Article

LS International 03 August 2020

How to Find Your Next Superstar Supply Chain Talent in 1 Month or Less and Avoid Bottlenecks

For: VP Supply Chain of Global FMCG & Retail

COPYRIGHT LS INTERNATIONAL LLC 2020

THIS DOCUMENT IS PROTECTED BY U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT LAWS. REPRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THIS DOCUMENT WITHOUT THE WRITTEN PERMISSION OF LS INTERNATIONAL IS PROHIBITED. 

Written by: Lauren Stiebing – https://ls-international.com/

Case Study 1: Zalando – Met Director of Supplier Operations in 7 days

State 1: Need to optimize inbound logistics network in line with 2030 vision

State 2: Met top female talent in 7 days

Time Frame: 7 days

Zalando is one of the biggest fashion digital retailers in Europe. They got in touch with us in order to help them find their next Director of Supplier Operations who would report directly into the VP of Retail Operations. Zalando was on a very steep growth trajectory with their online sales and they needed a one of a kind visionary leader to optimize their inbound logistics flow in line with their 2030 company strategy. This position was particularly challenging as the individual would have to work very closely with existing suppliers to improve delivery performance as well as helping them bring product quality and safety to the next level. 

Therefore, Zalando not only needed a results-driven, flawless performance supply chain expert, but also an enticing communicator, particularly gifted at building trusting relationships.

We went to the market and we were able to share their next Director of Supplier Operations within 7 days. Of course, these individuals still needed to meet various other stakeholders, but after this process, offers were accepted 30 days later.

Case Study 2: Tom Tailor – Met next Global Head of Logistics 15 Days

State 1:  Looking to redesign and reframe the logistics set up at the company

State 2: Met top-noche candidates

Time Frame: 15 Days 

“LS International was very quick and efficient though the talent search process, it was clear very early they are FMCG industry experts and their combination of global and local insight was very useful.”

  •  Liam Devoy, COO at Tom Tailor

Tom Tailor is a global key player in the fashion industry which got in touch with us to find their Global Head of Logistics, a newly created position reporting directly into the VP Global Supply Chain. At the time, Tom Tailor was looking for a disruptive talent, who could redesign and reframe the logistics set up at the company. With a strong focus on 3PL management, outbound transportation and warehouse distribution, the individual who would take the role would have to be a in-depth, hard-won wisdom expert in the field, but also someone who had the necessary cutting-edge innovative and transformational skills to able to take on the big challenge of reinventing how Tom Tailor’ distribution set up.

With this perspective of developing a highly impactful position across all levels and markets, the inhouse Human Resources team needed support to understand the state of the market in regards to this type of talent and how that landscape could fit into their own internal structure. 

We jumped right in and in a matter of 15 short days we presented the candidate which would end up taking on the challenge.

Case Study 3: Puma – Met their Global Trade Compliance Manager in 31 Days

State 1:  Penetrate new market entry barriers

State 2: Met a top-performing candidate                               

Time Frame: 31 Days

At Puma, we are highly invested in maintaining and increasing our double-digit growth and doubling the size of the business in 5-6 years. LS International was a valuable partner when bringing in the right talent to make this happen

– Morten Wigh Krogh, Global Director Logistics

Puma got in touch with us to find their next Global Trade Compliance Manager  reporting into the Global Director of Logistics. As one of the industry leaders, Puma needed a high potential, passionate expert who could represent them across already established markets but also someone who could understand and penetrate new market entry barriers. This individual had to face the challenge of educating the whole sourcing organization, creating best practices and getting the right products into new markets inside and outside the European Union. With a proactive risk management approach, the Global Trade Compliance Manager had to deliver a clear and crisp message across all levels and simplify complex terms across multiple disciplines: 3PLs, Intelligence, Lobbying and Customs.

Puma had searched for the role for months, until they reached out to us. We were able to quickly assess the situation and understand which type of talent was desired based on the brief given. We went to the market with the aim to find this type of talent, however because of internal priorities and timelines, the leadership team at Puma requested to have the initial profiles sent later, 20 days into the search, rather than the usual 7 days.

After conducting this initial search, we challenged Puma’s initial assumptions on the conditions of the market and the talent available. Taking into account the global scope and complexity of the position, we realized their idea of the type of talent desired, was slightly inaccurate. The focus was on a very senior, experienced profile rather than on a more high potential, international background, which was a better fit for the needs of the position itself.

