How can grocery attract and retain the best graduates?

April 2019
By: The Grocer 28/3/19, commented by Steve Simmance

How can grocery attract and retain the best graduates.docx

Another great story from The Grocer 28th March 2019, thank you Megan Tatum - attracting Graduates to the FMCG sector, although it meets with a heavy sigh!

In my 30+ years as a recruiter in the FMCG industry, I’ve sat in more Boardrooms debating the issue of labour force shortage with HR and MD leaders than I care to mention, banging the drum loud for manufacturers to wake up to the reality that we have a crisis looming!

The theme of the article isn’t new news I’m afraid.  For the past 12 years or more, our industry has ignored the graduate population and continued to fall woefully behind others in attracting young talent. Perhaps there are a select few who still participate at Milkround Graduate Fairs but it’s by no means at the same level of interest as it once was and when hundreds of Gradates flocked to our doors in search of a great career.

It’s not the fault of 400,000 young grads each year who are no longer interested in our comparatively poor pay scales and it’s not that we don’t offer ‘bring your dog to work’ days…the issue is we simply don’t have the sizes of functions any more to warrant extra manpower and associated cost. We don’t have the financial ‘fat’ in our margins to speculate and invest in grads so we don’t reach out to this population anymore. The SME’s are now hatching their own plans to attract small amounts of talent, they no longer rely on the Big Co’s to attract and develop FMCG know how…it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And those in recruitment will continue to bang the drum in favour of grad recruitment, and as an industry we will continue to question why we have no more talent coming into our talents pools at the requited volume but the bare fact is  the budget holders and the 'resource police' are doing nothing purposeful to reverse the crisis!

Oh, and another influential matter, try completing an automated graduate application form………talk about making it unrealistically difficult to join the club!

By Steve Simmance

More thoughts

Sooner or later, you’ll want to talk to us.

Guided by the candid approach of Steve Simmance, who has been an FMCG recruiter for over 25 years, we provide a true counterbalance to the norm, encouraging transparency and reality, factors so often missing in our industry today.

Talk to us