Get to Know Michael “Woody” Sherwood

Posted on September 30, 2022

If you’ve been looking for a career in food service in Toronto, you may have worked with Michael Sherwood, or as we know him: “Woody.” Woody joined the MSG team in December 2020 and specializes in recruiting for the food and beverage space, whether it be quick service, restaurant, operations, sales, finance, or marketing, to name a few.

We talked to Woody about the changes in the F&B industry over his 15 years as a recruiter. He said he’s never been busier. Many of the quarter million people who left the industry during COVID are starting to come back. He’s also excited to work in this industry now when post-secondary food services programs have reopened post-COVID and are turning out many new graduates for the job market.

He’s also noticing that work-life balance is a non-negotiable requirement for many candidates, a “perk” that many traditional employers in this space haven’t fully adopted yet. However, employers are starting to offer incentives, such as ski passes and show tickets as a perk of the job. He notes it’s been challenging to hire for culinary careers, but employers who offer good salaries, bonuses, and work-life balance can more often pull from a larger talent pool.

Woody has changed how he recruits for F&B jobs in our new job market. He’s doing more “traditional headhunting,” where he seeks out candidates on LinkedIn or by approaching someone already employed, rather than posting a job and waiting to see who applies. This creates an excellent opportunity to form authentic relationships with candidates and clients so he can make the best matches possible.

He also recently started meeting more candidates and clients in person over lunch or coffee, something he missed doing when everything was done virtually during the pandemic:

I can judge character pretty quickly in our world by meeting face-to-face. That ‘traditional stuff’ like the handshake and look in the eye really matters.”

Woody likes to remind candidates that these “traditional” responses and actions matter, even today. So do important interviewing basics like being prepared! Always do your homework on a potential employer so you can align your skills with their organization’s values, requirements, and the job description. Stop hiding behind a video screen, get out there, and make an excellent first impression.

Learn more about Woody and the roles he’s seeking to fill right now.