Thermoforming Report

“The Early Bird Catcheth the Worm”

by Keith Brown, President & Owner, Siena Group.

Catcheth the Worm“? Upon investigating this well-known colloquialism and proverb, its first origins are in a compilation, A collection of English Proverbs in the 1600s. As noted here, there isn’t a lot of information on the true origin of this phrase, just that it was already well-established and therefore likely commonly used. 

Why am I investing time in sharing this with you?!?  Because its message is so relevant today in this war on talent! When seeking out thermoforming talent, the early bird most certainly catches the worm!  Access to talented people is a big deal right now. It is why we invest the time at Siena Group to feature great people in our thermoforming world in a number of different ways: LinkedIn posts, videos, on a dedicated ‘Featured Talent’ page on our website, and more. And it works – we have a lot of inquiries as a result of these efforts. The results: we put great people into great organizations.   

Even so, no matter our recruiting efforts, sometimes the nature of the corporate cog slows down the hiring processes, and we find ourselves “wormless”. To that end, we are assessing how we can adjust the urgency and process on our end in support of our clients’ needs to help catch “that” worm.  

Let me share a very recent example of this situation. We featured an extraordinarily talented leader in the thermoforming world who brought a ton of technical knowledge and experience in thin gauge, heavy gauge, and sheet extrusion, as well as a strong history of successful operations leadership at the plant level – all coming at a very high-value point. Within minutes of publishing, we had several people reach out, inquiring to learn more.    

Over the next several weeks, this leader was presented for multiple roles across the country to a variety of clients (tip to candidates: being flexible on location is HUGE). Interviews happened. Follow-ups were scheduled, including onsite visits. This leader was highly active in his search efforts – not only via Siena Group but also through his own networking – exactly what anyone would be doing when seeking a new opportunity (another great tip: network, network, network).  When I made the featured talent video, I predicted that this person was not going to be around for long.  

And I was right. He landed (the end of the story continues below) – and every single client we were working with missed out. Please understand that I am not throwing anyone or any company under the bus! I know I could work faster and apply a higher level of pressure. This is all about highlighting the world we live in and the need to adjust – as you are able and I am able – in order to snap up available talent… when it is available.  

Continuing the story, the candidate shared, “During this process, I’m really surprised at how long some of these companies take.” Yep. Me too. There are lots of reasons for this, not the least of which is making sure you hire the right person. We are blessed to work with some amazing companies, a testament to their typically very low attrition rates. However, what I’m not seeing is an adjustment to the market conditions.  If there is truly an urgent need, then the organizations need to be realigned to the world we live in and make changes to their hiring process. Hiring managers can’t say, “We really need this job filled!” … and then say “I’m not available to interview right now – can we push out to next week?”   

No, we are not advocating for shortcuts! What we are strongly recommending is to get your people in place to interview, to review and debrief, to quickly follow up with the next step, to review and debrief, and then to make a decision – all in a very timely manner: early-bird-style.  As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, growth is happening in nearly every sector and in every type of thermoforming business. Still, landing strong thermoforming talent requires decisiveness and timeliness – or an ‘early riser’ will nab the talent, and you will miss out. 

So, here’s how the leader’s story ended and how the “early bird” company “caught” him. (Have I exhausted the proverb, yet?) They met with him via a Teams call on a recent Thursday, debriefed and liked him, brought him to the site on that Saturday, liked him, and made the offer on Sunday. Four days total with four different people involved in the decision. Boom. Done. Landed him.

Trust me; I know that sounds crazy… and nearly impossible to pull off!  And… and… and… but it happens. A lot. This specific scenario was with a Manufacturing Leader. It happened 6 months ago with a Process Engineer. And it happened about 18 months ago with a VP of Sales & Marketing. Believe it or not, it is more common than you think

All this to say, as your thermoforming talent partner, we strongly recommend that you adjust your hiring process to match the dynamics this talent-war market has created in order to land that person for that critical role!

We are here to help in any and every way possible. Let’s Strengthen Your Search!

At Siena Group, we are your Thermoforming Talent Partner! With more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing, hiring & recruiting talent, we bring a greater understanding of the companies we partner with and the candidates we pursue. Let’s Strengthen Your Search!

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