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ForceBrands hosted its second annual HR Collective on November 14 in an intimate event that brought together HR professionals in the CPG industry. The invitation-only event was hosted at Pier A Harbor House in lower Manhattan where thought leaders gathered to connect, educate, and share insights.

This year’s HR Collective discussion centered around the theme of “The Teams of Tomorrow.” The topics related to the future of the workforce included technology; professional development; and culture and the employer brand.

The panel was moderated by ForceBrands’ CEO and Founder, Josh Wand, who welcomed the audience of 45 attendees before introducing the panelists: Cassie Guba, Director of Talent & HR at Vital ProteinsKevin Stapp, VP of Human Resources at Shiseido Americas; Noah Berkowicz, Head of People Operations at Daily HarvestDavid Novak, Talent Acquisition Leader at Boston Beer Company; and Andy Edmundson, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Craft Brew Alliance.

“The HR Collective is not just a one-day event,” Wand said during the opening remarks. “The purpose is to forge new relationships with people who you might not have access to because of your busy schedules or because you live in different cities. The HR Collective is an opportunity to connect with one another on a personal and professional level so you have people to tap into who have been through similar experiences.”

Wand thanked the event’s participating sponsors that included Daily HarvestGrandy OatsMilkadamiaVermont VillageKarma NutsSomage Fine FoodsForto CoffeeIcelandic Glacialsiggi’s, and Bluestone Lane.

The panel commenced with the morning’s first topic around technology. Wand asked how the panelists have leveraged big data analytics to hire, source, and retain multigenerational talent.

“We hire a lot of millennials every year who primarily make up our sales force,” Novak said. “We find that traditional things recruiting groups have typically done for millennials don’t necessarily work for our sales team. What’s going to make salespeople at Boston Beer successful is going to be their personality traits and their drivers. There are ways to actually analyze traits and we can analyze the traits of the people who work at Boston Beer right now who are successful in their roles and use that in our sourcing function.”

The discussion moved to the topic of learning and development.

“Training and talent development is a huge initiative for us in 2019,” Guba of Vital Proteins said. “We hire very quickly and very fast. We’re at this point now where we have 200 employees and there’s a lot of younger talent where this is their first or second job. It’s very intriguing to me as an HR professional that they want process and procedure and want to know what’s expected of them in the workplace.”

Panelists agreed that one of the biggest obstacles for employee learning and development is finding the time.

“There’s a great demand for learning and growth, and there’s also many constraints as well,” Stapp said. “Accountability is critically important. There’s a growing realization that investment in learning is table stakes — we absolutely have to do it. It’s less about ROI and trying to find those numbers to prove that your learning is paying off. Right now, the focus is on identifying the behaviors that need to change and linking that to a business outcome. That’s the ROI.”

The panel concluded with a discussion about culture and employer branding, and a question and answer segment.

After breakout sessions, attendees were given a sneak peek of trending insights from ForceBrands’ upcoming talent market report. In a survey actively fielding now, hundreds of talent management decisions makers in CPG are weighing in on their recruitment and retention strategies in today’s war for talent.

Interested in joining our next HR Collective? Stay up to date on the latest HR Collective news and updates by joining the community on LinkedIn.