NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTORS. Recruitment Toolkit. For the Electrical Distribution Industry

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1 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTORS Recruitment Toolkit For the Electrical Distribution Industry Prepared by the Education & Development Council. October 2013

2 Attracting and recruiting talent will continue to be a priority for any company in the electrical distribution industry. In 2012 the Education & Development Council began developing toolkits and templates for the industry. Following is a toolkit to aid in recruiting new talent into the industry. There are three sections to this toolkit for your consideration and implementation: Career Fair Do s & Dont s Do s Before You Go Career Fair Best Practices Relationship Building Tips Alternative Recruiting Strategies Additional toolkits and templates are available through the NAED website or by contacting NAED Member Services. Plan ahead and be prepared. On your company website, post details of a drawing for an ipad, or some other incentive, that can be entered by visiting your booth, and completing a short online survey. This will allow you to obtain feedback from students visiting your booth. Take advantage of any pre-fair advertising offered by the school. Choose staff that has been specifically trained to represent your company, and present your culture and job openings/positions to candidates. Prep them before the event so they are aware of what opportunities you are hiring for. Students often are more comfortable interacting with their peers. If you have recent graduates/alumni on staff, include them on your recruiting team. Be prepared to explain why a candidate would want to work for your company. Prepare FAQs about your company, open positions, and career paths for new grads. Co-op with other companies to subsidize the cost of recruiting events. 1

3 Career Fair Do s & Don ts Do s Set Your Objectives Determine which schools may best meet your needs. Target your recruiting efforts and use experiential learning programs as an effective recruiting, Public Relations, and retention tool. Determine your organization s long-term needs including how many graduates and what kind of candidates you are looking for. Define what you are looking for in candidates, and prepare questions to ask based on those parameters. Determine mix of entry-level to experienced hire needs from the short to the long term. Consider co-ops and interns during times when possible entry-level positions are frozen Consider the college market not only for entry-level traditional graduates, but also recognize the pool of experienced graduates who are non-traditional students and alumni. Be aware of the competition for the same target market (i.e., accounting, MIS, sales, etc.). Be sure to consider the long-term impact of hiring-related decisions (i.e., retracting offers). 2

4 Career Fair Do s & Don ts Do s Booth Tips Design your booth to be attractive and fun, based on a theme that presents what makes your company unique. Your booth should be enticing and grab attendees attention. Keep it simple and uncluttered. Get your Marketing Department involved! Use a color scheme that represents your company colors and no more than 3 colors to avoid looking too busy. Ask what materials are supplied, the length of tables, if electrical and Wi-Fi access are available, and if there is room for signage, table covers, chairs, etc. A custom tablecloth with your logo and a display board will bring attention to your booth. The display board should illustrate your company culture and why you are the company the candidate should join. What are you proud of? Why would someone want to work for your company? Some photos of associates or company events work well. Keep words to a minimum. Keep your display vertical. Use sign holders, graduated pamphlet holders or platforms to bring attention to your table (available at office supply stores). Prepare a checklist of everything you will take with you to the event, including quantities: business cards brochures about our industry brochures about the company past, present, and future prepare marketing materials that connect with your audience give-aways with your company logo, website or phone # on them company newsletters you can share which show your company s culture a copy of job descriptions for open positions drawing prizes candy may be helpful summary of your benefits post a list of the jobs that are available hand out bottles of water with your company sleeve slipped over them display products that you sell such as lighting, switches, etc. If you have a great website, see if you can stream or display it for people to explore at your booth. Conduct a prize drawing. Have attendees fill out an entry form or complete a short online survey to capture names and contact information. Know your audience, and be sure that the prize offered is an item of value to the attendees. Staff your booth adequately. Generally, two or three people should be enough to cover the booth throughout the day. Recruiters should be enthusiastic and well prepared for company and job-related questions. 3

5 The Basics of Booth Layout A local sign company can help you create a back-stand logo poster Be sure to have some brochures or info sheets about your company printed and available, including an explanation of your employee benefits A trade-show or promotional items company can create for you a table skirt with your logo Always have a good supply of business cards available for later contact 4

