week. The most abrasive sandblasting mediums can further reduce downtime because they can achieve the same results as softer compounds but in less time.

Most sandblasting companies are full service and take care of all aspects of the process, including other repairs that may arise and site cleanup. This helps alleviate hassles you might encounter trying to coordinate a new tank install. As a result, sandblasting effectively reduces your usage downtime because your tanks are out of commission for a shorter amount of time than they would be if you chose to replace them.

With sandblasting, your old tanks can be restored to their former condition, quickly and inexpensively. This can be beneficial if your tanks are located in a visible location or an urban area where old rusty tanks might be considered eyesores. 

Oil Prices and More: Mobile Apps for the Oil & Gas Industry

oil pricesOil Prices and More: Mobile Apps for the Oil & Gas Industry

Today’s oil and gas industry is a dynamic and rapidly changing environment and oilfield professionals constantly require accurate and up-to-the-minute information to perform their jobs. Luckily, there is a wide range of mobile apps, which support these professionals, including the following 10.


Rigzone provides oilfield personnel with up to date news on developments in the industry. Furthermore, it allows job seekers to search and apply for thousands of jobs in the oilfield directly through the app. The app works with pre-existing Rigzone accounts.


Pipeline Regulations

The Pipeline Regulations app supports professionals such as oilfield engineers in their work by providing selected parts of the Code of Federal Regulations for pipeline construction and natural gas facilities.

The app includes information on minimum safety standards, pipeline safety programs and incident reports. Offline access is available for those working at remote jobsites.

Oil Price

The price of oil and natural gas can change rapidly and have a profound effect on oilfield companies. The Oil Price app displays current oil prices as well as price trends.

The app is based on three major oil and gas trading benchmarks; natural gas, Brent Crude Oil and West Texas Intermediate.

Oil and Gas News

Oilfield professionals must know what is happening beyond their jobsite in order to operate most efficiently. Oil and Gas News provides users with instant access to local and national oilfield news. The app includes a constantly updated news feed that sorts news into specific topics. Users can also share stories with each other directly through the app.

Baker Hughes Rig Count

The Rig Count app displays an interactive map of active oil rigs and their locations in the United States. The map is updated weekly in conjunction with the release of the Baker Hughes Rig Count, which serves as a major indicator for oilfield businesses as to where there is a demand for their supplies and for oil and gas production.


Safety is a primary concern for all oilfield companies. Users of the Observations app can quickly and easily record safety observations in the field including detailed accounts of chemical, biological, physical and psychological hazards. These observations are then uploaded into an online database, where they are accessible to other users.

Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary

This app serves as a dictionary of all oilfield terms and includes more than 4,600 definitions, all of which have been reviewed by technical experts. High quality, color photographs or diagrams accompany many of the definitions. This app is accessible to both amateurs and professionals.

WellEz Mobile

The WellEz Mobile app allows users to view the status of their active oil wells and allows them to monitor them for performance, drilling activity and non-productive periods. Users can also compare their wells’ actual performance to their original production plan as well as compare their current project costs to their estimated costs.

eRedbook Mobile

Halliburton’s “Redbook” cementing tables have served as the oilfield standard for referencing calculations for cementing and completing oil wells for the past 80 years. eRedbook Mobile gives oilfield professionals instant access to information on commonly used materials such as casing and tubing. The app can also be customized for instant access to information on a user’s most commonly used materials. 

Take This Job & Love It! Retaining Oil and Gas Millennials

retaining oil and gas millennials

Take This Job & Love It! Retaining Oil and Gas Millennials

There is no doubt about it – in order for the oil and gas industry to meet the growing demand for energy, they need to formulate effective strategies to attract and engage the industry’s newest resource: Generation Y or Millennials (born between 1980 to early 2000). You may well ask why.  If you’ve been working in upstream oil and gas for over 20 years, chances are you will be looking to retire in the not-too-distant future. This is exactly what corporate leaders in the oil and gas sector have been concerned about for the past decade or so – the pool of talent with all the requisite skills is diminishing, due in most cases to natural attrition and in some cases from incentives to jump ship to other employers.

