Brainard Pivots to Open Interviews for Jobs

GIRARD, Ohio – Brainard Rivet’s shipping manager came up with a fresh idea for attracting talent while visiting a local donut shop.

“You see a lot of fast-food places trying open interviews. I always see the managers at Dunkin sitting in the lobby interviewing people,” said Phillip Minniti Jr., shipping manager at Brainard Rivet and a student at Youngstown State University.

Why couldn’t it work for us, he thought.

Phillip Minniti Jr.

Minniti personally conducted group tours of Brainard Rivet’s plant at 222 Harry St. SE in Girard and short screenings of applicants for a shipping associate position that he would supervise.

“People can read a help-wanted ad and easily be intimidated or put themselves down and think they can’t do the job,” Minniti said.

Instead, he figured if applicants could come in and see first-hand what Brainard Rivet is about and have the opportunity to sell themselves in-person, it was worth giving this interview format a try.

A deeper pool of candidates

Local manufacturers have plenty of good jobs available, they just need hard-working candidates to fill them. Brainard Rivet, a maker of rivets and specialty fasteners for automotive, cooperages, distribution, railroad and other industries, is no different. The company is looking to hire a shipping associate and a machinist.

Brainard Rivet, founded in 1916, employs 29.  It is a member of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, an industry sector partnership focused on workforce development.

Leslie Phillips

The company believes in satisfying customer requirements through continuous improvement both on the plant floor and the back office. The hope is that the open interview strategy will bring in a larger pool of job candidates.

Leslie Phillips, director of strategic planning, says there has been a significant influx of applicants since they have offered open interviews. Hiring managers want to offer an opportunity to meet candidates in-person rather than solely relying on who they are on paper.

In the last few years, Brainard Rivet has been trying to be more proactive with candidate recruitment to fill positions before current employees retire. Many manufacturing occupations are in high-demand, and Brainard Rivet offers great benefits packages and the unique perks of being an employee-owned company, Phillips says.

Pictured at top: Brainard Rivet manufacturers rivets and fasteners for the agriculture, distributor, energy, furniture, healthcare, mining, railroad, transportation and general metalworking industries.