“I genuinely love chatting to people, I speak to such a variety of individuals with different interests in the industry – no day is the same.”
We had a quick chat with Emma Salah, YFs Junior & Graduate Talent Manager here at YF, and asked her to describe her average day, the highs and lows in the world of recruitment, and most importantly, her favourite lunch choice.
Tell us about your career journey prior to joining YF
When job hunting at University I was frequently directed to opportunities within huge businesses or graduate schemes. However, I knew these weren’t right for me.
I was always excited by smaller businesses and the entrepreneurial space, but I didn’t know how to find a job in these companies. Being a huge foodie, I started exploring businesses and products I loved and ended up at Young Foodies.
It would have been the dream to have support from a recruiter to tell me what cool companies were out there and the type of jobs there are available in this sector.
What do people think you do as a Talent Manager?
Make new friends on LinkedIn, eat amazing snacks, call strangers, and go to trade shows to talk to founders and eat more snacks. Truth be told, I do all of those things, but there’s much more to it…
What do you actually do as a Talent Manager?
The scope of what I do changes on a weekly basis. Combined with the fast-paced nature of the FMCG industry, the ever changing external environment, and start-up nature of YF, it means there is never a dull day.
As a Talent Manager, my key responsibility is to work on graduate and junior recruitment. Alongside Mel, our Talent Resourcer, we find great people to work for the fantastic brands in the FMCG industry.
We only work with amazing brands that we know people will want to work for. We build close relationships to ensure we understand their hiring needs, and then speak to the best people that are hungry to get into this industry.
Some brands we work with haven’t hired often so we support them on what the process should look like too. Oh, and we run regular graduate events to help superstar candidates feel prepared when applying for roles and moving through the interview process.
What is your morning routine?
I’m a ‘class passer’ (I’m hoping this plug will get me more credits). I always start my day with an exercise class or a swim to wake me up. I then inhale the London fumes on my cycle into the office. First things first, align and plan with Mel how we are going to tackle the day’s priorities.
As a self-proclaimed foodie, what does your usual lunch look like?
Shock, I’m a HUGE foodie so it’s got to be something delicious. I love to cook so usually it’s my night before dish with heaps of vegetables and an excess of sauces or spices.
What is your favourite part of your role?
I’ll have to list two; meeting amazing founders and brands that genuinely love what they do AND helping a great candidate get matched with their perfect job.
The energy you experience from passionate people is contagious. Everyday I become more excited about the innovative products the brands are creating alongside people who are determined and ambitious.
What do you find most challenging?
Rejecting someone from a job on the grounds of no real reason. We all hate hearing “there was just someone with more experience” or “someone performed better than you on the day”.
I try to encourage all brands to provide constructive feedback so the candidate can always leave with new information to progress and grow.
What skills do you need to be a recruiter at YF?
First – sociable. You communicate and meet with a huge array of individuals all the time.
Second, an active listener. You need to understand what brands and candidates really want to correctly match them up.
Next, trustworthy – at YF we work with the brands in our network in lots of different capacities, we want to genuinely help these businesses grow through the people in their teams and have longstanding relationships in the future.
Finally, resilience. Not every day is a walk in the park but it’s how you bounce back and face the challenges that really helps you to learn!
What is different about working at YF?
You have your core job but you will learn the inner workings of every department and really broaden your skillset.
I don’t think there is a person in the business who isn’t hard working, determined and will go out of their way to support one another.
Oh, and there’s the perks of attending cool events and trying incredible food and drink products.
What attributes are you looking for in a new team member?
Someone confident and not afraid to ask smart questions; we all learn from each other by asking questions.
An individual who is excited by helping cool businesses and our own business to grow. I always fall back on Steve Jobs quote – “great things are not just done by one person, but a team of people”. We help build teams but we also need the superstars in our own team to make it happen.
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.
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.