4 Of The Hottest Careers In Packaging

Careers in packaging can take on many forms – buyers, designers, engineers, etc. Yet, some of the most lucrative and rewarding industry jobs can be found in upper management. With a vibrant economy and business-friendly climate, the demand for qualified talent is surging. Here are four great opportunities to explore.

1. VP of Packaging Sales

The VP of sales main responsibility is driving revenue growth for the organization. These professionals are often tasked with managing the company’s sales force and directing department strategy. Sales VPs act as a liaison between their team members and other functional units within the business.

They create sales plans, forecasts, and budgets and constantly monitor each to ensure optimal performance. VPs of Sales generate strategic and tactical plans to uncover potential business opportunities and utilize them to grow the customer base.

These leaders manage relationships with clients and major account executives to create value-added packaging solutions. By partnering with key decision makers, these executives nurture existing partnerships and ensure clients receive high-levels of service and support.

Sales VPs must also keep up-to-date on packaging industry trends and determine how they impact stakeholders and their businesses. They also evaluate and analyze competitors and provide strategic feedback to company leadership on how to remain competitive.

Job Requirements

A strong combination of analytical and strategic thinking skills is essential for this role. Sales VPs use this knowledge to identify business opportunities and solve complex problems related to their implementation.

Attention to detail and the ability to think quickly and adapt to changing business environments is crucial also. Not to mention top-notch presentation skills and the ability to communicate with various audiences and decision makers.

Most professionals in this category have at least 10 years of sales experience and proven track records in negotiation and closing major deals.

2. VP of Marketing

VPs of Marketing oversee the brand’s marketing strategy as well as manage the team and core functions within it. They implement key product elements such as positioning, content development and distribution, public relations, and corporate communications.

They are tasked with end-to-end ownership of both the vision and execution of product and organizational marketing campaigns. Marketing VP’s are in charge of launching new products and services and administering lead generation programs.

These packaging professionals are involved in the creation of a number of different marketing collateral types including websites, blogs, case studies, white papers, data sheets, presentations, and instructional videos. Marketing VPs may also be involved in securing advertising mediums such as radio and television, print, email, and the web.

Job Requirements

It goes without saying, but executives in this popular packaging job need to be well versed in marketing and sales methodologies. But these roles also require sound analytics and project management skills as well.

Creativity, flexibility, and enthusiasm – along with an intimate understanding of B2B sales concepts and business models – is helpful also. Marketing VPs must be able to lead a team, work under pressure, and thrive in a fast-paced environment.

3. VP of Packaging Operations

Another rewarding packaging career is Vice President of Operations. These go-getters plan and oversee the day-to-day operations of packaging companies and keep everything on track. Their actions ensure production goals are met and provide input on how to promote future growth.

Operations VPs frequently juggle multiple assignments and have to think on their feet. They coordinate with managers from other departments (e.g., sales, engineering, production, IT, and customer support) to oversee projects and identify bottlenecks.

These leaders also help formulate policies/procedures and are instrumental in setting company goals. Their work improves business processes and strategies. In many cases, they’re also tasked with evaluating the performance of other department managers and their subordinates.

Job Requirements

First and foremost, Operations VPs must have excellent communication and negotiation skills. Being able to multitask, problem solve and exhibit strong leadership traits are important as well. The ability to analyze/interpret data and prudently manage financial resources is critical also.

Lastly, a comprehensive understanding of technology may serve them well in streamlining operations and enhancing future growth. For most openings, MBAs are the preferred degree requirement. Along with prior experience in marketing, sales, finance, accounting, or other senior leadership roles.

4. CFO (Chief Financial Officer)

As the name implies, CFOs execute the financial strategy and management of accounting functions for packaging organizations. In addition to financial oversight, these experts are involved in operational strategy and ensuring compliance with legal entities.

CFOs interact with 3rd party vendors involved with company accounting or finance functions. They prepare financial reports and statements for the company board of directors. Chief Financial Officers also monitor cash reserves, investments, and advise on mitigating risk to the company and its employees.

In addition to maintaining regulatory compliance, CFOs also protect company assets. They manage insurance coverages and assist with claims and damage awards.

Job Requirements

As with other popular packaging jobs, CFOs must possess strong leadership, decision-making, and communication skills. They also need to be strategic thinkers/planners and have extensive experience in project management.

An MBA or master’s degree in accounting or finance is typically the prerequisite. Larger packaging firms may also require professional designations such as CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CMA (Certified Management Account) along with 10+ years of financial experience.

Conclusion

For those with management backgrounds in sales, marketing, operations, or finance packaging industry careers are great options. Salaries are competitive, opportunities abundant, and the roles themselves both diverse and challenging. An ideal balance to learn and grow professionally.

