As German member of the International Food Recruitment Alliance (IFR-A, www.ifr-a.com), a group of personnel consultancy agencies for the food industry, RAU | CONSULTANTS noted a lot of panic reactions in the food industry at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. As a result of the situation, many ongoing search projects fell idle or were stopped due to uncertainty. What would be the impact of this virus and how would it affect the food industry in the coming months?
Some weeks later the industry was still producing food and recruitment projects started to pick up slowly with the use of video interviews. As from May, client interviews with candidates were being held again in small numbers thus ensuring that recruitment proceeded. However, we are still seeing insecurity amongst candidates about making a career change at this point – obviously it is questionable how a new employer will keep performing during and after the crisis.
Attendance at interviews by consultants is often not yet desired by our clients, since they try to minimize external contacts where possible. Sometimes meeting rooms are not large enough to guarantee compliance to social distance rules with an additional participant.
However, since most companies in the food industry experienced excess demand for retail products, the food industry is slowly returning to normal. The abundance of unfulfilled vacancies is gradually being reduced by new recruitment projects in the local markets of the IFR-A partners. International searches across borders have however not yet been re-initiated.
Despite the fact that our activity on cross-border search processes has declined, RAU | CONSULTANTS have been active in the IFR-A cooperation during the lock down period. Via our bi-weekly video conferences we have shared a lot of best practices and we have even been able to move on in our search for new partners of the alliance. In that way we feel that both the cooperation and the foundation of the alliance has been strengthened.
We are looking forward to see the upward trend continue and happy to talk about new international assignments.