I have had the good fortune of having worked in FMCG recruitment for about 13 years. In that time I have worked for many businesses on countless different roles. Never in that time has recruiting a calibre National Account Executive been so challenging.
The role of a NAE varies from business to business but fundamentally it is used as a support role for the National Account Manager population. NAE level employees are usually being moulded to become National Account managers within a defined timeframe to ensure a pipeline of talent is available for the top Account Manager roles.
The NAE role is an attractive one so why on earth are they so hard to recruit?
The answer is apparent if you put yourself in the candidate’s position.
You have been promoted having been a successful Territory Manager to the hallowed turf of National Accounts. In this new role you would be developed, trained and coached towards a fully-fledged NAM role.
Invariably the tenure of a NAE is around 12-18 months following which a NAE will move onto an account of their own. With this in mind why would someone move to a new employer only to start from the bottom? .... in short they won’t! The risk is too high.
So what now? For this role Increasingly businesses we are working with are looking to us to secure talent and potential rather than experience. The use of Assessment Centres and psychometric profiling to identify potential is proving ever more popular and yielding great results for many businesses.
The answer is to look for the untapped potential and offer the next step to the candidate with the ability to deliver.
Target candidates are often 2nd job graduates who are looking for a long term career in sales.
So therefors NAE = New Assessment Experience?
(Mark Akehurst, Consultant Team Manager)