Meet Leslie Goldschmidt!
Leslie Goldschmidt is the Western Region Recruiter with Ferguson Enterprises responsible for sourcing Entry-Level and Experienced candidates for career opportunities in Sales, Credit/Finance, Purchasing, Operations, Logistics, Internships and Management for the Western Region. Leslie is going to share with us what she looks for when considering candidates and what you need to know about Ferguson Enterprises to pursue a career with a leading distributor company!
SDSUCS : What do you look for when considering candidates for a position?
LG: When hiring for our entry level training programs, I look for the well rounded candidate. Someone who gets good grades but is also involved in extra-curricular’s, has good work experience, and gives back to the community. I’d much rather interview someone who is active and involved versus the student who just attends class and gets good grades.
I also look for someone with good communication skills. As a wholesale distributor we are in relationship sales. It’s extremely important to be able to relate to anyone who walks through the door.
Lastly I look for someone who wants to be a leader and can take the initiative. We have a great training program at Ferguson. We will teach you about our products, procedures, and computer systems. The thing we can’t teach someone is how to step up, work hard, and take on a leadership role. You either have that or you don’t.
SDSUCS: What kinds of positions are you recruiting for this Spring/Summer, and are there internship opportunities for students?
LG: We are hiring for our full time training programs, which are available across the nation as we are located in all 50 states. We are targeting students for our sales, credit, distribution, and purchasing training programs. (We will hire about 250 trainees nationwide, and about 30 for the state of California.)
We may have a few 10 week summer internships available but at this time we are primarily targeting full time hires for our summer start dates.
SDSUCS: Can you tell me what candidates should expect to be doing if hired?
LG: If hired with Ferguson you will start in our 10-12 month (paid) training program that will teach you about our company and industry from the ground up. It’s a hands on program that is broken down into 4 phases. Phase 1 starts you in our warehouse, learning the shipping and receiving part of our business. In Phase 2 you are at our sales counter interacting with the plumbers and contractors that come into Ferguson everyday to pick up the materials they need for the job site. You are learning a lot about our computer systems and our customers during this important phase. Phase 3 is at our company’s headquarters in Newport News, VA. Here you will spend 1 week learning “big picture” Ferguson and interacting with other trainees from all over the country. During phase 4 you are developing skills in your main area of interest whether it be sales, purchasing, distribution, or credit. At the end of the program you will be ready to step up and make an impact within the organization. And this is just the start as we have a merit based company which promotes individuals based on their work ethic, not on their tenure.
SDSUCS: What are the benefits of working for your company?
LG: Ferguson is a company that hires your for a career, not just a job out of college. We promote about 90% from within and can do this because of our great training program. We have had 6 CEO’s since 1953, 5 of which started right out of college with Ferguson in our entry level training program! We are in all 50 states so whether you want to remain in CA or relocate to another area of the country, you can do that with Ferguson. We have an amazing culture which makes working fun. We celebrate successes, give back to the community through many programs that we partner with, and believe in the “work hard, play hard” mentality.
SDSUCS: Is it possible to work up within the company? And how does one go about doing so?
LG: As mentioned above we are a merit based company and promote about 90% from within. It’s all about your work ethic with Ferguson. Your commitment and determination won’t go unrecognized!
SDSUCS: Is there anything else you would like to share with students about working for Ferguson?
LG: Ferguson is the nation’s largest wholesale distributor in the plumbing industry and is one of the largest companies no one has ever heard of! Last year we did $10.6 billion in sales, which was up from $9.7 billion the year prior. We have 1300 locations and about 18000 associates. We are larger than Coca Cola, MasterCard, and Harley Davidson, just to name a few!