6 Ways to Recruit the Best Food Production Candidates Effectively Without Risking Compliance
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6 Ways to Recruit the Best Food Production Candidates Effectively Without Risking Compliance

6 Ways to Recruit the Best Food Production Candidates Effectively Without Risking Compliance

Recruiting can be difficult at the best of times, let alone when you have a huge list of regulations, restrictions and assessments to abide by. Food Production roles can be among those trickier to recruit, as there are so many laws and requirements you need to keep in mind.

That’s why we’ve taken what we’ve learnt from our own recruitment in this sector and created 6 handy tips to help guide you through the food production recruitment process, without risking compliance!

Risk Assess the Site

First things first: risk assess the site and identify the responsible persons for Safety at Work. Make sure all existing staff have necessary First Aid and Health & Safety Training. If they are not trained, organise some training for them or your new starter. Top tip: make sure any post-hire training is paid for, as it falls under National Minimum Wage Regulations. 

When risk assessing you should identify: 

  • Any risks to workers and controls in place
  • Who is responsible for delivering induction and on the job training
  • How training records are kept and where there are gaps in training knowledge 
  • How PPE is arranged and distributed 
  • Actions to take in the event of a first aid incident or in the event of an emergency 

Assess the Supply Chain

This might not be necessary every time you hire someone directly, if you are fully familiar with how your supply chain practices compliance. However, if you are recruiting for multiple production plants, like we do, it’s absolutely essential that you assess every potential partner’s supply chain before hiring someone on behalf of the company. There are so many things to consider when assessing your supply chain: worker interviews, supply audits and GLAA licence inspection evidence to name a few. The Association of Labour Providers (ALP) has a wealth of resources on risk assessments and supply chain audits which we recommend following rigidly. If you would like a copy of the templates we use, then please don’t hesitate to ask.

Provide a detailed and honest job description

Based on your risk assessment and knowledge of the site and role, you’ll be able to create a detailed and honest job description that should attract the right candidates. Try to be as specific as possible and avoid generic terms that might turn off candidates. This should include the specifics of what types of machines they will be using, what the role entails day-to-day, what PPE is provided and what the work environment is like. 

From your job description you should be able to create a specific yet snappy job advert, that will immediately identify what you expect from your ideal candidate. We suggest talking to current employees about what they like about their role and what they think is essential to include on job adverts. 

Know your candidates 

During the application stage you should get to know your candidates as much as possible. Ask them what experience they have, what their motivations are and what training and qualifications they have already. 

These questions don’t have to be carried out in person though, create as many screening questions as you need for the role. This will allow only the most qualified and keen candidates to progress through the process. You can even get them to upload their training certificates and qualifications themselves. This way you’ll only need to review the candidate once when they have completed all necessary steps – meaning you’ll know immediately if they are the right fit. 

From your Risk Assessment and Site Visit you should know what machines team members are required to use before you start recruiting. It’s a great idea therefore to include questions about machine experience in an early stage of your recruitment process. We find it helps if you create a position-specific quiz which will highlight or eliminate candidates when it’s apparent they haven’t used the necessary equipment before.   

Understand the assignment schedule 

The Assignment Schedule includes clear information given to your workers ahead of their upcoming assignments. This should consist of the shift type, start and finish times, break periods, days of work, address, rates of pay, dress code and any health and safety risks identified as a minimum. You may also want to include if any transport is provided, 

Keep in touch with your candidates 

Once you are certain you’ve found the right candidate and they have moved to hired stage, make sure you are still checking in with them at regular intervals – in the lead up to shifts and after their shifts. This will allow you get as much feedback as possible and identify any issues or concerns straight away. 

If you would like more information on how we can help with your food production recruitment then please get in touch!