5 key findings from FDIN Jobs’ Innovation Recruitment Challenges survey

October 1, 2016, 8:35 am

What are the priorities for, and challenges being faced by, recruiters of innovation talent going in to 2017? FDIN Jobs takes a closer look.

FDIN Jobs launched its new careers portal a year ago and has grown from the original 100 jobs to over 300.

At the beginning of the year we launched the FDIN Jobs 100 Club – and its first initiative – the Innovation Recruitment Challenges 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 the years ahead.  Granted it was before Brexit, but have things changed that much.

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 the near future.

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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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


  1. What’s driving new hires?

Despite the changes post Brexit, 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


  1. The three R’s: what will help recruiters in 2017


  • Relevance:

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)

  • Resource:

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.

To advertise roles with FDIN Jobs call John Cassidy on 0203 651 0065 or click here


Related articles

< back to news


Join our mailing list and we'll update you with the latest news within food and drink and keep you up to speed with what's being planned for our industry-leading events:

Read our privacy policy.

Thank you for subscribing