Although many jobs in the oil and gas sector are highly technical and require skills and experience that are unable to be filled by ordinary means, the industry is looking to replenish their dwindling talent pool by attracting millennials.  Oil and gas employees are responsible for making big decisions that have huge financial consequences — one wrong decision might cost a company millions in a single day. For this reason, upstream oil and gas must ensure that the millennials who are potential employees are engaged, sufficiently trained and able to make autonomous decisions.

How did we get here?    

The current lack of sufficient employees in the oil and gas sector wasn’t helped by the industry’s hibernation for most of the 1980s and 1990s. During those two decades hiring in the industry ground to a halt, and as a natural result universities and colleges dropped petroleum programs from their calendars. Fast-forward 30 years and the demand for energy is at an all-time high.  Universities and colleges have appropriately shifted gears and are producing new graduates that are recruited on-campus.  Oil and gas industry CEOs are acutely aware of the evaporating pool of talent with specialized skills that keep their respective organizations competitive.  There’s only one problem – new hires lack the experience that will ensure they make sound decisions. Employers are also concerned that once a new employee has gained adequate experience they may be persuaded to take a job offer from one of their competitors.

Retention Strategies

As with most recruitment campaigns, a good strategy begins with capturing the hearts and minds of the people you wish to attract.  How is this done with millennials? For one thing, employers need a change of organizational mindset to embrace the notion that millennials are looking to complement their lifestyle with their job instead of the other way around.  For example, if you’re looking to populate work camps for an extended period, the millennials’ quality of life is paramount.

Work/Life Integration

What do millennials want?  In studies such as the PwC 14th Annual CEO Survey, the findings show that millennials value work/life integration more than the conventional balancing act of job and the rest of your time. This is what a laundry list of millennial requirements might look like:

  • Premium accommodations at Work Camp sites instead of requiring workers to find local hotels, motels and trailer parks;
  • Emphasis on healthy eating by providing in-house nutrition specialists and premium dining facilities;
  • Adequate sleep by bringing in experts to facilitate a good night’s sleep for the high-risk jobs of rig workers;
  • Exercise facilities and Wi-Fi hotspots;
  • Encouraging open social networks without the need to monitor usage;
  • Mentorship programs that bring millennials and leaders together.

Next Steps

All of these steps sound expensive to implement, but when you consider that the cost of replacing an experienced professional or technical resource is approximately one-and-one-half times their annual salary, the issue takes on a much clearer perspective.  Remember that the specific skills required in the oil and gas industry don’t allow for seamless transferring-in from other industry sectors, no matter how similar.

In short, with the impending loss of institutional knowledge there is an urgent need for companies in the upstream oil and gas industry to update their approach to recruiting, developing, deploying and connecting their people.

10 Tips: Vetting a Marine Engineering Supplier

marine engineering supplier10 Tips: Vetting a Marine Engineering Supplier 

Anytime you enter into a business relationship with a new vendor or supplier, you need to thoroughly research the company. Any business can offer goods or services. To really understand if a new supplier is a good fit for your company, it’s the details that should determine who you are going to work with. The following are ten tips to consider in vetting a marine engineering supplier

1. Factor in the supplier solutions using life-time costs

When investing in a piece of equipment that is meant to last for a very long time, the number one question to ask is if you’re getting the best value. It won’t help your business if you cut corners on purchasing, only to find yourself replacing that same item because of quality concerns. Consider adding the costs of maintenance, training employees to learn how to use the equipment and potential downtime to your business if the equipment malfunctions

2. Focus on engineering experience

Your potential supplier should have an open book policy with regard to the company’s past engineering projects. The shipping industry is picking up steam and moving at a rapid pace to accommodate the modern designs of vessels and containers. Does your supplier have experience adapting to these emerging technologies?

3. Start the dialogue with suppliers early

You don’t want to wait until your project is in the final phase of deployment before engaging with suppliers. They should be brought onto the project in the initial start-up phase. This way, you’ll quickly find out which supplier can deliver on their performance promises and which ones won’t make the grade.

4. Establish a relationship with the entire supply team

With a new supplier, you won’t be working just with the engineers; but also with sales and business development staff members, including their support team. You need to feel comfortable working with all levels of a company before signing over a huge contract. It’s vital that you get prompt and accurate information from your supplier contact and that the company speaks with one voice.

