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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 Glassdoor, Indeed, 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 - Google, Facebook, Apple, 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.

Need help with your recruiting plan or talent acquisition strategies?

Contact us today and learn more about our services.

Together- We Succeed!

Chase & Associates

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