Firmenich

Established in 1895, Firmenich is the largest privately owned Flavours and Fragrances company in the world.

Headquartered in Geneva, it’s group turnover stood at 3.34bn CHF as of June 2017.

The Challenge

The Flavourist market is notoriously difficult to hire in, and finding a Savoury Flavourist for a post in Austria was proving quite the challenge. After attempting to complete the hire internally and through their recruitment team, they turned to a number of agencies externally, who were not able to produce a suitable candidate. By this point, the market had become over saturated with approaches, and the hire needed a fresh approach.

Due to a small talent pool to start with, trying to find candidates that are at the appropriate level, who can and will relocate, and who have specific experience within certain flavour applications, such as experience in creating top notes and not just flavour matching, but also flavour creation, the parameters of the brief were incredibly tight. As the client were not able to open up the parameters of the search any further, the fresh approach needed to provide results for this business critical hire.

Our Solution

  • Following on from a meeting at FIE in Paris, we were propositioned to try fill the role. We proposed a full market mapping exercise of key competitors, to not only solve this hire, but to act as a talent pipeline for future plans in this notorious space.
  • A number of months were spent mapping key companies in their marketplace, speaking to hundreds of candidates along the way. We identified 87% more candidates than Firmenich were initially aware of, and made note of qualitative information such as current internal career path, salary, plans to relocate and opinion on Firmenich.
  • We identified major hubs of Flavourist activity on a global scale, and spent time understanding why the Flavourist market was so difficult to recruit in, in order to report the findings back to the client.

Client profile

Established in 1895, Firmenich is the largest privately owned Flavours and Fragrances company in the world. Headquartered in Geneva, it’s group turnover stood at 3.34bn CHF as of June 2017. With 7,000 employees globally, they work with leading Food and Beverage conglomerates, alongside the most niche Perfume Houses in the world. They operate across each continent, with a number of “Centres of Innovation” across Germany, Belgium, China and New Jersey, to name but a few.

Primarily a Fragrance house, their first foray in to the flavour world, was through the creation of a raspberry substitute in 1938. In 1939, Firmenich Director of Research and Development Lavoslav Ruzicka was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, demonstrating their commitment to cutting edge technology and pushing boundaries in the Flavours and Fragrances realm.

The Results

  • Our findings were presented to a team in Vienna, including HR Vice President, Technical Director and European Savoury President.
  • Findings from the market were discussed, including why the space is so difficult to recruit in and what Firmenich could do to gain advantage over its competition.
  • We uncovered a number of candidates that were suitable for the brief and presented them to the business, who were then pursued separately to this project.
  • Following on from this successful project, we were invited to recruit for a number of key positions, including a Creation & Technical Business Development Director, based out of Vienna, and a Sales Director for Fragrances, based out of New York.
  • By speaking to such a large number of Flavourists, a project of this scale amassed a huge amount of data that we were able to share with the client, providing huge value to the organisation.

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