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Trends by industry and job function and the key to success in mid-career recruitment in 2021 【Consumer Goods and Retail​​​​】

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Posted by en world Japan

6 months ago

Changed to defensive recruitment and need for marketing professionals is the largest ever​

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumption changed in 2020, and the impact on consumer goods and the retail industry was substantial, along with a change in recruitment trends. Up until 2019, recruitment of talent who can hit the ground running was considered as aggressive recruitment ahead of sales channel expansion and new product sales, and there were well-balanced moves in sales and marketing. However, during and after March of 2020, defensive recruitment stood out. The background to that effort was the moves for sales channels, including EC, as companies were caught in the COVID-19 pandemic without countermeasures, and consumer consumption trends became uncertain, as well as the moves to compete for limited pies with competitors to secure existing consumer traffic. As a result, the need for digital marketing, including EC managers and marketing communication (Marcom), became the greatest ever for recruitment, and 80% or more of those looking to change jobs proceeded to the final interviews in the second half of 2020 were in the marketing field.​


Investments in infrastructure with an eye toward post-COVID-19 accelerated​

Many confidential deals of the launching of a corporate planning team as the mid to long term countermeasures for the post-COVID-19 period for infrastructures, such as DX and eCRM, have been increasing. Many companies implemented early countermeasures right after the outbreak of COVID-19 to initiate changes within the company such as taking the plunge to reform the business structure because of the change in the trend of food and beverage consumption (shifting from restaurants, convenience stores, and vending machines to supermarkets and GMSs), apparel companies that placed importance on O to O (Online to Offline) shifting to online only, and asking employees to transfer to the digital department.​


In the era of VUCA, change jobs after understanding corporate strategies and business description​​

The conditions of attractive companies will be updated in 2021. At the same time, professional advice will be needed when people looking to change jobs choose a company. One of the reasons is the increase in uncertainty of how corporate strategies and description of business will shift in the unstable era of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) coupled with the impact of COVID-19. Ways to perceive the concept of new normal, countermeasures for the COVID-19 and workstyle reforms have been changing. Another reason is that company strengths in financing or investing will become more conspicuous. Business deployment overseas and plans to launch a category of localized products are under review and plans during and after 2021 will also change. Deciding to change jobs based on the superficial aspect of the degree of recognition of a company without deeply understanding the background will be a risk. The time to use the professional perspective of a recruiting firm and to implement robust countermeasures is now. Besides, activities and product measures under the theme of sustainability under SDGs-related initiatives have been increasing, which is cited as one of the conditions of an attractive company by those looking to change jobs. ​



Increasing demand for EC and digital marketing managers​

During and after 2021, the minimum knowledge of and experience in digital will be required for any positions, and demand in the fields of EC managers and digital marketing managers will further increase. Demand for traditional marketing and experience in negotiations at the headquarters of sales will maintain at a certain level and recruiting for brand managers and key account managers toward spring 2021 has already started. ​

As the skills in demand in the future, regardless of fields and positions, three items of analytical, planning, and management capability are important and can be cited. These are all related to the keyword of “countermeasures” to beat competitors in the pandemic. Companies are increasingly aware they must implement robust business measures for cross-function projects including sales, marketing, and PR, and the operation team. For those looking to change jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, flexibly taking advantage of these skills and engaging in effective project operation are essential for achieving their “enabling success”. ​


Companies also need solid countermeasures for recruitment​

As the keyword of successful recruitment, “countermeasures” by a company can be cited. The first thing is to thoroughly understand the reason to change jobs, the reason for applying, the evaluation points and points of concern about the company, and the career plan of job seekers at the time of preliminary screening and for the interviewer to implement countermeasures and approach the interview. By preparing in advance, it will be possible to thoroughly address the applicant’s concern within a limited amount of time. For that reason, close communication with a recruiting firm or a recruiting consultant will be important. The second thing is to disclose the post-COVID 19 measures to the extent possible and to appeal to the attractiveness and stability of the company from the medium- to long-term perspective. No doubt being a company that properly implements countermeasures for business, such as the release of new products designed for consumers who were affected by the COVID-19 and thoughts on the future sales channel development, will help reassure those looking to change jobs. While aware of these two points, I would like companies to focus on future measures for their recruitment efforts.​

The trend in the number of job orders and YoY comparison​
(Consumer Goods and Retail)​


Consumer Goods and Retail Division ​
Sales Team Manager​
Toshiyuki Takahashi​



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How to succeed with mid-career recruitment with COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 (English)
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