The Electrical Industry’s Professional Recruiter

2019 Changes and Opportunities

Egret will celebrate its 20th year later this Fall. 20 years!!! We’ve been fortunate to become the industry’s largest and most professional search firm and have been awarded the Forbes Top 250 Executive Recruiting Firms listing for two consecutive years. We’ve seen the industry grow and expand in amazing directions. Just a short list of how things have changed:

1. Technology has fueled new products, new markets, new channels, new people and new opportunities to learn.

2. Skills have changed. Many of our original clients are still clients, but the definitions of the roles in 2019 are significantly different than when we began. The requirement for technology skills is now a mandate; for all positions, at all levels of the organization.

3. Recruiting has changed. When we started, recruiting was focused on name gathering and cold calling into company phone numbers. We started when calling a cell number was considered rude; as it cost the candidate significant expense to answer a call. While we started when job boards were emerging; we chose to not use them…we earned our reputation as a firm that could find talent that wasn’t actively looking or applying to jobs or unemployed. Turns out…we were right; we’ve built thousands of relationships that endure well beyond our initial cold phone call.

4. Recruiting is harder. The pool of talent has changed; there are far fewer people available, relocation is less desirable, the skills required today often require us to look beyond the core talent pool, and the legal landscape has limited the ability to determine financial history and coordinate adequate offers.

5. The market is much bigger. With the expansion of technology into smart systems, IoT, new applications (UV, grow industry, healthcare, sensing and control technology) and new industries to recruit from…it’s like learning a new career, every day.

One thing that has remained largely intact, though…it’s still a rewarding career for us to help a good client attract quality talent and mutually grow. Our approach has always been a commitment to our clients, we will find the right talent through a careful consultative process together. Our results speak for themselves.

My thoughts throughout 2018:

1. Our Distribution and Wire/Cable markets remained solid. 

2. The Lighting industry endured a year fraught with issues: tariffs, trade wars, technology changes, acquisitions and several changes in the major players (GE, Philips, Osram, Cree all had significant changes to their position in the market last year).

3. The Power industry experienced the impacts of tariffs, as well as a decline in incentives for the solar industry and is going through a period of change as DER takes on a larger scope of opportunities. 
While I’m pretty sure the noise in the system hasn’t completely subsided, I do feel that 2019 will represent an interesting year for the electrical industry overall.

And now the future of Egret…

11 years ago, Brooke Ziolo joined Egret, at the very beginning of the Great Recession. While Brooke worked feverishly to build a client base when very few companies were hiring; she honed her skills in Lighting and has become a consistent top performer within Egret. In mid-2018, Brooke was asked to take the leadership of Egret in 2019. Brooke was named President of Egret Consulting Group effective January 1, 2019.

Egret will change, but we have a core group of outstanding performers. Our reach across the electrical industry gives us an unfair advantage over any competitive search firm; we can attract talent from any of our vertical markets and talent that has a strong grasp of the industry: channel partners, manufacturers, distributors, design firms and more. We are subject experts in our vertical markets, and our average tenure for our search professionals is over 11 years. Prudence Thompson joined as a founding member, Pati Kelly has been with Egret for 6 years and Rob, our ‘rookie’, recently celebrated four years. Each recruiter has a strong base of loyal clients who continue to rely on our expertise to help them attract talent.

Brooke has the drive to expand the company. The future of Egret is bright and the vision is clear to continue to add value throughout the industry.
As the founder and original owner of Egret, I will remain with Egret as a board member and an individual contributor. I will devote my time to the things I love to do: Executive Retained Search and oversee the Egret Consulting Services division.

So my prediction for 2019….life is wonderful.

Thank you for your personal help in making Egret a success for nearly 20 years.


Ted Konnerth,Egret Consulting Group’s founder and Chairman of the Board, recruits on a retained basis, helping leaders in the electrical and lighting industry identify their next C and V-level hire. Ted also manages Egret’s Consulting  Services division, assisting clients with Organizational strategy, Channel strategy and Succession planning. To learn how Ted can help your company view his biography, check him out on LinkedIn or email him at tk@egretconsulting.com.