Leading fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies accept applications from graduates with various backgrounds, though you will usually need at least a 2.1 and some technical programmes have specific degree requirements. FMCG employers that recruit large number of graduates typically offer a broad range of different training programmes, from research and development to marketing.
What are consumer goods (FMCG) companies?
You’ll need to have a good understanding of what fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies do to apply successfully. FMCG businesses that recruit large numbers of graduates are often responsible for big, household-name brands. They typically sell large quantities of relatively low-cost products that customers buy on a regular basis, such as cleaning products, toiletries, cosmetics and confectionery.
Consumer goods tend to be manufactured in high volumes and transported to the shops via extensive distribution networks. FMCG businesses invest in marketing to create brand awareness and attract loyal customers, and carry out scientific research to develop new products and refine their current offering.
You might be interested in a supply chain role with a consumer goods company. The life cycle of a consumer product from the sourcing of raw materials to the point of sale is referred to as the supply chain, and this series of processes need to be as efficient as possible in order to meet consumers’ needs and maximise profits. Minimising environmental impact is also a key consideration.
All consumer goods companies want to sharpen their competitive edge and ensure their future success by recruiting graduates with the right skills and attitudes. Their employees need to be able to respond quickly and decisively to both problems and opportunities in order to overcome difficulties and achieve commercial goals.
You’ll need good commercial awareness to land a job in an FMCG company. This means researching the market and being aware of the competition, and knowing which brands belong to which company.
What job opportunities does the FMCG industry offer?
FMCG companies are involved in a wide range of activities that they tend to offer a broad range of graduate schemes to match, usually covering some or all of the following areas:
- research and development
- supply chain
- sales and marketing
- IT, ICT, IS (information systems) or technological development
- engineering development
- quality assurance
- accounting and finance
- customer care
What qualifications and skills do I need to get noticed?
Qualification requirements vary and tend to be more specific for specialised technical roles in areas such as engineering and logistics. Like many other graduate employers, FMCG companies want to take on team players who have the potential to lead, and who are capable of innovation, adaptation and negotiation. They also tend to look for graduate recruits who have strong communication and problem-solving skills, adaptable, and have good commercial awareness. For example, P&G recruits candidates who are academically strong – you’ll need to check against the individual job description for details.
The recruitment process typically involves a combination of the following:
- Online application.
- Online assessment, which could include aptitude tests or online games. For example, Danone requires candidates to complete SHL verbal and numerical reasoning tests.
- Video interview. This is used by employers like Unilever.
- Assessment centre.