by Heidi Riley
Fastenal is an international distribution company specializing in inventory management which serves the business-to-business (B2B) sector.
They sell products and solutions such as fasteners, safety gear, masks, chemicals, hydraulics, welding, and power transmission that keep a business functioning.
“The company manufactures about 377 million products and ships 90 percent of their products using their own fleets,” says Claudia LaForme, Regional Recruiter for Eastern Canada.
“About 20,000 employees work in 3,200 locations of Fastenal in 25 countries, and there are over 520 specialist occupations within the company. There are opportunities in HR, safety, and solutions.”
The Charlottetown location has seven employees. “We currently have openings for at least one or two more people, and we are hiring at present,” says Claudia.
Growing your knowledge and interest on the job
“You can grow with the company – 95 percent of our leadership is hired from within. We like to hire students working on a Bachelor’s degree because they can start working part-time while still in school and grow and learn different aspects of the company.
“Many people start out as a customer supply chain representative. They learn about the company and how we do receiving, visit many customers, and discover their interests.
“After they graduate, we can offer opportunities that suit their interests. If they are interested in logistics, we can steer them towards operations, and if it is marketing, they can go in the direction of domestic, international, and government sales. We have many opportunities for everyone.”
When Claudia started with Fastenal six years ago, she was working on her Bachelor of Business degree. “I was working part-time with Fastenal, and I learned so much about logistics, accounting, administrative work, and finance, which helped me choose my path.
“Each location of Fastenal is run like a small business, making their own decisions and doing their own selling and logistics with the support of the multinational company. When you are a student working with the company, you can learn a lot. You can start in two separate paths: supply chain or marketing/sales. You can grow and learn what really interests you, and you have many options.”
What skills and experience do you need to work at Fastenal?
The company runs its own school of business that helps employees grow during their years of work. “New hires do not need to know about fasteners or coding – you will learn as you go,” says Claudia. “I am still learning about new products and technology.
Students interested in an internship or part-time positions need a valid driver’s license so that they can visit the customer’s site in a company vehicle. They also need to be able to lift up to 30 pounds.
“If you are looking for a job where you can have some decision-making power and put your creativity into your work, Fastenal can be a great opportunity,” says Claudia, and adds that 95 percent of the company’s leadership roles are promoted from within. “We take care of our employees, and we make sure they grow towards the path they want to take.
“Working with Fastenal is a great way for students to grow and learn about the B2B sector. Our work schedule is very flexible. The stores are open from 8 to 5 pm – no weekends or evening work is required.
“If you are interested in working at Fastenal, visit the Charlottetown location and speak to General Manager Christopher MacDonald or ask student employees about how they combine their studies with working at Fastenal.”