Kinsa Group Blog

Kinsa Group Top Talent!

March 20th, 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. 

Director of Sales Professional.

Executive Sales professional with business versatility and a demonstrated performance background with Fortune 500 and privately held food companies. Experience encompasses cross-functional work and roles. Proven and consistent track record of delivering sustainable growth while increasing sales and profit. A strong leader recognized for developing customer relations, collaboration between departments, and process improvements while exhibiting financial control and ability to work with limited resources.

Sales Leadership:
•Successfully developed and deployed new product introductions while coordinating efforts with R&D, supply chain, manufacturing, sales, finance and customers.
•Ability to research and make sound business decisions based on the evolving trends that affect categories and consumers while analyzing competitive tends and performances.
•Skilled in motivating highly effective teams and developing a succession plan that cultivates a winning team environment.

•Negotiated customer specific programs that meet earnings expectations by managing both cost and revenues.
•Proven track record in developing new business relations through fact based selling and ability to identify opportunities.
•Worked with and trained customer service to develop a streamlined matrix that allows for changes in customer requests.

Other Specialties:
Brand management, cost reduction, developing presentations, excellent presentation skills, customer marketing, brand development, category management, distribution, supply chain, private label store brands – Familiar with IRI, Neilson data, Spectra, consumer insights, SAP

For more information about this candidate please contact Karen Engelmann:


Where’s All that “Greener Grass?” What to Do When Your Food & Beverage Job Isn’t What You Expected

November 11th, 2013

It’s your worst nightmare – and it’s come true.

You’ve recently accepted (what seemed to be) an amazing position. But after several weeks on the job, you start noticing problems. Big problems:

  • You were told that the position would be challenging, but you don’t have the responsibilities you expected.
  • Your boss promised lots of one-on-one time to train you, set measurable objectives and define your career progression. Honestly, however, none of that has happened.
  • Everyone seemed friendly when you interviewed. Now that you’re working there, though, you’re finding that the office culture is toxic – full of cliques and back-stabbers.

True, this scenario is a bit extreme. Just one of these problems could be enough to cause you to question the long-term viability of your new food & beverage job. But regardless of the reason, if you find that the grass really isn’t greener – that the job you recently accepted is not what it seemed to be during the recruiting process – what should you do?

First of all, take a deep breath. Realize that, while your circumstances may be far from ideal, you do have options. Here are a few tips from Kinsa to take control of the situation:

Take stock of the positives and negatives. In every career, you have to take the good with the bad. Make a list of what you like about the opportunity and what you simply can’t tolerate – and see which list is longer. If your dissatisfaction stems from just a few issues, you may be able to turn things around; but if the bad far outweighs the good, realize that you may need to take some immediate action. Possible options are outlined below, so keep reading.

Determine what needs to change in order for you to stay. Because you’ve already thoughtfully made the decision to join this company, create a list of specific requests. Do you need clearer objectives, so you know how your performance will be evaluated? Is there a troublesome work dynamic you need to improve in order to be happy? Do you simply need more challenging work? Once you define what you need, constructively frame your talking points to make sure that your requests contain positive solutions – and not merely complaints.

Talk to your recruiter. If you were placed by a recruiter (especially if Kinsa placed you), schedule a time to explain your situation. Lay out the positives and negatives of your new position, as well as misconceptions you may have had. Remember, a recruiter is as committed to your success as you are. As such, he can help you examine your circumstances, offer advice, act as a potential mediator and work through this difficult situation.

Talk with your boss. He may be completely unaware that you’re dissatisfied. If the job really isn’t what you expected, have a meeting to:

  • outline your current situation, including what is going well and what isn’t;
  • review why you’re dissatisfied, explaining the specific areas you’d like to see changed;
  • propose resolutions, focusing on concrete ways to make you more successful in and satisfied with your new role.

Calmly and clearly present your case, and then ask your boss for help. Give him an opportunity to work with you in making the position live up to your expectations.

