It’s a common refrain: Young talent doesn’t know distribution, which makes it really hard for distributors to recruit the best into their organizations.
But some distributors say that it is possible to get up-and-coming talent’s attention; it just requires an investment of time and energy into college and university programs.
“Everyone’s in competition for the same group of smart kids, and everyone wants them,” says Mary Jawgiel, program director at Industrial Careers Pathway, in the latest issue of MDM Premium. “And we’re at a bit of a disadvantage simply because no one really knows what industrial distribution is, and they also don’t know that it’s a business.” But, she says, distributors offer many of the same opportunities as in other industries: positions in marketing, accounting, human resources, sales and more.
Distributors that work to build awareness of not just their companies early on, but the industry overall, will usually reap benefits.
“It’s very important for them to not just hear your name when you’re coming in to recruit when they’re seniors,” says Kevin Kampe, president of industrial distributor Womack Machine Supply, Farmers Branch, TX. “They need to kind of know you all along. The earlier you start with them, the better.”
Get Womack’s story, and hear from Laird Plastics and WinWholesale on how they have recruited successfully at the entry level in the latest issue of MDM Premium: College Recruiting: Go Beyond Career Fairs.
Also in the latest issue of MDM Premium, the second part of our special report on the State of E-Commerce in Distribution.