Podcast

Episode: 356 |
Daryl Tulimieri:
Recruiting Your Team:
Episode
356

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Daryl Tulimieri

Recruiting Your Team

Show Notes

Daryl Tulimieri is a McKinsey alum. He has been at Owens Corning and GLG, where he helped create and grow a group. Darryl is currently an independent consultant and Umbrex member, and he advises on M&A. But today Daryl is sharing his experience in recruiting and building a team in different contexts. Daryl can be contacted at dtulimieri@ligeradvisors.com or through LinkedIn. You can visit his website at LigerAdvisors.com.

Key points include:

  • 02:56: What it’s like to participate in recruiting and how it’s structured at a large consulting firm
  • 06:23: Daryl’s role at Owens, Corning and what sort of team members he recruited and how it was a different story
  • 10:15: An overview of strategic marketing
  • 13:55: How to evaluate skill sets to identify the applicant who would be successful in a role
  • 17:11: How to get the input to inform your decisions
  • 19:04: Recruiting and building a team at GLG
  • 25:29: The recruiting sales pitch
  • 30:56: The time involved in recruiting
  • 34:57: The work Daryl is doing today

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Will Bachman 00:01
Hello, and welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host Will Bachmann. And if you’re interested in hearing about the latest episodes, go to Umbrex.com – Unleashed, sign up for a newsletter, you get some bonus material plus, you’ll get an email with all the recent episodes. So I’m really excited today to be here with our guest, Daryl Tulimieri, who is a McKinsey alum. He has been at Owens, Corning and GLG, where he helped create a grow a group. And Darryl is currently an independent consultant on brex member advises on m&a. But what we’re going to talk about today is Daryl’s experience, recruiting and building a team in different contexts. So, Darryl, welcome to the show.

Daryl Tulimieri 00:54 Thanks. Well, glad to be here.

Will Bachman 00:56
So Darrell, you have been involved in recruiting while you’re at McKinsey, and then at Owens, Corning, and at GLG, where you’re part of the strategic Projects group. Talk to me about some of the differences that you have experienced across those three different types of companies and what you know what’s involved in recruiting and how to attract talent.

Daryl Tulimieri 01:19
Sure, so what I found over the years is that recruiting is very specific to the context that you’re in. If you’re McKinsey or another large brand, a category leader in whatever industry, then you have the advantage in that people find you. And you’re able to really focus on the assessment that that you want to make at a company like Owens Corning, which is headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, nothing against Toledo. It’s just not a large talent pool for something like strategy or strategic marketing or corporate development. And at GLG, your challenge is that you’re in a very large market like New York, but you’re a relatively small player with limited visibility to the talent pool. And you have to approach each of those situations quite differently, both in terms of how you reach out and recruit as well as how you assess that talent.

Will Bachman 02:22
So let’s see, I think a lot of listeners of this show will have been at a big consulting firms. So they’ll kind of have a sense of what that’s like to participate in recruiting. But for those who haven’t, let me just give us on one minute on what it’s like to participate in recruiting, how it’s structured, at a large consulting firm, where you’re bringing in often whole sort of hosts of people into basically the same job. So you’re just looking for your kind of recruiting and mass, right? For this often from campuses.

Daryl Tulimieri 02:56

Yeah, you hit on a key point there, you’re recruiting on mass. I mean, imagine if you’re McKinsey, or JP Morgan Chase, or another large company, hiring MBAs, you probably have one job description, one set of criteria, and everybody gets measured against that. And so at McKinsey, the way we did it was to have really one approach, and people got trained in assessment, so that they could all do it the same way. And the job was also quite well known among a majority of people who were applying, right, they knew what to expect from the job. So you would go through that in a very rigorous fashion. And you would come out the other end with a large set of people who met your criteria. And in fact, at many of those places, you probably end up hiring only a subset of people who would actually be capable. Right, you have many, many applicants. I think I once heard that at McKinsey, they hire one person for several 100 resumes that receive, they receive. And so you as a recruiter, you can kind of pick and choose. And those criteria are standardized, those requirements that talent requirements are standardized.

