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Tony 2018

14th February 2023

Interview with Recruitment Specialist Tony Line

  1. Staffing is a big headache for the food and drink sector at the moment. Demand outstrips the labour supply, making it difficult to find and retain the right staff. What should businesses do differently to overcome this challenge, and where can KRB help?
    There is a labour shortage across most sectors in the UK, making recruiting more difficult. Four out of five of the 5,600 businesses interviewed by the British Chambers of Commerce said they were experiencing difficulties recruiting. Some roles in the F&D industry do not need specialist skills or qualifications, which means the people doing them could be working in many other jobs – some seem more attractive or pay better. So, it is not just the food and drink sector that is short of people; we must work harder to get people interested.
    The F&D industry should be highly attractive, especially those making high-quality, local and environmentally sound products. This is, after all, what people tell us they want!
    To attract and retain the right people to work for you, you need to put all the elements together, think creatively and make your business stand out from others.
    Invest time in getting your company story right: who are you, what do you stand for (values), how exciting is it to work for you, and what are the opportunities?
    People indeed seem to have a genuine interest in working for small and local companies, but this is not enough. People are also looking for work closer to home; they want flexibility and a better work/ life balance; they may want a company that reflects their values about the environment and a decent wage. As an employer, you need to work through and identify why someone should want to work for your company.
  2. What are the implications of NOT investing enough in recruitment and retention?
    Recruitment and retention are separate issues, but making the first part very good, should resolve the second.
    There comes a limit to how much more you can take on. If you are a small business, not having enough staff generally means that you or the other directors/ family members will have to do more. You may run yourself into the ground, and productivity goes down.
    Recruiting costs time and money, and if you don’t get it right the first time, you will waste more money on having to do it again.
    Retention is about keeping a staff member in the team. Mostly, retention is about communication. If they are a new employee, you should have an induction process for them to work through, and you need to give feedback – “How am I doing?” For longer-term employees, ensure they are happy, enjoy their job and can see opportunities for the career development they want.
  3. What are commonly made errors by businesses in their recruitment efforts
    It is important to develop a clear company profile – What are you about? What is your company trying to achieve? Please focus on the attractive elements of community and sustainability; many people, especially the younger generation, are keen on it. It is an excellent selling point that other companies may not have.
    You have to pay enough to attract people. Don’t choose an arbitrary figure; work out the value of the job to the company. Then use this to determine the rate of pay.
    Many employers simply do not interview well enough. Set aside sufficient time, ensure you have somewhere suitable to conduct the interview, explain the job in detail and be honest, don’t leave any surprises.
    Allow the interviewee to talk and encourage questions.
    If you are interested in them, check and reaffirm through the interview that they are also interested
    If appropriate, give them a tour of the workplace.
    Make a job offer as soon as possible after the interview, and ensure you send the offer letter promptly. All the way through, be clear on what the next step is
    Don’t expect 100% on the first day – newbies need time to settle into their new environment; they need an induction period and supportive feedback.
    Some jobs may not seem very exciting. Remember this as an employer, and keep in mind there are different people for different jobs. For every company Superstar, there is someone who is happy to be moving boxes around or adding up lists of figures.
    Give career perspectives – talk about where you would love the company to go and where you see them as part of that. Bring it back to the company profile you have created.
  4. What could/ should be done on a higher level by Government, education, and organisations such as PINK?
    We need more local Good News. There seems to be a lot happening with the wine industry in Kent, and this needs promoting more, and other producers need to leverage off it. Look outside the usual media channels e.g. something like the global good news magazine, Monocle, or work with your customers to build links in new areas.
    As a county, we are surrounded by the sea on three sides and have the bright lights of London pulling talent away from us. Kent has traditionally found it hard to attract higher-level managers. There needs to be more work from organisations like Locate in Kent and Councils to promote the F&D sector and Kent as a great place to live and work.
  5. What are you offering PINK Members
    Kent Recruitment Bureau and The JobsBoard are my companies. I am passionate about supporting the good businesses of Kent, especially those in the food and drink sector. So, I am prepared to invest my time and resources in helping you.
    The JobsBoard enable you to advertise your vacancies to a wider audience. It is successful and works nationally for all industry sectors. We have companies and other recruitment companies using it to promote their jobs.
    I am offering PinK members free advertising on the JobsBoard for any of your vacancies.
    Send me the job details and a company logo, and I will do the rest for you.