#GivingTuesday is known globally as the day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It is celebrated each Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US, and focuses on kicking off the charitable season. As companies are looking to wrap up their end of year and get a jump on their first quarter of hiring, they are also looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. And with today being #GivingTuesday, now is a great time for organizations to take a look at their social responsibility and the ways in which they are giving back to the community.
There are countless ways to give back, build social responsibility, and in turn, boost your company culture in your organization. Whether it is monetary donations, volunteering, or participating in charitable events, companies can make a huge impact in their communities. Here at Direct Recruiters, we do our best to give back in the community and believe it positively impacts our company culture. For example, each year we participate in Race for the Place, a benefit held by the Gathering Place, a Northeast Ohio organization that provides programs and services free of charge for individuals touched by cancer. In addition, we work to fill boxes full of toys to donate to the Leprechaun Foundation, a charity that gives toys to children in Cleveland area hospitals.
When job candidates are looking for a new job, they take into consideration numerous factors. They want to make sure that they are making a move to a reputable company that is respected in the community. Organizations that are socially responsible are more attractive to potential future employees. If a company is building good relationships in the community, that jobseeker is going to hear good things about the company. If employees feel good about their company and enjoy working for a good organization, those feelings are going to show to others in the industry as well.
Another benefit of doing charitable events is bringing your organization together. What makes a company great to work for is employee morale. As a company, you want your employees to feel great about where they work. You build strong connections with your employees when you go beyond your normal work day. Increasing morale increases overall productivity. You want to differentiate yourself in the market and this is one way to achieve that. Being unique keeps employees and customers loyal to your company.
Social responsible companies have a competitive edge over those that are not.
Getting out in the community also helps for networking. You might be standing next to someone at a soup kitchen that could add value to your organization and vice versa. Meeting people in your local area will help get the name of your company known and you can help others that you meet along the way.
So, on #GivingTuesday, take a second to think about what your company can do to get out and lend an extra hand. There is always something to be done and people are always looking for help.
Last year several new recruiting tactics were introduced. This year, we’ve seen them adopted and implemented. And many of these modern methods will shape the hiring process in 2019.
We’ve analyzed many of these new tactics and technologies. Some are fleeting trends soon to be forgotten. But some of these new methods would be worth implementing. The following 7 recruiting trends are the methods we believe will continue into 2019.
Earlier this year, Google announced they were moving to mobile-first indexing. Search engine optimization may not have been a top priority of recruiters in the past, but this update is worth acknowledging.
Google makes changes for two reasons:
- To benefit the searcher’s experience.
- To adjust to searcher’s habits
Today more candidates are conducting their job search on a mobile device. But that doesn’t mean the industry is following suit. Although mobile platforms have been around for quite awhile, many recruiters haven’t adopted this change.
In a recent study, 45% of job seekers said they use mobile to hunt for jobs at least once a day. And 89% of job seekers use mobile platforms for job search. Today, 16% of applications are submitted via mobile. To be effective, your recruiting strategy should allow candidates to easily interact on a mobile device.
Say goodbye to paper resumes
Speaking of applications, the future is signaling the end of the paper resume. Organizations are beginning to place more importance on soft skills. Beyond a paper document, social media profiles and video submissions can more accurately demonstrate a first impression.
For the company hiring this means keeping up with trends and being able to accommodate these technologies.
For job seekers, this means this means developing an integrated personal brand through social media profiles, digital portfolios, and even a personal website (if appropriate for the position).
Develop an attractive online profile
If companies want to attract top talent they need to portray an appealing environment. Social media is used to demonstrate corporate culture. Research shows that 79% of candidates review social profiles during their job search.
The reality of working for your company should be accurately portrayed across your social media. Strengthening employer brand was listed as a priority by 60% of organizations. Your website, social media, and online reviews should provide an accurate depiction of the company culture.
Realize the impact of artificial intelligence
It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but artificial Intelligence is impacting the job market. The UK has already experienced the impact. In 2017, 66% of UK office employees requested the assistance of AI to accomplish their daily work.