Will Bachman 04:20
Yeah, and we won’t dwell too much on this because some list a lot of listeners may be familiar with the process. But you know, some additional points, you know, at McKinsey or other consulting firms, I imagine, but at McKinsey, they’ll often be an engagement manager may be assigned as a project for the fall to be the point person at a major school. So they’d be basically that’d be their project for the fall would be to go there and be cultivating talent talking to potential applicants, and encouraging giving little talks. And then you know, high profile or high likelihood candidates would get assigned a mentor who can help advise them and prep them. For the interview, and then there’s case interview day or interview day where a whole bunch of them come in at once. And a lot of consultants in the office are, you know, have to that Friday sign up, and then interview people all day long, doing the same kind of interview, right? Where you’re doing, like a case interview, or a fit, interview, and then everybody gets together at the end of the day, and ranks everybody on 0123 or good, bad or whatever. And then kind of decisions get made based based on those. Right, so that’s this industrial scale. And then

Daryl Tulimieri 05:31
Exactly, and, and everybody, I’m guessing everybody who’s been at McKinsey, in the last 20 years, probably recognizes exactly what you described. Yeah, I know that they do tweak the process and the criteria from time to time. But, you know, at that level, it at one given time, everybody had the same experience you described, and it’s not changing dramatically, right. They’re out there looking for talent.

Will Bachman 06:00
And that’s for the standard entry level post MBA consultants. There’ll be, you know, different process for experienced hires that are coming in laterally, that have been in industry for a bit not right out of business school. But for at least the business school folks. It’s this mass mass process, almost like being recruited to the military or something. But tell us now about what your role was at Owens, Corning and what sort of team members you personally were involved in recruiting and how that was a different different story. Yeah.

Daryl Tulimieri 06:33
So I was a, I was a business manager at Owens, Corning, I lead a business that sells commercial and industrial insulation, a lot of people know Owens Corning, either for their Residential Roofing, or the

residential insulation, that pink insulation that’s in the walls of a majority of houses in the US. My business was in a commercial aspect of the insulation. And partly because of that, we had different strategic marketing needs, because ours was more of a b2b business. Right. And, as I mentioned, Toledo, Ohio, is not a very big city. If you are looking for immediate post MBA talent is somebody at that level, or somebody who maybe has a couple of years of management consulting, there’s there’s not an ecosystem for that type of talent. And that was the first time that I felt I really had to get creative about how do I attract the skill sets that I need for my team to do strategic marketing in a b2b environment?

Will Bachman 07:45
So were you going out just to the local population of Toledo? Or did you more sort of go national and say, I’m gonna have to, you know, pay for someone to relocate.

Daryl Tulimieri 07:55
So I looked into both of those. Toledo, Ohio is not top on most MBAs list of places to relocate. You know, there are plenty of people who go there. And Owens Corning makes a they kind of play the long game. And they end up attracting people who have some tied to the area. I didn’t have that kind of time, in terms of my flexibility for building up the team. And there, what I learned to do was actually, first be flexible in terms of recruiting on exactly what characteristics that I would be able to get from the outside market. But more importantly, I started looking inside the company. And what occurred to me at that time, McKinsey, I actually used to do what they call the APD, recruiting advanced professional degree recruiting. That’s for people who had jadis and MDs and PhDs, not the MBA track. And what I learned from that, was that, that consulting toolkit, I could, you know, I could get that from an MBA, or I could kind of make my own by finding the person with the right basic capabilities. And what I started doing actually was recruiting internally from our science and technology development program. So some of those engineers that were mechanical engineers or chemical engineers, had an interest in looking outside of their technical roles in something in strategic marketing or strategy or product management. And then kind of shifting my gaze So okay, I can’t hire the product manager that I want. But I may be able to get somebody who has the right toolkit and I can build my own if you want. Because if somebody has a PhD in chemistry, They can probably learn what they need to know, to be a strong strategic marketer.

Will Bachman 10:05
Yeah, let’s Frank, let’s face it, frankly, it’s not that complicated compared to a PhD in chemistry. By the way, what does strategic marketing mean? I don’t even know what that means. Exactly.

