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Hiring a General Manager in the Manufacturing Industry.

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Joe Van Tassel 13 May 2020

A case study for finding the perfect fit

“GM Case Study” 

We’ve decided to give you a look at the inner-workings of our headhunting approach by creating some case studies. We are going to kick off this new series with one of our favorite hires to date. It was for a General Manager in the Aerospace industry, working for a contract manufacturing company. We are very proud of this candidate and what he continues to do for this company. 

Here’s a closer look at our General Manager Case Study: 

Location: Whitter, California, Los Angeles County

Company type: Contract Manufacturing

Industry: Aerospace 

Background:

This company is 55 years old with a founder that had passed away, leaving his wife to run the company. She brought on a board of directors, and went on to run the business alongside them for some time. Over the last decade they’ve had multiple leaders in place, but most recently hired someone who had great technical experience, but lacked the diplomacy and finesse needed to keep the great culture that was established. That person wasn’t able to build strong trust within the company and was not culture-focused. 

This is where we stepped in to help them find a replacement. 

Problem: 

The client wanted a Director of Operations to replace an unsuccessful leader. They wanted a team player who would collaborate with the board, and had a technical background. They needed someone to repair the morale damage and to take the business to the next level. 

Approach: 

When we first heard the company story and then got into the job description with our team, we realized that the company needed more than just a Director of Operations. They needed more of a legacy hire. Someone to really carry their flag as if it were their own company. While we found people who were an exact match on paper for what they wanted, we also went above that to look at General Managers. Our hunch was that they needed someone more high-level. 

One of the challenges was the salary allocation being a little low for someone at the General Manager level, so we addressed that with them as something to be conscious of initially. 

Additionally, we knew that the size of the company we needed to draw from would be small to mid-sized so that the new hire matched when it came to being proactive, being able to wear multiple hats, and being culture-minded. We started looking for someone egoless, respectful, highly values employees and team, and is overall likeable. 

We found four final candidates that we submitted, hitting three different levels of hire. So there were director level candidates and one General Manager candidate that was really high level, but exceptional when it came to being a perfect fit. 

The right person in our perspective had both the technical skills and the soft intangible skills. Because of the company’s prior negative experience, we knew someone who would really carry the company’s torch into the next generation would be the best option. 

When working with our client, we helped coach them on the difference between hiring for short-term, long-term, and legacy. We also talked a lot about thinking outside of the immediate requirements of the role and into more growth. How would the right person, if potentially at a higher level and pay grade be able to cultivate and grow the business compensating for that higher price tag? 

We let them decide what they were comfortable with, and are so happy to hear that the choice they made is paying off in dividends.  

An important note: our client was very flexible about seeing all candidates and taking chances, even if they thought we were reaching outside the scope they originally outlined. Staying open the entire search helped all of us find that right person. This is often the key to successfully finding the right match with or without a headhunter. 

Result: 

Our client chose the top level candidate, who is now the General Manager, and both parties couldn’t be happier. The company and candidate stayed flexible and open the entire time, which really ensured success here. The company even talked about how each of the candidates we submitted could have been a great fit, but that the final choice was the perfect fit. 

The candidate we found came from a company where he was being groomed to lead a company and replace his mentor, but saw how unhappy the lifestyle was of that future role. He was excited to move into a new position with a culture that allowed for that same leadership but with more work-life balance.  He also was happy to work for a company and family where he could really put roots down and invest long-term in the success of not just the business, but also the people around him. This move gave him and the company a legacy plan that suited everyone perfectly. 

We absolutely loved this candidate and still talk about how great he is to this day. 

Testimonial: 

“We worked with Integress to fill a hole after firing the Director of Ops. It was a tumultuous time and we hoped there were good candidates out there even though we were 0 for 2 with a previous recruiter.  We came to Integress and told Joe what we needed -a take charge person who knew what they were doing, right the ship, and solve problems.

Joe brought us what we thought were four very qualified candidates that we could offer the job to. Each interview they all got better and better. The final candidate was substantially more expensive with salary requirements than the others, but he was so good we were willing to pursue him. It would be a huge career move for this candidate coming to more of a family-owned business rather than a major player out there, and ultimately he liked the challenge of what we had to offer. He liked the idea of finishing up his career with a company like ours. 

We enjoyed working with Integress and are pleased with the company and the work they did and the candidate they got. We’re happy! If we need to work with a recruiter again, it would be Integress.”

We don’t always take a client from a Director role up to a General Manager role, but in this case it was needed. This is where the art of headhunting comes into play and getting to know the in-depth culture and story of a company is crucial. We come to love our clients and their legacies, and are driven to find them the perfect fit for the long-term. 

Summary
Hiring a General Manager in the Manufacturing Industry: A case study for finding the perfect fit.
Article Name
Hiring a General Manager in the Manufacturing Industry: A case study for finding the perfect fit.
Description
We’ve decided to give you a look at the inner-workings of our headhunting approach by creating some case studies. It was for a General Manager in the Aerospace industry, working for a contract manufacturing company. We are very proud of this candidate and what he continues to do for this company.
Author
Integress
Publisher Name
Integress
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