What to Look For in a Plant Manager

By Lauren Gallagher On March 9, 2017

What to look for in a plant manager

A Plant Manager can be a tricky role to fill. On one hand, you need a person who's precise and technical. On the other hand, they should have strong people skills, both managerial and relational. If you’re looking for a Plant Manager, here are a few important qualities that might not be evident on a resume.

What To Look For In A Plant Manager

Highly organized

A Plant Manager has a lot to juggle.  They ensure processes are compliant with various industry standards like ISO or Six Sigma, put together scheduling, monitor/update safety procedures and keep track of budgets (to name a few). Look for a true, capable multitasker.

Emphasizes safety

To varying degrees, most manufacturing floors have their safety risks. The Plant Manager needs to emphasize proper safety training on a continuing basis. If you’re screening for this role, ask what their top three points of focus on the manufacturing floor are.

An effective Plant Manager should ensure that: All employees are wearing protective clothing, proper emergency measures are in place and understood, the manufacturing space is clear of debris or any safety hazards, and that all employees are well-versed in equipment operations and trained on a continual basis.

Works well with people

A strong team lead establishes healthy communication between workers and management. Certain people have the innate ability to interact easily with different personalities as well as experience levels. Ask probing questions to evaluate this softer skill:

“Tell me about a time that you didn’t see eye to eye with your manager(s). How did you approach that situation?” / “How would people that have reported to you in the past describe you?” / “Describe the kind of people you find difficult to work with.”

Ability to give direction

There is a distinction between having strong interpersonal skills and being directive. Effective communication, from a managerial perspective, combines a bit of both. A highly qualified Plant Manager will assign tasks, monitor work progress and also provide insight and knowledge from their own experience. If these mark areas of discomfort for them, then it won’t be a good fit.


As a trusted recruitment source for more than fifteens year, TruPath has the industry knowledge and a proven model to help our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate.

Through our TruProcess, we are able to consistently deliver exceptional candidates that help organizations continue down successful paths. Contact TruPath today to tell us about your staffing needs.

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