This technology will impact the roles HR departments need to fill. Working with the assistance of AI will change the skills required of employees. Within the next fifteen years predictions indicate that 50% of employees will rely on the assistance of AI.
Consider flexible working conditions
The Gig Economy has impacted the job market in multiple ways. Not only are more workers moving to freelance positions, this trend is changing their expectations.
Research found that 65% of employees would pursue contract work if given the opportunity. This can be attributed to the many perceived benefits of such roles such as working from home. A 2016 survey reported that the ability to work remotely impacted 68% of candidates decision.
We don’t anticipate the entire workforce to quit their traditional jobs for contract work. But the popularization of these non-traditional roles has changed employee expectations.
Take note of virtual reality
There’s no shortage of video interview software. As we previously mentioned, video is able to demonstrate a more accurate first impression.
Video interview doesn’t seem like it will be going away. Additionally, virtual reality and augmented reality platforms are being used for interactive hiring needs. Rather than answering the usual questions, virtual reality shows how candidates respond in practical settings.
Develop Talent Relationship Management
With an already competitive job market, Talent Relationship Management (TRM) has become an increasingly important recruiting tool. Unfortunately, many HR departments have overlooked the importance of cultivating the existing relationships within the organization in order to attract new talent.
History has shown that 40% of companies’ best hires come from within. One study showed that utilizing TRM resulted in a 4% higher offer acceptance rate. Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) shouldn’t be overlooked. Rather, it should be implemented alongside TRM in order to recruit the best candidate.
In order to recruit the right candidate, you have to employ modern hiring methods. Simply posting a job and waiting for the resumes to pour in may not work anymore. Today’s job market requires a more proactive approach from both the recruiter and the candidate.
Finding top talent requires staying up-to-date on these trends. Depending upon the size and capabilities of your organization, you may not be able to adopt all these trends. But you should be aware of the expectations. As an organization, identify the weaknesses within your current recruiting methods and be willing to implement needed changes.
A couple of weeks ago, the Direct Recruiters Automation, Robotics and Controls team attended IMTS 2018 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Josh Olgin, Director of Robotics and Nick Saddleton, Automation, Robotics and Controls Executive Recruiter were two attendees out of the 129,415 registrations and 2,563 exhibiting companies. They, along with other attendees were provided access to networking opportunities, informative sessions, and impressive new technologies in the world of Manufacturing. Josh and Nick shared their three takeaways from the show:
There is an appetite for hiring in the industry.
With the overwhelming turn out and mass amount of people, manufacturing companies and professionals are looking for top-talent to join them. The DRI team was able to meet up with several professionals to discuss the industry and talent needs they have. With the need being so high, DRI has the ability to narrow down the focus of what the company is looking for to specifics and find right person. Sales, applications, robot programmers, robot engineers, mechanical design engineers, concepting, project management, and field service were just some of the talent categories discussed while we were there.
Robotics is a huge driver in industry trends.
The DRI team was so impressed with the robots, new technology and new applications they saw at the show. The exhibitors represented the ongoing growth in technology in the industry. Josh and Nick saw technologies such as sensor controls, machine tools, robots working hand in hand with CNC machinery, mobile robots, and even a bartending robot!
Cobots and Mobile Robots working together with humans
A noticeable trend in the industry and displayed at IMTS has been humans working together with different types of robots. Mobile robots small enough for warehouses or hospitals for example can come and go with no supervision, being programmed at the beginning of the day (by a human) and it does its job. Humans are able to manage how these robots work, resulting in an increase in productivity. Not only can cobots contribute to efficiency and growth, but also safety. They are able to work in harsh surroundings, so a human doesn’t get hurt. We are seeing more and more of this collaboration between humans and robots – something we expect to continue in driving growth in the industry.
As executive search specialists in the Automation, Robotics and Controls space, DRI enjoyed IMTS, the great new technologies, interesting companies, and the people they met there. If you happened to attend IMTS and did not get a chance to meet with Josh or Nick – let us know what you thought! Additionally, Josh will be attending Pack Expo on October 15th and 16th - Please reach out to him to set up a meeting if you’re attending as well.
