We're Picky about Our People, and It Pays Off
by Luke Wurban, on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 @ 11:08 AM
At our Edmonton, Drayton Valley, and Fort McMurray locations, the same stringent hiring process applies to all of our associates.
The hiring and nurturing process for our employees ensures consistent quality people. This translates to quality customer service and products for our customers.
Careful hiring practices means better service for customers
We often write about selecting the highest quality components and installing them properly if you want to get peak performance in your fluid system. That formula works with people as well as components. At Edmonton Valve & Fitting we put a priority on getting the right people into the right jobs, and getting them properly settled and trained to perform at their best.
We think our hiring formula is pretty good, and the evidence is our very low turnover rate. In fact, our associates have been with us for an average of more than 15 years.
As with any company, a position opens up in one of two ways: we need to fill a gap in the team, or a highly skilled person falls into our lap. If we get a referral, or an eager person submits a resume with no job posting, we will always interview them.
We filter our candidates through prescreens, phone screens and interviews. Tangible hard skills are always a plus, but we pay even more attention to the soft skills and "culture fit" of the candidate. After all, hard skills can be taught. We're looking for someone who shows a dedication to learn and grow.
The most promising candidates don't just get an interview. They get many interviews. A candidate will meet their potential team members, managers, the Human Resources department, even our company president. The interviews are heavy on conversation rather than formal questions.
If the "falls into our lap" candidate fits well with the company, we'll essentially create a position for that person. Derived from this mentality is the "live job description" process we have. This means that job descriptions are constantly changing and developing, and are always under revision to ensure that all needs of the organization are met.
Many people at Edmonton Valve start at the ground level and work their way up through the organization. No matter what job they're hired for, most new associates start out picking parts in the warehouse for a while. It's an excellent way to learn the nitty-gritty side of the business and understand the people involved in the processes. With that deep understanding of our products, everyone in each department can better serve customers.
Training is another huge part of our culture. Formal on-boarding consists of one-on-one education of the history of Edmonton Valve and of Swagelok. We go over our values, purpose and how we got where we are today. We spend a lot of time discussing safety and then move onto formal hands-on training that covers everything from warehouse roles to sales to strategic objectives.
Along with our formal on-boarding training and development, we offer many resources to aid employee growth, such as a giant international training database, third-party online training courses, and the constant support for continuing education.
Associates in our Drayton Valley and Fort McMurray branches get the same training, typically spending about a week in Edmonton to learn the ropes and build that team dynamic. The only big difference between the branches is that the smaller staffing number naturally means each person has to wear many hats within the team.
To keep our team strong and focused, our President presents a strategic plan to all associates. This strategic plan outlines where we have been in the past and where we want to go for the next three to five years. It includes tangible numbers, personal growth, and team development. Each team comes together to learn and discuss the company's strategic objective, and each department also holds their own weekly or monthly meetings to outline where the team is going in the future.
Want to learn more about our company or associates? Give us a call at 780-437-0640, or send us a message through the link below.