Hire Plateau with Greg Jarecki
Hire Plateau’s Kevin O’Brien has known Greg Jarecki since the early 90′s when they used to spend time working job fairs and meeting for drinks at TRN functions. Recently, Kevin and Greg were able to catch up and talk a little about what’s new in Greg’s world and his new position as the On Site Senior Client Services Manager for Agile 1 at MillerCoors in Milwaukee.
HIRE PLATEAU: Greg, how have you been?
GREG: So far, so good. Great weather, good boating. All is good, no complaints.
HIRE PLATEAU: Greg, I’ve known you now for almost 20 years. Since the days of ResourceOne, would you say that it’s been a good run so far?
GREG: Yeah, I would say so. Started search in 1983 and my career has provided me a rewarding and relatively stable living. I’ve also been able to meet and get to know a lot of people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s been good to me so far.
HIRE PLATEAU: Tell me about the new gig. It’s pretty sexy working at company like MillerCoors.
GREG: Well yes it is quite interesting. In my role I have responsibility for service delivery in two areas. The first is the recruitment process outsource service (RPO). Agile 1, the company I work for has been engaged by MillerCoors to support the eight domestic breweries anticipated need for 450-500 hourly, non-exempt employees in a wide range of manufacturing , light industrial and skilled trade positions. We have developed a solid tested and repeatable process to make this work. I have a team of 5 recruiters to satisfy the hiring needs of the 8 breweries.
Secondly, I am responsible for the deployment of the Contingent Workforce Management Program. Up to this point, I have focused on the front end of the implementation which has been surrounding policy development, governance, strategic communications and change management. As we go live, the focus will shift more to cost discipline, value generation, vendor management, talent acquisition and talent delivery for a wide variety of workers. Ultimately, the program will manage s between 500-750 workers.
HIRE PLATEAU: What makes this a good opportunity for you Greg?
GREG: It utilizes multiple aspects of my past experience in search, staffing and vendor management experiences at McDonalds and Baxter. My background in System/ Software implementation and process automation will come in handy as well.
HIRE PLATEAU: Do you get to drink on the job?
GREG: Well not as such, however, there is a pub here where you can enjoy a few cold ones and enjoy the products of our hard work; and yes they are complementary. In the 6 weeks I’ve been here, I’ve only indulged a few times. It’s nice to spend time with your co-workers, but with an hour and fifteen minute commute ahead of me, I haven’t been able to take advantage of it that often.
HIRE PLATEAU: What’s your choice, Miller Lite or Coors Lite?
GREG: MGD or Leinenkugels. The pub I referred to is a great place to try new beers that aren’t sold to the general public. One interesting fact is there are 30 different beers under the MillerCoors brand, so there is a lot to chose from.
HIRE PLATEAU: What is the first beer you would order if you sat down in the pub right now?
HIRE PLATEAU: What other perks do you get?
GREG: None really since I’m not an employee.
HIRE PLATEAU: Moving onto some more interesting material…What makes a great supplier successful?
GREG: Well, it’s two-fold. The first is really understanding the business needs of the client, not just knowing how to spell Java. Suppliers really need to know how the business functions and the challenges the business faces. They should also understand the culture and personality of the company.
Secondly, the supplier needs to have strong back-end processes. They need to know how to identify, assess, attract, deliver and retain talent. It means nothing if you can’t deliver the candidate. Many suppliers can get to the candidate, but the difference is delivering. Focus on quality and value is also a must.
HIRE PLATEAU: There’s a ton of buzz about social media’s impact on recruiting, how has social media impacted Vendor Management?
GREG: I would say from the outside looking in, it has made it easier for business development types to find people like me. From the vendor management side, I haven’t used it to research or learn about suppliers.
From the recruitment and sourcing of candidates, I have found LinkedIn to be a great resource to get in touch with senior IT professionals. The way you connect with people on LinkedIn is using a well-crafted message combined with a personal touch. Your message must be on point and relevant. Think of it the same way you would craft a voice mail message in a cold call.
Regarding the others tools: I don’t really use Facebook or Twitter for professional use. In fact, if I was to rate them in order, I would say that LinkedIn is #1, Facebook #2 and Twitter is a distant 3rd.
HIRE PLATEAU: What’s the most innovative way you’ve seen a vendor make their case for why they should be on the “vendor list”?
