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 Brandon Bazemore, a 2012 honoree.
What is your current position?
Regional Operations and Customer Service Manager.
We have given additional responsibility to individuals in my position in regards to facilities. Our Corporate Facilities Manager retired and wasn’t replaced. That person’s responsibilities and duties were spread out over Regional Operations and Customer Service Managers. I now have the responsibility of three buildings and all the fun things that go along with facilities management.
What has been the reaction from co-workers and people in the industry to your “30 Under 35” award?
Most co-workers have been very congratulatory and happy for me.
What advice would you give young professionals about electrical distribution?
I would tell young professionals that this industry is a great industry to be in – a secure industry to be in. The educational potential is near limitless. The generation that is retiring is leaving many career advancements available and that is great if you want to excel and grow in your career. I would tell them that this is an industry that will provide for your family and give great reward for those that want to see an ever changing industry.
What recruiting advice would you give companies when it comes to hiring great, young talent?
This is a very tough question. We have been struggling with hiring talent in my region, and across the entire company. We have gotten lucky and have gotten some great young talent. The industry itself is not a glorified industry, so the attractiveness is something that not a lot of individuals have seen or know much about. My advice would be hire for the next position and not just the position you need filled immediately. Keep the bench loaded and cross train so that individuals can excel through promotions and bring in young ambitious potential talent.
How important was your mentoring (and reverse mentoring) when it comes to furthering your career?
I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my mentor I wouldn’t be where I am today. Fortunately, I was surrounded by many people who believed in me and took their time to make sure that I excelled in everything I did. I take pride in being a mentor to the individuals that report to me, and in giving them the ability to grow as a person and an employee of our organization. I push every one of my direct reports to develop additional skills and get educated so that they bring more value to our customers and ultimately our organization.
What advice would you give to company leaders (c-suite) about working with Millennials?
My advice would be to work toward understanding what makes them click. What gives them satisfaction and appreciation. Then work toward accommodating those things within reason. I think the biggest difference in the millennial generation is the fast pace of information that they have become accustom to. They get their news seconds after something happens instead of reading it in the newspaper the next day. I have to be honest and say some millennials have a sense of entitlement. The millennial generation need to understand that you have to start somewhere and most of the time that isn’t somewhere in the middle. It is usually somewhere at the bottom. Through hard work, dedication, diligence comes greater responsibility and career advancement opportunities.
What do you see in the future of electrical distribution when it comes to technology and business practices?
I see a more remote work force in regards to Inside Sales and Outside Sales. I see a more mobile ability evolving where customer needs are handled more swiftly and on the spot. I see greater tools being developed and the user interface being something more like what the millennial generation is accustomed to such as order entry and shipping interfaces like Amazon.com.
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