5. Conduct an onsite review

Before signing the final agreement, you are well within your rights to inspect the supplier’s manufacturing center. If you aren’t allowed on site, then you should seriously consider dropping that supplier. What are they hiding?

6. Demand witness testing

Anything can be made to look good on paper. For example, what if they are using an untested piece of equipment, do you want to take that kind of risk with your business? Don’t wait for the supplier to offer a full test. Demand that one be set up and the results be made instantly available for your review. Better yet, ask to have it done in front of your engineering team.

7. Review the track record

You should be working with an engineering supply company that can prove its track record of success. This includes following up on past client testimonials and third-party reviews. Anyone who is dodgy about sharing past performance reviews is someone you should be leery of.

8. Review material certification

Before ordering any piece of engineering supply, you should be able to examine a sample of that item. You don’t want to be surprised by a shoddy piece of equipment being delivered. Furthermore, ensure you trace the source materials for the equipment.

9. Make sure costs of employee training is covered by the supplier

A supplier shouldn’t just drop off a piece of equipment and be on their way. They should provide comprehensive training for your staff with regard to operation and maintenance of that item.

10. Find out about after sales policies

Tech support has become an important component of every product we buy. That is extremely vital with engineering supplies. The supplier you’ll be doing business with should be able to provide support assistance whenever it is needed.

Social Media for Mining: The Benefits

social media for miningThe Benefits of Social Media for the Mining Industry

With over 1 billion Facebook users, it is clear that this is the place where people are hanging out online. Along with the millions of location updates, baby pictures and recipes, Facebook is proving to be a viable marketing tool for many businesses; including the mining industry. Utilizing social media for mining companies is a fast growing need for those wanting to stay in the public eye. Keep in mind that when it comes to social media networking, Facebook isn’t the only major player. There are many social media platforms that can prove to be helpful for mining marketing. Here’s how these websites can be put to work for mining operations:

On Facebook

Every person, business, group, and even television show can have their own Facebook page. The status updates posted by the page’s administrator will be sent out to everyone who “likes” the page. The more followers, the greater your message’s reach will be. One of Facebook’s greatest attributes is that it is extremely user friendly. The ability to post photos, videos and documents is not only easy, but instantaneous. The Australian Institute of Mining and Mineralogy (AusIMM) has created their own Facebook group where they are actively sharing news and articles that would be of interest to their followers. They are also able to stimulate conversations about various mining industry concerns. Facebook can also be used by mining operations to create a platform where employees, working across various shifts, can stay connected and share information.

On LinkedIn

In the social media arena, LinkedIn has proven itself to be an effective networking site for business professionals. It is similar to Facebook in that you set up a profile and can add connections of friends and companies. However, there is less random posting as the information shared on LinkedIn is much more focused. The details of a LinkedIn profile act as an online resume. This enables LinkedIn users to network with companies who are hiring and grants the interested employer instant access to their applicable job history. Many recruiters are using LinkedIn to find new hires. Using this attribute of LinkedIn could help the mining industry find the next generation of engineers and geologists.

On Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter is all about the “status update.” However, because the message is limited to 140 characters or less, it has to be direct and to the point. Just because the Tweet is limited doesn’t mean you can’t include links. Many businesses use Twitter to announce special promotions or company news. By including a link with a short description or catchy title, you engage your followers who can then open the link to view the complete article, case history, press release, etc.

On YouTube

YouTube can be used for more than just watching cat videos or pranks. Companies and individual users can set up their own YouTube channel and post educational videos such as safety videos, training videos or even company news. For many, being able to watch a video instead of reading a long article or safety manual will allow the information to be more easily understood and retained. Online videos are also easily accessible, even for remote mining operations. For some examples of how mining machine manufacturers are using YouTube, see how Joy Mining Machinery and Thiess Mining are utilizing this social media platform. If your company is using social media as part of company operations, you need to establish posting policies for your employees. They are free to post their personal news on their own pages, but if they are speaking for the company, they should have a unified voice. The mining industry should take advantage of the opportunities that social media provides. Due to the mining industry often having a negative public image, it is extremely important that mining companies be more proactive in communicating with key stakeholders such as environmentalists, investors and the government.