Director of Robotics
Applicants come with a new set of priorities. They expect more than a paycheck and solid benefits. The shift in philosophy has forced companies to implement flexible working conditions.
However, adopting these changes can be difficult for companies. The pressure has caused concern for many leaders. But to implement a successful work from home program, an organization needs be aware of the benefits and the obstacles they may encounter.
Know the obstacles
Before your organization begins to provide flexible working conditions, there are potential obstacles you should be aware of.
First, don’t assume every employee wants to work remotely. It may sound appealing to roll out of bed and shuffle to your computer in your slippers each morning. But you may discover this is not the general consensus among your staff. Many employees still enjoy the social interaction provided by a traditional office setting.
And don’t assume every employee is cut out for it. Some people thrive within traditional settings. Removing the stability of an office environment could be detrimental for some. Managers are often your best resource to know whether remote accommodations will work. Typically, they know their team better than upper management.
Technology will play an important role in establishing a successful work from home program. The last thing any company wants is for an employee to become an island. Implementing the appropriate technology to maintain communication will be important.
Aspects of company culture that came naturally before may become difficult to maintain. Consider how you will maintain comradery while your team is still under one roof.
Consider the benefits
It’s understandable to have reservations about a work from home program. But the cost savings alone can make it a no-brainer. Studies have shown than an employer can save $10,000 per employee each year by allowing employees to work remotely.
In addition to the cost savings, it gives you access to a larger talent pool. Facilitating employees working from home will allow you to attract employees who would be unwilling to relocate.
5 steps to implementing a work from home program
When your organization is ready to implement the program, there are five steps to consider.
1. Test it
There are plenty of companies to analyze to know whether your organization can accommodate remote working conditions. Analyzing similar companies who have tried it before may provide your answer. But no matter how well you plan, you’ll encounter unforeseen obstacles.
Before you dive in completely, identify a couple employees who would be willing to test it out. There initial feedback will allow you to prepare a full roll out.
2. Have a timeline
From the initial trial period to complete implementation, there will be details you’ll need to work through. But you should develop a timeline. This will keep the plan on track and also answer the questions that will arise: “When can I work from home?”
3. Work out the details
Allowing your employees to work from home will require new protocols. You might discover it’s not as simple as providing a laptop and access to your company server.
Teams working in different parts of the country will have to rely on different applications to provide seamless communication. Maintaining clear communication between employees will be important.
As you work through the details, be sure to protect your company culture. It can suffer if regular events aren’t scheduled. There won’t be any more water cooler talk amongst a remote workforce. Foster communication through regular company outings or retreats. And if geography isn’t a limitation, consider Friday happy hour or midweek yoga sessions.
4. Determine times of availability
A simple method to maintaining communication is establishing availability. There should be an expectation among employees as to when they will be available.
As an organization, you can choose whether those hours are the same for everyone and if the hours need to be static throughout the week. Depending upon the organization’s flexibility, you may decide to allow employees to choose their appropriate hours. But whether those are traditional hours or flexible, the rest of the organization should be aware.
5. Identify which jobs can work remotely
Unfortunately for some, not all jobs can be done remotely. Some positions are just more suitable for an office setting. Define what roles will be available for remote work to set the expectation.
There are different factors to consider when implementing a work from home program. If your company decides to provide remote working conditions consider these five steps to ensure it works for both the company and the employees.
Managing your LinkedIn profile like a digital Rolodex could lead to countless missed professional opportunities.
In spite of the many social platforms, LinkedIn remains the ideal social network for business professionals. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, more than 90% of recruiters rely on the platform to find candidates. And today, it’s used in nearly every industry.
Each year the platform continues to improve its interface to remain an invaluable networking resource for professionals. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you’re marketing yourself effectively on LinkedIn. Here are 7 ways to have an effective LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is a powerful resource. But, to make the most of the social platform, you’ll need to be socially active. Being an active user means engaging with your contacts by liking, sharing, and commenting on their activity.
