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Increase the Flexibility and Scalability of your Workforce: Contract Packaging Engineers

Many packaging departments face a set of familiar challenges when beginning a new project: insufficient resources, a lack of specific expertise and finding the right fit when hiring to add that expertise. For lots of companies, this problem has been exacerbated by the business and economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many packaging departments are behind on initiatives planned for earlier in the year and won’t be able to catch up without putting their team through a stressful crunch period, but those challenges are easy to overcome with contract packaging engineers — temporary, flexible resources that can help carry the load for a defined duration.

Expertise for Your Unique Needs

Many brands are choosing to leverage contract packaging experts to build a variable workforce that has experience tackling specific projects. By adding such resources, a brand can temporarily enhance expertise for projects such as reducing packaging costs, increasing packaging sustainability or optimizing packaging for the e-commerce distribution environment.

As COVID-19 drove a significant uptick in online purchases, many brands uncovered quality issues or inefficiencies with their e-commerce distribution process. Remedying these issues requires quality remediation, specification management and a packaging audit, but those time-intensive tasks can strain already-busy packaging departments.  These brands often hire contract packaging engineers to mitigate the newly uncovered issues without derailing the projects their internal teams are tackling.

Packaging Resources that Allow you to Hit the Ground Running

Since most contract engineers are brought on board to lend a specific set of skills, they typically require little-to-no training in order to hit the ground running. While a traditional hire may need weeks or months of training and orientation before they’re fully integrated and productive, a skilled contractor can begin to contribute immediately and often benefits the brand by sharing their expertise with the internal team.

Subject Matter Experts

Different projects require different levels, areas and depths of expertise. Bringing contract engineers on board for projects allows a brand to build a repository of subject matter experts with different specialties and experience. As different challenges arise or new projects become a priority, the brand can hire those contractors from their repository to supplement the expertise of their internal team.

Rightsize Your Workforce

Because there is no obligation to renew once a contract is completed, brands can staff up to handle a backlog of work from COVID-related closures or to meet a tight deadline a labor-intensive project and then return to lean staffing levels once the project or projects are complete. Using contractors for a defined duration also frees brands from obligations to provide sick time, holiday pay, PTO and other benefits.

Risk Mitigation

In addition to getting the right expertise for a defined-duration project, working with a company that specializes in placing contractors also reduces the brand’s risk. Such companies mitigate risks associated with a placement not meeting the expectations with strong managerial oversight, performance management and training and technical support. Companies who place contractors are also structured to avoid issues with co-employment laws.

Leverage Leading Packaging Talent at Adept

Adept Talent has a deep bench of highly qualified contract packaging engineers and project managers with expertise in more than 60 specialized disciplines. If your company needs to staff up to tackle a backlog of work that’s built up since the pandemic hit or to provide specific knowledge and skills to tackle a project that falls outside the typical function of its internal packaging team, get in touch. We’re ready to match you up with the expert or experts that can help meet your goals.

For additional resources on finding packaging the packaging talent you need, visit our resource library.

HR managers or recruiters hiring millennial female job candidate at interview, woman applicant listening to potential employers during employment process. Recruitment concept. Back close up view

The Benefits of Working with a Recruiter

US companies spend over $150 billion annually on recruiting and staffing agencies – even when they have their own internal talent acquisition teams. So why do companies work with an outside agency, rather than leverage their internal recruiting team? This is why:

Access to Premier Talent

The biggest reason companies decide to work with recruiting firms is to get access to top talent and hire people they can’t find on their own. This might sound redundant when considering that some companies have internal recruiting teams, but remember, an internal team might be filling multiple positions within the organization and often doesn’t have time to build a network of candidates for every role. A recruiter is constantly looking for top talent and assessing their availability. For specialized recruiters, knowing the key skills and attributes that make someone an attractive candidate in a particular field or discipline is their livelihood.

A Reality Check

Depending on the amount of turnover within an organization, a company may not have a real-world understanding of the availability of talent, current pay scales or what top candidates desire in their next opportunity. Depending on the state of the economy, the market for talent might be very competitive. By utilizing a recruiter, an organization can better position itself to find and attract the right people.

Save Time and Money

There are a lot of great tools available to help companies find talent, but many of those tools require time-consuming efforts that slow the process down and drive costs up. Adding together the costs of purchasing recruiting resources with the expense of man-hours utilized to learn, manage and evaluate the results – not to mention time lost for other projects – many hiring managers are surprised by the total expense of an already-difficult process.

