Acquisitive beverage brands face recruitment challenge.  

Micro issue brewing.

Armstrong Craven have said some of the world’s biggest beverage brands are facing challenges recruiting the best talent as a result of their increasingly diverse portfolios. The world’s largest beer maker, AB InBev, along with other global players such as Heineken, have led the way with highly acquisitive strategies aimed at building new revenue streams.

 “Micro-breweries and distilleries producing beers, ciders, gins and various other beverages have become the new battleground for the world’s biggest drinks brands,” says Will Duce, global client partner at Armstrong Craven. “It means that some of the largest drinks multinationals now have hundreds of different subsidiary companies in their stable. This creates all sorts of business challenges, not least to the traditional centralised talent acquisition model.

“Recruitment is a lot more complex when you have such a diverse range of smaller brands spread across the world, from Mexico and Peru to Belgium and India,” Will added.

Duce says he has had conversations with the global head of HR at one of the major brewers where there are three VPs covering talent globally, all with their own ideas about the best way to recruit. Within the business there are over 300 subsidiary companies, all with their own approaches to hiring, some favouring a contingent approach, others using insights and some still using paper-based systems.

“The issue arises because the beverage giants want the smaller brands but, to get them, have to acquire lots of smaller companies and their supply chains, all with their own ways of doing things,” explains Duce.

Duce contrasted the challenges facing many of the multinational beverage companies with the pharmaceuticals sector. The pharma industry is also extremely acquisitive, but has a far more established and sophisticated global approach to talent acquisition.

“The same structures do not currently exist in the beverage industry, something that the larger multinationals are keen to address, while recognising that this will not change overnight,” he said. “Armstrong Craven has a proven track record of partnering with companies across many different sectors to help them put in place a far more strategic approach to their talent acquisition.”

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