However, it can be difficult to interact with your contacts throughout the day. One of the simplest ways to be active is to download the mobile app. The LinkedIn app provides an easy-to-use interface that makes networking a breeze.
Another part of being active is to ensure your profile remains current. Continually update your profile with projects you’ve worked on or presentations you’ve given. You can share your work by writing articles or posting pictures and videos. The goal is to provide content that will benefit your connections and make them want to interact with you.
Becoming a member in groups is another way to be effectively active. LinkedIn will allow you to join up to 100 groups. Once you join a group you become connected to the members within the group. This causes your profile to show up in more search results when someone is looking for your skillset.
Write an effective tagline
Your tagline, also known as your headline, should be optimized and captivating. It will default to your current job title if you don’t change it. But this is what potential connections and hiring managers will use to find you. To ensure it’s optimized, include words that you want to be discovered for.
Rather than allowing it to default to your current job title, use the 120 characters to give the reader a snapshot of who you are. Provide a brief description that is both interesting and engaging. A captivating tagline will motivate them to click on your profile link to read further.
In addition to your tagline, use keywords throughout your profile. Include keywords you want to be targeted for within your headline, your position titles, summary, experience descriptions, projects, certifications, publications, and anywhere else they can be placed.
Currently there are more than 11 million active job listings on LinkedIn. If you want to be considered for a new opportunity, you’ll need to include those words within your profile. Recruiters use keywords to search LinkedIn for the job description they’re trying to fill.
Look through jobs you’re interested in, and make note of the specific skills and words used within the descriptions. Sprinkling those words throughout your summary and experience sections will help you connect with your desired opportunities.
But don’t stuff your profile with keywords. Injecting too many keywords is going to be obvious, and demonstrates poor communication skills. It will be obvious to the reader that the profile was created only for LinkedIn’s search engine optimization.
Discover your niche
How are you going to stand out among the millions of people on LinkedIn? At first, this may be overwhelming. But the solution is to select your desired niche. Identify yourself as specifically as possible.
You’ll be lost in the crowd if you simply market yourself as a manager. To attract the attention of a hiring manager, present yourself as an IT Security Manager with a CISM Certification. Distinction will make you standout and make you a more attractive candidate to the appropriate hiring managers.
Make sure your profile is complete
Don’t be satisfied with an incomplete profile. Complete all sections, including education, certifications, and interests
A complete profile will provide better position within search results. Be sure to include your information for all the applicable profile sections. As you complete your profile, contemplate your personal brand and the impact of the information you provide.
Consider the details that will help you standout among the competition. Include any certifications you have, projects you’ve been a part of, or foreign languages you speak.
Consider your images
There are two images within your profile you should pay special attention to: your profile image and your background image.
Your profile image says a lot about the rest of your profile. It’s often someone’s first impression of you. Your photo should be professional and appropriate for your industry.
The profile picture provides a personal connection for recruiters and hiring managers. An unprofessional or missing photo can seriously impact your job search. The image increases the likeliness of your profile being viewed by 40%.
In addition to your profile picture, use a background photo for additional personal branding. Use a photo that you have the rights to and communicates what you stand for. The size of this photo is 1400 x 425 pixels and should be a .jpg, .gif or .png file.
Get recommendations and endorsements
Having the recommendation of your peers is one of best ways to improve your profile’s social standing. It may be uncomfortable to request a compliment from a colleague, but offering to reciprocate the favor can make it feel more natural.
Don’t overlook the importance of endorsements. LinkedIn provides you complete control over your them. You can select the skills users can choose to endorse you for. You can also delete any undesired endorsements.
Endorsements also provide a unique networking opportunity. Whenever LinkedIn notifies you of an endorsement say “Thank You” to your endorser. This is a great way to naturally start a conversation with someone.
Understanding the features of LinkedIn can impact the success of your job search. Knowing what areas to focus on will increases the opportunities of your profile being viewed by the right person.
Implement these 7 suggestions within your LinkedIn profile to help you connect with the right person in order to obtain the job you’re searching for.
Networking events sometimes feel like speed dating. Talk to as many people as you can until you find a mutually beneficial connection. It can be less than comfortable.
