Two thirds (65%) of the 600-strong audience, made up of senior people throughout the industry, said it was tougher than ever before to attract high calibre recruits, with only 12% finding it relatively easy, and a further 23% stating it is the same as usual*.
Shanna Ritchie, business development manager for Leading Edge, said "The poll illustrates the need for the food and grocery industry to invest in developing people, giving clear pathways for progression, and helping to boost skill levels and networks."
Employees in the food and grocery said that career progression is the most important factor in applying for new jobs, or deciding to stay with their current job, ranking above factors such as feeling appreciated and money and perks.
"The global market for top talent is heating up. The food and grocery industry offers significant opportunities for the best and brightest; however we need to work hard to attract and retain these people," said Ritchie.
"Encouraging the development of skills such as networking, personal branding and time management can transform the productivity of employees. If a company is seen to be encouraging these skills, it becomes much more attractive to prospective candidates, significantly enhancing the employer brand."