Puma agreed on our diagnosis, so we proceeded to shift the target of the search. We went to the market again and we were able to share their next Global Trade Compliance Manager 18 days later – an overall timeline of 31 days since the start date. This is clearly a longer process than our usual rates, but due to the complexity of the role as well as the changing brief, this was extremely quick and the client appreciated the flexible and agile performance.

 

Over 40 Companies Helped and Counting…

Now, Who is this for? 

You should read on if you are a Supply Chain VP of an FMCG company and:

  • You are aiming to transform supply chain processes and don’t have the cutting-edge talent to move things forward. 
  • You hate inefficiency and slow roll-outs, which compromise your strategic plan.
  • You did not have an effective contingency plan for Covid-19 and you have missed a tremendous opportunity to get ahead of your competitors.
  • You want to build a legacy as a supply planning pioneer, known for working with the best talent in the industry.
  • You suspect that it doesn’t take 4 months to find the right talent for your team.

 

Here is the truth:

The truth is the most streamlined, high-velocity, robust, yet versatile supply chain structures are those who have the most hard hitting, resilient and visionary individuals in place to run them. It is undeniable that it is THE way to stay ahead of your competitors while saving time, money, and not incurring any hidden opportunity costs.

However, most FMCG companies are not equipped with the skills, experience, and network to specifically recruit for Senior Supply Chain related positions. The main reason for this is that this is a highly knowledge-specific function and a lot of talent teams are more generalists and find it challenging to support such complex and foundational function within their company. 

My core concept is that internal recruiters fail not because they are not successfully trained, or aren’t dedicated enough, but because they must recruit for the entire organization at various levels and they do not have an active approach that allows them to access the best individuals for one specific function.

 

Our Background

Before we get into the steps and how-tos, here is a quick background on LS International for credibility reasons. 

For what it matters, we were founded in 2015. Our team has saved our clients millions of Euros by speeding up their executive talent acquisition process for supply chain, sales, marketing and general management positions. We have worked with Danone, Carlsberg, and Mattel, just to name a few, and we are endorsed by Patricia Corsi the Chief Marketing Officer of Bayer Consumer Health, who said:

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Lauren Stiebing and for the past 8 years, I have been identifying top talent and making more placements with the highest retention rate than anyone else in the firms which I have worked for. 

After working at an executive search firm for over two years, I realized that there must be more to executive search. It is supposed to be about people: finding the right match between job, skills, passions and that right company for each individual’s success, but it was more about making money and ticking boxes. Most executive search consultants were not thinking about long term client and candidate success, but about making quick money and moving on. 

I tried to look for executive search companies that offered a better service to candidates and clients, but I couldn’t find one with the professionalism and core values which I could align with. All the firms which I spoke to seemed to have the same short term mentality…

After being discouraged by what I found out, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create LS International.

My strategy worked so well that I started helping the biggest names in the FMCG industry by finding the right talent in the functions of supply chain, sales, marketing, and general management. Nowadays with a 92.3% success rate and a 92.8% retention rate of LS International placed candidates, we can say that our approach to executive search is helping top FMCG companies by driving growth, while at the same time saving them millions of dollars in recruitment spend. But, even more importantly, we have helped them achieve their business goals.

 

Here’s the 4-Step Process to Finding Your Next Superstar Supply Chain talent in 1 Month or Less and Avoiding Bottlenecks 

This “new way” challenges conventional executive search wisdom because the “old way” is not effective in the current business environment. The pandemic has only helped reinforce the value of the “new way” we advocate. This can also be used for the successful recruitment of other functional profiles as well. 

 

Step 1: Use a Numbers-Driven Approach to Come Up With a Strategy

Instead of thinking about getting external help or assigning a fully dedicated talent acquisition manager after too much time has been wasted, you should have a way to analyze the opportunity cost of a hire and then decide on the hiring strategy. 

Defining in advance how important a hire is, and hence the search, is key. One way to objectively do this is to use a simple expected value outcome of the project. This needs two pieces of information:

  • an assessment of the time the talent acquisition team needs to fill in the position; and 
  • the monetary value that the role is expected to add to the company. 

A useful rule of thumb is that whenever the expected value of the worker’s outcome is at least 5x the salary, it is worth making someone fully responsible and accountable for the search. This doesn’t mean you tell HR and they post the job, waiting for candidates to come to them, but having at least one individual or firm working 40 hours a week approaching the right talent. 

Not defining this before commencing the search can lead to both higher search costs and longer lead times (which in turn means higher opportunity costs due to not filling the role earlier).