These events are created with the best of intentions, but trying to create organic conversation in a manufactured setting can be difficult.
The thought of networking will cause you to reach for a stack of business cards or hide in the coat closet depending upon your personality. Rather then shuffling through your forced mental script of rehearsed questions, consider the following 5 ways to be effective at your next networking event.
We don’t mean wearing a flashy tie. Be the man or woman who is remembered by what you say.
We’re all used to the standard, “So, what do you do?” line of questioning. Simply being prepared for these standard questions can leave an impression.
Come up with an honest answer that is engaging and makes the other person want to know more.
Donald Miller, best selling author and CEO of StoryBrand, gives the following example of a conversation between two people at networking event.
Other person: “So, what do you do?”
You: “You know how hard it is to make a healthy dinner every weeknight with all the stuff your kids have going on? Well, our company delivers homemade frozen dinners that are actually affordable, so parents can relax and enjoy time with their families at night.”
As Miller explains, this method works because you’re telling a mini-story with this type of answer. This also positions you as the person who can solve a specific problem. If the other person can’t work with you at the present time, they’ll be able to file your name away in their mental Rolodex as the person with a specific solution.
Vanessa Van Edwards, a human behavioral expert, and author of Captivate, tries to provide a “me-too!” moment for the other person in every conversation. “It makes us feel accepted. It makes us feel heard. And most importantly, it makes us feel calm,” she explains.
Genuinely showing you care goes a long way. During most of these events, you’re surrounded by people searching for what they can get out of the other person. But entering a conversation with the desire to solve their needs often results in mutual benefit. Maybe you’ll get their business or maybe you’ll just get the blessing of being able to help someone.
Show the other person you care by asking questions you actually want to know the answer to. Rather than the standard, “What do you do?” or “What brought you here tonight?” try the following:
What are you most excited about with your job right now?
What are you most excited about with your industry right now?
What’s the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?
How did you end up in your line of work?
What are you looking forward to this week?
Know where to stand
It may sound trivial, but the location you choose to stand in a room can make all the difference. Rather than backing yourself up into a corner, choose strategic high-traffic locations within the room.
More specifically, stand where people are walking away from – against the flow. Find a place where there is a natural traffic flow such as a few feet from the bar or hors d'oeuvres table. This will allow you to make eye contact and be in position to naturally engage other attendees.
Check your body language
In a recent interview, Van Edwards explained that you want to maintain open body posture. This shows the other person you are open to conversation and non-threatening.
A simple way to demonstrate open body posture is to show your hands. Van Edwards says this is a primal survival mechanism showing that we are not carrying a weapon. Conversational stature often causes us to place our hands in our pockets or fold our arms. Subconsciously this communicates that we are closed off or even untrustworthy.
It can be hard to avoid folding your arms as this can be a natural tendency for many. However, if you need to, hold a glass or folder to keep yourself from placing your hands in your pockets.
Have a plan of action
You can usually decide early on in the conversation whether you will want to stay connected with the person you’ve been speaking with. If you do, you’ll want to have a practical way to follow up. But if you decide that you won’t want to stay connected, you need to have a natural exit strategy.
If you desire to stay in contact, provide them with your business card and tell them you’ll be following up with them. Depending upon the conversation, you may be able to offer to email them a helpful resource.
However, if you realize you won’t want to stay connected beyond the conversation, you need to have a way to remove yourself from the conversation. Simply asking to be excused in order to attend to needed business before the next session can be a honest, natural method. You can also watch for a natural break in the conversation and cordially thank them for their time and wish them the best of luck with the remainder of the year. While you want to show genuine interest in the other person, you need to value your own time as well.
Depending upon the length of the event or conference, you may have several conversations, but you’ll only have one or two memorable connections. Once the event is over focus on the conversation that you see providing the most direct benefit.
Today, it’s easy to make connections, but developing relationships can be difficult. Developing these relationships requires you analyze yourself and be proactive. While searching for connections, you need to be the person someone wants to network with. Keep these five tips in mind to make the most of the next networking event you attend.
