Business Development Manager, Automotive Sector
sitronic GmbH & Co. KG
Farmington Hills, MI (Detroit region)
sitronic GmbH & Co. KG, a producer of automotive electronics and sensors headquartered near Stuttgart, Germany, already had an existing customer base in the US, who increasingly requested a local point of contact. Furthermore, they observed untapped demand for their products and services in the US market that was hard to pursue from across the Atlantic.
To address these imperatives, sitronic North America Corp was founded in September 2015 and opened a branch office in Farmington Hills, MI and needed to hire their first employee in the US. The Business Development Manager position was established in order to strengthen existing relationships with US-based clients as well as to expand their market presence.
As a German-based company, sitronic was not familiar with hiring procedures in the US, which are notably different from Germany. One of sitronic’s Senior Key Account Managers was also planning to steer both the candidate and the office search from the German headquarters.
Additionally, sitronic had an ambitious profile in mind: a bilingual (German / English) candidate with a hunter-style sales approach who had experience in the automotive industry and an advanced technical understanding of automotive sensors.
Based on online research and after an initial phone-based consultation, sitronic decided to work with GACC Midwest, an experienced local partner who understands both the German and American approach to recruitment.
Following the gatherings from a strategic planning session with sitronic, GACC Midwest developed and compelling job description that was appropriate for the US automotive talent market. Our team conducted systematic research into the top qualified candidates from our GACC Talent Network and promoted the opening through our high-traffic online job board. Our strong reputation among the German-American business community allowed us to attract the attention of strong candidates among sitronic’s competitors.
Having built a field of talents that met sitronic’s requirements, GACC Midwest presented a slate of 3 finalist candidates and joined sitronic for face-to-face interviews at the GACC Midwest office in downtown Chicago.
We were delighted to support sitronic in the steps following the signing of the offer, such as helping them to create a market-appropriate Employment Contract for their new hire. We also served as a valuable resource to sitronic throughout the recruitment process on unfamiliar topics such as employment benefits and mandatory payroll taxes. Leveraging our Membership Network, we connected sitronic with needed service providers, such as lawyers as well as healthcare and pension plan providers.
One year after hiring their Business Development Manager, sitronic has increased its footprint in the US market significantly. In September 2016 the Business Development Manager was approached by the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo & Conference in Novi, MI to showcase sitronic’s expertise in front of a large audience. To strengthen the technical support they hired an application engineer for their Farmington Hills office at the end of 2016 and in January 2017 they joined the NAIAS in Detroit as an exhibitor.
In addition to the recruiting support described here, GACC also did the site selection for their Michigan office location. Given the success of the ongoing collaboration, sitronic reached out to GACC Midwest for event planning support to organize and promote their opening celebration of this office, where our CEO Mark Tomkins also represented GACC Midwest with words of welcome to the company.