The United States of America is the world’s largest economy as well as the worlds biggest importer. The USA is also Sweden’s largest export market outside the EU, with a total annual export of goods and services valued at approximately SEK 90 billion (11% of Swedish exports). Approximately 1,600 Swedish companies already have a presence in The US. The ten largest industry sectors provide access to markets larger than Sweden’s entire GDP, and the highest growth is expected within healthcare, business services and software.
The world’s largest importer of goods and services is also the world’s largest consumer market with 331 million people. The USA’s ten largest industries, such as manufacturing, health care, financial services, education and consumer products, each account for annual sales that are greater than Sweden’s total GDP.
Tell us a little bit about you and the team in the US
I was a physician and I worked as a surgeon for 14 years. Then, motivated by my family (and the fact that we were blessed by triplets!) and searching for a better balance in quality of life I became an entrepreneur in Human Capital services. I started as a headhunter in Brazil where I grew our company size 6 times and expanded to 5 regional offices in Brasil. Then I moved to United States and ended up developing the whole operation in the US with offices in New Jersey/New York City and Miami. My largest experience is in the Life Sciences segment but I also work intensively in consumer goods, Industrial, IT and Telecom. Stefano Vetralla is my colleague at the Miami office. He is Italian and immigrated to the US 7 years ago. He was a senior HR Executive in many large companies like HP and Kemet Electronics. He is experienced in consumer goods and Industrial telecom segments.
Richard Schnaittacher is American and he is my colleague in New Jersey/New York City, he is a senior former executive from life sciences and consumer goods segments. He also has an intense international background and lived abroad in countries like China and Israel.
In what areas do you see the highest demand for Executive Search and Talent Management services in the US?
After the Covid 19 crisis the search for leaders with new skills (virtual sales, virtual engagement amongst others) are in super high demand. We have a huge demand in technical sales, specially related to engineering and also in IT transformation. In Board Services and Talent Management we see a huge interest in leadership development programs.
What kind of clients and positions do you work with?
We support all segments but the majority of our clients are in 5 industries: Industrial (chemicals, automation, machinery, packaging), Life Sciences (pharma, animal health, CRO, Medical Devices), Consumer (beverages and food production), Automotive and IT & Telecom (Fintech, Software, mobile phone signal management/transmission towers, hardware and software IT-companies providing service).
It´s been a strategy of yours to work with cross border business, both when working from US and earlier from Brazil. How has that developed over time? (I guess being in Miami is a good position for someone speaking both English, Portuguese and Spanish).
Miami is a great place to help international companies in US and LATAM (Latin America). Miami is also the bridge between US, Latin America and the rest of the World. From Brazil is easier to help international companies in LATAM. So when it comes to LATAM, over the last 7 years we were able to solve positions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and it is getting better and better. Miami is a good location for the LATAM region but the majority of our clients are in US. We help companies all over US but most up North (New York, New Jersey, Illinois, North Carolina). And this is because in those states headhunting is a consolidated practice. In Florida still you have some influence from the LATAM region that headhunting is too expensive and they still try to avoid to use it as much as possible, but this is changing rapidly since the market in Florida have been receiving a lot of executives migrating from upper states. From our two offices in US we help companies from China and Europe to find candidates from all over US and sometimes Canada.
How specifically do you handle international assignments?
We always agree with the local partner in every major milestone (evolution reports, candidate reports, formats, content, communication with the client) and we follow what was agreed. The same thing when we generate the business. It works quite well in all cases and make the client comfortable since the process routine is the same in all countries. We have to be cautious of time zones, even within the US and adjust our hours to meet our clients needs.
Do you have any advice for non-American companies who wants to enter the US market?
Yes I do. I recommend always to hire a local executive that knows the local business practice, the market, administrative issues, taxes, etc. We still see many companies sending the first man from their original country. This might be a big mistake unless you also hire at least some local executives or if you worked some years in the US before. It takes time to learn the country etiquette for business and this always helps a lot, having somebody local in the team.