With Tom Conroy, Managing Director, GattiHR Industrial
As Managing Director of GattiHR Industrial, Tom Conroy leads executive search for the Integrated Supply Chain and General Management practices. Tom is passionate about working on manufacturing, operations, lean/six sigma, and procurement searches. He has placed Lean Leaders, Quality Managers, GMs, Directors, and VPs of Operations, in various industries. Tom has recently increased the team’s responsibilities to include sales management searches for some of GattiHR Industrial’s clients.
Tom has built a strong and talented network within the industrial manufacturing space. He continues to build and maintain long term relationships with candidates and clients. Working with our proprietary tools and techniques, Tom has helped his network actively manage their careers.
What excites you most about the manufacturing industry?
The simple answer – it’s changing. The skillset required to be a leader in manufacturing and supply chain organizations has shifted. Although overall employment in the sector has decreased, the output has increased. The US is still one of the top two producers in the world, and the quarter-of-a-million manufacturers employ 12 million people. So, which each one of our placements, there’s a potential for an even bigger impact on the company and industry than ever before.
Which of your searches had the biggest impact on the industry? What made the search so influential?
It’s either the Supply Chain and Distribution leader, who was responsible for turnaround, consolidating and then relocating multiple operations for a multi-billion dollar manufacturer; Or the VP of Ops for a smaller building materials organization. That VP needed to modernize the culture, operations, and build a strategy to become an industry leader. I’m sure there are plenty of others, but I always look at the impact our leaders make to the current employees, then how they contribute to the financials of the company, and then the most enjoyable is witnessing the cultural changes over the next few years. I had the pleasure of placing several leaders, then helping build out their teams to drive the new vision – that’s always fun.
What are some of the biggest changes that are happening in the industrial space? What are your favorite changes you have seen so far?
The shifting from labor to automation is what immediately comes to mind. Automation might not mean robots per se, but equipment to help employees do their job more efficiently. We’ve done work with several companies that build that equipment. They are rapidly growing, and their outlook is extremely strong, based on the investments that are going into equipment for material moving or production automation.
Some of the innovations to manufacturing have made life in industry safer, healthier, and more enjoyable. If your workforce comes into work every day knowing that the investments around them are there to help them, keep them from injury, and ultimately produce more of a product, it’s a win-win. Those companies that are more automated, and closer to that Industry 4.0 status, have been the ones that have adapted better to the challenges CoVid-19 has created.
What is the best piece of job search advice you have ever been given?
I think it’s taking the time upfront to understand and write down your priorities. People do too much damage to their own personal brand by making mistake after mistake, by taking the first offer to come to them. If you write down your priorities before you start getting offers, you can stay true to yourself, and be less persuaded down the wrong path.
I think I may have gotten lucky with landing at GattiHR 9+ years ago, but I could’ve taken my first offer as a warehouse Ops manager with Sports Authority!
What is your favorite thing to do/see/eat in the Philadelphia area?
I’m a huge sports fan and love all the Philly teams, so I enjoy going to see the games. My wife, son, and I also enjoy exploring the Philadelphia region’s circuit of trails that is over 300 miles long.