How we created an award-winning partnership


Writer & Blogger


Part of Kerry Foods (Meats & Ready Meals) was sold to Pilgrim’s in 2021 and as part of that process, they were establishing a TA function to manage the division. With a Head of TA in place and existing Kerry TA members moving over in the transition, a need was identified to partner with a supplier to provide additional support and headcount. Following the success of eSift’s work with Kerry Foods, we were invited to present our agile solution as part of a tender process, which would support and address a variety of challenges including:

  • Relieving the pressure of day-to-day recruitment from internal recruiters enabling them to partner more effectively with stakeholders.
  • Volume hires – initially beginning with 180 operative roles and 57 salaried roles.
  • Supporting the operational business throughout the change.
  • Moving from the existing ATS and HR software
  • Roles range from operatives to corporate functions e.g. sales, marketing, research and development etc.
  • Sourcing a new ATS that can remain agile for an interim period – eSift had previously worked with JobAdder and implemented this to a number of clients. We felt this would be the suitable solution given its flexibility.


The agility of our Recruitment on Demand service as a proven embedded solution (utilising a remote workforce) for transformation, volume hires and emergency resource, led to us being awarded the business and we began working with Pilgrim’s Food Masters in September 2021. Unlike more traditional RPO services, the client is in control without being tied into a lengthy contract, with the benefit of scaling up or down the resource.

The expected outcome of the partnership was to deliver on the day-to-day recruitment needs whilst providing a scalable and agile solution that could be embedded into the existing TA team. eSift were also expected to support in the transition, managing stakeholders and key business areas whilst reducing reliance on agency spend across permanent hires.


Following on from successfully being selected, we set about building a true partnership. This began with an Account Director being assigned to the project to oversee the introduction of JobAdder and gain an understanding of all internal processes. Another eSift team member was assigned to support the existing TA team with support on advertising, creating content for internal comms (including streamlining internal applications with the use of QR codes) and providing any additional support. We scheduled in weekly meetings to track progress and once ready, introduced the consultants who would be assigned to the project.

We began by taking on the critical business areas, including operative hires across 3 core sites in London and 1 site in Shillelagh, Ireland. This involved strategic meetings with temporary staffing agencies and the wider HR team to ensure that through the transition, the business still received the same service levels they experienced whilst with Kerry.

Since the start, our consultants (both of whom have now been embedded in PFM for over a year), have become a core part of the TA team, attending weekly meetings on site (or remote), taking part in assessment centres, taking on projects for early careers and the inception of a Shared Services function and have even been a part of nomination, shortlist and bronze achievement for other awards.

Amanda (Pilgrim’s) and Lauren (eSift), have developed a transparent and successful relationship, ensuring that they continue to work in unison to achieve the wider goals of the business. With any service, there is always room for challenges but at the same time, growth, and development. Where there have ever been any concerns from PFM regarding the service or the consultants, these have been communicated and dealt with successfully, as quickly as possible to avoid any impact on the day-to-day operations.

Although the Account Director and the additional support from the initial stages of the project have since withdrawn from day-to-day operational delivery, they have remained a core part of weekly catch ups, celebrations, offsite events and have continued to develop lasting relationships with the PFM TA team, as though we are all one business.

The beauty of the service model and the relationships built, means that to any stakeholder within PFM, any external supplier or candidate, the eSift consultants are viewed as employees of PFM and part of the team. This in turn creates a consistent experience for hiring managers and candidates alike.


By October 2021, we were successfully integrated into the internal TA Team, with support across both the salaried and operative divisions of the business. The immediate need was to ensure that all operative roles across three main sites in London were supported, this included presenting daily reports to the operations and HR team of the sites regarding live roles, interviews, offers, hires and successful inductions.

In January 2022, the Attleborough site was taken over as a focused project, this required the team to work closely with the operational team on site and recommending improvements to drive talent into the pipeline. A relationship was built with the temporary staff supplier, to ensure successful conversion of temp to perm within agreed timescales. This resulted in 83 hires into the site to this day.

In August 2022, a Shared Service function was created (Pilgrim’s Shared Services – PSS), this was a new division of the organisation and by January 2023, 36 roles had been filled with £94,500 saved in direct hires.

Across the salaried hires, 141 roles have been filled and over £192,000 has been saved to date through direct sourcing, avoiding agency usage. This includes senior hires with savings of £14k+ per role.

Alongside the cost savings, the support of the eSift team, has enabled the core team to focus on their day-to-day objectives, including launching the Pilgrim’s Food Masters website and a successful early careers intake.

Possibly the best result yielded, is the way in which the eSift team have integrated with the PFM team, creating a fluid and collaborative approach and ensuring that to the outside world, they all represent one team under one brand. We have received some excellent feedback (please see supporting document) and are thrilled to still be working in partnership, 17 months later.


“Pilgrim’s Food Masters have partnered with eSift for the past 18 months and I can honestly say that it has been an absolute pleasure to work with them. The professionalism they show from their Account Managers, to experienced recruiters is exemplary. We have formed a unique relationship where we have relied on their skills and experience to assist us with volume and salaried recruitment. The dedication and commitment by the team at eSift is fabulous. I know that PFM are looked after and I absolutely see eSift employees being an extension of our team. Thank you for working with us and I look forward to a continuing relationship with you all.”

Amanda Asher, Head of Talents – Pilgrim’s Food Masters

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