Automotive and truck companies are seeking qualified applicants with plastics knowledge for short-term project positions as well as long-term hires, according to experts in the consulting and recruiting fields.
“From our perspective, the market is strong. There is a lot of truck and auto work,” said Richard Broo, president of InnoMark Solutions Group Inc. of Milford, Mich.
For example, Broo cited a truck industry supplier that approached him with a project that had two dilemmas — one dealt with fasteners, and a second dealt with how to shed 500 pounds from a vehicle.
“Normally two years ago, they would have done it themselves,” he said.
Broo said that automotive and truck companies, especially those in the Tier 2 and 3 levels, are looking for help in certain situations — like paint on plastics, working with adhesives and with the tooling process.
He said that InnoMark works with companies and recruiters that need to fill a specific need. The company can supply experts with 20-30 years of engineering experience and that have had held multiple jobs.
Broo said that projects vary in length. He cited one that has been ongoing for a year that involves helping an OEM client deal with paint and adhesive issues. However, a typical engagement is about six months, he said.
Dealing with problems is what his company does, by homing in on the specifics and then solving them, he said.
A demand for special skills
InnoMark has a recruiter/partner program where it works with recruiters to find solutions. Lately, the recruiters are finding a demand for people with special skills.
Mary Elizabeth Sadd, president of Pinnacle Search Partners of Alpharetta, Ga., said she felt a “renewed energy about what's new and different” in the industry.
Companies are finding “more ways to use plastics, like it was 15-20 years ago,” she said.
Sadd, who once worked at GE Plastics, said Pinnacle does concentrate on permanent placements and she sees opportunities for sales and marketing and top-level people. She said that companies are concentrating on filling specific needs and in upgrading their talent.
Sadd said that the plastics area is showing strength, especially for cutting-edge technologies and sustainability.
Jeff Yeager, who has 36 years of experience in the industry and is president of Yeager Executive Search Inc. of Lansing, Mich., said “part of the market is quite active — the materials marketplace, especially with automotive and appliances.”
He said that packaging was the place to be last year, but that specialists who know how to deal with materials, ranging from polypropylene and olefins to engineered materials, are a strong area for hiring.
Yeager said that his recruiting firm deals with sales, management and upper-management positions.
He said that he usually deals with companies needing permanent hires, but does work with a consultant like InnoMark if the situation dictates.