New grocery retail recruitment projects

Posted by Brenda Reyes on October 06, 2010
Grocery Retail News, Recruiting News / Comments Off

Recently, our team has been retained on numerous executive recruitment projects with top grocery retailers. We’re currently working on senior-level job openings such as:

  • Vice President, Pharmacy/HBC
  • Director of Organizational Development
  • Senior Director of Convenience Foods
  • Senior Director of Deli
  • Procurement Manager, Produce
  • Merchandising Manager, Natural/Organic
  • Merchandising Manager, Frozen Foods
  • Merchandising Manager, GM/Seasonal
  • Marketing Planning Manager
  • Brand Visual Marketing Manager
  • Prototype Plan Development Manager
  • Corporate Brands Integrity Specialist
  • Compensation Analyst
  • Supermarket Store Manager

You can read more about these positions on the TCG website. If you’re in the grocery retail industry, but have experience in other functional areas, we invite you to submit your resume online for future reference.

The Carlisle Group has been active in grocery retail executive recruitment for more than 12 years. We pride ourselves on professionalism, integrity, thorough communications and a detailed candidate process. “Tony Frey was exceptional. I have worked with many recruiters over the years,” says one of our 2010 grocery retail candidates. “He ensured I was well prepared, gave great insight into the personalities of those I was meeting with, terrific sense of the job and what was needed to prepare for the interview process. I would highly recommend your organization in the future.”

Whether you need new talent for your organization…or a new organization for your own talent – we have the expertise to determine if your experience aligns with any of our current openings. If not, your new opportunity may be right around the corner…we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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TCG recruiters set the pace in 2010

Posted by Brenda Reyes on September 27, 2010
Grocery Retail News, Insurance News, Manufacturing News, TCG News / Comments Off

Of all the things we enjoy at TCG – hard work, fitness, friendship – a healthy competitive spirit is high on the list. So, we make a big deal of our monthly achievements*…which are easy to celebrate when we’re finding great candidates who create success for our clients.

Yes, this is one of “those” blogs…I am about to begin bragging about our team (and possibly break into song if you’re lucky enough to be here in the office). Many of our office members are on track to receive the annual “Pacesetter Award” that recognizes outstanding execution of their search projects. The office will be a lonely place while they’re away on that incentive trip to Hawaii in the spring of 2011!

The Grocery Retail Team is off the shelf with numerous August placements capping off a strong showing this summer. Tony Frey, vice president, has been working in the market since 1998. This TCG team was recognized as the #1 Team Worldwide in July and held on as the #2 Team Worldwide in August. As an individual, Tony is in the Top 15 recruiters worldwide for January-July 2010; he was also named the #3 Account Executive in our region for August.

The Insurance Team has underwritten its recent success with their strong knowledge of the Property & Casualty insurance market . . . and a large pool of outstanding talent. Brian Schrift, vice president of insurance, was recognized as one of the Top 100 recruiters worldwide for January-July 2010. Marc Gyimesi, a member of the TCG team since early 2009, was named #2 Account Executive (Insurance Specialty) for August.

And last, but certainly not least, is the TCG Manufacturing Division, whose production of satisfied candidates and clients has remained steady since 1996. Travis Walker, vice president of manufacturing, was recognized in the Top 30 recruiters both worldwide and within our region for August. 

*Sales achievements based on reporting by MRINetwork, a global executive recruitment network representing more than 950 offices and 4000 recruiters worldwide.

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September analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report

Posted by Bert Wendeln on September 08, 2010
Recruiting News / Comments Off

The full report can be seen here:

According to the Labor Department, total U.S. private-sector employment grew by 67,000 positions in August, the eighth consecutive month of job growth. Total U.S. employment fell by 54,000 positions after factoring in government jobs, including 114,000 temporary census workers who were let go. The unemployment rate rose from 9.5 to 9.6 percent, driven mostly by an increase in people who completed temporary work-including census workers-and new entrants, people looking for their first job. In total, nearly three quarters of a million private-sector jobs have been added to the U.S. economy this year.

At last, meaningful improvement is being seen in the length of unemployment. The average length of unemployment has fallen since June from 35.2 to 33.6 weeks. The total number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more has fallen from 6.8 million in May to 6.3 million in August.

BLS Update

Year-over-year, the management, professional and related occupations unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1 percent from 5.4 percent. The improvement, however, is tempered by a decline of a little over a million workers using the classification, about a 2 percent reduction. Conversely, production occupations have seen the most dramatic year-over-year improvement with unemployment falling from 15.1 to 11.6 percent. Total workers using the classification grew by about 300,000. A large part of this strength likely comes from the automotive industry, which while traditionally shutting down for a month in the summer to retool, did not do so this year because of high demand.

