August 18, 2021

6 Key Insights from our Fireside Chat with Recruiting Expert Jennifer Britton.

Last week we sat down for a ‘fireside chat’ with consumer goods and retail recruiter Jennifer Britton of Versique, a recruiting firm based in Minneapolis, MN. Prior to her recruiting career, Jennifer spent more than 15 years in retail and CPG, holding roles such as Category Manager, VP of Business Development and National Account Manager at companies including Colgate Palmolive and Crayola. She is a CPG professional that now does recruiting – which makes her so successful in filling roles she herself once held.

During the discussion we reviewed the state of the retail, and specifically the category management and shopper insights job market today, what skills retailers and CPGs are looking for, how important eCommerce experience is, some tips for navigating ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), and more.

Below are some of the key insights shared on the webinar.

1. The biggest challenge facing the CatMan and SI job market today is that retailers have still not fully returned to their offices. An understanding of what resources are currently needed at the retailer level, and consequently the manufacturers that serve them, is a bit of an unknown as teams remain remote or hybrid.

2. The most common job postings currently in the market are for those with 3-4 years of experience. These candidates are not necessarily manager level yet, but are individuals that don’t require much training to run and share category and shopper insights analysis. Lateral moves vs. promotions are more common given the limited ability to train and develop new hires remotely.

3. It’s a job to find a job; treat it as such. Reading each specific job description and tailoring your resume to each by using the same specific words and terminology, without being inaccurate, will increase the likelihood of being recognized by an ATS (Applicant Tracking System).

4. The definition of a ‘flexible’ work environment has changed and differs for every candidate and company. Be honest and upfront about the expectations for hybrid work both as a candidate and as a recruiter/hiring manager. In person interviews are starting to come back, but typically happen later in the process, right before the offer stage.

5. Shopper insights is typically a function one enters later in their career vs. entry level. Business maturity is required to recognize the most important insights, use data to support one’s opinions, and flag implications to other functions like marketing and sales. These roles also tend to require deeper knowledge of different data providers that comes with industry experience.

6. A basic understanding of how digital and eCommerce have changed your category and/or your shopper is table stakes in retail careers today. Any experience working with Amazon – or another retail account whose dot com business is integrated into that team’s responsibilities – will be valuable in the long run. But recency of experience is nearly just as important, as the landscape changes so quickly the knowledge gained may be outdated sooner than other skillsets.

Our full interview with Jennifer Britton is available now to all CMA|SIMA members through our Member Resource Library. Login here to access it now.

Not a member yet? Reach out for to Suzi Wirtz ([email protected]) to learn how you can get access to great content like this as a member of the association.