Kinsa Group Blog

Kinsa Group Top Talent – Vice President – Supply Chain & Operations

April 17th, 2014

Top Talent is Kinsa Group’s listing of currently available food and beverage industry professionals that you as an employer may interview and hire at a reduced fee.  The following food and beverage industry professionals are experienced, motivated and ready to perform for your organization.

Vice President – Supply Chain & Operations

This Top Talent candidate spent the last 14 years progressing from a Production Manager and Director of Operations to a VP of Supply Chain & Operations before he was down-sized due to a company restructuring.

Reporting directly to the Division President he had full responsibility and accountability for the Supply Chain and Operations P&L for 3 manufacturing plants in 2 sites. As a VP he was also responsible for manufacturing cost and continuous improvement program, capital project budgeting and implementation, Food Safety & Quality and employee health & safety.

This candidate holds a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering.

He is currently in the Chicago Land Area but would be very interested in a Sr Director or VP role in Operations and/or Supply Chain Management in any part of the country.

For more information on this top candidate please contact Rob Navarro at

Kinsa Group Hot Jobs – Operations Manager – Chicago, IL.

April 15th, 2014

HOT JOBS are the open food and beverage jobs that Kinsa Group’s recruiters are actively seeking qualified candidates to interview right now!  You may be the ideal candidate, so apply TODAY!

Operations Manager – Meat/Proteins – Chicago, IL

 Operations Manager – Food Processing – Chicago, IL

Our client is a leader in providing outstanding service to their customers with custom solutions through attention to detail

Primary Responsibilities:

·            Initiate processes which minimize manufacturing costs

·            Ensure production runs in a timely manner and meets quality assurance specifications

·            Develop, implement, and assess Lean Manufacturing initiatives including system design, tools, and techniques

·            Participates in food safety programs that ensure the safety of ingredients and finished products

·            Interface with the USDA

·          Ensure food safety programs and policies are maintained


·         Bachelor’s Degree, Meat/Food Science, Business, or related field

·         5+ years of food manufacturing experience

·         5+ years of supervisory experience

·         Project management experience

·         Knowledge in SPC, HACCP and OSHA regulations

·         Bilingual preferred

For more information on this hot job please contact Mary Chambers at


The Big Reveal: Interview follow-up questions and probing techniques to break through a candidate’s facade

April 14th, 2014

whatHow do you break through a food & beverage professional’s interviewing persona?

The best candidates have prepared answers to common questions. They’re often experts at interviewing and know how to say exactly what you want to hear. In other words, they’re pretty tough nuts to crack.

To help move beyond “canned” responses, we shared this list of interview questions that engage food & beverage job seekers and prompt discussion. These questions allow you to assess how well a candidate thinks on his feet, while convincing him that your opportunity is his best career move.

Asking questions like these is a great start to breaking through a candidate’s facade; but to determine if he’s really a perfect fit, you need to dig a little deeper. So today, we’re sharing these interview follow-up questions and probing techniques. These tips will help you clarify responses and get more complete answers to your questions:

  • Be an active listener. As you listen to a candidate’s initial response, take notes on phrases that require clarification or information that’s missing.
  • Restate the question.Occasionally an interviewee may go off on a tangent and fail to adequately answer your primary question. Don’t hesitate to repeat it! If you don’t get the information you need, restate the question (using slightly different language) and emphasize exactly what you want to know.
  • Validate an answer’s accuracy. Once a candidate has finished his initial answer, ask for details using the journalists’ “top five” (who, what, when, where and why questions). Requiring your interviewee to back-up his original response helps you distinguish between “canned” responses and authentic ones.  This technique also introduces “productive tension” into an interview, since it connotes that the candidate’s answer was incomplete.
  • Probe for contrary evidence. If you receive a positive response to a question, ask for reverse information. This type of question catches a candidate off-guard and makes it impossible to give a rehearsed answer. For example:
    • Question: When did your leadership skills produce financial gains for your organization?
    • Answer: Last year, my team exceeded its sales goals by 10 percent.
    • Contrary Evidence Question: When did your actions lead to a loss for your organization?
  • Do not lead a candidate. As you ask follow-up questions, make sure that the way you phrase them doesn’t clue the candidate in as to what the best response is. Keep probes neutral and open-ended.

Kinsa Group – A Better Way to Hire Food & Beverage Professionals

As a national food & beverage recruiter, The Kinsa Group has the resources and interviewing expertise to deliver executive and c-level food & beverage professionals with the skills, experience and personality to thrive in your organization. Our professionally trained interviewers are experts at uncovering a candidate’s true talents, personality and motivations – to ensure the long-term success of your next hire.


