Trends in the logistics sector and evolving skill sets

In the competitive and ever-changing market of today, the skill sets required by employers are constantly shifting and adapting. The introduction of millennials to the workforce has meant that managers are now leading a group of professionals with differing aspirations from the traditional career in logistics. This, combined with the changing market means that businesses need to stay ahead of consumer demands more than ever, which, in turn, equals a need for increased efficiency in the workplace. 

The hot logistics skills: trends

As our article ‘10 key skills for the logistics sector in 2019’ highlights, the core skills of talented logistics professionals are still in high demand, although, we are seeing a rise in the demand for skills in four areas in particular. It is important to recognise what competitors are looking for in the market and to understand the importance of these skills to gauge how useful they are for your business. 

1. Logistics technology 

Automation and mechanisation will both be key for the future of logistics operations, as businesses increasingly rely on technology to advance their processes. In line with this trend, professionals will need to gain more exposure and become comfortable working with automated processes. The key to the effective implementation of any new technology is people. 

“People thought technology would solve problems over time and have therefore neglected people development.”  - Michael Page client, Contract Manager at a third-party provider.

2. Relevant qualifications

The logistics sector is growing at a rapid pace. Employers want to hire professionals who have relevant qualifications and are well educated in their field. Some companies still consider a candidate with a degree a must-have. Many logistics companies are looking to hire more graduates, as these professionals will grow and develop with the company. Value add qualifications such as Six Sigma and PRINCE 2 are especially sought after.

3. Effective management

Managing a team effectively is crucial at all levels in order to retain top talent. Managers should look to motivate their teams and drive positive change. One of our clients, a Regional Manager at a leading parcels business had this to say on management skills in logistics: “Process and procedure can be taught, but emotional intelligence cannot. We look less for the management of process and more for motivation and drive.”  

4. Project management and solutions design

Candidates with experience in projects and change are consistently sought after. Businesses want to ensure efficiencies and remain competitive, and even junior level candidates are expected to have been involved in projects, and be adaptable to change. Our client, a Distribution Manager at a global business states: “The best candidates are the ones who are able to adapt to ever-changing needs and environments.”

Today’s saturated market

In the candidate-led market of today, good candidates have high expectations when entering the workforce. They expect a good benefits package and a clear line of progression in their role. If you consider the fact that many professionals are actually looking at the opportunity beyond the one they are interviewing for, it is no surprise that candidates are therefore much more likely to move businesses to achieve their career goals. If you are looking to hire top talent, there is no doubt that the best candidates have multiple opportunities and potential offers to consider.

What are top logistics professionals looking for in a new role?

Clear progression and career development.

A good benefits package and a competitive salary.

Good brand perception of the business - top candidates want to work for a positively viewed and engaging business.

Run a streamlined recruitment process

It is crucial for businesses to streamline their recruitment processes when looking to hire top talent, as this will reinforce positive brand awareness. A quick turnaround between interview stages is a great way to highlight your interest and reflects well on your brand image. First impressions are important; engaging interviews and prompt, constructive feedback will be remembered by a candidate. A clear and detailed job spec is a positive way to promote the organisation. 

A Regional Manager at a leading parcels business states:

“As the market becomes more competitive, the need to run thorough recruitment processes to make sure you can identify and hire the best increases. Interviews are a two-way conversation. You must represent yourself and the business in the right way.”

Offer management 

If you are looking to offer a role to a candidate, it is important that you go in with the right offer at the first opportunity. This will increase the chances of acceptance and minimise the risk of the candidate being bought back or sharing a negative experience of your business with others.

If you are interested in hiring new talent for your organisation please get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.

Alexandra Deaves

Managing Consultant, Michael Page Logistics

Matthew Ellison

Senior Business Manager, Page Personnel