Focus Management Consultants Limited

Recruitment Specialists for the food and drink industry

Bakkavor Job Opportunities

What is Bakkavor?

Bakkavor is an innovative food manufacturer that currently has 21 manufacturing sites situated throughout the UK with a further 34 internationally, including USA and China. As a business they employ over 18,000 employees and produce over 6,000 different products for major retailers.

Bakkavor

Product Offering

The product offering ranges include chilled fresh pizzas, ready to cook ready meals products, prepared vegetables, salads and fruit, soups, sauces, cream cakes and chilled desserts.

bakkavor pizza

As a business Bakkavor supplies private label products into major UK retailers; including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Asda, Morrisons and Co-op. Notable products include the Simply Fuller Longer Ready Meal range found in M&S (that has been the subject of high profile TV advertising with celebrity endorsements) as well as the highly successful New York Soup Company brand. Such is the extent of their products you will almost certainly have seen them on the shelves of your local supermarket.  Across all of their sites they work closely with their retail customers and they are known and well regarded for their innovation and “first to market” product ideas.

A business to be proud of

They pride themselves in having the largest patisserie in Europe and are also an European leader in several of their chilled food categories. They can also boast to being Category Leader in the UK for 12 out of their 16 product categories.

History of Bakkavor

The company Bakkavor was founded in 1986 and began its life in Iceland exporting fish products. Over the next sixteen years it adopted an aggressive expansion strategy that saw it grow across parts of Europe and take a firm footing in the UK. After selling the fish side of their company in 2003 the business focused solely on the fresh prepared foods market that it is so well known and recognised for today. It continued to grow into international markets and currently has operations in UK, China, USA as well as mainland Europe. In 2005 Bakkavor acquired Geest, making it a major player in the fresh prepared foods category in the UK. The period of 2010 / 2011 saw the group rationalise its fresh produce business in the UK and most recently in 2012 a new structure was implemented allowing the group’s parent company to be based in the UK.

Focus Management Consultants and Bakkavor

Focus Management Consultants Ltd (FMCL) is a food and beverage recruitment consultancy that was first established in 1990, comprising of seven specialist divisions that support our clients wide ranging needs. More recently, FMCL embarked on creating the International Food Recruitment Alliance (IFRA) and is a founding member of this highly successful organisation. FMCL’s specialist recruiters have experience of working right across the UK food industry and therefore are well placed to support both the client and candidate needs.
As a business we have been in partnership with Bakkavor for over 18 years and have forged a remarkably strong relationship. We have supported Bakkavor’s continued growth by successfully selecting its senior and middle management teams in key areas, allowing a solid base for its future development.  In addition, FMCL manages all the group’s graduate intake each year.

Why look for a career with Bakkavor through Focus Management Consultants?

We work in partnership with Bakkavor to ensure the highest calibre of individuals are sought out and introduced to the business. We endeavour to provide a full overview of the business detailing individual sites as well as the larger group. This allows each candidate to thoroughly understand the company at both a micro and macro level.

Our Focus Graduates Division plans, organises and executes the Graduate Accelerated Management Scheme (AMS) that each year brings the highest calibre graduates into the business. We also work with Bakkavor through a number of our other divisions: Focus Management, Focus Interim and the Focus Chef Division enabling us to offer a “one stop shop” service.

Our business is dedicated to providing the best possible experience from both a client and candidate perspective. We work closely with Bakkavor to understand the requirements of the role but also the culture and dynamic of the team. So why choose Focus Management to help you get a job with Bakkavor? Simply put, we understand their business better than any other recruitment agency. We hold closer relationships at all levels, we have worked with them for longer and we really understand what it takes to excel in the company.  What this means for you as a candidate, is knowledgeable and qualified advice on which sites and positions you would be best suited to. This results in a high CV to Interview request ratio, and once we have obtained you an initial meeting it is standard operating practice for us to give you specific insights and tips to give you that extra edge at your interview, rather than the standard short briefing you may get from a run of the mill agency.

bakkavor meal

Bakkavor’s business is founded on five core values. These have been rolled out across the business and each site look at these values when recruiting. The philosophy is simple – recruit people with like-minded goals and values and it’s a lot easier to work together to achieve the business targets.

Bakkavor Values

Customer Care – As a business it is committed to providing the best possible service, quality and value.
Can Do – with a motivation to succeed in all it takes on Bakkavor supports its staff to take initiative and empower them to deliver.
Teamwork – Everyone in the business plays a part in success. It aims to communicate with its staff and ensure that the highest standards are met in terms of ethics and integrity.
Innovation – As a business it promotes Innovation from within and truly thrives on new challenges.
Getting it Right / Keeping it Right – Striving to get it right first time and every time is very important to Bakkavor, whilst also providing value for customers and stakeholders.

What can Bakkavor offer you?

Are you looking to join an organisation that can offer you career progression?

As a business this company invests in its people and provides opportunities to progress within the company. There are currently three key areas that support the development of staff. Firstly performance reviews support the teams to understand where they are at the moment and what would help them and their team to improve. Secondly, the training and development of individuals utilises both internal and external knowledge to really hone the skills set. Finally there is structured career development – each function has a clearly set out career path and map.

