Election Year Hiring Slump? Not for CPG Executives

CPG companies keep hiring no election year slumpIn an election year, the word goes out: hiring is in a slump. But for consumer packaged goods companies seeking top marketing and market research talent, the election year hiring slump appears to be a myth. And, a dangerous one, at that!

True, reports about election year paralysis make headlines.

Bloomberg News cited the Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook poll, stating that “almost half of U.S. financial managers are slashing hiring or spending plans as political uncertainty weighs on the business outlook during the election year.”

The New York Times reported studies that show a “decline in deal making and ‘hard-to-undo’ investments which dampen growth” and, presumably, hiring.

But these are broad brush strokes, across industries and workforce categories. The sentiments may be tinged by uncertainties over labor policies, such as minimum wage, or risks associated with highly regulated sectors.

It’s risky to buy into myths and hype.

Our experience over the past five presidential election cycles – from 2000 to 2016 – has shown no election-related slump in hiring momentum for CPG marketing professionals. The one exception occurred in 2008 when the entire economy was in free-fall.

Top talent doesn’t wait – even for the President! The best CPG candidates are always in demand and move quickly to accept the right offer. Hiring managers who “wait it out” risk missing opportunities to hire the candidate for their team, their strategy and their long-term growth.

What are the lessons learned?

Regardless of election cycles, business will always operate in uncertain times. CPG companies and others in consumer-driven industries, while mindful of risks, should maintain a healthy approach to building their teams with talented professionals on a continuous basis.

A case in point: In the same Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook poll, executives also ranked the difficulty hiring and retaining skilled employees as their second-biggest concern, up from fifth last year.

Even if there is no net job growth projected in your strategic plan, there are always opportunities to improve your talent pool and attract top performers with the skills and experience to drive growth.

The experienced executive recruiters at O’Connell Group can help you assess the talent landscape in CPG and other consumer-driven industries. Contact us to discuss your strategy and hiring plans.