Choosing the Right Recruitment Agency For Your Food Manufacturing Business – Looking at Local Versus Specialist Agencies

We know that for a lot of Food Manufacturers, using their in-house talent acquisition team is often the preferred choice for recruitment projects. However for highly confidential roles or for those that prove trickier to fill, partnering with a recruitment agency can give you access to a wider pool of candidates.

Here’s a few things to think about when deciding whether to use a local recruitment agency or a specialist national agency…

Local Recruitment Agency: The Familiar Neighbour

Local recruitment agencies have their strengths, particularly in understanding the local job market.

Here’s a quick look at what they offer:

Local Market Knowledge: Local agencies know the ins and outs of the local job market, including salary trends, competitor employers in the area and any red flags for local candidates (shift patterns, hybrid working etc)

Personalised Service: Proximity can allow local agencies to offer a personalised service with the ability to meet clients and candidates face-to-face

Strong Local Networks: These agencies have established relationships with local candidates and a good knowledge of local businesses which could speed the process up for you

Community Understanding: Being part of the local community, they understand the local culture and workforce dynamics well.

Cost : Often fees can be relatively low if the agency is used to dealing with high volume, low salary roles

However, local agencies might not have the same level of expertise or extensive networks in specific niches within Food Manufacturing. Their candidate pool might also be smaller and more localised, limiting your options for highly specialised roles.

A good guide is to look at the list of vacancies currently being handled by the agency – are they dealing with other Food Manufacturers? Are they advertising roles in similar job functions?

Local agencies are often your best option for hourly paid roles such as production and warehouse operatives, as well as administrative positions. When choosing a local agency, ask for recommendations from businesses you know in the local area.  Also use LinkedIn check out the background of the recruitment consultants working in the agency to check how experienced they are; red flags might be consultants who seem to move around a lot or an inexperienced team who may not be familiar with the subtleties of the position you need filling.

Specialist Sector Agency: The Industry Expert

A specialist sector agency can offer a wealth of knowledge and connections within the Food Manufacturing industry. Here are some things to think about:

Unparalleled Industry Expertise: Specialist agencies have deep knowledge of the Food Manufacturing sector. They understand the specific skills and qualifications needed for roles such as Technical, Quality, Product Development, Production and Operations Management and are fully conversant with food safety requirements. This expertise ensures they can identify and attract top talent that precisely meets your requirements, making the hiring process efficient and effective.

Access to Specialised Talent: These agencies maintain extensive databases of candidates with specialised skills and experience in Food Manufacturing. They can quickly find the right fit for your needs, saving you time and effort. In an industry where specific technical knowledge is crucial, this access to niche talent is invaluable. Their network stretches beyond the local area so if you require highly specialised skills they have access to candidates willing to relocate.

Tailored Recruitment Strategies: Specialist agencies use recruitment strategies designed specifically for specific industries, such as Food Manufacturing. This ensures you get candidates who not only have the right skills, but also meet industry standards. Their tailored approach leads to good quality hires, enhancing your team’s performance and productivity. They can also often provide insights into salary banding for specialist roles by providing salary surveys, helping you pitch your salaries competitively for those roles you recruit for infrequently.

Strong Professional Networks: With robust connections within the industry, specialist agencies can source top-tier candidates and stay updated on emerging trends. This access gives you the competitive edge to hire the best talent available, including those that are not active on the job market, helping you stay ahead in a competitive candidate market.

Dedicated Focus: Because they specialise in your industry, these agencies are committed to understanding the nuances and demands of Food Manufacturing. This focus means they’re more attuned to your unique challenges and can provide proactive solutions tailored to your needs.

Not all specialist agencies are equal though, many will specialise in particular functions within the food industry, again check out their website to see the types of vacancies they are advertising and take a look at LinkedIn to ensure they have a core, loyal team who will have had time to learn about the sector. Jarvis Johnson have over 7500 Food Manufacturing specialist candidates on our database but are definitely NOT the best agency to partner with if you’re looking to fill Commercial or HR roles!

Whilst specialist agencies might not always be as familiar with your local market, their deep industry knowledge often compensates for this. They might charge higher fees due to their expertise, but the investment often pays off with the high-quality candidates they can provide.

They are likely to be handling a lower volume of vacancies meaning you have fully invested consultants whose goal is to match you with the best talent, building a partnership and ensuring your long-term success.

The Clear Choice: Specialist Agencies

For Food Manufacturing businesses, the choice becomes clear when looking at positions where specialised skills and industry expertise are paramount. A specialist sector agency is often your best bet for finding top talent that meets the specific demands of your industry. Their deep knowledge, access to specialised candidates, tailored strategies and strong industry networks make them an invaluable partner in building a skilled, effective team.

Whilst local agencies offer valuable local insights, the comprehensive benefits provided by specialist agencies often make them the superior choice for Food Manufacturing businesses looking to hire the best talent. By choosing a specialist recruitment agency, you’re ensuring your company is equipped with the expertise needed to excel and thrive in a competitive market.

Invest in the right recruitment partner and set your Food Manufacturing business on the path to success. With a specialist agency, you’re not just filling positions; you’re building a team that will drive your business forward.

If you’d like to work with a specialist recruiter in the Food Manufacturing industry with 25 years experience in filling Technical, QA and NPD positions, book a call with the Jarvis Johnson Team today by emailing