We’ve heard it said more than once that finding qualified talent in this industry is a struggle, especially at the entry level. Many times those interviewing with home technology companies lack the fundamental technical skills needed to be successful in the industry. CEDIA Boot Camps can certainly provide much needed training for your technicians, but even basic boot camp requires some baseline knowledge and a trip to Indianapolis, which may or may not be something you’re ready to pull the trigger on with a new hire. Fortunately, there a new solution from CEDIA.
A New Solution
At the end of last year as part of the CEDIA Member Webinar, a new-hire training package was announced and this package is now available exclusively to CEDIA Members. The New Hire Training package is a comprehensive supplement to your new technician’s on-the-job training experience. The package includes 10 CEDIA eCourses as well as a hard copy of the Fundamentals of Residential Electronic Systems book. There are 20-plus hours of courseware available in this bundle for the CEDIA member price of $299, a savings of more than $500 if you were to purchase the courses separately. The package includes the following eCourses:
You might consider giving your interviewee a challenging interview.
■ EST108B Basic Math & Terminology for Technicians
■ ESCR101 Customer Service Basics
■ EST105B Cable & Connector Properties
■ EST233 Network Cable Infrastructure
■ EST066 Monsters in the Attic
■ EST308 Retrofit Installation
■ EST211 Video Display Technologies for Technicians
■ EST225 Audio Technologies for Technicians
■ ESD131 Fundamentals of Home Theater Design
■ EST306 Troubleshooting, Repair & Preventive Maintenance
After you purchase the training package, your new hire can take his or her time working through each eCourse in between on-the-job training days.
Hiring the Right People
With new training resources available, now is the time to get the ball rolling on hiring, and as a small business without a department dedicated to HR, you may not know where exactly to start. Here are a few suggestions:
Prepare Ahead of Time. Before you can hire someone, you need to find applicants. The first step is to find job boards where the kind of employee you want can be found. One example is posting your job openings with CEDIA’s Career Center.
Interview Hard. You might consider giving your interviewees a challenging interview. Ask them about their past performance. Ask them how they would handle certain situations. Present them with challenges related to the position they’re interviewing for, and see how they solve it. Prepare some relevant behavioral interview questions to get an understanding of what kind of challenges they’ve had in the past and how they’ve resolved them. You can even consider conducting any one of a number of personality tests designed for this purpose, which will help you understand how candidates will respond to the demands of the job.
The Interview Is Only the Beginning
One way you can make sure that your employees fit within your company culture is to test them out. Consider inviting candidates to your place of business and have them work with you and your other employees. Give them something to do and pay them for it. See how they start to build a routine. They will do their best to impress you, but you should look for moments when they let their guard down and show what they’re really like.
The CEDIA blog (cedia.net/blog) and the CEDIA training catalog are full of resources to help you through the interview process and the onboarding of new talent. For an even deeper dive on hiring and keeping great employees, make sure to mark your calendars for CEDIA Business Xchange 2016, May 11-13 in San Diego. Check out next month’s issue for more information on this year’s exciting program.