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CGX Constantly Seeks Good Talent to Sell Digital Solutions

Published on October 14, 2011

Vice President of Workflow Systems at Consolidated Graphics Cliff Hollingsworth chats a bit about finding good talent beyond the industry.

Cliff Hollingsworth, Vice President of Workflow Systems at Consolidated Graphics.  The question was, how do I find good talent within the industry to go out and sell the solutions and the digital types of applications we’re looking for?  And my answer is we really don’t find it in the industry.  We have a well-established, well-known priority in leadership development and one of the cornerstones of Consolidated Graphics is our leadership development program where we go out actively recruiting campuses around the United States whether you’re a printing major or not, we want you to be interested in a career in our company.  And it’s a three-year, intensive training program where we bring you into our company, we give you the opportunity to learn the business, we give you the opportunity to move around.  We have 71 companies all across the United States and a couple out in foreign companies.  So we have a ton of opportunities for young people who want to be aggressive and learn this business.  

The idea there is sales, recruitment; any of these things are numbers game.  So we want to keep the pipeline and the funnel full of talent and let people find their way, especially young people.  It’s… I think we’re all foolish to think they come out of school knowing exactly what they want to do, but the thing about the printing industry is there are so many different things they can do and you know, we have a structured program that’s going to expose them to all parts of the business from production management up into sales, if you want to be a controller in one of our companies, we have a track for that.  And fully a third of our 71 presidents right now are graduates of the leadership development program.  Many of them are in sales; many of them are in key management positions or operating companies.  

So what they get is they get immersed into the printing culture from a variety of angles.  And it’s not so much about selling digital anymore.  I think too many of us, we come to these meetings, we go to our companies and we say you need to sell digital.  I think we need to quit focusing on the output and focus on the outcome.  I heard somebody say that recently, so that’s not an original thought.  But I still think it’s really important.  I mean, I think if we can help these youngsters as they come into the companies and help them focus on fulfilling customer’s needs, focusing on the outcome, measuring that ROI, I think that that’s going to be a lot more relevant to the clients moving forward as opposed to what… how green is my grass and how blue is my sky.  

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