College graduates (and others seeking work) take heart. There are jobs awaiting you in the dairy industry. According to Dairy Foods’ 2017 Hiring Survey, 70% of the companies we surveyed report they are actively seeking to fill one or more full-time or part-time positions.

Dairies are actively looking to fill openings in plant operations and sales. Of those surveyed, 32% are seeking full-time line operators and 30% are seeking to fill openings in sales.  Respondents said they will hire an average of 12 people for line operator jobs. There is an average of five jobs to be filled in warehouse/logistics and in research and development; four each in plant maintenance and sales; and three each in marketing/communications, plant operations management and QA/QC.

Jobs on the line and in the warehouse require the least experience (0.5 and 1.6 years, respectively). Employers are asking for 5.4 years of experience in plant operations management, and 4 years in sales, R&D, and marketing and communications.

Although employers say they want job experience, the two most important hiring criteria are “good personal chemistry” (69%) and proficiency in the English language (66%).

Dairies are hiring because they have vacant positions (according to 55% of respondents) and because of increased industry demand (47%). Other reasons include filling a new position (24%), adding a shift (11%) and building a new plant (9%).

Most of those surveyed prefer to promote from within (60%), and 80% say they do offer entry-level positions.

The Market Research Division of BNP Media (publisher of Dairy Foods) surveyed magazine and newsletter subscribers from March 30 to April 13. Geographically, 47% of respondents were in the Midwest, 22% in the Northeast, 17% in the West and 14% in the South.

Additional information will be published in the June 2017 issue of Dairy Foods.

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