Juan D. Morales is the Managing Director of the Boca Raton office of Stanton Chase www.stantonchase.com, a global retained executive search firm with more than 70 offices in 45 countries. A former senior-level executive with DHL and UPS, Morales also serves as the global leader of the Supply Chain, Logistics & Transportation Practice Group and as the North American regional coordinator for Latin American search activity. His clients range from startups to Fortune 150 companies—local to global.
We recently caught up with him to discuss the role of retained executive search.
- Please explain “retained” search and what are the advantages?
Retained executive search is used primarily for placing high-level executives. Basically, we are hired by the corporation to find the finest executives for specific positions that could include CEOs, CFOs, senior-level leaders and board members. We work on behalf of the company. This is in stark contrast to the role of “contingency” search firms which are compensated only if they fill what are usually lower-level positions. They primarily work on behalf of the candidate. We are paid based on a percentage of the first year’s cash compensation.
- Discuss global competition for talent and why it’s so important to hire right the first time.
Today’s job market is extremely competitive and fast-paced. Senior-level positions must be filled with the right person. This usually involves searching the globe for the right candidates who have the proper skill sets, the ability to adapt to a new corporate culture, and often the knowledge of a foreign country and its currency and work styles. For the most part, the people we recruit are in high-level positions and not necessarily looking for a new position or challenge. It is our job to find these unsuspecting candidates and accurately discuss with them a new and exciting opportunity. It’s important to find the right person the first time and in a timely manner.
- Tell us a little bit about your role as Practice Leader for the Supply Chain, Logistics & Transportation Practice Group.
Moving products globally is critically important to the worldwide economy. This requires executives who are familiar first with the numerous modes of transportation – air, rail, shipping, and trucking. They all must be coordinated so that products can get to market quickly and efficiently. There are new challenges in this sector that relate to security. Frequently, products are being transported to dangerous places so safety measures must be taken to avoid the loss of life and product. In addition, attention must be given to preventing terrorists from entering out country through airports and sea ports. This requires implementing comprehensive security measures throughout the supply chain.
In my role as Global Practice Leader, it’s my job to assure that our clients’ needs are being met worldwide and serve as a coordinator for our global offices that operate within the Supply Chain and Transportation Sector.
- From a local standpoint, is South Florida regarded as an attractive location for relocating executives?
In recent years, South Florida has become much more attractive. The weather is, of course, a major benefit as is the fact that there is no state income tax. The education system has certainly improved for both public and private schools and there are several fine universities – University of Miami, FAU, FIU, and Lynn University. South Florida is also attractive as the “gateway to Latin America”. And, having three major airports makes travel easy and convenient. This market is also appealing by having three major seaports. From a cultural standpoint – museums, theatres, art galleries – South Florida competes favorably with other areas of the country.
- It seems that regardless of a company’s size, most are doing business globally. What skill sets does this require?
Absolutely. Companies of all sizes are selling and sourcing materials from foreign countries. This requires executives who are fluent in other languages, understand various currency exchanges, and appreciate/respect other cultures and work styles. Being able to work in other countries opens up new opportunities so it’s important to have the proper executives in place.
- With a global network of offices, it would appear that Stanton Chase has many practice specialties. What are some of the firm’s specialties?
Stanton Chase has nine practice groups – Supply Chain, Logistics, & Transportation; Consumer Products; Financial; Government, Education, Non-Profits; Industrial; Life Sciences, Natural Resources/Energy; Private Equity; Technology. We also have functional specialties in Board Services, Human Resources, CFO, CIO/CDO, Diversity & Inclusion, and Marketing & Sales.
For more information, visit www.stantonchase.com