Engineering: Monthly Sector Spotlight

Monthly Sector Spotlight: Engineering

Welcome to New Chapter’s Monthly Sector Spotlights!

Each month we will be sitting down and having a chat with consultants about the FMCG sector they recruit into. This week, we sat down with Principal Consultant for the Engineering industry, Luke McDonnell.

Meet Luke! 

Luke is a recruitment superstar in the Manufacturing industry. 

He has expansive knowledge of the FMCG manufacturing industry, with industry experience ranging from Dairy, Ambient Food, Chilled Food, Meat, Beverages and Consumer goods.


Have a quick read of what Luke has said about recruiting within Engineering and where he sees the future of the industry going… 

What do you find interesting about recruiting in the Engineering industry?

I really enjoy speaking to candidates in different sectors of engineering, you get to learn how different products are made and it is like an episode of ‘Inside the Factory’ with Gregg Wallace. From yoghurts been made in Shropshire to bread getting baked in Bradford, Ginger beer in Blackburn to cider in Somerset you get an insight to how foods and beverages get from the factory to table on a daily basis by speaking to engineers in the industry.

What skillsets do you recruit for within the Engineering sector?

Predominantly I recruit for Multi Skilled Engineers (Electrical or Mechanical Bias), these engineers are responsible for making sure production keeps running so products can still get on shelves in supermarkets. I also recruit more specialist roles including Reliability Engineers, Automation Engineers, Project Engineers and Engineering Managers.

Has there been any recent changes within your industry that has affected the way your clients conduct business?

Not really, engineering has been a business-critical function throughout COVID-19. Recruitment has not stopped and a lot of good names within FMCG are still expanding their teams even in Projects/Automation and Reliability functions! It’s a great time for engineering candidates to be looking for a new role.

Has there been a recent change in the type of candidate your clients are looking for?

FMCG manufacturing companies do seem to be investing more in automation so these skillsets are on demand, but I do not think much has changed apart from that. Manufacturing companies are always on the look out for good engineers and It seems that candidates are more hesitant to move now! I think one thing to remember as an engineering candidate is that your role is business critical and its safe to move! Especially in the Food/Beverage/Pharmaceutical sector!

Where do you see the future of the Engineering industry going within the food/beverage and pharmaceutical sectors?

I think companies are going to continue to invest in automation and reliability within engineering, it is the way forward. Streamlining and optimising processes seems to be at the forefront of good engineering managers minds and it’s a great time to start upskilling for engineers into these functions to try and support the drive forward in engineering.

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