Daryl Tulimieri 10:15
So yeah, that’s a fair question. Because you know, both of those words strategy and marketing, mean different things to different people all over business, right? In this context, the way Owens Corning used it, and then the way I learned to use it, it was somebody who really thought about the management of a project of a product, sorry, in a strategic way. So not only do we have the right product, how do we bring it to market? How do we message it? But also, how do we manage the pipeline of innovation into that product? So, you know, in a way it is that forward looking strategy, very much product or product

line, or small product group focused? Thinking about how you continue to grow that category of products in your business?

Will Bachman 11:11
And what sorts of activities is that person doing? Are they going out? And like talking to customers a lot to say, How are you using it? What would you like better? Are they doing like due diligence on the competitors? Or what are some of the actual tasks or projects that that person would be doing?

Daryl Tulimieri 11:29
All of those things you just mentioned, especially in a business, like building materials, where you’re probably looking at something relatively niche, the strategic marketer is responsible for the the development of data and the input of market intelligence. So very much speaking to customers hugely valuable. also finding where there may be market research available, that is relevant. I would say also, a certain degree of technical expertise is required to know how products are used and how they’re made. Because included in that front end responsibility is what is in the pipeline from a technology standpoint, into the industry, and shaping that into the development pipeline for new products in that person’s own category, leaders on category. So there’s that research component of it. But then there’s also the strategic planning and execution. All right, so a strategic marketing leader will be responsible for determining what are the what are the next product launches? And how is it going to be manufactured? How is it going to be brought to market is going through the same channels? Is it going to be rebranded? Is it targeting a different sub segment, maybe than the legacy products, depending on what trends there are in the marketplace? Right? It may, you may be going from a kind of a low cost, commodity type positioning of your product to a value added type positioning. And that would require very different, possibly a very different mechanical product, but certainly a different approach to how you market it, how you let people know about it, how you talk about its advantages, its value proposition.

Will Bachman 13:33
So when you were talking and interviewing the internal, the engineers and so forth, and the PhDs on on who are interested in this, how would how would you go about evaluating their skill sets to figure out if they would be, you know, successful in a role like this? If they had the sort of the business savvy?

Daryl Tulimieri 13:55
That’s, that’s a great question. And that gets kind of right, to the crux of it. Right? I think it wouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. Knowing that, you know, the successful filling of a role is to find the right fit. And to find the right fit, you need to first know what you want. And second, need to know how to evaluate that. In in this case, the first step was getting people interested because it wasn’t obvious that they would see the benefit in it. I had a an environment that Owens Corning at the time where they were really transitioning from a product centric, kind of a manufacturing, forward view of the world. So we’ll make it they’ll buy it to much more of a market driven view of the world where our customers and maybe not even our direct customers, but down the value chain, have specific needs. How do we take that into account and design products for that?

Will Bachman 15:00

Yeah, cuz I imagine in a business like that, that you’re not selling to the actual installer, right? You’re probably talking, would you be talking to like the distributors or the big retail chains? Or were their specialty change that just sell to how does that work?

