Value of Hiring Out of the Box Candidates in A|E|C industry 2 7 13
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Value of Hiring Out of the Box Candidates in A|E|C industry 2 7 13

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Striving for competitive advantage, A|E|C industry players are realizing that 'out of the box' or 'unconventional' candidates can bring very different business experiences and valuable contributions, ...

Striving for competitive advantage, A|E|C industry players are realizing that 'out of the box' or 'unconventional' candidates can bring very different business experiences and valuable contributions, helping their companies to get out of their comfort zones and stimulate progress. Within this article, the viewpoints of Wes Miller (Managing Consultant) and Tom Dunn (Search Consultant) are discussed as well as case studies on recent executive searches they performed in which unconventional candidates were secured.

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Value of Hiring Out of the Box Candidates in A|E|C industry 2 7 13 Value of Hiring Out of the Box Candidates in A|E|C industry 2 7 13 Document Transcript

  • T h e Va l u e o f H i r i n g ‘Out of the Box’ Candidates in the A|E|C Industry An  Executive  Search  Perspective                                                                                                                          Written  by  Sami  L.  BarryA  cross  the  Architecture,  Engineering  and  Construction  [A|E|C]  industry,  organizations  are   Associates  understands  the  value  of  looking  at   recruitment  with  an  open  mindset  to  secure  an  individual  implementing  various  strategic  initiatives  to  strengthen   who  will  not  only  be  qualified  for  a  position  but  who  will  their  competitive  advantage  and  sustain  long-­‐term   bring  dimension  to  a  role  and  elevate  its  value  within  an  success.  To  make  their  plans  as  effective  as  possible,   organization.  The  following  discusses  the  perspectives  of  forward-­‐thinking  firms  are  putting  much  effort  into   Helbling  consultants,  Wes  Miller  (Managing  Consultant)  acquiring  strong  professionals  for  critical  executive   and  Tom  Dunn  (Search  Consultant)  who  work  extensively  leadership  and  operational  level  roles  who  are  financially   with  A|E|C  clients  in  securing  professionals  for  high-­‐level  astute  and  technologically  savvy,  and  who  can  manage   operations  and  senior  executive  roles.  profitable  business  units  or  regions  and  foster  a  culture  of   When  representing  A|E|C  organizations  and  related  collaboration  and  innovation.  With  a  limited  talent  pool   firms,  what  is  the  value  of  expanding  search  parameters  and  an  aging  industry  population  impeding  their  plans  to   to  consider  unconventional  candidates?secure  these  types  of  candidates,  A|E|C  firms  are  increasingly  turning  to  ‘out  of  the  box’  or  ‘unconventional’   Miller:    First,  it  is  important  to  note  that  every  client  is  candidates.     unique  as  well  as  their  goals  and  planned  strategies  which   makes  every  search  process  unique  as  well.  That  is  why  it  There  are  many  factors  that  can  make  a  candidate   is  critical  to  begin  every  search  by  understanding  our  unconventional  and  they  range  from  the  individual’s  industry/ client’s  organization,  its  overall  short-­‐   and  long-­‐term  objectives,  its  internal  vertical  sector  experience  and   Industry players are realizing dynamics  and  its  specific  expectations  corporate  culture  mentality  to  market  perspective,  management   that unconventional of  securing  an  individual  for  the   candidates can bring very particular  role.  After  these  initial  style  and  unique  skill  sets.  In  the   discussions  with  our  client,  we  highly  competitive  landscape,  A|E| different business perform  applicable  and  C  players  are  realizing  that  these  unconventional  candidates  can   experiences and valuable comprehensive  research  and  analysis  bring  very  different  business   contributions, helping their on  market  conditions,  industry  and   vertical  market  competition,  experiences  and  valuable   companies to get out of candidate  talent  pool  and  a  host  of  contributions,  helping  their  companies  to  get  out  of  their   their comfort zones and other  factors.  We  then  discuss  the   intelligence  gathered  with  our  client  comfort  zones  and  stimulate   stimulate progress. and,  together  with  them,  develop  a  progress. search  strategy.  Many  times,  this  As  search  consultants  that   strategy  includes  target  organizations  specialize  exclusively  in  construction,  engineering,   that  our  client  had  not  previously  considered  and  thus  facilities  management  and  real  estate,  Helbling  &   candidates  from  outside  industries  or  vertical  markets  
