Gentex Corp. is looking to hire nearly 40 engineers; may also hire more production workers

Automotive supplier Gentex Corp. is trying to make its recruitment process more convenient and confidential in its latest efforts to recruit between 30 to 40 engineers for its Zeeland plant.

Bruce Los, Gentex vice president of human resources, says engineering applicants are encouraged to apply online at the company's website  by Monday, Nov. 23 to be considered for an interview. After recruiters conduct an initial screening of the applicant's credentials, qualified candidates will be contacted for private interviews on Thursday, Dec. 3 in Grand Rapids.

The company is looking to fill electrical, software, computer, and technical engineering project positions due to rising sales.  Applicants must also hold a bachelor's degree in engineering.

"At job fairs, we'd get 600 people lined up, but people happily employed don't want others to know they are poking around a bit," Los says.  Rather than risk tipping their hand to co-workers or employers, the candidate might avoid the job fair altogether, he adds. Others may not be able to break away from their job for a day to attend a fair or have the time to drive to the company's Zeeland headquarters for an interview.

"This is a way to test drive (contact with Gentex) and get to know us a bit," Los says. "We have not exactly recruited this way. It's based on feedback we've gotten back from candidates that, again, in this economic environment, it's risky if you do have a job to be out looking around." 

After shedding nearly 500 jobs over the past year and a half, the manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and commercial fire protection products has begun hiring production workers as well. Since July, Gentex has called back from between 100 to 150 workers who were laid off last December, Los says.

"Sales are going very strong right now," Los says, noting sales of the company's smart beam optimization system and rear camera display mirror are among the leaders. "But with the coming holidays, we're cautious about not bringing on too many people. We'll wait and see how orders progress after the year."

The additional hires would join a Zeeland workforce of 2,300.

In its financial results released for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, Gentex reported a 33 percent increase in net sales on a sequential, quarter-to-quarter basis, from $117.3 million in the second quarter of 2009 to $155.7 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Source: Bruce Los, Gentex Corp. vice president of human resources, Zeeland;
Gentex website. 

Sharon Hanks is the innovation and jobs news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at sharon@rapidgrowthmedia

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