Mastering the Quest for Talent: Innovative Recruiting Strategies for Success in CPG Market

The blog explores the intricate landscape of talent recruitment in the CPG market, emphasizing the necessity of innovative strategies to navigate 2024’s digital transformation and sustainability demands. Drawing on the insights of legends and veritable research, it delves into the challenges and opportunities facing CPG companies, and advocates for a blend of technological advancements, ethical branding, and a deep understanding of consumer needs to attract and retain top talent.


As the consumer product goods (CPG) industry gears up for 2024, the spotlight has intensified on implementing a profitable volume strategy amidst the whirlwind of digital transformation and regulatory shifts, according to the 2024 Consumer Products Industry Outlook by Deloitte. 

At the heart of this strategic pivot lies a critical challenge: navigating the complex terrain of talent acquisition and retention. The challenge is not just about filling positions, but it is also about orchestrating a symphony of strategic initiatives across the CEO and board agendas, aligning resource allocation with the right business models, and leveraging cutting-edge generative AI technologies.  

What does this require? A nuanced understanding of the evolving labor market, where the demand for high-caliber talent in sales, marketing, R&D, finance, operations, and especially in data and analytics, is at an all-time high. Companies are now compelled to reassess their talent frameworks, questioning how to attract and retain individuals who can thrive in a landscape marked by new geopolitical realities, sustainability demands, and the burgeoning role of automation and AI.  

This blog seeks to dissect these multifaceted challenges, offering insights into crafting an incisive talent recruiting strategy for success in the CPG market that is not only responsive to the immediate needs of this industry but also visionary in preparing for the future’s uncertainties. We will explore how companies can leverage innovative recruitment strategies, foster a culture of continuous learning, and build a workforce resilient enough to navigate the shifts towards profitable volume, sustainability, and digital prowess. 

Expanding universe: CPG market overview  

Stats collated by SellerApp, an integrated platform for selling on Amazon which also serves as a veritable tool while conducting research, indicate a flourishing and competitive CPG market led by steady demand. The sector, given its immense scale, has a significant impact on the global economy. 

The CPG sector, valued at a robust US$ 2,060 billion in 2021, is anticipated to surge to US$ 2,808 billion by 2030, clocking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5%. The projected growth underscores its resilience and adaptability in the face of evolving consumer preferences and market dynamics. 

Every segment of the CPG industry – categories, distribution channels, and geographical reach – plays a pivotal role in shaping its future.  

By category, the food and beverage segment is poised for the highest growth, propelled by factors like perishability, burgeoning populations, and shifts in consumer habits.  

By distribution channels, the advent of digitization has transformed the space, with a significant shift towards online platforms. Online avenues are anticipated to record 8.3% CAGR from 2020 to 2027. The shift from online to offline is fueled by the convenience and reach of online marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart), Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) websites, and social media platforms, marking a new era in CPG retail. 

By region, as of 2021, North America led the global CPG market, with 35.2% share. However, Asia-Pacific is on the cusp of a significant surge, forecasted to rake in a 5.7% CAGR from 2020 to 2027, largely driven by the demographic boom in India and China. This indicates a potential realignment of market power in the coming years, highlighting the dynamic nature of the global CPG landscape. 

Transformative CPG industry trends shaping talent acquisition  

The CPG industry is undergoing a tectonic shift. According to market intelligence and search platform AlphaSense, premiumization, sustainability, and digital transformation are leading the charge. The unexpected tilt towards premium products across various categories, including spirits, cosmetics, and wellness, reflects a significant change in consumer spending habits, favoring luxury over traditional expenditure, and marking a strategic pivot for companies towards catering to higher-end market segments or maintaining affordability. Concurrently, sustainability has emerged as a paramount concern, with a vast majority of growth-oriented CPG companies committing to environmental initiatives, ranging from eco-friendly packaging to regenerative agriculture, despite the challenges posed by Scope 3 emissions and the financial hurdles in achieving net-zero carbon emissions. 

Simultaneously, the CPG sector is witnessing a digital renaissance, with increased technology investments aimed at enhancing the online shopping experience, from data-driven insights to innovation in product offerings. This shift towards digital is not only reshaping the retail landscape, offering a platform for digital-first brands, but also transforming the in-store experience to be more experiential. Furthermore, the growing consumer demand for personalized shopping experiences and the integration of omnichannel strategies underscore the need for CPG companies to adopt a more nuanced approach to retail, blending online and physical touchpoints seamlessly. These trends collectively signal a dynamic evolution in the CPG industry, driven by changing consumer preferences, the imperative for sustainability, and the opportunities presented by digital transformation, setting the stage for future growth and innovation. 

Talent acquisition in the CPG sector is transforming, driven by several emerging trends that are reshaping how companies attract, engage, and retain top talent. 