Daryl Tulimieri 15:16
So, at best you’re selling, you’re kind of ready to use product to a distributor, at least a one step distribution system, who then sells it to the contractor who installs it. That’s, for example, how most installation is sold. Some parts of that value chain me maybe a two step distributor, so you sell to a wholesaler who sells to a distributor who sells to a contractor who installs it. So yes, the person with their hands on your product is a few steps down the value chain. I was in a b2b business and in our biggest and most profitable, profitable business, I was selling fiberglass to a manufacturer, who would put it into ductwork into flexible ductwork. So there was a full manufacturing process there. And we were essentially a raw material input, they sold it to a distributor, distributor, sold it to a contractor, contractor, then installed the product. So yeah, it was quite a long value chain, back to that requirement of the role of a strategic marketer in this business, that person needed to understand all of those steps in the value chain. And what was driving each of those decisions in terms of what product would either be carried or used by by each of those steps. No, would you or your folks be out there trying to go and find contractors and talking directly about his ducting? What do you like about it? And by the way, how about that installation? How does it hold up? or trying to get sort of input from the voice of the customer from the end user or talking to the that manufacturing company and saying what do you like or not?
Like? How would you be getting input to inform your decisions? So yes, in best practice, you’re exactly
right. And what you described in that, and it’s one of the reasons why I really wanted what consultants often call an athlete, right, somebody who can kind of play a number of different roles and and do each of them competently. So I needed somebody who could talk to that installer about what their needs were what made their job easier or harder. And then translate that back into why does this new product, you know, why is it better for a distributor to carry it? So they would also need to talk to the distributors, when they’re doing their their market research, then very important in that particular business was talking to the manufacturer of the duck, how does our raw material behave in their manufacturing process? So kind of bringing it back to talent, finding somebody who could communicate with some very different types of stakeholders and stakeholders with different needs through the value chain, and then tie that together in a plan for what is our next product going to be? How are we going to market it? How are we going to distribute it? You know, how are we going to talk about the value proposition?
That was the challenge in that talent piece, which was who can do this here. And and at that time at Owens Corning, it was actually a very limited number of people who had that type of marketing experience.

Will Bachman 18:49
Let’s transition and talk about your time at GLG strategic projects. Maybe for people who aren’t familiar, you just give a quick synopsis of that business. And then tell me a little bit about what it was like recruiting and building a team there.

Daryl Tulimieri 19:04
Sure, I’ll start from the basics at GLG, which many people know but maybe not all, who listened to this podcast. GLG was one of the originators of what was referred to as the expert network, particularly for

investment professionals. An investment professional either private equity, investment banking or other would need to learn quickly about a topic and GLG amassed a very large set of experts that they could get on the phone with their clients very quickly. To do an in a, you know, typically a one hour interview at work, learn a lot. Strategic projects was created in 2014. About a year before I got there, to actually start doing some of the work that our clients were doing those calls so rather than just providing that information, one interview at a time, more like a full service consulting project. All right, what is the big question you need to answer about this industry or about a target company that you want to acquire, then, actually one of its most successful product or service lines was doing due diligence for private equity companies commercial due diligence. So GLG would take that project on with a project manager who was an independent consultant, who would leverage GLG, expert network, possibly an associate or two on that project, and bring that all together for the client in a in a package deliverable that then they could use for decision making. My role as strategic projects was to extend that concept from the investment area, meeting financial services clients into the corporate division, so serving corporate clients of GLG. And that work tended to be largely focused around similar topics to what we were just talking about in marketing or strategic marketing, and market intelligence, but was also kind of a full service consulting offering.

Will Bachman 21:20
So the folks that you were hiring, you were you’re not hiring the folks that are actually going to be the project leads, what was what was the team that you were responsible for recruiting?

Daryl Tulimieri 21:31
Yeah. So the GLG team played the role of, of both business development, as well as project oversight. So in and I don’t want to oversell it. But what they did was effectively the function of a partnership at a traditional consulting firm, right, where they were out developing client relationships, identifying opportunities, in coordination with an existing Salesforce at at jlg. And then once the once a project was kicked off, so they would, they would also they would understand the issues, they would put together that proposal. And then if the proposal was accepted, and the project was kicked off, then the people on my team would be responsible for oversight of that project to make sure that our independent consultants that we contracted, delivered, what the client was expecting what we had promised them.

Will Bachman 22:38
And what type of talent were you recruiting like, were you trying to hire former management consultants from top firms or whoever you’re trying to bring in?

