Manufacturing/Ops/Engineering Recruiting History

Peter Civardi

Professional Recruiting Summary with a Sampling of Manufacturing, Operations, and Engineering Projects Completed over 30 years

Mobil Oil Corporation — Operations Supervisors for assignments at refineries and logistics/distribution centers in the Western US.

Under the able and demanding supervision of Lee Culkin, College Recruiting Manager for the Western Region, I was taught how to hire people the “Mobil way.” Then, as now, major oil companies paid top dollar to hire the best candidates available. Mobil traditionally sought out the well-rounded, high achiever developmental candidate we specialized in providing. At one point, our past recruits ran the department that scheduled tanker shipments across the Pacific to US refineries, and then directed the distribution of refined products throughout the Western Region. As the Vietnam War ended, Mobil trusted me to handle the relocation of the former Vietnamese Minister of Natural Resources to the US and to help him gain executive employment. I also found them petroleum, chemical, and mechanical engineers for their West Coast refineries. We put many JMO’s and a few exceptional college grads with limited work experience into these slots over the course of a decade.

Procter&Gamble — Production Supervisors and Engineers.

How fortunate I was to secure Procter&Gamble as a client early in my career! Most of my work for this consumer products standout focused on their Paper Products Group. This included the production of Charmin bathroom tissue and Pampers disposable diapers at plants in Cape Girardeau, Green Bay, Mehoopany, and Modesto. One of my proudest accomplishments was finding 21 entry-level supervisors and engineers over the course of a decade for the Cape Girardeau facility. Twenty-five interviews produced 23 job offers, which in turn yielded 21 acceptances! Several of those people eventually reached “director” level status at Procter&Gamble. All of them succeeded in their initial assignments. I am still in touch with many of those recruits in 2005. P&G has always had high selection standards and an accurate, methodical, and dependable evaluation process. They taught me that no company should consider it beneath them to sell their opportunity to a job candidate. When P&G decided they wanted to hire someone, they routinely launched a persuasive campaign to get them on board. These jobs paid $55 – 75K, adjusted for 2010 dollar values.

Baxter Healthcare, Hospital Supply Division — Production, Distribution, QA, Facilities Maintenance, Machine Maintenance Supervisors.

The “Supply Division,” as it was often referred to, was the flagship of American Hospital Supply Corporation (today it is Baxter Healthcare). They adhered to exceptionally high standards for entry-level management development hires, as did the Dietary Products, V. Mueller, McGaw Laboratories, and Scientific Products Divisions. AHSC divisions rarely ventured outside the company to fill mid-level management positions. They hired the best talent available and developed their own people whenever possible. This was a recurring theme with many of our clients. AHSC was one of the first major US firms to embrace behavioral, rather than experiential based interviewing for management and professional hires. Distribution managers usually came out of Navy and Marine Corps supply tracks. Plant supervisors and engineers had solid undergraduate engineering degrees with substantial direct line supervisory experience on Navy ships or with Marine Corps rifle platoons. AHS HR Director, Andy Logue, generously invited me to participate in their in-house behavioral selection training programs for managers presented by Developmental Dimensions International (DDI), the preeminent trainer in the field then and now. My years working with regional AHS HR managers made me competent in this advanced method of hiring/selection. I had some wonderful top-tier experience with them that spanned more than 15 years.

Johnson & Johnson — Production, QA, Facility Maintenance, Distribution Supervisors, and Plant Engineers.

I traveled to manufacturing plants in Sherman, TX; Chicago, IL; Park Forest South, IL; Menlo Park, CA; and Fort Washington, PA, plus corporate headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ to observe manufacturing and QA processes and to meet the supervisors and managers who made Band-Aids, disposable diapers, dental floss, suture material, Pepsid, cotton ear swabs, and other J&J consumer health products. These trips allowed me soak up their corporate culture and better evaluate prospective job candidates for J&J employment. J&J has always adhered to high selections standards and is a great place to work and grow. These positions paid $55 to 80K in 2010 dollars.

Weyerhaeuser Corporation — Corrugated Boxes and Carton Manufacturing — Production, Machine Maintenance, and Distribution Supervisors.