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI) in recruitment: AI is at the forefront of revolutionizing the recruitment process by automating routine tasks, enhancing data analysis, and improving candidate engagement. From generating dynamic job descriptions to deploying chatbots for initial interactions and employing advanced algorithms for screening applications, AI is making the CPG recruiting process more efficient and effective. While the potential of AI to refine talent acquisition is immense, it is important companies prudently navigate the challenges related to bias and data security, ensuring that the AI tools are used ethically and responsibly. 
  1. Blurring lines between consumer and employer brand: Today’s job seekers are looking beyond the paycheck; they are interested in what a company stands for. This shift has highlighted the convergence of consumer and employer brands, underscoring the importance of a harmonious brand image that reflects both the company’s market identity and its workplace culture. A strong employer brand not only attracts the right talent but also plays a critical role in employee retention and engagement. 
  1. Enhancing candidate experience with technology: The role of technology in creating a seamless and mobile-friendly application process cannot be overstated. The careers section of a company’s website is often the first interaction potential candidates have with the employer brand, making a user-centric design and functionality paramount. Organizations that leverage technology to provide an intuitive and engaging candidate experience will stand out in a competitive job market. 
  1. Prioritizing candidate experience: The journey from application to onboarding is a critical phase in the recruitment process, where clear communication, transparency, and respect are key to maintaining candidate interest and satisfaction. A positive candidate experience is instrumental in building a strong employer brand and can significantly impact a candidate’s decision to accept a job offer. 
  1. Generational diversity in recruitment strategies: With a multi-generational workforce, understanding and addressing the varied preferences and expectations of different age groups—from Baby Boomers to Gen Z—is essential. Tailored recruitment strategies that recognize these differences can enhance the inclusivity and diversity of the workplace, contributing to a more dynamic and innovative organizational culture. 

Solving the puzzle: Decoding CPG recruiting challenges 

Reports by top market research companies, such as HBR and McKinsey, as well as leading executive search service providers highlight the following recruiting challenges faced by companies in the CPG market: 

  • Battling high turnover rates: A pervading CPG industry trend is the high turnover rate among employees, which not only disrupts the seamless flow of operations but also affects team cohesion and morale. A high turnover creates a recurrent need for recruitment and training, incurring substantial costs and potentially diminishing the quality of products or services offered.  
  • Bridging the digital skills gap: As digital transformation accelerates across the industry, demand for professionals who are adept in data science, analytics, artificial intelligence, and process automation is soaring. Rapid technological advancements present a challenge in attracting and retaining individuals who possess these critical digital skills.  
  • Navigating the competitive talent landscape: As the quest for top talent in the CPG sector intensifies, companies are vying for professionals who not only possess the requisite skills but also have the ability to drive innovation and adapt swiftly to the shifting market dynamics. The impact of failing to secure such talent is significant, potentially causing organizations to lag in the competitive race.  

Understanding the latest CPG industry trends, numbers, and challenges is pivotal for staffing agencies and companies themselves in sculpting effective recruitment strategies. These insights provide a comprehensive overview of the market dynamics, including the evolving consumer preferences, technological advancements, and the competitive landscape for talent. For instance, recognizing the shift towards digital transformation and the premiumization of consumer choices allows recruiters to prioritize candidates with digital fluency and those who can innovate in creating premium product experiences. Additionally, being aware of the high turnover rates and the critical need for digital skills informs the development of targeted retention strategies and upskilling programs, ensuring that the talent pool not only meets the current demands but is also equipped to adapt to future industry shifts. 

Moreover, awareness of CPG industry trends empowers staffing agencies and companies to tailor their employer branding and candidate engagement practices more effectively. It enables the creation of a value proposition that resonates with the desired talent demographic, emphasizing aspects such as sustainability efforts, digital innovation, and personalized career development paths.  

Cutting-edge recruiting strategies for the modern CPG market 

Drafting strategies is never an easy job. But it gets a lot simpler if you know where to start. For the CPG sector, what could be a better starting point than delving into wisdom. 

Embracing Ogilvy’s legacy in CPG recruiting 

As we explore the transformative CPG industry trends, including the digital renaissance and sustainability, the wisdom of David Ogilvy, the ‘Father of Advertising,’ emerges as a guiding light. Ogilvy championed a deep understanding and respect for the consumer, principles that are remarkably applicable to the realm of talent acquisition today. He famously asserted that the consumer isn’t a moron but rather your wife, highlighting the necessity of empathy and insight into the audience’s needs and desires for successful advertising and, by extension, for effective talent recruitment. This ethos urges CPG companies to prioritize consumer-centric skills in their talent search, valuing expertise in digital marketing, data analytics, and customer experience management to ensure products resonate with the market’s evolving expectations. 

