Attracting New Talent to the AV Industry: A Collaborative Effort

Back in 2014, I transitioned from being a computer technician to joining the AV Industry thanks to a fantastic opportunity provided by one of our customers. They not only gave us the chance to help build AV systems but also trained us on how to do it right. We worked on a small project mounting digital signage and setting up two conference rooms, and the customer patiently walked us through the drawings, reviewed the equipment we procured, and trained us throughout the entire project. We continued practicing together for over two years, and it was a great experience.

Believe it or not, the person who brought me into the industry was not a System Integrator but a project manager at Google. He needed someone trustworthy in the region, and he saw potential in us. He knew we needed relationships to grow our business, so he connected us with some of the biggest players in the industry, such as Crestron, Extron, Shure, NEC, and QSC. We became good friends after that.


Almost 10 years later, we find ourselves brainstorming on more ways to attract new talent to the industry. Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly challenging, as the battle to poach talent from one another continues to grow, and wages keep rising. Despite this, many System Integrators are still hiring, which is good news in this particular context.


We see that most System Integrators rely on traditional recruiting and headhunting methods, as well as hiring talent from other SIs, to fill their staffing needs. However, fewer SIs utilize alternative methods for building their workforce, such as cultivating new talent through job fairs and sound engineering schools, or recruiting individuals from other trades such as networking, electricians, and construction workers. This is where subcontractors can play a key role in the industry, by taking an active part in building new talent and bringing skilled workers from other trades into the AV field.


A very small number of SIs are willing to explore more unconventional approaches to staffing, such as importing talent (applicable for multinational companies) or hiring remote talent to augment their local team (in regions like Latin America, India, and the Philippines).


I believe that in order to attract more talent to the industry and help solve the root problem, we need to focus more on the last methods than on the classic ones. It’s in everyone’s best interest to work together as an industry, and each player needs to play their role. As subcontractors, we help with a vital role in building new talent and bringing in talent from other trades. Once our technicians outgrow our companies, they’ll seek jobs as project coordinators, project managers, and pre-sales engineers in System Integrators.


My conclusion is that there is a lot of room for improvement for us to position ourselves better in the battle for talent. I also believe that if we collaborate as an Industry, investing more time in building talent, partnering with our SubContractors, and investing less time in battling for the already existing talent, we will all find ourselves in a better position in a matter of a few years.


Thank you for reading, our intention is to generate content that makes you think differently, understand a different perspective and challenge some of the ways we do things Today. If you enjoyed it, and would like to share your opinion, don’t hesitate to write to me via email.


Luis Schilling


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