It will also allow you to gain experience within a business that is fast moving and delivers high quality chilled products to major retailers across the world. It finds itself in an uncertain period in both the local and global economy and the food industry is, to a certain extent, sheltered from this. As the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, the government has started to realise the importance of the Food Manufacturing industry and increasingly this will be seen as a sector of choice for talented individuals.

This business gives you a chance to work within a leader of the UK food industry, in an innovative environment that prides itself on great staff and values. This is a business where passionate “foodie” individuals can thrive and make a real name for themselves.

Bakkavor in 2013

Financial situation

Looking at Bakkavor’s 2013 figures we can see that their Net Sales were £1.68bn, EBITDA was £107.7m and the free cash flow was £20.6m.

Recent achievements that not many know about!

Bakkavor currently holds a collection of awards and achievements. In the UK it holds seven Grocer Own Label Awards and three Quality Food Awards and four Supplier recognition awards from key customers. In Europe it holds a Supply Chain Excellence Award for Innovation in Technology and also an Innovafel Product Innovation Award in Europe. Lastly in America it holds an American National Restaurant Association Award for Product Innovation.

What does this show?

This shows that Bakkavor has an international presence that is not only doing well but is winning awards and recognition for how it delivers a quality product offering and also how it is seen across the world as innovative and progressive.

Bakkavor can certainly boast maintaining its market leading position in the UK fresh prepared foods market. It has invested in its core category businesses to support future growth and efficiency. Along with rationalising its UK produce business it has developed the Rest of the World business it currently has.

Testimonials

Focus Graduate Testimonials

“Nicole Moloney from Focus Graduates was a great help in me getting my job with Bakkavor. I would highly recommend her. Nicole was always in contact, giving out information and it was good that she was at the assessment centre as well.” Emma – Finance AMS Scheme placed by Focus Graduates.

“Focus Graduates provided a quick, seamless application process and I would highly recommend them to other graduates who are interested in the food industry.” Martin - Finance AMS Scheme placed by Focus Graduates.

“My experience with Focus was fantastic, and I would highly recommend them to any colleagues.” Gareth Technical – AMS Scheme placed by Focus Graduates.

“I found Focus Management Consultants to be extremely helpful throughout the recruitment process, and felt I was updated on a regular basis.  The advice and help with preparing for interviews / assessment centres was beneficial and allowed me to relax and enjoy the process.” Emma - HR AMS Scheme placed by Focus Graduates.

Focus Interim Testimonials

“Personal and very much down to earth as an approach. | thank you for your support and feedback at every stage of the process.” Peter an Interim Production candidate placed by Focus Interim into Bakkavor.

Focus Management Testimonials

“Absolutely delightful to deal with - they are by far the best recruitment agency I have ever dealt with. They kept me informed at all times throughout the process and I had every faith in them that they would do their best for me. Would recommend to anyone above any other recruitment agency.”  A Product Development Manager placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“Nice people to deal with, they keep you informed throughout the process.” Chris, a Hygiene Section Leader placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“Very professional and well organized, they assisted at every stage of the interview process and could not have been more supportive.” Stephen, a Transport Manager placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“My consultant kept me informed throughout the job application process and provided valuable advice for interview preparation.” Hayley a Market Analyst placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“Precisely matched me with the vacancy, exactly what I was looking for role wise, and the pay was realistic. Support prior to and during interview process was second to none.” Dean, an Engineer placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“Friendly and helpful. Always returned messages and phone calls. Really appreciated everything you did for me.” Kevin, a Buyer placed into a Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“Excellent service and communication, the consultants made time to interview me and find out what I was looking for and gave continuous feedback, encouragement and support, especially in preparation for interview.  I would definitely recommend Focus Management.” Yvette, a Process candidate placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“My experience was a very positive one. Dominic Cooke is a great asset to the company and always did what he said he would in a timely fashion.” Kathryn, a Sales candidate placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“I found them very helpful with a friendly and professional approach which delivers great results.” Andrew, a Production Manager placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“I have known Focus for over 10 years and have been impressed by the thoroughness of their process in terms of re-interviewing each time I was looking to develop my career.  My experience of other recruitment consultancies is that their priority is simply filling vacancies, often by ruthlessly talking candidates into positions for which they are actually unsuitable.  The Focus approach involves getting to know candidates, then taking care to match them to the positions on offer.  A few months ago, I contacted Focus as I was planning to return to the UK from South Africa.  Focus arranged a Skype interview with me, and I was presented with a couple of interesting opportunities.  I worked closely with my Consultant, on the position of most interest to me.  He gave me a full briefing throughout the process and kept me abreast of all developments, being my eyes in the UK until I returned.  I was successful in securing the position following an in depth assessment day, which included a Director of Focus Management on the panel of assessors.  I am now very happy in my new position.  I have chosen to contact Focus over the years because of their professional approach, and because they deal with the best food manufacturers in the UK.” Shirley an NPD Manager placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

“Very efficient, professional and personable.” George a Category candidate placed into Bakkavor by Focus Management.

By Colette Nichols