In an interesting, yet not immediately explainable turn of events, the participation rate of those with four-year college degrees over the last three months has dropped from 77.3 to 75.8 percent. This may be the clearest indication yet of the effect of baby boomer retirement and their exodus from the labor market. Such drops in participation have not been seen among workers with lower levels of academic achievement, whose retirements presumably will be delayed further than college graduates.

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TCG press release: Tony Frey receives global recognition

Posted by Brenda Reyes on September 01, 2010
Grocery Retail News, TCG News / Comments Off

Tony Frey Recognized as #2 Top Account Executive of the Decade

photo of Tony FreySeptember 1, 2010 (Carlisle, PA) – Tony Frey, an executive recruiter with The Carlisle Group, was recently named as the number two Account Executive of the Decade by MRINetwork, one of the world’s largest search and recruitment organizations. The prestigious award was presented to Frey at the company’s annual convention, held this year in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Frey, Vice President, has also ranked among the top one percent of MRINetwork’s executive recruiters for 12 years and earned the distinction of Regional Account Executive of the Year three times, producing seven million in revenue from successful placements and project work.

“Tony has earned a stellar reputation in his marketplace and in his industry sectors for his professionalism and integrity,” said Tony McKinnon, president of MRINetwork. “He has earned the loyalty and respect of both his clients and his candidates for his ability to understand their needs and deliver outstanding outcomes to his searches.”

Frey and his team specialize in placing top talent within the grocery retail, food service and higher education industries, filling positions both vertically and laterally within his clients’ organizations. In addition to traditional executive search and volume program recruiting services, he has also been an active leader in the firm’s consulting and research-project capabilities.

 “Tony’s belief in building relationships means that he and his team become an extension of their clients’ HR departments,” Bert Wendeln, president of The Carlisle Group. “He is a true professional in every sense of the word.”

Tony is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance, Cum Laude. Prior to joining The Carlisle Group, Tony worked as a licensed financial advisor and served in a senior management capacity with Wells Fargo.

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About The Carlisle Group: The Carlisle Group (TCG), an executive search and recruitment firm, specializes in recruiting vertically and across departmental lines for the following industries: Grocery Retail and Wholesale, General Merchandise Retail, Food Service, Higher Education, Manufacturing, Property & Casualty Insurance, Healthcare and Banking/Finance. By consistently cultivating our client relationships, we have tested and proven the processes that warrant utilizing TCG for all of your critical staffing needs. Read more online at

About MRINetwork: Management Recruiters International, Inc., branded as MRINetwork®, is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. A subsidiary of CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI), a global provider of engineering & information technology outsourcing solutions and professional staffing, the MRINetwork has 950 franchised offices in 35 countries. Visit MRINetwork at

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Positive economic trends evident in grocery retail industry

Posted by Brenda Reyes on August 30, 2010
Grocery Retail News, Recruiting News / Comments Off

Consumer cutbacks in restaurant spending have created a slow-moving but positive economic trend at local supermarkets. In comparison to last year’s figures, July 2010 retail industry sales are up 3.1%. Grocery stores have weathered the Great Recession due in part to the increased traffic in their fresh and frozen departments – thanks to a continued stream of consumers choosing their aisles over take-out restaurants.

According to Supermarket News online, “Supermarkets and product suppliers have been able to provide effective solutions for consumers feeling the economic pinch, while at the same time meeting increased demand for lifestyle products that impact health and wellness.”

The Carlisle Group (TCG) has noted the continued economic and hiring stability throughout a number of grocery retail organizations they’ve worked with this year. Recent industry reports show that grocery retail hiring has spiked to an 18% increase compared to one year ago.

“Grocery retail organizations are trending similarly,” says Tony Frey, Vice President of the TCG grocery retail team. “We have noted that numerous chains are aggressively searching for talent in merchandising, procurement, process improvement, corporate brands and supply chain. I think many companies are moving forward with cautious optimism. There is a battle for grocery retailers to move from a more product-centric focused industry to a customer-centric focus. They need to find the talent in the market that can help them achieve this major goal.”

