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Tips, trends in retail and FMCG jobs
Tips, trends in retail and FMCG jobs

Tips, trends in retail and FMCG jobs


Aug 1st, 07:16

Interview: Five minutes with Celeste Sirin, MD, Strategy Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment Marketing specialist, Celeste Sirin, who has more than 25 years of industry experience, shares the latest technologies and tips that FMCG companies can use to find the right candidate for the job. She also provides a few insights into FMCG and retail job trends in South Africa.

1. Electronic communication provides an instant platform for companies to market themselves to potential candidates. How can FMCG companies effectively use it to pitch themselves to job seekers?

The implementation of electronic communication favours companies immensely in that there are so many niche and generic portals at their disposal. In addition to this, online recruitment advertising has no boundaries in terms of global reach in the candidate market; it’s affordable and campaigns can “go live” for varying lengths of time.

Companies that utilise electronic communications must ensure that they have fresh, unique and compelling information on their career websites in order to stay competitive and appealing to job seekers.

There has been an increasing trend for companies to use online job boards and social media platform with a view to drive candidate traffic to their career portals, while promoting attractive job opportunities and employee brand awareness.

Electronic communication is also the perfect vehicle to drive Employer Brand Awareness as the majority of job seekers (both active and passive) are online daily.

2. Professional networks like LinkedIn are becoming more popular in South Africa. Why is it important for companies to have a presence on these networks from a recruitment perspective?

Many job seekers, particularly passive job seekers, have personal profiles on LinkedIn. Although this passive audience may not be looking for job opportunities, they may rise to the occasion if presented with the right one through a company listed on LinkedIn, or a similar network.

LinkedIn gives companies a platform to educate, profile and elevate their Employer Brand awareness within a receptive and networked candidate audience, without having to leave the LinkedIn social media domain.

LinkedIn also assists companies in growing their visibility through banner adverts and recruitment advertising campaigns.

3. A white paper released by LinkedIn in 2012 talks about the differences between Employer Brand and a Company Brand. Why do businesses need to distinguish between these two brands in today’s job market?

Up until recently, there hasn’t been a need to distinguish a Company Brand from an Employer Brand and candidates have typically drawn their Employer Brand perceptions from engagements with a company’s product or service.

But, the increased difficulty companies experience in sourcing scarce skill sets, there has been a need for recruiters to get creative in the way they market, promote and up-sell themselves as preferred employees to attract sought-after candidates.

This means understanding a candidate’s “purchasing traits”, touch points, market trends, generation segment, application preferences (for example, mobile technology, e-recruitment application processes and social media platforms) in order to accurately target ideal talent.

Progressive employers are consciously reinventing themselves and building an Employer Brand by keeping the candidate-audience informed about their achievements and growth prospects, thus remaining competitive, actively visual and top-of-mind when they need to recruit.

4. In your experience, which FMCG and retail positions are most difficult to fill in South Africa, and why? For example, is there a lack of training, expertise, or people wanting to pursue these particular career paths?

FMCG: filling senior sales positions has become a challenge. The sales portfolio has been segmented into specialist portfolios ranging from Channel and Trade Marketing, to Account Management and Sales Development, for example.

The traditional sales person who has worked his or her way up the ranks from sales rep, without a tertiary degree, is no longer sought-after. The business and commercial acumen required in sales roles today demands a relevant degree and top-level engagement. Furthermore the relationship between sales managers and the trade has to be spot on; you can’t afford to put a foot wrong with national buyers, for example.

Retail: Merchandising executives as well as merchandising and buying personnel are hard to come by. Contrary to general market belief, it is not the “glamour” aspect that secures the job, but rather the skills set. Knowledge in finance, accounting, economics and statistics underpin these roles. What makes it even more of a challenge is that retail is quite a close-knit industry because everyone knows everyone, so candidates really have to stand out from the crowd.

5. To your knowledge, which positions are over-subscribed in South Africa and why do you think this is the case? Is there a perception that jobs in this sector are easy to find, for example?

Human Resources: There are far more Human Resources practitioners (at all levels) in South Africa, than there are positions available. Not all practitioners are afforded the opportunity to test their metal across all spheres of the industry and often end up in a specialist field rather than a generalist one, as a result.

I personally also feel that positions are over-subscribed when companies cannot accurately translate either the job title or the job description to their candidate audience. By way of example, the definition of a job title from one company to the next often differs therefore it’s essential to communicate it correctly to the external target audience from the start. If a recruitment advertisement is clearly defined, portraying the right job title and the right content, then companies will be in a better position to receive quality versus quantity.

6. Strategy Recruitment Marketing received a double nomination in the 2012 Avusa Media Annual Recruitment Awards (AMARA), which honours the recruitment and HR industries. What is the significance of this achievement for your business?

As one of the smaller recruitment advertising agencies in this sector, it is great to be recognised as a top achiever among our larger, long-standing counterparts.

It tells our reputable and established client base that we are clearly giving them, not only the creativity they’re seeking, but also the innovative solutions to challenges they encounter.

Strategy Recruitment Marketing is progressive, embracing the evolution of social media and e-recruitment technology trends. Companies are keen to partner with us and we absolutely love being non-conformists to traditional and archaic methods of recruitment advertising, while throwing caution to the wind on a daily basis.

Have a question? Ask the experts

Have a recruitment marketing question for Celeste? Ask her here on .

Send a question to Celeste Siren about recruitment marketing between 1 August 2013 and 8 August 2013 and it could be published in the FMCG Files on 15 August 13. Up to five questions together with an answer from Celeste or the Strategy Recruitment Marketing team will be published.  

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