Daryl Tulimieri 22:48
So that was absolutely 100%, where we started my first hire, there was a McKinsey Engagement Manager, who had kind of his his personal situation, his family life had changed. He had a couple kids, he didn’t want to be in consulting anymore. And he was looking for something else. And he was a very strong Engagement Manager and join the join the team and was was very successful. So that was part of the profile that we needed. But there were some things that we needed to do, that were actually different from just what a consultant is trained to do. Because now, we’re not a consultancy, were part of a corporation. And a lot of the resources that we needed at GLG existed in other functions, whether it was working with finance or legal to draft contracts, a type of contract that was relatively new to jlg. So

we had to really partner with them to get that developed, or working with the researchers, the people who were out finding the experts to be used by our teams to do the research. And that is not necessarily a skill doing that in a corporate environment, not necessarily a skill that a consultant must have. I mean, you know, skilled consultants who advanced and spend a lot of time sure they develop the type of relationship capabilities and stakeholder management capabilities that certainly are include would include being able to do this, but not every associate or Engagement Manager does that. So we definitely had what I would say was a consulting toolkit as a basis, but also some different requirements that we needed to fulfill that not every consultant whether from a big firm or from another You’re a smaller firm, they didn’t necessarily have that we we needed to screen for those other things as well.

Will Bachman 25:08
And told me about what it was like trying to talk people into, you know, joining GLG. Let’s say someone is leaving McKinsey or Bain or BCG or another top firm. What was the sales pitch? And how did you get them? I mean, they may have already been familiar with GLG from using the service. But what was that discussion like?

Daryl Tulimieri 25:29
Right. So for that? It’s a good question, because it kind of leads to it’s the start of the path. Right? We spent a lot of time at first recruiting those people and the the pitch was you. Yeah, you know, you won’t be a consultant anymore. You’re not on that same very linear path of development and kind of that linear career ladder that exists in most consultancies. But this is an opportunity to exercise a much more varied skill set and develop a more varied skill set and have an impact on how in this case, corporate strategic projects is shaped. And that would appeal to certain people. Now, very often with exiting, particularly exiting McKinsey consultants, who we spoke to many of they have a lot of options, right? They’re getting offers from Google, and tech, you know, other tech companies from Honeywell from General Electric. So that gets to the point of fit, right? If somebody wants another marquee name, on their their resume, then that person and look, I went to McKinsey as well, I appreciate the value of that. And if that’s what somebody wants at that point, that’s just not a good fit for that particular role. So we had to find the people that were looking for something different. And then it becomes a real, a kind of a matter of numbers and reaching the right people, until you can find the one that says, Oh, this smaller, more flexible environment is the one that I want. And this particular type of experience of really having much more client relationship development is better, even than what I might get as an engagement manager at McKinsey, right. Certainly, as a partner at McKinsey, you’re on the front lines of that. But, you know, there’s a long way to go from Engagement Manager to partner. So, so it was about finding that now that we learned was a very rare individual. And that was when I leaned back on my Owens Corning experience to a degree and started thinking, where else can we get this skill set?

Will Bachman 28:19
Yeah, and when did you look internal then.

Daryl Tulimieri 28:22
So we looked internal, and particularly for, for the more junior roles on the team, I was an advocate on the strategic projects leadership team was saying, we can, we can take people that are internal, and not only hired them into Junior roles. But we can also develop them into leaders on strategic projects.

And, and that early when I joined, it was so early, we didn’t even really know whether or not that could be done. My view was not only could it be done, but we had to do it. Because of the corporate environment that we were in, we couldn’t be seen as only drawing talent from the outside, it would I think have created some barriers, working with other functions in the company. So we did recruit internally. But then, you know, I was an advocate of looking in other places for talent besides just exiting consultants. One of my best hires there was actually a former JPMorgan Chase Product Manager. She was in in transactions. And when she came to interview, she had all of the the basics right, like the fundamental skills. When I say basics, I really mean the foundation. Right? She was super smart. She was driven and she was curious. She wanted to go from a large highly structured environment to more of an entrepreneurial environment. And there was concern with my boss and with others about whether or not she could pick up the consulting toolkit. And it was more the tactical things like page making and modeling, not that consultants usually do sophisticated models, but she hadn’t done any. And and I said, You know, I was confident that those were the things that we could teach. It was another example of that kind of make your own. You’re right, take the skill sets that are difficult to create, hire that in. And then the other capabilities that are easier to teach, you can make those

Will Bachman 30:43
tell us about how much time did you invest in recruiting? And how many people did you talk to, for each person you ended up actually hiring.

