Packaging is one of the industries that we all interact with to some extent, as it reaches into nearly every other niche in one way or another. Like many other manufacturing sectors, packaging has faced challenges in the past few years, and today’s hiring trends are largely about charting a new path forward that will be sustainable in the long term.
The packaging industry has certainly been spending more time considering the future over the last year or so. In August 2022, GlobalData noted a year-over-year increase in packaging companies hiring for roles focused on the “future of work.” 48.6% of surveyed companies reported hiring for at least one such role, compared with just 43.3% a year prior. These roles fall under a broad umbrella, looking at ways to strategically handle shifts in the workplace, from the rise of remote work to flexible work weeks to the transformation of how people view work itself.
While the stresses of the pandemic, including increased demand for shipped items along with a slowed-down supply chain, having affected the packaging industry, the sector faced some hiring challenges even before then. In early 2020, research found that 58% of packaging companies reported recruiting and retaining staff to be their top challenge. Additionally, 78% said that low wages have a major or moderate effect on their ability to hire and keep staff, while 64% cite a general lack of interest in the industry as a whole.
Packaging faces an interesting future due to its position at the intersection of various concerns, priorities, and other industries. For instance, packaging is certainly being affected by many companies’ shift towards sustainability; while packaging isn’t “going away,” it is being reconsidered and reimagined, and manufacturers will need the right people in place to navigate these changes.
Success in today’s hiring market in the packaging industry requires considering many of the same factors in other niches: the desire for increased work-life balance, the interest in transparency and broader benefits, and the competition for top talent. By working with an expert recruiter and looking for long-term solutions, packaging manufacturers can find success right now while also preparing themselves and their workforce for whatever changes may come in the future.
By Rose Dorta
Are you a high-performing leader or believe you have the potential to tackle a more challenging role? Would you be interested in career opportunities that are seeking these attributes?
I’d love to chat with you and answer any questions that you have. Email me, Rose Dorta, managing director of Kaizen HR Solutions, here.