The average cost of a poor hiring decision, which is often due lack of time or understanding, is $48,000 in the packaging engineering world. With the failure rate of new hires averaging between 40%-60% within the first 18 months, the importance of finding the right fit the first time saves a company both money and reputational damage. Working with an experienced recruiter streamlines those tasks and ultimately saves time and money.

It’s Faster

Let’s face it, most Human Resource departments can be called on to fill multiple positions at any given time. A beverage company, for example, may be on the hunt for production planners, laborers, merchandisers, management systems facilitators, packaging engineers and a variety of other essential personnel all at once. It takes years to learn what makes a good hire for every department and role, but an in-house recruiter may only need to use that specific knowledge once or twice in a decade. For highly specialized roles, a specialized recruiter can educate you on the must-have skills for the position, identify top candidates and trim days or even weeks off the process.

Recruiters Know Where Candidates are Hiding

Monster, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn and other job search platforms have made finding candidates much easier. However, these tend to be “active” candidates who are already looking for a job and committed to making a career change. This can be a great pool of candidates, but it may not be enough to find the best fit for a particular opening. Many times, the ideal candidate is only passively looking and doesn’t want to reveal their desire to leave their current role by advertising their intentions, but they will tell a recruiter they trust about their goals and aspirations. This is crucial for high-level jobs, where there is a much smaller pool of available jobs and qualified candidates.

Alternate Options

Not every opening requires a fulltime hire. Staffing firms can identify qualified contractors that add a flexible resource to a short-term or part-time project. Temporary or project-based hires can help when budgets are tight, headcount is too high or the workload only increases for a limited time.

Recruiters are Confidants

Negotiating is often the hardest part of the recruiting process, particularly for candidates; they want a fair salary and they don’t want to price themselves out of the running. By working through a recruiter, candidates can be honest and feel they are getting a fair compensation package. In addition, recruiters can often vet details about a candidate’s background that they might otherwise be hesitant to tell potential employers, such as health concerns, relocation challenges or career aspirations. By becoming a sounding board for both clients’ and candidates’ concerns, recruiters can act as an impartial resource throughout the hiring process.

Adept Talent Can Help

To minimize the costs of a prolonged and inefficient candidate search, consider contracting an outside recruiter that knows the packaging industry. Our specialized recruiting team at Adept Talent has a background in engineering, so they’re familiar with the array of projects, skillsets and unique challenges encountered within the industry. They have a vetted pipeline of candidates with a diversity of expertise, which allows them to provide a concise pool of qualified candidates quickly, significantly increasing the likelihood of a successful placement. Whether you’re in need of specific expertise or a complete packaging department, our team can provide the right resources, right when you need them.

Female manufacturing supervisor looking worried while checking equipment and production during quality control in the interior of a cosmetics factory

The Cost of a Bad Hire in the Packaging Industry

When looking to hire new talent, companies strive to find the best-suited candidates to fill their open positions, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes employees get hired who fail to perform, don’t meet expectations, or don’t fit into the company culture they’re being placed. When that happens, the cost of a bad hire can be staggering.  

In specialized industries where expertise is in high demand, finding the right talent can be a challenge for recruiters; timelines are short, and qualified candidates are scarce. Often, finding someone in the packaging engineering industry that meets the educational and experiential requirements is only half the battle. The job type, location, travel requirements, and employer expectations also play a role in determining if the candidate is a good fit.  

Calculating the Cost

There are many different costs associated with hiring a new employee, from recruiting, to onboarding, to training. In each industry, costs pile up quickly, but in technical industries with high salary ranges, the cost of a new employee generally exceeds the average.

Consider the following variables:

  • Number of days spent to fill the position
  • Hours spent to write and post job descriptions
  • Hours spent reviewing candidate resumes
  • Cost of advertisements and job boards
  • Cost of drug screening, assessment testing, and background checks
  • Amount of time spent onboarding
  • Cost of lost productivity
  • Days spent training the new employee
  • Benefits
  • Unemployment

These costs increase if it’s a specifically difficult position to fill, if productivity losses are high, or if the hiring company spends a long time reviewing numerous resumes of less than qualified candidates.

The Cost of a Bad Hire in the Packaging Engineering Industry

The Real Loss

The real cost of a bad hire extends beyond money. While money is easy enough to make back, mending a tarnished brand reputation, recovering associated lost business, or rectifying a ruined client relationship is much harder to regain.

