Kinsa Group Blog

Kinsa Group – Top Talent – Sr. Director Product Innovation & Technology

November 13th, 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.

Sr. Director Product Innovation & Technology – Beverage

Senior technical leader, with strong academic training and nearly 20 years of proven track record in developing portfolio of novel technologies and product, package and process innovations seeking Sr. Director, Product Innovation , Technology roles in CPG Food and Beverage.  Specialized training in leading applied research, developing high performing teams, using external (open) innovation, partner collaborations, and developing strategy. Experiences in nutrition, regulatory, ingredient, shelf life, sensory, snacks, frozen meals, pet food, flavors, distillation, packaging, and spirits. Open to relocating nationwide.


For more information on this top talent, please contact Mary Chambers at

The Best Food & Beverage Talent May Already be Working for You! Tips for identifying “hidden superstars” in your organization

November 10th, 2014

high potential employeeWhere will you find your organization’s next great executive or professional?

With talent markets tightening up, many food & beverage employers are looking internally to fill available positions. And with good reason.

The truth is, the best food & beverage talent may already be on your team. The trick is identifying which individuals are truly “high potential” – possessing the latent abilities to thrive in a more challenging role.

How can you find these “hidden superstars” within your organization? Today, Kinsa provides advice to help you identify team members with the desire and ability to perform at the next level:

Understand the difference between performance and potential. High performers are easy to spot. They consistently exceed expectations, have a track record of success and are the “go-to” choices for tough projects. High potentials, however, can be much more difficult to identify for several reasons:

  • They’re highly skilled, but their abilities have not been “put to the test” because they may be assigned to the wrong roles.
  • They are altruistic and have high emotional intelligence, but may be too humble (or not know how) to adequately self-promote.
  • Your current performance appraisal system may not adequately gauge potential.

Look for these core competencies. Potential is as much about character attributes and “soft skills” as it is about actual performance. When identifying high potential, consider the following list of key indicators:

  • Character. Values align with the organization; passionate about the industry; role model for company culture.
  • Personality. Strong interpersonal and social skills; resilient; persistent; emotionally stable.
  • Learning. Flexible; accepting of feedback; rapid learner.
  • Motivation. Aspires to higher level of responsibility; tolerance for risk-taking; career- and results-oriented.
  • Leadership. Ability to manage, inspire, lead and develop people; challenges the status quo.
  • Performance. Results-oriented; exceeds expectations; develops creative solutions.
  • Knowledge. Technical/functional skills and knowledge.

Develop objective, reliable methods to assess not just performance, but potential. Traditional performance appraisals focus more on results than on identifying potential. Adapt your processes to include clear criteria for assessing potential. Include the behaviors, soft skills, achievements and performance indicators that equate to high potential for each key role.

Need to grow your team?

Trust Kinsa Group with your next executive food & beverage search. Our recruiting professionals are experts at identifying high potential employees who will perform well in your organization.  Whether you’re looking for a C-level executive, a quality assurance professional or a food technologist, we offer a variety of search and assessment services to deliver the best and brightest for you.

Related Posts

How Food & Beverage Employers Can Identify High Performers

Tips to Retain High Performers in Food & Beverage Organizations


Kinsa Group – Hot Jobs – Director Technical Services – Microbiology Lab

October 7th, 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!

Director Technical Services – Microbiology Lab – Springfield, Missouri 


Our client, a lab services company in Springfield, MO is currently looking for a Director of Technical Services to add to their staff.


Benefits and Features

  • Excellent Compensation / Bonus

  • Holiday / Vacation Pay

  • 401k / Retirement Benefits

  • Medical / Dental / Vision


Your role with the Company

  • Responsible for observing and evaluating microbiological procedures, managing laboratory workflows, and continuous evaluation and enforcement

  • Supports analytical laboratory processes

  • Responsible for creating and maintaining contact with the company client base

  • In charge of managing and coordinating all aspects of the companies special projects and research initiatives

  • Identify critical needs for special projects requested by clients

  • Design and implement proficiency programs within lab network

  • Prepare scientific reports and technical articles

  • Facilitates professional meetings and presentations

  • Responsible for developing budgets for special projects


Community Information

Springfield, MO


Background Profile

  • Master’s Degree in Microbiology, Food Science, or related field (PhD preferred)

  • 5+ of Sr. Leadership experience in a food and beverage laboratory environment

  • Management Experience

  • Prior use of molecular detection techniques and a working knowledge of PCR, ELISA and RNA technologies

  • LIMS experience

  • Knowledge of USDA, FDA, AOAC, ISO, CMMEF and IDF methodologies for food testing

  • Experience testing multiple food matrices

For more information on this hot job, contact Rob Navarro at

Kinsa Group – Top Talent – Vice President of Sales – Snack Foods – NY

July 24th, 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 of Sales – Snack Foods – NY

Featuring a Retail Sales Director/Vice President:

– BA graduate with over 15 managing retail, club, c-store, and military accounts for Fortune 500 and smaller start-up food manufacturers.