Should you decide to explore your options, partnering with an experienced packaging recruiting firm makes sense. These professionals know the industry and can find ideal matches based on your experience, talents, and goals. They can also assist with the application and negotiation processes and answer other questions along the way.

After all, if you’re serious about putting your best foot forward, why not work with a team who can make it happen?


Chase & Associates – We Have Your Back

Talent Acquisition Challenges in the Packaging Industry

The packaging industry is experiencing unprecedented growth these days. While good news overall, this rapid expansion does present some challenges. Like when it comes to talent acquisition and recruitment strategies. Learn how to overcome the hurdles packaging companies face while continuing to recruit top employees.

The Packaging Industry Lacks Quality Candidates


Recruiters and HR managers hear this phrase a lot (and with good reason). The current national unemployment rate is hovering just under 4% and holding steady. It’s a candidate’s market and the brightest packaging talent is in demand.

For employers, that means you must move quickly to secure quality candidates.

Waiting too long, or delaying the hiring process, equates to missing out. Not to mention the tactics that worked just a few years ago may prove irrelevant today. Packaging organizations must stay up on the latest recruiting trends and work to separate themselves from the pack.

A proven method to stand out from the competition is to create a strong corporate culture. The most sought-after brands put their beliefs and values center-stage in their marketing. Clearly defining who they are, what they do, and the people and causes that they serve.

Strong company cultures make attracting and retaining the best talent easier.

Candidates know exactly what they’re getting into. There’s little chance of having “buyer’s remorse” after the fact. When applicant’s values align with prospective employers they’re more likely to pursue such opportunities. Going out of their way to be proactive, remain engaged, and accept job offers.

A few ways to foster this type of enthusiasm include:

  • Staying active on social media and promoting what the brand is doing
  • Highlighting top-performing employees and sharing their stories
  • Letting others know about company initiatives and awards
  • Participating in social issues or charities

This sharing of information is especially important in recruiting millennials. More than money, these candidates often have a strong desire to make an impact with their work. Many won’t even bother applying to companies that don’t share similar beliefs.

Younger workers also gravitate toward eco-friendly employers who promote sustainability with their actions. These companies understand that sending the right environmental message is key to recruiting and retaining future talent.

Considering Millennials now make up the largest segment of the workforce (approximately 35%), they’re too important to ignore.

Candidates Are Frustrated with The Hiring Process


Another area where companies fall short with talent acquisition is in the hiring process itself. Good packaging executives know they have options and won’t stand for a lackluster candidate experience. Prospective talent needs to feel valued and welcome from start to finish.

A positive candidate experience creates employees who willingly tout your brand.

Which makes finding talent much easier overall. For starters, consider ditching the lengthy interview process. You can’t expect candidates to jump through hoops when they have so many other opportunities available.

Most packaging professionals are looking for a job now and don’t want to have to wait for it. If required to do so, they’ll likely look elsewhere.

It’s a good idea to periodically review your onboarding process and see where there’s room for improvement. Such as expediting communications, keeping candidates in the loop, and letting them know the next steps in the process. The more comfortable you make applicant’s feel the more inclined they’ll be to join the team.

It’s a wise idea for both candidates and employers to work with an experienced packaging recruiter to accomplish their goals. For hiring managers, recruiters can collaborate with passive candidates (who aren’t actively looking) that may be open to new opportunities.

For candidates, recruiters can identify companies and cultures that match their values. They can also assist with interviewing advice and contract negotiations when the time comes.

Keep in mind that you want to move fast – but not too fast. Hiring the wrong kind of (toxic) candidate can do more harm than not hiring anyone at all.

There’s Too Much Competition for Packaging Talent


With such a talent supply/demand imbalance in the packaging sector, some companies feel that it’s too difficult to compete. Granted, it’s harder to find good people in a tight labor market, but you can still land great packaging executives with the right recruitment strategies.

Staying proactive is a big part of the battle. Like protecting your brand online and throughout social media. Candidates usually visit employer review sites like GlassdoorIndeed, and LinkedIn long before you ever hear from them. If they find too many bad reviews or negative comments, they’ll move on and ignore your brand.

Thus, it’s important for employers to monitor these sites and respond (when appropriate) to disparaging feedback. But also take what’s being said and use it as constructive criticism to understand how to improve.

Another excellent recruitment strategy is to write more focused and compelling job descriptions. Ones that clearly illustrate exactly who you’re looking for and what they’re expected to do. This sets expectations and can reduce the effort spent on recruiting in a number of ways.

  • Valuing their time and interest leaves a good impression.
  • Candidates appreciate your openness and honesty in their searches.
  • You separate those who want a job from those who really want YOUR job.

