ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 23

"We're always looking for good talent," said Dave Richards, chief operating officer of Richards Apex Inc. "And it's
always a challenge."
Many other ILMA members would agree. Finding and
retaining skilled workers is increasingly difficult - so much
so that companies are losing workers to retirement without
having a new generation prepared to replace them.

THE TWO BIGGEST CHALLENGES

For many companies, the first challenge is to get new hires
in the door.
"It's not generally a glamorous or high-paying industry,
like pharmaceuticals or nanotechnology," Richards admitted. "We are competing with more high-profile industries.
We are also competing with the fact that universities are
overselling what new graduates are worth. A degreed chemist from a high-profile school is being told they're worth six
figures right out of the box, even though they haven't done
anything or proved anything. For us, it'll take six months
before they can ramp up and contribute to the bottom line."
The second hurdle is that by the time these new employees are beginning to contribute to the bottom line, they
likely are already thinking about their next job.
"I've been in the industry almost 30 years," Richards said,
"and the biggest difference between now and when I started
is that people come out of college thinking they won't retire
with the company they hire with. They might stay two to
five years versus building a career path.

"We're not looking to hire that two- or five-year person.
We try to give young talent the opportunity to make a
career with us. We want them to come in, work hard and
participate - in decision-making and in shaping the general
direction of the company. We're looking for someone who
can contribute and be participatory every day, a truly
engaged employee. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme."
At a time when some industries treat all employees as
temporary, independent and often family-owned lubrication
companies frequently offer a long-term alternative.

"Finding and retaining skilled workers is increasingly
difficult - so much so that companies are losing
workers to retirement without having a new
generation prepared to replace them."
"We try to buck the trend and give people the opportunity to build a career," Richards continued. "People are our
No. 1 asset. If you're engaged with your people and give
them the opportunity to feel respected and valued, that will
pay you back in time. We've spent a lot of time building the
team to help us remain successful. Because of that, the average tenure is in the 15-year range. So, when I see a résumé
where someone's changed jobs every two to five years, it's an
immediate red flag."
That red flag is equally familiar to Lon Fanning, director
of Innovation and Technical Support at Dubois Chemicals.
"The next generation coming through is not really looking

23



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings August 2017

Letter From the President
Letter From the CEO
Inside ILMA
What's Coming Up
In the Know
Industry Rundown
Market Report
Bridging the Gap from ILSAC GF-5 to GF-6
Who's Next
It's About the Process
Business Hub
Counsel Compound
Washington Landscape
Member Connections
Cross Connections
Portrait
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Cover1
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Cover2
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 1
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 2
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Letter From the President
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 4
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Letter From the CEO
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Inside ILMA
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 7
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - What's Coming Up
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 9
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Industry Rundown
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 11
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Market Report
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 13
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 14
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 15
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Bridging the Gap from ILSAC GF-5 to GF-6
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 17
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 18
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 19
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 20
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 21
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Who's Next
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 23
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 24
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 25
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 26
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 27
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - It's About the Process
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 29
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 30
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 31
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Business Hub
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 33
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Counsel Compound
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 35
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Member Connections
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 37
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Cross Connections
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - 39
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Portrait
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Cover3
ILMA Compoundings August 2017 - Cover4
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