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September 18, 2023
2 Min Read
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Most corporate hiring systems in the United States can trace their roots back to the post World War II era. The company posts a job advertisement, then sorts through the applications to find those that most closely match the job requirements. That triggers a set of interviews, typically stretching out over a period of weeks depending on the level of the job.
Today’s job market is very different, and it is still tight despite the Federal Reserve spending 18 months trying to cool it down. Within the plastics industry, companies must proactively recruit to find the specific experience and skills they need. Larger companies often have a talent acquisition department; smaller companies have an HR generalist who sometimes wears a recruiting hat. Yet other companies use independent third-party recruitment firms.
If you or someone acting at your request makes the initial outreach, the rules of engagement are very different than if you had posted a help wanted ad. You have assumed certain responsibilities throughout the process.
First and foremost, you have relinquished the right to use the word applicant, or to treat those you recruit as applicants. For example, you have the right to fold your arms and ask an applicant, “So, why do you want to work for XYZ Plastics?” You do not have that right with someone you recruited.
You also have the responsibility to move expeditiously. The precise timeframe varies with the circumstances, but imagine someone reaches out to you, totally unexpectedly, with a potential job opportunity that sounds exactly like what you are looking for in the next step of your career. Though you were absolutely not thinking about a job change, they made it sound very intriguing.
After talking it over with your significant other, you decide to throw your hat into the ring. How would you feel if you did not hear anything for a week or longer? This leads to your third responsibility — communication. It might be okay to wait a week to let the candidate know you want to interview them if expectations are set up front.
Clear communication at each step is critical if you want to close the deal and add the person to your team: What is the next step, what is the timeframe, and so on. And if at any point you realize this is not the right person, communicating that in a timely manner is simply the right thing to do.
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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