Applying for A Mine Maintenance Career

mine maintenanceConsiderations when applying for a mine maintenance career

A mine needs to run economically and safely if it is going to maintain a successful operation. It is a fast-moving business with unpredictable commodity prices, diminishing workforce and environmental concerns. A mining company needs good productivity from all their assets. This means that they must prevent breakdowns as much as possible. Unplanned downtime can lead to expensive repairs and replacements, which can result in slowed production, safety concerns and reduced profit margins. This is why having an experienced maintenance team is vital to help keep the mines running smoothly.

If mining maintenance interests you, here are a few things that you should consider:

  • Current understanding of technology. As part of the maintenance team, you will be provided with the tools to keep equipment running. You need to have insight, and data knowledge, to effectively keep all equipment intact and identify emerging mechanical problems. Also, you must be up to date on diagnostic equipment, which uses predictive maintenance software and sensors.
  • High risk of danger. Mining jobs come with high risk of danger that is mainly associated with the heavy mining and transportation equipment. On average, five to ten percent of people who work in the mining maintenance profession will experience serious injuries. While on the job, you must be prepared, both mentally and physically, for an unexpected accident.
  • Potential for long work hours. Since mining is an around the clock industry, you must be prepared to work irregular shifts. Although you are most likely to be employed on a normal eight hour shift, you must be prepared to put in longer hours if needed.
  • Passionate about the profession. Applying for a mining maintenance profession solely for financial gain and benefits would be a mistake. Not demonstrating an in-depth interest in the job could be problematic if you apply, because you would be prone to burning-out, and being unmotivated.

When applying for a position in mine maintenance, we recommend you follow these guidelines:

  • Tailor your resume for the position.  Ensuring your curriculum vitae (CV) is professional, showcases your experience, achievements and skillsets. You should do your best to understand what each individual company is looking for, so you can tailor your CV to meet their requirements and expectations.
  • Have a long-term career goal. It is crucial that you research the mining company that you wish to work for. Mining companies typically look for employees who have long-term career goals, because it shows dedication, perseverance and passion.
  • Earn experience. Without any experience, the chance of getting your desired position in the mining industry is low. What you can do to increase your chances is gain some experience through temporary work for smaller local companies. After gaining at least two years of entry-level experience, your application will stand out when applying with large mining companies.

Marine Industry Supply Chain: Tips for Better Optimization

Marine Industry Supply ChainMarine Industry Supply Chain: Tips for Better Optimization

Getting a product from manufacturing to a store shelf requires a solid supply chain logistic strategy. A weak link involved in the supply chain could cause a complete collapse of the entire system. That is why it is vital for businesses to embrace the following nine items as a kind of marine industry supply chain logistics checklist.

