Ep. 082 – A Recruiter’s Point of View: Inside the Job Searching World with Michael McDonnell, President and Managing Partner at Global Recruiters of Columbia

How can I describe Michael McDonnell? He is transparent, technical, and full of energy. Not bad for a 25 year old running his own recruitment company.

His job is to reach out and find what food companies are looking for and I have some good news for those of you listening, these people are looking for experts.

I grill Michael on all sorts of crazy questions that I felt like when I looked for a job and Michael answered these like, really well. And I ask questions such as how companies look for rockstars, the benefits of using a recruiter, what an ATS system is and why does everyone use it, and my personal question: how long should someone be in their job? Michael answers all of these with short and direct honesty and I just learned so much from this interview.

So sit back and relax as we look into how recruiting works and how that will benefit you.

Sponsor – FoodGrads

This episode is sponsored by FoodGrads, an interactive platform for the Food & Beverage Industry, which focuses on closing the gap between students and employers with a broader mission to attract and retain people to a meaningful career in food. From Food Scientists to Farmers, Chefs to Plant Managers, QA Technicians to Dieticians, or Marketing and Sales, no matter what your passion–there’s something for everyone in Food—and they will help you find it.

Join FoodGrads for support, mentorship and guidance to start your career. Just go to foodgrads.com

Sponsor – Steviva Ingredients

Has marketing ever asked you to pull a rabbit out of a hat? I know they have with me. They want clean-label sugar reduction because that’s the trend. And in addition to clean label, we need to follow the ever-changing FDA laws, meet low cost parameters AND create a product that tastes EXCELLENT – with no aftertaste issues.

They want us to make magic happen. 

Who do they think we are – Houdini?

Let me tell you who the real magicians are. Steviva Ingredients. Steviva has more than two decades of experience in R&D and clean-label sugar reduction in a variety of applications: beverage, baked goods, fillings, frostings, condiments. Give em a call. They’ll create a solution for you. If they can help me, they can help you. Go check them out at stevivaingredients.com.


If you like what you heard, like us on facebook or write a review on itunes. It helps wonders.

I am also inviting you to sign up on our email list at myfoodjobrocks.com. I am doing this new thing called the 5 course meal where I send you 5 pieces of hand picked content and deliver it every Friday morning. Like a meal kit…

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the podcast, don’t be afraid to email me at podcast@myfoodjobrocks.com

Knowledge bombs

  • How job hopping is disrupting all the industries
  • How to squeeze things out of people and get really valuable information (through kindness)
  • Mike’s opinion on Whole foods and Amazon
  • Adam’s special gift: getting free food

What do you tell people about you?: I partner with organizations or I make things. I build partnerships and deals. We really work with the company
What do you consider a finalist for a search?: Whatever the company specifically wants, but also questioning their initial requirements. We want to exceed those expectations
How do you find clients in the food and beverage industry and how do you communicate with them?: It starts with being on the phone. It requires a lot of cold calling. Maybe 100 phone calls to connect with another company.
Who do you contact when you cold call?: Our best way is to connect with the Hiring Manager so we can find the right service to find the right people
Does everyone want a Rockstar or do they not want a rock star?: Depends. Sales people want a Rockstar. For QA or data based, you might not want someone super extraverted.

Job search tips

Usually, people want the best of the best. Job boards might actually show the best of the worst

“It’s better to be employed than not employed” most people think this but sometimes good people get in unfortunate circumstances

A recruiter has a genuine conversation with a hiring manager and really focuses on getting the best fit and exploring options

ATS system- automatic tracking system which is a vetting system that looks for 5 key words. Your resume might not even be looked at another person

Cultural fit is absolutely critical for job success

It takes seconds for people to look at your resume

Job hopping: It’s so easy now and you can increase your salary faster. We don’t know what will happen 10 years from now, but now it’s 2 years.

How long should you stay at your job?: I’d say 5 years.

How did you get you to get to you where you are today?: I’m 24, I’m the youngest owner in my recruiting network. Worked for ConAgra brands (Territory Sales), Shanghai university of finance and economics, military active orders, disctrict manager in training for truck stops. Mentor told me to open a recruiting firm. Basically I had conversations with the right individuals. I have always wanted a job in CPG and in the food industry.
What is the most important skill you can have in the food industry?: Flexibility and adaptability. Things are moving so fast that you’ll be left in the dust
Common themes between excellent candidates: People who strategically plan their future. This might be through their resume or by just talking to him.
My Food Job Rocks: I get to speak with amazing, unique individuals
What’s the most interesting conversation you have?: I cold called a famous TV person and gave value.
Food Trends and Technology: Adaptable Experts and not so much specialized experts
Biggest Problem in the Food Industry: Lots of “foo-foo” going on un terms of claims. Consumer needs to educate themselves. There’s a lot of documents that involve claims
What is one thing in the food industry you’d like to know more about?: I’d ask a question: where is the largest need? I’d ask this to 100 people and gather the responses.
Favorite Quote: Help enough people to get what they want and the world will give you what they want
There are no problems we can solve together and very few problems we can solve ourselves
I listen to hour motivationial quotes on youtube
Favorite kitchen item: knife. You can change things around and it’s dangerous
Favorite book: The Maxwell Daily Reader
Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to go into the food industry?: Ask questions. You can open so many doors by asking questions to people. Ask people why do they eat what they eat.
What do you eat?: I eat it all. I research a lot on diets but then I eat a lot sometimes. I eat a lot of protein. 
What are the common myths about job searching you’d like to dispel?:
“There’s no jobs”. As of now, there are tons of jobs. “I’m over qualified” It’s pretty easy to downgrade
Where can we find you?: Linkedin: McDonnellm2 Website: GRN Columbia.com

Other Links

5 Whys ask Why 5 times
Sweets and Snack Expo



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *