State of Recruiting in the Electrical Industry


May 2, 2022

By David Gordon, Publisher, Electrical Trends

Talk to anyone in the electrical industry and one of the issues that inevitably come up is how every company is short-staffed. Recruiting staff is a challenge for all.

Whether it is from replacing people due to retirement, the need for new skill sets / roles, hiring to support growth companies are seeking “bodies”. Qualified ones are preferred, however, there is a limit, especially for distributors, on hiring people from competition. Then the issue becomes “where to find people” and taking the time to train them.

From an employee / candidate viewpoint, the employment market has changed. The unemployment rate is extremely low throughout the country and hence this drives compensation. New skills / roles are being hired for which brings in people who are new to the industry. The “work from home / hybrid” discussion impacts and influences some. For others, company culture is extremely important and some companies “get it” and others think it’s “business as usual.”

They dynamics of why people look for new opportunities (as well as stay with their existing companies) as well as why they choose companies versus what companies think of themselves in the hiring process can differ.

A discussion recently with a leading recruiter in the electrical industry, John Salvadore from GRN Coastal, touched on these issues and hence our State of Recruitment survey was born. The goal is to understand today’s recruitment environment.

With this survey we’re trying to understand some of the decision drivers, and criteria of employees / candidates as well as how companies look at the market, the candidate pool, their company and their process.

And we need your help whether you are a distributor, a manufacturer rep, a manufacturer or unemployed.

  • If you are happily employed or a candidate, we need your input.
  • If you are responsible for recruiting or in a management role responsible for hiring, or managing hiring, we need your input.

It only takes about 3 minutes to complete, and I can tell from early returns that there is information, from both parties, as it relates to compensation expectations, role of management and culture and the top 5 things that both parties think are decision drivers, that will be of interest.

All input is confidential and GRN Coastal will not receive any respondent-specific name or contacts.

In appreciation of your input, you can request an executive summary of the results (and we plan to share some of the information in a future posting but only survey respondents will get the full results.)

Other than the COGS of the material that is sold, employment costs are the largest cost for a distributor and one of the top costs for a manufacturer. What differentiates a company the most is its people – either because they are “front line” and serving customers, they are idea generators for the company, or they provide the service / materials that keep customers coming back. People are a company’s #1 asset and turnover is a large, unseen and untracked, cost. Understanding the dynamics of the recruitment market can help:

  • Those seeking better understand those who have opportunities.
  • Those with opportunities understand those who are seeking.

It is the intersection of that “understanding” that helps both parties have their needs met and when success, and hopefully long-term careers, can be forged.

Let us know what is important to you as an employee / candidate and as a manager / hirer. The survey is open until May 13th.


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