Why These 3 Hiring Methods Fail and These 5 Succeed

In order to find, and keep, good talent in the integration field, integrators need to find the right combination of personality traits, work ethic, and measurable skills in a job candidate and avoid making common hiring mistakes.

Jeff Gardner

Once someone is on your team and proving themselves, industry and manufacturer certifications can play a key role in guiding their career advancement, and pay increases. Many of the best companies have very well-defined policies in place which provide detailed job descriptions and credentials required to move up to the next job title. These can be either industry certifications or training certificates from your key manufacturers.

Finally, a note on where to find new blood to build your team. The only way to truly grow the workforce is to attract fresh young talent that would otherwise go into some other industry. I cannot emphasize enough the value of getting to know your local schools; their programs, instructors, and students.

Visit the classes, talk to them about what you do, show them glamour shots of your company’s work. Even better, serve on their advisory board. This gives you the chance to actually influence what they are teaching and what certifications they are offering.

Related: Not Promoting Your Company May Be Costing You Smart Candidates

All of this engagement inevitably means you get to spot the students with the right stuff and hire them yourself.  We see it all the time.  An integrator gets involved in a school, helps them fine tune their program, and gets the pick of the litter at graduation time!

Industry and manufacturer certifications are currently being offered and are regularly updated. They cover just about every aspect of the industry.  It is up to you to take full advantage of them to make your company stronger.

What credentials are we talking about?  For the higher level positions, you may be asking for a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree in areas like business administration, sales and marketing, IT or electronics. But for most jobs, industry certifications or manufacturer-specific credentials are most appropriate and widely recognized.


  • ESPA – Entry level technicians. Can be earned through self-study, fast-track training or full-year programs like Lincoln Tech, MMI, and Maverick Tech. Certified EST (C-EST)
  • NSCA – C-SIP onboarding program
  • InfoComm – Professional certifications in AV systems. Member companies can also be recognized based on certain criteria including certifications.  CTS, CTS-D, CTS-I
  • CEDIA – Certifications in residential system installation, design and networking. ESC, ESC-T, ESC-D, ESC-N
  • ESA – Training and certification from ESA’s National Training School
  • CompTIA – widely recognized brand-neutral certifications in computer tech and networking. A+, Network+, Security+, etc.
  • Bicsi – Training and credentialing in IT and communications. Installer I, Installer II, Technician, RITP, RCDD, NTS, etc.
  • ISF – Training and certification in video display technology and calibration
  • NICET – Audio/Video/Fire Alarm/Surveillance systems. CET, Levels 1 and 2 in audio, video, fire alarm etc.
  • DSEG – Certifications in digital signage content, displays, and networking
  • PMI – Project management certification. PMP
  • ETA – Certification in various electronics specialties including fiber, IT, and biomed


Most major manufacturers offer training and certification related to their specific products.  There are far too many of those to list here, but most companies take full advantage of this training and many encourage or require proof of completion for their lead technicians, programmers and designers.


  • OSHA – 10 hour safety/first aid training
  • American Heart Association – CPR training

Jeff Gardner is the executive director of the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA).

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