Rekrutacja na stanowisko Plant Manager – idealny kandydat? - NAJINTERNATIONAL Executive Search | Recruitments | HR Advisory

Recruiting for the position of Plant Manager. Is it an easy or difficult task?

Recruiting for the position of Plant Manager. Is it an easy or difficult task?

Recruiting for the position of Plant Manager. Is it an easy or difficult task?

I always smile when I hear that a recruiting for a Plant Manager position is coming up. Despite it is usually a significant challenge, it involves engaging with interesting candidates. I like this position, and so do the candidates. This is evident by the increase in applications in our database, not necessarily adequate.

When it becomes clear that the location is a small or medium-sized town in the middle of nowhere, 95% of the candidates lose interest. Probably the remaining 5% withdraw due to financial reasons.  Since they hear about the salary offered for making revolution or evolution.

What happens when the location is less than ideal, the company requires significant changes, and the offered package is not particularly attractive?

That’s when the real fun begins: meticulously searching for potential candidates.

This is a crucial position in a manufacturing company, so many aspects need to be considered. However, this makes it difficult to decide where to potentially lower or change the requirements.

What our clients report as important for the Plant Manager position:

  • Professional Experience: The candidate should have extensive experience in production management, preferably with practical knowledge of the specific industrial sector.
  • Management Skills: Not only managing the team but also production processes, logistics, and all other aspects in an industrial company.
  • Communication Skills: Communication is key to effective management. The Plant Manager should be able to clearly communicate the goals and expectations of the management. Effectively collaborate with other departments and superiors. Especially since the executives may be very far away. They do not see the daily realities but still expect results.
  • Leadership: The Plant Manager should be capable of inspiring the team to achieve production goals and build a positive work culture.  Based on cooperation and trust. Ideally, they should have the charisma of the leader.
  • Industry and Technology Knowledge: Clients often require knowledge of a specific industry or technology. Our role as consultants is to find such experienced candidates and persuade them to relocate to the end of the world. If such a willing candidate is not found, then convincing the client to an acceptable change in the profile and taking the risk. However, this is possible when the client-consultant relationship is based on trust and a common goal.
  • Financial Knowledge: This must be someone who understands numbers, calculates on the go, and can argue when building a budget. They know what data they need and from whom to obtain it.
  • Risk Management: The Plant Manager must be ready to identify and manage various types of risks related to production. Especially quality issues, work safety, logistics, and maintenance. Simultaneously, they must skillfully resolve and balance sometimes seemingly contradictory needs of all operational aspects.
  • Flexibility and Stress Management: The production environment is usually dynamic and requires quick decision-making. It’s better if the Plant Manager besides being flexible, can effectively handle stress and midnight or vacation phone calls.  Although someone will soon say that it is because the processes are poorly organized and the team is incompetent.

And recruiting such an ideal, or a somewhat less ideal, candidate is a very interesting task.

The greatest satisfaction comes from the conversation following the hiring.  After several weeks, then months, or even years, and that nearly ideal candidate says: “It was hard… and still is, but you found me a great job”😊. I can also immediately call the client and check their impressions.

To sum up, I tend to conclude that it is a challenging task. However interesting to accomplish and potentially very satisfying for all three parties in the recruitment process.

I invite you to discuss and share your own insights and experiences!

Dorota Wróblewska, Senior Project Manager, NAJ International

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