Kinsa Group Top Talent – R&D Project Manager.

April 10th, 2014

Top Talent is Kinsa Group’s listing of currently available food and beverage industry professionals that you as an employer may interview and hire at a reduced fee.  The following food and beverage industry professionals are experienced, motivated and ready to perform for your organization.

R&D Project Manager – Shelf-Stable Foods –

Featuring an R&D Project Manager and Product Developer with 20 years of experience managing global projects across diverse product areas in the consumer products industry.

This candidate has demonstrated achievement in project leadership and product & process development across full product lifecycle, including thermally processed products such as yogurt, sour cream, soups, and beverages at Kraft and Campbell Soup.  Projects have focused on development of new products and/or line extensions, costs savings, and brand maintenance.  They involved partnering with other functional areas within the company, including Marketing and Product Supply, as well as outside the company, including key suppliers, to commercialize products

- In previous assignments, including those with Kraft and Campbell’s Soup, she led several reformulation and material cost savings efforts in Research Scientist and Research Engineer positions, including one for the McDonald’s cheese slice business, which yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings.

Currently seeking a Project Management opportunity in a Product Development organization in Northern Illinois and Southeast Wisconsin.

If you are seeking an experienced CPG professional who can lead multiple projects while working collaboratively across all levels of the organization to deliver bottom-line results, I’d be happy to forward a resume or arrange an interview for you with this candidate.

For more information about this candidate please contact Laurie Hyllberg at


Kinsa Group Hot Jobs – SQF Practitioner – Quality Assurance Supervisor- Rockford, Illinois

April 8th, 2014

HOT JOBS are the open food and beverage jobs that Kinsa Group’s recruiters are actively seeking qualified candidates to interview right now!  You may be the ideal candidate, so apply TODAY!

SQF Practitioner – Quality Assurance Supervisor – Rockford, Illinois.



Innovative leading manufacturer in the natural food industry is looking for their Top Quality leader to provide leadership in their new state of the art manufacturing facility.

Company is in a hot niche and continues to grow aggressively!   Produces own high-demand gourmet retail products and co-manufactures for several top snack food companies and health food grocery chains. Culture is people friendly with a strong work ethic.

About the Role

· Responsible for providing leadership to quality and food safety team and production

· Maintain lab and equipment

· Reviews HACCP documents

· Provides SQF leadership/authority/experience

· Supervises and provides training to all QA technicians

· Ensure that the company is providing the highest level of quality & food safety for all products


Background Profile

· Bachelor’s Degree in Food Sciences, Biology or Chemistry, Master’s degree a great plus

· 2 – 5 years’ experience in the Food manufacturing industry to include Quality Assurance and supervisory experience

· Strong background and knowledge in Quality Assurance/Food Safety with SPC, pest control, allergen management, HACCP, FDA regulations, GLP’s, GMP’s and SOP’s.

· SQF Practitioner status required

Community Information

·         Located 60 miles NW of Chicago (major metro area with major attractions and activities)

·         Located on the Rock River – scenic

·         Offers an abundant of outdoor activities and good golf coursed (noted in Golf Magazine)

·         Lower cost of living – lower than the national average



Benefits & Features

·         Very Competitive salary with bonus potential and extensive benefits

·         Employee orientated environment

For more information on this hot job contact Nancy Furgason at

Kinsa Group Hot Job, Week of 04/02/2014.

April 2nd, 2014

HOT JOBS are the open food and beverage jobs that Kinsa Group’s recruiters are actively seeking qualified candidates to interview right now!  You may be the ideal candidate, so apply TODAY!

Quality Manager – RTE Meat – Oklahoma – USA

Quality Manager / Meat



Our client, a value-added protein company servicing food service, school, retail, club and convenient store channels is looking for a Quality Manager for their Oklahoma manufacturing plant. This position is being groomed for their Corporate Director of Quality role and will relocate within 3 years for that role!


Benefits and Features

  • Excellent Compensation / Bonus
  • Holiday / Vacation Pay / 401k / Retirement Benefits
  • Medical / Dental / Vision
  • Promotional opportunity guaranteed!


Your Role with the Company

  • Works collaboratively across all functional areas and most particularly with manufacturing to develop, implement, and coordinate product quality assurance programs designed to prevent defects in new and existing cooked meat products.
  • Develops new processes and quality standards to ensure that the organization is in compliance and operates in advance of possible issues impacting FDA, USDA and other company standards.
  • Coordinates with Product Development and Engineering to resolve issues relating to quality assurance of new products designed and manufactured products to rectify/prevent problems particularly internal and external contamination issues.
  • Review technical problems and procedures of departments and recommends solutions to problems or changes to procedures to improve impact of quality standards.


