Global Fastener News

1997 FIN – McCall: Study Math For Your Fastener Future

November 25
00:00 2009

1997 FIN – McCall: Study Math For Your Fastener Future

2001 FIN � Stein New McCall CEO
November 28, 2001 FIN – Tom McCall & Associates president Jodi Stein was promoted to CEO and operations manager Beverly Schoeling was promoted to vice president of operations and COO.

Stein succeeds Tom McCall, who founded the Olympia Fields, IL-based fastener executive search agency in 1949 and died October 17, 2001, at age 84.

Collectively, Stein and Schoeling have over 30 years of fastener industry recruiting experience. ©2001/2009 Fastener Industry News

Editor’s Note: Tom McCall started placing people in fastener jobs after being in the Air Force during World War II. On May 18th he will celebrate his 50th anniversary in the recruiting business and his 80th birthday at a Chicago art gallery reception.

April 22, 1997 FIN – “I’d take all the drawing and shop courses I could and all the math I could,” Tom McCall replied when asked to advise high-school students wanting a fastener career.

“Math is a requirement now even for some menial jobs,” McCall emphasized. “And you can’t bluff your way through math.”

“The time has passed when someone without a formal education could walk in off the street and get a machine operator’s job,” McCall noted. “Many so-called ‘blue collar’ positions now require computer literacy and advanced math skills.”

McCall who still shows up to work every day at Tom McCall Executive Search in a southern suburb of Chicago, also has advice for employers: “Make a plan for hiring rather than hiring by accident.”

Too many employers start talking about hiring, may even interview, and then “let good people get away by dawdling. Pick a benchmark – say 90 days – for when you will hire. Then hire when you see the right person.”

What are applicants looking for? “One of the things we run into in presenting jobs – and this is common throughout the industry from the executive level on down – is that candidates want to know that both the company and position will still be there in a few years.”

“But in this volatile age of acquisitions and closing, that just can’t be guaranteed,” McCall added.

One of the changes McCall has seen over the years is what employers will do to keep good employees. He has observed everything from equity offers to 50% pay raises on occasion.

McCall started in the business when a friend who had been a fighter pilot was dissatisfied with the little annual pay raises at Westinghouse. McCall spotted him as a “good sales type with engineering background” and placed him with Elastic Stop Nut Corporation.

McCall long ago lost track of the number of people he has placed in the fastener industry. It is at least a 100 a year and “probably between 3,000 and 4,000 and some of them more than once.”

He has placed sons of a father he found jobs for decades ago.

Among his most pleasurable career moments was running into one man in the Kansas City Airport. McCall had met him years before and “I recognized he was way underemployed at a pharmaceutical firm. I told him ‘You should be ashamed of yourself’ and found a new job for him.

Years later when they met in the airport, the man had worked his way up to president of the firm.

Another man McCall placed as a sales rep at Huck International in 1984 is now president of Microdot in Placentia, CA. Joseph Varholick said “anyone in this business in the last 20 years certainly knows of Tom. He has placed or potentially recruited just about every leader.”

Changes Through the Decades

After World War II McCall placed mostly salespeople from his firm. He franchised 20 offices and sold that company. In the 1970’s he started handling fastener jobs exclusively.

The change in the 1980’s was “more money,” McCall recalled of the inflation era.

In the 1990’s the major change has been in distributorships. Recruiters “used to turn up their noses at anything but manufacturers. Now distributors have grown. They used to be hand-to-mouth.”

“The industry has been shrinking because of mergers and acquisitions,” McCall said. “But there’s been a significant growth on the distributor side.”

With the year 2000 less than 1,000 days away, fastener jobs of the future “are becoming more sophisticated, requiring more education whether you are on the shop floor or an outside salesperson driving a car. This will continue,” McCall predicted for the next millennium.

McCall, who routinely places people less than half his age, is talking about the future. “As foreign competition increase, domestic business must become more efficient to survive.”

Turning 80 doesn’t seem to be slowing McCall down. His partner damaged their plane by landing wheels up, so the octogenarian insists he is shopping for a new airplane. ©1997/2009 Fastener Industry News.

Related Links:

• Tom McCall & Associates

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