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Logistics recruitment in the first half of 2014

The end of 2013 and the first half of 2014 has been a period of significant growth for the logistics market and the busiest period experienced by Michael Page Logistics since before the recession. Many businesses have been actively recruiting as headcount and recruitment freezes have been lifted. Businesses are looking toward future improvements in both efficiency and capability to maintain a competitive advantage in the market.
A related discussion taking place in the logistics sector is the importance of having effective managers with good people engagement skills to increase both employee retention and employee productivity. Employers are placing strong emphasis on identifying and assessing these competencies in potential recruits.

Logistics talent attraction and retention

Employee attraction and retention is an issue that has been of concern over the past six months. The industry needs to continually attract, train and retain graduates into the logistics industry to keep up with demand. Over the last few years, graduate schemes have not always brought enough graduates.
The market is noticeably candidate driven at the moment. Candidates are gaining multiple offers, looking for future progression opportunities while businesses are competing with buy backs.
Michael Page Logistics clients are particularly interested in candidates in solutions design and network optimisation as well as operations managers, senior transport managers and 3PL/carrier managers.

Top three tips for logistics employers in a short-skilled market

Looking at the situation as a basic supply vs. demand model, there isn’t necessarily the recruitment equilibrium that most recruiting managers might like going into a recruitment campaign. Employers have to consider the impact on the cost of having or not having the right candidate but also the scarcity of available people.
1. Take time to define your requirements. Whether you are dealing with internal or external recruitment teams, the key is to ensure the recruiter knows exactly what skills you are looking for as well as what skills you can afford to have some flexibility on.
2. Manage the process effectively. In a short-skilled market, a well managed process can be the difference between securing the person you want and letting them slip through your fingers.
3. Sell your opportunity but also your business. It is vital for businesses to know how to sell the opportunity and the organisation in an interview. Remember that an interview is a two-way exchange. The right candidate has to be sure that you have the opportunity they are looking for. Understand what interests the candidate move and ensure you can meet their expectations.

Advice for candidates in the logistics industry

1. Focus on your long-term goals. Where are you now and where do you want to get to?
2. Money is a great motivator, however it usually comes as a result of obtaining new skills. Consider secondments and volunteer for projects internally as this will often give you a new perspective and help you develop new skills.
3. Network with peers and join industry bodies like the CILT. This will help develop your understanding of other roles and sectors and will open doors to training available.

The future for logistics in 2014

Confidence is growing on a daily basis and Michael Page Logistics believes that in the next six months, the logistics market will continue to go from strength to strength. As the sector becomes more candidate driven, wages are likely to increase and there is potential for a significant increase in the use of interim staff to cover gaps in the workforce.
For more information on the logistics industry and how changes are affecting recruitment, contact Phil Townend, manager at Michael Page Logistics.
T: 01908 302416