Spotlight: Jarrod Hillman, CTS – President of Hillman Audio Video Inc.

In my biweekly blog series, I am highlighting some of the incredible people who work for the Audio Video Industry. In this post, we are profiling Jarrod Hillman, CTS. Here is a brief introduction.

20190821 180725Jarrod Hillman, CTS – President of Hillman Audio Video Inc.

1. Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?

As people do, I fell into AV. During a career change, I accepted a position with a local Rentals & Staging AV company. I started there as a rental technician. After I learned a bit about the industry, my construction background was useful on the integration side. Specifically as an installation technician, and then manager. I gained my entry and very limited experience in that time. Following another career move, I was forced into freelancing for myself, this is where Hillman AV started and we have grown ever since.

2. What do you think are the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry?

The biggest challenge facing those that want to join the industry are the lack of a clear direction or career path. Even in my time, the mentality of career development has come a long way. However, because many of the positions in our industry are unregulated, career development is left up to the employer. I mean, this is all assuming that potential candidates are even aware of the industry.

3. What are the positives of working in this industry?

Community. Hands down, the AV community is one of the most supportive group of peers around. Especially if you get involved. The online community a.k.a. #AVtweeps can be found daily, discussing the latest trends, challenges, innovations and even some online bantering for fun.

20180626 085401[RELATED] : If you have missed any of my previous interviews, please click here.

4. What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent?

If I could change anything in the industry it would be to try and improve standardization. Between manufacturers, and integration companies we seem to constantly be battling to stay relevant by holding hostage methods, buzzwords or other proprietary ways of doing things. The negatives are an inability to provide a broader spectrum of systems to clients without risking losing support from manufacturers.

5. Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you?

My ideal client is an adopter. Someone that is not afraid to expand into new technologies and pushes for a an organization buy in. They see the technology as a way to improve their workflow and productivity. They then start to shape existing processes and workflows to blend with the new efficient technology.
Before hiring us, clients should know that we will work hard to ensure they are getting best value. We view all clients as partners and work to secure a long lasting and loyal relationship. We sincerely want to be part of the success with their organization.

6. If you were going to start over, what would you do differently ?

There isn’t anything I would do differently in regards to my involvement with the AV industry. What I would change knowing what I know now, is building a process, setting goals and other internal challenges that we have solved in the last 3-5 years. This could have made my startup much easier, but live and learn.

7. Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?

I’ve recently taken to making my bed each morning. It feels like I leave my house and have already accomplished something! Aside from that, I try to process my email first thing and in an efficient manner, then I dig into my day. I try to avoid emails and social media. “try” It’s difficult with such an active #AVtweeps community. I am big on scheduling out my day, from appointments to tasks, it structures my day otherwise things are chaotic.

8. Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?

We are an Office 365 organization so I am heavy into their platform of collaborative tools. To-Do, Calendar, Planner, Outlook and OneNote are the most common. As an avid notebook user, it took me a bit to convert to digital, but I love the use of my pen with my MS surface. This gives me the writing and doodling satisfaction while storing and saving everything digitally. If I were to point directly at a software game changer, I can hands down say D-Tools SI Integrator as an organizational software changed our business and made us incredibly more efficient. I would recommend that to anyone and everyone in the SMB size.

9. How do you stay relevant in this industry?

Let’s assume first that I am “relevant.” Haha I am constantly trying to stay current, I get involved and put myself and my opinions out there. Then I sit back and am receptive to the conversation whether I agree or not. I think this allows people to be able to trust our discussions and respect me as someone that would at the least be up to talk about it.
I have a passion for marketing and the game of it. I run all of our marketing strategy and so I do quite a bit of research on current trends and methods. This helps ensure we are putting out relevant content at the least.

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