Progressive Grocer

DEC 2015

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16 | Progressive Grocer | 2016 Category Management Handbook | December 2015 T he consumer packaged goods industry is having signifcant difculty securing entry-level category management talent. Having the right item in the right store at the right time builds sales and shopper loyalty. Having too many items in the wrong place at the wrong time increases inventory costs, thereby reducing proftability. What recruiters have learned is that securing tal- ent from other companies is expensive and largely in- efective. Tey're turning to universities to solve their entry-level talent needs, and what they're fnding when they arrive on campus is that most universities are ill-prepared to help them fll these positions. Te reason? College students are unaware of cur- rent business needs, and that these particular career opportunities are in high demand. In a summer 2015 article in Everett, the magazine of the Boston University (BU) Questrom School of Business, the question posed to educators was, "If business has changed … why haven't business schools?" Te answer is that most business schools have been focusing on classic career options such as manage- ment, marketing and fnance, but many businesses' needs today are for more specialized positions such as sales, category management or shopper insights. Tese are emerging career options that didn't exist as re- cently as 10 years ago, but while business has evolved, schools have remained relatively static. Another part of the answer to this question is that a curriculum necessary to develop special- ized talent can take years to create, particularly at a public university. Te BU article points out that insensitivity to emerging business trends is creating a talent imbalance in which graduating students don't have the specialized skills necessary to meet today's business needs. Workforce Talent Development Crisis How are universities reacting to business needs? BY DANIEL P. STRUNK

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