D&H Partners Turn To Veterans, Technical Colleges To Find Qualified Talent

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D&H Distributing partners are leaning heavily on veteran training programs and career colleges to fill account manager and sales engineering roles within their own organizations.

Clearwater, Fla.-based Kynetic Technologies uses Monster.com and other online sites to identify people who have just returned from military services and offer them entry-level positions, said Ken Candela, vice president of the solution provider. Veterans typically understand the importance of teamwork and avoid actions that would undermine the group, he said.

Before turning to veterans, Candela said Kynetic typically hired people that had been employed by one of their IT services competitors, but many of them were bringing over bad habits they had exhibited at their last employer.

[Related: D&H Partners: K-12 Demand For Virtual Reality Tools Is 'Almost Like The Early Days Of Chromebooks']

Liberty Technology, for its part, began using a program at the start of 2017 that provides high-potential veterans with rigorous training focused on customer-facing IT careers, said President Ben Johnson. The Griffin, Ga.-based solution provider hired two veterans through Tech Qualled six months ago to serve as account managers, and both of them are already carrying annual quotas of between $1 million and $1.5 million.

 "As long as that keeps up, I can keep hiring and we can keep back-filling on the technical talent," Johnson said. "There's some really, really just amazing talent coming out of the military."

Liberty Technology plans to go back to Tech Qualled every six months or so and bring on additional veterans, Johnson said. Johnson and Candela spoke with CRN during D&H Distributing's 2017 Fall Mid-Atlantic Technology Show in Hershey, Pa.

NextStep Networking, meanwhile, has aligned its people pipeline with nearby community and private colleges since the graduates recognize their lack of professional experience and therefore have reasonable salary expectations, according to Matthew Worthen, director of educational IT consulting.

Once NextStep is aligned with a career college, Worthen said the company encourages students to intern or co-op with the Cincinnati-based solution provider. Over time, this allows NextStep to build up a story and reputation within the institution, Worthen said, which eventually results in the best students competing to work for the company.     

"We want to be a good place for kids to land in their career," Worthen said. "And if we're going to consult with schools, we might as well try and tap into some of that talent as they're coming up."

Other D&H partners had similar ideas, with Liberty Technology bringing in half of its technical staff from career colleges, according to Johnson.

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