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Talent Talk: The Quick and the Dead

Article-Talent Talk: The Quick and the Dead

Image: Alamy/parkerphotography gun fight in old west
What does a Sam Raimi film from 1995 have to do with best hiring practices in 2022? Read on.

In 1995, Sam Raimi directed a film titled The Quick and the Dead. While critics were lukewarm, it had a great cast, including then 21-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio.

So, what made me think of that? Those five words summarize the two types of hiring managers in today’s plastics world.

The main reason for this is simple — supply and demand. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for workers has returned to pre-pandemic levels, while the number of people who either have or want a job has been stagnant since May 2020. When we first discussed the Great Resignation and the Great Retirement it may have been the first time you heard those terms, but now they are ubiquitous.

There can no longer be any expectation or even hope that the labor participation rate will increase (supply), and most companies I talk to within the plastics industry have plans to grow (demand). In some cases, these growth plans are significant. Of course, we are seeing growth through mergers and acquisitions, but if the growth is organic, it typically requires hiring.

Candidates have multiple opportunities, and salary inflation is going to be a very real thing at least throughout the coming year. All too often I find myself telling companies that the candidate they really wanted has accepted another opportunity. The other company was quick, and now you are dead.

Successful professionals — the ones you want to add to your team — make timely decisions and appreciate companies with a pace of play that matches their own. Therefore, moving quickly to make an offer has a multiplier effect on landing top talent. You are at the same time less likely to lose them to a competing offer, while more likely to attract them to join your company.

Still don’t believe me? Watch The Quick and the Dead. I won’t spoil the ending, but the slowest one to pull the trigger isn't the one who is left standing.


About the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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