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Food, Health & Life Sciences - A spotlight

15 Mar 12:00 by Kathy Koomson

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Core Talent: Food, Health & Life Sciences Team- A Spotlight

We met with Tom Rochford to chat about Core Talent expansion into the Food, Health, and Life Science industries. We wanted to get a greater insight into this new and exciting development for Core Talent.

So, Tom firstly it would be good to know a bit about your background.

Tom: I joined the business four and a half years ago at a time when Core Talent was starting to create industry-specific teams within the business. The business had already been running for 7 years, most of that time they focused on more heavy, discrete engineering markets such as Automotive, Aerospace and Precision Engineering. In 2014 they decided to take a greater focus on process manufacturing - my role was to build on previous ad-hoc work and build a service stream to support the growing number of Clients and Candidates within these markets.  Over the years our Food, Health, and Life Sciences team has grown. We have a base of 3 / 4 consultants with circa 15+ years combined experience in the market. This has created a platform to enable the growth of new talent starting their recruitment journey. We have particular specialists knowledge within Dairy, Ingredients & Health Science and our focus is geared towards that high-tech end of the Food, Drink and Medical Goods markets.  

When was the team created?

Tom: It was a one-man-band for a while, but we have been growing since 2014.

How big is the team?

Tom: The team is made up of 4 people focusing on permanent recruitment and 3 consultants focused on interim-recruitment.

How has the team grown?

Tom:  Organically, we began with a few key hires that had 3 to 5 years of experience in these markets to ensure we weren’t diluting our market knowledge. Working in tight vertical niches is how we’ve added value to the recruitment process for clients and identified candidates who aren’t readily available on the market. The team has expanded into Western Europe with great success - our offering has proven to be as attractive across international borders.

What have been some of your successes on your journey?

Tom: We have had a number of successful partnerships; the first came relatively early on in 2015 as we started building a long-lasting relationship with DANONE’s specialist medical nutrition division Nutricia. As a company we had been working with big multinationals for a long time within engineering businesses such as Glen Dimplex, Bombardier etc  - so we knew what hiring managers in these types of businesses wanted from a recruitment provider and were able to quickly align ourselves to similar in our new chosen markets.

2015/16 was a great period; in the main we are an Engineering recruitment agency and in that year we recruited the Head of Engineering for Kelloggs, Danone, PZ Cussons, Heineken and others so we knew by that point we were gaining some good traction in the market.

There have been some notable executive level appointments which have been enjoyable. As our brand presence has grown and after years of developing our credibility, we now enjoy key clients some who are businesses with multi-billion turnover globally engaging us a preferred partner for exec search.

Has the team faced any challenges they’ve had to overcome?

Tom: Multinationals have recently made a push for more in-house recruitment as they pursue cost-saving measures, which has been even more notable in the last 6 – 12 months. As well as this, we operate in a market which is rich in vacancies but low in candidates. Brexit has also caused a looming uncertainty and disruption to the market. For many, the future looks uncertain for European and British markets. The way we’re managing to operate in this environment is doubling down our focus on the most technical and niche requirements in markets where we have industry knowledge, adding real value and becoming a trusted partner.

What are your strategic plans for the team moving forward?

Tom: We’re expanding in the UK putting a real emphasis on building our operations in Europe by using our relationships here as a springboard. We are also maintaining our vision as a specialist agency first and foremost in an employment market that is incredibly short of candidates. This is essential. It requires more time and focus on head-hunting, relying on networking. We don’t offer a ‘one shoe fits all’ solution. Instead, we offer an honest consultancy process - radically open and radically honest. Managing expectations has been important given the number of roles available, it’s not about just making a placement but filling it with someone who will succeed once they are in the role; knowing the person and not just the CV.