blank img

4 Key Trends You Need To Know When Recruiting For The CPG Sector

Adrian Dixon

September 4, 2019

post featured image
Data-Driven Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Download

Are you wondering what the key trends in CPG recruitment are today?

Consumer packaged goods (CPG), products that customers use and replace on a frequent basis, is one of the largest industries in North America, valued at approximately $2 trillion.

Despite its prominence, the CPG sector often struggles with recruiting because it loses candidates to other industries. According to David Youngerman, founder of a CPG recruitment firm, “The CPG business is not perceived as that sexy. People coming out of the top business schools don’t see CPGs as desirable as it used to be versus healthcare, consulting, technology, and investment banking.” 

In addition, new delivery models driven by innovations in technology, supply chain management, and data analytics means the skill set required to be successful in the CPG industry is evolving and recruiting for candidates has to evolve along with it.

With these changes in mind, here are 3 trends you need to know when recruiting for the CPG sector.

1. Assessing the new tech-savvy and data-based skill set required for success

Traditionally, CPGs have been sold in brick and mortar stores and packaging was the differentiator for a product from its competitors.These days, advances in mobile technology, automated supply chain management, and data analytics have enabled the infrastructure for an increasingly important e-commerce channel with retail stores implementing a “click and collect” delivery model.

This means CPG employees like brand managers need to understand marketing data from multiple sources to geotarget and personalize coupons and loyalty program offerings, especially for frequently purchased products, often in real time. This new class of CPG employees need to be skilled in communication, relationship building, and product knowledge as well as be  technologically knowledgeable and data literate. 

2. Recruiting employees that reflect the consumer base

Much like any consumer sector such as banking and insurance, the CPG industry is prioritizing diversity and inclusion in their recruiting in order to create a workforce that reflects the demographics of its consumer base. In CPGs, a lot of the spending is driven by women, especially mothers, who make 85% of household purchases and have a spending power of $2.4 trillion. However, female leaders remain underrepresented in the CPG sector.

One important strategy that companies can use to attract the demographics they are looking for is to highlight their diversity and inclusion initiatives through employer branding. Another important strategy is to offer work-life balance through perks and benefits that may be especially desired by female candidates such as work from home days. 

3. Addressing high turnover through retention efforts

Within the CPG sector, a top concern most distribution and e-commerce companies is finding labour. This is compounded by the high turnover rates for the manufacturing and transportation industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the “quit” levels in manufacturing have been increasing over the years. Within the transportation industry, driver turnover rates have been as high as 95%.

Forward thinking CPG companies are addressing these high levels of turnover through retention efforts such as a structured onboarding process, training and development resources, mentoring programs, and more frequent performance feedback. With only 17% of Millennials polled ranked manufacturing as a top career choice, these retention efforts may be especially effective for attracting and retaining employees in today’s biggest workplace demographic.

4. Creating a competitive advantage through AI recruiting technologies

In a highly competitive candidate market and an average time to fill of 36 days, speed is everything. With high-volume CPG roles, reducing your time to fill by automating and optimizing time consuming recruiting processes through AI recruitment tech is a massive competitive advantage. 

AI resume screening allows you screen thousands of resumes and grade every candidate a A, B, C or D instantly. An AI-powered recruiting chatbot can provide real-time communication and further qualify candidates and set up preliminary interviews. This enables recruiters to contact the most qualified candidates within days and begin the relationship building process. 

While the CPG space is evolving through incredible advances in technology and data analytics, it faces its own recruiting challenges including finding employees with the skill set required to succeed in new omnichannel delivery models, recruiting employees who reflect and can better serve the consumer base, addressing high turnover through better retention strategies, and optimizing the recruiting process by adopting new AI recruitment technologies.

Recruiters who are aware of these key industry trends will create a significant competitive advantage by better targeting the most qualified candidates, creating a compelling employer value proposition, and drastically reducing their time to fill.