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Hiring difficulties in food and drink industry to continue, survey finds

The vast majority (89%) of recruiters either expect it not to get any easier or to become harder to recruit new talent into their companies in 2016, a survey has revealed.


The first Innovation Recruitment Challenges survey from FDIN (the new careers job site for the Food & Drink Innovation Network) has found out what the priorities for, and challenges being faced by, recruiters of food and drink innovation talent are going in to 2016.


The survey, taken in December, by the website’s founding members (The FDIN Jobs 100 Club) found that 78% of those interviewed still identify the lack of quality applicants as their biggest frustration when recruiting, but are constrained by a lack of recruitment resources and cuts to budgets.


In line with a belief in a continuing positive economic climate during 2016, over half (56%) of new hires will be as a result of predicted company expansion and the desire to find new and more relevant talent as companies diversify through NPD.


FDIN Jobs launched its new careers portal in September 2015 and has already welcomed over 100 advertisers and 250,000 visitors to its site.


The companies which took part in the survey, a mix of manufacturers, retailers, brand owners, solution providers and agencies, provided five key findings in the survey.


Encouragingly for potential recruits, most companies surveyed did not predict that providing a competitive salary would be an issue and believed that packages including remote working should be offered to get over location constraints.


According to the respondents, key areas for recruitment in 2016 will be in brand & marketing, sales & category management, strategy & insight and R&D, with packaging, concept development and nutrition-related roles and taking a back seat.


The majority of appointments will be at the more junior end of the scale – manager level and below.


A large majority aspire to make at least 50% of their hires from within. Reasons given for this include: to drive down recruitment costs, to ensure more `secure` hires, to reduce risk and over the medium term shortening, or removing the need for lengthy on boarding/ bedding in periods.


When asked what would help them recruit more successfully in 2016, respondents highlighted three key issues: the removal of non-direct recruitment channels: resource and relevance.


A general dissatisfaction with traditional recruitment consultancies and a consequent need to reduce non-direct recruitment channels was the top priority amongst corporate recruiters.  Also highlighted was the need for increased resources: more budget for training and recruitment combined with a larger talent acquisition team are felt to be necessary to meet the increasing demand for new recruits. 


Crucially, it is believed that there is a need for relevance: for the entire food and drink industry to engage more with its target audience and be seen as a viable and exciting career choice once again. 


Jane Paine, FDIN marketing & job board director, said, “The first FDIN Innovation Recruitment Challenges survey reveals a recognition that the combination of expansion and skill shortage will put upwards pressure on starting salaries during 2016. To deal with this companies need to prioritise direct access to talent via LinkedIn and job boards.


"They will also need to work harder to ensure employee referral schemes are up to scratch and continue to motivate existing employees as talent scouts; with more management time devoted to taking care of existing staff issues, internal training and development.”

Tags: FDIN Hiring

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