Recruitment remains strong despite downturn, says consultant

Simeon Goldstein, Packaging News

Experienced packaging designers, technologists and sales people are still in big demand despite the economic crisis, although demand has slowed for account management roles, according to headhunter Harrison Scott.

There was a 60% increase in the number of vacancies for structural designers in the first two months of the year, compared to 2008, and a 38% increase for packaging technologists.

Head of packaging Greg Nelson said the “dramatic increase” was due to “increasing intensivity of environmental pressures and concerns “. “This leads to a need for retailers, in particular, to be seen to be doing more in terms of making packaging more eco-friendly.”

He added that technologists with five or more years of experience, who have not changed jobs too frequently, “should not find it difficult to source alternative employment”.

On the sales and marketing side, new business sales executive vacancies rose by 60% compared to last year, but demand for account management roles dropped by a third.

Steve Parker, managing consultant in Harrison Scott’s packaging division, said this was due to companies seeking “an exact fit for vacancies” leading to less movement between sectors.

“Clients no longer feel they have time to wait, even for a talented sales professional with a proven track record in a different sector to pick up the product knowledge and specific characteristics of a new market,” he said.

Vacancies fell in two areas – account management, down 35%, and estimating/commercial manager roles, down 37% compared to last year.

There was no change compared to last year in director-level roles including managing director and production director.

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