There’s nothing wrong with accepting a job simply because it’s a good offer. But candidates who have a genuine interest in the company are more likely to be top-performers and stick around for the long haul.

Lastly, if you’re a smaller company, think of how to use size to your advantage. Like competing on perks/workplace flexibility vs. pay and benefits alone. And emphasizing how candidates have more opportunity to advance as the company grows. Incentives that many of the big employers can’t offer.

Workplace Diversity Is Not a Priority


Finally, to improve recruiting results, packaging companies should focus on inclusion in the hiring process. Because although many companies say they want diversity very few understand what it really means.  

The company mindset should be on how diversity improves productivity, growth, and recruiting. Not just trying to fill a quota or doing what they believe is right.

After all, consider some of the biggest names in business – GoogleFacebookApple, etc. These brands are not only incredibly innovative but also some of the most diverse. That’s because these two elements go hand in hand.  

Great organizations attract top talent and create amazing products. Employees invite friends and colleagues to come onboard and the cycle continues. Diversity becomes a self-sustaining force.

Keep in mind that these changes won’t happen overnight. Achieving true diversity in packaging organizations takes years to accomplish. But the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get there.

And the faster your organization will reap the benefits.

Conclusion


Recruiting packaging executives and other industry professionals is getting harder, but acquiring great talent is still within reach. Organizations just need to be more intentional with how they go about it.

Successful companies understand that it’s a job seeker’s market. They know recruiting is a top priority and candidates must feel valued and appreciated throughout their journey.

Smart packaging firms are also keen to the fact that their brand’s reputation means everything. They actively promote their values both on and offline and celebrate the accomplishments of their employees.  
In the end, recruiting isn’t about finding the right people – it’s doing the right things and encouraging them to find you.


Chase & Associates – We Have Your Back

5 Packaging Innovations That Are Changing The Industry

It’s an exciting time to be in the packaging industry. The economy is booming and the demand for innovative packaging solutions has never been higher. Companies pioneering these new technologies are revolutionizing the packaging process and changing the way we do business. Here are a few you should know about.

Lightweight Packaging Conserves Resources


A constantly evolving industry goal has always been lightweighting – packaging of comparable value that costs less and requires fewer materials to produce. These innovations benefit businesses and consumers alike as the savings can improve margins and lead to smaller shopping bills.

Key players in this category include AmcorBerry Global, and ProAmpac.

A great example of lightweighting is the PET bottle for Vitaminwater. Partnering with Amcor, The Coca-Cola Co. was able to reduce the product’s weight by 15% while improving packaging strength and performance at the same time. Amcor claims this change used 500,000 fewer pounds of resin and reduced CO2 emissions by roughly 1.8M pounds.

Lightweighting has gained favor with consumers over the last few years because of its sustainability benefits and reduced costs. And with continuous advancements in manufacturing and design, this trend shows no signs of slowing down.  

Smart Packaging Creates Interactive Brands


Technology has made inroads into every area of our lives and packaging is no exception. New high-tech add-ons can be used to monitor everything from product freshness and package integrity to delivering unique content and improving the customer experience.

A good case study of this technology comes from IoT vendor Inductive Intelligence. Their innovative product is used with paper, plastic, glass, foil or metal to create one-of-a-kind packaging that can be heated or used to transmit data.

When placed on a special base unit, the Inductive Intelligence packaging authenticates wirelessly and heats to the correct temperature automatically – faster and more efficiently than in a microwave. Using just the right amount of power for each application, this technology saves energy and reduces the need for separate serving containers.

But it doesn’t stop there – smart packaging serves as a marketing tool as well.

By embedding QR codes, RFID tags, or NFC technologies on product labels, the shopping experience takes on a whole new meaning. Using their smartphones, consumers can quickly scan these labels and gain access to product-specific content like:

  • Recipes
  • Ingredient sourcing
  • Nutritional information

And let’s not forget the opportunity to promote brand loyalty through rewards programs or in-store discounts.

Modern consumers are tech savvy and look for the same kind of intelligence in the products they buy. Being the first to offer these kinds of add-ons puts organizations in a more favorable light with consumers. It also makes products memorable and more likely to stand out amongst the competition.

Digital Printing Levels the Playing Field


High-quality printing has typically been reserved for big brands and their subsidiaries, but that’s no longer the case. Companies like ePac are disrupting the packaging industry by offering fast, print to demand service for startups and small companies. These on-demand services eliminate excess inventory and can include customized content and variable imaging on final products.

An ideal setup for small to mid-sized companies with short-run, high-change over assets that want to compete in established markets. Currently serving niches such as confections, pet food, and organic snacks, ePac’s advanced packaging and printing options allow most any organization to look like an established powerhouse CPG.  