My initial work for this very classy, yet distinctly down to earth Northwestern powerhouse wood products company was for Jim Collett in Los Angeles. Jim was general manager for a corrugated manufacturing facility and had been referred to me by a satisfied client. As GM, Jim had both a plant and sales manager reporting to him. He was an advocate for bringing in new hires with high potential for advancement for first level plant supervisory assignments. Too large a proportion of their first and second level managers had worked their way up from hourly positions. The division was lacking in first and second level supervisors who could be further developed for plant and general manager assignments. Our focus at MRSD was developmental hires, so we were a natural fit for each other from day one. Jim was one of those classy, distinguished gentleman types, now near extinct in American business, who could relate to and was admired by everyone lucky enough to know him. Jim and I enjoyed some success in improving the corporate gene pool for his division by plugging in a supervisor here and there for many years. Jim’s career took off. He rose up several management levels within a decade, eventually achieving the top executive position for corrugated and cartons at Weyerhaeuser in the US.

United Parcel Service

UPS was an unusual American business success story in the early 80’s. This highly efficient and profitable business was owned entirely by its employees, as the company neared the 100-year mark. Almost every management position had been filled with outstanding hourly employees as long as anyone could remember. The best delivery people earned $60-80K in 1980! It was not unusual to find PhD’s working hourly, or first and second level supervisory jobs who started with them in college. Most could not afford to quit! This great company picked my small firm to recruit the first operations and fleet maintenance managers ever brought in from outside. Today, things are a lot different at UPS, but two decades ago, this was a radical change. Our young military officer candidates found it easy to fit right in at this highly regimented organization.

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Division

This was the first production project I ever worked on. Things today are not that different from the way they were in 1973. All types of chips and other “salty food snacks,” as they were referred to in house, were manufactured by efficient, high-speed production lines. Corn meal was processed and potatoes were sliced, dipped, and fried just as they are today. Hiring standards were stringent, but not as strict as those at some other clients. The major attraction for high potential first level supervisors was a chance to break into manufacturing with a major firm and a shot at becoming a plant manager in 5 – 7 years. The plant HR manager in Los Angeles eventually became HR Director all of Frito-Lay.

Lucas Aerospace, North America

Hired by the VPHR, Mike Robilotto, I undertook a project to find a Director of Automation Technology for this international, UK based company. Starting with almost no knowledge of automation technology, but with lots of manufacturing experience across a wide range of industries, I found and presented a candidate who was later described by the General Manager of a large division as “the best hire I have made in 20 years”. In later years, this hire left Lucas to attend the Stanford Business School, after which he won a highly coveted spot at a world-renowned consulting firm.

Miller Brewing Company of North America

The second largest brewing company in the US, once part of the Phillip Morris conglomerate, was a great place to work in production and distribution. A major change came over the brewing industry late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Automation and improved mass production techniques allowed brewers with the capital to build new production facilities the chance to make 10 and 20 times more product with only twice the labor force. This brought production costs down dramatically for the major players and made the smaller producers non-competitive. Nearly 500 regional brewers were reduced to less than 150 in 15 years. We recruited proven leaders to work as production supervisors at these new, much larger breweries. Today, a South African company owns Miller Brewing and new technologies has allowed micro and small regional brewers to make a comeback.

MCI Telecommunications, Inc.

A past high potential candidate with no military background (elementary school teacher for three years) we recruited for Miller Brewing 10 years earlier had switched fields and become Manager for Foundation and Community Relations for this major telecommunications company in the mid-1990’s. She referred me to the senior manager for network operation in the US. They engaged me to find them a superb high potential generalist with extraordinary leadership ability. We looked at over 50 applicants we found just the right Naval Officer. Our client contact was anxious to hire someone, but we waited for 10 weeks to find just the right person. He did very well. In the next year, we found several more.

These 10 client summaries illustrate my varied exposure and experience serving world-renowned manufacturing companies over more than a quarter century. I am well qualified to help build almost any type of manufacturing/operations or marketing staff for most products and industries.


About Peter Civardi

Career HR Consultant for high-potential management development recruitment of JMOs, high profile recent college grads, and new MBAs. Experienced and adept at classic retained search for individual positions at compensation packages up to $250,000 (USD) per year. Available for paid job search guidance, coaching, resume and business networking site editing for sites such as LinkedIn and WordPress. Qualified by 30 years work in recruiting and executive search for Fortune 500 companies.
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