By Joe DeBilio
Recruiting and hiring for the food industry is unique. We don’t sell widgets or washing machines, we deal every day in a perishable, lot and date coded, seasonally sensitive world. But because the food industry is intense and fast moving, don’t rush into hiring someone just to fill a job. There is never a good time to hire the wrong person. Groundwork makes a difference in getting the right person on board.
It’s not enough to look outward to what are our food industry standards. As part of your recruiting ground work you or an experienced food industry recruiting consultant needs to look inward to your business. Do you really know where your company is in its development, operational systems, financial condition, and market position? The right hire only works if their skills meet your actual needs.
Even if you don’t currently have an open position, have you taken a hard look at your current staff? Every business has people they’re not satisfied with. Constant improvement is always required in the food industry. Cut the slowest every year. To coin a phrase, there can be a shelf life or expiry date on staff members, management, and even leadership.
If all your time is taken running your business or department, enlist a food industry recruiting consultant to help. Someone who knows the specific skills unique to the food industry. Someone who knows the industry players and a wide range of people who at different companies in different roles. Someone who has hundreds of industry resumes come across their desk. They can more quickly help identify and recruit the right candidate.
Next decide how you are going to proceed with recruiting. Filling a new position or replacing an existing person requires different approaches. Above ground in public or below the radar hiring? Access to an outside independent food industry recruiting consultant who can be private and discreet works well. Someone who can communicate in off hours, evenings, and weekends. And sometimes help you with keeping bad people out of the company to limit hiring liability exposure. They can even help write an effective job description that is current to the food industry.
Once you have done the recruiting groundwork or have hired an experienced food industry recruiting consultant to help you identify what your food company really needs, the role specifics, and the recruiting plan, it’s time to move on to making the right hiring decision and then create success beyond the hire.