From Drivers to Senior Leadership, CES Strives to Promote from Within
“An organization’s biggest potential talent source may be its own people. But why do so many organizations find internal talent so hard to access?”
The question was posed by global consulting firm Deloitte in a recent article highlighting the firm’s research on the organizational benefits of talent mobility, which is the process of tapping the company’s existing talent to fill open opportunities before looking outside.
It Pays to Promote
It’s no secret that talented people are the key to success for any business, no matter the industry. However, many companies don’t fully maximize the talent they already have when growth and expansion create the need to fill new positions.
Consider that the firm’s research discovered that organizations experiencing 10% or more growth per year are twice as likely to have excellent talent mobility than organizations not growing at all. The research also found these fast-growing companies were three times more likely to have excellent talent mobility than organizations with shrinking revenues. Simply put, it pays to promote from within.
This is not news to City Electric Supply, a company with U.S. growth fueled 99% organically and supported largely through promotions from within the company. In fact, an insider has filled every single position at the district manager level or higher in the U.S. branch network.
Why? Partly because CES is a family-owned, family-first business that values the success and growth of every employee. Another reason is that, well, it’s been working out to promote from within.
In its 38 years in the United States, CES has opened over 500 branches. Many managers of those branches started as drivers themselves. Since just 2019, 117 drivers have moved up in the company. As many of today’s CES leaders can personally attest, the entry-level driving position isn’t just a job; it’s an incredible opportunity for professional growth and a long-term career.
“Don’t look solely at the position,” advises Kevin Ramsey, a CES branch manager who started as a driver. “Look at the value of what you can do with that position — if you work hard.”
Operations Manager Brandon Bright agrees.
“I came in as a driver. I didn’t have management experience, but they were willing to train me because they saw my work ethic,” said Bright. “Do your best at CES, and your hard work will never go unrecognized.”
It’s an exciting idea. It might not be revolutionary for a company to say you’ll get out of a job what you put into it. Still, some might describe our ability to follow through on that promise as exactly that.
Keeping Their Word
“When I went to Dallas for orientation, they said they hire from within,” said Matt Buratovich, a sales representative who also started as a driver. “It sounds good — but it’s also legit. They love to promote from within.”
That’s just how the company works. The company is grown directly by the people inside of it.
New drivers come in, and experienced drivers get promoted to counter sales. From counter sales, they can work their way to outside sales. Top performers in outside sales can then set their sights on branch manager. And, there are several talented professionals over decades who have worked their way up to district manager, regional manager, vice president, and yes, even to Co-Chief Operating Officer.
Just ask Co-COO John Gray, who started as a driver in 1986.
“Our founder, Tom Mackie, knew the company’s most valuable asset is its people, which is why City Electric Supply has always put people first, and invested into the development of dedicated, hard-working employees,” said Gray. “This commitment to people has been key to our success, ensuring we have the right talent in place to step up and support our growth. I get excited when I think about the growth our team drives year after year, especially knowing so many of our top performers and leaders have worked their way up, even from the entry level.”
Bringing Insiders Up
It’s exciting to be at CES because CES is growing, but more importantly, because its people are growing. Former driver and current branch manager George “Grayson” McCraw said he picked up on this trend shortly after starting at CES.
“I didn’t see myself becoming a branch manager when I started,” said McCraw, “but I quickly learned this company is more about bringing insiders up than outsiders in.”
In fact, that’s expected.
“A new driver just started today,” said Ramsey. “I hope he’s one day sitting in this chair. It can definitely happen. You work hard and build relationships, and you’ll slide right into the seat.”
And into the next seat, and the next, and the next. It’s an incredible process, and that’s what CES wants everyone who starts out as a driver to know.
CES values its drivers and loves to promote from within. It’s an approach that has led CES to tremendous growth in the past and will undoubtedly lead to more growth in the future, for both employees and the company as a whole. Here’s to the next 500 branches — and the next 500 promotions.