Edible Packaging Improves How We Eat

Consumers are clamoring for packaging that’s ultra-portable and environmentally friendly. Not surprisingly, food packaging providers are experiencing unprecedented yearly growth. According to industry estimates, this segment expects to see a CAGR of 5.2% over the next 10 years with nearly $360 Billion in revenue.

One of the hottest trends in food storage is edible packaging.

Imagine, having all the ingredients necessary for a tasty meal pre-portioned in safe, ready-to-eat containers. Simply drop the ingredients into hot water, cook, and serve. Sounds like science fiction, but it’s happening today.

Companies like Monosol and WikiCell are designing food-grade packaging that’s shelf-stable and ready to eat. Contents are wrapped in water-soluble membranes that dissolve when cooked. Odorless, tasteless, and transparent, these plant-based containers are revolutionizing the way people cook and eat.

Besides being affordable, edible packaging virtually eliminates the need for plastic.

Products like these are easy to scale, provide safety and consistency for consumers, and are good for the environment. Brand names like Whole Foods and Stonyfield dairies are already on board with others expected to join in soon.   

Other non-edible food packaging options are seeing major advancements also.

Companies like Sealed Air and Mondi are designing products to maximize food shelf-life and enhance freshness. Not only do these new barriers provide excellent safety and security, but many include eco-friendly biodegradable options as well. All at prices that are comparable to (or below) traditional materials.

Non-Stick Packaging Eliminates Waste


Although not as heralded as their food specific counterparts, non-stick packaging solutions are shaking up the industry also. Companies like Liquiglide and Orkla are teaming up to produce containers featuring non-stick coatings that reduce waste and improve the customer experience.

Liquiglide’s “permanently wet” solution ensures every last drop of product is harnessed from Orkla’s bottles and bins. That means no more struggling to get the last few dollops of mayo or ketchup out of the bottle. Or scraping remains from the paint can to finish up your project.

A gentle squeeze is all it takes to get consistent, predictable results each and every time. Besides reducing the “frustration” factor, Liquiglide’s proprietary solution provides a number of other desirable benefits:

  • Easier recycling – since ingredients don’t stick to the container, less water is needed to clean items before disposal.
  • Reduced waste – every drop of product is used with nothing left behind. Fewer resources are required for creation and transport as compared with comparable items.    
  • Consistent dosages – even pressure means no overflows when a container is full or struggles when close to empty.  
  • New designs and innovations – containers need not be a certain size or shape any longer – items flow just as easily from one design to the next.
  • Entertainment – free-flowing contents are entertaining (especially for kids) and may promote healthy habits like brushing teeth and using mouthwash.

The Liquiglide product is odorless, tasteless, and created from FDA-approved materials. Which makes it suitable for many different applications. While food and consumer products have been the initial proving grounds, the company is also looking into industrial and healthcare applications as well.

Elmer’s glue recently incorporated this technology into their packaging along with roughly 30 other U.S. companies not far behind.  

Conclusion


With advancements in technology, materials, design and printing, packaging innovations are happening every day. Forward-thinking companies are creating packaging solutions that cut costs, reduce waste, and improve the environment. Consumers are taking notice and rewarding these brands with their shopping dollars.

Naturally, with a strong growth outlook and high-demand for qualified talent, starting a career in packaging has never looked better. Jobs are plentiful and so are the opportunities to advance. Packaging executives with the right skills and experience are leading the charge and creating solutions for the next generation and beyond.

What other innovations or brands do you think are changing the industry?

Leave a comment below and let us know!


Chase & Associates – We Have Your Back

Career Success in Packaging – What Your Recruiter Wants You to Know

A successful career in packaging begins with a great job interview. While some candidates elect to go it alone and take their chances, working with a packaging recruiter is a safer option. Yet, to ensure they make the most of their opportunities, job seekers need to meet them halfway. Here’s what the pros recommend.

Be Honest With Your Recruiter


While it’s tempting to stretch the truth – or omit negative/embarrassing details – being honest with your recruiter is always the best policy. After all, the recruiting mission is about representing you and bringing stability to an otherwise unpredictable process. Recruiters work tirelessly to uncover your authentic story and position you as the logical choice for employers.

But it’s hard to do without the facts.  

Don’t worry – a few mistakes in your packaging career is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has ups and downs and veteran recruiters will never judge your past. However, you must be transparent and provide details when asked.

Otherwise, seemingly minor issues may come back to haunt you. Like when a background check reveals an oversight (and it’s too late to spin it in your favor). Or a non-compete agreement surfaces which limits your options. Sooner or later, the truth will come out.

Don’t get caught off guard when it does.

Never Stop Communicating


Along with honesty, great communication skills are paramount for a successful packaging job placement. When your recruiter asks for information, be quick to provide it. Ideally, you should reply within 24 hours.

