How FieldLink plugs talent into Low Voltage and Infrastructure Careers.
What do a poker player, a self-described detail freak, and a candidate for a career in Low Voltage/Network Infrastructure have in common?
According to Micah Jones, a recruiter at FieldLink, a low-voltage infrastructure professional services company, being highly observant is a thread he looks for in job candidates.
Jones spends his days looking for people who have the potential to succeed in this fast-emerging skilled trade. The data center construction market is expected to grow 5.9 percent through 2027. Companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon Web Service, and Apple are drivers behind the growth in construction.
“If you’re obsessed about the little things or have a poker mindset, your focus aligns well with attention to safety,” Jones explained. He’s always looking for people who buy into a safety philosophy of being their brother’s keeper and having the constitution to speak up for issues.
Jones is passionate about ensuring that the people he recruits know the expectations for the job. “We want everyone to succeed, so we’re very clear about what it takes.” And knowing what it takes came to Jones through his own experience. Before becoming a recruiter at FieldLink, Jones worked as a data technician installing cable, first as a contractor on assignment; later, he advanced to a coordinator role in a full-time position with Hobby Lobby.
Jobs in the Low Voltage Telecom industry include structured cable installers, audio-visual technicians, fiber techs, security techs, data center techs, security techs, security guards, network engineers, facility managers, and more. Jones says most of the roles are suited for people with a broad mechanical aptitude, who are coachable and willing to ‘keep swinging’ and learn from failures and correct mistakes.
Jones said that the career path offered him the ability to learn on the job and grow his skills. “The hands-on nature of being onsite at a data center appealed to me, and as a contract employee, they gave me a great opportunity to learn and grow. I kept getting new projects and often worked 60 hours weekly. That made for quick learning.”
Because you won’t find “low voltage cabling” and “data center technician” among the traditional trade school educational offerings, many people, like Jones, get into the industry without planning it as a destination.
One of FieldLink’s managing partners, Mike Schiano, said, “People sometimes move to this line of work after working as an electrician, landscaper, plumber, welding, or HVAC technician. We have veterans who transition well. Anyone with a strong work ethic and a technical and mechanical aptitude is a good fit.”
After years in the staffing industry, Schiano and his co-managing partner, Joe Rosenfield, saw the opportunity to focus on the telecom and infrastructure employment niche. They have been steadily growing the company by connecting people with brand-name employers constructing facilities across the country, from Ashburn, VA, Phoenix, AZ, Northern and Southern, CA, to Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA.
Rosenfield and Schiano consciously decided to build a recruiting team of people from the field, like Jones. They believed the decision to hire people who have walked in the boots of their field employees aligned with their desire to differentiate their company. Rosenfield said, “We specialize in this niche, and we want to be expert career guides for our candidates.”
Schiano and Rosenfield are known for their collaborative, open-door philosophy. They look to their recruiting team not only to nurture relationships with potential candidates but to contribute insight on improving the experience and opportunities for the people they serve. Continuous improvement and accountability fuel a culture that is highly focused on caring for the people working in the field.
“As a FieldLink employee, there is a high level of trust that we will make good decisions,” said Jones. “We are not a temp house. Everything we do is about finding people career paths with longevity, which can be a way to make a great living.”