I don’t need to do an advanced statistical analysis to know that the average age in the metals industry is pretty high. Baby boomers are retiring in droves and the resulting hole they leave is going to be hard to fill.
Our industry loses the next generation to sexier industries. They want to work for Google, Apple and Microsoft; travel the world, be on the cutting edge. Who wants to drive around all day, stopping at HVAC fabricators trying to sell sheet?
We’ve been preaching to our clients for years to hire interns from local colleges. You essentially get a free trial period on a future employee. And you have the chance to grow your own bench from within. How?
I’ll focus on sales for now, but it can apply to any position. The truth is there are no good sales internships at most colleges. Insurance companies and financial institutions realized long ago that hiring interns = free contact lists, so they hit colleges hard.
I tell my clients to find the best local business school in the area. Go to the website and find the faculty list. Try to find the professor that teaches Sales or Sales Management. Connect with them on LinkedIn or simply email them. Explain that you’re looking for a student that actually wants a career in sales for a sales internship, could they recommend someone?
If you find an intern, you technically don’t have to pay them because they’ll get college credit. Pair them up with one of your inside or outside reps and teach them to do some basic research. Give them a true feel for what sales is like, and make the rep they’re paired with push them a bit.
You now get a free preview of what this potential rep is like. Are they afraid to make cold calls? Are they a whiz with a spreadsheet and research? You have time to answer those questions, but if the answer is yes, hire them when they graduate. You know have a pre-trained employee and it’s only cost you some time.
Or just don’t worry about it….You can always call us ; )