Pactiv Reviews

81 Reviews
81 Reviews
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John McGrath
30 Ratings

    In Temple, the PE Plant and RMC are where you want to be - Foams and RDP are not as fun

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Distribution Supervisor in Temple, TX
    Former Employee - Distribution Supervisor in Temple, TX

    I worked at Pactiv full-time (more than 3 years)


    1) I had a good experience overall - my boss was intent on getting me exposed to everything he could, and he let me travel to participate in kaizen events, DPM training, and SAP go-live events. I knew I could make a mistake and not lose my job - I was given enough rope to be a leader and take charge, and when I fell on my face, my managers wouldn't kick when I was down. The only thing they were concerned with is that I learned from my mistake and continue to improve. My peers and my team were awesome - I enjoyed working with most everyone. 2) The safety culture was very good - I believed Pactiv meant what they preached to all of us about living and working in a safe environment. There were several safety incentives that employees looked forward to when we reached certain landmarks, such as 1 year without an OSHA recordable. We got fed frequently for safety and performance! 3) Work-life balance was very good - everything is in shifts, so as a supervisor I would come in 30 minutes early and leave about 30 minutes after my shift. Occasionally we had staff meetings, so I would come in early for that but I wouldn't have to work extra hours. I think the RMC was one of the best departments when it came to work-life balance, and our bosses set the example. They would often come in early, but when it was time to leave they left. 4) Near the end of my time at Pactiv, there was some restructuring in HR. The HR manager I ended with supported my peers and I very well. He was fair and consistent, and he wasn't afraid of discipline or termination if there was supporting documentation. When we had problems, he backed us up and he trusted our judgement. 5) There was room for upward growth, but it usually meant you had to leave Temple. 6) Benefits were very strong - loved the 8% 401k match. Pactiv froze the pension benefit during my time there, but they upped the 401k match to make up for it. This was part of many changes that occurred when we went from being publicly traded to becoming a privately-owned company.


    1) Training for hourly employees was inconsistent. Team leaders and NTLs badly needed formal leadership training, but that only happened once during my tenure. I did my best to teach them based on my own experience, but it was difficult to hold them to a high standard when their peers were not held to the same standard. Overall, I noticed that disciplinary action was often the quicker and easier method when often the employee needed more training. 2) We always struggled with housekeeping inconsistency. I inherited a very bad area of the RMC, and after about a year it met my high standard. The inconsistency among the other teams' assigned areas demoralized my team because they had worked so hard and their supervisor (me) wasn't able to get my peers on board. I fought that battle for over 3 years. Safety and productivity ruled supreme - everything else fell by the wayside when we got busy. 5S never fully got integrated into our daily standard work. 3) Pactiv is truly a manufacturing company - distribution is an afterthought. Production built inventory we didn't need, and even with all our crossdock and direct ship opportunities, we still had overflowing bins. At one point we had to lease another warehouse to store overflow product that didn't move for months. It usually felt like were fighting against Production - we had contradicting goals and metrics. Production was rewarded for building pounds, and Distribution was rewarded based on shipping productivity and efficiency. The more direct ship and crossdocking we did, the better we scored. When we're having to consolidate bins to make room for overflow materials that can no longer fit in their assigned storage section, that was waste injected into the process. Basically we could not all be rewarded together, so that resulted in an "us versus them" mindset instead of a teamwork mindset. When we got rewarded, Production wasn't. It was a very frustrating business model, and change was very slow. In almost 5 years, I never saw this change fully. Production would try to reduce inventory, and then the flood gates were suddenly opened again.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sustain the pros and figure out how to eliminate the cons, especially #3. Out of all the things our employees griped about, it was the impossible metrics that contradicted each other. This might be fixed now, but when I was there it caused a lot of frustration.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Pactiv Interviews

Updated Sep 12, 2014
Updated Sep 12, 2014

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Customer Account Representative (Temporary) Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Lake Forest, IL
    Anonymous Employee in Lake Forest, IL
    Application Details

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took a weekinterviewed at Pactiv.

    Interview Details

    I came across this position through a job agency. It looked promising at face value, but after the interview process and a first-hand glimpse of the office, the atmosphere of the company seemed extremely uptight and intense.

    When this interview was initially set up, I was told I was to meet with three managers. The manager I was supposed to meet first with was nowhere to be found, and at the time my interview was supposed to begin other employees were repeatedly trying to reach them by phone, but it became clear they were not going to show up. I was told to sit in a cubicle for 30 minutes to patiently wait for the next available manager.

    Once I finally sat down with the second manager, they immediately came off as condescending by indirectly insulting my degree before I even said a word or introduced myself. They seemed distracted while interviewing me due to the fact that they asked me the same question twice almost immediately after they asked me the first time. Also when I was mid-sentence answering their question about what my strengths are, the interviewer answered a phone call without saying anything to excuse themselves, and offered no explanation for the intrusion. At the end of the interview they commented about a negative assumption about my personality that was completely unwarranted and inappropriate coming from an person in their position.

    The second manager's interview was a much better experience. It was more formal and they went down a list of questions, but it seemed as if they were just going through the motions of the interview. However they were significantly more personable than the first interviewer and I enjoyed speaking with them.

    Overall, for a temporary hourly position, I felt like wearing business professional attire and going this whole process was ridiculously excessive. In my experience HR representatives are far more suited to interviewing potential employees than a couple of managers who seemed annoyed to take on another task they seemed unhappy executing.

    Interview Questions
    • If you past employer was going to say something negative about your work, what would it be?   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    I have not heard back yet, but do not plan to work for Pactiv

    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

Pactiv Awards & Accolades

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World’s Most Admired Companies, Fortune, 2008

Additional Info

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Headquarters Lake Forest, IL
Size 5000+ Employees
Founded 1965
Type Company - Private
Industry Manufacturing
Revenue $2 to $5 billion (USD) per year

At Pactiv, continuous innovation has secured our place as one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of food packaging and foodservice products, supplying packers, processors, supermarkets, restaurants, institutions and foodservice outlets around the world.

Since our founding in 1965 as Packaging Corporation of America, we have focused on producing and distributing...

Mission: To acquire and retain profitable customers by exceeding their expectations for Quality, Service, and Value

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