Food Market Hub (FMH), a fast-growing startup that offers procurement solutions for F&B businesses, has appointed former Nike Recruitment Manager Eleonora Valenti as its new Head of People and Culture.
Eleonora has over 10 years of experience in HR & recruitment and has worked for several world-renowned companies. Before joining FMH, Eleonora was part of Mindvalley, an EduTech company with over 12 million students worldwide, where she first managed the Talent Acquisition team to expand the organisation, and then led the whole People & Culture team to prepare the company for growth and IPO. Prior to Mindvalley and moving to Malaysia, she was part of the Nike HR team at the EMEA Headquarters, where she had several roles ranging from recruitment, employer branding, talent development and talent management.
Next to being a passionate People & Culture Manager, Eleonora is also a certified Career and Leadership Coach.
We spoke with Eleonora about her plans at FMH.
What made you decide to join Food Market Hub?
My career is a bit like a shrimp; it moves in the opposite direction of what people usually do. Most start their career in smaller companies and then go to multinational corporations but what I am doing is the opposite. All the companies I have worked at had a great culture, but things were already set and it was very normative. I have always had a lot of ideas about developing and shaping a company’s culture, and I want to be a part of the journey of building a great culture; Food Market Hub, being an ambitious and fast-growing startup, is the perfect place for me.
During my interview with Food Market Hub, I had a chat with the founders, Anthony and Shayna, and noticed that not only do the founders have a strong vision but they were also open to my ideas. I have spoken with many founders in different types of industries and this is not something to be taken for granted. I also got the opportunity to converse with the investors before deciding to join; they told me why they chose to invest in FMH, the opportunities, and the advantages in the market for FMH. These factors made me eager to join FMH.
What do you hope to achieve as the Head of People & Culture?
We believe FMH has huge potential to be a key player in the F&B industry, and in order to create a great company, you have to create a product that works, a product that customers love. And just as important, or even more importantly, a company with a great environment for people to be a part of. So the objective is to keep improving our work environment.
My own challenge and what I am excited to do at this fast-growing company is to build a company that people are proud to work for and love to be a part of. Of course, as a relatively new company, there is still a lot to do but it also means that there are blank pages for us to create the future.
Looking at the current company culture, what do you think about it?
In a company that grows very fast, there are often a lot of challenges or pressure – I have seen that too many times. However, I notice that the Foodies, what we call the people at FMH, are very energetic and curious, the team is also highly diverse and they are always open to growth, which I do not often see in other companies. I believe we should leverage that aspect.
Ultimately in the long run, what kind of culture would you hope to cultivate within the company?
Improving the employees’ experience at FMH needs a combination of a few efforts. First is what the HR team can do to create a positive experience. This starts right from onboarding, we want to make it more informative. Other than that, we want to be more connected, even in this situation where we work remotely. We would like to encourage more participation in meetings or online gatherings, and in finding solutions together as a team. Next, we are also looking into providing more competitive benefits.
We are expanding aggressively to other countries in Asia, what are your strategies to make sure that we are hiring the right talents?
As the first step, what I have started doing is expanding the recruitment team.
Secondly, and the most important part of the strategy, is to elevate our company as a brand. As a relatively new company, raising our profile is fundamental because we want to attract the right people. We see a lot of brands doing this through social media but it should not be limited to that. I believe in improving the whole process; even the way the interview is structured can tell a story.
With so many companies and opportunities out there, how do talents decide which company to go for? When we look at the companies’ websites or LinkedIn, it always says the same thing, it says “We Are Hiring” but who is this “we”? In the current landscape, people care about who they work for, what kind of impact you have with your work and how it affects your life.
What I would like to emphasise is the unique thing about being a part of FMH – which is a combination of having a passion for growth, having the opportunity to make an impact in the F&B industry, taking risks and playing a pivotal role in building a great team. As our Foodies help to grow our mission, FMH hopes to grow their careers to the next level.
Lastly, we want to make recruitment more scalable and organised. It is a challenge when you are growing so fast in many different countries at the same time.
Can you tell us what kind of vision you have for FMH? How do you plan to implement it?
Apart from our product, another unique value we have is the role of sustainability that we play and the impact we have on F&B business owners and the environment. Our service alone is in line with the UN’s SDG (Sustainable Development Goals)—very few companies are actually contributing to them—especially on Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action. The amount of food waste Food Market Hub can reduce is incredible & we need to talk more about that.
Together with the whole team, the ambition is to be a great innovator in SEA and revolutionise the way F&B Businesses run their backend operations.
Food Market Hub is a fast-growing startup; the ideal work environment for people who are looking to develop and stretch their careers rapidly. Connect with Eleonora on LinkedIn or visit FMH’s Career Page to check out our opportunities.