Make your plan. If, things don’t improve and you’re certain that the job isn’t for you, don’t jump ship immediately. It’s easiest to find a job while you have a job, so create a plan to identify new opportunities and confidentially begin your job search. While you’re still on the job, continue to perform to the best of your ability, so you can ensure a good employment reference.

Augment your job search by registering with Kinsa Group. With more than 25 years building successful careers for food & beverage executives, Kinsa can present you with opportunities that provide the challenge, compensation and culture you desire. Best of all, we will confidentially search for positions on your behalf while you continue working. If you’re ready to make a career move, search executive and professional food & beverage jobs here or contact Kinsa today.

The Telephone Interview: Tips for Success

September 17th, 2013


Last week, we did a blog on “How to Answer the Interview Question Tell Me About Yourself”. In part two of this seven part interview tip series, we touch on tips for a successful phone interview. 

Follow these eight tips on your next telephone interview and remember to call your Kinsa Recruiter afterward:

1.Confirm with your Kinsa recruiter both your location and the location of the interviewer so that you have the correct time for the interview (Eastern, Central, Mountain, or Pacific).

2. Set up a suitable environment. Ensure that you are in a location where you will have a strong, clear phone connection. Make sure your phone is fully charged. Eliminate potentially noisy distractions.  Keep a glass of water nearby.

3. Before the call, dissect the job description.  Divide a sheet of paper into two columns. In the left column list what the job requires. On the right, describe how you fulfilled that requirement in previous positions.  Keep these notes handy, as well as your resume and information obtained about the company. Check off the points as you discuss them during the phone interview. If you’re invited for a face-to-face interview, these notes will help you to remember what you and the company contact discussed earlier.

  • Your first contact may be with Human Resources – Likely asking questions to confirm you have the qualifications for the position: appropriate degree, right amount of experience, willingness to relocate and so on.  But may also drift into a few qualitative areas: Are you sufficiently enthusiastic?  Do you sound intelligent?  Are you articulate?  Are you the type of person who would fit well within the department and the company?
  • If your phone interview is with the actual hiring manager, this person may be your next boss and this will be their first impression of you.  Realize the questions will be much more specific and more depth is needed in your answers.

4. Once you answer the phone: relax, be yourself, and answer the questions to the best of your ability.  Since they can’t see you, play up your verbal cues-smile as you speak, be animated, stand up if it keeps you more fully engaged.

5. Make sure you have a notepad and pen so you can jot down notes and any questions you would like to ask at the end of the interview.

6. Do not bring up salary during this first conversation, but if you are asked what compensation you are expecting: confirm your current salary (shared with Kinsa’s recruiter already) and let them know you are looking for the right career opportunity and hope that the compensation will match the position responsibilities and your expertise.

7. Finally, as you wrap up the call, ask the interviewer about the next step.

8. Remember to call your Kinsa recruiter immediately after the phone interview to discuss your feedback and next steps.

Typically, your Kinsa Recruiter will call you to set up a telephone interview.  However, if the company contacts you directly and wants to plow right into it as soon as you answer the phone, there’s nothing wrong with asking if they could call back at a mutually agreeable time.  This will give you an opportunity to prepare your surroundings for a successful interview and let Kinsa know of the upcoming interview.

The Secret Reasons Executive Food & Beverage Recruiters are Worth the Money

July 2nd, 2013

Never been one keen on using recruiters?

We understand.  Your food & beverage organization may have an exceptional screening process, sound selection strategies and a great team of employees to show for it.

So why would you need a recruiter?

Top food & beverage executives and professionals are getting harder (and harder) to find. Baby boomers are retiring at an unprecedented rate.  Talent gaps are growing within our industry.  The job search cycle is shortening, which means that the best candidates are on the market for a briefer period.  As a result, despite your best efforts, you may find that it takes you longer to find the right person for the job – if you can find him at all.