You have made it to the final interview for your dream job and now the conversation is winding down. The interviewer asks you: “Do you have any questions for me?” Now is not the time to say “No”! This is your moment to interject your own personality, comments and leave a favorable impression.
So many candidates fail to take advantage of this opportunity. Some of the best-qualified candidates fall short of the interview finish line and therefore, lose the job. Even if your interview went very well, the way you end the interview can make or break your chances of landing the position.
To help you cross the interview finish line, here are some effective exit statements to close out your interview:
1) Express your enthusiasm and interest. “This is an exciting position and just the kind of challenge I’m looking for. I feel that I’m the right candidate for this opportunity.”
2) Summarize why you’re right for the job. Reiterate your strengths and how they tie into the critical skills the company is seeking. Include several reasons why you should have the job.
3) Ask about any hesitations: “From what you heard today, do you think there are any issues or reasons that would prevent us from moving to the next step?” Address any hesitation.
4) Thank the interviewer for their time. Let the person who interviewed you know how much you appreciate their time, interest and consideration. Also, mention that you appreciated meeting their staff along the way (if others were involved in your interview).
5) Ask the final question: “What is the timeline for filling this position and when can I expect to hear from you?”
Make sure the interviewer’s last impression of you is a good one. Closing out your interview with the right statements will significantly increase your chances of landing the job.
June 18, 2018
Rachel Makoski, Director of Foodservice E&S and Food Processing recently had the opportunity to connect with Evan Priesel, Marketing Manager at Univex for a series of Thought Leader Interview questions. Mr. Priesel shared insights on the Foodservice industry, interesting initiatives Univex is taking, and his personal career in the industry.
First off, thank you for this opportunity! I went to school at Southern New Hampshire University for my B.S in Business Management with a concentration in marketing. I love being able to influence why people purchase a certain product and study all new ways to promote and advertise a brand. I am currently enrolled in an MBA program from SNHU in Digital Advertising and have obtained many marketing/digital marketing certifications. I grew up a two-sport athlete in baseball and basketball, and since my baseball days are over, have grown a love for golf! It is a great place to network, discuss business and compete all at the same time. Univex is my 2nd position out of college and I couldn’t be happier!
Fairly new to the Foodservice Equipment world, what led you to pursue this industry?
I never would have thought that I would be in the Foodservice Equipment world to be honest. I knew I wanted to be in a managerial role, overseeing a team and growing a company. I believe marketing is a very relatable skill no matter the industry if you do the research and study the target market. After a few interviews with management at Univex, we hit it off and was extremely excited to join this great team! This is now my 2nd year here!
Univex is always finding ways to use technology and innovation. We have some specialty equipment specifically in the bakery and pizza industry that are the only ones on the market right now. Our goal is to save companies time, and labor cost, all while producing consistent and great results! We continuously do R&D and test new ways to help our customers succeed! We just released our “rotante” oven, which is a Stone Hearth Rotating Dome Pizza Oven. We also have multipurpose and bakery ovens with touch screens that are based on modern phones! These are all ways to stay up to date and make our products user friendly.
Univex prides itself on innovation. How is innovation encouraged on your team?
Innovation is highly encouraged at Univex. Whether that’s in the marketing department with digital ads, social media, target marketing, or new creative graphic designs, we always try to stay ahead of the competition and find where the most engaging audience is. From a factory stand point, we are always testing and doing research in finding ways to help customers succeed. It is important for us to stay ahead of the game and I believe we are doing a great job of it.
To that point, there seems to be an increased focus on critical safety features – how does Univex meet those expectations on their new products?
When we design a product or do testing, we always keep customer safety as a top priority. We go through numerous certifications for sanitation and safety purposes as well. Another task we make sure we have for our customers are clear operation manuals for user knowledge. Something we have incorporated this year is turning the operation manuals into videos and demonstrations and putting them on YouTube for everyone to be able to see. We also have a great Quality Control department which inspects every piece of equipment that leaves the factory.
What trends do you expect to see in Food Equipment in the next 5 years?
