Attracting and retaining new talent and reliable workers is increasingly difficult in a challenging logistics and transport recruitment market. A skills shortage means that you have to work that little bit harder to find the logistics candidates you need, whether that’s simply filling the gaps during busy periods or finding experienced and well-qualified people to really drive your operation forward.
The first important factor is, of course, having the services of a good recruitment company; one with an eye on the market and that understands what employers need to offer in order to make their workplace attractive to potential and existing employees.
Aside from that, there are plenty of things you can do as a business to make sure you’re creating the right environment to develop successful teams.
Before you start, make sure that you are offering a reasonable market rate and any other benefits employees expect in the modern workplace. An agency provider with a keen eye on the current situation will advise on hourly rates and add-ons that you’ll need to consider.
Seasonal fluctuations and the amount of temporary work available in logistics and transport means that it’s often difficult to keep track of what is a reasonable rate. Offering the right money and working conditions will help gain candidates’ interest and, as long as you follow through on any promises, will increase the chances that they stay.
Once you’ve drawn up a clear job description and put your vacancies out in the public arena, there are a number of platforms, including pre-screens and meet and greets that help you sift through the possibilities and decide which candidates might work best for you. At the same time, this is an opportunity to give the candidate an insight into what you do and how your logistics operation works so that they can also decide whether it suits them. It’s better to know at this stage that someone has doubts, rather than pursuing something that might not work out.
Once you’ve made a job offer and it has been accepted, make sure you make your new starter’s first few days as welcoming and informative as possible. An onboarding week, which is something a recruitment agency is often able to help with, is a chance to go through everything a new employee needs to know, including seeing how they will fit into the existing team and understand the culture and working practices. If you’re using an agency partner, though, don’t leave everything to them – make sure you or any other senior managers are visible and approachable during the early stages, it helps build trusting relationships.
Once on board, workers want to feel that they are making progress. Try to identify specific strengths or skills and build on them. Recruitment is a costly and time-consuming process and spotting talent and promoting from within is far easier than looking externally if you need to find or replace senior members of staff.
Don’t be afraid to let people feel they have some control over their work and processes. Encourage them to have input into working practices and share their ideas about how things could be done differently or better. Encouraging good relationships between members of the team also makes people feel settled and engaged and creates a fulfilling and effective working environment.
It's also vital to regularly review and adapt hourly rates either in line with market changes or to reflect an individual’s progress or recognise additional responsibilities or skills development.
It might be hard to hear but asking for feedback from employees, either during their time with you or when they decide to leave, is valuable in identifying where you might do things better. If they have criticisms about how the business is run, or give honest feedback as to why they want to leave rather than stay with you, take it on board and use what you find out to try to make changes.
It is estimated that it can cost somewhere in the region of £12,000 to replace a key employee – that’s money that would be better spent on improving or developing the business. Most people simply want a job they enjoy and that keeps them fulfilled. If you make sure your employees are valued, engaged and that there are prospects for career development. If you can achieve that, then you know you’ve got your logistics recruitment strategy right.
The ACS Staffing Solutions team can provide valuable support and advice to clients recruiting in the logistics and transport sector. To find out more, contact us or call 01604 704058.
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