Manufacturing Executive Career Forecast



BlueSteps recently spoke to three noted experts who specialize in retained searches for manufacturing executives, to gain their insights into developments within this sector, and their outlook for 2010. Find out how executive job opportunities in manufacturing are on the rise, and how to remain visible to executive recruiters and search consultants.


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BlueSteps: In terms of hiring, what is happening in manufacturing right now?
Keith Syberg, Smith and Syberg, USA: We are now seeing selected pick up with our clients, particularly with some of our automotive suppliers who were down in 2009. During the recession, I would say that there were a few bright spots in both the automotive and industrial sectors. Some companies figured out the silver lining in the cloud - those that planned well, stuck to their knitting, used good metrics, were not over-leveraged and refused to take on business they couldn’t make money on, were prepared to weather the storm.

Steve Fisher, Korn Ferry International, China: The industrial and manufacturing sector has come back quite strongly across Asia. This is particularly true of the automotive and diversified manufacturing sectors in China. Japan and India have also come back, as has the materials and resource sector in Australia.

Daniel Rezende de Souza, Dasein Associates, Brazil: This year started very positively and the manufacturing sector is very optimistic – according to surveys, the demand for executives in Brazil rose by 57%. Companies are hiring because of the positive outlook for this year, and there is an emphasis on the consumer products, retail, electronics and food and beverage sectors.

BlueSteps: How can a candidate best present him/herself to get noticed in a marketplace that is becoming saturated with talented people?
Keith: For candidates who are actively looking, let a growth skill set show. This could be fundamental crisis management, or the ability to do things differently and be more partnership oriented.

Steve: Be specific on your targeting of industry and sector. Present skills as being growth/profitability oriented with the ability to build and develop teams. Target the relevant people in companies and search firms.

Daniel: Executives should try to make their work and results appear in the main channels of communication, become a source of technical reference in your field, and maintain strong networks with professionals within industry

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