Insights into the forces shaping our industry.

Emerging Lighting Professionals: What Companies are Looking for and Their Concerns

Candidate Advice

Part 1

I was invited to speak at the IES Annual Conference in Boston presenting for the “Marketable Skills for Emerging Professionals in the Lighting Industry” seminar. Over the next 3 blogs, I’ll review the topics I discussed in that presentation.

I surveyed presidents and VP’s of lighting manufacturers and principals of lighting designers. Here are the top 5 positions for emerging professionals companies are looking for:

1. Lighting Designers – junior to mid-level, project managers, production work, etc.

2. Engineers – electrical, mechanical, software and electronic

3 & 4. Sales (inside and outside were tied) – calling on specifiers or distributors

5. Marketing

The top concerns companies have for hiring someone with 0 – 5 years of experience:

1. Work ethic. Companies are worried that people with 0 – 5 years of experience aren’t interested in putting in the work and doing the little, mundane details required to build a strong foundation for their career and be successful in their career. As Michael Jordan said:

You can practice shooting for 8 hours a day, but if your technique is

wrong then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way.

Master the fundamentals and the level of everything you do will rise.

If you get away from the fundamentals the bottom will fall out.

Those little tasks have value even if you don’t see that today.

2. ROI (Return on Investment) and longevity with their company. You may see the company is paying you a salary of, say, $50,000, but they are investing much more in you. Statistics state: for a $50,000 salary, a company invests $75,000 – $135,000 for you. They are covering your benefits such as medical, dental and retirement account, but more importantly, they are investing their time to train you and taking time away from their own jobs to do so.

3. Character. Companies want to make sure you are who you say you are and you will invest in yourself; to learn on the job and on your own time.

Please stayed tuned for the next blogs on Marketable Skills and Qualities for Emerging Professionals and the 3rd blog on Advice for Emerging Professionals.

Brooke Ziolo

President / Executive Recruiter

Brooke has been recruiting in the lighting industry since 2008. Her expertise includes recruiting in lighting manufacturing, lighting design, ESCO’s and rep agencies with positions ranging from mid-level to C-Suite / Executive level in sales, marketing, engineering, operations, product management, lighting design, etc. Brooke is also a member of the IALD, IES, WILD and The Pinnacle Society.