Evidence of why you should use a Numbers-Driven approach to come up with a recruitment strategy:

  1. According to several studies we conducted between 2016 and earlier this year, any time that a company spends more than 71 days to fill in a role, the opportunity cost overtakes the cost of hiring an executive search firm. In our case, we have seen cases in which a company contacted us after not filling the role in over a year. If you have a well trained and specialized team, it should not take you more than two months to fill in any role.

 

Just to prove how specialization plays a key role in finding the best talent, we attach a few examples of how long it takes someone who is specialized in an industry.

 

Role Company Days to Find Candidate Candidates Interviewed
Head of European Category Manager Melitta 21 days 4
Retail Sales Channel Lead Duracell 5 days 3
Global Ecommerce Director Dairy Danone 7 Days 2
Director of Supplier Operations Zalando 7 days 8
Head of Origin Logistics Tom Tailor 15 days 4
Global Trade Compliance Manager Puma 38 days 4

 

  1. Let me give the example of a Supply Chain Director that we recently placed. 

This individual’s total salary was 200K and his main task was to save the company 5M Euros in the next 2 years. This means that the total outcome value to salary per year is 2.5M Euros. If we introduce these numbers into our model we can see that the ROI is 798.9% and this means that the company did the right thing putting an executive search firm as soon as possible to find this individual in the fastest way possible. Check it out in the image below. 

 

Now, a lot of people might think that these numbers are awesome but that the ROI would be even bigger if they do not get external help to fill in the role, and they are right but there is something that everyone should consider, the opportunity cost of not hiring this individual. In order to analyze this, we have created what we call, the Speed Breakeven Point. The speed breakeven point tells us how many days, the opportunity cost of not having this person performing the job, outweighs the extra cost of getting external help. 

In our Supply chain Director example, the Speed Breakeven point is 3.87 days. Even if by incurring extra cost, you are able to find this person 4 days earlier, a savvy executive should make the decision to hire external help. 

Check out the speed breakeven in this example in the model below.  

 

Frequently asked questions:

  • Is there a formula that you use?
    • Yes, we use an ROI calculator which incorporates a probabilistic method to calculate the return on investment that hiring this role will bring to the organization, and we compare it with the time that it takes for an executive search firm to complete the process. 

  • What is the Speed Breakeven?
    • We identify the speed breakeven point as the number of days in which the opportunity cost of not hiring the right candidate equals the extra amount that a company needs to pay for hiring an executive search firm. 

 

Step 2: Use Outbound Search Instead of Inbound 

Using job boards would require the HR team to spend days or weeks to filter profiles, which results in slow execution and time-to-hire. The main reason for this is that usually the best candidates are not actively looking for new opportunities, since they are too busy leading their team, overachieving their targets. Even if they do see the post, they have a very attractive career development plan in place and most cases are that they would not apply. Think about it, when was the last time you directly applied for a position? 

Targeting candidates at competitor companies will mean that you will be able to outperform them faster than if you hired average talent, which are usually the ones applying for jobs. The high complexity that supply chain inherently possesses is second to no other function, therefore its talent must be up to par. You know what that means? Active job-seeking candidates might not be enough.

So, forget about posting jobs and start approaching candidates directly, this will result in better quality hires, lower time-to-hire, and better short-mid and long term results. 

Evidence of why outbound search leads to better quality profiles:

  1. We have a client which specializes in tech fashion and they asked us to approach companies which were also in the fashion industry, we did this within 1 week, and we were able to provide candidates for their Director Supplier Operations position. As of August 2020, the company’s partner program GMV grew over 100 percent compared to the same period last year and the volume of items shipped through the platform grew 180 percent.
  2. In this specific case, it was very important for our client to start competing as soon as possible and start seeing a fast return on their investment.
  3. We completed a survey with talent and hiring managers which said that 86% of their top-rated executives came through a recommendation or targetted hiring. Only 14% of successful hires of executives came through traditional job posting and application submission.

Frequently asked questions:

  • How do I manage my time doing outbound search with my regular day-to-day job on top? 
    • This is quite challenging. Most people look into hiring support so that they can use their time to devote to what they are good at, instead of starting to build a global network from scratch. Also, you can talk to HR so they can specialize a few recruiters in that functional area of expertise. 
  • What if the candidates we approach do not answer? 
    • As long as you use a multichannel approach, we believe you will get the right level of responses. We have a 90% response rate of candidates and our experience tells us that there is always a way to contact candidates as long as you use the right approach. 
  •  What if the opportunity at hand isn’t a better offer then what they are currently doing? 
    • This will be discovered in the interview process, this is why it is very important to make sure you have the best individuals conducting these candidate interviews. Without the best individuals approaching them, they will not be able to explain why your opportunity is a better offer than their current career plan. 
  • What if we are not able to approach competitors? 
    • An executive search firm can, but you must check for their off-limits agreements first. 

