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Partnering with Agencies to Build Your Packaging Talent Pool

Some packaging brands think building talent pools applies only to hiring periods. Truth is, identifying the right packaging candidates is an ongoing process that never ends. Waiting until you have an opening to source talent is risky. But forming strong agency partnerships ensures your talent pipeline never runs dry.

In today’s job market, candidates are in control. The most qualified packaging professionals have options and can pick and choose whom they want to engage with. Assuming the right candidate will appear when you need them is wishful thinking.

A better approach is to keep a stable of qualified prospects on tap. An engaged group of potential candidates who are already interested in your organization and want to become part of it.

Talent pools are bullpens of star players to pull from when you need them most.

These experts might not fit perfectly into an existing role, but possess the skills and abilities needed should the right opportunity arise. With a solid talent pool, packaging companies don’t need to spend as much on job postings or recruiting efforts and save time by eliminating unqualified candidates.

A stark contrast to entering panic mode every time a new hire is required.

Building a strong talent pool is a long-term recruiting strategy that pays massive dividends over time. You’re able to hire faster with less stress and better results. The process does require some effort but isn’t as daunting as you might think.

Strategies for Developing a Packaging Talent Pool

As you might imagine, building a talent pool doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a bit of legwork (and vetting) involved to ensure you’re targeting the right packaging candidates. However, once these systems are up and running the process becomes much easier to navigate. These are a few best practice ideas to get you started.

1. Engage with Strong Applicants from Prior Openings

AKA the runners-up. The talent that made it to the final round of the interview process but came up a few points short. These are the candidates who’ve already been identified and assessed for competency.

You know about their abilities and prior work experiences. And as part of the interview process, you’ve likely seen their soft skills in action. All of which provide a wealth of data to determine what each candidate brings to the table.

Why start from scratch when you already know where the best talent is?

Working with a recruiting agency is another proven method to land top performers. These experts can identify strong packaging candidates ahead of time to make the hiring process easier. And with a professionally managed talent pool, brands can recruit far in advance of anticipated needs.

A key part of this strategy, however, is to keep detailed notes on file from previous interactions. Periodically review these notes to remind yourself of what you liked most about a particular candidate. Perhaps some of their biggest strengths or best character traits.

On the other hand, this knowledge can save you from heartache as well. You may have turned down a prior applicant for a specific reason. You’ll want to know why should the issue ever come up again. A good CRM or ATS is perfect for this task.

It’s important to mention not getting upset if candidates ignore your outreach. The lack of a response doesn’t mean they’re completely disinterested – it just might not be the right opportunity. As long as you're providing value and genuinely trying to help, don’t worry about being bothersome.

2. Connect with Passive Talent

This pool of packaging talent is already employed but may be looking to advance or make a lateral move. These are the candidates on your shortlist for when the time is right. If you don’t already know any top performers, packaging recruiters can help you find them.

According to Eric Feng - partner at Kleiner Perkins (a venture capital firm), “Only 25% of the workforce is actively looking at any given time, but 85% is willing to talk.” For HR and recruiting teams, this means candidates want to hear from you and learn about what’s out there.

Best of all, you can do so using channels you likely already have in place.

  • Referrals - never overlook the value of what existing employees can do for your talent pool. Happy and engaged workers are often some of your biggest brand advocates when it comes to growing your team.

          Encourage employees to share company news and events with friends and family. And incentivize quality           referrals with a reward program for each completed new hire.

  • Inbound Recruiting - when people hear great things about your brand, they’ll want to be a part of it. Use your blog, social media, and LinkedIn profile to share relevant industry information and provide thought leadership in the packaging space.

          Update career pages on your website with employee success stories. Describe the challenges of their work           along with how the company supports them in overcoming these issues. Highlight the unique values and           company culture that’s inherent to your organization.

          All of which create interest and add depth to your brand.

  • Active Networking - become a connector and look for opportunities to add value and help others. Whether be at conferences, social outings, or recruiting events. When done authentically, your efforts will come back to you in spades.

          After all, you never know when a colleague or acquaintance might send the perfect packaging candidate your           way.

And don’t be afraid to tout your brand online and share all the great things you’re doing. Not only is it good PR but candidates want to hear about it. 

3. Stay in Communication with Your Packaging Talent Pool

Probably the biggest (yet most underutilized) recruiting strategy is simply to keep in touch with quality candidates. And you don’t need to overthink this - just reach out from time-to-time and see how things are going. Ask what’s new and whether or not anything has changed with a candidate’s career or personal life.

Use your CRM or (other contact management app) to set reminders and simplify the process. Or, if the process feels too overwhelming, you can hire a packaging recruiting firm to do the legwork for you. Once a quarter is a good messaging timeframe to start with. You can always adjust from there as needed.

When candidates acknowledge your efforts, be sure to respond quickly. Ideally, within 24 hours of receipt. The more interest you show in them and their current situation, the more likely they’ll reciprocate.

Be sure to personalize your interactions as well. It’s tempting to save time by mass-sending generic messages, but these often do more harm than good. Your results will be far better if you spend the extra time to produce something genuine.

As a final thought, don’t forget to include past employees in your communications as well. They may have left to pursue other opportunities, but the right opening could easily bring them back. While away, they’ve likely developed new skills and knowledge and may be the perfect fit for future positions.

Besides, you already know they’ll mesh with your company culture and values.

4. Recruiting Agencies Take Your Talent Pool Further

While some of these tasks can be handled internally, working with a packaging agency supercharges your efforts. Most recruiting specialists have decades of industry experience and strong ties to both existing and upcoming talent. They understand client brands and can spot the best matches to complement existing values and company cultures.

Agencies work the candidate markets daily and know who’s looking and what’s available.

When informed about organizational growth plans and talent needs, recruiters can be a major asset as well. Keeping these roles in mind, they constantly scan the candidate landscape and alert employers whenever a solid match is found.

Even for companies who aren’t looking to hire, agency partnerships remain beneficial.  

Deep connections mean access to top talent as soon as they hit the market. Which provides better opportunities for candidates as well the employers who need them. Because sometimes the best hires are the ones organizations never knew they needed.


You should periodically evaluate your talent pool to see where you stand. If you’re not consistently attracting the right kind of packaging talent, you may need to tweak your messaging to get back on track.

If you don’t know where to start - or need help formulating your game plan - working with an experienced packaging recruiter can assist. These industry veterans understand the packaging landscape and have the connections and experience necessary to jump-start your results.

Finally, ensure your talent pool understands you're not offering them a job by reaching out. But instead, preparing them should the right opportunity come up. If you’re open, honest, and set reasonable expectations striking the right chord will come naturally.

Bottom line - packaging talent pools ensure you have the best people available when you need them most. But the process only works when you invest the time and energy to remain proactive, engaged, and genuinely helpful to those in your network.  

Need help with creating or growing your packaging talent pool?

Contact us today and learn more about our services.

Together- We Succeed!
Chase & Associates

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