TCG has focused on recruiting proven performers for our grocery retail clients since 1998, spanning two smaller recessions during those years. Based on his experience, Frey says that our nation is currently following the same pattern for recovery as the previous recessions. Organizations are forced to make changes in personnel in order to achieve their goals. Companies adapt to the new market, change structure and then begin to gain forward momentum. This typically drives a secondary round of changes, ultimately spurring continued growth and creating future hires. “However,” he notes, “the 2010 recovery is moving at a slow pace because of the uncertainty surrounding the global economy and several major US industry sectors.”

As a global executive search and recruitment firm, the TCG grocery retail specialty team has orchestrated more than $7 million in placement fees to date. In 2010, this market has accounted for more than 50% of the firm’s revenue.

From corporate positions in procurement, merchandising, accounting/finance or human resources to field operations managers and supply chain directors – the TCG team brings a wealth of grocery retail recruitment expertise and a strong national candidate database. TCG has the experience needed to recruit talent that matches your position on paper . . . and your culture in person. Read more online at

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The Patriot-News / TCG in Midstate Money Section

Posted by Brenda Reyes on August 24, 2010
Grocery Retail News, Recruiting News, TCG News / Comments Off

Photo of Bert Wendeln

Catching up with Bert Wendeln
Grocery retail jobs growing, expert says

By Sharon Smith | Monday, August 23, 2010

People hear that the economy is slowly on the mend, but they have not seen that translate into lower unemployment. Bert Wendeln, president and CEO of The Carlisle Group, a privately held global executive search and recruitment firm in Carlisle, keeps track of the local employment situation in real time. Recently, Wendeln answered questions submitted by The Patriot-News about the midstate job market.

Q: Unemployment has remained high nationally and in the midstate during the last six months. Recently, the rate has actually gone up with more people re-entering the workforce. Your company issued a statement indicating that your firm expects continued employment growth in several sectors in 2010. Can you explain what you mean by this?

A: While we’ve experienced a decrease in certain sectors, other industries are doing well in response to the current economy. For example, many exempt and non-exempt manufacturing workers have lost jobs since the start of this “Great Recession.”

However, grocery retail has done better in the down-turned economy. This may be to the detriment of the restaurant business, but folks are driven to eat more often at home when money is tight. Certainly, the midstate has lost a number of manufacturing jobs, but we’re seeing positive trends in global manufacturing organizations. A number of the largest companies have recently reported their move to “re-shore jobs,” meaning they’re bringing a number of manufacturing jobs back to US soil. 

The companies that have weathered the storm still need top talent following attrition and/or the inevitable restructuring that happens in a compressed economy. Our firm works primarily on recruiting for senior-level positions, and the unemployment rate has recently decreased to 4.5% among the college-educated workforce. We see this trend continuing through 2012 and beyond.

Q: What sectors do you expect to see employment growth?

A: In addition to the uptick in the grocery retail industry that we’ve experienced across the country, our firm has experienced an increased number of executive placement needs within the insurance, healthcare and manufacturing industries. In fact, CNN Money reported in early August that the manufacturing employment index reported a recent jump in hiring. This follows 12 consecutive months of upward growth trends (albeit slow moving growth) in the manufacturing industry. And many of our small to mid-size regional and mutual insurance clients have seen growth through new product development and expansion. We also anticipate growth in these sectors: life sciences, biotech, healthcare technologies and alternative energy technologies.

Q: Your firm is working on a large-scale recruitment project for retailer Ahold USA Retail. Can you provide more details on that? Can you name any other clients your firm is working with?

A: Ahold USA Retail has been a client of TCG since 1998. We are currently supporting them to relocate their procurement and merchandising functions across all four divisions to the Giant of Carlisle office.  The relocation is creating immediate benefit within the real estate, hospitality and travel industries as individuals visit the area to make relocation decisions and then ultimately fully transition to midstate residents.

We’ve served many of the largest names within healthcare, managed care, insurance, logistics, manufacturing, grocery retail, food service, sales/marketing, higher education and the banking/finance industries. Read TCG client testimonials online]

Q: Recently, you attended a regional conference and learned that national recruitment firms are reporting sharp increases in the first quarter of 2010. You made a statement that things are moving again and that turnover may indeed jump in the coming months. Can you elaborate on that? What should businesses do to prepare for that?

A: We’ve entered a new era where loyalty has been lost between employers and employees.  The average employee tenure has been reduced to 3-5 years with the same organization.  Then take into account the number of employees that have been landlocked with limited opportunities coupled with the widespread changes to employee benefits during these economic hard times.  It’s no wonder we’re facing the highest employee dissatisfaction rate we’ve seen since our firm’s inception.  As organizations stabilize in 2010, they’ll need to be extremely conscientious and quick to rebuild damaged employee relationships.

