Take a pinch of creativity, a dash of forward thinking, and a splash of safety mixed with heaps of experience and you have the recipe for successful employee recruitment and retention concocted by the partnership of Rodelle, Inc. and Employment Solutions.
Located in Fort Collins, CO, Rodelle, Inc. is one of the world’s largest vanilla extract manufacturers. As an innovative flavor company for over 80 years, the Rodelle plant capabilities include liquid and dry packaging, blending, and development. From Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans to Dutch-processed baking cocoa and Herbs de Provence, Rodelle’s complete line of baking ingredients, baking extracts, and gourmet spice blends are available wholesale and retail world-wide.
Manufacturing and distribution requires a team effort, which is led by Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Rodelle’s HR, safety, and environmental manager. O’Shaughnessy handles everything from regulation and labor laws to talent retention and 401K benefits. “I am an HR department of one!,” he good-humoredly explained.
O’Shaughnessy relies heavily on Rodelle’s longstanding partnership with Employment Solutions to fill his temp to hire positions. “We have been working with Employment Solutions for a long time—almost 10 years—and we have a really good relationship with them,” he shared. “They’ve been out to visit us, they understand what we do, and they can really explain the job to people before they get here, and that helps a lot with retention.”
The holiday season—and all of the baking that goes with it—is undeniably Rodelle’s busiest time of year. “We have to get all of the stores prepared and stocked, which we start around June,” said O’Shaughnessy. “Our workload ramps up then and is heavy through Thanksgiving, and that’s when we need the temp help.”
Through the aid of ES, Rodelle fills positions in manufacturing, food assembly, and assembly lines, fulfilling needs in warehouse and general warehouse responsibilities such as forklift/pallet jacks, and inventory. “We are a food manufacturing facility, so a lot of those skills transfer,” O’Shaughnessy explained. “But our extract side of things is pretty specific, so it does help if people have experience—it’s nice when we get really good help and we can work well with them.”
And, as they say, the proof is in the pudding—half of Rodelle’s current full time staff began as temp hires through ES. “Our scheduling manager and purchasing manager were both brought to us by Employment Solutions, and we recently promoted an employee to cost accountant who started out as a temp,” shared O’Shaughnessy.
Employees must put in a certain amount of time under ES before Rodelle can convert them to their payroll. “We offer positions to the best, hardest working people,” said O’Shaughnessy. “When they get here, we make it known that they are being given the opportunity to move up in our company…and it’s the people who do the best that stay.”
O’Shaughnessy added that they are always looking for continuous improvement. “It’s nice to get new people in here who have a different point of view and that have creative ideas,” he said. “The best way to move up in our corporation is to be forward thinking.”
In addition, Rodelle recently restructured its commitment to safety. “We want to make sure that we are immersing new employees into our safety culture and that they are safe from day one, hour one,” explained O’Shaughnessy. In doing so, a newly formed safety committee meets with all new hires to cover the company’s safety culture, including a tour of the facility and an explanation of food quality and expectations. “Yesterday marked 420 days without a recordable injury!,” boasted O’Shaughnessy.
And, the cherry on top for Rodelle employees? Taste testing! “There are a lot of people in the company who are into baking and a perk of working here is experiencing the test kitchen in baking and taste tests,” shared O’Shaughnessy. “There are lots of baked goods around all of the time!”