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Executive Onboarding in Packaging - 3 Key Areas That Define Success

Recruiting great packaging executives isn't easy.

Many employers think that once the candidate says yes, it’s a done deal. But this is hardly the case.

Truth be told, it’s far more work to keep a good executive candidate than it is to find them.

You need to have the right mindset and models in place to ensure the period from recruitment and resignation (to employment) is a smooth one.

Here are a few proven strategies to include in your onboarding handbook.  

Constant Communication Makes for a Better Transition

It’s a simple fact - good candidates are hard to find. Anyone who’s ever had to replace their top-talent can attest to this. That’s why it’s so critical to make your packaging executives feel welcome right from the start.

First off, put yourself in their shoes. The period between resignation and new start date is by far the most stressful. After all, they’re shouldering the lion’s share of the risk.

Uprooting their families and taking on a new challenge - unsure of what the end result may be. It’s during this time that candidates often have second thoughts about leaving their current position.

Understandably, being in a state of limbo can make anyone feel anxious. As the new employer, it’s your responsibility to make the transition as comfortable as possible.

A key component of successful transitions is great communication.

Provide updates on what to expect moving forward and be available for questions or concerns. Make candidates feel like they’re still a priority (even after they’ve accepted the offer). Most importantly, keep an eye out for potential roadblocks and be proactive in solving them.

Before candidates even know they exist.

Never Assume the Recruiting Race is Over

It goes without saying that strong packaging candidates have options. After all, if you’re looking to hire them, so are your competitors. And while they may have tentatively accepted your offer, there are many other factors still in play.

For one, never put it past their current employer to try and match (or beat) what you’ve put on the table. If the candidate isn't completely sold, this may be all it takes to keep them from joining your ranks.

Once they accept your proposal, you need to be in constant contact to ward off counteroffers.

Both from the organization they’re leaving as well as any others they may have interviewed with.

Provide candidates with continuous reinforcement that they’ve made the right choice and you can’t wait to bring them onboard. Get (and keep) them committed to defend against competitors trying to lure them away.

This is critical to ensure your hard work doesn’t become wasted effort. Because there’s nothing worse than letting a great executive slip through your hands because of poor follow through or lack of communication.  

Smart Packaging Companies Roll Out the Red Carpet

As new packaging executives come on board, the whole team needs to be welcoming. This includes not only hiring managers but the organization in its entirety. From friendly, smiling faces in HR, to helpful reps in IT, Finance, and any other department they encounter.

Surveys have shown that employees leave in droves when they feel unappreciated. This holds especially true when it comes to millennials. So, what can packaging companies do to prevent churn during the onboarding phase?

At every turn, candidates should be reminded they’ve made the right decision.

Whenever possible, arrange to have routine tasks taken care of ahead of time. Anticipate what new hires will need to hit the ground running - and have it waiting for them when they arrive.

For instance:

  • Health Insurance - Can you get employees and their dependents signed up ahead of time? Even if you can’t offer benefits until they arrive, you can still eliminate any snafus that might slow them down once they do.
  • ‍Technology Assets - Set your new hire up for success by having their cell phone and computer waiting when they show up. This makes a great impression and starts the relationship off on a positive note.
  • ‍Travel Arrangements - Will your packaging pro be assigned a company car? Are they expected to attend upcoming training or conferences off-site? To make an impact with candidates, take care of any travel-related issues long before they step foot in the door.

Don’t expect to just “wing” these types of activities as you go along. You must have a solid onboarding process in place to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

The goal being to integrate new executives into your culture as quickly - and smoothly - as resources will allow.

Conclusion

In the end, it all boils down to one simple fact - candidates won’t stick around if they don’t feel welcome.

During periods of transition, candidates are in a state of limbo and often lack a sense of belonging. It’s also a sensitive time as background checks and drug screenings are taking place. Constant communication is essential to let candidates know where they stand and assure them everything is moving according to plan.  

You’ve got to be proactive in making the transition process seem effortless. Anticipate their needs beforehand and do everything possible to address these concerns.

Show new hires how much you appreciate them joining the team (and encourage others to do the same). Convey your excitement about their potential and seeing their contributions come to fruition.

Not only will you earn their trust (and respect) in the interim, but create a great narrative for your brand in the future.

Together- We Succeed!

Chase & Associates

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