Grow Your Own

April 30, 2018 in HR Best Practices



Talent, that is!

Global talent shortages. A strong economy. The mass exodus of baby boomers from our workforce. Multiple factors have combined to make competing for food & beverage talent fiercer than it’s been in decades.

Where’s the best place to find your organization’s future leaders?

In today’s recruiting environment, your best management candidates may be right under your nose – and already working for you! In this earlier post, “The Pros and Cons of Developing Talent Internally,” we presented some of the advantages of developing and promoting from within:

  • reduced turnover
  • improved job success
  • significant cost savings
  • shorter time-to-hire

Developing talent internally is a smart business move.

Want to improve your efforts? Below, our food and beverage recruiters share advice for identifying and developing your promising young employees – and helping them grow into your company’s future leaders:

Focus on high potential – not just high performance.

When it comes to identifying leadership potential, don’t make the mistake of confusing strong performance or high productivity for aptitude. The truth? Your highest performing team members are not always the best candidates for leadership. If you think you have found a high-potential employee, confirm your hunch with these questions:

  • Is the individual proactive (i.e., do they take charge of situations and make things happen around them)?
  • Do you trust this employee to lead efforts, even though they lack managerial status?
  • Do others seek out this person for help and advice?

Questions like these will help you gauge an employees’ potential, not just their current performance.

Test the waters.

Promoting the wrong person can be as costly as any other type of hiring mistake. Before you throw your promising employee into the deep end, test their abilities by making them the lead on a challenging and meaningful team project. Fight the urge to micromanage, and give the individual room to run. Then, evaluate how well they delegate work, communicate with team members and external stakeholders, and manage and adapt to challenges.

Equip them to succeed.

If your management candidate handles themself well and you decide to promote them, provide them with the tools to succeed in their new role. First-time food & beverage managers – especially young ones – require guidance to thrive. Give them a fighting chance by:

  • Being honest. While it’s important to be positive and encouraging, shoot them straight about the challenges they will face in their new position. Having realistic expectations will help your candidate respond more constructively to tough situations.
  • Pairing them with a mentor. Mentoring is a highly effective way to harness new managers’ skills, develop their potential and train them to lead. And don’t forget: your aspiring leaders can “mentor up,” too, sharing their skills and fresh ideas with your food & beverage organization’s veteran employees.
  • Providing frequent feedback. First-time managers crave input and guidance. While it’s important to empower them to perform their job (and not swoop in anytime there’s the slightest hint of trouble), it’s equally important to provide both formal and informal feedback. Regularly checking in with your new manager allows you to discuss how things are going while offering practical, actionable advice they can apply.

Developing talent internally deepens your bench, saves time and money, and increases retention. By taking an active (yet not stifling) role in managing new leaders, you can set them on a course for success that keeps your entire organization on track.

Need high-potential candidates for food processing jobs, beverage jobs, food manufacturing management jobs or food production jobs?

Trust your search to Kinsa.

Experts in food & beverage recruiting, Kinsa helps you identify and hire top performers by creating exceptional matches. There’s an ideal out there – trust Kinsa to help you find it.

Learn more about our food & beverage specialties.