Daryl Tulimieri 30:56
When I look back on it, sometimes I can’t believe it, I think it’s one of the main things that I learned is that, if you’re in a position to hire, your job is now hiring. And if you’re more than one step above individual contributor, then then it’s probably a majority of your job is hiring and developing that talent. And so you really need to think of it like that, and invest that kind of time in it. You know, GLG has strong functions, finance, legal, including HR and talent management, but they were, they had developed processes and capabilities for different functions than ours. So we ended up having to create a our own capability requirements, write our own structured competency grid, and create our own interviewing process that would let us determine let us assess whether or not a candidate was going to meet the bar on that competency grid. And so it was, it was a tremendous amount of time, I would say. We probably, we probably phone screen 25 out of every 100 resumes. So 25% of the resumes that came in, we probably phone screen 25%. And we probably brought, I don’t know, one out of five of those on site. And then we probably made offers on somewhere between one out of five and one out of 10 on site candidates for each role. So it was a, it was a major factor. Not only that, it wasn’t just me doing one interview, each candidate would do four for five, sometimes six interviews. So it was a it was a fair, fair sized component of the jobs for everybody on my team.

Will Bachman 33:11
Wow, I can’t even do the math on that. So that’s your screen and screen. 100 resumes you actually talk to 25 people, you have 25 conversations. And then of those, you would actually invite five of those people in and then have four or five conversations each in person. And then out of all of that work.
Maybe you give offers to one of all those 25 people. And maybe they accept it, maybe they don’t. So there’s a lot of conversations.

Daryl Tulimieri 33:41
It was a lot of conversations. I think everybody on that team and and I I’ve talked to some of them specifically about this, some of the people who were on that team, I think it was worth it. Because if that was what we needed to endure to. That was what we needed to do to ensure that the team was going to work as a cohesive unit that you know, across all of the different people on the team, we would have the right combinations of skill sets and the right working environment, and also the right ownership. One of the things that we did at our own that jlg very well i think was we included many people on the team. It wasn’t just hiring manager and maybe their peer or one step below doing interviews. Regardless of the seniority of the role, that person would interview up and down the seniority spectrum.

Will Bachman 34:45
Let’s talk just a little bit about your about your own firm today. So you’re now an independent consultant, you’ve left GLG tell us about the type of work you’re doing.

Daryl Tulimieri 34:57
So I work with a partner Who has been an independent m&a consultant for about 17 years. His name’s Jay Moran, the firm is lagger Capital Advisors. And I had worked with Jay, prior to even going to GLG. When we did some transactions together when I was at Owens Corning, he, I was his client, he was my investment banker to do some transactions there. What lagger Capital Advisors does, is work with clients both on buy side and sell side, starting from really any point in the deal process, I would say we have a preference starting early, working with our clients to develop a thesis for the value. typically not develop a thesis out of whole cloth, they’ve reached out to us for some reason that they they want to make a transaction, but then helping them really understand what their objectives are helping them define that. Then we’ll do the research to find the counterparty whether it’s a buyer for a business unit corporate carve out, or whether it’s somebody looking to on the buy side to make an acquisition, finding the right target for them. And and then developing those targets to bring them to the table for a fruitful conversation for transaction.

Will Bachman 36:25
And if people wanted to follow up with you, and connect with you and find out what you’re doing. Do you want to share any websites or any other links?

Daryl Tulimieri 36:36
Sure, certainly, I’m easy to find on LinkedIn. If you can spell my last name Tula Mary CULIMI er II or de Tula, Mary at lagger capital advisors.com. I’m sorry, I gave my my wrong email address D to Larry at lagger. advisors.com.

Will Bachman 37:01
There we go. And we’ll include that in the show notes. Darryl, thank you so much for being on the show. This was a great discussion. And listeners. If you want to find out about all our latest episodes, go ahead on brex.com slash unleashed. and sign up for the newsletter. Darryl, thanks a lot for joining today.

Daryl Tulimieri 37:19

You’re welcome and thanks for having me.

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