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Different hiring strategies for supply-chain roles

Companies need to adopt different hiring strategies for these in-demand supply-chain occupations.

We’ve analysed the market and identified four key roles that are in high demand in the Supply-Chain, Warehousing, Logistics and Delivery sector. We look at some of the challenges recruiters have for these roles, and suggest strategies.

Logistics Demand

Warehouse Operatives and Picker / Packers

Warehouse Operatives at the entry-level have the widest possible audience to recruit from, but temporary job security, especially if brought in for seasonal demand, and a misconception of harsh working conditions may put many candidates off. Many motivated candidates are coming into the market, especially from hard-hit sectors like Retail and Hospitality, but who may not consider Warehouse work.

Suggested Strategy: The challenge is to reach these candidates in volume with a compelling employer brand and value proposition for the role; use of video in job adverts, perhaps with a direct testimonial from existing workers and footage of the conditions shows the team spirit, reality and deeper meaning of the position. Adding video earlier in the recruitment process, using free tools such as Monster Studios, gets a compelling message directly to a mobile-first audience and attract them to the roles. Options are then available to promote your advert to a wider audience of candidates. Comparing September to February  – searches for Warehouse Operatives are up 72%, however hiring competition has risen sharply as well.

Multi-Drop Delivery Drivers up to 3.5t

Multi-Drop delivery drivers up to 3.5t will be possible to recruit from the pool of candidates coming onto the markets who can drive vans or deliver in their own vehicles, on their existing driving licence. The challenge here is to recruit to the transferable skills of drivers who are organised and punctual and able to deal with early starts and still be a friendly customer facing ambassador when making deliveries. Where are these people working at the moment that is laying-off? What kinds of, possibly non-driving, roles will you target?

Suggested Strategy: Compared to pre-lockdown, there has been a 36% increase in candidates searching for driving roles, so job adverts may do well – but being able to pro-actively target candidates with driving licenses in your catchment areas with a mail campaign will boost your response and options. This can be done in house with SearchMonster, or you can discuss a campaign with Monster Talent Consulting.

HGV Drivers, All Classes

Hearing about a shortage of HGV drivers will be no surprise to anyone in the industry. There is no quick-fix, and it’s a ticking time-bomb. The average age of an HGV driver is late fifties, and as they approach retirement, not enough new drivers are being trained to replace them. A key reason is the cost of training which can be over £3,000. In the short term, companies will be competing to win away working, qualified, drivers.

Suggested Strategy: The industry and government needs to better support SME’s with training costs to allow them to train new drivers. In the meantime, for immediate hiring needs, it’s all about reaching people with a better offer. Our research suggests many candidates in the Logistics industry were unhappy with how their current employer handled the pandemic, so if you have a good narrative here it will help. This will require competitive positioning and investment in employer brand messaging. HGV drivers are in demand and may not be actively looking for work, so you need to supplement any advertising with a proactive campaign such as candidate-search, or adverts that target qualified users on social media. Speak to Monster Talent Consulting to discuss options.

Forklift operators

While the volume of Forklift vacancies is smaller than the other key occupations, the shortage of trained operators has an impact, and demand is rising.  Key themes are building a strong employer brand message, being able to communicate that early in the process, and having a strategy in place to attract new talent into the sector with transferable skills: and changing processes to on-board and retrain.

Suggested Strategy: Similar to HGV drivers, there is a shortage of qualified candidates who are ready to hit the ground running. If possible consider developing existing workers such as warehouse associates to become forklift qualified, then backfilling the warehouse associate role. Workers already familiar with your systems and culture will be faster and quicker to train than complete new starts, and it carries less risk to be investing in your current workforce. Otherwise consider your approach and processes to offer training and qualification as part of the job advert proposition to make it clear you are accepting trainee, as well as qualified, operators.