How AI Changes Hiring For CPGs

Is hiring for CPGs – consumer packaged goods – roles any different than hiring and sourcing in general?

So is it different?

Somewhat, yes.

First, by way of quick definition: CPG typically refers to merchandise that customers use up and replace on a frequent basis; examples include packaged foods and household items like Oreos and Tide. The CPG industry is one of the largest in America, with an annual value exceeding $2 trillion.

At the 35,000-foot level, hiring and sourcing for CPGs is similar to other industries and verticals. But CPGs also have a need for very specific skill sets, which we’ll address first.

Hiring for CPGs: Specific skill sets

Dan Louks, a recruiter based in Toledo, OH, responded to our query about hiring for CPGs in a Facebook recruiter group, noting:

“I used to source candidates for a major glass bottle manufacturer for quite a while. Most of their roles were pretty niche, requiring previous glass manufacturing experience. Ever tried finding Batch and Furnace Managers or Glass Scientists?”

When you get into this level of specificity, you have a couple of options:

Boolean searches (Louks’ Twitter handle is actually BooleanFool)
Job databases
Word-of-mouth or previous colleague referral from existing furnace managers

Since the last option isn’t what your boss wants to hear, you need some type of strategy.

The easiest approach is previous colleague referral. More common than “furnace manager,” for example, might be an associate brand manager at Procter and Gamble. Those are easier to source for than highly-technical roles. But in brand manager-type searches, you have a high volume of applicants. How do you cut through all the noise? One approach is to figure out who your employees have worked with in the past that they might recommend. That will instantly narrow your search. But that’s not always a possibility either, or their referrals might be very happy in current roles. At that point, it’s time to bring in the big tech guns.

Hiring for CPGs and AI screening

In high-volume CPG roles, tech makes a lot of sense. It will essentially reduce the time and increase the output simultaneously. Human searches aren’t that effective. Now, human context once the interview phases begin? That’s still vital. But for screening when hiring for CPGs, you need the ability to:

  • Scan and filter resumes, grading every candidate A, B, C or D in real time, all within your ATS dashboard.
  • Eliminate the need for unreliable manual screening.
  • Reach out to the best candidates in days, not weeks.

This is all about resume screening at scale, which can help with some hard-to-find hiring use cases in CPG by:

  • Improving quality of hire
  • Grading candidates in real-time
  • Screening every single candidate

While all three are important, the final one is where we often see the most praise from our customers. CPGs using Ideal achieve a 100% screen rate, often for the first time ever. Ideal’s resume screening software eliminates the need for unreliable manual screening, making sure no candidate is missed.

The bottom line on hiring for CPGs

Even entry level CPG roles usually have a strong starting salary. Some roles — say, a marketing manager for a popular paper towel brand or an assistant brand manager for peanut butter — will attract hundreds, if not thousands of candidates. AI screening and general AI for hiring can help in those situations. Massive challenges require tech for help. That’s the entire promise of tech in recruiting and hiring. It helps you do the things humans can’t yet do well at scale, like screen thousands of resumes and sort them into tiers.

If you’ve found yourself in such a context while hiring for CPGs, definitely consider testing out an AI approach soon.