The Fast Moving Consumer Items (FMCG) industry deals with retail goods that have a limited shelf-life due to massive consumer demand and fast degradation of products. This industry produces particularly perishable commodities, smaller domestic and cosmetic items, and personal hygiene products. Here is a brief look at the HR side of the FMCG industry along with challenges HR in this industry may deal with.
According to a report by Michael Page, the FMCG industry, particularly in Singapore, has the 4th highest hiring activity expectancy in 2021. Job types for this industry include Technology, Sales & Marketing, Finance and accounting, Logistics & supply chain, and Human resources. Employees working within the industry can expect an average annual salary increase by 2% this year, which becomes the third-highest rise compared to other industries. The high demand for FMCG goods makes the market very promising, thus HR leaders in this industry need to build an agile workforce to keep the business running. Sustainable strategies in terms of employee payroll, retention, and recruitment should be put as a priority.
Nevertheless, challenges are bound to happen, including in the face of the FMCG industry. Here are some of them:
Remote vs Onsite Working
Maintaining culture and value with a decentralized workforce is a difficulty faced by the FMCG industry during COVID 19 pandemic. While some divisions, including HR, can go for a remote working policy, operational division cannot simply do the same. Wipro Unza’s Regional Group HR Director, Maansi Gagroo Jain, explained how the FMCG industry can sustain itself amidst this hardship. In an interview, she said that the pandemic demonstrated how this industry is capable of efficiently operating remotely and efficiency issues were successfully addressed. The rapidity with which communication and information flowed between nations, regional offices, and the corporate headquarters was a source of strength and reinforced a sense of oneness. This information flow chain is applied to all activities, from human resource practices to supply chain management to new product development.
The FMCG industry has one of the highest employee turnovers compared to other industries, found Globoforce research. This makes employee retention a challenge for HR in this industry. Goal completion incentives are one of the efforts that companies can use. However, if allocating more budget for incentives may harm the financial department, other ways need to be done. Clear objectives and training are necessary so that employees may grow and help the company succeed. Some of the training that companies may use for growth include effective communication classes, personality development classes, and other training.
Keeping Up with Advanced Technology
Today’s consumer lifecycle is increasingly reliant on technology, so there is a high demand for HR in the FMCG business to hire tech-savvy employees. HR Employees in the FMCG business must learn how to use modern recruitment tools such as Applicant Tracking System, Central CRM databases, and many more. High turnover demands tasks to be finished quickly, so it is best to let automation do the job whenever possible. In enhancing productivity, HR needs to keep up with advanced technology and adjust recruiting practices effectively.
Conducting Effective Employee Training
Considering the high rate of turnover and the frequent intake of new workers, employee training becomes a complicated matter. Yet, because of the complexity of the employee structure in the FMCG industry, this problem is exacerbated. Training for various divisions might vary from corporate management and in-store workers to warehouse and distribution center employees. Finding the appropriate balance between training and recruiting may be difficult. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the HR department is not understaffed, as there are a lot of responsibilities in this division. To retain already trained employees, HR managers must focus on employee engagement.
Having become one of the most mature industries, the FMCG industry gets to boast its good reputation while still acknowledging challenges that arise. HR in this industry gets to be proud, as the HR dynamic here is not very easy, considering the large workforce managed. Despite challenges that exist for this industry, nothing is ever too difficult for this industry that always stands the test of time.