There's a popular opinion in the FMCG sector that food and drink products are generally the'fastest' and most demanding category of product to deal with. Professionals coming from outside the sector are sometimes dismissed for roles on the ground that they wouldn't be able to adapt to the pace of the sector.
This sense of urgency and precariousness is something professionals are sometimes encouraged to thrive on. These principles often carry over to a business' approach to recruitment - for most of my assignments, professionals are required ASAP, and hiring managers will stress the importance of the vacancy, whether it be a replacement or a newly created role.
Despite this, it's extremely common to encounter delays in the recruitment process. Managers are frustrated when ideal candidates aren't presented immediately. Candidates are frustrated when they're made to wait for weeks between interview stages, only to be asked the same set of questions by a different manager. For everyone caught up in these delays, recruitment can seem like the slowest part of FMCG. The hiring process can feel like a chore, where one party is always chasing after another for updates or progress reports.
It's important for all parties to recognise that some delays are unavoidable, but equally, it's critical that recruiters should take responsibility for offering solutions, and seek ways to improve the recruitment experience, whilst mitigating against delays.
There are deep-rooted flaws to all the recruitment solutions presently available to SMEs in the food and drink industry. At Spirit, we've spent the last year engineering a complete solution to address all these flaws, based on proper consultancy, superior candidate choice, more efficient service delivery, and a reduced overall cost. We're currently running trial projects with a handful of clients, and will be expanding the model to other customers in the New Year.
December is a time to reflect on the past twelve months and consider what next year may have in store. An important part of my role is to understand an individual's key achievements and successes to see what they can "bring to the table" in a new business.
In recent days I have spent time revisiting my conversations with NAMs telling me of their proudest sales achievements in 2015. They can be categorised into two key areas - based broadly on the type of business they worked for.
NAMs working for SMEs were, not surprisingly, proudest of their success in gaining new listings with major multiple retailers, this being a significant milestone for up and coming brands. It appears that 2015 was a surprisingly difficult year for winning new business in the retail arena, caused by a result of multiple range resets.
Range resets were a common theme with NAMs at larger companies too. Their key successes were often centred on retaining their current business, achieved largely through re-tendering and tough negotiation.
With major retailers putting the emphasis on simplifying their ranges, it's not a surprise that there were a few casualties along the way too. With more resets to come next year, it will be interesting to see how 2016 compares to 2015 in this area.
On behalf of Team Spirit, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a great 2016!