 

Step 3: Execute a Niche-Specific Hiring Strategy

Instead of assigning the internal team or a generalist executive search firm, you should use a niche-specific hiring strategy implemented by someone with a good enough network in the industry and function. Supply Chain is one of the functions within FMCG and Retail for which a highest degree of deep understanding of both the product and the discipline are needed. Big challenges are approaching when it comes to quality service, supplier relationships, risk and crisis management and fast-changing markets.

Lack of industry knowledge leads to low-quality profiles that end up wasting your time during interviews and lead to longer fill times. Therefore, a niche-specific hiring strategy is likely to provide better outcomes if it is implemented by someone with a good talent network, as well as industry knowledge. An individual or firm which has deep connections with top talent in a specific industry, understands the current state of the market and trends, will be able to access talent at a different level. They will not compare them to talent generally, but benchmark them against those who may be outperforming you at a competitor company. 

Searching for candidates within a specific niche leads to compounding benefits. Over time, your company’s reputation for excellence (say, in Operations) grows because you have the best people. As you look to hire more people with the relevant skills, referrals grow as does your ability to attract better candidates in a shorter amount of time. 

Evidence of why you should execute a niche-specific hiring strategy:

  1. Most of our candidates come from referrals. Over the years we have built a network of FMCG individuals that can help us find the right candidate (our ‘source’). As we mentioned before 86% of hiring comes from referrals and targeted direct approach hiring. 

In this chart we can see a few of our placements and the way we found the final candidate:

Role Company Referral Days to Find Candidate
Head of European Category Manager Melitta YES 21 days
Head of Ecommerce Asia Carlsberg YES 14 days
Retail Sales Channel Lead Duracell YES 5 days
Global Ecommerce Director Dairy Danone YES 7 Days
Director of Supplier Operations Zalando YES 7 days
Head of Origin Logistics Tom Tailor NO 15 days
Global Trade Compliance Manager Puma YES 38 days

 

As we can see in these 7 examples, 6 out of 7 were referred to us by someone in our network.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Is it more expensive to hire a niche-specific firm instead of a generalist?
    • No, it actually saves you money because niche-specific firms will find you the right talent more quickly. This can save you thousands of Euros, depending on the job specifics and your ability to brief the firm correctly.  
  • Is it possible to know all of the best FMCG supply chain talent globally?
    • Not exactly, but you need to have enough great consultants who are able to build credibility with individuals who will give them referrals. This is, of course, an ongoing process, but if you have enough good people, you will be able to map the market. Just as importantly, you need to have a secure database that allows for quick and easy search and retrieval based on different criteria. This data is robust.

 

Step 4: Do a Global Search Instead of a Local Search 

For core roles such as a Supply Chain Director, it is important to map out the best talent globally. Do not fixate on a specific market or region. As we see, borders do not mean as much as they used to for Supply Chain as global processes and decentralization of the end-to-end structure are key. Therefore, why would you knowingly conduct a search that only looks for candidates in a certain geography? 

Instead of running a search, filtering applicants based on location, one should start the search with a global approach and narrowing it from there, to ensure that no top-quality candidate is left out.

Focusing on location and not skills or industry experience may result in the search excluding qualified candidates from other locations who are willing to relocate for the right opportunity. So, instead of running a search that is based on a candidate or firm’s location, the search process should look at a global pool of candidates and then narrow the search based on experience, fit, etc… 

To run a global search, international experience and leveraging technology will be more important than ever. Executive placements that involve a location change also help gauge the candidate’s commitment to succeed in the new role. 

So, implement a strategy that removes geographical restraints; this will result in more qualified job candidates and will add diversity to the company.

Evidence of why should do a global search instead of a local search:

  1. 66% of candidates placed by LS International moved at least 248 Km away from their previous job location for a new role. 
  2. We have different case studies to show that location of the search firm, or candidate, is no longer important. Mike Tignol was a very high potential talent in our network who was looking for the next step in his career. At the same time, we were working with Danone in the search for their next VP Sales Russia. We had no previous experience in the russian market, however we introduced Mike to the GM of the region, Charlie Cappetti in 30 days. Before we stepped in, he had hired a local firm which couldn’t deliver because they were focused on the russian market. We presented Mike, who turned out to be the perfect candidate, a mix between local and international experience which added extra value to the role. 

