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Heavy equipment simulators: A powerful tool for recruiting operator candidates

Updated: Mar 11


One of the biggest challenges that mines, aggregate operations, construction contractors and municipalities face today is finding candidates to fill positions for heavy equipment operators. One elegant way to solve this problem is to use PC-based simulator as a recruiting tool at local job fairs and high school career days.

Easy to set up PC-based simulators, like the ones VISTA sells, are highly portable. They consist of a high-end laptop (with a dedicated, high speed video card), a flat screen, a set of gaming controllers and a set of small external speakers. This equipment doesn't take up much space, and can be easily set up on a tabletop in as little as 10-15 minutes.

What's the attraction? The sound and moving images on the screen attract passers-by, and soon there's a small crowd gathered around the simulator. This gives you an excellent opportunity to strike up conversations with young people about their career plans, and to tell your company's story.We've seen a similar dynamic at work at trade shows. Many young people have been raised on video games and they can't resist an opportunity to sit down and try the simulator. Often, the operator's colleagues will tease him, especially if he makes a mistake.

Capturing candidate information For those candidates who are interested in learning more, you should have something to give them - a business card and a company brochure would be the best. You should probably also have some means of recording their information; typically, students and out of work adults don't have business cards they can give you.

Make it viral One way to enhance this simulator demo is to take pictures of each person who operates the simulator. Give each participant a number and the web address of a photo gallery where they download their image and easily share it on their social media channels. When they do so, their peers will see it, and that may spur additional candidates to reach out to you. Interested? See: Simulators for Heavy Equipment

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