In addition to the impact on your clients, bad hires can have a detrimental effect on your team. When employees are part of a team that is driven to learn, collaborate and take pride in their work, their efficiency increases. The opposite is also true. Hiring an employee that can’t carry their weight and doesn’t mesh with your current team will decrease morale, which in turn leads to decreased productivity. Essentially, one bad hire can derail an entire project.

Why do bad hires happen?

The number one cause of a bad hire is when companies are trying to fill a position quickly. Rather than spending the time vetting the candidates until they find someone qualified, they look to fill the position as fast as possible and end up with an employee that isn’t a good fit for that role.

Similarly, another main reason for a failed hire is that the recruiters or hiring company didn’t understand the employee’s skill set well enough. In a highly technical field like packaging engineering, this happens frequently to recruiters without a background in the packaging industry.

Leveraging the Right Recruiter

Often when staffing for packaging engineering roles, general recruiting companies lack the industry-specific knowledge to be able to determine if the candidate is well suited for the position they are hiring for. They often produce a large pool of candidates that have few of the skills needed to succeed in the position. This prolongs the process, having companies weed through a large pile of partially qualified candidates, which ends up increasing the cost in the long run.

In specialized industries like packaging engineering, it’s exceedingly important to be able to do more than just check off boxes on a list to see if the candidate meets requirements. With the multitude of materials, components, processes, regulations, and industries within packaging engineering, it takes a recruiter that has experience with the industry to understand both the project requirements and the engineer’s capabilities.

In contrast, working with recruiters with a background in engineering will result in a small pool of highly qualified candidates; generating a much quicker process and much more aligned results candidate for the hiring company.

Importance of Hiring the Right Talent

When you find an engineer that aligns to your project needs, it adds tremendous value to your packaging department, beyond that of the performance of that individual. Placing a candidate that fits into the culture you value and has the expertise your team was missing can increase morale, enable knowledge sharing and increase overall team productivity.

Avoiding the Cost of a Bad Hire

In order to avoid the high cost of hiring the wrong talent, consider using a recruiting company that knows the packaging industry. Recruiters, like ours at Adept Talent, have a background in engineering, so they’re familiar with the array of projects, skillsets and unique challenges encountered within the industry. They have a vetted pipeline of candidates with a diversity of expertise, which allows them to provide a concise pool of qualified candidates, quickly, significantly increasing the likelihood of a successful placement. Whether you’re in need of specific expertise or a complete packaging department, our team can provide the right resources, right when you need them.

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Leverage Contract Packaging Engineers to Supplement Your Team

With the volatility packaging departments experience as a result of new product launches, updated regulations, or new company initiatives, finding and maintaining the right packaging resources is always a challenge.

Achieving Year-End Objectives and Allocating Resources for Next Year

As the 4th quarter approaches, we’ve noticed that many of our clients need additional help to complete their projects to hit their year-end objectives. Other clients are currently allocating resources for 2020 and noting that they may need additional bodies or expertise for their 2020 projects.

As these challenges arise, ranging from insufficient resources to limited skill set or time constraint, team leads are evaluating options to overcome their specific obstacles.  Often the resource needs will depend on the volume and expertise needed for a specific project, so hiring additional full-time associates isn’t an adequate solution. 

Most of the leading global companies in the Food, Beverage, CPG and Life Sciences industries are solving this problem in packaging by relying on the expertise and manpower of contract packaging engineers.  

Benefits of Hiring Contract Packaging Engineers

By hiring contract employees for a defined duration, they are able to minimize risk, add resources when their internal teams are at maximum capacity, and hire based on the expertise needed per project.

Usually when hiring for a highly focused industry, such as packaging engineering, utilizing a company that specializes in packaging engineering, rather than a general staffing company, produces much better results.

Using a Company that Specializes in Staffing Packaging Engineers

Adept Talent, which is owned, operated and recruited by packaging engineers, is able to provide deep technical competence, an expansive global network and a pipeline of subject matter experts, which allows us to source the right candidate, quickly.  

Our global packaging pipeline has a diversity of skill sets designed to facilitate growth, spearhead new technology, enable compliance, and conquer complications throughout your packaging department.

If you’d like more information on leveraging contract packaging engineers to manage resource shortages and add flexibility, check out our white paper.

Owned, Operated and Recruited by Packaging Engineers

If your packaging department requires additional knowledge of packaging materials or business processes, our agile team can provide additional resources, specific expertise, or a complete packaging department, right when you need it.

Contact our recruiting experts today!