Background Profile

  • Bachelor’s degree in a food science, microbiology discipline or similar or equivalent industry experience.
  • 10+ years of quality assurance experience in a cooked / ready-to-eat MEAT manufacturing environment.
  • Knowledge and experience interacting with USDA inspectors.
  • Interpersonal skills in order to develop and lead cross-functional teams to drive quality and food safety programs.
  • Strong reasoning and decision making skills, as well as organization and planning skills.
  • High degree of honesty and integrity.
  • SQF Practitioner (or significant exposure to SQF).
  • HACCP Certification.


For more information on this hot job contact Rob Navarro at



Kinsa Group Hot Job Week of 04/01/2014

April 1st, 2014

HOT JOBS are the open food and beverage jobs that Kinsa Group’s recruiters are actively seeking qualified candidates to interview right now!  You may be the ideal candidate, so apply TODAY!

 Refrigeration Manager – California.

Ammonia Refrigeration Manager (Central Valley, California)


Company Information:

  • Our client is a leading supplier in their category of frozen foods with over $300 million in annual revenue.
  • Their large-scale production, packaging and cold storage facilities supply large retailers with branded and private label consumer packaged goods nationwide.


About the Community

  • The Central Valley of California is a more affordable living option when compared to most of California.
  • Located at the foothills of the mountains, there is great outdoor living and recreation available including hiking, biking, hunting and fishing close by.


About the Role

  • The Refrigeration Manager will actively manage the ammonia refrigeration and boiler systems. This includes performing maintenance and preventative maintenance on all refrigeration systems, rebuilding of compressors, valves, pumps and various other mechanical devices.
  • Operate a two-stage ammonia system and safely operate, maintain and evaluate performance checks of equipment such as evaporative condensers, cooling towers and high horsepower engine room equipment.  Ensuring that chemical treatment is applied correctly to cooling towers and boiler room equipment.
  • Opportunity to develop solutions in response to safety concerns and for energy conservation.
  • Implement capital projects involving refrigeration and manage department budget.
  • Establish and maintain a preventative maintenance program [PM] for all refrigeration equipment.
  • PSM [Process Safety Management] implementation.


Background Profile

  • At least 5 years of experience working in a frozen food manufacturing environment with direct oversight of the ammonia refrigeration system.
  • Requires in-depth knowledge and ability to service and repair both Ammonia and Freon refrigeration systems.
  • Extensive knowledge of Process Safety Management [PSM].
  • RETA [Refrigeration Engineers and Technicians Association] Certified.
  • HAZMAT [Hazardous Materials] Certified.
  • Ability to teach / train employees including safe handling and control of hazardous materials used in refrigeration.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or related field preferred, but not required.
  • Must pass the CAL/OSHA Respirator physical.


Benefits and Features

  • Excellent base salary compensation.
  • Great company benefits including 401k with match and medical, dental, vision, life, disability insurances.
  • Relocation assistance provided.


For more information on this hot job contact Emily Mullen at

What You Need to Know to Get on a Recruiter’s LinkedIn Radar

March 31st, 2014

recruiting radarEvery food & beverage professional knows that you need to be on LinkedIn to: increase your visibility; widen your sphere of influence; build your reputation; and move your career forward.

But the savviest job seekers take LinkedIn activity to a whole new level – by optimizing their profiles for LinkedIn Recruiter.

What is LinkedIn Recruiter (LIR)?

Recruiters have been using LinkedIn as a recruiting tool for years. In fact, 20% of Kinsa’s placements over the last four years came directly from our LinkedIn sourcing and networking / connections. The LIR feature adds robust search and organizational tools that corporate and third party recruiters can use to source and cultivate relationships with both active and passive candidates.

Use these tips from Kinsa to optimize your LinkedIn presence – and get that call for the interview:

