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How to Hire a Coating Specialist – 3 Keys for Creating a Strong Bond

April 3, 2024
Hire a Coating Specialist

If you want to hire a coating specialist, you are on the right website! Over the years, we have helped companies hire many coating specialists; and this page offers tips on finding the right one for your team.

The U.S. industrial coatings market size was valued at $15 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 3.2% from 2022 to 2030.

Grand View Research – Market Report

The coatings industry is mature yet ever new, driven by new technologies and niche innovations. However, finding the right coating specialist can be a challenge. This article explores how to hire a candidate who possesses relevant technical expertise and also seamlessly integrates with your team culture.

1. Clarify the Coating Specialist Role

Make sure you clearly define the type of coating specialist you are looking to hire. There are two main types of coating specialists:

  • Coatings Applications Specialist: This position focuses on how coatings are actually applied in various settings, such as OEM/factory applied, field-applied (bridges, infrastructure) or perhaps to specific substrates, such as plastic, metal or wood.
  • Coatings Formulation Specialist: Develops coatings in a lab setting, focusing on the chemical and material properties and achieving certain performance parameters.

The coatings industry is vast, encompassing everything from house paint to specialized anti-microbial coatings for hospitals. Depending on the size of your company, you may need a hybrid of the two roles. Understanding your specific needs is crucial to finding the perfect fit.

2. Go Beyond Technical Skills

A successful coating specialist has more than technical knowledge. Soft skills like teamwork and problem-solving are equally important. Here’s why:

  • Cultural Fit: A candidate who aligns with your company culture fosters a collaborative and productive environment. Compare the key attributes of your company culture with a candidate’s preferred style
  • Consider company size: Large companies offer resources but can be bureaucratic, while smaller companies require adaptability and are often more nimble.
  • Teamwork: Does the candidate thrive in a team setting or prefer independent work? Look for examples of collaboration in past experiences.
  • Problem-solving: Ask about past challenges they’ve faced in formulation or application. How did they approach the problem? What was the outcome? Can they articulate the situation clearly?

We all know there is no perfect employee, but aim to balance technical and soft skills. Technical knowledge gaps can often be closed trough training; whereas helpful attitude, pleasant personality, and good character are inherent to an individual.

Soft Skills > Technical Skills = Better Long-Term Employee

Uncovering Skills Through Real Examples:

Don’t settle for generic answers. Ask for specific examples that showcase the candidate’s technical and soft skills:

  • How did they handle a problem with a coating formulation?
  • How did they collaborate with colleagues to find a solution?
  • Can they provide details about the application process and troubleshooting methods?

Real-life examples are far more revealing than hypothetical scenarios.

3. How to Attract Top Coating Talent

The talent market for qualified coating specialists is competitive. Here’s how to stand out:

  • Compelling Job Descriptions: Describe not only the role’s responsibilities but also its future potential development path. Include real highlights of company culture – not fluff.
  • Industry-Specific Platforms: Specialized job posting sites and recruitment services dedicated to the coatings industry reach more targeted talent.
  • Build Relationships: Network with professional organizations and universities within the coatings field. The time investment will pay off.
  • Offer Career Growth: Top talent seeks long-term opportunities. Provide growth pathways, opportunities to “own” their projects, and investment in their professional development.
  • Modern Tools and Resources: Does your company offer up-to-date technology, effective processes, and current formulation tools? These are important for top candidates.

About 16,700 openings for painting and coating workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hire a Coating Specialist FAQs

Q: What educational background does a coating specialist need?

A: Educational requirements vary depending on the specific role. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, polymer science, chemical engineering, or a related field is common.

Q: What salary should I pay a coating specialist?

A: Salaries depend on experience, location, and specialization. Entry-level bachelor’s degree starts in the 50Ks to 60Ks. Industry experts (individual contributors) can be 125K or more. The salaries can go up from there if the job includes a management or supervisory component.

Q: How can I ensure my company attracts top coating specialists?

A: Beyond competitive salaries, provide professional and technical development opportunities, and up to date tools and resources. Partnering with a specialized recruitment agency like Thomas Brooke can significantly enhance your ability to attract top talent.

The Thomas Brooke Advantage

Finding the right coating specialist requires specialized industry knowledge and a strong, active network of relationships. Thomas Brooke deeply understands the coatings industry and its unique needs.

Our team leverages this expertise to identify top coating specialists and foster meaningful connections between them and companies like yours. We focus on cultural fit and long-term success, ensuring a perfect match for your team.

Contact Thomas Brooke today to discuss your coating specialist recruitment needs and build a winning team!

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