NetPlus Network Shares Secrets for Recruiting Employees
During our roundtable at our 2017 Annual Meeting, our buying group’s distributor network discussed challenges with finding and retaining the right employees. Many of our industrial distributor members agreed that millennials – a generation that is now well-established in the workforce – are especially difficult to recruit to the industry.
The discussion focused primarily on how to attract and retain skilled workers in a tight job market. Here’s what’s worked for NetPlus members:
Finding the Right Employees
Distributors shared their ideas on recruiting the right employees, including using headhunters and connecting with colleges like Texas A&M that have industrial distribution programs. Other ideas that were mentioned included seeking out state workforce commissions, finding employees from programs that cater to people in drug rehabilitation programs or prisons, and employees from outside the industry. For example, one distributor shared his experience in finding salespeople from companies like Enterprise Car. Additional resources include reaching out to new college graduates, developing an internship program, connecting with high school trade programs, and using online platforms such as Virtual Bench, LinkedIn or Zip Recruiter. Our network also suggested asking your team for recommendations and referrals.
Hiring the Right Employees
Members agreed that finding the right people is only half the battle. One suggestion to ensure potential employees are a good fit is to ask for references from one employer, one co-worker, and one customer to cover the gamut. Our distributor members also agreed that offering a guaranteed salary for outside sales for a set amount of time during training is a good policy.
Another key to hiring the right people is asking the right questions. Two important interview questions that were brought up included:
- How do you help yourself?
- What do you do when you don’t know something?
Ultimately, it is management’s job to hire and retain star employees and cut employees that aren’t up to the job. Our members agreed that attracting and retaining the next generation is essential for long-term success for industrial distributors.
We want to support you as you work to recruit and retain top employees. The new NetPlus Academy provides resources including continuing education for your team, industrial sales and marketing resources, online learning through Tooling U-SME, and executive leadership development in partnership with Texas A&M University.