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FLEXO Magazine : January 2010
26 FLEXO JANUARY 2010 www.flexography.org • It's more critical than ever that paper and packaging companies have a robust human capital strategy in place if they hope to thrive in the most demanding business environment they have ever faced. • When asked to name the top three issues facing their companies over the next five years, 62 percent of respondents named talent, which, not surprisingly, was tied with materials costs. • Operations is seen as the number one area in need of outstanding talent in the coming years. • More than four in 10 respondents say top talent is difficult to find inside the paper and packaging industry. • Companies must create a comprehensive "people supply chain" out of recruitment, development, assessment, and other traditionally disparate HR activities. The Crisis of Talent in the Industry A Survey of North American Paper & Packaging Production By Jonathan Graham and Julie Kuhar The paper and packaging industry faces daunting chal- lenges from many directions. Economic turmoil has resulted in dramatically reduced demand while costs continue to rise, leading to a hypercompetitive situation that hurts everyone. As globalization continues to lead consumer product companies to build capabilities overseas to win over new market segments, many packaging companies are not prepared to participate. The call for sustainable packaging solutions is gaining momentum and creating both an oppor- tunity for those companies that are innovative and a concern for those that are not. Meanwhile, customers, suppliers, and an extremely competitive marketplace are squeezing the industry on all sides. Ultimately, these challenges and the many others that the industry faces will be solved only by outstanding leadership and highly talented senior executives. Paper and packag- ing companies need leaders and top executives who can navigate in a rapidly consolidating and globalizing industry, increase speed and address costs, lead innovation and take advantage of technology, and get ahead of emerging issues like sustainability. It is therefore more critical than ever that paper and packaging companies have a robust human capi- tal strategy in place if they hope to thrive in the most demand- ing business environment they have ever faced. To find out how well paper and packaging companies are addressing the issue of human capital, we undertook a series of industry surveys. We wanted to know how critical they believe talent is to their success. We wanted to find out what challenges they face in attracting and retaining talent and what areas could benefit from more training, develop- ment, and careful succession planning. We wanted to learn how they regarded their companies' talent management capabilities and how they viewed the recruiting of talent both from within the industry and outside the industry. Above all, we wanted to gather information that might be used as a basis for addressing this critical talent issue. The results of the North American survey are reported here; surveys of Europe and Asia-Pacific are the subject of a report to follow. INDUSTRY INDICATORS
Sustainable EOY 2009