Are you an HR leader interested in joining a curated community of industry professionals? Come join ForceBrands’ HR Collective on LinkedIn.

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.

ForceBrands’ CEO and Founder Josh Wand moderated the panel of leaders that included 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 The Boston Beer Company; and Andy Edmundson, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Craft Brew Alliance.

HR Collective Panelists

This year’s HR Collective discussion centered around the theme of “The Teams of Tomorrow.” The morning’s first topic addressed the role of technology in the multigenerational workplace.

“Big data analytics are a top priority for companies to increase and retain their competitive advantage in the future,” Wand said. “Big data analytics allow companies to move beyond job description-based recruitment and to strategically align skill sets to larger company objectives. This allows for better decision-making in hiring.”

Wand opened the floor to the panelists to discuss the role that big data analytics play in their unique workforces.

“We hire a lot of millennials every year who primarily make up our sales force,” said Novak, who has spent the last eight years of his career with The Boston Beer Company, one of America’s oldest and largest craft breweries. “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.”

During his time at The Boston Beer Company, Novak built a Talent Acquisition function, strategy, and programs that enabled the Boston Beer Company Supply Chain and Product Innovation teams to double in size and support the tremendous growth within the craft beer industry. In his role as Talent Acquisition Leader, Novak develops and implements modern Talent Attraction tools, processes, and employment branding.

On the subject of AI, Novak said The Boston Beer Company is piloting an AI software program, which is a new feature on HireVue.

Wand turned the floor over to Berkowicz to discuss how direct-to-consumer food company Daily Harvest is leveraging big data among millennials and future casting for Gen Z.

“I’ve worked in agency recruiting for over a decade and I love using data and systems but at the same time you can’t take the human aspect out of the hiring process,” Berkowicz said. “For certain positions and functions though, technology is incredibly valuable.”

Berkowicz, who is a people operations leader with diverse experience in talent acquisition, organizational design, career coaching, and human resources, went on to discuss how data should be leveraged to evaluate the basic information on the type of person being considered for employment. Still, HR professionals will be responsible for coaching them and walking them through the hiring process.

“The data of evaluating just the core traits of those entering the workforce is priceless if used correctly,” he said.

Big data isn’t the only technology trend to shape the future of the multigenerational workplace. Future workplace demands will require that recruiters actively tap into various technologies across social, mobile, and cloud, and leverage them in creative ways to uncover hidden sources of top talent.

“The magic of human resource professionals is to retain the best people who are in the organization and motivate them so we don’t have constant churn,” Wand said as he introduced the next sub-topic about using technology creatively in the dynamic workforce.

He turned the floor over to Edmundson who has been leading Talent Acquisition at Craft Brew Alliance for the past eight years and has been instrumental in redesigning it from the bottom up with an emphasis on learning and development.

“What we’ve ended up with is a whole new culture,” Edmundson said who elaborated on the tools he’s found most helpful in adapting to these changes. “We’ve partnered with leadership expert Cy Wakeman who has a culture training called Reality-Based Leadership that focuses heavily on how to move forward. With all the integrations and the changing cultures at Craft Brew Alliance, there was a tendency to look backward from certain areas, and we couldn’t afford to do that with the speed that the craft beer industry was growing.”

As part of the culture training initiatives, Edmundson has placed a high degree of focus on accountability and on the ability to deal with change.

Wand concluded the discussion about technology and moved into the panel’s next topic about learning and development.

Learn more about the HR Collective here.

Photo Credits: Greg Morris