Eleven tips for building your Chemicals team in 2021

Chemicals recruitment tips

David Hoggart Home, speciality chemicals, speciality-chemicals...

We’ve been in the recruitment market for 22 years sourcing experts across speciality chemicals throughout the UK&I. As a member of CNW we’re happy to share our top tips for a growing team in 2021.

What to consider when onboarding in 2021

It’s been a different year for recruitment in the chemicals sector and elsewhere as clients couldn’t meet those interviewing for roles and vice versa. Candidates have missed out on seeing the working environment, but this hasn’t hampered the market. Here are our top tips to ensure new employees feel good about joining and stay:

  1. Working remotely, we lose the ability to ask niggling questions, so it’s likely new employees will take longer to integrate. Be aware of this and facilitate integration. “Team activities” or just team meetings over zoom/teams etc. is a good place to start.

  2. Trust the abilities of your new starters – you hired them for a reason remember. Don’t micromanage.

  3. Listen - the new arrival may mean potential changes in team dynamic.

  4. Technology must support the new starter and current team –if it doesn’t, talk about it and adapt.

  5. Document the onboarding and review process so responsibilities are clear.

Communication is key

You are experts at what you do, and whoever you chose to support your recruitment plans this year, you must share with the recruiter.

A good recruiter will ask you about your business; where you have struggled to hire previously, why you have lost people, how you build success, what your employer value proposition is. Then, they can accurately represent you and source the right candidates.

  1. Ask the recruiter about their current clients and candidates they’re working with.

  2. Discuss the role and your expectations of it. They can advise on salary, candidate expectations and most importantly sometimes, how long, such processes are likely to take. 

  3. Ask your recruiter about unplaced candidate feedback. Many agencies sing about the recommendations from the people that they just placed in a job, of course the feedback is positive! It is how you handle everyone else that really matters. 

What a candidate needs to hear

  1. Candidates need to be updated regularly on the application process, timescales and expectations. Regular, honest feedback during the process is key, even if there is nothing significant to report.The candidate’s experience is a reflection on the client as well as the recruiter and that experience could be the differentiator on them taking your role, over another offer in a competitive market. 

  2. Ask them interesting questions! Work with your recruiter to develop behavioural based questions that suit your role and company culture - you are more likely to find people that fit your business ethos this way. 

What should you be looking for in a candidate? 

Behaviours and attitude…you can teach the rest!

Probably not advice you would expect to hear from a technical recruitment agency. Don’t ignore educational background for your next hire, but the “technical” background is the easiest thing to spot on a CV, and to question around in an interview. The most difficult thing is to be able to find out is if they will fit into your business, not disrupt your current employees, add value, stay long term etc.

  1. Use behavioural based questioning, that is tailored towards you and the role. This is an ideal time to work with your recruitment partner, as we do this every day. Find out how they like to work, be managed, manage people etc.
    Within very candidate scarce markets like the chemicals industry, this methodology can highlight entry level candidates who may not “tick every box” on your job description, but feel like they were ready made for your company. With some investment in training and development, with their attitude, they’ll be an asset to the company for years to come. 
    Add a technical interview, as well as extensive screening from your recruitment partner, and you’ll have enough information to make an informed choice.

And finally good luck. 2021 has seen some big changes to the way we work and recruit in the chemicals industry. It’s an exciting time to be part of it.