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Challenges RJM Experiences When Writing Senior Commercial Appointments in the third-party logistics world

RJM is in the recruitment business of placing senior third party logistics commercial professionals across the globe. 

Supply chain modes experience of such candidates vary but many we have placed candidates from the following backgrounds. Many senior candidates have multiple supply chain mode experience. However they will almost certainly have an original supply chain mode where they have accumulated most of their experience and specialisation including: 

  • Sea freight 

  • Airfreight 

  • Ecommerce 

  • Warehousing & Distribution 

  • Trucking 

In addition, vertical experience of candidates our team has placed inside our client business for full time employment career opportunities mostly include: 

  • Retail 

  • FMCG

  • F&B

  • Pharmaceutical 

  • Healthcare 

  • Oil&Gas 

Concerns we hear from senior commercial candidates in the 3 PL arena when job hunting include: 

  • Unrealistic sales targets & timeframes from their potential employer

  • Hiring companies only playing the short game and not the long one - senior professionals want to go after the enterprise accounts and farm them - this can easily take 12-18 months

  • Little support , all business needs to be developed by the successful candidate purely from scratch 

  • Candidates current network of customers aren’t in alignment with the new companies supply chain capability 

  • Feeling of isolation and being treated like an individual contributor only 

  • Fear of being fired if revenue isn’t produced inside first 6 months - I.e. lack of stability and working in a pressure cooker 

  • If the new employer is privately owned, fear of merger taken place later on down the line and being replaced or made redundant 

Senior commercial professionals have told us it is not the challenge or accountability of a sales target that concerns them, after all, such candidates are senior and not new to the game. Hence they have commercial track records that are pretty impressive! They know who to talk to, what to say and how to manage projects and customer expectations because they have done it before. The main concern is the fit with the new employer.  Fit and of course, timing! These types of candidates want to be engaged in a team, or better still manage one. What’s not so appealing is being measured as an individual only with little support and unrealistic pressure. 

However, as always ,there are two sides to every story 

Concerns we hear from hiring companies when searching for senior commercial professionals to join their teams 

  • Not having deep enough pockets to sustain month on month losses in the form of employee salaries with little income 

  • How long will the candidate stay with them? For example will they just change job again the moment they are headhunted for an improved salary after many months of investing in them with little or no return? 

  • Not trying hard enough and lacking the required hustle to bring in new business as their salaries are high and therefore they feel a sense of comfort. 

Hiring companies have to invest in quality talent and give them time to produce and provide a good working platform and culture. If they want to retain such talent, they need to also think mid to long term regarding career development and create new roles for talent whose performance warrant it. However, hiring companies also are tasked to be practical and keep a watchful eye on their P&L. Making back to back wrong hires can be very costly and many businesses have perished by making bad decisions. The supply chain industry is in a global tail spin which breeds uncertainty. Naturally, RJM sees it from the point of view of the hiring company, numbers speaks volumes. 

If you would like to discuss ideas on how RJM have solved the above challenges and made successful and long term placements helping hiring companies to achieve their hiring goals and senior commercial candidates achieve their career aspirations reach out , happy to help !

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