2019 Report on Talent Trends in the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry
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About this Report
2018 has been an exciting year in the CPG industry. Macro-economic factors such as a growing U.S. economy, a strong labor market, and low inflation have contributed to an increase in consumer spending—naturally leading to an increase in the sales of consumer packaged goods. The boost in consumer confidence has led to many CPG companies expanding their global reach, implementing innovative business practices, and continuing to reshape their sales and marketing strategies.
1. Why Growing Companies are Appealing to Talent
In the eyes of CPG talent, smaller companies with potential for rapid growth are far more appealing than the large and established companies. Below are some of the reasons why today’s CPG talent is more attracted to smaller companies.
› Get in on the Ground Level
Part of the allure of smaller companies is the opportunity for talent to get in on the ground level. Especially for higher up talent who can negotiate stock into their compensation package. Small CPG companies are typically playing the short game. Get to market, disrupt big-time players within that market, acquire a committed and loyal base of customers, and then get bought out by a larger company or PE firm.
When smaller companies pull that off, the talent that helps them get there reaps the benefits.
› Larger Impact
Joining a smaller company allows CPG talent to make an immediate and profound impact. This element of a small company is particularly appealing to individuals who extensive corporate experience who know all to well how a person can get lost in the corporate vacuum.
› More Fun
We hear from CPG talent all the time who say they are looking for a smaller company because it will be more fun. Fair or not, smaller companies have a reputation for a positive relaxed work-life balance, a more progressive and relaxed company culture, and a contagious sense of camaraderie.
› Ability to Build Processes
Another appealing element to joining a growing company is the ability to build up and develop business processes. Typically, smaller companies will have less-established processes, enabling talent to influence, revise, or outright rebuild how a company approaches the market.
› Level Playing Field
Many of the growing CPG companies are taking advantage of how e-commerce is creating an equal playing field between the established players and the up-and-comers. While in the past, CPG companies required the partnerships of retailers to get their products into the hands of consumers, today companies are able to market and sale directly to their consumers.
The level playing is appealing to CPG talent, as the risk of joining a smaller company is not quite as dangerous as it was in the past.
2. Some CPG Talent is Switching Jobs to Avoid Relocating
Relocation has always been a part of the gig for CPG professionals. Employees that were doing good work and demonstrated potential would get promoted as quickly as every 18-24 months. Not all promotions required an employee to relocate, but a good chunk of them did. For talent with families, or talent who have landed in an area they love, all the relocating can be taxing.
A big driver of talent movement in the industry is a consequence of CPG talent not wanting to move. We’ve met with plenty of candidates who are looking to switch companies so that they can remain in the market they’re currently working, as opposed to accepting the next promotion for their company—and the relocation that will be attached.
We are seeing some companies combat the resistance to relocate with flexible work schedules. For certain candidates, companies will offer the ability to work remotely so that an employee can remain living where they are. Others offer a split-living situation, where talent works Monday-Thursday at the location of the new job, and then flies back home every weekend.
3. Talent Wants Commitment to Training & Development
Another driver of talent movement in the CPG space is a search for a company that is committed to training and development. This is a big-time driver for ambitious talent who wants to accelerate their career. If their dream job requires them to be cultivate and master a number of skills they don’t presently have, they will look for a company that will help them develop those skills.
CPG talent is attracted to companies that invest in their careers. By providing employees with vital training and education, companies can demonstrate their commitment to helping their employees reach their career goals.
There are a number of advantages for companies who invest in developing their employees, including:
- – Drive Employee Retention: By providing employees with the training and education they need to advance their careers, companies increase employee retention as their staff won’t need to switch jobs in search of the training and development.
- – Increase Recruiting: Offering training and education to employees makes a company more appealing to work for. Especially for talent that is frustrated with their current company’s lack of career development.
- – Grow Collective Knowledge: As a company teaches their staff new skills, their collective knowledge of the company at large increases. The more knowledgeable a company’s staff is, the better served a company’s customers will be.
4. 3 Reasons to Use a Specialized CPG Recruiter for Your CPG Talent Search
When hiring managers or candidates think about working with recruiters they sometimes cringe, thinking, “Why would I work with someone who has no understanding of the job they’re recruiting for?” In the world of recruiting, that’s exactly what separates the good recruiters from the bad and gives those good recruiters a leg up in the industry. Having personally worked in the CPG industry for many years, our team knows there are three major perks of using a specialized recruiter.
1. Representing your Brand
What would you do if you were hiring a National Account Manager and the person you interviewed didn’t understand how to create a forecast, why promotional planning important, how to utilize a marketing team, or even what P&L stands for? How seriously would you take them? I hope you would say they’re simply not qualified for the position.
So why would a recruiter who doesn’t know the first thing about Consumer Packaged Goods be qualified to recruit for roles in that industry?
The first question many candidates ask is, “How serious is your client about adding someone new to their team?” That question is usually followed quickly by, “Will they move quickly through the process or are they just feeling out the market?”
Imagine the impression your company will make when our team says, “They’re serious enough that they have engaged the services of a specialized CPG recruiter from an agency with more experience than any other in the space.” It’s all about the candidate experience.
2. Who Applied vs. Who’s Available
Hiring managers often say, “We want to see what traffic we can get out of our own posting before we put it out to recruiters.”
Sure, there’s always a possibility you get a fantastic candidate to apply to the job, they get hired, and you ride off into the sunset with an amazing new employee. If everything could go that smoothly, who wouldn’t want to avoid a recruiting fee?
Before running off to post all your open positions, think about this: How much control do you have over who applies to your job posting? If you answered anything above 0%, I’ll have to congratulate you on your mind control powers!
My guess is that if you asked your CEO, he or she would want you to fill the position with the best talent available, not just the best person that applied to the position.
And if your CEO’s opinion doesn’t sway you, think about this: If you use a recruiter, you can compare candidates that apply to the position with those that a recruiter brings in. This should reassure you that you’re getting the best candidate available, not just the best that came across your posting and applied.
3. Saving time
Recruiters can save companies both time and money when it comes to attracting and hiring top talent to fill their open positions. The longer a position is open, the more money it costs the company. Working with a good recruiter will not only help you fill that seat faster, but it will help you fill it with the right person.
Additionally, if you are working with a recruiter who is an industry expert, you increase your exposure to solid candidates in the space. If your recruiter is dialed into the back channels of the market, their knowledge and expertise can mean the difference between landing the perfect candidate and watching them go to a competitor.