I recently had the privilege of talking LIVE to attendees of North Central Wholesalers Association’s annual conference at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania (if you have never been to this place, worth checking out if you are in the Pittsburgh vicinity).

For starters, it was great to be back at an in-person industry event, talking to industry friends, meeting some new folks and getting everybody up to speed on the million things going on here at ASA.

During my ASA update at lunch, I told attendees to pay close attention to the middle portion of what I had to say regarding our Building One Future initiative, which, of course, tackles the three critical issues of the labor shortage, keeping up to speed on trends and new technologies and how prepared/well-positioned a distributor might be for future growth.

The technology challenge spawned the ASA D.NEXT innovation lab opening during the height of the pandemic last spring in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, at the University of Illinois. Since the doors have been open for business, the D.NEXT team has tackled two important research projects, one on the service/value expectations contractors and distributors have of each other and then a deep dive into contractor buying habits and what triggers those. If you are an ASA member, both reports/findings are available in the MyASA members’ only portal at www.asa.net. A free ASA member benefit here. All you have to do is set aside the time to download the reports and read them.

This month, ASA is launching its PROJECT VITALITY Growth Readiness assessment tool that will help identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses based on confidential feedback from key company staff members, plus identify where a company needs to invest to shore up its ability to compete effectively in a rapidly changing market.

The third piece to the puzzle centers on the labor shortage and how to replace the estimated 100,000 folks who will depart the industry due to retirement over the next decade.

This is where ASA’s PROJECT TALENT careers recruitment platform comes into play. Launched last fall during NETWORK2020 Virtual, PROJECT TALENT features two free components for ASA members.

First, a free job posting board for ASA member companies at SupplyIndustryCareers.com allows for open positions to be posted and viewed by job-seekers throughout the country. Harger Howe, ASA’s partner in PROJECT TALENT and a well-respected careers recruitment marketing agency based out of Boston, aided these efforts with a robust social media campaign that has helped bring plenty of eyeballs to the site.

Through mid-June, more than 24,000 unique visitors went to the SupplyIndustryCareers.com site over a recent five-month period. More than 50 ASA-member companies have posted more than 300 jobs thus far.

Visitors are seeing the careers site through organic searches on Google and other search engines, and through the above-mentioned social media campaign (Facebook and Instagram), plus social media posts on the Supply Industry Careers social properties. There have been more than 7.5 million social media impressions across Facebook and Instagram and more than 46,000 link clicks to the SupplyIndustryCareers.com site.

The other key component to PROJECT TALENT is the recruiter toolbox where ASA-member companies can download a plethora of marketing assets to aid them in their hiring journey, whether that be social media templates, stock videos, digital ad templates, plus access to more than 2,500 stock photos and illustrations—all available for use free of charge to ASA members. Want to do a social media hiring campaign on your own? Open the toolbox and take what you need. Through mid-June, more than 30 ASA-member companies already had accessed the toolbox.

If you take three things out of this column:

  1. All the base components of the Building One Future platform are free to ASA members — that’s the job-posting board, the recruiter toolbox, access to the D.NEXT innovation lab team research reports and access to the growth readiness survey.
  2. SupplyIndustryCareers.com. Take advantage of it and post your company’s open positions there. It’s a jobs board specific to the PHCP and industrial and mechanical PVF industry.
  3. If you would like a free tutorial/navigation of the PROJECT TALENT careers recruitment portal by Harger Howe’s Mike Walsh, email me at mmiazga@asa.net and I will get you set up immediately.

ASA continues to add multitudes of value for its member companies and their employees. These three, in my opinion, are worth the price of admission alone.

Take advantage of them. Today.