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Talent Attraction, Search & Selection – the greatest Challenge for the Food Industry

At Foodjob Nordic, we try to be at the fuzzy front end to identify trends and drivers regarding talent attraction to the Food Industry, both locally in the Nordic countries and also globally. After being privileged enough to spend the past week around some of the premier talent in the industry from elite international graduates to top level experts and industry professional at InnovateFood and Food Week in Aarhus, we must say that we are both amazed with the great opportunities and also see the need for change in the way we are dealing with talent attraction and recruitment.

An important resource – people!

Already today there is a strong internal and external focus on the food industry’s ability to solve the complex challenges of the future, feeding the fast-growing global population and increasing spend on R&D while keeping business acumens competitive. All this in a challenging market with many simultaneous food trends in everchanging market conditions. The business models for almost every food company is currently under review and in flux, trying to adapt to what you could potentially label a change in paradigm: from a highly standardized, inside-out approach to a more consumer-centric focus accommodating both cost-efficient bulk products as well as high-end innovative concepts. This process is not only calling for the food industry executives to be on top of their game deciding on the right strategic direction regarding traditional business areas and resources. The most important resource here is people – especially in a time of change.

The food industry professionals’ need, now and in the future, must have both high-level professionalism and specialist knowledge in many different areas, including food science, health, environment and business, and at the same time have the knowledge and understanding to cooperate and innovate across highly convertible and international teams. In the words of CEO Peder Tuborgh, Arla Foods: “The future needs of the industry means that we must have a greater focus on professionalism and be competitive. Educational institutions must ensure greater synergy and integration between jobs and education sites, so that research can be transformed into production and there is greater scope for business, research and education.”

Need for new approaches

At Foodjob Nordic, we believe that food companies and we as recruiters and partners of the food industry must reflect this change in the way we deal with talent attraction. As well in search and selection and the entire way from the way we deal with graduates to the methodology and screening tools we use to find top specialists and managers. The recruitment business need to move away from generalist screening using only key word search and generic profiling to a more specialized, holistic approach focused on knowledge and insight. The tools are there, both in terms of technology and global opportunities to interact with top talent. Recruitment today and in the future, is not so much a game of only “know-how” and “know-who”, it is and will be a matter of being able to do both. Understanding the company cultures is key and spotting the candidate behavior. Future succesfull talents must be capable of maneuvering often in a matrix organization and environments with many stakeholders on the radar. The talent attraction is already a fierce global competition, we have the chance to be first movers in the food industry with regards to a new approach to recruitment.