If you can’t respond (for whatever reason), communicate via text or email and let your recruiter know why.

Keep in mind that if your recruiter requests something, there’s a reason why. The data is likely needed to either strengthen your proposal or clarify any possible misunderstandings. Both of which work in your favor.

Occasionally, candidates are hesitant to respond because they feel like recruiters leave them hanging. Yet, that’s rarely the case. Recruiters provide as much information as possible at any given time, but sometimes there’s nothing new to report.

Serving as an intermediary between clients and employers means waiting is part of the process. Negotiations take time as one side typically weighs all information before responding to the other. Rest assured your recruiter is working behind the scenes to protect your interests.

So, don’t “ghost”, disappear, or stop responding. Stay present and engaged (and your recruiter will do the same).

Consult With Your Recruiter Before Negotiating


A common mistake in interviews is to mention compensation too soon. It’s understandable why – pay and benefits are an important part of the equation. However, these elements are far easier to negotiate once you’ve made your case.

To protect your interests, talk to your recruiter before discussing compensation. They negotiate deals every day and understand the value of qualified packaging executives in today’s economy. Their guidance can help to ensure you’re not undervaluing yourself or your abilities

Most will advise you to be warm and friendly and build rapport during the interview. They’ll also recommend that you frame your skills and experience in a way that benefits the employer. Finally, articulate how bringing you on board will increase productivity, revenue, or otherwise strengthen the organization.

In other words, sell them (on you).

Keep in mind that recruiters strive to ensure a win-win in all aspects of a placement. Which includes compensation, benefits, and any other number of perks.

Besides, with it comes to career growth, having an ally in your corner only makes sense.

Recruiters Can Polish Your Messaging


Ever watched someone give an impassioned speech – only to be distracted by a small gaffe or faux pas? You’re transfixed on the blemish (rather than focused on the message). Careless mistakes with correspondence have the same effect.

No matter how qualified you are, overlooking the details can sink your chances.

And it’s usually the little things that trip you up. Like misspelled names on documents or forms. Mentioning the wrong person or company when providing information. Or failing to correct spelling and grammar errors in emails, texts, or resumes.

Minor details are easy to miss but have a major impact.

One way to avoid this issue is by funneling communications through your recruiter. Most are happy to proofread and double-check any correspondence before submitting to an employer.

Spell checkers and grammar apps can help, but they only go so far. Working with a recruiter who understands the language and flow of the hiring process often makes all the difference.

Packaging Employers Crave Authenticity


The advice your mom gave you as a kid still holds true – be yourself in interviews.

It’s tempting to inflate your skills or accomplishments to land a job but doing so causes problems later on. After all, you’re putting on a front to win the employer over, but how long can you keep it up? And what happens when you stop trying?

A big part of packaging career success is meshing with company culture and fellow employees. Being yourself is the only way to know if the fit is right (for both parties).

You want the employer to like you, but you need to be happy with them as well. And it’s hard to work for a company that doesn’t share your beliefs and values. You’ll be bored and unhappy, quit (or get fired) and end up back at square one.

Bottom line – don’t pretend to be someone you are not.

Professional Behavior Makes Candidates Shine

Whatever happens, remain professional at all times. Don’t lose your cool and lash out or say something you’ll regret later – no matter how frustrated you become with the interview process.

Emotional outbursts or unprofessional reactions hurt your chances.

Even if you don’t feel it’s the right fit, making a good impression can still pay dividends. Smile, answer any questions they have, and thank the employer for their time and the opportunity.

Doing so leaves you in a better position should anything else come up. If offered constructive criticism, be gracious and accept it. Whether it comes from the interview panel or your recruiter.

Because there’s always room for improvement.

Conclusion


Working with an experienced packaging recruiter is a smart move. The best ones know their niche well and specialize in finding opportunities that suit everyone involved. From companies and departments to employees and their families.

Look for agencies that research background information about your career path, are upfront regarding your strengths and weaknesses, and empathize with the hard times we’ve all had during our careers.

To get the most out of the experience, always put your best foot forward. Be honest with yourself and your recruiter, remain professional at all times, and pay attention to detail. When asked for information, respond in a timely fashion and don’t hide or exaggerate the truth.

In the end, the same qualities that drive a successful packaging career are the ones that get you hired in the first place.

Looking for more great strategies to grow your packaging career?

Download our FREE white paper and get insider advice.


Chase & Associates – We Have Your Back

Countering the Counter Offer – How Competitive Employers Win

Thwarting counter offers is all too common these days. After all, there are more jobs available than good people to hire. Nothing is worse than landing the perfect candidate only to have them snatched back away at the last minute. Because no matter how strong your offer is, existing employers will try and beat it.

