Home sweet home: Jeff Wohlgamuth returns for area tech
Jeff Wohlgamuth, a technology talent acquisition specialist with Dominos Pizza, couldn’t find anything appealing about staying in Michigan after graduating from Michigan State University in 2008. The Michigan native, yearning to live in a more metropolitan area, headed to Chicago.
“At the time, my view was that the jobs in Michigan were in automotive or stuffy business roles,” he explained. “After the move, I took a job in staffing. Living in Chicago was great because I didn’t own a car and didn’t have to drive, and there were so many opportunities in terms of things to do. I had no intention of moving back to Michigan.”
In recent years, Wohlgamuth found himself making the commute back here more frequently.
“Although most of my friends left Michigan when I did, they were slowly trickling back,” he said. “We were all getting to the point in our lives when we were having kids and raising families. The universal mindset seemed to be that raising a family in Chicago couldn’t compare to the life and family we could have in Michigan.”
Intrigued, Wohlgamuth started to take a closer look at Michigan. “I was surprised by the amount of innovation and number of interesting companies doing innovative things in Ann Arbor. From the outside looking in, you don’t see it. In Chicago, if you work in Michigan, you work for an automotive company,” he said. “There’s so much more going on that isn’t really visible until you’re here. It was eye opening to see how many amazing companies are hiring and attracting great people – and not just Michiganders – to Michigan.”
Wohlgamuth took a job back in Ann Arbor at a startup mobility company, but he had also targeted Dominos and kept an eye on their job openings. “Domino’s is incredibly innovative and is doing high tech work. It also has a terrific employment brand: It’s regarded as a great place to work.”
The perfect Dominos opportunity soon presented itself, and Wohlgamuth was hired as a tech recruiter. He joined the more than 1000 people who work at Dominos Farms –over a third of whom are considered “tech” workers. “We have a large IT staff; We just happen to be a technology company that sells pizza located on a farm versus downtown Ann Arbor,” he added.
Since joining Domino’s, Wohlgamuth has achieved success in recruiting people to Domino’s, including those who have no connection to Michigan. “My strategy is to invite them here for three to four days, have them look at houses with their family, and spend time in our community,” he explained. “My strategy is to completely flip their perception of this region.”
Wohlgamuth also encourages potential employees scared of getting “marooned” to reach out to other tech companies, so they can see there are a lot of good jobs here.
For those who want to work with him at Domino’s, Wohlgamuth offered, “Be curious. Do some research. Come to us with an innovative idea you’d like to see Domino’s offer down the road. Take an interest in what we do, and what our competitors are doing that we could implement or make better. Don’t put on a show: We love people who are true and pragmatic.”