The CPG Recruiting Market Has Changed. Have You?

Red question mark icon and symbol on a white cube concept for web faq and business contact center support on white background.The latest Business Roundtable survey hints that hiring may soften as this year goes on, as the economy performed below potential during the first quarter.

But business is cyclical – and a bump like this one does not change reality when it comes to recruiting the best consumer packaged goods talent: Top candidates will always be hot commodities.

The landscape will not be any less competitive, nor will your hiring challenges ease up, moving forward in 2016.

  • The best potential still lies with passive candidates.
  • A sense of urgency, communications and responsiveness are critical as you rein in A-level performers.
  • Candidates want to work for companies that offer quality leadership, growth potential, a winning reputation and the right cultural fit.

Find – and Sign – Passive Candidates

For most of your jobs, 75 percent of the people you want to hire aren’t even looking. They’re passive candidates. And for highly specialized and business-critical roles, this number balloons up to a full 95 percent. The best people are satisfied right where they are. You have to discover them and then “woo” them away from their current employers.

  • Talk to the 10 best people your company has hired recently. Ask them how they found their jobs. Find out how satisfied they were in their previous positions, how long their hiring process took, how happy they were with it, and why they accepted your offer. You need to understand why passive candidates change jobs before you can successfully recruit more of them.
  • Tap into niche recruiters. While you are tending to your day job, recruiters are doing theirs: maintaining and growing their network in the CPG industry by talking to top candidates daily.

Keep Candidates in the Loop

Candidate relationships matter. You need to build and leverage them. This includes being responsive, moving your hiring process along in a timely fashion, and keeping top prospects informed, every step of the way.

  • The best talent won’t hang around. Be ready to hire top performers before your competition snaps them up. They will see that you are serious about hiring the best people to meet your business goals.
  • Get to know your candidate as an individual. Be familiar with their resume and background before you meet them. Find common ground and build on shared interests.
  • Keep your timeline on track. Try to avoid any delays in getting back to candidates who are awaiting a decision from you. If something inevitable happens and it takes longer than planned, communicate this to your prospect. And by all means, respond promptly to all of their questions and requests.
  • Take advantage of technology. Use the latest tools to support and streamline your recruitment process, paying special attention to the candidate experience. Outdated methods, such as a lengthy application process or slow response time, will drive great candidates away even before you reach the interview stage.

Sell Your Culture

Top motivators for passive candidates to consider new roles include cultural and skill set fit, advancement opportunities, more challenging responsibilities, and a better work/life balance. Optimize and make them aware of your solid employer brand when it comes to these priorities.

  • Boost your brand. Especially among millennials, candidates want to work for companies that value their employees and promote a positive culture. If your brand falls short of their aspirations, you will fail to attract the highest achievers.
  • Build your social media presence. Create your own talent community. Start with your career website, job portal and LinkedIn – but this is only the beginning. Find your candidates where they “live” – on Facebook, via YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram, and on targeted sites for your industry and their interests. It’s all part of the relationship-building process.
  • Focus on your employee referral program. If you don’t already have one, you are long overdue. Who better to identify and reel in great talent than your current leading performers? Design a program that responds quickly to referrals and properly incentivizes the employees who supply them.

Partnering with a specialized recruiter to design your talent acquisition strategy will maximize your chances of success. The experts at O’Connell Group focus on building teams and brands for consumer-facing companies. Contact us today to set up a consultation.