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The Challenge of Finding New Talent

Aug. 1, 2007
Where will the next generation of managers come from?

Success is a double-edged sword. On the one side, business is good. Profits are up. So, what do you do to grow your business to the next step?

For the solution providers of material handling equipment, their sales and engineering teams are busily designing, preparing and installing systems. Adding qualified people to the sales and technical teams is mandatory, so that new leads can be followed-up, more territory can be covered and new projects can be supported.

For the warehouse and distribution center operators, their order selection teams can barely finish what needs to be shipped. Expansion of existing facilities or building new facilities and manning the expansion becomes part of the growth strategy. In either case, finding qualified people becomes mandatory to effectuating growth and expanding market share.

On the other side, your competition is also enjoying success. Their employees (some of whom you would like to bring to your company) are enjoying increased compensation and job satisfaction. With unemployment at historic lows nationally, the job market is tight. Excellent people are dificult to find or unwilling to make a change in their career. What do you need to know to plan an effective recruiting strategy?

  • You can call a qualified executive search and recruitment company. There are pros and cons to using a company such as mine. Call me and we can discuss.
  • You need to set up a recruitment team within your Human Resources department and management team. The team will be responsible for identifying qualified candidates, receiving the resumes and contacting the candidates for initial interviews.
  • Be realistic. The team needs to do a salary survey to find out if your compensation and benefit plans are competitive. Frankly, too many companies are behind the curve. If you are not keeping up with industry standards, not only will you not attract qualified candidates, you will be vulnerable to other companies recruiting away your best per formers. Top candidates are very knowledgeable about our industries. They talk to others at various companies and have their own network of information.
  • Be realistic. Clear, concise descriptions of each job have to written. The team also has to write down the levels of experience and skill sets necessary for prospective candidates.
  • Be realistic. Be sure that the candidates you want match up with the compensation you are really committed to offer! Too often, companies have told me that they are looking for very qualified candidates with many years of experience. Then, they tell me what they want to pay. Their expectations are far removed from reality, to say the least. What they should be telling me (or your team) is: find the best available candidates for our level of compensation. Unfortunately, even those candidates may not be good enough to fill the needs of the company.
  • Be realistic. Know your company's competitive position in the marketplace. Top candidates want to go to top companies. They have strong self-esteem earned through years of effort and success. They want to work for and represent companies they will be proud to associate with. When appraising your company's image and reputation, ask trusted industry friends for their opinion of your company. You do not want to overreach for candidates nor underestimate your company's appeal.
  • Be realistic. Leave your team a substantial time frame to find the right candidates. If you need someone to fill a position tomorrow, you should have started looking 90 days ago. Some positions may take up to six months to fill with the right person. Today's job market is tight and highly competitive.
  • Your company should always be recruiting. It's a necessary and continuous process that never ends. While it may be painful to contemplate, some of your best people will leave you to work for your competition or to leave the industry. This is part of being in business.

The Dorfman Group specializes in executive search and nationwide recruitment of professionals in the Material Handling, Logistics, Distribution and Packaging Equipment industries. President Mike Flamer manages the recruitment efforts for company. He is the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Materials Handling & Management Society.

You can reach Mike at [email protected] or go to his website: Or you can phone him at (480) 860-8820.

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