Our client is a multinational firm specializing in production & processing of industrial minerals. They operate in a multitude of fields such as construction, agriculture and the automotive industry. In 2018 ,we were contracted to provide our services in the recruitment of a new Area Sales Manager for the Middle Eastern operations. The Area Sales Manager would be responsible for implementing new and existing product strategies to meet challenging goals set for the region. The primary objective of the role was to deliver the annual sales revenue targets for Plastic & Polymer and Paint & Coating industries in the Middle East with a high focus on the Gulf countries (KSA, UAE, Qatar ), Pakistan / India, North Africa.
We started our assignment while involving two important resources in our company .They both specialize in the recruitment of management level positions. They divided the industry / geography and started researching the market. Industry mapping was done to conduct a thorough search by advertising , head hunting widely from startups to fortune 500 before making this list. Within a week’s time our consultants were ready with a long list of candidates specializing in the field. Conferences, meet-ups, and other industry networking events were utilized to make connections. We have a big pool of passive candidates in our own ATS , which aided the unique selection. This long list was shared with our Industry partners in Europe. They were very pleased with our significant reach in the GCC and eventually short listed 6 candidates for the first round of interviews. Almost all the candidates were closely fulfilling the expectations for the position but they came up with four shortlisted candidates and promised us to come back with a next round in Dubai.
The second round took relatively longer time than expected. It was because the hiring manager had few internal engagements, which had put the process on hold for more than 45 days. This time was crucial for us. The short listed candidates were anxious and so were we.
Were the budgets frozen?
Have they filled the vacancy internally ?
Such thoughts were racing through our mind, but as specialists in the industry, this is something we are used to. However, our candidates were a bit more anxious. Thus, we did our best to keep them motivated and told them:
“Everything happens as it’s supposed to, so have confidence that the right job will call you back.”
We developed a good bond with the candidates and used the surplus time to proactively get some reference checks done for the most promising candidates. Additionally, we also needed to check for travel restrictions for the top 3 candidates, since business trips were a big part of the requirement. We ended up dropping one candidate, as unfortunately he was not meeting these requirements. It was important to arrange all the meetings in two days for the second round while keeping in mind the candidates obligations to their existing jobs. We did this and individually spent time with each candidate to give them tips for best performance on the big day. We discussed the common interview questions, advised them to make a presentation about their achievements, their major strengths along with what they know about our client and how they can contribute to the group in case they are hired.
Meetings went well and we deliberated with the hiring managers to get their feedback. Our clients were pleased with our systematic approach and gave us the name of two finalists.
The selected candidate completed his notice period on time and joined the organization. Furthermore, we also helped our client in setting up their operations in a free zone, helping them create their own identity and moving away from a traditional distributor model.
“The challenge was that we were working for a client based internationally who was not very familiar with GCC labor market. With a combination of our consultant’s skills and our strong network we were able to provide our international client with a remarkable customer experience. This has lead to a steady cooperation between our companies across multiple business ventures over the last 8 years.”