Are you looking to hire a new member of staff to operate MHE? It may not be as easy as you’d think, especially when you remember that members of staff will be moving 3,500kg of palleted items at once.
Luckily for us, somebody invited forklifts and MHE. Although forklifts may look like fun to drive, they are not simply golf carts with a serious underbite. In untrained hands, they can be very dangerous. So here is a list of 4 things you should consider when hiring a forklift driver or MHE operator:
1. MHE/Forklift Safety.
Driving a forklift and using MHE isn’t just something you see extras doing in the chase scenes of action films. Operating MHE can be very dangerous.
It is vital that anyone you consider employing to handle any forklift or MHE commits to putting safety first. Do this in one of two ways. Firstly, the interview. Ask the interviewee outright.
“What dangers do you need to be looking out for when using MHE?”
“How have you prevented potential forklift-related dangers in the past?”
That sort of thing.
The second way is through previous employers. If the candidate has references from previous MHE related jobs, ask them. How safety-driven the candidate was or how they prevented danger?
It’s not uncommon for references to be friends of the candidate and will want to make them sound as appealing as possible. To get the sincerest answer, sandwich it between others. ‘Did Person X use a forklift daily? How many years did you work with them? What was their attitude toward safety? How punctual were they?’
2. Know What MHE You Have And What Forklift Training They Have.
Ideally, you don’t want to interview someone that has ‘forklift experience’ on their CV, only to find they’ve never used a Flexi truck. Don’t worry, we’re not saying you’ll need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all things MHE. But some basic research can help your search. ‘Forklift driver needed’ or ‘MHE operator wanted’ is ok but specifying if it’s a flexi or reach truck, for example, avoids confusion.
If you do end up interviewing somebody with no experience using the MHE your company uses, it’s worth considering the next point…
3. Forklift Experience Vs Training.
You must decide which you value more: previous experience using forklifts or the willingness to learn. On the one hand, previous experience always comes in handy when operating MHE. In theory, it means the candidate should be able to perform their tasks with less training.
Yet hiring someone with basic forklift training but lack of experience may suit your business better. Using a company such as Flexistaff to train an inexperienced candidate can prove beneficial.
They are likely to appreciate that you’re sending them for training that gives them a skill they can put on their CV. Also, it’s not uncommon that an inexperienced worker will appreciate you giving them a chance. This results in a better work ethic. Which, in turn, can benefit you. After all, a happy worker yields better results.
Refresher courses and training are beneficial for all level workers. Giving your staff a refresher course ensures their ability and knowledge of their work stays at the best quality possible. Ultimately, weigh up your options.
4. Using An MHE/Forklift Driver Recruitment Agency.
Recruitment agencies (like those useful people over at Flexistaff Recruitment) can be useful when hiring a forklift driver. As part of the service they provide, they take care of the hard work including what sort of MHE or forklift training someone already has.
They will search for people they believe are most suited to the position you have so you don’t have to. A specialised recruitment agency will have an encyclopaedic knowledge of forklifts and MHE, so you are safe in the knowledge the new recruit will be right.