Newsletter January 2022
Recruiters for the Copier Channel® for more than 30 years, Copier Careers® has been the only recruiting firm exclusively dedicated to connecting Copier Channel employers with experienced service technicians, copier sales representatives, sales managers, service & operations managers, controllers, support staff, and MPS/MNS experts. Start your year off right with Newsletter January 2022: Copier Channel news and career advice. Search copier jobs now.
As we start 2022, we’re reflecting on the Copier Channel’s successes and setbacks with our 2021 Year-End Update. In our earlier 2021 Mid-Year Update, we highlighted the whiplash employers were experiencing as they transitioned from shutdowns to resurging markets. These challenges have only intensified in the past six months!
Employers’ Overdue Reality Check
As we’ve been saying for years, the business solutions industry was essentially at zero unemployment well before COVID. Now the effects of the pandemic have only served to exacerbate this candidate shortage. Not only are there far more open jobs than available candidates but other industries are actively poaching our more experienced professionals. If industry leaders don’t execute plans to bring in and train new talent today, there won’t be anyone to fill empty roles tomorrow.
“Experienced people are leaving the industry,” says Copier Careers senior vice president, Jessica Crowley. “They’re tired. The industry is going through a brain drain at the same time dealers say hiring is their number one priority.”
“We’re seeing it now more than ever,” Crowley continues. “It’s not only sales skills that are transferable. Pharma, telecom, IT and software services will come in and go after candidates. It’s all industries, all positions. We’re not siloed anymore.”
“I think the industry kicked the can down the road for bringing people into the channel,” Copier Careers president, Paul Schwartz, muses. “Now it’s time for a reality check. It’s just like any city or town, you have to invest in your infrastructure — in this case, we’re talking about human infrastructure.”
What Can Industry Leaders Do?
Once employers recognize the problem, how can they overcome it? Industry leaders need to make some short and long-term changes:
- Reassess their employee salaries, benefits and other perks. Independent dealers are now directly competing with dedicated IT service providers along with other industries and need to adjust their compensation to match. “The amount of opportunity that candidates have right now is truly unbelievable,” Crowley says. “Everyone is looking to make a change for the better, they won’t continue to tolerate stagnant wages.”
- Be proactive about their hiring/growth needs. Because there may not be a good candidate available when they really need one. While the industry is known for doing more with less, you simply can’t do more with nothing.
- Speed up their hiring process. If you snooze, you lose. “I talked to a sales rep last week and submitted her as a candidate to six companies,” Crowley recalls. “I literally had a response from a client in less than a minute.”
- Hire practical over perfect. If a candidate has most of the experience you need and shows a willingness to learn, take them! You can bring them up to speed on the rest. “You have to reimagine positions and seize opportunities,” Schwartz exhorts. Doing so not only fills a gap but tells your new employee that they can learn and grow with your company.
- Invest in new, trainable employees. The pipeline of trainees and qualified candidates to the business solutions industry 2021 is nearly dry. “Do the math. You have to find a way to bring new people into the industry,” Schwartz says. “This is the next great thing that has to change in the channel.”
Bottom line: Now is the time to make your own opportunities. We’ve seen the employers who’ve sped up their hiring start to snap up candidates. Companies who invest in their employees not only avoid losing invaluable staff, they also attract the industry’s best and brightest. For those few positioned to face these challenges, another company’s pain is their gain!
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- $20B Buyout Offer From CVC Capital Partners
- Buyout Offer is Suspended and CEO Sacked
- Accusations of Collusion and Chairman Voted Out
- Toshiba Announces Plan to Break Into Three Companies
Acquisitions & Partnerships
- Staples Tries to Buy Office Depot Again
- Konica Minolta Plans to Transfer Select Sales Offices
- Xerox Acquires Document Systems
- Ricoh USA Partners with Stratasys Ltd
Last month, we discussed important questions for candidates and employers to prepare before an interview for an operations manager. This is part of our ongoing Interviewing Prep series to help you get the most out of your next interview (whether in front of the desk or behind it). So we were curious to hear what you thought was the most important operations manager quality. We had a solid turnout of 7,851 votes this month!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, readers placed high value on three key leadership skills as their top operations manager quality:
- Effective delegation (26%) means each task has the best person for the job. This also means the manager is not micromanaging nor are they hoarding control, skills, or professional development opportunities for themselves. It has an added bonus of reducing management burnout. But it is a fine line – delegation does not mean dodging the work or responsibility required of a manager.
- The value of decisive leadership (24%) has been especially important during the pandemic. Companies and departments that lack this key leadership ability have certainly felt its absence. High stress, burnout, missed opportunities, infighting and, ultimately, high turnover are the results.
- Organization (21%) is a vital operations manager quality for obvious reasons. The person creating and managing important systems, programs, policies and best practices must have everything in its place. A company, office or department run by poorly organized ops management could be prone to critical errors, supply issues, staffing shortages, budget shortfalls, unhappy customers, and miserable employees.
The remaining key traits were strong communication (11%), reliability/consistency (9%), integrity (7%), and people-focus (2%). While these are all wonderful to have in any role, an ops manager lacking in the the top three traits is likely doomed to failure.
- Delegation skills (26%, 2,079 Votes)
- Decisive leadership (24%, 1,911 Votes)
- Organization skills (21%, 1,680 Votes)
- Strong communication (11%, 878 Votes)
- Reliability/consistency (9%, 670 Votes)
- Integrity (7%, 545 Votes)
- People-focus (1%, 88 Votes)
Total Voters: 7,851 (December 2, 2021 @ 9:01 pm – December 30, 2021 @ 3:39 pm)
Some comments from y’all:
- “The Operations manager must know what can & cannot be delegated and delegate all they s/he can. So many things are happening in the copier business, that the operation manager must be free to focus on what is needed to lead the organization.”
- “Delegation skills? That is what most managers do… Pawn it off or delegate to reps instead of simply getting it done as the manager, themselves. I can’t stand managers constantly delegating to sales reps.”
- “You’re barely aware of the best ops managers. If everything consistently works in the day-to-day, then they (and their team) are doing their jobs. It’s when things are chaotic or arbitrary or lazy/self-serving that you really notice them. My last job was a nightmare!”
- “Why take polls? Integrity is the answer to any and all. Anybody out there sick of not being taken care of and even acknowledged yet?”
- “Everyone likes an honest boss but an honest and competent boss can’t be beat! I’ve have plenty of managers who seem like nice enough guys but if they can’t do their job, it just makes my work harder.”
- Find a new job (currently employed) (34%, 6,583 Votes)
- Hire a new employee (28%, 5,455 Votes)
- Get a promotion/change roles (11%, 2,175 Votes)
- Find a new job (currently unemployed) (10%, 1,989 Votes)
- Earn a new certification/job skill (9%, 1,777 Votes)
- Retire (6%, 1,206 Votes)
- Take up basket weaving (0%, 80 Votes)
Total Voters: 19,265 (December 30, 2021 @ 9:43 am – February 1, 2022 @ 5:56 pm)
Comment on Poll:
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