GREG: That’s a great question. I’m not sure I have a good answer. In my recent positions, I’ve mostly been in a role where the vendors are trying to stay ON the list. Lists are still contracting.
There isn’t one proven way to get on a preferred vendor list. Suppliers should be prepared as things are going to continue to change.
One change I see becoming prevalent is full disclosure as a way to create a more level playing field. What I mean by this is that supplier cost structures will be exposed to the companies and vendors, while margins of the suppliers will become more transparent. $160/hour for a 3 year experienced person won’t be the norm any longer. Contingent workforce use is so mainstream these days that the notion of the ‘consultant’ or ‘subject matter expert’ doesn’t mean as much. With the advent of the internet and availability of information, even the most obscure talent can now be located. The new staffing model is more of the workforce demand model versus expert scarce skill based. The point here is open book pricing policies will win and those suppliers that are agreeable to expose their costs will be better equipped to compete. Gross margins will be comprised of a combination of factors, labor cost, SG&A, risk ( if deliverable based) and a profit target. The Wal-Mart purchasing model will prevail in those organizations who are large consumers of contingent workers. Large users of contingent workers will be well positioned to dictate what cost elements will be acceptable.
HIRE PLATEAU: Cubs or sox?
GREG: Cubs, I am used to the disappointment, even with one of the highest payrolls in the league. It has to be the goat, don’t ya think?
HIRE PLATEAU: What is the #1 trait you look for in a candidate over all others?
GREG: It’s a combination of communication skills and business acumen.
HIRE PLATEAU: If you could fix one thing across the industry, what would it be?
GREG: I have always thought this would be the perfect business if you could only take the people out of the equation. There would be fewer problems.
HIRE PLATEAU: I’m not sure I follow.
GREG: Well, we have to deal with people day in and day out. We’ve met thousands of people, and there are those who are a bit quirky, right? You just can’t predict people’s behavior, so I say take the people out of the business. Just kidding, of course…
HIRE PLATEAU: So it’s a commodity then?
GREG: No, people are not a commodity. As you know, there are many different personalities that can really make our business of talent acquisitionit frustrating. For the most part, people are straight forward and honest, but it’s the 2% that are just unbelievable and that will say something or act in a way you would never expect. For instance, the guy that wears a baseball hat lined with aluminum foil so that the computer can’t read his thoughts- that’s a true story. Or the guy that is standing outside throwing full cans of soda pop at the side of the building yelling obscenities. It’s THAT 2% of the population that changes everything. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen it before.
HIRE PLATEAU: Yes, I have. Just the other day!
HIRE PLATEAU: Finish this phrase: The last Supplier I booted off a vendor list was booted because…
GREG: They refused to follow the process. Actually, they sat across the table, looked me in the eyes, and told me that that can’t, er “won’t”, do business that way. My response was: “fine, then you won’t.”
HIRE PLATEAU: Fill in the blank: My favorite supplier does __________________ better than any other supplier.
GREG: Consistent candidate screening.
HIRE PLATEAU: A, B or C: My desk is A-clean as a whistle, B-Needs a light dusting or C- I wouldn’t eat my lunch off of it.
GREG: B, needs a light dusting. I’ve only been here for 6 weeks, so I haven’t put the whole full stack filing system into effect yet. At this point of my career, I’m better at organizing and realizing that I either need to respond to something, throw it away or do something with it.
HIRE PLATEAU: Do you read a lot? What was the last book you read OR what did you read last that was interesting?
GREG: I don’t really read too much for recreation. I’m not really into reading books. I do most of my reading on the internet.
HIRE PLATEAU: What was the last thing you remember reading on the internet?
GREG: It was about the BP oil spill and the cap engineering. It’s very fascinating to read about the PSI pressure and the creation of the cap that they used to stop the oil flow. I also read the Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing Report.
HIRE PLATEAU: So what did that say? I take it you fish for lake salmon?
GREG: Yes, I do. It said that the fishing is good in shallow water, 60-80 feet. Flies and spoons should be used to catch them.
HIRE PLATEAU: What do you ultimately want to be remembered for?
GREG: Being honest and having integrity.
HIRE PLATEAU: And finally, True or False: Most suppliers get it.
GREG: True. If you take the time to know them and sit down and talk to them, they get it. I take the time to get to know people.
HIRE PLATEAU: Well, that’s it for my questions. I enjoyed the conversation. It was good to catch up with you Greg. Thanks!
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