7 Ways to attract top Food and Beverage talent

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7 Ways to attract top Food and Beverage talent

Attract food and beverage talent

If you have experience hiring into your team over recent months, you’ll know that recruiting is a fascinating space to be in.  

It’s not without challenges of course. Again, if you’ve recruited into your team recently or your primary role is the in-house recruiter for your F&B business, then there are likely days when you are beyond frustrated. 

The landscape has changed dramatically

The landscape has changed dramatically in the last two to three years. We recently wrote about the state of recruitment in the food and beverage sectorIn there we shared that the UK is consistently seeing record numbers of job postings every week. Starting salaries are also at their highest ever and demand for both temporary and permanent workers is also at a record high.

It is a candidate’s market

It’s hard to escape that it is truly a candidate’s market when trying to attract food and beverage talent. With plenty of choice of roles and the best F&B talent in a strong position to negotiate, they hold the cards. How can you stand out and become a destination employer? What steps can you take to ensure you are the employer of choice and candidates are consciously taking steps to seek you out and join your team?

7 Ways to attract top Food and Beverage talent

1. Write a professional job specification

Keep in mind that the job spec and the job advert are not the same. For the job specification, be as detailed as you can about what the role involves, the day-to-day duties, what skills and experience is required, who the successful candidate will be working with and so on. If needs be, ask for external support in writing the job spec. This is your starting point for the hiring team and managers to ensure they agree on what and who they are looking for.

2. Write an even better job advert

The job advert should be more attractive than the job spec, using more descriptive language to help bring the role to life. All too often we see adverts which regurgitate the job spec. It’s just a list of duties and desirable skills. Use a lot of ‘you’ language in your job advert. For example, ‘you will be working with’ or ‘you will spend time each day working on..’ This helps the candidate picture themselves working with you. Avoid cliches in your advert or opening with ‘we are a market-leading company.’ Be descriptive and write the advert with your dream candidates in mind.

3. Respond quickly and be flexible

The recruitment sector is moving at lightning speed and, whilst you shouldn’t feel pressured into making poor decisions, moving quickly is vital. Respond to candidate applications quickly, ideally with a personalised message, not an auto-responder. Begin shortlisting your candidates as soon as possible and arranging the first interviews. 

4. Avoid a lengthy interview process and use interview tech

We are all so accustomed to video calls and remote working now that first interviews can be arranged quickly and be a simple phone or video call. This opens up far more flexibility in the interview process and reduces the time to hire. By showing flexibility you can speak to shortlisted candidates more quickly than if you were arranging face to face interviews. In terms of the number of interviews required it depends on the seniority of the role. Typically a two-stage interview is the norm or minimum, with a three-step process the maximum we would recommend. A lengthy recruitment process with multiple interviews can put candidates off and, if one of your competitors is moving faster, there’s a chance you’ll be losing out on talent.

5. Interview environment

When you get to the point of in-person interviews, ensure this showcases your F&B business in the best light. From the point of advising candidates where to meet you, through to greeting them and even welcoming them into the interview room are all vital steps on the journey. We place so much emphasis on the hiring team making decisions in just a few seconds but it goes both ways. The candidate will also be picturing whether they can see themselves working on the premises and with you. Having a pleasant office environment and an involved team goes a long way to keeping your candidates engaged in the recruitment process.

6. Office tours and extras

If you are feeling positive about your candidate, remember it’s as much about showcasing your business as them showcasing their expertise. Can you take them on a tour of the premises, can you introduce them to key members of the team, can you highlight nearby amenities if they are working on-site? What other extra steps can you take to help them feel positive about working with you and hopefully, ready to accept your job offer.

7. Follow up promptly and with genuine feedback

Almost the final step in the hiring process before you onboard your new team member is to get your offer accepted. After all your interviews, aim to follow up promptly and with useful feedback. One of the biggest criticisms candidates have is that they don’t hear back from recruiters and hiring companies. Plus, in a busy market and niche sector like F&B, candidates talk. If someone has a negative experience with you, they are likely to share it. Make sure that any interviewee has a positive candidate experience even if you don’t move forward with their application. If you can, give constructive feedback. For your successful candidate, make the offer detailing the package in full as soon as you can. Secure their ‘yes’ and you’re ready to move forward.

A slick recruitment process is essential

These steps might sound straightforward but in a fast-paced, candidate-driven world, a slick recruitment process is essential. Hiring doesn’t end there though, remember to put as much effort in to your onboarding process. Tune in to our next blog for specialist tips on how to onboard F&B staff.

For advice or help with your recruitment process, contact RND Recruitment – specialist recruiters to Food and Beverage suppliers and manufacturers across the UK but specifically in London and the South East.