– In less than a five-year period, developed Canadian territory from a base of just over $2 million to over $11 million in business. Penetrated accounts nationally as well as globally.

– Able to pioneer new sales while maintaining and growing existing business for a dynamic food manufacturer. Based in New York metro area and open to travel!
Contact me to schedule an interview with this candidate or learn about other talent that may match your current needs.

For more information on this top talent please contact Russ Lilly at

Kinsa Group – Hot Jobs – Packaging Engineer – Shelf-Stable Foods – WI

July 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!


Packaging Engineer – Shelf-Stable Foods – Wisconsin. 


Growing and expanding food manufacturer based in Milwaukee, WI.


Identify and develop commercialization opportunities for new, improved, and cost-reduced packaging initiatives in addition to supporting cross-functional projects and tasks.


Responsible for the scheduling, testing, and evaluation of primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging components following established test methods.  Analyze test data to derive correlations between package performance and product protection/stability. Develop new package test methods, author test method qualification and transfer protocols, reports and related test methods.


Background Profile:


  • B.S. Degree in Packaging Science, Packaging Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or related discipline, Master’s degree preferred.

  • Minimum 3 years of experience with packaging materials/equipment in the food industry, aseptic background preferred.

  • Experience with packaging development with various materials including fiberboard, corrugated, plastics, and films.

  • Experience writing and execute validation protocols for packaging equipment and processes.

  • Proficiency in packaging design in 2D/3D CAD.

  • Experience with R&D teams’ design progress, qualification and production builds. Interface with tooling suppliers to design packaging tooling i.e. thermoforming molds, lid dies, display box and corrugated containers.

For more information on this hot job please contact Joe Sommerfeldt at


Kinsa Group – Top Talent – Plant Manager – Frozen & Refrigerated Foods

June 12th, 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.

Plant Manager – Frozen & Refrigerated Foods

Featuring a talented PLANT MANAGER candidate with a Masters of Management, Bachelor of Science in Business Management, Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, and HACCP Certification.

– 10+ years of manufacturing management experience in bakery, USDA meat, cookie and cracker, and pet food manufacturing. Additional 8+ years of military leadership and engineering experience in the United States Marine Corps.

–  Complete turnaround of current plant P&L from $2.3 Million loss per month to profitability in 9 months, achieved initial plant BRC certification with score of “A,” reduced conversion cost per unit by 77% in the first year, reduced variable labor headcount 35% and variable labor cost by 48%, increased daily production units by over 400% in 8 months, increased all critical Key Performance Indicators to world class levels (LTA’s, Recordables, FTQ, Consumer Complaints, Efficiency, and Waste)

–  Potential hiring organizations can expect superior leadership and mentoring, strategic direction setting and execution, measurable improvement of all business critical KPI’s, significant process improvement methodology implementation (Six Sigma, TPM, and Lean), and focus on implementation and/or sustainability of world class quality system(s) (ISO, BRC, SQF, etc).


For more information on this top talent please contact Nancy Furgason at

Kinsa Group – Top Talent – Senior Scientist – Bakery

June 5th, 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.

Senior Scientist – Bakery.

Food Scientist with broad experience in food chemistry and engineering involving cereal grains, oils, fats, ingredients, and baked goods.  Extensive background in extrusion, laboratory testing,, formulation, product development, pilot plant trial, and production.  Excellent project management experience in leading direct complex projects from concept through production.   Active team player to work with internal business units (Marketing, Sales, Production, Engineering, Sensory, QA, Regulatory) and external groups such as vendors, resources and customers. Contributor to strategic direction and implementation of global research and development.  Strong multi-tasking management skills, ability to adapt to fast-paced working environments, well-organized, hardworking and dedicated.


For more information on this top talent please contact Russ Lilly at

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.

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