Career Brakes: Brake Companies Have To Do Better Telling Their Stories


DRESDEN, Germany – Several C-Suite Executives attending EuroBrake 2019 asked me if the U.S. marketplace has as tight a labor market as they hear.

I told them, yes. Not only is unemployment at historic post-war lows, but the market for newly minted engineers and MBA graduates is especially tight.

Companies looking to not be left out in the cold by top talent must, of course, compete for talent with salary, benefits and a streamlined recruiting process that does not leave candidates hanging, but they must also attend to some basics that many supplier companies neglect.

When I look at websites of companies covered by The Brake Report, I often see out of date, incomplete websites that do a bad job of telling the company’s story or don’t even try. This is a bad strategy.

Your website is your calling card. It’s your storefront. Its the first place that job applicants go when your company first appears on their radar either from a recruiter, a university job fair, etc. I go to some websites where the last press release is from 2017. Really? I go to LinkedIn pages of some companies we cover, and there is no thought leadership at all.

Every company working in this industry has a story to tell about its technology, culture, philanthropy, management, thought leadership, contribution to finished products, etc. If you don’t have stories to tell, why are you in business?

I know that suppliers are trained to keep their mouths shut when it comes to their contributions to OEs or their private label customers. But there are creative ways to tell your story within the bounds of restrictions if you invest in the right people or outside resources to navigate the pathway to telling your story.

There were many companies represented at the booths at EuroBrake with good stories, but no representations on their websites in the form of releases, photography, videos, etc. I didn’t notice a lot of exhibitors taking advantage of the event much further than the location itself.

A lot of brake companies are run by engineers who are not trained or focused on marketing, so it is not surprising that many companies keep their light under a bushel basket.

But if you want top talent to put your company on their radar, you can’t make it so hard for them to know exactly what you do and how good a company you are running.

Have a question about managing your career within the brake industry? What about attracting and hiring the best talent in the marketplace? Send Brian a note at [email protected].

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Brian Hagman is President of Hagman Search Group and Founder/Publisher of The BRAKE Report, an online media platform dedicated to the automotive and commercial vehicle brake segments. Brian’s mission is to inform, engage and connect the most avid members of the brake community.