How Do We Get More Women into the Electrical Industry?

I was at an event where this question was presented.  In round table discussions, we discussed how to bring more women into the male-dominated Electrical Industry. We talked about other male-dominated industries women might be in; such as, Fashion and Food & Beverage. Fashion has Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein Tommy Hilfhiger and so on. The Food Industry includes personalities like Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck and Gordon Ramsay. Here are some statistics personally researched and presented at the conference:

● Women represent around 50% of professional roles 1

● Less than 1 in 4 c-suite are held by women

● 49% of women represent the college-educated workforce 1

● Women earn 38% of MBAs and 48% of specialized master’s degrees 1

My group concluded it is not the industry but an individual company situation. So, how do we recruit women into the industry? The same way we would any candidate. We present the ideas that/of:

● They’re valuable. People continue to work for a company when their opinions are validated and their work is appreciated.

● A great management team. If you are respected by your boss, you will be given opportunities to grow and be challenged.

● The ability to grow and move up in the organization is available. Women, men, especially millennials like to know their career path.

● A mentoring program for new employees is accessible, which encourages professional growth.

I would suggest you review your company and make sure you have met these points. These ideas will help you bring in the next best candidate to expand your business.




Pati Kelly is a contingent and retained recruiter exclusive to the electrical industry with a specialty in Wire and Cable. To learn more about how she can help your company identify and attract talent, check out her biography, view her LinkedIn profile or send her an email at

How to Present a Strong Offer Letter

The importance of a strong, timely offer:

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “time kills all deals”, and it’s certainly true in recruiting. If your company takes days (or even weeks) to make an offer to a candidate, you’re sending a potential employee the wrong message; reflecting poorly on your company, before they even start. Candidates may interpret the delay as:

●You aren’t that interested in them, and they’ll move on to the next company.

●Your decision-making process is slow, which may lead them to question how decisions are made after they are hired.

●You have no urgency, therefore, how relevant is this position to the company?

When you present an offer, make sure it’s one that will be accepted. When working with a recruiter, you will know the candidate’s salary expectations ahead of time. If you can’t make an offer to a candidate in their target range, don’t interview the candidate.

There are consequences to making an offer that won’t be accepted. First, it wastes your and the candidate’s time – between phone interviews, in person interviews, reference checking, etc. Second, you have to factor in the time and revenue loss of the position not being filled; in many cases, the search has to start all over again, after you’ve gotten to the point of making a candidate an offer. Third, it can spark a bad reputation in the market place. We are in a small industry, where the degree of separation is only 2 or 3 rather than the typical 6 degrees of separation and people talk.

You want to start a relationship off on the right foot. If you like the candidate, then make them a strong offer, within 1 – 3 days of their final interview. Work with your recruiter to discuss the offer ahead of time and to understand if it makes sense to move forward.

Brooke Ziolo is a contingent and retained executive recruiter working exclusively within the Lighting Industry. To learn more about how she can help your Lighting company, LED company or Lighting Design Firm attract talent, check out her biographyLinkedIn profile or email her at

How Companies are Responding to Marijuana Legalization

While legalizing medical and recreational marijuana seems to be quickly creeping up across the nation, employers and employees are quickly finding themselves in in a difficult spot.  Without solid answers for every situation they face or federal backing of these new laws, many are having to make some tough choices.


One of our email responses stated “One of the biggest challenges is that science has not caught up with the changes in the law.  Currently, drug testing for marijuana can only tell if the drug has been used.  It cannot accurately test whether or not the person is under the influence.” This seems to be the most widely stated concern within the responses received.


“One of the biggest challenges is that science has not caught up with the changes in the law.  Currently, drug testing for marijuana can only tell if the drug has been used.  It cannot accurately test whether or not the person is under the influence.”


When it comes to where we are legally within the U.S. currently, marijuana holds the following status:

  • Legal Medical Use: 28 states, Washington, D.C., P.R. & Guam
  • Legal Recreational Use: 8 states and Washington DC
  • Decriminalized: 13 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands


This means that there are 28 states, D.C., and 3 U.S. territories currently allowing some form of marijuana use, with most supporting medical marijuana being legalized. Yet without Federal support, this leaves a lot of questions along with rising concerns.


