Find the Next Member of Your CAD Team

8 Jun, 2015 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: What's the best way to find your next employee?

A member of my Facebook CAD Managers Unite! group recently posed the following question to the group:

"Where do you go to find CAD hires? I am pretty sick of the Craigslist route. I need entry-level AutoCAD and MicroStation users. Local college is very little help. They do have a CAD program, but haven't really sent anyone our way. What are your resources?"

Here are some of the great tips/tricks that popped up from various group members:

  • We get some good leads from our reseller. They tend to know who's looking, who's good at the job, or know someone who is trying to break into the industry and just needs a chance. In my opinion, we've had better luck going that route than using headhunters and employment agencies.
  • We've even hired some people off the street, had them take a beginner's AutoCAD class with the reseller, then put them right to work, teaching them the rest on the job.
  • LinkedIn has a great search capability and it has a ton of staffing agencies.
  • Word of mouth — I am friends with other CAD managers, architects, and engineers and we keep each other informed. If we have to lay someone off, we'll pass the word around to help them get a new job. It is a pretty good network.
  • Autodesk User Group International (AUGI) forums don't allow any type of solicitation, but there is a career service they offer as well as a listing of members in the directory who are looking for work.
  • Develop relationships with your community college and tech schools. We have some great hires from the tech school. Start with the instructor that teaches your particular discipline. We also get hires from our web site, tech agencies, and the local building information modeling (BIM) users group.
  • It has been my experience that there are not a lot of applicants looking for jobs in this industry right now; they have been difficult to find.
  • Often, in our area the want ads aren't written as well as they could be to draw in possible hires. Some companies are looking for entry level but also include wording such as "Three years' experience would be nice." That immediately keeps many of my students from applying — even though I tell them they should apply. Also, entry level or not, $12 or $14 is not going to pique the interest of my students here in Wisconsin. I have to believe that entry-level pay would need to be even higher in California.
  • I have found the traditional route through the newspaper with a two- or three-step interview process works best for our new hires. Everyone has to have at least two interviews for our department.

What are your ideas for hiring the best CAD staffers at your company? Stop by CAD Managers Unite! and contribute your thoughts and advice?

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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