Q: If you are someone who has been out of work for a while or someone who just lost their job, how can you capitalize on a positive shift on the employment front?

A: Today more than ever, finding a job is a full-time job. An unemployed individual will need to spend upwards of 40 hours a week pursuing opportunities.  Some will come in the form of posted job openings, but many others will come from networking and referrals.  Feel free to think outside the box in regard to networking and marketing your skill set. It’s critical to cast a wide net that extends outside traditional means of job hunting. However, remember to hold fast to traditional reasoning regarding your level of professionalism as you present yourself and your background in the market. Here in the midstate, most organizations have a conservative culture and will value your traditional approach to business.

You’ll also increase your opportunities in the potential job market exponentially based on your flexibility. Remain alert for opportunities to translate your experience into new avenues; be cautious about too narrowly defining your areas of expertise.  There are a number of options for government-funded retraining or continuing education, and a new career path may be the best route for you. Finally, while we understand that housing markets are tight and many people face challenges while considering relocation – the willingness to relocate for the right opportunity is a positive in this competitive environment.

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TCG manufacturing client named 2010 “Best Plant” Finalist

Posted by Brenda Reyes on August 19, 2010
Manufacturing News / Comments Off

Industry Week, Best Plant FinalistThe TCG Manufacturing Division is pleased to congratulate long-time client, Carlisle Companies, Inc.  The company’s Construction Materials plant in Greenville, IL, was recently named a 2010 finalist in IndustryWeek’s “Best Plants” list. 

IndustryWeek Names 2010 Best Plants Finalists
By Jill Jusko | Aug. 18, 2010

[Opening paragraph] Manufacturing excellence perseveres even in the wake of turbulent economic conditions. So demonstrate the 20 finalists in IndustryWeek’s 2010 Best Plants competition, IW’s annual salute to manufacturing excellence and dedication to continuous improvement. Now in its 21st year, the search for 10 winning manufacturing facilities from across North America has been narrowed to this group of 20 finalists. See full article and plant list here.

The Carlisle Group is a premier global search & recruitment firm with 14 years of manufacturing industry experience.

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Growth indicators strong in manufacturing sector

Posted by Brenda Reyes on August 16, 2010
Manufacturing News, Recruiting News / Comments Off

Although consumer confidence is lackluster and economic indicators are more sluggish than expected in 2010, we continue to see proof positive that our economy is headed in an upward direction. Figures for consumer spending, total GDP growth, trade deficits and total private employment are all gaining momentum – albeit slow momentum. US imports and exports have been on the rise since January 2010. Unlike confidence readings, these figures are showing where consumers and businesses are actually putting their money.

TCG’s manufacturing division is seeing strong positive trends in global organizations as well. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index reports 12 consecutive months of US manufacturing growth. Manufacturing sector productivity grew 4.5% in the second quarter of 2010, belying the nation’s overall dip in productivity during the same time period.

And a number of the largest companies have recently reported their move to “re-shore” jobs, meaning they’re bringing a number of manufacturing jobs back to US soil. “According to a survey by the international accountant firm Grant Thornton, 20 percent of U.S. respondents brought sourcing closer to home in 2010 and 28 percent did so in 2009,” read a recent Mechanical Engineering article.

Both the move to re-shore manufacturing production as well as the increased productivity may mean companies are confident in their pipeline for new orders. Following the demure cadence of this great recession, the employment section of the manufacturing index has finally shown a jump in hiring. Companies that have weathered the storm still need top talent following attrition and the inevitable restructuring that happens in a compressed economy. TCG and others within its global network of executive recruiters have noted a consistent increase in senior-level position openings throughout the year. Managerial recruitment has peaked to its highest level since November 2008 according to a recent article in The Economist. The unemployment rate has recently decreased to 4.5% among the college-educated workforce, and we see this trend continuing through 2012 and beyond.

The Carlisle Group began as a manufacturing specialty recruitment firm in 1996 and has worked in all major segments of the industry since that time. Our extensive portfolio of manufacturing clients ranges from the global fortune 500s to smaller privately-held companies, placing Presidents to management-level positions. Our mission is to help our clients strengthen the sustainability of the organization with every hire.

We recognize the importance of embracing the global marketplace and understand its impact on each manufacturing company. We’ve managed global searches on behalf of our clients, traveling internationally to facilitate as needed. We are aligned with more than 157 international affiliate offices and ready to deliver comprehensive recruitment services in more than 36 countries.

