Argentus’ Consultative Approach to Recruiting for Supply Chain Jobs is attracting top companies

October 10, 2012

How we Engage and Follow Star Performers throughout Their Careers is Very Attractive to Companies fighting to Hire Top Supply Chain Jobs

I think a lot, well I think all the time really, about how to most effectively reach our target candidate audience. It’s what I do all the time – my’ raison d’etre’. My thing has always been to understand what makes people tick when it comes to their careers. My job is to figure out what’s inside people’s heads and hearts and what would potentially drive someone from a passive happy place in their career to consider a new and exciting opportunity. And boy, the opportunities  in Supply Chain Management are huge right now.

Yes I work hard to understand who and what the talent we want to represent is all about. A relationship builder with an emphasis on recruiting/talent acquisition – you might say – ‘candidate wooing’, I have taught myself and my team to focus on listening very hard to the needs and wants of the individual candidate in an effort to build confidence, trust and real understanding of what someone does in their job and where they want to go in their career.  That might sound insignificant to those not in the know in SCM, but it’s an important thing because Argentus has become well known in the Supply Chain community as the ‘go-to people who really get it’ when it comes to hiring talent in this active vertical. And, that gives us credibility in a tight knit world of experts – where, if you don’t get what a spend is and understand RFP’s, KPI’s and SLA’s and know the differences between Direct and Indirect Procurement and know what Vendor Management is, you’re sunk. And as a recruiter,  if you don’t know the whole strategic vs. transactional thing and can’t probe for the right information about what someone actually does, you can forget it.

So that’s where we focus the bulk of our hard work, on candidate Recruitment, Retention and Engagement/Relationship building. We leave the hunting/killing (raw business development I mean) to others who enjoy the chase instead of the longer game. There’s a place for us all – Thankfully, social media has been a boon for Argentus.  Strategically, we continue to benefit from using social media to gain strong client awareness within our narrow but highly active recruiting vertical. We build our customer base in a more collaborative, networking focused, less intrusive manner and time and again, companies have applauded us for that respectful manner in which we market to them.

Because our emphasis is on pursuing top performing best-of-breed SCM specialists, we follow many star performers throughout their careers. Often individual relationships spanning years and business cycles seem to be without actual direct results – but they do have intrinsic underlying value. The tremendous goodwill that goes into the marketplace from our recruiting practice results in a fabulous richness of referrals that come from these connections. They are invaluable and constantly replenishing, month after month, year after year, industry to industry, referral to referral, client to candidate, candidate to client and back again.  Based on trust and the highest confidentiality, Argentus has crucial business intelligence across all industries within Supply Chain Management. And with a deep and wide network of connections such as Argentus’, even the most seasoned recruiter would be hard pressed to replicate because we are so specialised.  

We continue to attract the best companies because we will use our industry knowledge to advise them in a consultative way to position their open roles favourably in relation to other open SCM jobs. Our customers know we work relentlessly to quickly and efficiently find them that talent at whatever level they need when they need them in Procurement/Strategic Sourcing, Supply Chain & Change Management in Business, Retail and Manufacturing. It’s a solid formula.

So I have had the whole issue of improving our reach to more and better talent in Strategic Sourcing & Supply Chain on my mind lately. Well to be truthful,  it’s on my mind a lot– Sometimes I find myself lying awake at night thinking of creative and enticing ways to get the attention of and appeal to those most elusive individuals in our extremely high demand critical skills vertical where there continues to be a huge talent deficit. As astute as we might be here at Argentus in taking the longer view rather than ‘smashing and grabbing’ – that is putting networking and referrals and relationships front and centre – like everyone we still battle to meet the demand of the SCM Permanent and Contingent talent game.

There’s no getting around it, soft economy or not, right now, here in 2013, the facts are this – Open roles vastly outstrip best talent at all levels in SCM from sole contributors to Strategic Sourcing leaders . So, my advice is simple to business leaders. Partner with really well networked recruiters who know this space well and have a great base of  deep connections.  Then, focus on working harder, faster and smarter to be more appealing and nurturing to those Logistics, Planning, Analytics, Purchasing and Strat. Sourcing types, more so than ever before in an attempt to catch their interest. Oh, and one more thought, be sure to hook that line with great bait (compensation, growth and culture score top marks to make someone move right now). It might sound crass but its a reality – No-one, I mean no-one, is making a lateral move because you’re a great company. It’s just a reality we all have to live with.

So why is it  then that over and over again as I do my background reading on how to glean new and better ideas on talent recruiting, that the same tired message kept coming up? Annette Ford (Workforce Management) wrote this about companies doing their own hiring and we come across this same thing all the time…. “We would love you to apply….takes the high potential candidate back to feeling average. Back to feeling your company is average”.  It saddens me that candidates working in critical skill shortage areas are being deterred from working for top global companies every day because job descriptions are too boring and nebulous, there is very little follow-up and feedback sometimes leaving embittered feelings, the online process is onerous and impersonal and there is still no flexibility for out of hours interview times. And –  it’s still taking forever to hire.

So – here’s the deal. If you have an inkling of an idea that you might just want to see what’s out there in the SCM job market even to confirm that you’re in just the right job situation today… Call us, knowing you will be treated in the greatest of confidence. We will fast track you. We’ll cut through all that red tape for you and go out of our way to come meet you on your schedule. We’re happy to listen to what you want in your next job and talk to your referrals because we know that even though it sounds small – 7% of applicants come from referrals, of those 40% are hired – that’s big. And we take that really seriously. Because that’s exciting.

reTHINK your career.  It’s worth a talk.

Over and Out

Bronwen

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