Global Poultry Commercial Development Director

(Animal Nutrition)

The project

The Client recently went through a successful M&A, opening new markets and opportunities for growth. This resulted in a new opening for a Global Poultry expert. The right hire would understand current product capabilities in combination with managing business opportunities worldwide. In addition, this role had cross-functional team management responsibilities across a large global organization.

After four months of searching, using European external recruitment agencies, a couple of candidates were identified. However, the applicants were lacking experience with feed mills and large producers. In addition, The Client wished to ascertain if it could be possible to hire someone with existing commercial skills.

As the role was a critical step in the company’s development, BASSWOOD was selected to solve the requirement. To strengthen the new brand and recruitment process, we were also tasked to manage external candidates sourced from internal referrals.

The initial brief for the Global Poultry Expert was…

  • Poultry specialist with a technical background
  • Experience in Business​ Strategy & Portfolio planning
  • Knowledge of feed mills and/or large producers
  • International network and knowledge of the sector
  • Commercial track-record
  • Based anywhere worldwide.

Our solution & method

Basswood began intensive data mining in the global Animal Nutrition industry, with a focus on professionals working with certain relevant product lines.

  • Total leads identified: 197
  • Total candidates interested: 14

Important finding: Technical poultry experts with the desired commercial experience expected direct line management for their next move. The Client could see this as a future possibility, but couldn’t guarantee it. However, some technical poultry experts were motivated to pursue a position with clear commercial and financial responsibilities.

Client decision: Fully understanding the specifics of the industry, The Client agreed to progress with technical professionals, seeking a new challenge in the commercial direction.

Candidates shortlisted: After updating expectations, we were able to qualify 10 professionals, from which 7 were selected for the shortlist.

A later complication in the process: The position began as a global, remotely-based position. However, with the impact of the pandemic, several locations became logistically impossible, even for remote work. This eliminated several candidates from the last stages of the process.

The solution to the complication: We gave honest feedback to the professionals involved and managed the expectations for those still wishing to move forward with the role.

Hired profile: PhD in Veterinary Sciences. Technical Director background, with a team and financial management experience in the poultry feed and production sectors. Experience in advising customers through their own consultancy. Candidate with a clear motivation to progress and to succeed in a global commercial role.

Success timeline for the Global Poultry Expert

  • Assignment sign-off: 27th of March 2020
  • Planned Shortlist submission: 20th of April 2020
  • Actual Shortlist submission: 20th of April 2020 (10 profiles discussed, 7 profiles shortlisted)
  • 1st stage interviews: 7 candidates selected, with interviews arranged throughout May & June 2020
  • 2nd stage interviews: 3 candidates selected, with interviews arranged throughout July 2020
  • Final stage: 3 candidates selected, concluding interviews arranged at the end of July 2020
  • Process paused: August (EU summer holidays) & September (pandemic impact & client strategy development for 2021)
  • Brief update: location flexibility was removed from the role in September 2020
  • Candidate management: final candidate secured for the new location & structure requirements

Successful conclusion

Contract with the chosen candidate signed in November, with the position starting in December 2020. The Global Poultry Expert is exceeding all expectations, having quickly learned the global structure and commercial aspects of their role. They are still employed with The Client.

Lessons learned from the Global Poultry Expert project

  1. Be open-minded and flexible: The animal husbandry industry often acts on an instinct to hire “technical for technical” and “commercial for commercial” profiles. As a result, there are many technical professionals who are kept from taking the next step in the commercial direction. 
  2. See the bigger picture and give a technical expert a chance to progress: In this case, our Client had to set aside a few extra hours for training, which they did happily. The team also really liked the hire and participated too. Most importantly, there is a very happy expert out there who is motivated, delivering and honest.

Why choose BASSWOOD?

We have always advocated for on-time feedback and regular updates to our candidates. Above all, and no matter how hard it can be to face reality, we remain honest about delays and changes in the process. 

Just like you, candidates are adults who appreciate honesty. Everyone is tired of the “disappearing act” and the anxiety that comes with uncertainty. In this case, the location changed unexpectedly. An “honest regular updates” approach meant that expectations were managed. Without this, there would be no one left to speak to, after two months of waiting. 

Work with us and experience diplomacy & honesty for yourself. Want to know more about our process? Contact us.

Interested to see the Testimonials for the project?

Read Candidate Testimonial | Read Client Testimonial

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