Frequently asked questions: 

  • Why would I trust a firm sitting in another market to recruit for a local supply chain director, rather than hiring a local firm? How will you know the market? 
    • The world is much smaller now than it was before. Virtual working in the aftermath of the Covid19 pandemic has made it even more so. With the right people, processes, and technology, it is possible to achieve even better results, than with people on the ground in a given country. Of course there are cases when our clients need local talent, but because of our vast network of sources we are able to map the market locally, as well as finding those talents which are doing broadening assignments abroad and are willing to come back home. 
  • What if you cannot get a grasp on the market and the right candidates are not delivered? 
    • Given our track record and in-house expertise in the FMCG and Retail industry, we are very confident that the possibility of such a situation is very small. However, to limit the risk for our clients, we can include a money-back warranty on our service if you are not satisfied with the candidates we present. 

 

A quick recap of what will help you find your next Supply Chain talent as quickly as possible so that you can beat your competitors:

  1. Use a numbers-driven approach to come up with a strategy
  2. Use outbound search instead of inbound
  3. Execute a niche-specific hiring strategy
  4. Conduct a global search instead of a local search

If executed well, not only can you significantly reduce the time needed to find your next Supply Chain talent, but also, you will end up spending much less time and effort in the search process. Which means you can focus on other aspects of your work, even as the search for the best talent is underway. But perhaps best of all, you avoid the risk of being disappointed by recruiters who rely on a traditional approach in a fast-changing environment.

 

How should you use this information? 

So, in order to do this, there are different alternatives which you can implement. 

Option 1: Carry out the search yourself

I imagine that you know people in the industry who you can connect with for referrals and approach those candidates yourself. You may find interesting candidates whose profiles fit what you are looking for. From our experience, we believe that if you do not find a longlist of possible candidates within the first two weeks, this approach will take a long time. Also, you will spend a lot of your personal time on the search; because of your strategic role, this creates a high opportunity cost and may not deliver candidates as quickly as you may like.

Option 2: Request internal recruitment run the search

The second option is to let your internal recruitment team run the search. Such teams typically have access only to people who are actively looking for jobs. This constitutes around 20% of the potential talent pool, which in turn means that you have a much smaller pool of quality candidates even to begin with. This situation increases the probability of a bad hire that could end up costing the company as much as 30x the role salary. There is also the additional risk that given the small pool, the person hired is sub-optimal and does not add the expected level of value. 

HR teams spend an average of 30% of the annual role salary on search, but statistics suggest that this figure can even be as high as 130% for hard-to-fill roles (which an Logistics or S&OP Director certainly is)! Also, the average time required by companies to fill the role will be 71 days; in some cases, this can stretch to as long as one year. 

Therefore, over and above the tangible costs, you need to also worry about the opportunity cost of not hiring a good candidate within a reasonable time. 

Internal talent can also dedicate a full time employee specifically to hire for Supply Chain profiles. Their network and direct approach should work well if they are trained correctly within the field. If a recruiter is just starting within an industry or functional area, it will take them about 2 years to build their network to the level which will be sufficient to fill a role within 1 month. 

Both options could work well for you, but you need to think about the value this person will bring to the organization and the opportunity cost of not hiring this person on time.  

Option 3: Hire LS International to run the search

Or you can work with LS International and get top-quality candidates delivered in 1/10th the time and effort.

 

Is this really for me?

One more time, this is for Supply Chain VPs of global FMCG companies looking to build an outstanding team. Passionate about building a long term legacy and be a respected, impactful leader in the organization. Someone who aims to transform the supply chain process with cutting-edge, hard-hitting talent. Especially for those savvy leaders who appreciate that for each day that key roles remain vacant, that is a piece of work that is not getting done which consequently affects the rest of the supply chain, makinging it increasingly difficult to outperform competitors.

 

What type of clients and roles have you recruited for? 

Again, Danone, Carlsberg, Puma and many others have used us to achieve fantastic results. We have helped them save time and money by identifying top talent, so that their sales  leaders can focus on formulating and implementing winning strategies.

Let me show you a few examples of this:

1- Filippo Della Torre from Danone was able to meet his next Global E-commerce Director within  22 days and said:

“I am extremely satisfied with the way you conducted the preparation work, understood the brief, the fact that the people that got in front of me were in line with the brief….. and that you were able to bring the person we needed. I am extremely satisfied.” 

