The specialty chemical market is experiencing explosive growth all over the world, and there’s no sign that anything is slowing down.
Valued at about 610 billion USD in 2019, the global specialty chemicals market is expected to balloon in worth to about 940 billion by 2026. Polymers, cleaning materials, drug components, agrochemicals, adhesives, and sealants (among other things) are all in huge demand as manufacturing, medicine, and construction all continue to see more gains.
Specialty Chemical Distributions Are an Integral Part of the Supply Chain
Specialty chemical distribution sometimes involves manufacturing, but it’s largely concerned with value-added services that larger manufacturers aren’t interested in doing and end customers can’t handle on their own.
What Chemical Distribution Companies Do
Chemical distribution companies act as an intermediary between the producers or suppliers and end-of-the-line customers. While some chemical distributors may be involved in manufacturing, the company’s core function centers around stocking bulk chemical products and repackaging them into smaller quantities, reformatting them to a customer’s requirements, and transporting them where they need to go, when they need to get there.
In other words, specialty chemical distribution is focused on the product and the end-user. They’re a critical part of the pipeline that supplies many smaller companies with the elements they need to make their products. Low-volume customers often can’t meet the sales and volume requirements set by suppliers, so chemical distributors step in and provide deep-level support and an efficient, reliable supply chain in areas that might otherwise go without.
Example Chemical Distribution Companies
Univar Solutions, Azalea Color Company, Lipscomb Chemical Company Inc., Omya Inc., and American Polymers Services Inc. are some of the notable names among chemical distributors in this country, but there are many others out there. All of them are looking for new talent to meet the rising demands of their industry.
What Kind of Jobs Positions Are There in a Specialty Chemical Distribution Company?
The jobs inside a specialty chemical distribution company can be just as diverse as the companies themselves. Customer service representatives, production workers, chemical line operators, and salesmen with chemistry degrees and detailed knowledge of the industry are always in demand.
So, too, are plant managers, chief operating officers, distribution specialists, high-level chemists and technicians, logistic analysts, and environmental specialists. In an environment that is highly competitive, companies often vie for the top talent in each field.
Don’t make the mistake, however, of thinking that it’s easy to find a good position in the industry. Suppliers are increasingly selective about the chemical distributors that they use, so companies are dedicated to seeking out only the “best of the best” for their job openings.
What Are Recruiters in the Specialty Chemical Industry Looking For in Job Candidates?
No matter what your chosen profession, walking into that interviewer with a hiring manager or a recruiter can be nerve-wracking. A lot of folks make the mistake of focusing heavily on their technical skills — but that’s a mistake.
Your degrees and list of accomplishments are what got you through the door. You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t have the right qualifications. Your CV should already be in the recruiter’s hands, so there’s no need to rattle them off again in your interview.
Instead, it’s wiser to focus on your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligencewhen you’re interviewing. Those are the things that tell a recruiter whether or not you’re right for the company culture they have in mind. In other words, sell yourself to the recruiter and let your resume and skills justify their decision to hire you.
Interviewing for a Speciality Chemical Job
Since the chemical distribution model requires a lot of interaction with different people, here are some questions to ask yourself before an interview:
- How are your listening skills? Is there a time where they’ve benefited you that you can use to illustrate those skills?
- Is analyzing data a strength? What is your approach when you have to work with a lot of information all at once?
- How do you handle difficult people? Can you describe an experience where you were able to take a problematic encounter and turn it positive?
- Are you able to communicate well with different audiences? Can you tailor your message and language so that it is impactful to people without the same level of technical knowledge that you carry?
- How do you handle challenges and failure? What example can you give about how you’ve demonstrated creativity, innovation, or resilience when faced with problems?
Above all, you need to keep in mind that specialty chemical distribution is a global undertaking. You may ultimately end up interacting with people in many different fields and geographic areas, so you need to show the recruiter that you’re a team player, not a lone wolf.
There are plenty of jobs out there in specialty chemicals distribution companies, and they’re all looking for people who can make a positive difference in what they do and how they do it.