The Next Big Recession: Calamity Or Opportunity?

The coffee is cooling on your desk while the headlines scrolling across the news channel are white-hot: “Consumer Confidence Is Plummeting Amid Trade War,” “Manufacturing Industry Is Tanking,” “Business Leaders Expect A Recession Within The Next Six Months.”

The news ticker feeds the butterflies in your stomach. If the recession hits, your company could falter. Who wants to start the workday like that? Stress is never your friend.

Recessions are a natural part of the business cycle. If you haven’t worked through one yet, you will at some point. And given recent headlines, the party might get started sooner rather than later!

But a recession doesn’t automatically mean your company will suffer a slow down, or worse, a contraction. Leave those problems to the broader economy by making your business recession-resistant.

So how do you prepare your company for a recession? Let’s look at some sage advice. 

Recession = Opportunity

Many economists consider recessions a natural and unavoidable part of the business cycle. Writing for Bain, Tom Holland and Jeff Katzin note:

“It’s overdue. Predicting the onset of a recession is difficult, but a down turn likely will arrive soon, with the current economic expansion now more than ten years old, long by historical standards.”

Holland and Katzin make an even more important point:

For corporate leaders, however, the exact timing and duration of a recession matters less than being ready to seize the moment early, when they have more options.”

Bain has found that while unprepared companies must react to emerging crises, prepared companies can seize the moment and use a recession as a chance to reinvest in growth. If a recession does set in, your company should approach it as an opportunity.

Some of your competitors will be taking their foot off the gas during a recession. Many companies put off launching new products and making serious investments. Their indecision opens up space in the market for bold players.

Take food and beverage. Back in 2009, amid the “Great Recession”, food and beverage launches declined 30 percent, according to an analysis of Mintel’s Global New Product Database (GNPD). Companies willing to brave the tumultuous markets faced substantially less competition, which impacts the bottom line.

Renowned business Professors Berk Talay, Koen Pauwels, and Steven Seggie found that automobiles launched during moderate recessions enjoyed a better chance of long-term survival.

Is the prospect of a coming recession keeping you up at night? No worries! We got you covered. Here is the first big takeaway: strategy and preparation can turn a recession into an opportunity.

Play it Smart During a Recession

The labor market is the tightest it has been in years. Over at Inc.com, Wanda Thibodeaux argues that “recruiting just ain’t what it used to be.” She cites a survey suggesting that there’s a shortage of skilled labor, and competition among recruiters is fierce.

Finding the right talent can be difficult. When the business cycle does enter a downturn, the labor market should relax, and more talent should be available.

Translation? Opportunity knocks!

Another company’s layoffs could be your gain, allowing you to snatch up top talent.

Even if you have to weather some lean years, you could emerge from the recession in a stronger position, ready to execute while the competition scrambles to keep up. However, a sudden wealth of talent can make it harder to identify the right candidate.

As Carole Oldroyd writes for Pandologic:

“One job ad could garner a multitude of applicants. While that seems like a great problem to have, it can also slow time-to-hire and reduce quality-of-hire, as well. And when quality-of-hire goes down, turnover goes up and so do costs.”

Making the wrong hire during a recession is especially risky. New hires need to hit the ground running. The ROI has to be there right out of the gate.

Here is our second big takeaway: position yourself to reap the rewards of a tight job market. Let’s look at how you should approach packaging during a recession.

Add Value During a Recession

How to recession-proof your packaging company? 

As the “packaging diva” JoAnn Hines states, you first have to “learn to recognize what buying signals will motivate your customers to purchase your products.”

During recessions, consumers stretch every dollar they spend. Purchasing decisions inspire agony. While it’s always essential for companies to stand out, it’s downright vital during a recession. How so? Agony is a powerful motivator.

Our third big takeaway: added value equals added protection and more sales.

“A customer might skip a fancy dinner,” Hines says, “and pick up easy-to-prepare food at the grocery store instead. So if you’re a food company and can get your packaging right, you could snag a customer from a restaurant.”

Okay, but what about non-food items? If your company’s bread and butter items are luxury items, can you position your products as the quality alternative? Quality made goods stand the test of time. Consumers know this, quality goods last longer.

Americans love vacations, but they’re frequently among the first luxuries cut during a recession. Can you position your products to recreate a vacation at home? Perhaps a massage pad for an aching back or a fire pit for the backyard? Adding a sense of affordable luxury to your packaging could help convince buyers.

Keep in mind; shoppers will want to pay less for more, especially during a recession. If customers are tightening their belt, you need to appeal to their wallets. A potato chip company, for example, could offer 10 percent more chips at the same price.

Be “Durable” During Downturns

Recessions are a great time to hone your brand. Even if you have to struggle through some lean years, you could come out with a stronger company when the business cycle turns again, and the economy starts to expand.