With many questions of our own, Egret’s recruiting team emailed companies within the Electrical Industry in regards to the new laws, asking if, or how this affects their drug testing policies. The response was overwhelming and we are grateful for all who were open to sharing their policies, opinions and concerns with us. While we received a large number of reply’s, we conducted our research using 140 of the most in-depth email responses.


When it came to companies discussing their current policies for drug testing, 89% said they drug test pre-employment and some also include random employee testing. Random testing depended on certain factors such as if they have a Government contract and also upon the job title of the employee, with titles like Driver or Factory Employee being tested more often than office personnel, and for obvious safety reasons. 11% of companies stated they are not currently drug testing their employees.


22% of companies who responded to our email said they have lenience policies or have seen situations of lenience for current employees who fail Marijuana testing.  The policies all seemed to include terms and conditions such as an employee choosing to attend rehab. The situational lenience was seen as being dependent on different factors such as: position, length of employment, ability to replace without loss to company and dependability of the employee. 29% of companies said they would consider hiring someone who has a medical marijuana prescription (depending on position).


As for thoughts on if Marijuana testing policy changes are in our near future in the workplace, 48% believe that policy changes are coming. 17% were firm on the idea of no change, and 35% were undecided or non-specific on policy change.


In the end, one response summed it up perfectly “This is all very confusing!”.  And it is because there are too many “what if’s” and future unknowns. Only time will tell if the marijuana testing policies will change.


Biggest Job Search Lessons Learned

If there is one lesson that each and every one of us could stand to learn from a job search, it’s that we should have done a better job creating a network of people prior to our search. Building a network from scratch is hard work, but you don’t have to start over. Here are a few tips on how to build and maintain a great network and why.

  1. Recognize the value a network offers. When you recognize the value a network offers, you will be more motivated to stay in touch. Wouldn’t it be great to hear about a job while employed? Of course! And it will only happen if your contacts remember you and what your expertise is. Or what about when you need references? Having a network of great references can be a huge plus.
  2. Develop a system for reaching out. Perhaps start with the past colleagues, and make a point to call, email or meet up for coffee. Share your updates on how your current job is going, and what your thoughts on your future are.
  3. Join a professional group. One of the lessons you may have learned during your search was that you need to stay up to date on trends in your occupation and industry. By joining a professional group you will stay up-to-date on trends and have the opportunity to meet others in your field.
  4. Choose a mentor. A relationship with a mentor provides you with firsthand feedback and knowledge to refine your career. This mentor could be someone from your company or from outside of your organization. Both have pros and cons, so you could choose one of each. The advantage to having more than one mentor is that you don’t feel like you are asking for too much from either one. One mentor may be able to help you navigate internal policies and politics. The other may be more helpful in helping you plot your career course.
  5. Never lose touch with recruiters. If you developed a working relationship with a recruiter, definitely reach out to them. Let the recruiter know you are considering a job change, and to keep you updated. Tell the recruiter you would like to be contacted if there is an opening that fits your background. If nothing else, you may know of people who would be a good fit for the job if you aren’t, and recruiters appreciate referrals.
  6. Give back. You now have greater empathy for those who are hunting for a new job. Remember how difficult your search was? The ups and downs? Offer to help current job seekers by sharing your experience and lessons learned. And most of all teach them about the importance of building a network!

You’ve learned how challenging it is to build your network so don’t wait until the next job change to get started. When you have existing relationships, it feels much easier to ask for help, advice or information. This is why it is so important to continue to nurture and grow your network for long-term career success.



Pati Kelly

Pati Kelly

Pati Kelly is a contingent and retained recruiter exclusive to the electrical industry with a specialty in Wire and Cable. To learn more about how she can help your company identify and attract talent, check out her biography, view her LinkedIn profile or send her an email at


By |September 9th, 2016|Blog, Candidate Advice, Hiring Advice|0 Comments