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Innovation Recruitment Challenges 2016 Survey Findings - By FDIN Jobs

Posted by Megan Stollery

29-Jan-2016 11:43:02



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

As well as helping companies find new talent, it’s enabled FDIN Jobs to learn a huge amount about what the food & drink community wants from a recruitment service.

December saw the launch of the FDIN Jobs 100 Club – and its first initiative - the Innovation Recruitment Challenges 2016 survey.

The research was designed to quantify the recruitment challenges the leading UK recruiters of food and drink innovation talent believed they would be facing in 2016.

These companies, a mix of manufacturers, retailers, brand owners, solution providers and agencies, provided 5 key findings:

1. It’s not getting any easier

The vast majority (89 per cent) of recruiters within corporate companies either expected it not to get any easier or become harder to recruit new talent into their companies in 2016.

78 per cent 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.

FDIN Jobs believes that in this environment, direct access to talent via LinkedIn and job boards are going to become even more important. Companies will also need to work harder to ensure employee referral schemes are up to scratch (read our latest blog post on this here) and continue to motivate existing employees as talent scouts.

2. What’s most in demand?

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.

FDIN Jobs believes that the recruitment trend represents a stage in the business cycle where companies appear to be prioritising returns on recent NPD developments whilst starting a new cycle of R&D for the next generation of products.   

It is however, surprised by the latter of these UK trends given the increasing consumer interest in nutritionally superior foods as shared in our recent Global Food Trends Summit.  Catch up on the downloads from the Summit here, and also take a look at the top food trends for 2016 here.

3. Promotion from within

A large majority aspire to make at least 50 per cent of their hires from within. This will continue to drive down recruitment costs, ensuring more `secure` hires, less risk and over the medium term shortening, or remove the need for lengthy on boarding/ bedding in periods.

FDIN Jobs believes this approach should result in more management time becoming available to spend elsewhere on taking care of existing staff issues, and internal training and development. The latest insights on building high performing innovation teams can be found here. 

4. What’s driving new hires?

In line with a belief in a continuing positive economic climate during 2016, over half (56 per cent) 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.

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.

FDIN Jobs believes this is a recognition that the combination of expansion and skill shortage will put upwards pressure on starting salaries.  Read the latest views on how companies can “win” the best candidates here.

5. The three R’s: what will help recruiters in 2016?


At the macro level - the need for the food and drink industry to be seen as a viable and exciting career choice once again. You can read more about the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink’s Chief Executive - Justine Fosh’s views on this in our guest blog.  

At the micro level it remains important for those who apply to actually have the right skills and talents to match the industry’s needs. (This is not always the view of candidates themselves - particularly Generation Z ones - who don’t seem to think it matters to match their skills to those required by the job advertised). 


More budget for training and recruitment and a larger talent acquisition team.

Removal of non-direct recruitment channels:

The top answer by far to our survey and best summarised by this respondent:

Maximising our non-agency support networks whether this be identifying the best advertising platforms or the internal referral gateways to maximise our internal recruitment capability”.

In summary FDIN Jobs believes that in an expanding industry, the inevitable fight for talent will increasingly focus hiring companies on recruitment, development and retention, but also on leveraging the most direct and innovative ways to secure the best new team members.

Topics: job board , recruitment , Recruiting