Plastics Industry Innovation, Hiring, and COVID-19 Pandemic

Voronezh Synthetic Rubber Plant, Chemical production of thermoplastic. Columns of butadiene cleaning and drying solvents.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed or even stopped the hiring process for many industries. However, some industries have been called upon to ramp up their production and manufacturing capabilities to meet the challenges posed by this life-threatening virus. Many businesses that work with plastic technology have sped up production or shifted gears to produce items they don’t typically make in order to meet the need for items like respirators, hospital equipment components, protective healthcare wear, and other items essential to fight this pandemic. As the country starts to re-open, the plastics / resin industry must be poised to meet current demands–and produce even more if the re-opening leads to serious virus outbreaks as many medical experts fear.

Combatting the Pandemic through Innovation

Plastics companies that produce single-use plastic products for the healthcare sector are witnessing an unprecedented amount of orders. Unfortunately, they’ve struggled to keep up with these orders and obtain the supplies they need to produce many of the items they make. Yet, the single-most innovative change for this industry: human ingenuity–that and the willingness of a myriad of manufacturers coming to this sector with their digital printers and other production tools to help make the masks, gloves, and respirators that hospitals need to provide care for the thousands of patients affected by the disease.

Companies that make components for cars, machines, and industrial equipment are obtaining the necessary molds to make the items that are needed to produce respirators and other life-saving medical equipment. Businesses that specialize in producing custom parts may be putting their regular product lines on hold in order to help produce components needed by the medical industry either for ventilators, hospital beds, or other types of equipment.

Hiring during the COVID-19 Pandemic

To keep up with demand, companies involved in producing plastics for the country as well as for global export must maintain their workforce. The hiring process, too, has been subject to change. Reliance on online platforms to hire talent is now essential as many plastics industry HR professionals, as are other hiring authorities, are working remotely. As the country re-opens, many of these staffers will continue to interview remotely as a safety precaution.

Plastics industry HR teams are also working with business leaders and government officials to design safety protocols that involve employee testing and other strategies that can minimize the spread of the virus.

Managing increased orders and employing rigorous new safety protocols is no easy feat. That’s why many plastics manufacturers are turning industry recruiting specialists like Key Corporate Services to help them locate and interview job candidates. Maintaining the company’s talent base and workforce is essential in order to meet the production challenges posed by this pandemic.

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What is your company doing to maintain its essential workforce? How has the pandemic changed your hiring, production, and safety procedures?

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