Case Study Forming a Strategic Partnership With a Food & Beverage Manufacturer

With a wide variety of products, from canned meals to baked snacks, our client has established itself as one of the largest processed food and snack companies in America.


After the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand soared, and our client found itself operating 24/7. To meet the increase in demand, the company had to make changes to its workforce to ramp up production.

Prior to our partnership, our client relied on its existing vendor list for its contingent workforce needs. During the pandemic, the company implemented a stipulation to its hiring efforts that limits the radius where contingent workers can be sourced. The company felt that having workers travel (sometimes from out of state) would create higher risk of infection and risk of spread within its plants.

Because contingent workers now needed to be within a certain distance of one of the client’s physical locations, vendors could no longer cast their nets wide—a recruitment tactic that often increases the likelihood of finding the best talent. As a result, the number of candidates and the caliber of talent presented by their vendors dwindled.

The company found itself facing two challenges it needed to overcome:

  1. Not enough local candidates being brought to the table.
  2. Quality of candidates diminished.

The Progressive Solution

Progressive’s approach to the client’s unique challenges began by understanding their requirements and defining a set of specific, measurable, and achievable goals. The company not only needed more quality, local candidates, but also a reduction in the time it took to hire. It’s not uncommon for companies in the food and beverage manufacturing industry to wait months before having someone “in seat.” So, we committed to a one-week turnaround from job intake to fill. But to deliver on this promise, we had to create a custom recruitment solution that included both reactive and proactive strategies.

Our reactive strategy included employing our headhunting skills to market map the local area(s) and begin approaching talent that matched the criteria. This strategy also included tried-and-true recruitment methods, such as leveraging social media platforms and posting advertisements on job boards to source resumes and vet talent. Our proactive strategy included employing our gold accredited candidate bench and tapping into referrals, which enabled us to place a Facilities Engineer and a Senior Project Developer in just one day.


In the span of just nine months, Progressive supplied over 20 highly qualified individuals to the client’s plants in Oregon, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida. These individuals spanned different disciplines, including:

  • Construction Management
  • Site Management
  • Food Science
  • Research and Development
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC)
  • Project Engineering and Project Management
  • Facilities Engineering

After building trust with the client and proving ourselves capable of delivering, an executive within another division of the company sought to have us support his employment needs. We have now supported several key projects impacting the client’s operational and monetary growth, from robotics and automation to sustainable packaging and labeling.

Despite the uncertainties driven by COVID-19, we have matched the client with 24 skilled individuals to date and have achieved a healthy 3:1 interview-to-hire ratio, surpassing the industry average. Since establishing our relationship, Progressive has become their trusted partner, and our strategic partnership continues to grow.


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