New Business Spotlight: Stout Executive Search
BY SUE MORRIS ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE 3/4
SPRINGDALE — When Marvelyn Stout worked for a WalMart supplier, she used recruiters to help build her team. However, she saw there was a need for another approach in recruitment for the WalMart supplier community and thought she could provide what was needed when she decided to start a new business.
“We are committed about getting to know each of our candidates and our clients — one at a time. This business is about building relationships,” said Stout, 45. She owns Stout Executive Search, which opened in November.
Stout Executive Search is looking for the toptier talent currently selling to the world’s largest retailer. Positions might include vice president, team leaders, national account managers, category advisers, category managers, consumer insights, sales analysts, and supply chain and replenishment managers.
“Most of the WalMart suppliers in this community do require previous supplier experience or are not willing to use a recruiter for this type of candidate,” Stout said.
That practice leads to a policy at Stout Executive Search: Candidates must be currently working for a WalMart supplier to seek services from the firm. Candidates can email their resumes to [email protected]. Fees are later paid by the employer once the candidate has been engaged.
Stout or a staff member first sets an appointment to talk with the candidates in the attractive office overlooking the fountains at HarBer Meadows. The staff of four can input keywords describing each candidate’s experience and background into the computer database to link their particular strengths with the needs of the companies. That specialized computer software was the most expensive element of the firm’s November startup, but it allows special attention to individual needs.
“They sell us on selling them,” Stout said of the initial candidate interviews.
Stout Executive Search must get specific permission for a particular position and company before sending out a candidate’s resume. That’s one of the practices that leads to the firm’s assurance: “Your placement. Our passion.”
The face-to-face relationships developed with candidates and companies establish a true fit that is right for both, Stout said.
Her own background gives her particular insights on those supplier companies and their employment needs. Stout has 18 years’ experience in sales and marketing, including 10 years as a brand manager with the Kimberly-Clark Corp. She also served as the Walmart Team Leader for the largest private label U.S. pet food, manufactured by Mars, Inc.
“When you call on WalMart, you learn to appreciate the WalMart culture and this firm is strongly influenced by that culture,” Stout said.
For anyone without supplier experience on his resume, she recommends the marketing analyst program at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville as preparation for work as a category manager.
“This is a great place to start. The candidates also must be willing to get out there and knock on doors to find their first position with a supplier,” said Stout, the first woman to lead an executive search firm in Northwest Arkansas.
“Everybody wants to get into the WalMart supplier community, but you have to earn your position there,” Stout said. “The skill set of the traditional salesperson is not enough anymore. Now they need higherlevel analytics, strategic thinking and a mastery of consumer insights.”
If you recently opened a business or know of a new business in the area, please call Sue Morris at (479) 7708468 or email: [email protected]
DETAILS LOCATION: 6878 Isaacs Orchard Road, Suite E (HarBer Meadows), Springdale
PHONE: (479) 3611114; fax (479) 3611125
WEB SITE: www.stoutexecutivesearch.com
OWNER: Marvelyn Stout
PRODUCTS/SERVICES: Executive placement HOURS: 8 a.m.5 p.m. weekdays or by arrangement
START DATE: November 2006
STARTUP COSTS: Would not disclose
FUNDING: Would not disclose