Kitchen & Bath Design News

JAN 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, just as manufacturers and retailers do. Another tech trend he's following closely is virtual reality. "Be ahead of the game and learn how it works," he advises. The same can be said for augmented reality. You'll want to know what both can do for your business and how to maximize their potential for increasing your sales. "There has never been a time in our in- dustry when customers have been as knowl- edgeable and demanding as they are now," the BKBG executive adds. "We need to ensure the showroom operates as a finely-tuned machine when it comes to communicating. Those who streamline their processes and over-communi- cate will ultimately be the most successful." That applies to your suppliers and trades, as well, he recommends. "Fantastic subs are worth their weight in gold. When you have them on your team, be sure to treat them like a precious asset. Send thank-you cards or a small gift occa- sionally to show your appreciation." With fewer and fewer millennials opting for trade careers these days, holding on to the ones you have and work well with becomes increasingly important to your business. Cohn also recognizes the importance of taking care of employees. "Make work a place where people want to be," he stresses. It's much easier and more profitable to take care of a good employee than training a new one, he points out. FOR EMPLOYERS AND JOB SEEKERS It's Joe McElmeel's job to help you find key employees. The chairman and CEO of Brooke Chase Associates is an industry recruiter whose clients include showrooms, distributors, buying groups and manufacturers. "Contact names are easier to obtain than ever before with the plethora of internet sites available today," he observes, but this has gener- ated a trend of more unqualified respondents. Finding and attracting qualified talent actually becomes much more time-consuming, and hiring the wrong candidate can have far greater consequences. It's important to know what you want and need, and to measure "cultural fit," he says. "Most hires fail b ecause of this factor," he reports. It's especially crucial when there's a relocation involved. Several societal and demo- graphic trends make those more challenging to get right: "Relocation has become a serious is- sue because of the dual-income family; a spouse who is a licensed professional in one state and the license is not reciprocal in the state to which they are to move; a spouse that is the caregiver of an older parent; children at a certain point in school, especially the senior year of high school; and the actual cost of relocation to the employ- er." If the move isn't good for the whole family, the candidate will decline, he notes. Employment searching is not easier today from the job seeker's side either, he comments. "Ten years ago, responding to a job posting was a practical way to find your next position. Recently, I have heard [of ] individuals answer- ing hundreds of postings without a single call or email." You may have experienced some of that frustration yourself. "Job seekers who an- swer ads and wait for the phone to ring are in for a very long gap in employment," McElmeel cautions. So what's the answer? "Professionals need to use their network more effectively than ever," the recruiter advises. "I recommend making a list of or- ganizations for whom you would be excited to be an employee," he suggests. Then use your network and online tools to connect with people who can refer you to the hiring executives within each organization. "Focus on the company leadership; they will send you to HR eventually. However, when they do, you are more likely to be called for an interview." If you're new to the field, McElmeel recom- mends joining local and national industry asso- ciations; join the local Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development Commission; get involved in charitable organizations as a great networking (and good deeds) opportunity; and get your work published (there are numerous student competitions if you're just graduating this year). "Facebook and LinkedIn are overused," he states. Once you get an interview, he advises, "Be aware of market trends, style trends in design and finishes, and new and innovative trends in product technology." He suggests putting together a presentation piece for the interview- ers, and being prepared for more committee or group interviews by clients. LAST WORDS Whether you're looking for a new job, new pro- motion or new business, tracking trends will enhance your success. Look for a year's worth of them in KBDN throughout 2018. ▪ Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS is an independent designer in San Diego, the author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work and the New Bathroom Idea Book (Taunton Press), and a design journalist, NKBA Chapter Presenter and industry consultant. Her website is She was just named one of Kitchen & Bath Design News' 50 top innovators. Hansgrohe uses Katie Couric in a Novità- produced major media influencers campaign. Getting involved in charity work is a good tip for job hunters – and everyone else. Augmented reality technology lets clients see products virtual- ly placed in their rooms before buying them. Millennials often choose social media recommendations above those from friends and family. Photo: Novità Photo: National Kitchen & Bath Association Photo: Photo: Novità 56 Kitchen & Bath Design News • January 2018 TREND SPOTTING

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