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How To Get Into the FMCG Industry: Top Skills FMCG Needs Now

Have you ever wondered how to get into FMCG

Global consumption of consumer goods is set to yield 170-190 million new jobs by 2030. Succeeding in this booming sector will require a wide breadth of skills, and a high level of adaptability to thrive in a rapidly changing industry.

In this article, I’ll explain:

  • Why you should consider a career in FMCG
  • What’s changing in the industry
  • Top skills FMCG employers need now
  • What job opportunities are available

Why consider a career in FMCG?

FMCG careers are seldom without change.

As you might expect, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies work at pace; they not only manufacture rapidly, but proactively forecast and respond to product demand as needs fluctuate.

Working in this industry means being at the cutting edge of modern manufacturing and interacting with innovative methods and technologies that boost efficiency. 
Scientists and engineers are at the heart of FMCG production, conducting research, maintaining machinery, and enabling those key efficiencies and innovations that drive revenue and create company success.

Industry professionals often benefit from an international network as many have a global presence and a diverse workforce.  

What's changing in the FMCG sector?

While attention has traditionally been set on improving general efficiency, accurate demand forecasts are becoming increasingly integral for FMCG companies. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shift buyer habits in an unprecedented way, retailers across the industry have had to adapt their production strategy with little notice, leading to excess inventory of slow-moving products, and a lack of fast-moving items. 

The pandemic has also impacted graduate hiring trends, a 2021 survey from the Institute of Student Employers shows a 45% decline in graduate hires over the past two years compared to 2018/2019. 

Increasing demand for sustainable products, and improved ethicality through the supply chain have had additional effects on traditional manufacturing processes. By 2025, the top 10 global FMCG firms (including Coca-Cola, Danone, PepsiCo, L’Oreal and Unilever) aspire to achieve 100% sustainable packaging across all products. 

Other market challenges involve a lack of industry technological awareness. When McKinsey surveyed over 3,000 FMCG leaders across 7 countries, they found 1 in 5 top executives and their peers in the C-Suite, don’t understand new technologies in the sector. 

To improve forecasting, and better meet the needs of customers, the FMCG industry must improve technological awareness at every level, including the C-Suite. Additionally, without the right adaptable, persuasive talent those technologies and innovations won’t have the impact companies need to achieve success.

Top 3 skills FMCG employers are looking for

1. Flexibility

In a rapidly changing industry, flexibility is paramount to success. 
Candidates with cross-functional skills who can collaborate across teams and manage more than one project at once are likely to stand out. Being able to work in different ways in different environments is also key, especially in the new era of hybrid work.

2. Cognitive and technological skills

As interest in advanced manufacturing continues to grow, candidates with technological skills are in high demand. R&D departments are likely to require candidates with experience in advanced analytics, database management and algorithm development.

3. Conflict and stakeholder management

Effective communication is a huge part of this key skill; candidates who can influence new thinking and encourage adoption of innovations are those that can tailor their communication with teams, senior leadership, and other stakeholders.
It’s important to build commercial awareness to succeed. Clients also look for candidates that take responsibility for risks, and proactively manage and mitigate them as necessary. 

What job opportunities are available?

The FMCG industry incorporates a wide variety of roles across various areas for both graduates, and senior professionals.

Senior roles include:

  • Manufacturing and Production Managers
  • Technical Managers/NPD professional
  • Project Manager / Project Engineer

Graduate roles include:

  • Process Engineer
  • Formulation Scientist
  • NPD Scientist
  • Development Scientist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Reliability Engineer
  • PLC / Controls Engineer
  • Design and Development Engineer
  • Mechanical / Electrical Maintenance
  • Maintenance / Engineering Management

We can help you find your next job in the FMCG industry

Want to find a new opportunity in FMCG? Check out our available roles here 

You can also connect with our Regional Science Manager, James Windridge on Linkedin.  

James is responsible for leading SRG’s recruitment of scientists and engineers across the FMCG and Life Science sector, working with multi-national organisations, as well as SME’s, to place talented candidates in a range of roles.

 

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