AV Companies Need to Do Better in Dealing with Job Candidates

Scott Tiner started his career in the IT field. It was not until fifteen years ago, into his third job before he even realized there was an AV field. Since that time, he has been proud to call himself an AV guy. But with more competition than ever in attracting new talent, he reflects on what AV companies can do to make sure they are making the most of their recruitment opportunities.

The biggest reason I consider being an AV Guy a compliment is that AV Guys and Girls (#AVTweeps) are just darn nice people. I think that many people have the typical view of the grouchy, mean and not helpful IT guy. Few people have that same view of the AV groups. Far and large we are known to have a better “bedside manner” and more focused on helping than IT people.

However, what I learned this year at InfoComm disappointed me about some of the MAJOR manufacturers in the industry. I am writing this a call to those companies to review some of their human resources practices.

First, a story. Several years ago I was considering a move into a manufacturing company as an educational representative. I had two possible opportunities. The first time this happened I had a disappointing, but not-horrible experience. I was invited for an interview with a manufacturer to be one of their education representatives. The company flew me to their location and did what I would expect. They paid for travel, food and expenses. We had a full day of interviews and I flew back home. A week went by, and no word. Then a second week went by, again no word. I wrote to the director (a person about 50 percent of the industry would know by name) I interviewed with and asked him about the position. I did this because it had been made clear to me that there were a few positions open and they would hire someone when they found the right person. After that email, I had no response. Three weeks, no news. At that point I knew that I had not gotten the position (and probably for good reason). However, it took the company seven weeks to send me a letter to that effect.

The second company (a MAJOR company) I interviewed with was even a worse story. I am closer to the company so I actually drove several hours to the headquarters. It is far enough away from me that I did need to stay in a hotel paid for by said company. However, they never made any offer of paying for the travel or for any food needed. I was on my own for that. I was appropriately early to the headquarters on the morning of the interview and was still forced to wait twenty minutes past our scheduled time (9:00 a.m.) to meet the person I would interview with. The interview lasted about one and a half hours and I was on my way. When I left this location I was so upset by the entire experience that I knew I would not take a job, even if offered. That ended up not being a problem because after that time and personal expense, I NEVER heard back from the company.

Now, back to InfoComm this year. I was having dinner with a few friends and we started chatting. I started telling them about my experiences, and they were not surprised. From the three other people, I heard several more horror stories. These included experiences like mine, and several even worse. One of the people I was talking with had travelled back and forth to a company for several interviews over the course of three to four months. That person, too, never heard back from the company. In the course of discussion, at least four or five names of the most significant companies in our industry were mentioned as companies that people had horrible experiences with. To be clear, none were upset they did not get a specific job. They were upset with the way they had been treated.
So my appeal to the human resources departments, and the directors that are hiring people, at all AV companies is to please adopt the “bedside” manner of the rest of the AV world. The very skilled people in the industry who are looking at your company as a possible home are balancing as many things as you are. They are considering leaving a job, moving their family, changing their salary and starting up somewhere new. To treat these people so rude as to not even follow up after an in person interview is not how we do it in AV.
I would love to hear the stories you may have of such experiences. Did the group I talked with have uniquely bad experiences? Have you had different experiences? The same kind? Tweet me and let me know about them.

 

About the Author: Scott Tiner

A trained educator, graduating from the Boston University School of Education, Scott is interested in the integration of technology and education. He works at Bates College managing the Client Services portions of Information Technology. Scott directs the Service Desk, which is responsible for the support of all classrooms and computers on campus. He also oversees the campus training programs and specifies and purchases computing equipment for the campus. He stays very active in the AV and IT fields, having presented at both regional, national and international conferences. Scott writes columns and blogs regularly for rAVe [Publications]. In order to continue to develop and strengthen his leadership and management skills Scott has attended the Management Institute and the Leading Change Institute, sponsored by EduCause. He earned his MBA from the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, at the University of New Hampshire. During his time in graduate school Scott developed an interest and expertise in leadership and team building. As an experienced speaker and writer, Scott is always looking for new experiences to share, learn and grow. Scott can be contacted via LinkedIn, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/stiner or via email at stiner08@gmail.com

This article was shared from Integrate’s Media Partner, rAVe Publications. To view the original article or to read more from the rAVe team click here.

Are you a young AV Professional looking to get ahead in the industry?  Take part in Young Professional Program at Integrate, 9am 31 August. Hosted by InfoComm International, this program is aimed at those who are 35 or younger, and at representatives of organizations who require guidance and mentor-ship to help young people build successful and rewarding careers in the industry. All show attendees interested in this program are invited to join our special event on Thursday, 31 August 2017. Find out more here.