  • Value of Hiring ‘Out of the Box’ Candidates in the A|E|C Industry Winter 2013 Navigator who  may  have  the  experience  and  skill  sets  to  add   Dunn:    The  majority  of  our  clients  understand  that   immediate  value  to  the  role  and  to  our  client’s   intangible  leadership  skills  and  personality  traits  are  all   organization.  In  essence,  we  take  what  could  be  a   translatable  to  other  industries.  They  also  know  that  an   traditional  recruitment  process  and  turn  it  into  an   unconventional  candidate  will  have  to  recognize  that  he   untraditional  recruitment  process  to  ensure  that  we   or  she  will  need  to  learn  new  target  markets,  conditions  of   explore  all  options  of  candidates  who  can  bring  value  to   those  markets,  the  competition  within  those  areas  and   our  client.  By  taking  the  time  at  the  onset  of  a  search  to   potential  customers  of  which  they  may  have  limited   define  our  client’s  expectations  and  to  consider  all   existing  knowledge.  An  industry  change  during  someone’s   opportunities,  there  are  more  comprehensive,  focused   career  is  always  a  precarious  situation  in  my  mind  because   and  strategic  recruitment  efforts  to  support  a  successful   it  depends  upon  the  individual’s  willingness  to  learn  a  new   outcome.     market/sector  and  accept  what  they  do  not  know  and   what  they  need  to  learn.  Getting  up  to  speed  on  these   Dunn:    To  take  it  a  step  further,  I  believe  you  have  to   things  is  not  easy  so  the  individual’s  transition  needs  to  be   consider  what  makes  a  candidate  unconventional  to   monitored  by  us  and  by  our  client  to  avoid  frustration  and   determine  how  they  can  provide  value.  Overall,   loss  of  motivation  if  the  individual  is  not  being  properly   unconventional  candidates  may  bring  new  perspectives,   supported.  The  energy  required  to  integrate  an   experiences,  strategies,  styles,  approaches  and  the  list   unconventional  candidate  is  one  reason  why  a  client  may   goes  on.  In  my  particular  experience,  if  our  client  is   be  reluctant  at  first  but  as  Wes  (Miller)  explained,  after  we   looking  for  a  senior  executive  who  can  change  the  status   provide  our  insight  on  the  intelligence  gathered  during   quo  or  enhance  its  innovation  and  competitive  edge,  it  is   the  research  phase,  they  understand  the  benefit  of   certainly  beneficial  to  open  up  search  parameters  to   opening  up  the  search  parameters. include  unconventional  candidates  who  can  strengthen  a   team  and  broaden  its  capabilities  by  bringing  a  fresh,   What  are  some  examples  of  positions  within  A|E|C   strategic  thought  process  and  general  approach.  When  an   organizations  that  are  easier  for  candidates  to  transition   organization  is  trying  to  achieve  aggressive  objectives   into  from  other  sectors? such  as  these,  it  is  imperative  for  its  senior  management   Dunn:    In  my  opinion,  the  positions  that  are  easier  for  a   team  to  have  a  progressive  mindset  and  be  receptive  to  a   candidate  to  transition  into  from  other  sectors  are  non-­‐ completely  different  and  fresh  perspective  that  an   operational,  matrix  roles  that  support  operations  such  as   unconventional  candidate  can  and  will  offer. Human  Resources,  Finance,  Legal,  Business  Development   It  is  apparent  that  the  talent  demand  will  exceed  the   and  sometimes,  Executive  Management.    In  these  types   supply  in  coming  years.  How  receptive  are  A|E|C  and   of  roles,  the  skill  sets  required  to  perform  the  functions   related  organizations  to  considering  unconventional   are  often  more  focused  on  an  individual’s  abilities  and   candidates? discipline  knowledge  and  not  their  past  industry   experience.  For  example,  a  business  development   Miller:    Some  of  our  clients  know  at  the  onset  that  they   professional  who  has  worked  at  an  architectural  firm  can   want  and  need  to  secure  someone  from  outside  of  their   often  translate  their  skills  to  a  general  contractor  or   industry  and  they  already  understand  the  benefit  of  doing   engineering  firm  whereas  an  architect  from  that  same   so.  Other  clients  can  be  initially  reluctant.  However,  after   firm  may  not  adapt  as  easily. we  perform  our  preliminary  research  and  convey  our   perspective  of  the  marketplace,  talent  pool  and  what  an   On  the  following  page  are  brief  case  studies  of  recent   unconventional  candidate  could  bring  to  the  table,  they   executive  searches  performed  by  Wes  Miller  and  Tom  Dunn   become  receptive.  It  is  our  job  to  provide  intelligence  and   for  which  unconventional  candidates  were  secured.         insight  that  aligns  with  what  they  want  to  truly   accomplish  and  they  respect  us  for  our  guidance.    HELBLING & ASSOCIATES, INC. RETAINED EXECUTIVE SEARCH C o n s t r u c t i o n   •   F a c i l i t i e s   M a n a g e m e n t   •   R e a l   E s t a t e   •   E n g i n e e r i n gPittsburgh www.helblingsearch.com 724.935.7500
