Consumer Products Segment Burst: Fall 2023

Consumer Products Segment Burst: Fall 2023

Consumer Products Segment Burst

In the new volume of Consumer Products Segment Burst, we explore the most recent trends in the sector. Click on the link or the image to download our Segment Burst as a .pdf file.

DE&I benefits of mixed sourcing strategies

Embracing cutting-edge digital tools and platforms enables companies to tap into a vast pool of talent quickly and efficiently. However, while digital tools are essential, they may not serve everyone.

Consumer products leaders must make sure that talent acquisition is not only optimised for mobile-savvy candidates but also inclusive of individuals who may face digital barriers.

For instance, as of 2023, it is estimated that 42 million Americans have no access to broadband, with rural households and low-wage workers using slow internet or having no internet connection at all.

Apart from being a matter of economic inequality, digital exclusion also concerns mature workers and persons whose special needs make it difficult to take part in an online – or gamified – recruitment process.  Researchers proved that certain tech-powered and gamified application processes pose serious difficulties for people with different types of disabilities and neurodivergent individuals.

As Pontoon’s Portfolio Lead Brandy Cline writes in her thought leadership article:

“Mixing offline and online sourcing channels is an excellent way to show that you care for both digital natives and adapters. While mobile optimisation is important for the success of hiring strategies, not everybody has access to mobile devices.”

To bridge the digital divide and accommodate all candidates, traditional hiring events and media campaigns are thus a key addition to online campaigns.

Job fairs, print advertisements, and community outreach programmes help connect with diverse talent pools that digital methods alone may overlook. All candidates, regardless of their digital access or abilities, deserve equal opportunities. As we discuss in this case study, integrating both strategies not only enhances efficiency but also reinforces a company’s commitment to DE&I.

Emphasising inclusion in recruitment practices fosters a workplace culture that values diversity. Tailored messaging, accessibility accommodations, and targeted outreach to underrepresented groups are integral to this approach.

The rising demand for digital innovators

Recent analysis of hiring trends in the consumer products industry suggests a growing demand for customer experience specialists, R&D scientists, innovation managers, and data science roles. At the same time, the need for roles such as merchandisers, warehouse clerks, and storekeepers is declining.

The consumer products industry is experiencing skill shortages in three key areas:

Consumer delight skills. These skills encompass a combination of research and development, marketing, and data analytics. They are crucial for understanding and meeting evolving consumer preferences.

Digital innovation skills. To be more responsive to the market, the consumer products industry needs to develop fresh skills in digital innovation, including those of managers, engineers, maintenance staff, data scientists, and operators. New technologies can include anything from robotic manufacturing to smart shelves. Equipped with sensors and Internet of Things solutions, smart shelves enable real-time visibility into the inventory, automatically monitoring stock levels and tracking product movement. The global smart shelf market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23%, reaching 11 billion USD by 2028.

Data-driven skills. Consumer products companies require a diversified range of digital capabilities, including data-driven decision-making and advanced analytics. These skills are essential for understanding and predicting consumer behaviour and aligning production and marketing efforts accordingly. Data skills are also essential for reinforcing supply chains. It is estimated that only 7% of consumer products companies have adopted advanced, data-driven approaches to supply chain management.

Leading consumer products companies are actively addressing these skill shortages by focusing on technology, research, and innovation, highlighting the industry’s need to adapt to changing market dynamics.

Pontoon’s role is to connect forward-thinking organisations with skilled professionals. By bridging skill gaps and aligning talent with industry demands, we contribute to the resilience and competitiveness of consumer products companies, ensuring they can adapt to the evolving landscape.

The advantages of hiring mature workers

As world populations continue to age, workforce dynamics are shifting, and the need for hiring mature workers becomes more pronounced.

In the US, 45% of workers will be +45 years old by the end of the decade, and employees older than 75 will make up almost an eighth of the workforce. This trend is particularly significant for the consumer products industry. Experienced talent is in high demand for companies looking to expand their presence, both locally and internationally.

Meanwhile in India, FMCG companies are actively seeking senior leadership talent to drive new product launches and expand their customer base. The economic landscape is evolving rapidly, and organisations recognise the unique benefits that mature workers bring to the table.

One major advantage of hiring mature workers is the wealth of practical knowledge they have accumulated over the years. They have experienced economic downturns, adapted to industry shifts, and navigated organisational changes, which makes them invaluable assets to any company. These experiences equip them to make informed decisions that benefit their employers.

Additionally, hiring mature workers can lead to reduced training costs. They often come equipped with a deep understanding of the industry and the job at hand, requiring less onboarding and training compared to younger hires. Finally, mature workers frequently offer more flexibility in their schedules, making it easier for consumer products companies to adapt to changing work demands and schedules.

Strategies for attracting mature workers  

  • Tailored job ads. Crafting job postings that emphasise the value of experience and transferable skills.
  • Network development. Collaborating with professional organisations and community groups supporting mature workers.
  • Age-inclusive language. Using age-neutral language in job postings. Dedicated training for hiring managers helps to recognise and address age bias in the recruitment process, promoting an age-diverse workforce.
  • Reskilling and upskilling programmes. Helping mature workers transition into new roles or industries by reskilling or upskilling, showcasing opportunities for growth and continued learning.


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