Finding a finance candidate for a food business meant adopting a flexible approach.
At Benjamin Edwards we work closely with a lot of the food businesses across Lincolnshire, Newark & Grantham areas. Lincolnshire, is England’s second largest county (by area), is largely agricultural with a rich and fertile soil. It produces over 20% of all foodstuffs grown in the UK and is reckoned to contribute around £1 billion to the economy each year.
Food businesses tend to only want to recruit senior people from other food businesses as there are specific challenges and processes only faced by the food industry. Very often the finance team feed in and inform the commercial KPIs, the product profitability and keep a close eye on yields and pricing databases as well as performing the traditional accounting functions.
We worked closely with this food business to understand the job role. We realised that this was a pivotal role within the team. The successful person would need to collaborate with colleagues in different functions. They would need to be inquisitive and able to apply their knowledge.
They would be responsible for ensuring accuracy and legitimacy of product costs; gather, process information and data in order to generate business insight that drives action and follows these actions through. They needed to have financial expertise to guide the commercial teams to deliver Net Sales, EDITDA and targets.
Our first filter was to look for people in our database that had worked in industry who had evidence of collaboration, analysis, and reporting. They needed a finance qualification to ensure that regulatory compliance needs were going to be in a safe pair of hands.
Alongside this, we undertook a market mapping exercise and actively headhunted a field of several finance professionals, some had experience of food and beverage, some had worked within non-food FMCG.
By adopting a flexible approach, we were able to help our client widen the talent search and successfully place the right finance person in their growing food business.
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