Top food & beverage job seekers understand the advantages executive recruiters provide.  A savvy job seeker knows that a recruiter can enhance his efforts, by making sure his resume “cuts through the clutter” – and gets seen by prime employers.  To boot, the best professional for your available position may be currently employed (and using a recruiter to conduct a confidential job search on his behalf).  Bottom line, an executive recruiter like Kinsa can connect you with exceptional candidates who may not respond to your job posting.

Hiring on your own can be more expensive than you think.  While you may be tempted to estimate your cost-per-hire based solely on advertising expenses, this figure is only a small part of your true costs (hiring costs for a senior executive can easily add-up to tens of thousands of dollars).

To more accurately appraise the cost of hiring, consider: HR’s time (developing job descriptions, preparing job postings, telephone screens, interviewing, conducting assessments and background checks, etc.); legal costs; management interview time; opportunity costs (time HR and hiring managers could be spending on other productive activities); costs of vacancy in the position; and the cost of making a bad hire.

Okay, so these reasons may not be super-secret – but they’re important to consider when deciding whether to hire on your own, or work with Kinsa Group.

When working with a recruiter makes the most sense for your organization, Kinsa is the ideal choice for your professional search and assessment needs. With over 25 years of experience, a dynamic, team-oriented staff and a focus on the food and beverage industry, we are uniquely qualified to deliver the A-level talent you need.

We’d love the opportunity to help you analyze your recruiting needs and determine if our services could help you hire more quickly, accurately and at a greater cost savings.  Please contact Kinsa today.

Have You Ever Experienced the Dreaded Panel Interview from a Potential Food & Beverage Employer?

June 3rd, 2013

The good news?  You’ve been called in for an interview.

The bad news?  It’s the dreaded panel interview.

Fielding questions from not one, but an entire team of interviewers is enough to put even the most stalwart candidate’s stomach in knots.  After all, whether or not you land the position will depend largely upon how you carry yourself in that interview.

So instead of letting the anxiety consume you, develop a sound strategy for acing your next food & beverage panel interview.  These tips from Kinsa will help:

  • Do your homework.  In a panel setting, you’ll likely be interviewed by executives from a number of different divisions within the organization.  Make sure you understand the prospective employer’s entire organization – not just your chosen specialty.  If you know who will be interviewing you ahead of time, research those individuals online so you understand their areas of expertise.
  • Take your time.  Once you get into the interview, take a deep breath.  Greet and shake hands with each interviewer, taking a moment to mentally repeat each individual’s name (so you’ll be more likely to remember it).
  • Accept questions one at a time.  While answering each question, make equal eye contact with every panel member.  Doing so will help you project a confident image and build rapport with the entire panel.  If an interviewer asks a follow-up question while you’re still answering the previous one, realize that this may be a stress test.  Maintain your composure (and train of thought) and incorporate the response to the follow-up question into your original answer.  Once you’ve finished, ask both parties if you have addressed their concerns.
  • Be prepared to repeat yourself.  Each interviewer has his own interview style.  What is clear to one individual may require clarification for another.  So if you’re asked the same question multiple ways (or multiple times), patiently repeat your response.  Never say that you’ve already answered a question – even if that’s true – because you will come off as impatient or rude.
  • Win over the antagonist.  In most any panel interview, you will quickly be able to determine who’s in your corner and who is still on the fence about your candidacy.  Move beyond the tempting safety of engaging your obvious allies and address the one who seems unsure about you.  Doing so shows that you are a problem solver who can think on his feet and doesn’t shy away from challenges.
  • Expect at least one zinger question.  In a group setting, interviewers typically feel emboldened and may push the envelope more with their questions.  Develop an arsenal of three or four success stories you can rely on to answer a range of behavior-based questions.  If there’s an aspect of your skill set or work history (such as being discharged from a position) which you’re uncomfortable addressing, practice a variety of responses so that you’ll feel prepared – not awkward.
  • Close by thanking all participants.  Shake hands, gather business cards and exit the room confidently.  Follow-up by sending a unique thank-you note to each interviewer within 24 hours.

