Craig Hamilton, Engineering and Manufacturing Managing Consultant at Page Personnel, spoke to Andy McMillan, Operations Manager at Lothian Electric Machines Ltd (LEMAC) one of the biggest employers within the East Lothian area, about his achievements to date and how candidates can best reach their career goals.
Andy McMillan graduated from Strathclyde University with a Degree in Manufacturing and Management Engineering and his first job was on a graduate training scheme for Mitsubishi where he spent six years. After gaining promotion to a variety of positions he undertook further training on the Prince’s Trust through the Mitsubishi company. That experience equipped him with the skills he needed when he moved to Remploy, an employment service organisation for disabled people. He spent 10 years there as a Project Engineer, Project Manager, Site Manager, Operations Manager until finally taking responsibility of sales.
So what are the reasons for this continued success? Andy said: “I am continually goal setting – short, medium and long term. I am always pushing myself towards the next level and improving my skills. I believe these assist my development”.
Teamwork is paramount and he recognises the importance of this by adding: “...my success only comes when my teams are performing. To contribute to their performance I must be comfortable in all environments i.e. with Company Directors or on the shop floor. The people aspect of the job is what I enjoy the most and ultimately, is what I perceive as the most important contributor to my success. When others succeed, I succeed.”
Andy is convinced that his move to LEMAC, the main manufacturing Hub for Acorn Stair Lifts, has been the best move of his career. The business has experienced substantial growth over the last five years; which has been from 10 – 20% each year but the growth is not down to luck. Hard work is required.
Andy said: “We concentrate on our customers to provide a top quality service and product. There has been extensive investment within our manufacturing sector, to ensure that we are achieving quality excellence”.
He loves helping people achieve their goals within their current position, and if he can assist in their progression then he will. There’s also the added bonus of variation in his role which he enjoys because every day is different, which sees him tackling new challenges and working on different projects. Most importantly he enjoys the culture within LEMAC where he feels that they have a great core group full of hard working, energetic and fun characters. For Andy, it is important to maintain a good sense of humour within the work place.
So what does someone need in order to achieve a similar level of success? In terms of recruitment Andy looks for look for the following key factors in new recruits.
A person with a really positive attitude and an open mind who can not only learn from the culture within the business but also contribute to it. Also, individuals who can keep up and thrive in an ever changing environment.
Make a pitch
Any candidate that makes it through to interview stage should make a pitch on why they are the best person for the job. The interviewer wants to know why they want to work for the company because the process is never going to be one-way traffic.
Realise your strengths
People are aware of their responsibilities but not what makes them a great candidate. Go into that interview confident that you can convince the interviewer you are the best person for the job. Qualifications are fantastic to have but they’ll want to know what YOU can bring – personality is big thing.
Respect the interviewer
Showing respect to the interviewer is very important. Be sure to make eye contact and offer a firm hand shake. These are simple things but they start the interview in the right way.
Andy aims to continually progress his career; which he hopes to do with LEMAC, a company that has big plans for the future. He accepts that it might take a few more years to attain an Operations Director or Managing Director position but that’s his target, and if his success so far is anything to go by then that’s more than achievable.
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