Moreover, Ogilvy’s emphasis on research, creative brilliance, ethics, and results in crafting messages that genuinely resonate with audiences offers a blueprint for innovation in talent recruitment strategies. He advocated for advertising that sells by being honest, innovative, and meticulously researched—a philosophy that translates into seeking talent that can navigate consumer trends, champion sustainable practices, and drive digital innovation. The alignment of a company’s employer brand with ethical practices and authenticity, as Ogilvy would have it, attracts candidates who not only bring the requisite skills but also share the company’s values, fostering a culture of trust, integrity, and consumer focus. By embedding Ogilvy’s principles into talent acquisition and development, CPG companies pave the way for a workforce that is not just skilled but deeply aligned with the mission to meet and exceed consumer expectations, thereby driving sustainable growth and innovation. 

The Josh Bersin Company’s Global Workforce Intelligence Project report also illuminates critical pathways for staffing agencies and CPG companies to refine their recruitment strategies amidst the industry’s rapid transformation.  

Drawing on all these insights, here are some suggestions: 

  • Embrace the digital revolution and focus on consumer-centric skills

Focus recruitment on skills related to IoT, robotics, process automation, and direct consumer engagement. 

Identify and attract talent with expertise in digital transformation to navigate the shift towards a more service-oriented and DTC approach. 

  • Harness talent intelligence for strategic HR

Use talent intelligence to gather data for decision-making around emerging skills and labor market trends. 

Develop and deploy systemic HR strategies that enable the acquisition and growth of talent capable of maintaining direct relationships with consumers. 

  • Bridge the skill gap with precision

Assess current workforce capabilities against future skill requirements. 

Identify skill gaps and plan for recruitment or reskilling to fill these gaps, particularly in digital supply chain management, sustainability, and consumer engagement. 

  • Innovate through research and development

Shift talent investment towards research and development to foster innovation and respond to consumer needs effectively. 

Recruit and develop talent that can contribute to creating core consumer offerings that attract and retain customers. 

  • Align recruitment with purpose and culture

Align recruitment efforts with the company’s purpose, focusing on roles that support a purpose-driven and employee-centric culture. 

Attract talent by promoting a strong employer brand that emphasizes meaningful work and a positive impact on society. 

  • Foster collaboration across functions

Establish a cross-functional Center of Excellence to integrate insights from various departments, including HR, finance, sales, and marketing. 

Focus on collaborative efforts to link people, skills, and company purpose, enhancing the overall talent strategy. 

  • Adapt with real-time insights

Utilize real-time data to adapt to nonstop disruption and changing external forces. 

Treat talent strategy as a continuous process, adjusting recruitment and development approaches based on the latest market and consumer trends. 

  • Cultivate an agile workforce: 

Develop a workforce capable of quickly adapting to new technologies and consumer trends. Emphasize agility in your recruitment messaging to attract versatile and dynamic candidates. 

  • Expand diversity and inclusion efforts

Diversify your talent pool by actively recruiting from a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives. This not only enriches the company culture but also enhances creativity and innovation in addressing consumer needs. 

  • Leverage employee advocacy

Encourage current employees to become brand ambassadors. Positive employee experiences can be powerful tools in attracting talent, as prospective candidates often value the testimonials of existing staff. 

  • Invest in employer branding

Strengthen your employer brand to reflect the values and opportunities your company offers. A strong employer brand that resonates with the desired talent pool can significantly enhance attraction and retention efforts. 

  • Implement skills-based hiring

Take a skills-based hiring approach that focuses on candidates’ capabilities rather than solely on their educational background or previous job titles. This can help uncover hidden talents with the capability to contribute to innovation and growth. 

  • Enhance candidate engagement with technology: 

Use advanced recruitment technologies for a more engaging and efficient hiring process. Technologies like AI-driven assessments and virtual reality (VR) tours of the workplace can provide candidates with unique insights into the company and its culture. 

  • Promote continuous learning and development: 

Highlight opportunities for professional growth and development within the company. A commitment to continuous learning is appealing to candidates who are looking to advance their careers and stay abreast of industry developments. 

  • Seek assistance of experts:  

Sometimes even the most seasoned professionals can hit a blind spot in preparing an effective blueprint for strategic talent acquisition. This is where staffing and recruitment experts, like VBeyond Corporation, come in. We provide end-to-end recruiting solutions, services, and intelligence, and support in hiring the top talent in the field.  


The CPG market is rapidly evolving, underscored by the imperative for companies to adapt to the shifting paradigms of consumer preferences, digital transformation, and sustainability. As firms strive to navigate the complexities of CPG recruiting, the integration of consumer-centric approaches, innovative recruitment technologies, and a focus on ethical branding emerges as a pivotal strategy. This not only enhances the attractiveness of companies to potential candidates but also ensures the cultivation of a workforce capable of driving forward the mission of meeting evolving consumer needs with agility and innovation. 

The best way forward is to imbibe and implement the lessons drawn from the intersection of wisdom and modern recruitment practices. Only then can companies and consumers alike emerge as the ultimate beneficiaries of the strategic alignments. 

Elevate your talent acquisition strategy with expert guidance tailored to the CPG industry’s unique challenges. Connect with our team today to discover how we can help you build a consumer-centric, innovative workforce poised for success

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