Seeking a Professional or Executive Position in the Food and Beverage Industry?

Kinsa Group has a wide range of professional and executive food & beverage jobs available, including:

• Executive Management

General Management

• Sales


Operations & Plant Production Management

Research & Development

• Food Science

Quality Assurance 

Food Safety

• Human Resources

• Engineering


Supply Chain and Purchasing

Warehouse Management

• Finance & Accounting

Register with Kinsa today.  Our team of food & beverage industry recruiting professionals will listen to your needs, match you with a perfect career opportunity, and then prepare you to ace the interview.

Kinsa Group Launches Mobile Website

May 29th, 2013


Kinsa Group is pleased to announce the launch of its mobile website.

Accessible from any web-enabled phone, smartphone or tablet, the site provides access to:

  • Search Kinsa Group open jobs
  • View Kinsa hot jobs
  • Learn more about Kinsa Group
  • Contact Kinsa recruiters via email or ‘click to call’
  • A link to the full Kinsa website

According to an article published by technology and social media news firm Mashable, most recruiters world-wide lack a mobile version of their career website. Kinsa is proud to offer food and beverage job seekers a mobile site to make their job search easier.

Like the new mobile site? Tell us on Kinsa Group’s Linkedin group page. And be sure to type into your mobile device for easy access.

Kinsa CareerEdge June Webinars

May 28th, 2013


Register today for the following free webinars on Kinsa CareerEdge. Login or create an account; then click the WEBINAR Tab to reserve your spot.

Topic: Creating a Resume that Attracts Attention: Consult with the Expert
Date: Tuesday, June 11th
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Description:  You will have the opportunity to learn about recent changes in the world of professional resume writing. No matter if you are a C-level executive or an entry-level college graduate, you will gain information about must-have resume characteristics, what to avoid and how to make your resume standout. Our resume writing expert will also discuss digital tools that serve as a complement to your hard-copy resume.

Topic: Conduct a SMART Job Search
Date: Thursday, June 20th
Time: 12:00 pm EST (9:00 am PST, 10:00 am MST, 11:00 am CST)
Description: Working hard on your job search does not guarantee success. During this program we will discuss a process that helps escalate your job search. You will learn:
• The SMART method of job searching
• Implement subtle changes that can enhance your results
• Why working SMART can put more energy behind your search

Topic: Stay Motivated
Date: Tuesday, June 25th
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Description: Your attitude can make or break your job search. The people you surround yourself will also have a great impact on the results you achieve. During this session we will discuss the following:
• How to limit noise in your life
• Why someone’s opinion isn’t your reality
• What you can do to stay motivated throughout your search


Walking Through Fire: Tips for Handling a Counter Offer from your Food & Beverage Employer the RIGHT Way

April 3rd, 2013

Receiving a counter offer from your food & beverage employer is flattering.  And tempting.  Watching your boss scramble to keep you in the fold by offering more money and/or responsibility certainly sounds like a good deal – but is it really the right choice?

Probably not.  Here’s why:

  • Your reputation with your boss may be undermined.  Even though your boss initially assures you that you’re too valuable for the company to lose, he may eventually begin resenting you for “extorting” money or power from the firm.  The sense of affiliation between you and your boss will be severed, and he may never fully trust you again.
  • It becomes all about the money.  Once you accept the counter offer, your relationship is now almost entirely predicated on cash, and that is not a healthy foundation.
  • You’ll be expected to perform like a new hire.  If you stay, you’ll be forced to prove yourself all over again to justify the increased salary or promotion.  If you’re promoted beyond your abilities and fail to perform up to standards, you could easily find yourself on the unemployment line.
  • Finally, if word gets out about the deal, your relationships with coworkers could also be damaged. Peers may be envious that you got more money by turning in notice and wonder why you deserved that.

