Recruiting activity in 2016 will surely reflect the outcomes from the CPG industry’s robust appetite for mergers, acquisitions and relocation activity within the last year.
Continued consolidation in the CPG industry, especially food, should increase the supply of candidates looking for a new opportunity. Yet, what would seem to be a bountiful candidate supply, in fact, heightens the challenge for hiring managers to sharpen their competitive recruiting edge and efficiently connect with candidates with top-tier CPG backgrounds.
According to the 2015 Interim Direct Hire Agency Benchmark Report, hiring became more competitive as 2015 progressed. “Fees as a dollar amount were the highest in years…while fees as a percentage were stable. This indicates that…companies [are] offering higher starting salaries to win top-tier talent over their competitors.”
These trends in the second half of 2015 are likely to continue. Even with an overall larger supply of candidates, the highly selective hiring market will focus on top talent. Companies should avoid becoming mired in resumes, and instead move quickly to identify and make a compelling offer to the best candidate. If not, a competitor is likely to sweep the great candidates off the market.
Five Resolutions for 2016
To succeed in hiring your candidates of choice, make these five talent strategy resolutions for 2016:
- Access a pipeline of strong candidates. Connect with niche recruiters who can give you an edge based on their relationships with stand-out professionals – before they are actively job-hunting.
- Ensure that there is clear alignment of your brand promise with the candidate experience. From their first interaction with your company through the successful offer, candidates for marketing and brand management jobs will be especially attuned to your employer brand.
- Use video – but do it right. Well executed multi-media messaging can engage a candidate at a deeper level, and video interviewing can build an instant connection.
- Arm yourself with reliable market intelligence. In addition to industry surveys, you can also benefit from recruiter insights about current salaries and trends in non-cash incentives they are seeing in “real-time” based on specific skills, categories and industries.
- Make fit a priority. You are not just hiring staff; you are building a team of people who must share common values and effectively work together toward common goals.
Candidates who “survived” a merger may not be job-hunting actively. But, they may soon find the new culture or location does not appeal to them. While perhaps not looking, they certainly will listen and potentially bite on the opportunity with the right fit, the most attractive offer and the most appealing growth potential.
Competition Across Categories
Consumer-facing companies in non-CPG industries be particularly challenged to find and engage well-rounded and diversified marketing talent – especially to fill new roles in innovation, global marketing and digital/e-commerce. They are competing to attract professionals with both the strong CPG foundation and the technical expertise whose skills they can leverage to build digital and e-commerce capabilities. Companies across multiple categories are also seeking talent who have demonstrated success and strong results in customer and shopper marketing.
The pace of acquisitions will continue and will influence the supply and demand for marketing talent. But the development of new innovation platforms will be the predominant trend in future CPG growth outside of acquisition. That will fuel the demand for talent with solid innovation experience (at all steps up and down the career ladder) through 2016 and beyond.
Strong candidates are in high demand and will have multiple offers. Their “candidate experience” with your company may be the tie-breaker. That’s why it is doubly important to choose strong partners who know the CPG talent market and will not only support your recruiting fundamentals, but help you be nimble and innovative in your hiring process. The recruiters of O’Connell Group stand ready to help you move faster and with greater competitive insight as you hire top talent in 2016. Please contact us to discuss your needs.