The internal talent team started searching for the role 6 months before hiring us. The opportunity cost of not hiring us at the start was $750,000! 

2- Remko Tetenburg from Melitta was able to meet his next a European Head of Category Management within 21 days and said: 

Remko is currently the CEO sales for Melitta and their company has reached a total turnover of over $1.6BN a year.

3- Javier Hernandez from Duracell was able to meet his next Retail Sales Director within 5 days.

The results speak for themselves and this person was recently promoted to Senior Sales Director within Duracell.

4- Thorsten Kuajth from Bayer Consumer Healthcare was able to meet his next Head of Pharmacy within 39 days and said: “Thank you very much for your support finding a new manager for my team. It was perfect and 100% on the spot. great job.”

LS International has become a global partner for Bayer Consumer Health and this candidate keeps leading Bayer to remain as one of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical industry. 

5- Mario Kirchner from Coty was able to meet his Head of E-commerce within 18 days.

Mario was recently promoted to General Manager DACH because of his outstanding results as Sales Director which e-commerce performance was a critical aspect of >100% growth of e-commerce since our candidate joined.

6- Julie Watson from Danone was able to meet her next Global E-commerce Director within 15 days.

She needed help with shaping her team in the way she wanted. This person has contributed to double-digit growth of E-commerce within Danone.

7- Luke Sebire from Carlsberg met his next Head of E-commerce Europe and Head of E-commerce Asia within 14 days.

Both individuals are still working in the company and are leading Carlsberg in the transformation of their eCommerce channels around the globe. 

8- Jost Bolliger from Bayer Consumer Healthcare met his Global Head of Net Revenue Management within 33 days. This person is still retained in the company and is performing a tremendous job for them. Jost had this to say about us:

9- Charlie Cappetti from Danone met his next VP Commercial for Russia within 30 days and we had no previous experience in Russia.

This person is still in the role and is leading one of Danone’s biggest markets. This proves that it is not about location anymore but about global innovative search, not local search processes.

These are just a few examples of the roles that we have helped fill. We work with several other blue-chip companies to fill multiple roles, but cannot disclose details for reasons of confidentiality. 

 

Benefits of partnering with LS International

Here are ten specific benefits you can expect when you work with LS International:

  • 95% likelihood of top talent to have signed your offer within 2 months. 
  • Save thousands of Euros in terms of the opportunity cost caused by waiting for the right talent to come to you or long drawn out search processes. 
  • You will not waste time interviewing the wrong talent; meet two (or even more) “ideal candidates” within two weeks.
  • Acquire a complement to human resources that you need to execute your strategic plans.
  • Hire people that buy into your vision and are ready to help you achieve it.
  • Allow you to focus more on your core business because you can rely on our expertise, integrity, and access to curated talent networks.
  • You do not have to worry about missing targets because HR did not deliver the right talent.
  • You will have “insurance” for your talent recruitment, thereby increasing the odds that your plans are executed in time.
  • Say goodbye to underperformance and start building that winning team you always dreamed of.
  • Start getting ahead of your competitors without looking like you are making excuses by blaming gaps in your team.

 

So how does it work?

Before, when you wanted to find the right talent for your team, you would have to use your internal recruitment team. They would need years to build a network of talent within the  Supply Chain function, and all of this while your competitors are gaining market share. Now, you can partner with LS International which is already connected with the right international talent, and is used to finding candidates that have the skills to make the biggest impact on the company. On average, we deliver the future hire within 22 days. This will allow you to get the right talent faster with very little risk. Do you see how easy that is?

Before, when you wanted to find the right talent for your team, you could partner with an executive search firm which isn’t niche-specific. Their consultancy service was more about checking boxes, instead of challenging you on your brief, and giving you competitor knowledge to build your organization to win. What you can do now is use LS International’s brand, network, and expertise to do your executive search and benefit from industry-specific knowledge which will save you a ton of time. On average we save our clients 325,000 Euros in opportunity costs. 

Before, you were most likely not calculating the ROI of each individual before you decided on a hiring strategy. If this doesn’t make sense for your business investments, then why would it make sense for your team investments. Now you can use our simple hiring ROI calculator to make the best strategy for each search. 

Before, when you wanted to hire the best talent, you would hire a firm which is located in the market where you wanted to get applicants from, this strategy only gives you a very small percentage of talent. Alternatively, LS International’s global approach of finding the best talent, regardless of geography, will allow you to find the best talent available in the world. Even if you want local talent, that individual may be doing an assignment in the US or China. On average, the best talent will relocate at least 248 KM away from their current location to the new job location.

