Hiring food manufacturing talent: Your guide to success

Ensuring you have the right plan in place can help you to attract the most sought-after talent, improve your chances of employee retention, and strengthen your employer's brand.Here are some of the hiring strategies generating powerful results for manufacturing companies.

Though some of the hiring challenges in the last couple of years are beginning to diminish, the manufacturing sector is still a skills-short market. Trends like the “Great Resignation” and increasing demand for global, remote work are leading to massive turnover for all kinds of companies.

Since your manufacturing business can’t thrive without the right employees, it makes sense for every business leader to think about how they can improve their hiring strategy in this new landscape.

Ensuring you have the right plan in place can help you to attract the most sought-after talent, improve your chances of employee retention, and strengthen your employer's brand.

Here are some of the hiring strategies generating powerful results for manufacturing companies.

1. Adapting to Your Candidates’ Changing Priorities

The first step in ensuring you can successfully hire and retain manufacturing talent, is knowing what your candidates really want from their employer. In the last couple of years, the evolving workplace has led to developing new priorities for many staff members.

Today’s employees still want to get the salary they deserve, but they also want:

Empathy: A focus on respect, empathy, diversity, and inclusion will be crucial to attracting candidates to any environment. Showcasing your empathetic side will help you to attract employees who share the same values as your business.

Flexibility: Today’s employees want more flexible roles. With the rise of cloud technology, it’s possible for some manufacturing jobs to be more hybrid, remote, or flexible than they once were. Some companies are even exploring concepts like the 4-day work week.

Development: Your employees want to see a future with your company, and a path for them to improve and enhance their skills. Have meetings with your team members to identify their current and long-term goals, and how you can help them reach them.

2. Leveraging a Specialist Recruiter

Recruiters are one of the most valuable tools you’ll have in your hiring strategy, particularly when they specialise in your food industry. An experienced food manufacturing recruiter will be able to help you identify the most important things your candidates are looking for when you’re writing your job descriptions and interviewing potential employees.

Recruiters can also save you significant time in collecting applications from a diverse range of backgrounds. Their existing presence in the industry means they already have access to various environments where they can find people to fill your talent pipeline.

With a recruiter, you’ll also have access to support and guidance to help you with everything from improving the interview experience, to making your job listings more impactful.

Just remember, to get the most out of your recruiter, you’ll need to walk the line between clarity and flexibility. It’s important to be clear about the things you really want from your candidate, but don’t get lost in the search for the perfect unicorn employee.

3. Enhancing Your E.V.P.

In today’s digital world, employers have endless opportunities to learn more about their potential candidates by looking at their social media profiles and personal brand. However, it’s worth remembering your candidates also have the same opportunity to evaluate you.

Before considering whether to accept a job offer or even send in an application, most of today’s candidates will research your brand. It’s important to make sure your offer and E.V.P. (Employer Value Proposition) stand out.

Start by assessing your current employer brand, and what you communicate to potential staff members. Are you active on social media, constantly sharing valuable information about your company culture and the growth of your team members? Do your employees talk positively about you on social channels and review sites?

Next, consider your job offer and how it compares to roles available from your competition. Are you delivering the same level of flexibility for your new candidates? What can you provide that your team members can’t get elsewhere? Remember, organisations that implement a successful employer brand cut their cost-per-hire in half!

Your food recruitment professional will be able to help you with cultivating the right employer brand.

4. Upgrading the Candidate Journey

In today’s changing landscape, employers need to make sure every stage of the candidate journey is as convenient and engaging as possible to avoid losing the attention of top talent. With the help of your food recruitment agency, look at every touchpoint you’ll have with your candidates, and how you can update them to suit the current trends.

For instance, are you posting your job listings on social media, so they’re easy to find, and making sure it’s easy for your candidates to learn more about the role on your website? When candidates apply for a role, how will you interview them?

Video and remote interview processes are becoming increasingly common, particularly for remote and hybrid roles. You may also need to think about:

Following up with candidates: How will you keep your candidate engaged by following up and providing insights into their progress

Onboarding: How will you onboard your team members when you decide who to hire, and how can you make them feel like part of the team as quickly as possible?

Diversity: How will you ensure you’re making hiring decisions without bias, and you’re respecting the concept of diversity, equity, and inclusion?

5. Planning a Comprehensive Strategy

Finally, it’s worth remembering that being prepared will save you a lot of time, effort, and money in today’s skills-short market. Rather than just rushing to fill gaps in your manufacturing team when someone leaves your workforce, it’s worth thinking about your long-term talent strategy.

Work with your recruiter to build a talent pipeline, filled with diverse professionals from different environments, who can add something valuable to your team. When creating this pipeline, don’t just think about the skills you need now, but the expertise you may need in the future.

A good talent pipeline will mean you always have somewhere to turn to access crucial talent when your company needs it most.

By Scott Williams

Director & Owner

I’m an independent owner of Food Recruit. Passionate about the Food Manufacturing industry, having spent time as a Supply Chain Manager and Business Development Manager for two of the UK’s largest meat importers.

High Care, Low Care, Chilled and Ambient I have worked across all markets, including B2B, Foodservice, Wholesale and Retail.

I fell into recruitment in 2016 to start a Food & Drink desk in a long-standing Engineering Recruitment business in the West Midlands.

Progressing on to Business Development Manager, covering multiple markets before starting my specialist food manufacturing agency in September 2020, in the middle of the pandemic.

Phone: 01384 470822
Email: hello@food-recruit.com

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