Specific trends that I think are coming to the industry is complete innovation. This may mean finding the best way to cut down labor cost, or ways to speed up production while producing a consistent product. Univex is already leading the way in this category and we do not see it slowing down any time soon. Another change that I can see maybe in the next 8-10 years is virtual reality test kitchens. This would give customers the ability to visualize equipment in their own kitchen using dimensions and parameters of the equipment they are looking at just by wearing a pair of goggles or glasses. I believe this is a little further away than 5 years, however if it makes the customer eager to purchase, and it is an easy, user friendly way for them to purchase, I do not see why this won’t happen in the future.
What Foodservice segments do you see having the most growth for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019; grocers and deli’s, convenience stores, restaurants, healthcare, education, or hospitality, and why?
I believe the entire industry is growing. I believe innovation in equipment specifically in the pizza and bakery industries. Univex does a lot with all the industries stated above, and we let our customers and dealers know we are here to support them with whatever that may be. Everything from delis to healthcare and hospitality, we support our customers and want to lead them to success.
Univex seems very focused on reliability and your equipment clearly stands the test of time. What do you think is the differentiator that enables you to do so?
First off, thank you! Univex has been in business for over 70 years! We take pride in the quality of our equipment and always want to make sure we supply the right piece of equipment for our customers depending on their needs or wants. We are also a one stop shop for everything dough related in the pizza and bakery industry. A customer can mix, divide/round, form, sheet and bake with all Univex equipment! Our factory knowledge in house is also a big factor. We have years of knowledge in house and work with customers all the time making sure they are getting what they need to succeed. We still manufacture in Salem NH so I believe that is one of the biggest differentiators. Also, we have an outstanding Quality Control team. We make sure that everything is perfect before being sent out to customers. We have machines that are over 50 years old still out in the field working perfectly! It is something that we take pride in and something that the company is very proud of.
With kitchen connectivity being a hot topic in the industry right now, what are your thoughts on the topic and how do you see Univex getting involved in that space?
We understand that kitchen connectivity is the way of the future and a big topic in the industry currently. I believe this is great and was bound to happen sooner or later with technology and the way the world is evolving. Our multi-purpose and bakery ovens are highly kitchen connective. You can sync recipes from your phone or USB drive into the oven, save your recipe for the future and program specific recipes tailored to what you need. This makes it easier the next time you need to use the oven, all you would have to do is hit the icon of the product you want to cook, and our ovens remember the recipe and program. This feature allows you to save time and prepare other items in your kitchen while your food is cooking or baking.
Describe the approach you take to attracting and retaining high impact talent at Univex.
Univex is such a great company. We have employees that have been here for over 40 years! You do not see that often in most companies now however, we have many. Being a team player is extremely important to our success, every department helps each other and is always there for support. Multi-tasking is another key feature we look for in our employees as our day to day tasks may change due to projects, etc. Once a new employee sees and feels the family atmosphere that is at Univex, they feel welcomed and at home. It is truly a great company to work for!
What or who has motivated and influenced you to be successful in your career? Have you had mentors?
I always continue to learn new skills and research new ways to improve. I have had many mentors in my life, the biggest being my father who has taught me so much growing up. He is the biggest influence in my life and career and he still teaches me new skills and life lessons every day! I have had many teachers and professors in college who have mentored me and continue to work with me to ensure I am on the right path. Executive management here at Univex has also been a huge help and has mentored me greatly. They gave me this amazing opportunity and when I go to them with questions, they are always there to teach me new skills and gain valuable information and we work as a team to complete goals. The biggest thing I learned from all my mentors, is do not be afraid of failure. Go for something you want, and if you fail (which everyone does from time to time) make sure you learn from it and grow.
