Manhattan Associates has worked with Bastian Consulting’s Tony Richter for several years to recruit the best people for its needs across Asia Pacific. Keith Hunter, People Director Asia Pacific for Manhattan Associates, explains Tony’s process.
Keith Hunter, People Director Asia Pacific for Manhattan Associates, began working for Manhattan after it had already established a working relationship with Bastian Consulting’s founder, Tony Richter. Manhattan Associates is a global leader in supply chain technology development and innovation with 3500 employees around the world. But as a human resources professional without prior experience in supply chain and logistics, he says he has found Tony’s counsel on talent recruitment invaluable.
“When I joined Manhattan, I reached out to Tony and was very happy to continue the relationship, because he had established such a strong track record in recruiting key personnel for Manhattan,” Keith says. “And since supply chain was completely new to me, having someone like Tony – who has an impressive grasp of the industry, together with wide-ranging connections – to partner with was very helpful. It meant I could immediately leverage his knowledge and understanding and reach.”
NOT YOUR AVERAGE RECRUITER
Keith says that there are many large recruiting firms that recruit across multiple industries and offer very similar suites of services. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, he adds.
“But where Tony is of value to a company like Manhattan is that his sweet spot is supply chain,” Keith says. “Because of that industry-specific focus, he not only tracks available talent in the market, but he also spends a lot of time analysing what’s occurring within the marketplace – what’s happening in terms of trends, what companies are doing to evolve their supply chain challenges, what vendors are doing and how organisations are responding to the war for talent.”
The depth of Tony’s knowledge and research into supply chain talent means that when a role needs to be filled, Manhattan doesn’t have to spend time educating a recruiter on what it’s looking for.
“We can just go right to the crux of the matter,” he says. “Tony knows the industry but has also done the work to know Manhattan as well as anyone outside of the organisation could. He knows the main players in the industry, and he’s personally recruited a lot of them. He also knows the style of our Hiring Managers, which is key in selecting candidates that will be a good cultural fit.”
Keith notes that Tony’s knowledge extends to Manhattan’s products and solutions – not just personnel. The candidate profiles he helps Manhattan develop, therefore, are informed by a perspective that incorporates understanding of the organisation’s internal culture as well as an external, industry-wide perspective.
A further benefit of Tony’s sustained long-term engagement with Manhattan is that his knowledge accumulates, and each new engagement can build off his prior successes, Keith says. “There’s two senior people in the APAC organisation that Tony’s recruited for us. When looking for that level of roles we have our own criteria to satisfy but Tony’s understanding of our business, our people and our culture makes Tony’s input on who will be the perfect candidate invaluable. Because he’s done it before, recruiting roles from individual contributor to Managing Director level he’s actually played a part in building that culture with us over multiple engagements.”
HONEST AND EFFECTIVE CONSULTATION
One of the key qualities Keith says sets Tony apart is that he doesn’t engage in salesmanship or spin. “It’s the most frustrating thing in HR when you get recruiters promising you the world,” he says. “He’s not a typical recruiter in that respect, he is solely focused on delivering good candidates, and has built his reputation on performance and output.”
This approach applies equally to prospective candidates as to organisations for whom he’s recruiting. While he will be firmly embedded in Manhattan’s recruitment process from the outset – filtering candidates, rationalising and prioritising recruitment objectives, carefully measuring candidates’ distinct comparative advantages against the precise criteria of the role – he works equally hard with the candidates to assess their needs and requirements, Keith says.
“During the recruitment process Tony is our representative and our go-between. He makes sure the candidate is still comfortable with the opportunity as we progress through the different stages of the recruitment process. He makes sure he answers their questions and asks the right questions to identify any issues. He consistently checks in with the candidate to see how each interaction with the company went.”
In effect, Keith says, Tony is the trusted intermediary or backchannel through which both parties to the recruitment process can convey messages, receive honest and accurate information from a trusted third party, and be supported by an honest broker with years of experience and learning behind him.
THE JOB DOESN’T END WHEN THE JOB’S BEEN ACCEPTED
Keith says that Tony stays engaged with the candidate through the process and many months into their new role. It’s not just about recruiting someone, but ensuring they receive the early support that keeps them there. He consistently touches base with employer and employee to ensure each is aware and proactively addressing any issues or concerns that come up.
“It’s not a matter of talking behind a new recruit’s back to the employer – that wouldn’t work, and it wouldn’t contribute to the success of either party,” he says. “It’s simply a matter of ensuring that any messaging he’s hearing from both parties is being effectively, diplomatically, and constructively communicated.
“The ability to trust a recruiter is critical. We trust Tony’s commitment to confidentiality, discretion, and good judgement – which means granting him access to the information he needs to carry out his function. And clearly candidates trust him to act with honesty in their best interests, too. That’s why he’s able to consistently deliver excellent results.”
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