Recessions inspire tough questions. How can we be smarter than our top competitors? How can we add value and improve customer service? Is there top talent looking for a new home? The more you invest in seizing the moment, the better you will perform during a recession. 


What do recessions have to do with executive recruiting in packaging? Most of the time, not much! But when a recession does hit, you want an executive recruiting firm at your side that sees downturns as opportunities. 

Chase & Associates
We Have Your Back


The Circular Plastics Economy: Innovators & Disruptors Needed!

The packaging manufacturing sector continues to attract private equity as a dependable growth investment. Packaging has long been a steady ship in the roughest of seas. But is that about to change? Is the flagship of ROI slowly taking on water? A storm of a different type grows in strength and momentum.

When visiting the “A Plastic Planet” website, you are greeted with this message:

WE ARE ALL PLASTIC ADDICTS.

OUR SIMPLE GOAL IS TO IGNITE AND INSPIRE

THE WORLD TO TURN OFF THE PLASTIC TAP.

The World Economic Forum put it best in one of their articles when they wrote, “Humanity’s relationship with plastic is rather schizophrenic.” And while they advocate for balanced solutions, it’s impossible to ignore their line, “There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean in 30 years, scientists estimate.” That kind of statistic embeds into a consumer’s brain.

Ok, fine, not good news, but there has been a tidal wave of reform and change in the industry. I mean, right? In 2018, The Economist published an article titled, “Only 9% Of The World’s Plastic Is Recycled.” And let’s not forget the legislation angle.

In May of 2019, California passed a law that requires a 75% reduction in single-use plastics by 2030. The Canadian government announced that it would ban single-use plastics as early as 2021. It’s enough to want to take up residence in your Happy Place permanently.

The good news is, as the pressure intensifies, so does the drive for innovative leadership and solutions.

TheCircular Plastics Economy Outside-The-Box

In last month’s blog post “(15) Clicks To Legendary Leadership In Packaging,” we dedicated an entire section to developing your innovation skills. One of the lines from that post says it all, “If you’re not pushing the envelope, the envelope won’t open.” Let’s take a closer look at the circular economy outside-the-box.

In Thinkstep’s post about sustainable packaging trends (which includes three videos), they tackle the many complexities to creating a circular economy. While their post is EU centric, it’s an influential read for any organization serious about sustainability.

The challenges are many. Will your packaging brand respond to the top (3) trends or just one? An effective strategy requires fully understanding the landscape.

At the bottom of the Thinkstep piece they write, “How can you, as a manufacturer, go against regulatory pressure and potentially risk push-back from customers, to carry out the more sustainable option?.” It’s an interesting question.

ReNew ELP, the winner of the FlexPack Recovery Challenge, offers up a hopeful headline on the homepage of their website; “Unlocking The Value Of Plastic Waste.” It’s a simple statement that gets to the heart of innovative thinking. The solution is found by seeing challenges as opportunities.

In his interview upon winning the challenge, Richard Daley, Managing Director of Renew ELP, mentioned a collaboration to help the country of Timor-Leste. He stated, “This (referring to their technology) represents a significant opportunity to provide real environmental and societal benefit to Timor.” Credible technology + credible impact = results.

In her article for Packaging DigestTristanne Davis states, “In the midst of this quickly evolving and increasingly multifaceted conversation on packaging sustainability, many companies are still struggling with the basics.” When our brains and brands struggle with information overload, an overwhelming sense of impossibility kicks in. Rising above the overwhelm is central to taking effective action.

Success on complex issues never happens in a vacuum

In the decades to come, packaging brands large and small will be running two brands, not one. There will be the brand that packages, and there will be the brand that provides the kind of “real environmental and societal benefit” that Richard Daly mentioned.

To accomplish this, to play at the top of your game, join coalitions, connect with influencers, engage in the solution. Grow your sustainability tribe to effectively author strategies that deliver tangible results. Develop the key relationships that will ensure you have a seat at the table.

A strong brand position requires a strong sustainability position.


What does this have to do with executive recruiting? EVERYTHING! How can we find the innovative leaders in the area of sustainability unless we know what they look like? And it speaks to our own values of always thinking outside-the-box.

Chase & Associates – We Have Your Back

The Human Side Of Recruiting In The Packaging Industry

It is easy to forget the human side of moving someone, often an entire family, from one job to another job. Pulling up one’s roots is no small decision. It’s a big decision. It’s an emotional decision. It’s a profoundly personal decision.

How skilled is your packaging company at helping potential hires during these vulnerable moments of transition?

Your ability to attract and retain the best and brightest is as much about your culture as it is your HR department. Your company culture can become one of your greatest competitive assets, or not.