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TCG in local business news

Posted by Brenda Reyes on August 16, 2010
Recruiting News, TCG News / Comments Off

The Sentinel - local news in Carlisle, PARecruitment Business on the Rise
By Jason Scott, Sentinel Reporter | Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 11:07 pm

After two years of weathering the economic storm, 2010 has started to produce clear skies for many companies.

“Most can’t cut back anymore. It’s either grow or maintain not to lose clientele,” said Bert Wendeln, president and chief executive officer of The Carlisle Group, a premier global executive search and recruitment firm based in South Middleton Township.

There is still a considerable way to go, but organizations – from small to larger companies – are making money again, Wendeln said.

“They are at a point where they’re about ready to spend,” he stated.

Some have already started as TCG, founded in 1996, has seen annual revenues climb by 69 percent, to date, over 2009.

At the end of the first half of 2010, the office was ranked No. 39 within its global network of more than 950 executive recruitment firms.

Wendeln said he is “definitely optimistic” that the economy is starting to turn itself around. However, it’s important that America embrace and understand the importance of the global market, if it hopes to truly recover from this past recession.


One of the sectors that tends to do well when the economy is in a downturn is grocery retail, according to Wendeln.

With less money to spend, more people turn to the store instead of eating out.

At TCG, the grocery retail and food service sector accounts for the largest piece of revenue – about 29 percent. Manufacturing is second at 27 percent, according to the company’s website.

Vice President Tony Frey, who has been with the company since 1998, heads up the grocery retail for TCG.

Among other client projects, he is currently working on a large-scale recruitment project for Ahold USA, the parent company of Giant Food Stores, to find talent from across the country and relocate those individuals to the company’s corporate offices in the Carlisle area.

Opportunities exist with Ahold, Frey explained, because it’s a company that is doing well financially and it continues to grow.

An Ahold USA spokeswoman confirmed last week that the company will be bringing more associates to the area by year’s end, due to ongoing reorganization.

Many will be transfers from other areas, including Quincy, Mass., another major hub for Ahold USA. There will also be some new hires, she said.

It is TCG’s job to find management and other executive talent for the company when internal searches fail to yield candidates that meet job criteria.

“If we can find local candidates to match up to their criteria, they are all for it,” Frey said, explaining that his team has been attached to the project since June.

Executive recruitment can take months, he added, and relocation is often the biggest challenge in the process.

Since the company was founded in 1996, it has placed people in every state in the U.S.

It currently employs 12 full-time staff, plus two summer interns. With its success, TCG has been investing in social media and marketing to bolster its image and capture an even larger portion of the recruitment market.

According to Brenda Reyes, director of marketing and a recent TCG hire, the company is actively interviewing and plans to continue increasing the executive recruitment team.

“We want to be a regional resource. We’re trying to do everything we can,” Wendeln said.

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August analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report

Posted by Bert Wendeln on August 09, 2010
Recruiting News / Comments Off

The full report can be seen here:

Total employment in the United State fell by 131,000 positions in July as the unemployment rate remained at 9.5 percent, according to new figures released from the Labor Department. The most significant losses were seen in the government as 202,000 jobs were shed. The end of 143,000 temporary census jobs made up the bulk of losses, however, cash strapped state and local governments also trimmed 48,000 positions. Total private sector employment increased for the seventh month in a row, adding 71,000 positions.

Helped by many automakers and part suppliers skipping their normal summer slowdown, manufacturing added 36,000 positions during the month. Manufacturing has added 183,000 jobs since December 2009. The professional, management and related occupation unemployment rate in July was 5 percent, down from 5.5 percent a year ago. The unemployment rate for college educated workers, those with a bachelor’s degree or higher stood at 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent a year ago.

August 2010 - unemployment charts

The average duration of unemployment in July fell from 35.2 to 34.2 weeks, marking its most substantial decrease since November 2008, when average unemployment was 18.7 weeks. The percent of unemployed people out of work for over 27 weeks decreased for the second month in a row falling to 44.9 percent from 46 percent in May. However, there is little indication if long-term unemployed people finding work are causing this, or if they have simply taken themselves out of the job market.

The presence of temporary census jobs in the employment figures over the past few months first exaggerated the recovery by showing large gains yet now are hiding its stability by indicating losses. The slow, but relatively stable growth of private sector jobs over the last seven months are reminiscent of what would be expected in a post-bubble-era of any market and indicates U.S. businesses regaining their footing.

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