By Nicole Gallace, Founder of FoodGrads.com

  • Almost half the workforce will be Millennials by 2020. This generation also has the largest spending power.
  • There will be 60,000 new jobs in food processing by 2020 in Ontario alone.

To survive, you need to have a strategic plan to attract the next generation of workers to your business.

1. Provide work experience opportunities

One of the best things you can do to attract young people is to give them a taste of what it’s like to work at your organization.

Co-ops, internships, and projects are a fantastic way for you to network with students and give them the relevant hands-on work experience you need to see in a new hire.

“Many students are not aware of the multitude of career options in the food industry.  That is why it is vital to provide students with as much information as possible. The key is to educate and expose students to different career possibilities. Not only does this encourage students to continue their studies but also provides employers and companies with a strong talent pipeline allowing for a more competitive and sustainable advantage” – Ferrero Canada

Related: I Need to Know More About the Food Industry Before I Can Commit

2. Join the digital world

You may have a beautiful, highly functional website, but if it’s not mobile friendly, forget it. Millennials spend almost four hours a day on mobile devices, so you need to think digital/mobile first as well. 

According to Google’s research, 72% of people demand mobile optimization. If someone visits your site via their phone and it doesn’t load or it’s complicated to navigate — you’ve just lost that person. Not only will they not buy your product, but do you think they will be keen to join your organization?

Also, as a generation, Millennials spend the most time on social media. Do you have a presence there? If not, now’s a good time to consider your position in terms of marketing to this group via social media from a brand/cultural perspective to attract new employees.

This generation was born into a digital world!

3. Use influencer marketing to brand your company

Build relationships with influencers in your community and turn them into brand ambassadors. These influencers will spread the word, amplifying your message, sharing your brand and products, and educating your audience. Influencers help you become part of the conversation.

4. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)

User-generated content is any content that is created by your customers or by your current and future employees. UGC is effective because Millennials are 80% more influenced by what their peers share than by branded content alone.

Here’s a great example of UGC, written by one of our FoodGrads Campus Ambassadors about her experience as an intern at Gay Lea Foods.

Influencers can also create UGC, which you can repurpose for your own branding and HR activities. This helps you build brand awareness and expand your community.

Bonus idea: Update your job titles

Don’t just copy and paste the same job titles and descriptions that have been in circulation for the past 10 years.

The food and beverage industry has changed. Don’t you think it’s time the job titles and responsibilities reflect that? Get creative!

Related: Food Industry Jobs: What Do the Titles Mean?

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When it comes to hiring, the new generations are different, and technological advances and innovation have changed the playing field. People are inundated with choice and have a huge amount of information at their fingertips. This has had a direct influence on the employment opportunities available in the food and beverage industry.

Changes in agricultural practices, the restaurant industry, food processing, regulations/labelling, food policy, research, etc. make this industry diverse, pioneering, and perfect for curious Millennials. It’s up to you to take the opportunity to educate future employees just like you educate your customers.

Nicole GallaceNicole Gallace started www.FoodGrads.com, an interactive platform to help students and new graduates start their career and to encourage people to explore professions in Food & Beverage!

After 10 years recruiting for the F&B Industry she noticed an important gap that needed to be filled, so in Feb 2016 she got to work.  “The Future of Food is in the hands of the next generation of industry professionals, we all stand to benefit if there are intelligent, brilliant, socially conscious people coming into the industry.”

You can follow FoodGrads on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Insta or get involved!  We encourage people to share their career story to inspire fresh talent.  Still at school?  Join us as a FoodGrads Campus Ambassador. Email Nicole@FoodGrads.com

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