Let’s revisit the idea of vulnerable moments.

When a brand values their Best Place To Work awards as much as they value the bottom line, the bottom line grows. Retention soars. People plug into something bigger than themselves.

Take, for example, Brigade – a creative agency with serious chops in package design. When Ad Age deemed Brigade one of the best places to work in 2017, Ad Age said something about the leadership of Brigade.

Back to those vulnerable moments – the sequel.

If you’re thinking about uprooting your family to join Team Brigade, you’re probably thinking those Brigade people get it. They get the fact that uprooting your family is a tough, vulnerable decision to make.

Beyond Brigade’s award is the tone they set on their website. In particular, they are showcasing how Brigade treats their interns. Seriously? Interns? How you treat interns says a ton about how you view people in general.

In their post, We Are BRIGADE: A Conversation with Jackie Saucier, Creative Intern– they write the following: “At BRIGADE, we foster the next generation of creative talent by offering competitive paid internships to young designers from all over the country.”

Ok, cool, but what does that have to do with a packaging executive uprooting his or her family for a new job? Everything! Brigade treating their interns like gold makes a statement to the world. It demonstrates how they view people, which gives a potential hire what he or she most craves, peace of mind.

Interns. New hires. Long-term employees. When it’s all for one, everybody wins.

Does your packaging brand give new hires peace of mind? If not, how can you change that? The recruiting and hiring process is a human process.

Sonderen Packaging: A Case Study In Excellence

Excellence is a decision. It’s the choice to rise above the crowd in the areas that matter the most; value, customer service, company culture, to mention a few. To this end, Sonderen sets the standard as evidenced by the many awards they have won.

But it goes deeper than awards. Much deeper.

When you’re building a packaging brand, the tone is everything. The same is true when you are trying to attract top-tier talent. Tone, in this context, is defined as the “general character or attitude of a brand and company culture.”

The best way to experience the tone of the Sonderen brand is the (6)-minute video found on their About Page. To be clear, we have no affiliation with Sonderen. They don’t even know we’re writing about them!

After viewing the Sonderen About Page video, what words would you use to describe their brand? What words would you use to describe their company culture? It’s easy to see why they have won so many awards.

“All of us out here (plant floor) take pride in what the finished product looks like.”

In the name of full disclosure, many agencies can make an excellent video for your brand. Getting an employee to deliver the perfect line is also easy to craft. But is it real? And what does that have to do with recruiting? The answer is on their website.

In their post, “Empowering Employees and a Great Company Culture Lead to Excellent Employee Retention”, this packaging firm plants their flag. The Sonderen Way is crystal clear. People matter. Excellence matters — values matter.

When you’re a recruiter talking to someone about turning their life upside down, such cultures are pure gold. Companies like Sonderen tell a potential hire that yes, change can be tough, but the ROI will be worth it in the end.

And who doesn’t want to join a company passionate about excellence?

Tone matters. Excellence matters. Such brand qualities play to our base need to do meaningful work. When we feel a potential employer offers us those things, we naturally attract to the impact that could have on our lives.

Will Trinity Ever Host Saturday Night Live?

If you’re like me, such a question melts your brain a little.

Pop culture, ugh. Who is Trinity? Pop star? Actor? Comedian? Influencer?

The thing is, it’s a valid question, and we think one of Trinity’s employees was in Game Of Thrones. We’ll let their YouTube video fill in the blanks.

The Trinity YouTube Video

Yep, Trinity is a packaging company. Wow! But did all that tomfoolery translate to the bottom line? We’ll let Inc Magazine answer that question in their piece, “How Relationships–Both With Customers and Employees–Form the Core of a Fast-Growth Culture.”

Ok, so the article title stretches from sea to shining sea but the takeaway is clear. We want to drink beer with these Trinity people! Virgin America was famous for taking a similar approach to their marketing.

When we want to drink beer with a brand’s persona, we are far more likely to join their team. How so? Trust. Trinity Packaging is a brand people can trust. And when it comes to recruiting top talent, trust is the name of the game.  

Trinity only produced a small amount of YouTube content. Same on the blogging platform, Medium. But the content they did produce (let’s hope they provide more), backed by awards and recognition, put them on our radar.

Meaning, their brand rose well above the noise to capture our attention. Do you think that might matter to a potential hire? Absolutely!

Retaining top talent is about a whole lot more than a fun brand. But it’s a great place to start, especially if you back it up with exceptional leadership.


Recruiting for the packaging industry is a very human process filled with real fears and stress points. Companies like Brigade, Sonderen, and Trinity calm those nerves by bringing a lot to the table. We have no affiliation with any of these brands, but their stories touched us, so we wanted to share them with you.

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?

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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!


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