Job seekers warned of challenging times ahead

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Lukas Vanterpool (pictured): 'Job seekers need to make sure they stand out from the crowd, now more than ever'
Lukas Vanterpool (pictured): 'Job seekers need to make sure they stand out from the crowd, now more than ever'

Related tags Training & recruitment

Jobseekers in the food and drink industry need to prepare for a challenging time thanks to an increasingly competitive market, warned a food sector recruitment group.

A particularly saturated pool of candidates will force job hunters to fine tune their search process, presentation of their personal brand and CV preparation to get ahead of the crowd, said The Sterling Choice.

The warnings followed recent figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that showed that from October to December 2022, the number of UK vacancies decreased by 75,000 compared to the previous quarter and by 85,000 when compared to the same period in 2021.

Tightening labour market

The fall in the number of vacancies reflected uncertainty across industries – including the food manufacturing industry – as ONS survey respondents cited economic pressures as a factor in holding back on recruitment, resulting in an ever-tightening labour market.

It is a particularly tricky time for job hunters at the moment, and we don’t see that improving much throughout the year,” ​said Sterling Choice managing director Lukas Vanterpool. “Lay-offs and those leaving roles over the past couple of years due to COVID, mean that the pool of job seekers is saturated with talent at the moment.

“This means that job seekers need to make sure they stand out from the crowd, now more than ever. They need their CVs and applications to get to the top of a hiring team’s pile, and make sure they make the best impression in their interviews, none of which is easy at the best of times!”

The best match

Vanterpool suggested that jobseekers take time to consider what they are looking for in a role – as well as their key skill sets – in order to ensure they are the very best match for advertised positions.

 “Those working within the food manufacturing industries have a longer average tenure than many other industries, so entering the job market again can be a daunting time,”​ he added. “Hiring processes will have evolved and may well seem different and therefore a good level of resilience is required if a job search doesn’t immediately result in a secured position.”

“Although on the face of it, this wealth of talent might seem like a positive for employers – and it is – they too need to be incredibly prescriptive and transparent in what they are looking for in a new hire and perhaps be prepared to tailor their recruitment methods to accommodate the increasing number of applications for each new role.”

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