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Recruiting Trends for Packaging in 2018

Recruitment trends change in every industry and packaging is no exception. While classic principles like honesty and integrity never go out of style, the medium and method of delivery often do. Packaging organizations that find (and retain) the best talent are those who recognize these shifts and act upon the changes.

As you might expect, some of the newest trends in recruitment originate from technology. However, many others are simply a reflection of today’s job market and the roles both employees and employers play within it.

There’s no denying that candidates are in the driver’s seat nowadays. And packaging firms need to think strategically to stay competitive. Here are some popular trends for 2018 you need to be aware of.

Diversity Is Paramount

In years past, diversity was merely a goal for most organizations. However, it's now become a non-negotiable standard. Because the demographics of our society, communities, and the workforce are changing rapidly - diversity becomes a natural extension of the global economy.

Studies show that diverse teams are more creative and productive than their homogeneous counterparts. After all, having different viewpoints allows teams to see problems from multiple angles. Which, in turn, fosters better ideas and more comprehensive solutions.

Candidates from different backgrounds want to work for employers who embrace a diversity mindset. They seek out companies who convey these ideas in their marketing and recruiting efforts.

Organizations who hire them increase their bottom line. While those who don’t often struggle to keep pace.

Reinventing the Packaging Interview Process

Another new trend in recruitment techniques involves the interview process itself. For example, many packaging companies have ditched the traditional interview in favor of more modern assessments of a candidate's abilities.  

History shows that verbal interviews don’t always paint the full picture of what an applicant can do. Granted, formal conversations are well-suited for assessing soft skills, but not so much for critical thinking and leadership ability.

Even when candidates provide appropriate responses, they’re often rehearsed and therefore meaningless.

To counter this effect, organizations have taken several creative approaches. Like taking candidates to lunch or dinner instead of meeting at the office. Encouraging interviewees to let down their guard and speak openly about their skills and experiences.

Other companies have taken interviews a step further - implementing “paid work trials” or using virtual reality to test candidates in simulated situations. The goal is to see how they perform under pressure (by putting them to the test).

Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing

Top talent is in demand and often write their own ticket when it comes to employment. That means you can’t wait for the best candidates to magically appear - you must go after them. One of the best ways to accomplish this task is by building a strong company brand.   

Making a name for your packaging firm is key to attracting the right candidates.

By harnessing the power of social media, monitoring employer review sites, and creating employee-focused career pages, you bolster your reputation and generate enthusiasm. You can also stave off negativity and manage PR problems before they get out of hand.

In the long and short of it, in 2018 employers need to think like marketers. Working hard to showcase the value and opportunity they provide and making sure the right people hear that message.

Improving the Packaging Candidate Experience

Attracting the right talent may be the first step but making them feel welcome is never far behind. A major component of good recruitment is the type of candidate experience you provide. Each link in the chain - from recruiting to interviewing to onboarding - is another chance to either impress or discourage top talent.

Highly regarded companies are those who communicate effectively, respond quickly, and make candidates feel appreciated from the get-go. It’s worth noting that personalized experiences make a difference whether you hire an applicant or not.

If you do hire, candidates are likely to tell friends and family about their positive experience. And studies show that employee referrals are one of the best sources to find talented workers.

Likewise, if you and the candidate aren’t the right fit, a memorable experience can still pay dividends. Either by keeping the door open to future opportunities or by spreading goodwill regarding their treatment during the process.

Using Data for Recruitment Strategy

Data collection is a hot topic these days. While a few companies have tarnished their reputations with inappropriate use, others are using data to foster beneficial changes for themselves and their employees.

For example, regular internal surveys can yield a wealth of information regarding employee satisfaction and retention. Both of which are strong indicators of growth from an HR perspective.  

Data can also be used to determine where your message is resonating most (and where it’s falling flat). Monitoring social media, company blogs, and online forums provides feedback and indicates when course corrections are needed.

The same theory applies to your candidate experience. In addition to evaluating the hiring process, surveys can provide valuable insight regarding employee happiness, income satisfaction, and perceived opportunity for growth.

The key is making use of the data you collect.

Comparing these numbers over time to see if KPIs are improving or declining. From there, modifying employee development plans to keep these numbers moving in the right direction.


While there are some new trends in packaging recruitment in 2018, many fall along similar lines. More than anything, it’s about providing an outstanding candidate experience at every touchpoint. Whether it be on your website, social media outlets, or company application process.

Top candidates know they’ve got leverage - and they’re looking for companies willing to meet them halfway.

Another big trend involves workforce analytics. Collecting data to understand how to improve talent acquisition, employee satisfaction, and enhance growth opportunities.

Technology is altering the face of recruiting, yet the basics remain the same. Like when you look out for a candidate’s best interest, they’ll do the same in return.

What kind of recruitment trends are you seeing in your organization?

Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Chase & Associates

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