Power and Productivity for a Better World

“One of the criteria for selecting a plant site was the availability of high quality, skilled people” said Tony Velotta, ABB Production Manager, referring to ABB’s choice of Huntersville for their new state-of-the-art, $90 million high-voltage power cable manufacturing facility.

And with that, came the challenges of recruiting and hiring for positions ranging from production workers to engineers and sales staff members, and the opportunity of continued partnership with Charlotte Works. This partnership enabled the launch of a customized web portal, an innovative recruitment tool for ABB, in March 2012. Developed specifically to assist ABB to attract and identify both skills-qualified and highly trainable candidates, the online screening and recruitment tool was adapted from a prototype that Charlotte Works pioneered in 2010.

The online screening system provides access to viable candidates from Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, and assists ABB in managing the process of large scale recruitment and hiring for a set of similar positions. Questions developed by ABB in conjunction with Charlotte Works, highlight relevant direct or transferrable skill sets in candidates, and help identify WIA Dislocated Worker On-the-Job Training Grant-eligible candidates. These candidates can potentially be selected for extensive company-sponsored training. Paula Marks, HR Manager at ABB, feels that the online system achieves the goals of moving targeted candidates through pre-employment assessment and verifying their skill levels and commitment, and successfully leads these candidates to the formal application process.

There are specific advantages of the customized online screening system for ABB. This system:

  • Compares selected skills sets among large numbers of candidates with an expressed interest in working for ABB.
  • Narrows the field and reduces the candidate pool based on skills qualifications and commitment.
  • Conserves staff member hours versus screening by resume. Streamlines phone/email contact with candidates who have access to their status and scheduling at all times, thus maintaining engagement with the process.
  • Identifies candidates meeting initial eligibility criteria for WIA Dislocated Worker On-the-Job Training Grants.

Benefits and advantages of the online screening tool can be measured by its success thus far in generating a pool of 385 individuals completing Job Interest forms. Six Mecklenburg County Dislocated Workers have been selected for On-the-Job Training Grants, and are currently progressing successfully in intensive company-sponsored training.