We have experience working in over 20 countries around the world and we have seen over the years an exponential growth in global hiring. 

Nowadays, it makes more sense to use a firm that will benchmark talent globally, allowing you to get the best talent available in the world. Location is not as important as it used to be. 

 

What will LS International help you achieve?

If you wanted to hire your superstar Supply Chain Director using the traditional way of an in-house talent team plus contingency recruiters, you would pay at least 30% of the candidate’s yearly salary in contingency fees and HRs salary. However, you know that because of various inefficiencies associated with the “old way” (e.g. limited talent pools, time wasted on interviewing poor candidates, prolonged search timelines etc.), the costs can shoot up to 130% of salary. And we are not even considering the opportunity cost!

We are cheaper than any in-house team, as long as we are 4 days faster than they are. Our experience tells us that even in the worst-case scenario we are 28 days faster, so working with us almost always saves you serious money.

Search firms which operate in the “old way” are often a black box to clients in terms of the process. This is not so with LS International. When you hire us, here is a list of all that you will get: 

1- Initial consulting. This allows you to check for market trends and gain an understanding of competitors; you can also ask us for advice and feedback on specific profiles. 

This is valued at 8,000 Euros. 

2- LS International Briefing Document. One of the biggest determiners of success in headhunting is the quality of the briefing. In order to make sure you provide us with the best briefing, it is key that we ask the right questions. We have curated this document over years to make sure we do not miss any key information. 

This is valued at 5,000 Euros. 

3- Client video Job Description. This will allow you to discuss what you are looking for in the “perfect candidate” for your team: challenges, opportunities and necessary key competencies. There is no need for those old job descriptions; let candidates hear it straight from you in a short video clip. 

This is valued at 3,000 Euros. 

4- 50+ Referrals from more senior individuals in the industry to the best talent they have worked with. This gets you access to only the best of the best. 

This is valued at 12,000 Euros. 

5- LS International Interviews. We will interview over 200 individuals who will go through an in-depth, 3 step interview process. This will allow you to map the market and make sure we have not missed any superstars. This will also prevent you and your talent team spending a lot of time meeting the wrong individuals. 

This is valued at 15,000 Euros. 

6- Calibration call. This will allow you to check out profiles after only one week and give us feedback on your target candidate vs. who we have started interviewing. This saves you a lot of time (and, if there’s someone we should not be speaking with, you can let us know early). 

This is valued at 5,000 Euros. 

7- A short list of 4 candidates. This lets you meet the 4 best candidates (out of 200) without wasting more of your time on the wrong ones.

This is valued at 10,000 Euros. 

8- Candidate videos. You get to see the candidate before you meet them to understand a bit more about their functional expertise, passions, communication skills, leadership style, etc. 

This is valued at 2,000 Euros.

9- Reference checks (both on and off the record) on the 4 candidates. This will allow you to confirm your thoughts on each individual.

This is valued at 3,000 Euros. 

10- Brand ambassador services and candidate insights. This will decrease the possibilities of candidates dropping out at the end of the process. 

This is valued at 5,000 Euros.

11- Psychometric Testing. LS International uses the best of the best when it comes to assessment. We have one of the leading practitioners in the industry, Bruno Lubeigt. The assessment which we use reflects 85 behavioral traits, 35 career themes and 600+ high-performance benchmarks. 

This is valued at 5,000 Euros. 

12- Psychometric Results Report. You will receive a report with a summary of the results for each individual who is assessed. 

This is valued at 500 Euros. 

13- One-year Candidate Insurance Plan. This gives you the peace of mind that if a candidate leaves within the first year of joining your team, you are assured of prompt support to find a suitable replacement. 

This is valued at 15,000 Euros. 

14- Hiring ROI Calculator. We will share with you our ROI calculator so that from now on, you can have a numbers driven approach when designing each hiring strategy. 

This is valued at 2,000 Euros 

15- Candidate Satisfaction Survey. At the end of each process, we conduct a survey with all of the candidates which you have met to get their feedback. We will then write up a report on what they particularly enjoyed, what improvements can be made to the process and how your company is viewed externally. 

This is valued at 1,000 Euros. 

The bottom-line: Instead of you and your HR team doing all the heavy-lifting and spending vast amounts of time, energy (and money) in the process, we are offering to run searches on your behalf for a much lower cost and with greater focus and efficiency. Best of all, we assure you will get a candidate in place in a much shorter amount of time than most HR teams and non-niche specific headhunters can. 

