Avoid Costly Mistakes Building Management Team

Anybody who plays golf eventually ends up with a bag full of odd clubs. Some of these extra clubs have been gifts, some are handed down and some may be “mistakes” the golfer purchased.

ttnewsGrowing tired of lugging around his overloaded golf bag, one smart linkster finally admitted, “You gotta know when to ‘declub’ — when it’s time to pick your best performers and then get rid of the ones that don’t help your game.” This same exercise is often necessary for corporate management teams. Some talents have been passed down or picked up along the way. Several may be hiring “mistakes.” A few come, make their marks and then leave to pursue other goals. Some team members are solid contributors. So how do you know you have the right people and when do you start to “declub” your management team — and at what costs?

As a national average, the costs of replacing a manager range from $48,000 to as much as three times his or her annual salary. This figure doesn’t reflect lost productivity while the position is being filled, loss of specialized knowledge and possibly low morale as a result of losing an upper-level manager. This national average does not figure in advertising costs, lost time necessary for interviews, clerical and administrative tasks and the costs of training a new employee.

Many carriers, third-party logistics providers and distribution centers often call on executive search firms to fill leadership positions, thinking that one call or a single meeting with the recruiter will set the “needed it yesterday” search in motion.

Nothing could be further from the truth — and here’s why: Unless that recruiter has spent time in the industry, there’s a broad learning curve that could easily span several weeks or even months. Unless the search firm is familiar with a business from the inside out, there’s an additional learning curve as they familiarize themselves with a specific corporate culture. Then, to connect with the right candidates, the chosen recruiter also must have access to valuable industry networks and corporate inner sanctums.

Another fact worth remembering: The best candidates are almost always employed and must be recruited. The few who are seeking opportunities have no effective way of promoting their availability or protecting confidentiality.

The following are five simple tips to assure a successful search for managers and high-level leadership:

  • Corporations initially may use traditional recruitment tools, such as newspaper ads and searching internet sites. But talent pools reached by these media only skim the surface in finding the “right” talent for management roles. Working with a qualified transportation/logistics industry specialist provides your company with the ability to recruit the best candidates from the entire marketplace.
  • The mark of any recruiter’s commitment to your search is the willingness to be available 24/7 as well as the motivation to work until the opening is filled. The best recruiters then guarantee the match. Recruiters with experience specific to the industry are usually the most successful in the shortest period of time.
  • A stellar candidate — particularly one who is employed at a competitor — doesn’t have time for qualifying interviews with the HR department before speaking with the hiring authority at your firm. A recruiter who is knowledgeable of the industry knows that time — the candidate’s and yours — is too important for extraneous steps in the process.
  • To expand a corporation’s reach into the international arena, especially with the dramatic success of NAFTA, expect the recruiter to be bilingual, experienced in the broad scope of international transportation and familiar with the current roster of key players across the borders.
  • A professional recruiter’s first priority is to identify candidates who can enhance the corporation’s vision. An equally important priority is to recruit ethical professionals whose track records document the critical difference they’ve made in another company’s growth and profitability.

Much like taking a periodic lesson from a golf pro or adding the one club you’ve needed to advance your game, finding and working with the right recruiting professional to assess and fill out your management team will make the difference between barely making the cut and consistently seeing your name on the leader board.

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