With 2012 now well underway, we are back in full swing in the market for FMCG sales professionals.
Typically January tends to be planning mode for a number of organisations, however the start of a new year often stirs movement among candidates. As a result, we are currently experiencing fluid market conditions.
Opportunity and demand remains at the direct customer management level with National Account Managers and Account Executives the most frequent roles to be appointed externally across all major channels. Companies are finding it particularly tough attracting candidates to grocery account management roles as the challenges in dealing with the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths continues. This is especially prevalent in smaller FMCG businesses that are perhaps the second and third players within their category, as the strategy to drive private label remains key with retailers. The resultant trend is that an increased number of candidates are looking to pursue non-grocery sales options or make a change out of the FMCG sector entirely to alternative industries such as sport, entertainment and media.
Other key hotspots for talent remain around category management, activation and shopper / consumer insights management. As this expertise continues to develop at retail level, as does the demand for suppliers to increase their capability, level of sophistication and value adding to the customer in these particular areas. The majority of positions of this nature tend to be additional resource with international experience with the major retailers extremely well regarded.
Overall, higher activity levels are being experienced within core consumer areas eg - food and beverage and household items however, there is still an element of risk adversity in the candidate market.
In order to differentiate and attract key talent, companies need to be transparent around, and actively promote the progression, balance and career scope opportunity that individuals regard as most important reasons to make a change.