Book a no-commitments call with our experts so we can assess how we can help you find your next superstar Supply Chain Director (or indeed, other roles).

 

The way LS International helps clients: 

So, let us summarize our proposal so you will understand all that you will get by hiring LS International:

  • Initial consulting and feedback on profile and market trends. 
  • LS International curated briefing document.  
  • Network approach which involves 50+ calls to more junior and more senior individuals for referrals. 
  • Video job description. 
  • Outsourcing the interview process of all referrals and potential candidates. 
  • Candidate calibration to benchmark against your internal candidates to make sure we are meeting the right people and not wasting your time. 
  • A long-list of 4 candidates. 
  • Video pitch from each candidate. 
  • Reference checks of all candidates.
  • Psychometrics candidate assessment. 
  • Psychometrics results report.  
  • Brand ambassador services and candidate insights. 
  • One-year candidate insurance plan.
  • Hiring ROI Calculator. 
  • Candidate Satisfaction Survey

Besides all of this, we will help you determine if it makes sense to hire us for the position which you are looking for. The main drivers to understand when it makes sense to hire an executive search firm are the economic outcome or value creation of the role, and time that it takes by the internal team to present candidates to the hiring manager. 

But as mentioned earlier, our long-term relationships with certain clients preclude us from working with other companies when conducting searches for certain roles. Therefore, please contact us right away to make sure that it is not too late for us to help you and your organization.

 

Frequently asked questions: 

  1. What happens if you do not provide us with the candidates we are looking for?
    • If we do not provide you with the candidates you are looking for, we will return your engagement fee and you would be free to contract another firm or search for candidates on your own. There will also be a potential full money back guarantee which we can discuss if you may qualify in the call.
  2. What happens if we find a candidate ourselves?
    • If you find a candidate yourself, you should send them to us. We will include them in the search and make sure they are benchmarked with the other talent so that you only spend time meeting the best 4 candidates. 
  3. What happens if the candidate leaves in the first year?
    • This only happens 5% of the time for LS International candidates, but if it does happen, we will replace the candidate, free of charge within 30 days. 
  4. How much will this cost me?
    • Our rates depend on the assignment, the market, and the years we have been working with each company and understand their business. We are committed to building new client relationships, so we are flexible with first-time clients. 
  5. How will I know that I need your service?
    • There is a simple method that can be used to know if you must hire an executive search firm. This method considers the expected outcome value, time to fill in the role, etc… And considers the opportunity cost and the total cost of the search process. 
  6. How long will it take for you to deliver candidates?
    • It depends on the assignment, but generally speaking, you will be able to meet candidates in 2 weeks.
  7. Why do you provide a better service than your competitors?
    • Simple, with a close rate of 92.3% and a retention rate of 92.8% of LS International candidates, if  you compare this with firms you have used in the past, you will quickly realize this is far above the average. 
    • We have a long-term view on executive search, and we have created a network of talented individuals within the FMCG industry, that allows us to execute searches faster and more efficiently than any other firm. We also build long-term relationships with our candidates which result in better candidate response rates. 
  8. Why should we choose you over a bigger player?
    • Personalization is key in today’s world. This means personalization when it comes to our approach to candidates and clients. This is something which the large firms cannot offer, both candidates and clients alike are just a number to them. 
    • Also, we are specialized in a niche market which allows us to be up to date with every possible top-rated candidate. This means higher retention rates and successful searches for our clients. 
  9. What is the process which you use to recruit the right candidates?
  10. What happens if you stop delivering candidates?
    • For us there is no option of failure, we will address and re-address the issue with you if we see a misalignment in the brief or the current state of the market. We also always include a warranty in our contracts which help prevent this issue happening. 
  11. Why do you think you are better connected than a company with 8,000 employees?
    • Because we are only specialized in the FMCG industry and we have a very long-term view on headhunting. In big firms, each account is run individually, and many consultants are working in different industries. The principals are industry specific and that is why from a business development perspective they seem niche-specific, but the consultants conducting the actual interviews are not. This allows them to reach a lot of people, but this does not allow them to build long term relationships with candidates that are essential for response rate, retention, and in turn cost reduction. These are some of the reasons why our retention rate and our success rate is higher than our competitors.
  12. Why do you think you can find better talent than my internal team?
    • We can find better talent because of our active approach to reach candidates and because we are specialized in supply chain,  sales, marketing, and general management functions within the FMCG industry. Internal teams must recruit for every department and every level in the organization which makes them more generalists than specialized in a specific function and level.