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Case Study: Barilla

Spotlight: B2C

Based in Palma, Italy, Barilla is an Italian family-owned food company and the 

world’s largest pasta producer. Established in 1877, it’s now an international 

Group present in more than 100 countries. Barilla believes that good food can

bring people together while creating a positive change in the world. 

A challenging brief, requiring a different perspective

28 placements over 3 years

Barilla first approached EMR back in 2020 when they were looking to diversify their

talent pool and build out their brand-new Business Acceleration Team (BAT) in London.

At the time, they had no UK presence, with everything based out of their headquarters

in Palma. EMR tendered for the work and were appointed on a retained and exclusive

basis. This was a very exciting and challenging project from the start; the BAT was an

innovative initiative and the brief from Barilla required EMR to approach this project from

a very different perspective. Before we even began the hiring process, we spent

considerable time with Barilla planning the recruitment project. Once we understood

their needs, we structured the whole team for them. We then used our niche market

knowledge and sector expertise to conduct an extensive headhunting exercise to find

and identify the best talent within FMCG and external industries. The roles on offer and

type of people sought were not your typical ‘cookie cutter’ profiles – we had to source

people who could effectively do jobs they had never done before, which meant

assessing candidates on their future potential and capabilities.


Culturally, Barilla have high-performing, ambitious, driven and very inquisitive staff, so

any shortlisted candidates also had to be the right fit for this innovative environment. It

was a complex brief, but EMR rose to the challenge and successfully hired the entire

team in the required timeframes before the BAT officially launched. The team has

already achieved some great things globally, such as Barilla’s Open Carbonara

inclusivity event, and a number of the candidates hired have since gone on to be

promoted.


The Business Acceleration Team covers a range of roles across digital transformation,

ecommerce, data science, content, social media, and advanced analytics and insight,

from director level down to associate/junior.

Guy Keeling, VP, Global Digital Commerce at Barilla Group, Said: 

I worked closely with Rebekah and the EMR team as we were putting together our digital centre of expertise in London. It was December 2020 and we were recruiting virtually, into a team that didn’t yet exist, in an office that was not yet built and the people we were looking for were entirely unlike anyone we’d ever hired before! Rebekah was superb at quickly understanding that we needed more than usual. Over a few weeks, we worked together to refine briefs and search criteria until we met the right people. As I write this in late 2022, I give great credit to Rebekah and the EMR team for the quality of the team that we have built and the dazzling array of talent that we have been able to bring into the business. I strongly recommend Rebekah to anyone who is looking for strong digital talent.

Roles we’ve recruited for include:

  • Project Managers
  • Mar-tech Managers
  • Content Managers
  • Data Scientists
  • Community Managers
  • Purchasing & Procurement Managers
  • Global Newsroom, Content & Social Director
  • Digital Shelf & e-Commerce
  • Global e-Commerce Content Manager

More Than Recruitment: Going Above and Beyond

Such was the extent of this hiring exercise, EMR became an extension of the 

Barilla team and more than just a recruitment company. As a trusted adviser, 

we facilitated interviews and help set tasks, supported with benchmarking 

advice and conducted regular market mapping exercises. We also coached a 

number of Barilla leaders with their own interviewing skills, as well as 

supporting with onboarding processes for the first three months. 

EMR even went above and beyond the traditional requirements of the project 

to help Barilla with sourcing their office in London. They didn’t have much 

knowledge of the city, so we helped advise on the best location to set up their 

London HQ. 


Due to the size and complexity of the project, EMR held regular update 

meetings with HR and senior leaders at Barilla to make sure timelines were 

being met. EMR was so successful with the recruitment project, that the entire

team was in place before the London HQ was ready. And so, in a very unique 

situation, the whole Business Acceleration Team started working remotely, 

before all going into the new office at the same time. 


EMR continues to work with Barilla on an exclusive basis, and we are proud to 

watch the BAT team and our relationship go from strength to strength. 

Lyndsay Weir, Chief Analytics and Insights Office,Barilla Group, Said:

I have been incredibly fortunate to work with Rebekah to help establish a very new team in the area of data science, analytics and engineering over the last six months. Not only does she deliver a really high calibre of candidates, but she does so in such a friendly, professional and warm manner. She has a deep knowledge of the data recruitment area. I think that a lot of the people who we have hired with her support, have been recruited due to her engaging and knowledgeable communication style, and the great rapport she builds with candidates. She is always quick to respond to a message, flexible to change asks depending on needs, and always there to help. I couldn’t recommend Rebekah more and am very excited to continue working with her as our team grows.

Interested in Working With Us?

We offer contingent, exclusive and retained solutions across permanent, temporary and contract requirements to provide you a complete recruitment service.

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