Anti-Cyclical Recruitment and Changes in the Food Recruitment Industry

30 July 2018


We had an interview with Hans Dijkstra about his experience as Recruiter in the food industry and the anti-cyclical recruitment.

Hans Dijkstra, the founder and owner of QTC Recruitment, has been in the recruitment industry for more than 10 years now. In the last years before QTC Recruitment, he saw processes which he thought could be done differently. Such as becoming more of a service provider with a more relaxed approach towards the market. Three and a half years ago, Hans started QTC Recruitment together with Jord Teeuwen. And with that strategy, they saw the company grow from two employees to 28 employees today. ‘’Our customer satisfaction has been great, and that is something that we value highly.’’

As the owner of a recruitment agency, Hans finds it important to stay up to date with all the relevant trends within the food recruitment industry. At the moment, there are a few trends that QTC Recruitment deals with on a daily basis. ‘’One of the trends is that a certain amount of companies use the anti-cyclical recruitment strategy.’’ Anti-cyclical recruitment is when the entire market is looking for a Key Account Manager in Q1 and Q2, and a certain company will look for a Key Account manager in Q3 or Q4. If you are the company mentioned last, you will always be dealing with a shortage of the market.

‘’I don’t think this is beneficial for companies. If you notice that everyone in the market is looking for a Key Account Manager, and you know that you will need a Key Account Manager in a few months, waiting those few months is a bad decision.’’ By waiting, a company makes it hard for itself to find the best candidate. ‘’I think that those companies are more focussed on themselves, instead of looking at the market.’’

QTC Recruitment tries to adapt to anti-cyclical recruitment. A couple of QTC Recruitment’s clients have agreed upon an RPO (recruitment process outsource) model. These clients inform QTC Recruitment with the hiring strategy/future for the coming year or two years. ‘’If one of those clients tells me that they will look for a Key Account Manager in Q3 or Q4 of this year, and I see that everyone in the market is already hiring those Key Account Managers, I will advise my client to enter the market at this stage. By entering the market early, you will have a higher chance of recruiting the best candidate possible.’’

Another trend is that the Dutch labour market has a shortage of technical people, such as Engineers. In the third quarter of 2017, there were 61.000 open vacancies in the technical sector, a 16 percent increase since the beginning of 2016. ‘’A consequence of this shortage is a rapid increase in salary for these technical people since January.’’ There is also a trend in the food industry which involves other regulations. We are probably going to see the FSSC regulation more in the future. ‘’The industry could shift from BRC and IFS towards FSSC 22000.’’

A third change in the market is that, at the moment, the market is much more candidate-driven.
‘’A couple of years ago, companies would see 50-100 candidates per application, while nowadays, companies will be happy if they have one or two candidates.’’

QTC Recruitment tries to adapt and react to the changes in the Food (Sciences) Recruitment industry. One of the services that QTC Recruitment offers is consulting the clients and the candidates more extensively than most recruitment agencies. ‘’Nowadays, I notice that a lot of companies are still fixated on the resumes of the candidates, instead of listening to the potential and capabilities that the candidate might have without looking at their resume. Many companies say: At least a Masters study, or at least specific experiences. QTC Recruitment tries to inform and educate the clients with a mystery candidate. A candidate that does not fit the core skills that have been set up by our client, but a candidate in which QTC Recruitment strongly believes that he or she can do the job in a perfect matter. ‘’I think if we would listen more to what the candidate can offer, we would be able to hire a more and better suitable candidate.’’

The employers at companies do not always have time to be open minded when recruiting an employee, “but a recruitment company like QTC Recruitment is able to help clients with this information, knowledge and time that is bought from us. We interview the candidates, we listen to their stories, and find out what they will be capable of in a next role. This makes it possible for us to give our clients the full story of a candidate, including a personality test that is offered to clients and candidates.” This test is taken to find out whether the candidate and hiring manager are a cultural fit. “I strongly believe that you will have a more suitable candidate when looking at the soft skills, in stead of just looking at hard skills on their resume.”

We want to thank Hans Dijkstra for sharing his knowledge and experiences on anti-cyclical recruitment, the new FSSC regulation and the change towards a candidate-driven market.