We’re catching up with our previous “30 Under 35” winners to see where they are now and how their perspective has changed since being named one of the rising stars of the electrical industry.
Today, we talk with Andrew Hoerner, a 2014 honoree.
What is your current position?
Energy Solutions Manager – West Coast USA, Rexel Inc.
What has been the reaction from co-workers and people in the industry to your “30 Under 35” award?
Extremely positive. Co-workers, clients, and manufacturers/vendors have all been supportive and impressed with the achievement. The “30 Under 35” award provides instantaneous exposure to others throughout the industry.
What advice would you give young professionals about electrical distribution?
Always continue to build knowledge of innovative product solutions. We are a part of a continuous trend of energy efficiency and productive solutions in the workspace environment. Understand your clients’/customer’s goals and present true value. Remember to always follow up and have a sense of urgency to proactively support your requests. Join any local, regional, or national organizations where networking presents itself.
What recruiting advice would you give companies when it comes to hiring great, young talent?
Present employment opportunities creatively. Electrical distribution is a niche industry. At job fairs, we present new positions in a creative way that curtails to younger talent’s interest. For example, electrical distribution, focusing on energy management, allows young talent to engage in three of top industries of finance, real estate, and technology. Additionally, continuing to present challenges is beneficial for success. Allowing an environment to become stagnant for someone looking for a career path may lead to a lack of engagement.
How important was your mentoring (and reverse mentoring) when it comes to furthering your career?
“Leaders Eat Last,” is a statement I follow. As a leader, it is extremely important to continue to cultivate talent. Leading by example and seeing your team succeed through your best practices is rewarding. I hold an annual (soon to be bi-annual due to positive feedback), “Rexel Energy Boot Camp,” for my team. When I joined Rexel, one of my mentors was the one to hire me. He did not know it at the time, but the way he presented the position (within Rexel) and the opportunity to further my career was the main reason I stuck with electrical distribution.
What advice would you give to company leaders (c-suite) about working with millennials?
Provide a sense of direction, but do not provide all the answers. Millennials think very creatively, but may not know the industry or how to earn success. Hard work, effort, creative thinking, and being a team player are key components. Set bars for achievement and then set more bars for higher achievement.
What do you see in the future of electrical distribution when it comes to technology and business practices?
Electrical distribution can be a very reactive industry. Presently, I foresee proactive distributors winning out. Providing true value through efficient solutions that save time and capital may prove to your clientele that you understand their business. E-commerce is growing at a rapid pace for product inquiries and order entry. Value services (Rexel offers many of these in our energy solutions/solar and Rexel Works teams) that decrease the commoditization of day-to-day distribution is key for success.
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