It’s no secret that in the consumer products industry talent is difficult to find in almost every department from supply chain to general operations. Hiring a consumer products recruitment professional is a step towards guaranteeing you interview qualified candidates, but even search professionals face a mountain of challenges when looking for talent. Understanding the hurdles a recruiter faces will help you set realistic expectations for a new hire and recognize a recruiter’s worth to your hiring process.
There is a shortage of candidates
Simply put, there are not enough qualified applicants for many CPG positions. This matter is thanks to large CPG companies letting people go, automating more and training fewer recent graduates. Big corporations such as Kellogg's, P&G, and Pepsico are all downsizing. Fewer people are being given the crucial work experience to mold potential employees, and less pursue this career due to companies streamlining their personnel. Consumer product recruiters are doing their best with a talent pool that is drying up.
The may not have the right qualifications
Once a recruiter has begun gathering talent the next key struggle presents itself: the applicants lack necessary skills for CPG jobs. There is less nurturing of fresh college graduates from big corporations, so there fewer talented professionals to trickle down to small and mid-size CPG companies. Furthermore, the industry is constantly changing due to technology and social media advances. The required specialized skill set is difficult to find within the limited candidates applying for a CPG job.
Graduates are not attracted to CPG jobs
Although students are graduating from top business schools every year, they have their sights set elsewhere than a CPG. Millennials tend to gravitate towards technology, computing, and media-related jobs much faster than a CPG brand or marketing position. Tech jobs are viewed as more exciting and full of career opportunity. Recruiting for a consumer group is much more challenging when a person is dead-set on working for Google.
Candidates don't fit the company culture
Company culture has serious implications on hiring new talent. Some workers might enjoy the job security a large corporation offers, whereas Millennials desire to help mold and leave their “mark” on a business while being employed in a smaller company. Furthermore, some applicants may see startups as an amazing opportunity, and others will see it as a sinking ship. If an applicant just left a huge enterprise, hiring them into a fledgling business will be a huge shock their system and they will likely be unhappy. Finding an applicant that fits into the pre-existing company culture is a stressful part of the CPG recruiting process.
Retaining workers in CPG companies
Hiring without considering the company culture will lead to high turnover which is another complication in recruiting for consumer products companies. Since there is a war for talent in all sectors, VCPG firms need to hold on to their valuable human assets to achieve success. To keep workers, your team needs to feel valued and trusted with new responsibilities. This is especially important with millennial new-hires who demand to do exactly what they dream of doing right out of the gate. Hiring the best employees is great, but only if your company can keep them.
Finding an applicant that exceeds expectations in the current employment conditions is difficult for consumer product recruiters. It’s important to understand the current state of the CPG talent pool and to be realistic with company expectations when hiring in Consumer Product Companies. Working closely with a recruiter is one step in the right direction to avoid these five key challenges.