We recently launched "Hirecracker Highlights", to help deliver deeper insights and advice to both candidates and clients within the various sectors we recruit within. In this edition, we caught up with our Senior Recruiter Charlotte Jones to talk all things Print and Packaging! As this edition took place during our celebrations for women's history month, we also touched upon ways we can help improve the gender balance in the industry, something that she is a huge advocate of!
Charlotte joined us back in 2020, and has over six years experience in recruiting within the print and packaging sector. Take a look at the interview below, or scroll down to read the interview in full!
How would you describe the Print and Packaging Industry?
I think when people think about print and packaging, people that aren't in our industry don't always understand exactly what this entails. Often people think of cartons, or corrugated products, but in fact it is a lot more in-depth than that, and I cover a variety of roles which can be really creative. Anything from creative designer, to structural designers, up to account managers, project managers, business directors, operations directors, people that are involved in business strategy and helping drive businesses forward.
What are the common misconceptions about print and packaging?
There are a couple of misconceptions I come across that I often find myself discussing:
#1: Print is Dead
This is a common misconception that "print is dead", it's false! Rise of digital has instilled a belief that there is no need for print. The digital revolution is exciting with everything moving online and the rise of digital transformation, and it has created challenges for print, but it certainly has not killed it! Print and digital aren't competing, they work effectively together in many marketing strategies.
#2: Print is Harming the Planet
"Print is harming the planet", again another false misconception. The misconception that print is bad for the environment is because people associate it with damaging trees and forests, and believe that digital is the only way forward. If used correctly, paper is a renewable source, and it's easily recyclable. People have certainly become more conscious of the environmental impacts and regulations have been set up to help.
Where does the UK sit within the global print and packaging industry?
The UK is actually the fifth largest producer of printed products, with a £14 Billion turnover, and over one hundred thousand people working within 8,000 companies. It certainly keeps me busy as a recruiter in this sector!
How can we encourage more women to get into the print & packaging industry?
Historically print and packaging has been very male dominated as an industry, but this is something that I am working hard to try and change and it's something that I'm very passionate about, as are my clients. We can do this in a number of ways. I think representation is really important, e.g. making sure that women who are in senior level roles are part of the hiring process. This helps prospective candidates recognise and aspire to join the industry and reach those levels. Showcasing opportunities as attractive for all sexes in recruitment marketing. Reducing unconscious bias by adjusting the language you use in your job adverts is important, as well as ensuring you consider this in your employer branding too. Look at the images you use in your employer branding, and actively challenge stereotypes through this. This is something that we can work together with our clients to help then achieve a better gender balance when they are hiring within print and packaging.
What advice do you have for candidates looking to get into the print and packaging industry?
It's really important that you do your due diligence as prospective employers will expect. For example making sure that before going for an interview you are researching the company. Have a look at their website, have a look at their social channels, but also make sure that your skill-set matches against what role you are going forward for. An interview is also a chance for you as a candidate to explore the opportunity further, exploring whether it's the right environment for you, and if you could see yourself working there. Looking at the culture and the dynamics of the team. The key thing is making sure you've considered all those points, but also my advice would be reach out to someone like myself, an experienced recruiter. If you are a woman looking to break into print and packaging then please get in touch because woman to woman I can certainly help, and guide and advise you on the journey. Or for anyone that is looking to get into print or packaging, or perhaps you are in it at the moment but may be looking to move, reach out as I am happy to connect and help!