September 2018

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Hiring Elite Controls Talent

like the “Big Boys” – Part 4

Your Secret to Employee Retention:  CLAMPS

Skip FreemanSkip Freeman,
Senior Technical Recruiter,
BASI Solutions, LLC
(Building Automation and Smart Industry)

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Three current facts regarding the demand for DDC Controls talent:

Fact 1: The demand for BAS talent has never been higher. We are working on the most open roles ever!

Fact 2: The BAS market is growing at 11% annually and is expected to continue to do so through at least 2022. That means a doubling over the next 5-years!

Fact 3: With the tightest labor market in decades, workers are extremely confident they can leave one job for another, and when interviewing, they now decide if they want to go to work for you or not.

This means retention is key. Everyone is struggling to get the talent they need for growth. Therefore, do not compound the problem by also having to hire for open positions because someone left!

In speaking with BAS professionals every day, there are 6 primary reasons why a person will decide to leave a firm and find employment elsewhere. They form an easy to remember acronym - CLAMPS

What we find is this:

Here are the six elements of CLAMPS that lead to increased retention:

C – Challenge.

Most BAS professionals want to be challenged. People want to grow, expand, and evolve. Are you providing your BAS team with opportunities to learn and be challenged? Frequently I hear the phrase, “I want to work on sexier projects.” Granted, that is not always possible. If it isn’t possible, ask yourself, "How can I provide the growth and challenge my people yearn for?"

L – Location.

Two primary location motivators are, “Where is the spouse originally from?” and “Family, especially aging parents.” It’s important that you build relationships with your people, so you know why they live where they do. This helps you uncover any significant underlying geographical concerns? And if you do uncover them, while you may not be able to do anything about them, at least you are aware and will not be blindsided should they turn in their resignation.

A – Advancement.

Not everyone looks for formal advancement, i.e., a promotion. But most people want to be recognized for good work and given higher levels of responsibility. What do you have in place for providing increasing levels of opportunity and responsibility?

M – Money.

With both “time” and “grade,” i.e., time in the BAS profession and increasing levels of responsibility, comes increasing pay. All too many times it takes moving to another job for a person to get a significant increase in pay. If a person is underpaid, they will move “for a buck and a truck.” Make sure you don’t find yourself in that situation. And benefits are part of compensation. (See the “S” below. ) Don’t hesitate to promote the value of your company benefits (if you have them.)

P – People.

I often talk with professionals who say, “I like the company. It’s my boss that’s the issue.” People leave people, not companies. If you are “a boss,” look at yourself in the mirror each day and ask yourself if you are leading or managing? There is a difference.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]S – Security.

While security is fleeting, i.e., it can change on any given day due to the economy, losing a major piece of business, or any number of things, what are you doing to ensure your controls contracting business is profitable and has an ongoing stream of revenue? That, as much as anything, will give your people “peace of mind” when they get up and go to work for you each day. And a demonstration of this is a bonus and/or profit sharing (see the “M” above.) Do you have any type of program in place that rewards people for contributing to the financial success of the company?

Firms that focus on “CLAMPS” see a higher retention rate than those that don’t. I come across firms every day that practice “CLAMPS” in some way, shape, or form, and those that do not. Those that don’t become a pool of talent for those that do.


“Your Secret to Employee Retention:  CLAMPS” is part 4 of the 4-part series, “Hiring Elite Controls Talent like the “big boys.”
Hiring Elite Controls Talent like the "big boys" - Part 1 (Cultural Fit) - Apr 2018

Hiring Elite Controls Talent like the "big boys" - Part 2 (Interviewing) - May 2018

Hiring Elite Controls Talent like the "big boys" - Part 3 (Recruiting) - June 2018


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