Make no mistake – today’s economy is geared toward employees. For the first time since the Department of Labor began keeping records, job openings exceed the number of people looking for work. As an employer, that means hiring (and keeping) top talent must be a priority.

Packaging companies and recruiters should expect to have these tough conversations. Because when another company faces losing an all-star, they’ll do everything within their power to keep them. Whether that be more money, responsibility, or freedom.

Unfortunately, what’s offered is rarely in the employees’ best interest – but instead – is designed to save face or avoid having to find a replacement.

A Strong Offense Defends Against Counter Offers

If you truly want to secure top talent, you must develop an “all-in” mindset. One of going above and beyond in what is expected or even imagined. If you’re a hiring company, that means structuring your offers in a way that combats pushback.

Or else you risk a counter offer unraveling all the hard work you’ve done.  

For instance, should a counter offer arise, ask the candidate for specifics regarding their concerns. Don’t just take “there’s nothing you can do about it” for an answer. Dig deep and uncover the true reasons why they would consider staying at a place they were ready to leave yesterday.

No matter how strongly packaging executives feel about an impasse, there’s always a solution to the problem.

Whether it be increased money, benefits, flexibility, or anything in-between. It’s your job to find out what that solution is – and then decide if it’s worth the price. Keep in mind that, as a new employer, it’s not just about matching salaries. Your offer must be competitive on all levels – perks, benefits, and everything in-between.


On the flip side, companies that retain great talent usually have a common methodology – they’re proactive about keeping good people around. Every stakeholder involved works together to send a unified message – contributions are valued and each team member is appreciated.

Everyone from the front desk receptionist all the way up to executive management needs to be onboard. Ensuring that your packaging executives have the resources they need to do their jobs and are recognized early and often for success.  

Studies show that people typically leave their jobs because (a) they feel unappreciated (b) underutilized or (c) have poor relationships with management. If you can negate any of these problems ahead of time, you greatly reduce your risk of dealing with counter offers in the first place.

Transitioning Between Jobs – Where Counter Offers Are Born

Many packaging companies assume that after a candidate says yes, the recruiting race is over. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. The real work starts the day they accept your offer.

For this is the most dangerous time of the entire hiring process.

The gap between resignation and starting the new job is when doubt creeps in. Candidates wonder, “Am I making the right choice? Should I stay where I’m at and try and work it out? Perhaps, think it over a little longer – just to be sure.”

As the hiring company, understand that existing employers will stop at nothing to change a candidate’s mind. Telling them they’re making a “big mistake”, that the new company is “all wrong” for them, or “why give up on all the hard work and time you have invested here”.

This period is also nerve-wracking for recruiters as there are so many unknown forces working behind the scenes. The rule here is to over-communicate and constantly reassure the candidate of their decision.  

Once a new hire accepts your offer, find out the date they plan to resign. Then talk to them that day (and every few days after) to reinforce their decision. Don’t let them get too far inside their own heads or allow their coworkers to talk them out of a great opportunity.

Take it a step further and encourage higher-ups to connect with your new packaging executive. Make team members feel welcome and wanted. A strong sense of enthusiasm from a new employer goes a long way towards fending off possible counter offers.  

Beyond The Hire – Continuing The Momentum

Employers often forget that once the new hire starts there’s still work to be done. Selling your packaging company goes from recruitment to resignation through start date and beyond. After all, why go through the trouble of sourcing top talent if you can’t keep them around?

Retention efforts are important and a proven strategy to thwart counter offers.

Once the candidate says yes, invest in your new hire immediately. Preferably, before they even start.

Remain in contact throughout the duration – letting candidates know that you understand what they’re going through and that you’re available to help. Allow them to voice their concerns and express their anxiety. Share your experiences with similar events.

Most of all, keep selling them on the fact that they’ve made the right choice.

Don’t forget that little things make a difference too. Order business cards and have them waiting when they arrive. Get insurance set up for them and their families. Assist with travel arrangements and book training classes so they can hit the ground running.

Whatever you can do to keep new hires committed/engaged reduces their risk of backing out.

Once again, this is a team effort. It can’t just be about the recruiter and hiring manager – every stakeholder in the hiring process should be involved.

Like it or not – it’s a new world when it comes to recruiting great talent. If you want to cross the finish line, your entire organization must present a united front.

Conclusion


Although the thought of a counter offer makes some employers cringe, these scenarios can prove useful. For a healthy back and forth exchange indicates that a new hire (or current employee) is likely a good one. The type of packaging executive with the skills and experience necessary to make an impact.

In such instances, don’t be afraid to stick your neck out for the right talent. Because if you don’t someone else will.

Just be sure to take care of them afterward. Give them everything they deserve and all they need to accomplish their mission. Otherwise, you may soon find yourself starting back at square one.

