A longtime executive and leader in the machine and cutting tools industry recently launched a recruiting and consulting firm specializing in filling key roles in the industry, from machinist to CEO.
Jeff Swift, who most recently was vice president and sales director at DMG MORI USA, based in Illinois, last month announced the launch of Byron Center-based Swift Placement and Consulting.
Swift said he wanted to start this venture to provide essential talent to industry-leading machine and cutting tools manufacturing, supply and distribution teams at a time when the labor shortage is a big problem.
“I’ve spent my entire life in this industry. It’s exciting to be able to offer recruiting and consulting to hiring managers in positions I’ve personally experienced,” Swift said. “I know the pain of hiring poor candidates; I know how difficult it is to find a good cultural fit beyond just what matches on paper. This is an opportunity for me to put my experience to work for others as their talent and growth partner.”
As the global machine tool market prepares to rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic, several jobs are expected to become automated in the near future. While this may pose a hiring threat to the traditional manufacturing and machine tools worker, it opens new hiring opportunities for medium and high-skilled manufacturing workers, as well as those in technology roles, Swift said.
With the industry moving toward more technical integration in the supply chain and manufacturing processes, 28% of executives have identified upskilling and building new skills to match evolving work environments (automation, digital and remote) as the top challenges today in managing work and the workforce, according to Deloitte’s 2021 manufacturing industry outlook.
“As robots and other forms of automation grow in the production environment, the need for a workforce to manage and interact with these technologies also increases,” Swift said. “I expect technological and technical advancements to continue, resulting in more opportunities for workers who are skilled in positions that combine man and machine.”
Swift spent his 30-year career in the machine tool industry with a focus on leading technology-based manufacturing teams. After completing a machinist apprenticeship, he earned bachelor’s degrees in business administration and industrial marketing from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.
He was a machine tool salesman and managed his own territory for over a decade, and later, as a distributor owner, represented machine tool companies such as Mazak, Mitsubishi EDM, Zeiss CMM and Mikron Transfer Lines. From there, he built a robotics automation company with a national distribution network of more than 60 distributors within two years. He sold his technology-driven CNC machining house, specializing in manufacturing medical, aerospace and defense parts, in 2017. He was vice president at Ellison Technologies for seven years prior to his move to DMG MORI.
Swift Placement and Consulting’s services include retained search, volume searches, complimentary consulting and coaching services for clients.