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Digital marketing is transforming management roles in the print point of sale industry, and finding talented people willing to take on this challenging new environment takes a combination of strong client relationships and being frank about the challenges and opportunities in equal measure.
When a globally renowned print POS manufacturer with a turnover of £80m, faced this intersection between their traditional business model and their drive towards becoming a full service multi-channel provider, they knew they needed a very particular set of skills in their new hire.
The company had gone through their own internal recruitment process, then moved on and engaged their preferred recruitment specialists, but hadn’t found a candidate who matched their exacting brief.
When working on a high-profile assignment alongside an Internal Recruitment team and a proven string of recruiters on a well-established PSL, you must think and act a little differently. You must stand out from the crowd.
The brief for the vacancy was to find somebody that could change the mentality and thought process of internal and external stakeholders. Somebody that was talented and vastly experienced in Procurement and Supply Chain. A professional who had strong commerciality but also an understanding of the operational side of a business.
This may seem like an impossible wish list, or even a Unicorn.
Taylor Higson’s Matthew Hanley knows his market, so after seeing this position do the rounds through the run of the mill routes (industry news, LinkedIn status, etc) for a couple of weeks, he knew it was a tough assignment to complete.
Matthew says “I was aware the business was going through a period of change. I had seen this position become vacant. It was a senior role and I knew they had a set recruitment process they had to follow. When I saw the vacancy again a couple of weeks later, I knew there was an opportunity to help”.
Seizing the initiative, he made contact through the correct channels. He was told to call back a couple of weeks later. Good to his word, he respected the company’s wishes and waited two weeks before calling back.
His polite persistence paid off. The company decided to give him the chance to work on the brief. “This was it. It was my time to shine! An opportunity to work on a strategic hire for one of the biggest names in my industry.” Matthew said.
Matthew’s first conversation with the client was unorthodox. Matthew explained to the hiring manager why he felt the clients chosen candidate attraction route had failed initially. Tackling the points head on, advising and consulting on where he thought the right candidate could add value, he gained the trust of the client by his open and frank assessment, not the usual sales spiel they encountered from other recruiters.
“The client was a little taken aback, I think. They quickly realised that I wasn’t afraid to point out the challenges to them or my candidates. I think they quickly realised my approach is to listen of course, but to fully consult and advise.”
But, as Matthew says, finding the successful hire didn’t come from purely following recruitment processes. “They needed someone willing to listen to the challenging parts of the brief, someone brave enough to change the culture of a business, a culture that had been ingrained for 30 years.”
Matthew knew the key to finding the right person wasn’t just about going through competencies and behavioural interview techniques. He forged a strong relationship with the company to fully understand what they needed from their new hire. This gave him the insight to engage potential candidates in frank conversations to ensure that they were up to the challenge of communicating the company’s new direction from the ground up.
With so many aspects of the role, and as broad as it was, Matthew very diligently broke down the expectations into reality. What was essential and what was a nice to have.
Such conversations enabled a complex brief to be broken and transformed into one that was to everyone’s expectations and now a lot clearer.
Taylor Higson conducted the Market Map, they sought referrals, they did all the things a client would hope an experienced recruitment consultancy. What Matt did that others didn’t do though was to ask those challenging questions. Challenging questions that were welcomed and competently answered through appreciation for the task in hand.
The candidate hired is now revolutionising processes and procedures within the company. He had the background in working up from the production floor, and has been able to provide clear and concise communication within the business. He has successfully promoted the board level vision throughout the business and the supply chain that this is no longer just a print business, but a full marketing services agency.
Finding the right talent for this company has been instrumental in moving the business forward, and has strengthened their relationship with Taylor Higson, who have gone on to be awarded many other vacancies.