Elevators and escalators are, for many of us, a daily part of life. Although new etiquette may emerge around their usage in the wake of COVID19, people will continue to go up and down. In such a major yet specialized industry it can be tough to find individuals who, if you’ll pardon the obvious pun, are worthy of elevation. Attracting top vertical transportation talent is a matter of identifying those with the necessary characteristics and then presenting them with a clear path upwards.
High Demand for Qualified Individuals
While the elevator and escalator industry in BC’s Lower Mainland is substantial in size, it doesn’t compare in scope to the markets of centers such as New York City or Toronto. Large companies in the Vancouver area who wish to recruit supervisors and managers are often looking for individuals with experience overseeing teams of a similar scale. For smaller companies looking to elevate from within, a relatively short bench means that the emergence of an upwardly mobile replacement is no shoo-in. Recruitment is essential, but in an industry where everybody knows everybody, it often means looking towards the employees of a short list of companies.
Candidates Seek Stability, Career Advancement
Top level candidates for management positions in the elevator and escalator industry often think long and hard about making the switch to a new employer. With few major companies in the industry, making a bad move can be detrimental to their career. Nobody wants to get off on the wrong floor. As an essential service, the construction industry has remained relatively stable meaning that there is no excess of qualified available candidates. Before switching, candidates want to be sure that a company has a good reputation, a solid history and a large scope to provide the promise of ample work opportunities.
Lateral moves don’t make sense for top candidates, so attracting them means presenting a real opportunity for advancement. Talented operations managers may find themselves in a position where their career progression path is being blocked by a solid team of managers above them. These candidates can be lured by companies that appear ready to invest in their growth. Elevator and escalator companies will want to structure their staff’s future in an attractive manner in order to entice a commitment. Good candidates will be interested in receiving training as well as project management opportunities, allowing them to scale their career, if not immediately, then in the medium to long term.
Thinking Outside the Elevator Shaft
Although direct experience is highly valued in such a technical industry, it can be beneficial to consider other industries where leaders face similar circumstances. Somebody with large scale leadership experience in HVAC, for example, may possess an attractive skill set. Both industries are highly technical and qualified individuals from HVAC will have experience managing crews and maintenance teams within the confines of stringent safety and regulatory environments.
Companies who are able to invest the time to train a star candidate in the technical aspects of their product and service suite may wind up with a highly competent manager. The learning curve may be a small price to pay for an experienced and talented leader.
The ultimate candidate, of course, will possess direct experience, technical expertise and leadership ability. Having said this, choosing an experienced candidate who lacks the appropriate soft skills can be a mistake.
Candidates Should Show Dedication to Training
For candidates looking to stand out in the field, the winning combination is one of experience and education. Leadership courses and technical training provide valuable skills, and completing them demonstrates a desire for advancement. Those with years of experience obviously bring a valuable skill set to the table, but failing to couple this with the appropriate technical training will hamper their ability to succeed at the highest levels.
To ensure that recruitment efforts are focussed and on strategy, it’s worthwhile for companies to build a formal list of desired traits identifying must-have qualifications and nice-to-have attributes. Goldbeck is currently recruiting an Operations Supervisor for a sizeable elevator company. For this particular placement, we are seeking an individual with experience managing high volume operations, but is keen to open their future with greater responsibilities.
An in-depth discussion with the client is an essential part of any recruitment process, allowing us to hone in on an individual who will truly deliver in the available role, particularly in a field as technical and demanding as the elevator and escalator industry.