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What Happened in Vegas? Highlights from the 2017 National Hardware Show

What Happened in Vegas? Highlights from the 2017 National Hardware Show

Last week, Schaffer Associates was pleased to attend the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas along with thousands of industry experts, organizations, and vendors in order to get a glimpse into the latest trends and emerging patterns within the hardware and home improvement sector.  Attending the Show every year since our doors first opened in 1992, our team was delighted to have yet another opportunity to hear directly from the companies and individuals who are busy innovating, hiring, and buying and selling within the industry on a daily basis.

What we learned from our time in Las Vegas is that while the economy is presenting new opportunities for growth and new market share for many companies, it is also a challenging time in terms of identifying and landing new talent, specifically for senior-level sales and retail positions.  Since the Great Recession, most organizations still have not completely built back their benches in sales in a way that enables them to promote from within their own ranks.  As such, companies are choosing instead to seek outside individuals who are proven leaders in the sales and retail space, and that process has become more and more dependent on executive search firms like Schaffer Associates.

Of everything we heard at the Hardware Show, however, perhaps the most strikingly consistent theme revolved around the near-universal need for senior-level talent in e-commerce, digital marketing, and social media integration.  Naturally, most executive leadership within industry companies is not comprised of members of the generation that has emerged professionally in the digital age.  In order to adjust to the rapid pace at which the economy is “digitizing,” companies are in desperate need of individuals who not only understand digital marketing and e-commerce, but who are senior enough to take on leadership roles within the organization in order to implement digital strategies across the entire framework of the company.

The urgent focus on e-commerce is leading to other concerns within the industry such as how companies can excel at “omni-channel marketing”—going to market not only using the traditional brick-and-mortar approach to retail sales, but also modernizing into the digital economy in an effective and profitable way.  This process presents challenges for many companies in our industry, especially when it comes to questions of supply chain, inventory, and customer retention.  These challenges highlight the need for proven, experienced leadership in the digital economy.

The 2017 National Hardware Show verified challenges and opportunities that Schaffer Associates has been confronting with clients all year.  Growth and new markets await, but finding the best talent in an industry that continues to change quickly is increasingly difficult.  That’s where we come in, and we were excited to connect with many new and existing clients in Vegas on this basis. If your organization, like so many, needs help landing the right individuals as we move deeper in to 2017, call Schaffer Associates today.

Schaffer Associates is a national executive search firm specializing in talent acquisition for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As premier executive recruiters with expert focus on your industry, we help you HIRE SMART.

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