Once again, General Mills ($GMS) is growing to start the year. 

The Minnesota-based packaged consumer foods company is seeing its hiring grow yet again to start 2019, the same way it did in the first halves of 2018 and 2017. But when the company announces earnings Wednesday morning June 26, investors may learn the company has been doing things a little bit differently this time around. 

That, in and of itself, isn't much of a story: trends be trendin'. Each spring, and into summer, General Mills' job postings data reflects the company staffs up to start the year, but cuts open positions as the year ends. But a deeper dive through our data reveals an interesting trend - the company is cutting back on positions for staffers in suits, and adding employees in lab coats. 

Declining Data

Looking where hiring appears to have slowed year-over-year, or where it has declined substantially, reveals that General Mills is reducing roles in some of its highest-paid departments: Corporate, Finance, and Sourcing & Procurement. Each of these segments of General Mills (plus, Human Resources, not pictured) reflects a decline in open positions from a 2018 peak, until today. 

What's UP!?

Essential hires, that's who. Research and development of snacks is the job du jour. It's a small sample set but still reflects that - at a time when many snack-makers are sweating ingredients and regulations alike - the company is focusing on its products. Further, the growth of other roles' job listings (Manufacturing, not pictured) suggests General Mills' ongoing business is healthy - if not possibly growing. 

What's it Mean? 

That part, is tough to tell. General Mills, as a major consumer food entity with operations throughout the US and internationally, must staff a certain part of its business to match demand - but when it scales back on corporate and sourcing and HR and public relations gigs, it sure doesn't look like a brand poised for long-term growth. The company is expected to announce earnings of $0.76 per share Wednesday according to a group of analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research and, based on the data, it seems like the company has taken steps toward a top-line beat. General Mills has already posted 2019 gains of more than 50% on public markets, but whether that extends to EPS next, is anyone's guess. 

Thinknum subscribers can access more data covering General Mills here

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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