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  • Writer's pictureMeyrick Consulting

Creative Thinkers Thrive in Tough Times

Why Hiring a Specialist recruiter has never been so important There has never been such an acute need for creative thinkers that possess a realistic understanding of business and the economic environment. Coupled with these qualities we need calculated risk takers who can embrace blue sky thinking but always have an umbrella handy.

I am currently looking for two significant roles within the food and drink industry

These are high profile positions, but I do believe that phrase has come to mean something else of late. The future of a successful industry requires people who think fast, who can think globally and strategically while also having an acute understanding of detail. This seems like quite a stretch in one sense. Yet many people will recognise these needs already.

I search for talent leaving no stone unturned

I don’t put up an ad and hope for the best. I use my contacts and twenty-five years of experience to go scampering down rabbit holes to find candidates that others cannot find. My approach is to entice talented people to think again about their current role and what opportunities they might be missing by not looking.

My experience shows that the best people are actually NOT searching for jobs

However, they are open to exploring something new when it’s presented to them. I don’t look for the obvious but explore the paths least trodden. To this end I am a conduit for the company that is searching for a new staff member. It is my role to present the company in the best possible light to prompt curiosity from the prospective candidate without that then it’s impossible to progress further. Salary is not the main driver many think it is

In addition, I know that finding key members of staff in an executive search is not a one-way street. People want to work for companies of which they are proud and who respect what they can bring. Research shows that after a certain salary level money is not a driver. I find that people working in the top end of the Food and Drink Industry are challenge and solution driven. They want to know their skills are making a positive contribution and a difference. This is a powerful driver for so many people in executive positions.

We all know that right now times have not been this challenging for many decades

Therefore, collaboration is a skill that will help us get through this. Finding the right people to contribute towards steering organisations through these choppy waters is what I do best leaving companies to focus on their strengths.

My main aim is to give people the confidence in my ability to solve their problem

What I do is not simple. For example, if you’re looking for a forklift truck driver I can’t help. Basically, the cost is prohibitive to the value you would receive. What I do for a company is down to the positive impact key roles will have on business. In fact, the impact is huge.

There are three key areas where I support clients

1.Increased revenue This is down to helping find the very best commercial skills available to better penetrate existing markets and customer segments while also introducing new markets and opening doors to new customers. 2. Innovation From an R&D perspective if a client has the possibility to bring in new products ahead of the competition this is a bonus. To bring in innovation specialists that can make a tangible difference will mean they are streets ahead of competitors and that is worth a significant amount. Increase in revenue comes from selling better quality products at a higher price; new product development gives an undoubted edge 3. Cost control We often place people in supply chain and procurement. These individuals take cost out of a business without reducing quality. Surely these are key in this very delicate economic environment we are all experiencing right now. Being leaner and innovative will differentiate those companies that thrive and those that may well fail.

An example of what we do

Earlier this year we recruited for vice president of a commercial in business in the United States. This was an international food ingredient business that was undertaking succession planning and engaged us to perform a talent pipelining exercise. The resulting shortlist was so strong 2 individuals were hired, a General Manager Designate and a Commercial Director. Their comment was:

'We had a shortlist of four people and after the 1st round as general manager I’d been given a real problem: we were spoilt for choice as the quality of candidates was exceptional.’ This wasn’t an accident. Over the years we have perfected a technique where we are painstakingly specific and detailed in going through the screening and interviewing process. I often ask the company to give me an hour of their time. I am greeted with hesitancy at times and people say ‘you’ve got the job spec, everything you need is there.’ I say that unless I have a thorough understanding a job spec will only give me around 20% of the information. I don’t just need to speak to the HR Director. Speaking with the Hiring Manager allows me to start understanding the individual and then match personalities to requirements.

In this instance I met with him for 90 minutes in the end and within that time I dragged every bit of information from him. It was important that the new hire would not just look good on paper but could actually do job and fulfil the brief within culture of the organisation. The successful applicant would need to work in collaboration with the hiring manager that was actually a very complex character. In addition, there was a lot to understand about the structure of the organisation. Many companies thrive on a matrix formation, this was a matrix on steroids! There were many stakeholders involved and all this needed to be taken into consideration. This is an in-depth view of what the requirements were over and above a two-page job spec.

In essence I save money time and hassle and do not just scour the internet for candidates then stick letterheads on candidates’ cvs and pass them over.

My service prepares bespoke interview templates and tailored specific questions with detailed interview notes from me. These specific questions are used for each candidate so they can be interviewed on a like for like basis. Yes, we need time at the beginning, but we save time at the end of the process.

So, if you are thinking of making a significant hire within the next twelve months do schedule a call to discuss just what a specialist recruiter could do for the development of your company.


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