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  • Writer's pictureMeyrick Consulting

Shine the spotlight on food and food industry recruitment

Diversification, agility and creativity are key to food industry recruitment

You can hardly move for content with food as its theme. From obesity to the truth about carbs; the role of fermentation, organics, seaweed plus the inevitable new trends and fads; we are bombarded. It’s hard to keep up.

Food has always been central to the human experience.

Once it was all about where to hunt the woolly Mammoth or the best location to source wild honey. Nowadays when food is plentiful for many, but not all of course, we are focusing on what we eat. There’s renewed in quality and provenance alongside new taste sensations to cure jaded palettes and unhealthy addictions.

Beware resting on one’s laurels

The pressure is on for any food manufacturer, producer or retailer to react to the next consumer fear or preferably predict or create desire for something exciting and transformational. The new kids on the block are shouldering out traditional brands that have constantly appeared in our shopping trolleys. Nothing can be taken for granted. To rest on one’s laurels is now an extremely dangerous occupation.

Flexibility, agility and creativity are keys skills for the food industry

Every manufacturer is looking for something new to tickle the taste buds or fulfil a dietary requirement. Testing, research, experimentation, innovation, engineering and powerful marketing are an everyday set of considerations for the food industry and they need the kind of agile, flexible and creative staff to help drive this agenda.

If you look at Food Business News you’ll see a number of stories with headlines such as:

· MGPI refining strategy to meet changing consumer preferences

· Industry coalition support new labelling act

· Fermentation driving culinary experimentation

The food manufacturing sector is massive and although automation is common quality engineers, analysts and other different career opportunities are going unfulfilled.

Skills transfer is often underrated

Therefore those working in the food industry need to be sharp, proactive and reactive while really knowing their stuff if they are to succeed. Staff ability will inevitably help drive a company forward. Staff and company relationships are symbiotic, obviously. So, companies are searching for required skills and experience and this is a concerning challenge. In a survey up to 35% of large businesses were suggesting this was significant. Transferability of skills and experience are ways to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Is agility and curiosity more important than knowledge and experience?

How important is cultural fit within your organisation?

Agile workers who have a cultural fit and positive, curious attitudes may well fulfil the brief. On the other hand, companies that have learned to add value alongside offering employment are gaining traction. This is especially important when recruiting for a highly specialised sector like the food producers industry.

As a food industry recruiter I have seen considerable changes and in my next blog I will outline my observations and suggestions for attracting and retaining skilled and valuable staff members.

However, as a food industry professional what are your biggest concerns? Do leave a comment. I would love to develop a conversation around this topic.


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