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People Are Your Greatest Asset

Remember it is much more important to recruit the right person with the ability to learn and improve, than the wrong person with all the skills and qualifications. So how do you choose wisely?

Know what you need

To ensure the success of your recruitment process, you must have a real understanding of all the issues, priorities and company deliberations relevant to the role.

And don’t assume that this is a “No Shit Sherlock” consideration. Many companies do not have an accurate understanding of what specific skills are fundamental to the success of their managers. Particularly when those skills reside in the supply chain arena. And when you do decide ensure that your wish list is realistic. If you go out looking for Superman you will rarely find him, but you will scare off many excellent people along the way.

The following are all examples of expertise you may need to bring on board.

Don’t take for granted the fact that your financial construct has sufficient understanding of supply chain considerations. Consider whether your budgets, forecasts, charts of accounts, expense management and even risk mitigation, incorporate an appropriate understanding of operational productivity, supply channel management, utilization of materials handling equipment etc. And also the extent to which this information translates into informative, pragmatic instruction to operations personnel.
Succession Planning
It can’t be taken for granted that managers who deliver profit and performance will also ensure that your business has a quality future when they move on. A genuine measure of success is often derived from what happens when people leave. The manager you want is the one who effectively prepares for the day he is no longer there. And it’s not a skill you can take for granted. It can be achieved temporarily by the manager who works 12 plus hours every day, and gains the admiration and respect of everyone. But almost inevitably when they go so will your medium / long term security. It is often the one who appears to be doing least is the one who is securing your future success. By implementing process, establishing succession plans, delegating effectively, and ensuring everyone’s focus on the most important deliverables.
In today’s world most companies have appropriate technological competency. Whether that be by way of permanent staff or insourced contractual assistance. However it can neither be assumed nor expected that your computer whiz also has a real understanding of the requirements of your supply chain, and the necessity for operations, finance, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and human resource managers to collaborate and produce consolidated outcomes. Either find a whiz who does, or ensure that he/she is receptive to input from others. If they operate in a vacuum it could cost you a lot of money ….. and lost business!
Corporate Construct
You will recruit from a significant number of business sectors. SME’s, major privately owned and operated organizations, public companies, and entrepreneurial businesses. All different in the way they are constructed and managed. All containing unique issues, opportunities and challenges. And it is not always easy transitioning from one to the other. Your senior executive from Qantas may have great difficulty coming into your SME (or vice versa). Not always but certainly often. Make sure you know before you appoint. They may all have the ability to succeed. But if they are coming into a different environment they will need assistance.
Supply Chain Planning
In the early 80’s “old Fred in the warehouse” was often the closest thing companies had to a supply chain expert (a direct quote in 1986 from a very senior CEO). Don’t assume that your operations guru also knows how to construct supply channels, engage with all internal and external stakeholders to maximise potential benefits, minimize inventory, and achieve a sensible balance between expenditure and customer service levels. The potential benefits can be (to say the least) very significant.
Personality & Culture
Nothing is more important. Our recommendation is always to weight your decision with genuine consideration for the “right” person, which may not be the one with all the qualifications and skills. If you get both you win first prize, but it is not always possible. Your correct choice will enthusiastically and successfully engage with all personnel, be genuinely motivated by what you do and how you do it, be prepared to listen and compromise when necessary, but also be capable of administering tough love when required. Everybody can learn new skills. But changing who you are is a very different challenge. Profiling is a great tool to lead you in the right direction.
It is not always easy to employ someone you may consider to be “too senior, or overqualified for the role”. And yes there is always the risk that you may employ them and they may leave. But please don’t automatically reject them. There are literally thousands of very talented and capable people out there who are very happy to take a step backwards in order to achieve an opportunity, improve their life quality, or make a career U-Turn. It does require frank and open discussion, or in our words some “tactless communication”. But don’t be afraid to open that door. The benefits can be enormous.
Is a minefield. From a candidate’s perspective it should be acceptable for them to promote what they believe they are worth. Conversely employers’ have to attach a value to a role, and are often appropriately constrained by governance and relativity.Whilst salary is always a very significant factor, we believe that today’s work force is (often) genuinely motivated by things other than how much money they’re going to get. At least in the short term. Job satisfaction, quality of life, personal improvement, and the ability to achieve greater goals are all very real considerations.
So don’t be put off by someone saying that “money is not their major consideration”.
From an employer’s perspective it is crucial to be able to factor into the decision making process the real value of the “right” person. $10,000 is a lot of money. In many companies the result of a $200,000 sale. However the upside of a special person, and the financial horrors of investing substantial time and resource into someone only to have them leave or fail should not be ignored.So be prepared to consider a financial investment in the future.Ultimately if you can’t strike a mutually beneficial deal don’t risk it. And don’t try to compromise and work around it. It will be exposed very quickly, usually to everybody’s detriment.
Ensure that your process
  • Communicates the skills and commitment you require
  • Delivers you people with both ability and cultural fit.

Lastly, please make sure you promote your business in the recruitment process.

If you want good people you have to work hard at attracting them. You want them to come on board excited and enthusiastic. And you won’t succeed if you fail to convince them that your business will enhance their future opportunity and contribute significantly to their personal objectives.

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