Logistics recruitment in the golden (fourth) quarter

This year has been and continues to be a busy year for logistics recruitment. Both international 3PLs and SMEs have been investing heavily in new talent to deliver their growth and succession plans throughout the year. At Michael Page Logistics, we have seen unprecedented demand nationally for all levels of management talent in the first three quarters of the year.

Fourth quarter preparation

As usual, the fourth quarter has seen a conscious shift by the market towards the recruitment of interim labour, as many logistics businesses gear up for their peak trading period. Interim warehouse shift managers and FLMs are in high demand across the parcels, e-commerce and food manufacturing sectors as we head towards the business end of the golden quarter of retail activity.
The e-commerce sector continues to ensure that the peak in demand for e-tailers and the parcel industry is later than in previous years. However, the pool of immediately available interim candidates has decreased and as such businesses have recognised the need to recruit earlier than previous years in order to secure candidates before their competitors do.
This year’s peak season has seen an added complexity with the implementation of the new driver CPC qualification, effective as of September 10, 2014. Transport team leaders and managers choosing to return to the role of a driver to earn a premium for holding the new qualification and meeting the rising demands in the current marketplace, has meant that many logistics businesses have needed to react quickly to replace them.

The challenge of adding value

The trend by 3PL providers to add more value to their customers’ supply chains has continued in 2014. Providing additional services such as co-packing and co-manufacturing for the client base has created the need to recruit an increasing number of specialist candidates and bring more technical skills into the industry. This trend has attracted a new breed of candidate into the logistics industry.
Many of our clients have needed to look at alternative ways to attract candidates in order to appeal to this new, wider audience. Michael Page Engineering & Manufacturing have provided recruitment solutions to logistics clients with whom they have not previously worked. We expect this trend will continue into 2015.

Candidate attraction

A further aspect to feature extensively throughout 2014 was the high level of candidates receiving multiple job offers. As UK unemployment continues to fall and consumer confidence continues to grow, many candidates have experienced a level of choice that has not been seen since pre 2008.
Inevitably, wage inflation has been present in the industry, especially as a rising proportion of candidates are being retained by their current employer, post-resignation, with a salary increase. In order to mitigate this, employers need to ensure they are clearly communicating the benefits of working for their organisation and the opportunity on offer. A concise, well-organised and well-structured selection process is also critical in order to keep the candidate fully engaged with the organisation.

Top tips for logistics employers in the current market

  • Process mapping – ensure that you have a plan for how the interview process will be conducted and what route you wish to follow. Candidates are being spoken to about many vacant positions and communicating a clear recruitment process from the start will ensure you keep potential employees engaged.
  • A two-way process - many candidates will be considering other options. You need to be professional but personal throughout the interview and assessment process. Ideally, you want your top candidate to feel like they ‘belong’ after two interviews.
  • Anticipate the ‘buy back’- when they resign, candidates are likely to be offered more money to stay with their current employer. Probe this scenario at interview and ensure you position your offer at an appropriate level to combat this scenario.
  • Partner with specialist logistics recruitment providers who have proven experience in the logistics sector.
Michael Page Logistics has an extensive network of candidates, understands the sector and can provide advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process.
For more information on how we can help you with your logistics recruitment needs, contact Peter Simmonds, operating director.
T: +44 114 263 6024
M: +447747015123