April 2019 Newsletter
State of The Industry
2018 was a very good year for the Electronic Connector Industry with all the segments of the industry reporting strong growth. As we begin the new year 2019 business seems to have slowed somewhat. What is important is the new design and development activity is very high, so I think this slight slowing of sales is just a pause in what should continue to be another very good year for the Electronic Connector Industry. The current trade negotiations with China may also be an indicator in playing a part in the slight slowdown. The long term technology trends that are driving the industry’s growth right now are strong and will ultimately keep the industry growing for a long time to come, after all the connector industry is a major enabler to the electronics revolution we have been experiencing over the last 40 years. Going forward the industry is changing and growing as the larger connector companies add all types of capabilities to their line of products and services, no longer content with just making connectors and doing some value added work putting a cable assembly together. They have been adding additional enabling products and technologies such as Flex circuits, Sensors, and Electronic Module assembly to better continue to grow and support the ever evolving electronics industry.
The key industries and technology that continue to be the main growth drivers are the Telecom and Datacom industries which have a larger and larger impact on growth and sales for the industry. Largely because of the drive to connect everything to the internet from your home security system and HVAC system to your refrigerator, hot water heater, lights etc. All new cars and trucks and even farm equipment are also being internet enabled. That does not take into account the continued increase in people streaming videos and just getting on the internet over their mobile devices all of which is going to need a much more robust network to function properly which brings us to the next generation of networks known as 5G. This next step in the evolution of communication networks is going to have the greatest impact on society since cellphone’s came on the scene, in not only how we communicate with each other and how we use our mobile devices. It is also critical to enabling several other technologies just coming on the scene such as autonomous cars, delivery vehicles and farm equipment just to mention a few.
All of this points to a bright future and another good year for the Electronic Connector Industry.
Mergers & Acquisitions & Other News
- ODU established ODU Korea Inc. on January 1, with Kai Schneider, a mechanical engineer who is also knowledgeable about Korean culture, as Managing Director. ODU has a strong presence in Korea, especially in the e-mobility and military technology markets, and seeks to further expand sales in Korea, to find new sales channels, and to introduce ODU connector solutions into the Korean medical technology and robotics markets.
- Newark element14 and Farnell element14changed their names to Newark, An Avnet Company and Farnell, an Avnet Company, effective March 1, 2019. The name change acknowledges the companies’ roles as key elements of the Avnet eco-system (of which they’ve been a part since 2016), honors their past by retaining the Newark and Farnell names established in the 1930s, and demonstrates the added value they can provide as one company. The change allows customers to work collectively with Newark in North America, Farnell in Europe, and Avnet, and provides them with a single, cohesive partner capable of providing optimized support throughout the many complex phases of the product development cycle, which helps save time and money.
Phone Interviews Do’s and Don’ts
Phone interviews as a first step in the hiring process have become the norm. It used to be that they were used mostly when a candidate was out of the area and had either a plane ride or long drive to do an in-person interview. Now, they are used as the initial screening process for all candidates. So here are some common sense rules to follow:
- Since this is the beginning of the interview process, do all the things that you would normally do before going on an interview. Investigate the company’s website. If you know whom you will be speaking with, look them up on LinkedIn to see what their professional background is, and check their personal side on Facebook. You might find things that you have a shared interest in.
- Try and use a landline when possible. Especially if you are in a place where bad reception is a problem.
- Remove distraction’s; dogs barking, babies crying, children looking for attention; turn off the radio or television so you can concentrate on the conversation.
- Break the Ice. With some small talk such as, “how is the weather there”, is a good way to break the ice. It’s something everyone can relate to, or, if you find out some things that you share a common interest in, comment on that.
- When answering questions, be direct and answer the question. Don’t go off on a tangent unless its related to the question asked.
- Don’t bash your current or last employer when asked why you are leaving or left your last job. Always try and mention the positive things you gained or learned from your current or former employer. Offer a short, to the point reason, why you are leaving, or have left your former employer.
- Thank You Note. At the end of the interview, ask for the email address of the people you have interviewed with so you can send a follow-up note expressing interest in the position and thanking them for their time.
PRE-EMPLOYMENT TEST GUIDELINES:
Consider the Role:
Employers are trying to determine if you’ll be a good fit in the organization, and as such, they’ll be looking at your responses to questions that signal common behavioral characteristics. For example, if you’re applying for a sales job, make note of questions that ask you to assess your confidence, your persuasive nature and your communication skills. Indicating that you’re shy or reserved and that you don’t like public speaking will create a red flag for this role; responding to questions by indicating you’re are outgoing, engaging and that you are a good conversationalist who enjoys people will signify that you’re a good fit for the position.
Watch out for questions that could lead you to inadvertently contradict yourself, which could indicate you’re untrustworthy. For example, if you indicate in one response that you have exceptional time-management skills, but in another response you admit to being habitually tardy, you’ll send the wrong message. If you indicate you have a strong sense of loyalty in one response, but then admit to job-hopping in another response, again, you negate what you are saying. Be consistent with your response to themed questions.
Watch for Red Flag Questions:
Regardless of the role you’re seeking, some types of responses will cast you in an unfavorable light. Be aware of questions that speak to potential biases, prejudices or bad habits. Also watch for questions which might indicate that you are not a team player, or that you lack empathy. Your objective with this line of questioning should be to position yourself as a reliable, trustworthy, engaged professional.
Honesty will be your best approach when taking pre-employment personality tests. Even if you can manage to game the system with a few responses you think the employer wants to hear– if you end up getting the job based on calculated responses — chances are that the job won’t work out well. You’re better off giving an honest assessment of yourself than manipulating your way into a job that turns out to not be a good fit.
On the Move
Drop me a line, call, or email me if you have had a change of address, phone number, email address, or employment since we last spoke, so that we can stay in touch. If you are near retirement, retired, no longer in the electronic connector industry, or do not wish to receive this newsletter, please let me know and I will remove your name from the mailing list.
Keeping Our Data Base Current
To keep up with our growing database, and in order to be able to contact you with potential career opportunities, we must have an electronic copy of your resume on file. Therefore, if you have not already emailed me a copy of your most recent resume, please do so in Word format. Your resume will be kept in our files and never be sent anywhere unless we first speak with you about the potential opportunity.