Top 5 Things To Help You Understand What Employers Are Looking For

What are employers really looking for when hiring? It’s the golden key to unlocking the door to your dream job. If only you knew exactly what employers were looking for when hiring food and beverage manufacturing professionals, you could nail that next interview or promotion. 

QTalent has done exactly that. We scoured the web and job boards throughout Canada to define the top 5 most desirable skills food processing employers seek. Now before you thank us for this cheat sheet (which you will), it's unfortunately not a silver bullet to success. 

You still need to work hard to ensure you hone the skills that every experienced food & beverage manufacturing professional should possess. We are about to go all Mr. Miyagi (wax on, wax off on you), so sit tight as we share the most desirable skills listed by top food and beverage processing employers.  

What Employers Are Looking For:

1. A certification, degree, or short course gives you the edge

A recent study showed that employers value hiring certified workers to reduce internal training time. At the risk of opening up my Karate Kid obsession, I will just share one Miyagi quote that comes to mind here. “You trust the quality of what you know, not quantity." 

Food & Beverage Processing Skills

The same applies to your skill set. While general skills such as food safety and sanitation knowledge, quality management and customer service are essential, when looking at experienced food and beverage processing positions, the more expert knowledge they have in a particular space, the better. 

For example, if you are looking for a supervisor position, a degree or diploma in science or engineering is desirable. Other requirements may include: 

  • Knowledge of food safety procedures such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) 
  • A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) certification
  • An ISO certification 

If you’re looking to be a quality operations specialist, you’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge in Quality Assurance and Control. It’s impossible to know every preferred requirement and certification for every position but focus on honing in on the skills required to be an expert in your current position. 

2. Compliance & regulation skills are commonplace for experienced food and beverage professionals

Aside from food safety and sanitation, compliance and regulation to standard operating procedures are key when it comes to food. 

Especially with the food and beverage processing industry becoming increasingly regulated and the implementation of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) further highlighting the need to adhere to regulatory standards regarding licensing preventive controls and traceability. 

3. Digital skills highlight you’re future-ready

Technology has had a significant impact on the food and beverage manufacturing industry. When searching job boards, basic skills like Microsoft Suite are commonplace today, but in the future, food and beverage processing jobs will require professionals with digital skills that can show experience and expertise in mechanics, electronics, and computation. The more you can start upskilling yourself now for the future, the better you fair or risk being left behind. 

4. Showcase your ability to work under pressure 

In pretty much every job board and every job role in the food and manufacturing industry, the ability to work in a fast-paced environment is crucial. Never mind basic operational health and safety working with all those machines, but shifts can be long, tiresome, and, depending on your job role, physically exhausting. 

Showcasing your ability to remain calm in chaos, work in stressful environments and keep your cool (even in the workplace, the temperature literally rises, the bakery guys will get that one) will get you noticed by potential employers. 

5. Interpersonal skills count when it comes to teamwork

Soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, and collaboration are essential in all food processing positions. However, certain soft skills can be developed in specific roles, such as “attention to detail” and organisational skills.

QA managers practice these skills and “problem-solving” daily. At the same time, R&D technicians are expected to showcase the same level of competence in their everyday job roles. 

Employers focus on soft skills that apply to the position they are looking to hire for with equal priority to technical skills. Not sure which skills to focus on? 

The Food Processing Skills Canada: Skills & Competencies Library has everything you need. They have broken down all of the essential skills required for different food and beverage manufacturing jobs across communications, digital technology, and more!

All positions in the food and beverage manufacturing industry require a combination of technical know-how and sound interpersonal skills. QTalent is the first talent discovery platform in Canada that allows you to find the perfect position that suits your skill set. 

If you are a highly-skilled technical operations professional in the Meat, Dairy, Bakery & Beverage industries (and more to come!), let QTalent help you find the perfect employer that is looking for your unique skill set. 

We are not like any other job board out there; our sophisticated technology lets you: 

  • Do research on the company with robust company profiles 
  • Match your skill set to the employer's requirements 
  • Meet your specific needs with benefits and perks search query criteria 

Find your dream job. Sign up today!

Romy Zwiers


Romy Zwiers is a journalist and marketing professional with 16 years of experience working across industries with a keen focus on the beverage and food industry, having worked with companies like KFC, Nandos, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.

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