By Alex Cathey (member of the Triad Job Search Group)
A member of my Trio group at TJSN setup an informational interview with EPES Logistics a freight management broker in Greensboro.
EPES acts as a middle man or agent between companies and the vast field of independent and small truckers throughout the country to meet their transportation needs. Their director of human resources, Kristen Pettit, graciously agreed to meet with our group of four from TJSN.
Kristin began our meeting by explaining the company’s basic hiring philosophy and practices and what she looked for in potential candidates. Interestingly she shared that resumes were of little use in finding future employees. She stated that she could not tell anything about someone “from a piece of paper” especially character, integrity, or attitude which she deemed most important in people. She further explained that she could easily spot the common practice of people folding into the resume key word taken from the posted job description. Employee referrals were therefore the method of choice for Kristen when searching for someone to fill a job opening.
She did share an interesting story concerning resumes and how she came to get her job at EPES. Seems she had submitted a resume that included what seemed to be a totally unrelated interest of investing in the stock market. In fact, she had been encouraged by another professional to leave that off the resume. She disregarded with the advice. Kristen’s interest in the stock market caught the eye of the president of the company who, like her, was a stock investor. He assumed that she would have additional business knowledge as a result of her investment activity and hired her, in part, for this reason.
Kristin continued our informational interview by discussing how new employees are acclimated into the company. All new employees undergo a 2 week training regiment with follow up at 30, 60, 90 and 180 days. Periodic meeting are set up with other areas to learn how their jobs are affected by your job. Error patterns are tracked and their consequences relayed to the employee. In addition, a “go to Guru” is appointed to each employee who helps them find their way around as well as a “culture committee” that plans all the company functions.
Kristin explained that the president of the company himself views people as assets that are valued by the organization.
Kristin continued with our conversation for the entire hour. Before we adjourned the meeting she requested we send a copy of our respective resumes to her which she said she would forward to any interested parties she came across. In fact, she shared that there was a network that HR people like her used just for that purpose.
As we left there was a consensus within the group that we would all love to work for such a company with a culture that values people and is willing to invest in their development. Our visit also reinforced our belief in the effectiveness of networking versus the traditional application & resume in discovering job opportunities. Lastly, it was heartening to see that there are still great companies out there to work for! As an added bonus, Kristin emailed me three days later that she had forwarded by resume to someone in her network!
Editorial – Alec’s story is one of many that underscores the importance of networking and having a resume that stands out. Hopefully this experience will turn into a job opportunity soon.
Use Informational Interviews to discover ideas and to meet people who may want to help you.
If you want help to learn how to do this well, reach out to me – NCWiseman@teddyburriss.com