Finding a Food Technologist – Non Profit Corporate Staffing

Discover Preferred Personnel Africa recruitment case study in the non profit sector to find a food technologist whose focus is strengthening the farm-to-table value chain across Africa by expanding and increasing the competitiveness of the food processing sector. As part of their mission, the client was looking for a Food Technologist whose job would be to provide high level technical support to food processors in Uganda.

Case Study Detail

The Recruitment Challenge

This particular position played not only a vital role for the client to deliver on their mission, but also on the wider Ugandan society as the Food Technologist would play a vital role in improving food quality and security in Uganda.

In order to provide the best solution, we knew we needed to do three things:

Industry expertise

Build our understanding of the current food processing industry in Uganda and the East African region, from a business and people perspective enough to adequately advise the client.


Find a candidate who could commit to the role for the long haul to build long-term relationships between the client and the food processors.

We had a meeting with the hiring managers to discuss all of the above and more, with the expectations that the individual they were looking for would need to be headhunted. Using a combination of candidates sourced through our current database and networks, as well as reaching out to new candidates using LinkedIn, we were able to pull together a pool of candidates who had the right experience. Our interview questions were focused on identifying whether the candidates could tangibly display the three key skills needed for the position.

What we Learnt

As our first foray into outsourcing was with a major multinational, it established the foundation of our principles as an outsourcing provider. The standards that we were expected to adhere to were to the highest level possible which gave us a great platform in which to build PPA’s outsourcing department from. Two key lessons that we carry with us to this day as an outsourcing provider are:

Trust is key

Establishing trust with your outsource staff from the very first interaction is vital as a foundation to our relationship with them and their relationship with our client, especially when they are arriving with a pre-existing relationship with our clients. From our very first conversation with staff that fit within this category, PPA is focused on trying to establish a relationship built on trust and mutual respect, rather than a more authoritative, hierarchical, employer-employee relationship.

Standards set the foundation of a relationship

Standards set the absolute floor of how a business is expected to operate. Ensuring that your businesses standards; the guidelines, criteria, processes, procedures and practices that you employ from the onset of any relationship are robust is vital in ensuring that a strong relationship is maintained between our outsource staff, our client and ourselves as PPA. This is also a vital component that was employed to ensure that we could establish trust with the staff that were eventually onboarded into PPA.

Before we had the meeting with the client, we made sure to speak with industry experts based in Uganda and Kenya, who we identified through our networks. The industry experts were able to give us an understanding of the landscape as well as give us insight in how to identify the capabilities of the people we interviewed. Arriving at the meeting, we were able to exchange information and come up with a solid recruitment plan based off our pooled knowledge.

The Outcome

Within a one-month period, we were able to identify the right caliber of talent, who were interviewed before the clients flew in for in-person interviews. We coordinated all the interviews, which took place in Uganda and Kenya, handled the negotiations and the client was able to hire their candidate!

What has happened since

  • Not only has the candidate remained at the client’s organization; they’ve been promoted! 
  • We went on to conduct two further recruitments in Kenya and Tanzania for the same role.

Corporate Staffing Insights