Our industry is surging right now. Covid-19 might’ve sidelined a lot of workers, but it seems to be playing well with the custom installation (CI) channel. As more people stay at home and venues like movie theaters stay shuttered, customers want to enhance their home technology systems more than ever before. This surge has placed an unprecedented demand on our industry for new work. The time to hire is now. Thankfully there are more workers than ever seeking employment.
Related: Hiring for Our Industry
Unfortunately, we can’t just run down to the Home Depot and pick up a few casual laborers to help with the workload. What we do takes a special person and a lot of training. That’s why we gave up looking for ready-made talent a few years ago and started focusing on hiring what we call “pizza guys” (someone completely green to our industry) and developing them into home technologists over a one-year training period. My company, Livewire, originally invested in a program we called Livewire University a few years ago and refined it to the point where we’re now able to hire “pizza guys” regularly and turn them into successful technicians. This means our hiring pool now is much larger than before we embraced the concept of planting a lot of seeds and watching them grow over time.
This “pizza guy” mentality has now shifted wider, with groups like ProSource launching ProSource University (full disclosure: I’m a partner in IntegrateU, which helps power ProSource University) earlier this year in the midst of Covid-19 to enable its 600 members to begin onboarding and training quickly. We’re now watching online learning and training take center stage as we settle in for the long haul. Without a “pizza guy” approach, integrators are left with the prospect of poaching from their competitors (that’s a two-way street) or recruiting seasoned integrators with bad habits or mismatched values.
Related: HR for Integrators
Repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Stop looking for experienced players and enroll some “pizza guys” in a program like ProSource University (which includes all of CEDIA’s online content). If you’re not a ProSource member, consider joining or find out what resources are available to you within your buying group or CEDIA membership. Doing nothing is not an option. We’re experiencing a once-in-a-generation event that will grow our businesses if executed properly.
Don’t miss out. Hire more “pizza guys” right now.
Stay frosty, and see you in the field.