A Sr. Food Scientist plays a key role in food and beverage companies, whether they be major CPG brands, start-ups or ingredient and flavor companies.
The Sr. Food Scientist role is an oft-requested role that companies ask us to fill for them – the common request is amended with “we have a fantastic team of Food Scientists, but they’re just not ready to move into the Sr. Food Scientist role.”
Here’s the predicament that many companies are in though – every Sr. Food Scientist job description reads more or less the same, yet YOUR company’s “wish list” is unique.
If you don’t do a deep dive into the business impact and the gap you’re looking to fill with this Sr. Food Scientist hire, you’re going to waste a massive amount of time “wandering the aisles” looking for what you want and worse yet, you’ll be lured into a short-term love affair with a candidate who interviews well but performs poorly.
That’s why the Scope Phase, the first step in Gulf Stream Search’s Talent Acquisition Methodology™, is so critical.
The Scope Phase, similar to the process a company might go through in the Idea or Concept phase of their Stage-Gate or similar Product Development Methodology, gets all stakeholders together to hash out the specific “idea” or “concept” – in this case, we’re starting with “we need a Sr. Food Scientist”.
In your world, it might be – “we want to develop a chocolate chip cookie.”
How big will it be? A single cookie or eaten in bunches.
What texture are we going for?
What’s the price point?
Will this be a seasonal product or evergreen?
Do we have a sensory experience we’re trying to achieve?
It’s the same with a Sr. Food Scientist.
Will the Sr. Food Scientist take on an added workload of similar projects?
Will they take on higher profile, specialized projects?
Will management, supervisor or mentoring less experienced staff members be part of their role?
The answers to these questions dramatically impact the type of hire you’re looking for – if you don’t differentiate and assess the requirement, the consequences can be significant. For example,
A Sr. Food Scientist candidate may be efficient and take on a much higher workload than a peer, but they may lack the desire to manage others or the ability to influence customers or cross-functional partners.
A Sr. Food Scientist candidate may have the desire to take on supervisory responsibilities, but they fall below an acceptable baseline of technical acumen that you’d need in case they need to be “hands-on” with a high profile project.
A Sr. Food Scientist candidate hits all the marks with experience, a portfolio of high profile product launches and a charismatic demeanor, but they have an underlying desire to get out of R&D and evolve into Marketing.
The Scope Phase in our Talent Acquisition Methodology™ sets the stage to bubble up all the “must-haves” and “nice to haves” that go beyond the standard Sr. Food Scientist job description.
One of my favorite sayings is “measure twice, cut once.”
Investing a couple hours, at most, with your stakeholders to scope out your Sr. Food Scientist role, even if it’s a role you’ve filled in the past, has the potential to save you from headaches in the future with a mediocre hire and can dramatically affect the top line with product launches that make millions.
For more information on how we apply our Talent Acquisition Methodology™ to our client’s hiring requirements in the food and beverage industry, contact us below.