Take time to reflect upon the real reasons you sought out other career opportunities in the first place.  Then, ask yourself this question: If you accept the counter offer, will those same reasons continue to exist at your current employer?  If the answer is “Yes,” it’s clearly time to move on.  Use these tips to handle the turn-down the right way:

  • Take charge of the situation.  Resign in writing but hand the resignation to your boss.  This helps you stay in control of what is typically a stressful experience.
  • Tell whoever is making you the counter offer that you genuinely appreciate it, but that you’ve given the matter considerable thought and have decided that a career move is in your best interest.
  • Explain that you are grateful for the chance to contribute to the overall success of the company.
  • Finally, assure your boss that you will do everything in your power to make the transition for your replacement as smooth and painless as possible.

Looking for a better food & beverage career opportunity? 

Kinsa Group’s discipline-specific recruiting professionals can help you succeed.  We will learn about your career goals, innate aptitudes, work style, management philosophies and personality traits to match you with an opportunity that provides the challenge and compensation you deserve.

Best of all, our recruiters will confidentially search for positions on your behalf while you continue working.  Get started with Kinsa today or search food & beverage executive and professional jobs here.

Why Your Executive Food & Beverage Job Descriptions Aren’t Yielding the Best Candidates

March 18th, 2013

Have you ever stopped to consider how central a job description is to effective food & beverage recruiting?

A strong position description can:

  • help you determine where to source the best candidates;
  • provide accurate guidelines for determining the salary range;
  • help you craft a more accurate job title;
  • dramatically improve the quality of candidates who apply for the position;
  • serve as a road map for selecting the best interview questions;
  • provide the basis for subsequent performance reviews.

Obviously, properly defining an available position can greatly improve your recruiting success.  So make sure you put the appropriate amount of time and effort into creating the best descriptions possible!  Whether you’re new to the process or a seasoned veteran, here are a few of Kinsa’s tips for creating better food & beverage job descriptions – that consistently yield the best candidates:

Move beyond minimums.  Traditional job descriptions typically describe the least-qualified (yet acceptable) candidate for the job – not the real job itself.  When you list the minimum required experience, minimum responsibilities, etc., you’re going to get mediocre applicants, at best.

Instead of using a traditional job description, define what success in the role looks like.   Create a list of results, or success factors, the new hire would need to achieve to be considered an outstanding hire – and add them to the job description:

  • Develop a list of 5 or 6 specific, measurable objectives based on the fundamental elements of the job.  For example, a VP of Plant Operations may have a success factor something like: “Within nine months, consolidate the operations of two plants and produce a cost savings of 10% or more.”
  • If possible, benchmark top performers in similar positions to create your success factors for the job.

Build the job description around the skills required by the job.  Too often, a job description focuses heavily on responsibilities – instead of the fundamental skills required to accomplish them.  To improve your job description, clearly state the skills required to do the job.  This way, both you and potential candidates can assess abilities against the position’s needs.  During the interview phase, ask skills-specific questions (based on the job description) to accurately gauge each applicant’s strength/weaknesses.

As an added benefit, a skills-based job description makes it much easier to gauge an employee’s job performance and identify areas for improvement when review time comes around.

Improve your formatting.  Top candidates won’t take the time to pore over dense paragraphs of prose about an available position.  Realize that they are busy, too, and tailor your descriptions to make information easier to access and digest:

  • Use bullet points, when appropriate.  Make your job description easier to skim (so candidates can easily find the information they need) by using bullet points within the responsibilities, skills and experience sections.
  • Be specific.  Use clear, direct language to be as transparent as possible in your description.  Steer away from vague terms like “sometimes,” “often,” and “seeks to,” as terms like these minimize the impact of what follows.
  • Inject your company’s brand personality.  The language and writing style you use should reflect your company’s culture and personality.  This way, the job description itself will attract candidates who are a good cultural fit for your organization.

