Though you will need more people without the CNC technology, you will need only three very, very skilled people. Call these people your friends, your team, whatever. In the long run, they might be just all you need to keep the shop in good shape.
The first person is the CNC programmer. S/he is like the "playmaker". S/he will create the programs that the CNC machines are intended to execute. Since the programs are in the form of CNC codes fabricated like sentences, he should have mastered these codes because they work like a different language. The regular CNC machine can use up to 50 codes, so thats like learning 50 new words for the newbie.
Also, the programmer should have at least and engineering or machining degree. Remember that the CNC machine will only execute WHAT IT IS PROGRAMMED TO DO. If the program is wrong, the whole operation goes down the drain with it. Moreover,s/he should also be flexible and have a fast turn-around because a CNC machine is often used to machine a huge selection of different work-pieces.
The second person that you need is the CNC operator. S/he will simply recheck the programs loaded to the machine and push the right buttons to get the work done. However, thinking that a CNC operator can have little or NO SKILL AT ALL is wrong. A CNC machine operator must have at least basic machining skills and s/he should have undergone some form of training to run a CNC machine.
These machines can produce very intricate motions, making it possible to make shapes that cannot be created on conventional machine tools. So, the operator should foresee this complexity and know how to cruise with it. The skills that an operator must have though, are lesser compared to the operators of conventional machine tools.
The third person that will need is the CNC technician. Although this may still be the programmer, its more convenient to always have a technical expert on-call because in the long run, you may have more than one CNC machine and you may need to prioritize over the other in case both gets crippled at the same time. Just like the programmer, the technician should also be flexible and articulate. CNC offers a lot of complexity when its running right, how much more if its behaving badly?
So, if you are having job openings for positions that need to be handling a CNC machine, ask the applicants first to do a demo for you and make sure that during the demo, they know what theyre doing. An exam may also do wonders too. If they have no experience with any kind of CNC machine, it is advisable that you encourage them to take short courses on CNC.
Eighty-hour courses are available online and hey, its better than nothing. Experts even encourage employers to hire CNC machinists who have finished AND PASSED the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) assessment just so they could be sure that their CNC machines will go to good hands. After all, a CNC machine is still an asset.