  1. Make your resume and profile easily searchable. Searchability is a key feature of LIR, so aligning your profile information with search fields increases your chances of being found by a recruiter. Edit your profile and resume so that they address as many of the following search fields as possible: title, status, source, current company, location, industry, school, degree, field of study, relationship, past company, company size, company type, function, seniority level, years in position, years at company, years of experience, my groups, all groups, profile language, interested in, and when joined.
  2. Optimize your resume. Upload a simple MS Word version of your resume, taking care not to use headers, footers or text boxes. Your file name will display at the bottom of your LIR candidate profile, so choose it wisely (e.g., “Meg Wilson Food Processing Operations Manager.doc” is better than “2014wilsonres.doc”).
  3. Incorporate essential keywords. Food & beverage recruiters are often looking for very specific skills, so compare your resume and profile to the type of position you want and be sure you thread critical keywords throughout both. In addition, include the term “seeking” near the top of your resume, as recruiters are now searching for this word to identify candidates seeking contact about new career opportunities.
  4. Get recommendations right. More is not necessarily better when it comes to attracting recruiters. They may only spend a few moments reviewing your profile and won’t want to scroll through dozens of recommendations. So make every one count. As a rule of thumb, include at least one recommendation for each job you list. Beyond that, only include recommendations that are truly impressive and that showcase your soft skills as much as the measurable results you’ve delivered.
  5. Be selective with the jobs you apply to on LinkedIn. A recruiter can see the number of jobs you applied to with their company, so apply with care. If you indiscriminately submit applications for every job they list, it smacks of desperation.
  6. Be careful with customization. With LIR, recruiters can literally view multiple versions of your resume alongside one another. So if do you apply to multiple jobs with a single employer, be sure that the resume customizations you make don’t confuse your overall personal brand.
  7. Before uploading a profile photo on LinkedIn, read this post.

Get noticed by Kinsa recruiters on LinkedIn.

Looking for your next professional or executive food & beverage position?

  • Follow Kinsa’s Company Page on LinkedIn (where we post our open positions).
  • Join our Group page and network with Kinsa recruiters.
  • Connect with our recruiters on LinkedIn by visiting the “Contact Us” page on If you click on each of our name(s) it takes you right to our personal Linkedin Profile(s) where you can invite us each to connect with you… we’d love to!
  • If you see a job posting that interests you on our job board, click our button “Apply with LinkedIn.” It’s an easy way to provide the comprehensive information our recruiters need to get to know you as a professional.

Kinsa Group Top Candidate Week of 03/27/2014

March 27th, 2014

Top Talent is Kinsa Group’s listing of currently available food and beverage industry professionals that you as an employer may interview and hire at a reduced fee.  These food and beverage industry professionals are experienced, motivated and ready to perform for your organization. 

Regional Director of Operations!

Proven franchise and operations leader with 18 years experience in retail and restaurant premium brands, MBA.

Primary skills:  P&L, ROI and budget financial acumen, customer-centric multi-unit operations, people and talent management, marketing and branding, unit real estate development.

Highest customers metrics region in company, evaluated and approved over 700 trade areas, highest average per unit sales at 1.5% above national average, 8+ consecutive years of positive same store sales growth.

Strong relationship building skills: franchisee to franchisor, and operations leader to direct reports and support departments.  Able to make immediate contribution to organization. Specializes in turn-around operational strategies at the unit, district and regional level.  Skilled in all aspects of the franchise and operations organization including recruiting and on-boarding, contract negotiations, coop local and national marketing, training and quality requirements, new unit development, relocation and upgrading. 

Seeking a Career in the Northeast USA.

For more information about this candidate please contact Laurie Hyllberg at

Kinsa Group Hot Jobs Week of 3/25/2014

March 25th, 2014

HOT JOBS are the open food and beverage jobs that Kinsa Group’s recruiters are actively seeking qualified candidates to interview right now!  You may be the ideal candidate, so apply TODAY!

3rd-Shift Food Production Management Roles – Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Our client is a rapidly-growing, innovative, private food and beverage manufacturer based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Their sophisticated technology has helped them triple their production in less than ten years and given them a tremendous competitive advantage in their market, and they co-manufacture for several industry leaders. Currently filling multiple 3rd-shift production management roles.


Benefits and Features:

  • Strong compensation package, including health benefits.


About the Role:

  • Manage and direct operations across departments to ensure efficient production in compliance with USDA quality and food safety regulations.
  • Review daily shift production and operating reports; resolve production, operations and maintenance issues in a timely manner to ensure minimum costs and prevent operational delays.
  • Conduct root-cause analysis to identify problems on the production floor, and coordinate continuous improvement activities to streamline manufacturing processes.
  • Directly supervise members of production and management, including talent selection and acquisition, production and shift planning, performance appraisal, and discipline.


About the Community:

  • Green Bay is the third-largest city in the state of Wisconsin, and home to the state’s professional football team. In addition, the city hosts numerous shopping, wildlife, and cultural attractions. Cost of living in Green Bay is almost 10% below the national average.


Background Profile:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management or related field strongly preferred.
  • Local to the Green Bay area or willing to relocate there.
  • Three or more years of experience in food production, including direct supervisory experience.
  • Strong experience working with USDA regulations.
  • Experience with continuous improvement or Lean manufacturing.

For more information about this job, contact Russ Lilly:


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