Manufacturing firms are always looking for ways to improve productivity, eliminate waste, improve quality and shave costs. One area that often gets less attention than more tangible, easy to measure factors such as the cost of raw materials or equipment, is the value of front line employees, both workers and supervisors. While many companies might say that their people are their greatest asset, it's surprising how many organizations do a less than ideal job of effectively hiring the right people for the job. One reason is that many manufacturing organizations see the hourly employee as an interchangeable and easily replaced cog in a much bigger machine. This article talks about why that shouldn't be the case and how top manufacturers significantly impact their bottom lines through effective employee selection.