A Day in the Life Of: Head of Recruitment

A Day in the Life Of: Head of Recruitment 1

“My favourite moment is when you place a candidate into their dream role. And then the moment a few months later when they call you to say they now need to hire for their own team”


We had a quick chat with Andrew Baker, Head of Recruitment, here at YF and asked him to describe his average day, the pros and cons in the world of recruitment, and most importantly, his favourite lunch choice. 

Tell us about your recruitment journey prior to joining YF

I have worked in recruitment for 12 years. Most of this experience has been within small but successful agencies predominantly recruiting Senior Commercial roles.

I also spent two years working for a Recruitment Process Outsourcing company which gave me great exposure to working on the client side. This really improved my stakeholder management skills and gave me great insight into the challenges of working in-house as opposed to agency.

In the last six years I have focused on the FMCG market. I found my niche here, working within high growth sub-categories such as, Nutrition and Vegan / Vegetarian / Free-From. Working with these fantastic brands has turned me into a true foodie.

It was this experience that led me to YF and the opportunity to work closely alongside our driven and hard working team and, of course, our network of fantastic foodie brands!

What do people think you do as Head of Recruitment?

I think there is a perception that recruiters have a huge database of active candidates, all ready and raring to go; that we simply have to select, send over and job done. The reality is quite different.

What do you actually do as a Head of Recruitment?

I focus on the day to day management of the Recruitment Team, ensuring they have clear objectives and development plans in place.

I also manage our Executive Search function which focuses on recruiting for senior roles (Head of Function, Director, C-Suite). This involves a highly targeted approach where the requirement is usually very niche and needs a specific skillset.

With these roles it is paramount that you have a deep search across the market to identify the people with the required skill set and then engage with them to promote the opportunity, ultimately providing a strong and specific shortlist for the role.

What is your morning routine?

Shower, feed cats, coffee, log on to emails about 8am, reply to anything urgent. More coffee, feed cats again before the real work starts around 9ish. Can you tell I work from home?

As a self-proclaimed foodie, what does your usual lunch look like?

Morrisons meal deal. Sainsburys if I’m feeling flush. M&S on pay day.

What is your favourite part of your role?

Easy. The moment when you place a candidate into their dream role. And then the moment, a few months later, when they call to say they now need to hire for their own team.

Many of our clients are former candidates and it is great to see our mini-eco system working. The advantage to the client in this scenario is that they already know what the candidate experience will be, as they have been through it themselves.

What do you find most challenging?

Last minute change of plans. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but cancelling interviews last minute – whether it be the client or the candidate – can have a knock on effect not just for the individual but for others also in the process. Also Admin. Hate it.

What skills do you need to be a recruiter at YF?

Not so much a skill, but be punctual. Do what you say you are going to do and do it when you said you would. It is all about effective time management. Set goals and deadlines. It will help you.

Next – be empathetic. At YF we deal with start up and SMEs. Our clients are usually the founders and their businesses are a huge part of their life. The work we do can be pivotal to the success or failure of their businesses so being able to put yourself in their shoes, and provide a cost effective solution is key.

What is different about working at YF?

The level of engagement we have with our brands. YF supports its brands with many services, not just Recruitment (check out CommunityTraining and Supply Chain), so we have a high degree of accountability not just to the brand (the client) but also to our colleagues who may be working with them in other areas of the business.

We never ask our team to “hammer the phones”, make 200 calls a day and hit you with strict (and pointless) KPIs. Your desk is your own mini business. We support but also put our trust in the team by providing them with autonomy and breathing space. We get a huge amount of inbound work so there is a big focus on delivery.

Finally we are very close with our clients. Many even work in the same office and join us for drinks socials. It is a great opportunity to build rapport.

What attributes are you looking for in a new team member?

Honesty and integrity. Do the right thing by your clients and candidates even when it is hard. You will be glad of it later. Outside of this you need to be tenacious, innovative, full of ideas.

You also have to be able to detach emotionally from the role at times, give yourself some space to think to make the right decision. Don’t fear rejection. Passion for food and a passion for people. Fans of Liverpool FC looked upon favourably.

Fancy joining us?

It is a very busy and exciting time for the Recruitment Team at Young Foodies.

We are on track to double the size of the recruitment business this year due to a high volume of incoming roles. So we are looking to scale our team significantly over the coming months.

Take a look at both our job ads below:

Recruitment Consultant
Recruitment Consultant
Talent Resourcer

Build your senior team with us

We excel at headhunting the right leadership hires

The process of recruiting your CEO, Managing Director, or function Directors is one of the most important and emotional decisions in the business. 

Our recruitment team work closely with you to understand your leadership requirement and then use our network and deep knowledge of the market to find the perfect person through active searching and headhunting.

A Day in the Life Of: Head of Recruitment 2

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