April 27, 2023
How to Get Ahead in Our Industries- Q&A with MRT’s Co-Owners
Management Recruiters of Tallahassee is a leading executive search firm, co-owned by Craig McMillan and Jerry Jones. With over 35 years of combined experience in the recruiting industry, these two leaders have established a reputation for excellence in identifying and securing top talent for clients in the plastic, metal, and rubber industries. As experts in their field, Craig and Jerry are well-equipped to answer questions and provide guidance on how individuals can get ahead in their careers, lead with effectiveness, stay competitive, and achieve growth in their industries. Their expertise, combined with the resources and reach of Management Recruiters of Tallahassee, makes them an invaluable resource for businesses and job seekers alike.
Q: How can a candidate get ahead in the marketplace?
Craig: If you’re a professional seeking to gain expertise, build strong core competencies, and get promoted- what you can do is be the “go-to” person in your company. What do I mean by this? Be the person that doesn’t complain. Be the person that volunteers for overtime. Be the person that volunteers to take on a new project. Be willing to learn. Be willing to share with your colleagues and team members what you’ve learned. Be a servant leader. That is how you get ahead.
Jerry: Ask for insight. Ask for help to understand a practice you are not mastering. Ask “What do you think? What can I do differently? What can I do better?”. Always be learning.
Craig: Do not be the guy or gal who showed up, been around the world in a day, and now you know it all. Bring your values. But be willing to learn! I like to say if you’re a tenured professional, “I am tenured enough to bring value, yet open-minded enough to listen and learn”.
Q: How does a client or company improve their culture or hire better people?
Jerry: It’s not always about money, it’s about how you treat them. It’s about your entire process from start to finish. When you walk into the front door of your place, what does it look like? Is it well put together? Is it clean? Is it neat? Is it functional? Who’s greeting this person? Or is it a phone with a piece of paper and you log in and you have to wait 10 minutes to find somebody to even get in the door? That sets the tone for the rest of the day. Fix those things. Candidates are becoming more and more savvy. They are becoming less available. They’re becoming very selective. You can take this in denial, or you can embrace it. I encourage you to embrace it because I can assure you the silver hair crowd is retiring. It’s coming on fast and hard, and the back channel is not very robust. If you are a company, and this includes our little company, if we do not improve our experiences, if we don’t improve our culture and make sure our culture is protected, our brand is protected and projected, then we will not be able to attract the best talent in the world. That goes for anybody out there running a company. I don’t care who you are.
Q: What can leaders do to stay ahead in their industries?
Jerry: Yeah, you’re the leader of the company or the owner of the company and people look at you differently, but what are your leaders who are managing those people like? What are they doing? What kind of an open door do you have to find out how your people are being treated? Those are things you have to dive into, and you’ve got to invest in their training. You’ve got to put capital dollars into learning how to be better leaders of people. Teach them how to listen better. We’re all running about 1000 miles an hour every single day. Stuff’s coming at us at 500 miles an hour. You don’t know who, what, or where and you have an information overload, but if you don’t slow down and start listening to the people around you, then you’re asking for a lot of problems that you do not want.
Craig: And if you have a very successful colleague in the company, the colleague that you would hate to lose, but that person doesn’t get along with the team, then you need to have a conversation with that person to see if it can be corrected. See if it can be resurrected. If it can’t, you need to seriously look at removing that person from the team. One person on the team brings down morale- It’s just not good. Also, it all starts with the right person in the position. We all know that companies have great selling processes, they have a good brand, you know the business is successful, it’s profitable, but if you don’t have the right person in the right seat, eventually it will become an erosion situation. You start seeing sales erode, morale falls, and the next thing you know, you’re looking at a negative situation where the company needs to be turned around. So, it’s all about the right people in the right seats and management.
Q: How can leaders improve their own skills?
Craig: Managers need to reflect on themselves: Who is your mentor? Who is overseeing what you’re doing? As a manager, there are consultants out there that come in and executive coaches, for example, that come in and help managers be good managers. I always think of the guy who has the TV show, “The Profit”. There’s a company in trouble, the ‘Profit’ comes in, he has interviews, he figures out where the problems are, and he realizes a lot of times it is the ownership. They’re stuck in their ways. They don’t want to change. They’re not listening to their people. Morale is low. You might need to get a ‘Profit‘. You have got to be open and be willing to change if you want to get better.
Jerry: Change is hard, but change is a must. If you are not going forward, you are going backward. In today’s competitive race for people, for opportunities, for business, for profitability, you’ve got to be moving forward. What you did yesterday will get you by, but for tomorrow, you’re already behind. You’re going to have to be standing on the gas pedal at all given times. And your people are the most trusted asset in your company. You can put a value on your property and your business and all that stuff, but without those people, you have nothing but a building and an opportunity for somebody to come in and buy you up.