  • Value of Hiring ‘Out of the Box’ Candidates in the A|E|C Industry Winter 2013 Navigator Executive  Search  Case  Study  -­‐  Business  Development  Professional  with  Heavy  Civil  Firm Wes  Miller,  Managing  ConsultantOn  a  recent  assignment,  we  represented  a  heavy  civil  contractor  that  was  looking  to  secure  a  Business  Development  professional  who  could  identify  and  develop  new  markets,  and  expand  its  presence  in  the  South  Central  region  of  the  U.S.  Based  upon  the  company’s  objectives,  this  role  entails  developing  relationships  with  senior  decision  makers  of  Departments  of  Transportation,  Airport  Authorities,  Municipalities,  economic  development  groups  and  Fortune  500  –  2500  firms.  From  our  initial  discussions,  we  understood  that  our  client  did  not  want  to  source  candidates  from  its  competitors.  Therefore,  we  immediately  established  a  game  plan  to  identify  and  attract  candidates  from  untraditional  sources  and  to  gather  referrals  from  our  industry  contacts  to  expand  the  search  strategy.  In  doing  so,  we  were  able  to  present  final  candidates  who  knew  the  target  geographical  and  vertical  market  while,  at  the  same  time,  were  diverse  in  their  experiences  and  backgrounds.  This  provided  our  client  the  opportunity  to  consider  each  candidate’s  strengths  and  potential  value.The  successful  candidate  came  from  a  transportation  owner  and  prior  to  that,  was  employed  with  an  engineering  and  construction  firm  where  he  handled  the  site  selection  for  large  corporations.  The  professional’s  strengths  are  his  general  knowledge  of  site  selection,  construction,  design,  permitting  and  sales  abilities.  More  importantly,  he  understands  how  to  solve  customer  problems,  filter  information,  gain  insight  from  outside  sources  utilizing  his  network  of  contacts  and  return  to  the  customer  with  a  solution  to  ensure  that  their  needs  are  met.  This  is  exactly  what  our  client  was  looking  for  –  a  professional  who  could  identify,  pursue  and  acquire  new  projects  through  his  strong  network  of  contacts,  develop  specific  solutions  and  present  those  solutions  to  customers.   Executive  Search  Case  Study  -­‐  Executive  Vice  President  with  an  A|E  and  Program  Management  Firm   Tom  Dunn,  Search  ConsultantThis  senior-­‐level  search  assignment  was  with  a  major  player  in  the  industry.  Through  our  initial  discussions  with  our  client  about  their  expectations  and  objectives  of  the  role,  it  was  obvious  that  we  needed  to  attract  an  extremely  relevant  and  talented  individual  who  would  have  the  ability  to  immediately  perform  in  the  highly  critical  position.  They  had  aggressive  6  –  24  month  organizational  goals  that  needed  to  be  addressed  in  a  strategic  manner.  Therefore,  we  had  to  secure  an  executive  who  was  within  our  client’s  same  industry  and  who  was  firmly  entrenched  in  their  current  organization.    Working  closely  with  our  client,  we  developed  a  comprehensive  strategy  to  ensure  that  we  would  identify  all  potential  candidates  within  the  industry  while  keeping  the  process  highly  confidential.  We  performed  exhaustive  research  on  high-­‐caliber  candidates  from  major  industry  organizations.  Through  gathering  this  intelligence,  we  provided  our  client  the  option  of  securing  leadership  from  a  traditional  firm  or  securing  someone  from  a  parallel  industry  who  would  bring  fresh  ideas  and  approaches  to  significantly  re-­‐engineer  the  business.    While  we  were  able  to  attract  several  key  industry  executives,  our  client  was  interested  in  one  particular  candidate  who  was  highly  qualified  for  the  role  and  was  employed  with  a  leading  industrial,  process  and  power  company.  He  was  considered  a  traditional  candidate  regarding  his  experience  and  capabilities  but  an  unconventional  candidate  because  of  his  personality  and  management  style.  A  potential  issue  was  that  he  came  from  a  very  different  corporate  culture  from  that  of  our  client  and  we  considered  him  ‘unconventional’  simply  because  of  that.    While  our  client  has  more  of  an  A|E  culture,  the  candidate  had  been  trained  within  an  E|C  culture  which  would  be  considered  more  of  a  risk-­‐oriented,  fast-­‐paced,  self-­‐performance,  and  operationally-­‐driven  environment.  Therefore,  we  had  lengthy,  candid  discussions  with  our  client  and  the  candidate  about  the  cultural  differences,  which  could  impact  the  placement’s  long-­‐term  success.  In  the  end,  our  client  selected  that  candidate  because  they  were  looking  for  someone  who  could  be  a  change-­‐agent  and  transform  their  business  and  culture.  Knowing  the  cultural  implications  up  front  and  being  prepared  to  address  them,  the  candidate  spent  his  first  several  months  addressing  operational  performance  issues  and  establishing  strategies  to  integrate  the  business  and  leverage  intellectual  capital.