Revisit and update job descriptions.  The food & beverage industry and your organization are constantly changing.  Your job descriptions should continually evolve along with them.  Even when you’re not actively hiring, think of your job descriptions as dynamic documents.  As changes occur in your company and within its departments, refine position descriptions along with them.  When the time comes to post an opening, you’ll be much further ahead in the recruiting process!

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

As a national food & beverage recruiter, The Kinsa Group has the resources and expertise to deliver executive and c-level food & beverage professionals with the skills, experience and ethical standards to thrive in your organization.  Our recruiting experts collaborate with you to develop highly effective job descriptions that yield exceptional candidates who match your needs.  Want to learn more?  Contact Kinsa today.

Conducting Food & Beverage Performance Reviews that Actually IMPROVE PERFORMANCE

February 4th, 2013

Unlike the EPO that Lance Armstrong now admits he took for years, annual reviews are a widely sanctioned performance-enhancing tool.

Still, employees and managers dread them – because they’re often uncomfortable and fail to do what they’re supposed to do:  improve performance.  In fact, according to a large survey conducted by WorldatWork, 58% of organizations rated their performance management systems as “C Grade or below.”

If you dread annual reviews and would like to improve your results, here are a few practical ideas from Kinsa for making them the true “performance enhancers” they should be:

Give your employee review pre-work.  You put a lot of time and effort into preparing for a review – your employee should do the same.  Prepare for a productive conversation by providing him with a copy of your appraisal form a week before the review.  Give him time to read it, reflect on what he’s achieved (or failed to achieve) and create growth goals for the coming year.

Give specific, tactical feedback.  Open your performance review by focusing on the employee’s core area.  Start by commending him for the work he does well, giving specific examples of positive behaviors.  Recognizing accomplishments up-front will let your employee know that his work is noticed and valued – and set the right tone for your conversation.  Simply telling your employee that he did a “good job,” however, is not enough to support his continued growth.  To get the most from him in the year ahead, provide feedback that is measurable, specific and action-oriented.

Balance the negative with the positive.  When you present negative feedback, focus on the behavior – not the employee.  Use the experience as a teaching opportunity, from which the employee can learn and grow.   Most of all, for every criticism you make, find something else you can praise.  You need to be honest in a performance review, but you must also motivate your employee to perform for you in the year ahead.

Set expectations for the future.  Work together to set “SMART” performance goals for the coming year.  This goal-setting acronym is still widely used for one simple reason:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound goals are more likely to be achieved.  So as you work with your employee to set higher standards for the next quarter or year, help him create SMART performance goals that will get him there.

Change the timing or frequency.  Reviews are typically planned for the fourth quarter – a time when work has piled up, the holidays are in full swing and employee stress levels are high.  To improve your results, plan reviews for a slower time of the year.  You and your employees will have more time to devote to the process, without the distractions end-of-year craziness causes.

Increasing review frequency can also make the process easier.  You can break annual reviews into smaller, more frequent meetings (e.g., quarterly, or at the end of major projects).  Reviewing performance more often allows you to give timely feedback that has a greater impact.

Plan now for next year.  With a typical work year consisting of 2,080 hours, it’s nearly impossible to remember what each employee accomplishes during a 12-month period.  So as you progress through 2013, keep a record of specific examples of good and bad performance for each employee.  When review time comes around, having this information will put you ahead of the game – and convey to your employees that you’ve been watching, noticing and appreciating their hard work all year long.

Better Hires Mean Better Performance Reviews

When you hire better, your employees hit their goals.  And when your employees hit their goals, your annual performance reviews are easier.  It’s that simple.

Kinsa Group can help you hire smarter.  With over 25 years of recruiting senior-to-executive level food & beverages professionals, we deliver consistently exceptional candidates who will perform for your organization.  Contact Kinsa today to learn more about our contingent and retained search services for food & beverage professionals.

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