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“Aligning to a concise, clear vision” is key when hiring with growth in mind, says Ready Pac Foods Human Resources Chief

Hiring the right candidates and integrating them into the company culture are key to building a strong team that can help support other new hires as the company grows, Ready Pac Foods Chief Human Resources Officer Tim Clark says in this interview.

5 min read


“Aligning to a concise, clear vision” is key when hiring with growth in mind, says Ready Pac Foods Human Resources Chief

Ready Pac Foods


This post is sponsored by Ready Pac Foods.

Building a strong, successful team starts with hiring the right people collectively. For Ready Pac Foods, the breadth of experience and leadership combined is more valuable than any individual and our ideal candidates understand this. They have demonstrated functional excellence. Equally importantly, they have the ability to ask the right questions, bring people together to react quickly to internal and external forces and drive results for long term growth said Tim Clark, Chief Human Resources Officer for the producer of convenience fresh and healthy foods and fresh-cut produce.

We interviewed Clark about what employers should consider when hiring and how they can integrate new employees into the company culture to build a winning team that is primed for growth.

Why is hiring so hard to get right?

Hiring success is all about exceeding expectations — for the hiring manager and the applicant. Self-awareness and preparation on both sides are key, which may sound simple, but coordinating a realistic preview of your company in the few hours that the average interview panel lasts is not easy. Encouraging applicants to be very honest and transparent about career goals while getting an accurate understanding of what they will bring to your organization in that short timeframe is a challenge even when you use all the interview methods available. At the end of the day, employers need to assess two key things. First: understand if the applicant will bring new skills and capabilities that will strengthen their team and further their business results. And, often missed, determine if the organization can offer growth and learning that aligns to the applicant’s career ambitions. You need both to exceed expectations.

What are the most important things to consider when planning for the future of your company? How do you hire with growth in mind?

Know yourself — your company needs to be clear in its identity. A concise and clear vision, mission and values statement are critical for success today and as you plan for the future. When hiring to support growth, you first need to ensure a fit for the company’s culture — the successful hire must be “all-in” on the organization’s future success regardless of role. The other key is stretch – understanding what capabilities you need in the future and hiring not only for the current role, but being able to project the candidate into stretch roles that meet the organization’s future needs.

How important is it to vet applicants on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)?

The use of social media in recruiting is certainly becoming a critical component of the hiring process. Many social media companies are now central to a company’s strategy to source passive candidates. As a company considers whether to use public information in their pre-employment screening they need to balance questions about respect for privacy and legal exposure around discovering information that is either protected in the hiring process or not relevant to the role and requirements. While there are certainly scenarios where a candidate can disqualify themselves in their use of social media, most often it is best to rely on a well-organized and thorough interview process to ensure the applicant will be successful in your organization’s culture.

What are some of the keys to building a strong, lasting team?

Sustained success starts with hiring the right talent and building engagement with the new hire around the organization’s mission, vision and values as early in the recruiting process as possible. Integrating new talent into your team means having a strong on-boarding process and ensuring new hires can leverage the experience you hired them for to add value early in their role. In addition to making a lasting positive first impression, organizations need to make a visible commitment to developing their people which can translate by making investments in future talent through college and early career recruiting programs or grooming talent from within the organization. Lastly at Ready Pac Foods, we believe that a key component to teamwork is fun. It is one of our core values and for us this means connecting with each other, celebrating each other’s achievements and taking pride in our shared accomplishments.

What advice do you have for employers looking to integrate new hires into the company culture?

Integration into company culture starts before you bring a new hire into the organization. Just like your product or service, your culture needs to be distinct to job seekers. Their search should convey a consistent and authentic brand about the company’s culture and career benefits which get your candidate market curious to learn more and excited to be part of the team. Once on board, be deliberate. Demonstrate through a variety of experiences for the new hire what the company culture is all about and give them opportunities to engage and learn your company way. This helps drive commitment and these employees will then in turn help integrate the next new hire into the company culture.

Tim Clark is Chief Human Resources Officer of Ready Pac Foods, the premier producer of convenience fresh foods, including fresh-cut produce. As CHRO, Clark is responsible for leading the transformation of the existing Human Resources activities into a comprehensive, high-performing business function capable of making significant contributions to the company’s ambitious financial performance and growth objectives.


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