Professional Search: What Shoes Are You Trying To Fill?

November 26, 2018 in News



We highly value our strong relationships with the people we serve. Trusting partnerships garner candid feedback. And, feedback from our clients helped us realize we were missing opportunities to serve them.

Today, we would like to introduce you to our Professional Search Division, the solution to that missed opportunity. Since this solution involves our parent company, ABR Employment Services (ABR), we’d like to help you get to know them a bit better, too.

Meet Our Parent Company

Headquartered  in  Madison,  WI, ABR  has  12  operating  units,  including  a  presence  in  MN.  They provide  staffing  support  for  manufacturing,  skilled  industrial,  human resources,  professional  office  support,  logistics,  scientific  lab,  and  accounting  positions.

A decade ago,  ABR  welcomed  Kinsa  Group into its staffing family.

ABR has spent the last 30 years honing  its  ability  to  serve  clients  in  a  best  practice  approach  garnering  accolades  and  awards  along  the  way.  Some of those accolades include receiving the Inavero Best  of  Staffing™  Award  eight  years  in  a  row. During that time, Kinsa  Group  was  recognized  (this  year)  as  one  of  Forbes’  Best  Professional  Recruiting  Firms.

CEO Jim  McNett  has  spent  20  of  those  years  personally  overseeing  the  strategic  development  of  ABR.  And over the last 10, overseeing the strategic development of Kinsa Group in partnership with Kinsa Group VP, Laurie Hyllberg.

Both take pride  in  the  collective organization’s  organic  growth.

Professional Search: The Mid-Level Staffing Solution 

Yet, with  all  of  the  growth  and  successes,  McNett  knew  they  could  do  more.  “We  determined  over  the  last  few  years  that  there  was  a  huge  need  for  professional  to  mid-level  management  positions  that  was  a  missed  opportunity,”  he  explained.

ABR  built  its  base  on  filling  support  positions,  both  in  the  manufacturing  and  office  settings.  “You’re  talking  pay  rates  of  $11  to  $20  an  hour—non-exempt,  hourly  positions,”  explained  McNett.  “Then  you  have  Kinsa  Group  doing  managerial  to  executive  searches—$90,000  to  $200,000+  salaries.”

But,  these  polar  opposite  roles  left  gaps.  ABR  clients  successfully  fill  warehouse  and  administrative  positions,  but  aren’t  receiving  assistance  for  higher  level  openings.  On  the  flip  side,  Kinsa  Group  turns out  executive  level  candidates,  but  can’t  fulfil  mid-level  requests.

“Kinsa Group  would  receive a  request  for  a  $60,000  production  supervisor,  but  that  would  be  below  their  level,”  said  McNett.  This meant  that  recruiters  were  turning  down  hundreds  and  hundreds  of  jobs  from  clients.  “They  weren’t  quite  in  our  funnels,”  McNett  explained.  “This  was  a  lot  of  lost  revenue  and  our  clients  were  going  elsewhere  when  we  knew  we  could  probably  do  this  ourselves  with  focused  recruiters  with  the  right  skills.

McNett  rolled  out  a  strategic  plan  and  began  a  testing  phase  with  a  recruiter  specifically  working  these  jobs  that  had  previously  been  lost  in  the  gap.  He  quickly  found  the  need  was  greater  than  originally  thought.

“In  talking  with  clients,  we  determined  there  really  was  a  need  for  that  mid-level,  $45,000  to  $90,000  salary  realm,”  shared  McNett.  “There  was  really  no  one  doing  well  with  that.  There  were  some  trying  to  do  it,  and  big  exec  groups  saying  they  were  doing  it,  but  they  really  didn’t  want  to  spend  time  on  it.”

But  we’re  willing  to  spend  the  time  and  put  forth  the  effort,  and  testing  paid  off.  “We  had  great  success  in  finding  and  placing  these  people,”  McNett  shared.  “We  decided  to  move  forward  and  to  brand  a  separate  division  that  can  really  complement  what  ABR  and  Kinsa  Group  is  doing  and  that  can  provide  our  clients  a  full  array  of  services  to  get  them  anything  they  need,  from  entry  level  to  executive  level,  through  one  resource.”

Professional Search Division Goals

The  professional  search  division  is  kicking  off  with  two  recruiters  who  are  officially  targeting  the  $45,000  to  $90,000  salary  range  of  professional  to  mid-level  manager  positions.  McNett  hopes  to  be  at  full  staff  by  the  end  of  the  year—a  team  of  four—with  revenue  that  supports  that  goal.

“We  will  start  out  primarily  as  a  recruiting  partner  in  the  Midwest,”  he  added.  “But  I  hope  to  see  us  expand  that  footprint  outside  of  just  the  Midwest  in  two  to  three  years.”

Within  a  few  weeks  of  launching  the  division,  the  recruiting  team  has  placed  a  Production  Supervisor,  Assistant  General  Manager,  Quality  Manager  and  Manufacturing  Engineer.  The  team  has  also  experienced  an  in-flux  of  inquiries  and  resumes  from  candidates  actively  searching  for  their  next  professional  opportunity.

Ultimately,  McNett  would  like  to  see  ABR  Professional  Search  as  a  comparable  and  complimentary  division  to  Kinsa  Group  and  to  become  known  as  a  national  recruiting  partner  at  the  professional  to  mid-level  manager  sector  in  the  way  that  Kinsa  Group  is  seen  at  the  executive  level  in  the  food  and  beverage  industry. “We  are  all  part  of  the  same  company,”  he  concluded.  “We  are  a  very  cooperative  organization  set  on  success.”

What Shoes Are You Trying To Fill?

If you are having trouble finding your perfect ‘mid’level’ candidate, take some time to consider how—and where—you’re searching for and evaluating them. They may already be in our database! We can help you reframe your search criteria and focus your efforts in new directions so you have more success in finding what you need. Let us know how we can assist you today!