6 Career Fair Do s & Don ts Do s While at the Fair Be punctual. Show up well before the start of the event, and have your booth ready when the students begin to arrive. Smile. A smile is one of the most welcoming gestures you can make to welcome someone, and get a conversation going. Wear name tags, and have plenty of business cards. Walk the talk and dress professionally. Have all recruiters dress in similar company attire if possible khaki pants/ logo shirts, etc. Talk to students when they walk by. They may not know what your company does and may just go past your booth, but pull them in and ask what types of positions they are looking for and explain your company to them. Do a small presentation to students if you have time. Often schools offer small minute presentation sessions during the career fairs that the employers can use to explain their business. Participate in mock interviews offered by schools. This allows you to be in front of students and provides access to faculty members as you aid the student in their professionalism. Industry Flyer & Video Use this industry flyer to pass out at the career fair. It is available as a download from NAED and can be customized to your company. You can also download a video to play at the career fair. Contact NAED for download instructions. 5

7 Recruitment Toolkit Career Fair Do s & Don ts Do s After the Fair Review resumes and applications collected, and forward to the hiring managers for review and interest. Send an to attendees thanking them for attending and stopping by your booth, and include your company website and contact information. If you have a giveaway raffle, announce the winner in the thank you . Create your short list of viable candidates and contact them within one week after the fair. Demonstrate your sincere interest and continue to build the relationship. 6

8 Recruitment Toolkit Career Fair Do s & Don ts Dont s Before you go Don t make last minute recruiting plans or requests. Assess your hiring needs, and make job fair plans well in advance. While at the Fair Dress based on your culture. Don t wear a suit if your company is business casual, etc. Don t stand or sit behind your table. Lose the chairs. Stay out in front of your display where you can more freely interact with the candidates. Don t leave your booth unmanned during lunch, breaks, or while networking with other employers. Have someone at your display at all times. Don t eat or chew gum while at the booth. This projects an unprofessional appearance. Don t bypass a student just because you don t presently have any openings in a particular area. Gather information from the student that can be useful as future opportunities arise. Don t misrepresent available positions or work environment. Don t place unreasonable offer acceptance pressures and timetables on candidates. Don t leave early. Some students schedules may not allow them to get to the fair before the end of the day. While some companies may begin to tear down their displays before the official closing time, stand out from the crowd by staying until the event is over. Be professional and representative of a company that the student would want to join. 7

9 Relationship Building Tips Develop Relationships Another important aspect of recruiting is building relationships with colleges and universities. Here are some tips to develop those relationships. College recruiting should be part of an overall university relations strategy which may include research support, faculty partnerships, advisory board membership, etc. Consider full college relations programs: job posting, internships/co-op, career fair attendance, class presentation, faculty relations, on-campus recruiting, feedback, etc. Work closely with the career services office, even when you have direct faculty ties. Learn from the career center about your image on campus, and what you can do to attract your candidates of choice. Take advantage of the career center s campus insight and connections to students, student organizations, faculty members, academic departments, and administrators. The professionals in the career center know their campus best and can help you make the most valuable connections. In addition, career centers offer ways for you to provide valuable services to students, such as by participating in mock interview programs. Volunteer to participate in on-campus events such as workshops, employer panels, and practice interview sessions. Serve as a guest speaker at relevant student association employer and career nights. Offer to address students in the classroom on the opportunities available to them in electrical distribution. Don t change recruiters every semester. Establish long-term relationships with college personnel. Maintain ongoing university relationships. Remember that faculty members have long-term memories which can assist you in your efforts. When available, utilize on-campus facilities to conduct interviews, both right after attending career fairs, and at other times throughout the year as needed. Consider donating surplus equipment for use in department labs. Offer student scholarships for relevant majors. Don t forget to provide career centers with any corporate changes and updated company contact information. Incorporate college recruiting and college relations as part of any corporate strategic planning initiative; hold managers accountable. Enlist the help of campus ambassadors. Tap into students who have been engaged with your organization through an internship or a research project, and have them become on-campus advocates for your organization. 8

10 Alternative Recruiting Strategies Search for Talent Don t forget to use these resources when searching for your next talent, Veterans/Military Retirees Skilled Trades Electricians, Utility Workers. Contractors Plant Engineers Retired Teachers/Professors Facility Management Professionals Technical/Trade Schools Community Colleges High School Career Technical Education Programs Recent retirees from your company that may want work part-time as they make the transition to retirement Online recruiting websites Acknowledgements The NAED Education and Research Foundation would like to thank the following individuals and their companies for contributing to this project. Vicki Maderia Needham Electric Supply David Motz Kendall Electric, Inc. Sherri Sandvig Border States Electric Liz Allsup Electrical Engineering & Equipment Co. Andrea Falco Colonial Electric Supply Co., Inc. John Kiso NAED Michelle McNamara NAED Colleen Mulvihill NAED Cassie Petty Standard Electric Supply Co. Sara Szustakowski Williams Supply Inc. Gerry Vidler City Electric Company, Inc. 9

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