Automation Unplugged is an interview series featuring experts from all over the custom integration industry. These interviews serve as a tool for anyone in the industry to stay in the loop on the latest trends, news and learn a thing or two from these industry leaders. Ron Callis, Automation Unplugged’s host, recently interviewed HD Staffing‘s CEO, Tres Huber for an industry Q&A.
Huber begins by filling Callis in on how he began in the industry and what led him to start HD Staffing with COO, Brent Wiseman. Huber’s early career was in construction staffing, which was extremely successful for nearly 20 years. From here he moved onto VIA, becoming the Vice President of Sales and Operations. With endless opportunities to meet people in the industry during this time, he decided to pursue consulting. At this point, he was introduced to Brent Wiseman, who had many years of experience in the custom integration industry. Both Tres and Brent had been hearing the same frustration from integrators across the board, “Companies just can’t hire good people”. This very frustration was what prompted the beginning of HD Staffing, which offers staffing services specifically to the AV industry.
Callis and Huber discuss how the beginning stages of HD Staffing have gone so far. Huber contributes their success to a proactive approach at CEDIA and a trusted word of mouth from their clients. Huber mentions that so far, each of their placements has been permanent. He goes on to say, “as the economy cools…we will be set up to do temp to perm and then just temp, where someone comes to us with a need for installers for a two-month push to finish a project, and they come back to us and everything is covered.” This will lead HD into a 3-tiered staffing company: temps, temps to perms, and of course permanent staffing.
“A custom integration candidate is much more of a challenge to recruit…On all of our initial screenings, my partner Brent Wiseman does the screening, because he has hired dozens of technicians and project managers.” Wiseman knows what companies are looking for and understands what questions to ask to get a clear picture of their skills and abilities. Huber also states “We have a guarantee: if it isn’t what you were looking for, send them back.”
Callis asks Huber if HD offers other services like coaching, consulting or training services for integration firms. Huber states, “…we provide a lot of ongoing free services with your placement.” They actually visit every integrator, no matter where they are located. This allows them to get a true understanding of the company culture, and in turn, has the words to describe the environment to a potential candidate. Between Huber and Wiseman’s experience, the integrator and the candidate will be getting a wealth of knowledge and tools to help them along in the process.
For someone who has never hired a staffing company to help them place employees, Callis asks Huber, “Why should they consider it?”. Huber asks people to take a look at their website and asks, “How much time it is costing you in direct loss of productivity by not having an open position filled…how many hours in billable revenue are you losing by not having that person on?”. Huber gives several tips to integrators on how to help them find the perfect placement.