Director of Foodservice E&S and Food Processing
At the beginning of May, The Direct Recruiters Plastics and Flexible Packaging team attended NPE in Orlando, Florida. The show provided access to innovations, networking opportunities, technology, and ideas shaping the future of plastics. With over 2,180 exhibiting companies showcasing at NPE, it was the largest show in history. The DRI team enjoyed the show and shared their thoughts on NPE 2018:
David Peterson, Managing Partner of Plastics and Flexible Packaging
“This was my 3rd NPE and each one has been unique. The buzz around industry 4.0 was exciting. It’s important for the plastics industry to continue to adopt newer technology. This keeps the industry moving forward but also helps significantly in attracting the millennial generation as well as talent that will be graduating from college in the coming years. From a job perspective, Field Service and Engineering was in super demand especially with the OEMS. Several companies are looking for the exact same talent making the market super tight and competitive. From the materials perspective technical service roles continue to be in demand. People that are able to talk tech but have a sales side to themselves are very valuable right now. From all companies we met with there continues to be concern at the executive level that pending retirements, with the lack of available candidates to backfill these roles, will be a major issue. In general, we felt the “vibe” was very good, the weather was terrific, and overall it was a positive experience for those that attended. My only complaint remains the same as always. It takes two weeks for my back and feet to stop hurting from all the walking. You?”
Adam Swinderman, Plastics and Flexible Packaging Executive Recruiter
“The technology at the show was great. It was amazing to see where the industry is going. The one thing that really stood out, was the sense of community there. Everyone was very willing to help other people out. This made the event a great opportunity to network and find ways to enhance one’s career and for business to collaborate. I’m very excited to see how things will evolve in the next 3 years when we all meet for the next event.”
What were your thoughts on the show? Contact our Plastics team to discuss.
Food Safety, Efficiency and Ease of Cleaning a Focus at this Years’ National Restaurant Association Show
May 29, 2018
By Rachel Makoski, Director of Foodservice Equipment and Supplies
With it being the largest event in foodservice each year, it’s no surprise that last week’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show broke its record for a fourth year in row with more than 715,000 square feet of space at McCormick Place from May 19-22. If you missed it, the show had more than 65,000 attendees from around the world bringing innovations in foodservice products, equipment, supplies and software to one place.
As it has been in recent years, the focus was on innovation, this year with food safety and sanitation standing out. I talked with start-ups just recently breaking into the space with new concepts, to the most recognizable brands in the industry, all with the same basic idea – innovating to become more user friendly, easy to clean and efficient, and aiming to bring product ideas that disrupt the market.
Below are just a few of the companies that I chatted with at the show.
With their new line called the Elevation Series, Ice-O-Matic has created a more modular unit with the environment and sanitation in mind. The Elevation Series cube ice machines are now easier than ever to clean with snap-in parts that are dishwasher safe. The equipment also offers groundbreaking technology that gives the unit a dual exhaust so that it can adapt to airflow requirements you need without an extra kit.
Mixing delicious samples for attendees, Blentec’s booth was booming with attendees. Last year Blentec took a 2017 Kitchen Innovation award for their Nitro Blending System, improving on sanitation and efficiency and saving on labor.
Always at the forefront of foodservice innovation, Vulcan took a 2018 Kitchen Innovation award for their SonicSafe Ultrasonic Scale Prevention for Steamers which eliminates limescale to prolong the life of steamers. And still gaining attention at the show was their 2017 Kitchen Innovation award-winning Gas Convection Oven, which offers easily removeable, dishwasher-safe doors.
In business for more than 60 years and known for its signature fried chicken programs, Broaster aims to offer an experience, not just products – and that it did at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show. Right at the front of the North Hall, you would’ve thought Broaster was throwing its own party with an extensive and energetic display of their lineups.
Alive & Kickin’ Pizza Crust
The Alive & Kickin’ Pizza Crust booth was hosting lines of attendees waiting for their turn to get a slice of pizza on their variety of crusts. One of their sales reps said they were seeing great responses this year. With a variety of delicious recipes, from Focaccia to Quinoa, Crushed Flax & Honey, Alive & Kickin’ sells into retail, foodservice and deli settings.
What were your thoughts on this year’s NRA show? What innovations did I miss? Reach out to me if you’d like to discuss!
*For more information on our Foodservice practice area, see https://www.directrecruiters.com/food-service-equipment/