And no one likes being there.

What strategies does your organization use to manage counter offers?

Leave a comment below and let us know!


Chase & Associates – We Have Your Back

4 Classic Books Every Job Searcher Should Read

When it comes to packaging job search and career books, there’s no shortage of titles to choose from. Each one offering a unique perspective on employment and career development. And while you can learn a thing or two from each volume, there are a few books that are consistently heralded as being the best of the best.

“What Color is Your Parachute?” – Richard N. Bolles

This classic job seeker book is the definitive guide to finding the career that suits you best. Not just with your abilities, but your goals and personality as well. Initially printed in 1970 (and revised every year since), over 10 million copies have been sold.

The first half of the book is a compendium of strategies for your job search. Applying, interviewing, follow-ups, and negotiations. It’s all here. But the second half of the book is where the magic happens.

Part two is chocked full of practical exercises to guide you in your career selection. Like Bolles’ famous “Flower Exercise” which covers the seven key areas (or petals) of your work life.

1. Goal, Purpose, or Mission – uncovering what you want to contribute to the world and how you’ll go about it
2. Location Preference – where you’d choose to work if given the opportunity
3. Expected Salary Range and Benefits – desired pay, perks, and extras
4. Preferred Working Conditions – the type of environment where you excel
5. Best Transferable Skills – what you can AND like to do at work
6. Areas of Interest – topics and assignments that get you excited
7. Types of People – that you connect with and share common interests

Well-written, easy to read, and chock-full of actionable advice. It’s easy to see why “What Color is Your Parachute?” has been around for decades.  

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

A book you’ve likely heard of (even if you haven’t read it). More than just time management, Covey’s masterpiece explains how mindset is the critical element to both your job search and your life. He covers topics such as:

Beginning with the end in mind – productivity is meaningless if you’re not working towards something. Covey explains that you must get clear about your long-term goals first and then filter all of your decisions through them.

Learning how to say no – using tools like the Eisenhower matrix to determine what’s important vs what’s not. Then creating a “burning yes” to counteract saying no to all things trivial.

Listening (and understanding) before speaking – not thinking about what you can say next to be clever or witty, but truly focusing on the other person and their message.  Which helps you build empathy, appreciation, and clarity regarding their needs.

All of which are fundamental skills for building a strong packaging career.

How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Often referenced as the source for understanding people and human behavior, this gem has been in print for over 80 years. It’s a masterpiece containing timeless nuggets on communication, leadership, and negotiation skills.  
 
Most of which revolve around a singular grounding principle: You can only change another person’s behavior by first modifying your own.

Packed with simple, yet actionable advice, this guidebook is as relevant now as the day it was published. Mr. Carnegie goes into detail about how to be more likable, earn favor with others, and do so without the use of manipulation or deceit.

A few key takeaways include:

Becoming more interesting by speaking less – Carnegie explains that you need not dominate conversations to be memorable. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The more you listen – and let others do the talking – the better people will respond.

When you do speak, ask relevant follow-up questions to extend the conversation. This makes the other person feel good and help to remember your interaction.

Gain support by asking questions the right way – that is, in a manner others can easily say yes to. Allowing them to conclude that your original idea was their own.

Thus, making your suggestion that much easier to sell.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In – Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, and Bruce Patton

One of the building blocks of a career in packaging is negotiating job offers. Not to mention that strong bargaining skills help you in other areas of life. “Getting to Yes” is relevant anytime you find yourself at odds with others and need to work out an amicable solution.

In this book, Fisher, Ury, and Patton break down four distinct principles of negotiation:

1. Separating people from the problem – untangling emotions and egos from the issue. Seeing the other party’s point of view, clarifying perceptions, and ensuring open communication from everyone.
2. Focusing on interests, not problems – getting to the root of what each side truly wants and why. Which isn’t necessarily the same as the argument that’s brought to the table. The only way both sides can win is to be open about their interests and explain why they’re important.
3. Generating opinions for mutual gain – simply put, rather than a winner take all mentality, good negotiations are about working together. Finding a solution that both parties can agree on and walk away feeling victorious about.
4. Insisting on objective data – designing solutions based on criteria both parties can agree on (aka fair and reasonable standards).
Additionally, “Getting to Yes” covers instances when others refuse to play fair or opt to strongarm the negotiations. The advice? Recognize and deflect the attack and then calmly shift focus back on the problem itself.

Wisdom that will serve you in packaging management, your personal life, and beyond.

Conclusion

Let’s face it – when it comes to career advice, no one has all the answers. But what job seekers do have is a wealth of information to draw upon from these timeless career books.

Each offers a unique perspective on finding the right job, negotiating, staying productive, and effectively communicating. All of which are essential for a growing a strong packaging career.