  1. Set Objectives: For their supply chain to be effective, a company needs to have a clear picture of the end game. Yes, it’s about moving goods. However, there are other factors like managing labor fees, transportation costs, and environmental impact that have to be considered when developing these strategies. All of the costs associated with the shipment of goods are “hard numbers” that should be easy to access and update.
  2. Computer Models: Utilizing a thoroughly integrated computer program to analyze data is extremely important for companies who are developing their supply chain logistics. It’s a way of seeing how things will work, before they are put in to practice. The right model should allow a company to predict the costs of a specific shipment based on inventory weights, routes, and even weather conditions.
  3. Embrace the Variables: Even the best model can’t predict the unpredictable. A strong supply chain needs to be able to adapt to the unforeseen. For instance, would your company be able to compensate if a shipment was stuck in a snowstorm for 72 hours? It has happened.
  4. The Right Data: It all comes down to the numbers. Without the right set of data points, your optimization programs will fail. All the factors need to be included in the algorithms you’ll develop for your supply chain formulas. Those factors also have to be current and easy to access.
  5. Total Integration: In order to promote total integration, all of the collected data needs to seamlessly transfer between programs. Keeping track of shipments between ports, warehouses, and retail outlets requires inputting data about orders, sales, operational fleet size, routes, and drivers. Since all of those data points could be coming from different sources, you can see the need for integration. Your clients need to be able to track their shipments from end to end.
  6. Execution: Just because you’ve worked out a comprehensive supply chain strategy doesn’t mean it will be easily implemented. The best strategies are those that can be easily adapted by everyone involved in the supply chain. The real test would be if you were to go on vacation. Can your system be handed off without triggering a breakdown in the chain?
  7. Staff: You’re not going to be able to simply hit “enter” and have all of the information instantly utilized. Your staff needs to become proficient with the use of your models and with importing data. In other words, don’t make things too complex. Also, factor in the need to provide training for your staff. There will be a learning curve.
  8. Monitoring: Once things are up and running, your supply chain will require constant monitoring. There has to be room to make adjustments that suit the business, without alienating customers. Even the best supply chains can benefit from reviews. In other words, there is always room for improvement.
  9. Return on Your Investment: While there are hundreds of cheap boilerplate contracts and purchase order templates that can help keep costs down, your supply chain optimization system is not going to be free. You can utilize established platforms, but you’ll still need to invested time and money into making these programs work for your specific company. Before you proceed with a supply chain overhaul, an honest assessment of your needs is required. This will help to ensure the best return on your investment. If that means bringing in outside help or going offline with your shipments, then that’s what you’ll have to factor in to your bottom line.

The Supply Chain of Recruiting Talent

Recruiting TalentThe Supply Chain of Recruiting Talent

In large companies, the pressure is on the human resources department to hire the best and the brightest. After all, a company is only as strong as its weakest staff member. There is a plethora of recruiting software programs available to savvy HR staff members that don’t require an IT degree to figure out and operate.

However, they do need to know that plugging in resumes sent from online job boards won’t be enough to secure the quality hires. Instead, the human resources team has to be proactive and apply a little supply chain logistics to their hiring process.

Anticipating a Company’s Needs

Supply chain logistics can be looked at as the end-to-end path that a product takes from manufacturing to arriving in the customers’ hands. During the manufacturing phase, there is a lot of planning and coordination required for efficient delivery of services or products. It begins with the acquisition of raw materials, to the hiring of workers, to the shipment of the completed product. From start to finish, the system needs to be smoothly executed.

In terms of recruiting talent, the chain doesn’t end when the position is filled and the contract is signed. Like the supply chain, employee hiring is always in motion. Staffing personnel have to anticipate what the company’s needs will be like moving forward. For instance, if there is a particular position with a high turnover rate, it would be in the company’s best interest to have a selection of qualified candidates standing by. This will allow you to fill the position as quickly as possible. It may also be helpful to take a closer look at the specific duties and work environment of that position. Hopefully with some research you can find out what in particular is leading to the high rate of employee members resigning from that role.

Embrace Automation

The most qualified workers can afford to be picky about their next job. That is why they will often overlook a good position at first glance. The goal for an HR executive is to capture the interest of high value prospects from the start. Automated programs can help you categorize your database so that you’re only focusing on the perfect fit for the company.

Create a HR prospect database that can keep track of potential quality hires. You can also run targeted campaigns to maintain peoples’ view of your company and brand, making you top of mind as a potential employer.  There are many ways that a recruiter can reach out to prospective quality employees through automated communications. You can automatically send news of a job opening directly to your prospects or distribute branded newsletters. In doing this, you can also personalize your message to each individual, making it personal and hopefully leaving them with a positive impression of your company.

Hire the Best Recruiters

If they aren’t already, all of the above-mentioned tips for recruiting talent can be put into place in your company. However, there would still be a learning curve required to familiarize your HR department with these new techniques; especially in regards to applicant tracking software programs. This is why it is imperative that you hire the best recruiters possible.

Talent management is essential to a company’s success. If a company tries to cut corners with their human resource staff, then they will be doing the business a great disservice. A recruiter who is already proficient in these methods should be your first new hire. The other option is to go outside the company for your recruitment. Hiring a service that specializes in staffing will insure you’re getting the sharpest HR reps available.

Having a strong recruiter working for or with your company will help ensure you’re hiring the best talent.