How family food & drink businesses can attract fresh talent

Scotland Food & Drink have set their #ScotFoodGoals to become a £30bn industry by 2030.

Scotland is full of brands, some more developed than others, steeped in family & Scottish heritage. MacSween, Simon Howie Food Group, Graham’s The Family Dairy, Border Biscuits, Baxter’s Food Group, Albert Bartlett, Mackie’s of Scotland and Walkers Shortbread are all brilliant examples of family businesses that have grown through developing strong brands, new product ranges and supplying into new markets, either domestically, internationally or online. Graham’s Family Dairy is a great example having successfully moved into new categories with the launch of ice-cream and now low-fat yoghurt.

No matter the size of business, ambitious growth requires dedication, resilience, determination and having the right people in the right roles.

See: The SME guide to attracting big talent

Finding the right people to help realise growth plans is fundamental to the success of a business. It sounds easy, but actually, it can be hugely daunting for family businesses to ‘let go’ of a role to an ‘outsider’. Finding the right skill set is actually the easier part of the recruitment process, but finding a strong culture fit is often more challenging, and if not done correctly, can be massively disruptive, not to mention costly.

The key to success is working with people who take the time to fully understand your business, values and vision, and appreciate what your ‘2am moment’ is. Growing your business internationally, or even nationally, can be seriously hampered as potential candidates further afield may not be fully aware of your brand.

Finding the right talent can be a slow and frustrating process, but talent attraction tools such as our uniquely developed BrandBox can be a fantastic platform to raise awareness of your employer brand on a national and international level. Candidates need to be informed in a credible, knowledgeable and persuasive manner on what smaller, family businesses have to offer for their career progression:

• Candidates are exposed to entrepreneurs
• The opportunity to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond
• Exposure to the wider business and thus have far more, over-arching responsibility compared with a larger corporate business
• The opportunity to really make a difference and have much more accountability

Click to find out more about Graham's The Family Dairy

A family business, like any business, can be a rollercoaster ride but with that comes excitement, rewards and satisfaction, and it is vital that your recruitment partner sells this to the right candidate as knowledgeably and as enthusiastically as you would yourself.

Talk to Denholm

We are a search, recruitment and employer brand consultancy that specialises in commercial marketing, sales & digital opportunities. If you'd like to find out more, call us on 0131 554 6191 or email