These classics have stood the test of time for a reason – because they simply work.


Chase & Associates – We Have Your Back

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for Professionals and Job Seekers

Professional Social Media Etiquette

While embarrassing photos and the occasional rant happen to us all, putting them front and center on social media isn’t always the best idea. Not knowing how potential employers will react can spell trouble for job seekers.

After all, studies show that 70% of employers review applicants social profiles during the hiring process. Sending the wrong message can mean getting passed over (even for otherwise highly-qualified applicants).  

Your best bet? Keep it clean.

It’s fine if you showcase your personality and have some fun but stay away from divisive or offensive content that may rub others the wrong way. Politics and religion are classic examples, but they’re far from the only ones.

Gossiping, badmouthing former employers, talking about drug use or criminal activity – it seems like a “no-brainer” but these topics surface more often than you think.

If you can’t keep it clean, consider making your social profiles “private.” Employers and recruiters can still find you during searches but must request permission to view your account. Thus, putting you in control of who has access and what remains visible to the outside world.  

Besides what you post, consider the image you’re trying to convey.

Keep your “branding” consistent by using the same image, language, and messaging on all of your accounts. This proves to employers you are who you say you are and helps to put hiring concerns at ease.

Another great idea is to create a website and bring all your information together in one place. Thus allowing you to control the narrative and help guide the conversation.

Include links to your social profiles to make the vetting process easier (and minimize the risk of mistaken identity).

That and use your real name on social media. CakeSmasher21 sounds cute but makes it hard for others to take you seriously.

The Best Social Media for Professionals

While the term “social media” encompasses nearly every platform in existence, there is only a handful that job seekers need to focus on – LinkedIn being the biggest.

LinkedIn is considered the gold standard for jobs and career development. It’s the only platform dedicated to networking and bringing candidates and employers together.

With roughly 10 million jobs and 500 million users located around the world, why wouldn’t you want to be part of the conversation?

Although having a LinkedIn profile is a given, many job seekers fail to utilize the full potential of the platform. Here are a few quick tips to help you stand out.

  • ‍Keep Your Account Up to Date – which includes filling out a complete profile and staying active on the site. Contributing articles is the best strategy, but if you can’t, at least share and comment on other people’s posts.

    The idea is to show employers your communication skills and personality.

  • ‍Include Keywords – in both your headline and summary area. Keywords are what recruiters and employers use to search for potential candidates. Not including them in your profile is silly if you want to be found.  

    Also, make sure your headline is interesting and relevant to the jobs you’re looking for. Consider including a nice profile photo as well – one without your spouse, kids, or family pets (save those for Facebook). Think “professional” for these are often the first – and only – elements others see in search results.

  • Get Recommendations – which are LinkedIn’s version of testimonials. Adding social proof to your profile is an easy way to earn trust and build rapport with potential connections.

    A quick tip here is to write the testimonial yourself and let others edit or revise as they see fit. Doing so makes it easy for the other party to say yes and fulfill your request.

Finally, write your profile in the first (not third) person. Users often try to make themselves sound more impressive this way, but it typically just comes off as contrived or awkward.

Write the way you speak to humanize your story.  

Other Social Media Outlets for Job Seekers

Although LinkedIn gets top billing in this category, other social media outlets hold value for job seekers as well. Namely, Facebook and Twitter.  

Both have distinctly different flavors but are similar in how they encourage direct interaction. These two social outlets are a great way to share your personality by talking about hobbies and interests. Because most employers prefer well-rounded talent vs an army of boring robots.

A proven strategy for success is to follow companies (and key employees) that you’re interested in working with. Doing so gives you access to decision makers within these organizations you might never meet otherwise.

You also learn news and gain insight into company cultures that outsiders may not be aware of. Such information can be invaluable in deciding where you want to work and provides a nice advantage when it comes time to interview.

And just like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be used for job searches too. Just remember to include the right hashtags in your searches to generate relevant results (i.e. #jobs Denver marketing).

Finally, no matter which social platform(s) you choose, be sure to let others in your network know that you’re looking. You never know who a friend of a friend might be.

Besides, landing jobs through referrals is way easier than trying to accomplish the same feat on your own.

Conclusion

While some may shy away from social media – or dismiss such platforms as being irrelevant – they are an undeniable part of the job search equation. More than ever, employers are researching candidates long before conducting interviews or extending offers.

If they don’t like what they find, they’ll look elsewhere

That’s why it’s critical that the messages and “branding” of your social profiles reflect the image you want to portray. Candidates should also be active on social channels always looking for opportunities to connect and provide value to others.

In the end, social media skills are a lot like interviewing. Figure out how to stand out from the crowd – without putting your foot in your mouth during the process.  


Chase & Associates – We Have Your Back