Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010 - (Page 76)

Food Marketing Insights Expert guidance from a major industry voice Got Talent? Now is the time to recruit and retain the best employees. By Leslie G. Sarasin I n today’s tight economy, businesses are often forced to push human resource issues to the back burner or, unfortunately, face layoffs to cut costs. When supermarkets post a job opening, they’re deluged with applications due to the high unemployment rate, which could suggest there’s little need for a proactive recruitment and retention plan. The current high jobless rate masks the fast- standing conference in 2011. FMI will also explore coming shortage of talent, which will acceler- recruitment and retention strategies at its Human ate as the 70 million-plus baby boomers retire Resources/Training & Development Conference in increasing numbers. In addition, the pool of in September. talent to replace them will not only be much A down economy presents one of the best smaller, but the new leaders will face a daunt- times for companies to strengthen their work ing range of issues, including competition, forces. Many exceptional people are seeking changing customer lifestyles, health care costs, work and are inclined to explore job opportunifood safety and security, interchange fees, ties in different industries. In addition, the food energy use, sustainability, technology invest- industry is well positioned to attract new hires ments, and government regulation. for at least two reasons: The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) launched • Supermarkets provide a reliable and stable the Future Connect leadership development place of employment — not recession-proof initiative last year to help the industry meet but more resistant than businesses in other fields. these challenges. The first Future Connect con• Many prospective employees now have a ference in October 2009 in passion for food, inspired Dallas drew 1,800 execuby the Food Network,Web Grocery List tives from all ranks and secsites offering creative tors of the food industry. Excellence in grocery industry recipes, cooking classes and employee and company schools, and even the film Attracting New Hires performance is recognized “Julie and Julia.” on a national stage through This initiative continues Supermarkets can focus two Food Marketing Institute with ongoing education first on their existing programs: the Store Manager through webinars and other employees, particularly and Maximizing People online learning opportunipart-time workers, a capPotential (MAXX) Awards. ties, a Future Connect track tive audience and a costat the FMI 2010 event in effective strategy. Engage May, and another freethem in the technologies• Progressive Grocer • January/February 2010 A H E A D O F W H AT ’ S N E X T that power virtually every aspect of operations. Train them, mentor them and offer them scholarships to food industry education programs. Help them develop career paths that can lead to rewarding long-term jobs. Educate them about the industry’s contributions to society — how we provide an abundance of affordable food, help feed millions of hungry Americans by donating to food banks, and serve as “first responders” to emergencies such as natural disasters. Help employees find a work-life balance. Talented job-seekers, especially younger ones, aren’t just looking for good pay, but are increasingly eager to work for employers that care for them personally and professionally. Create a culture employees never want to leave. Teach them new skills, challenge them to excel, and when they succeed, celebrate their achievements. Enhancing recruitment and retention won’t be an easy undertaking, for we must shatter long-standing stigmas about industry jobs. Let us work to correct these misconceptions by showcasing how the supermarket business is friendly and responsive to the community, as well as a high-tech, high-skill trade and profession with visionary, compassionate leaders. Leslie G. Sarasin is the president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute. She represents 1,500 retail, wholesale and supplier members from the United States and 50 countries.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010
Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/Spotlight
Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents Awards: Independent Inspiration
Outstanding Regional Retailer: All Together Now
Outstanding Community-based Retailer: Sharing the Vision
Outstanding Independent Wholesaler:Values for Growth
Independents Report: A Lasting Legacy of Leadership and Inspiration
Fresh Perspectives: Spartan’s Fresh Outlook
Produce: Priced to Move
Refrigerated Meat: A Great (Meaty) Start
Frozen Seafood: Reel it In
Beverage Alcohol: Let it Pour
OTC Medications: Extended Flu Season
FutureTech: Going Mobile
Retail Profile: Food Lion: Renewed
GMA Director’s Note: Leading the Charge
Best Practices: A New Approach to Knowledge
Food Marketing Insights: Got Talent?
Upcoming Events: International Eats
What’s Next

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010