In this blog, we’ll discuss the challenges of Logistics Recruitment in the UK and offer tips on attracting and keeping workers.
Recruiting in the Logistics and Supply Chain industry is a hard task for many employers. The sector’s rapid growth and the increasing demand for skilled workers has left a very important sector to the UK economy understaffed. Several factors contribute to the difficulties faced by logistics recruiters, and we’re going to explore them below.
Common Challenges of Logistics Recruiters
Whilst there are a few different challenges Logistics Recruiters face, the below three are the most common ones we hear time and time again from our customers and other recruiters in the industry.
Finding Enough Candidates
It comes as no surprise that finding enough candidates is one of the biggest challenges for Logistics Recruiters. With the expansion of the Logistics sector, there’s now a lack of qualified candidates to fill the growing number of positions. As a result, recruiters are left struggling to fill the growing number of roles.
As of August 2023, there’s a need for around 60,000 HGV drivers. But drivers aren’t the only area Logistics Recruiters are struggling in. According to James Terry, Vice President of Sales at Indeed Flex, warehouse job postings have more than doubled since before the pandemic, with 81% of employers struggling to attract staff. When you combine the hunt for drivers AND warehouse staff, you can quickly see why filling roles across the sector is such a high priority.
Lack of Recruitment Data
Unlike other industries, Logistics Recruitment often lacks access to comprehensive and reliable data on job market trends, candidate preferences, and compensation benchmarks. This lack of data can hurt recruiters’ ability to make informed decisions. According to this report, only 15% of recruiters in Logistics use data to inform their recruiting.
It’s important to remember here that might not be by choice, but simply because they may not be using a system that actually has data available. That’s because most of the recruitment software out there tends to be designed for corporate purposes.
Logistics Recruiters would benefit from using a hiring software that’s specifically designed with their needs in mind. Without this, it’s much trickier to improve your key metrics and concentrate on channels that get the best return on your money.
Keeping Hold of Current Employees
Retaining skilled Logistics workers is an ongoing challenge for recruiters. The demand for their expertise makes them vulnerable to poaching by competitors, making creating employee loyalty by improving your employer branding a priority.
But that’s not the only issue. A report last year found that 59% of UK Logistics & Supply Chain workers planned to leave the industry. In the US, that number is closer to 77%. So it’s not just competitors’ recruiters have to worry about. Stopping employees from leaving the industry entirely is just as pressing.
Tips on Attracting Candidates
Before we get into the best ways of retaining workers in Logistics and Supply Chain, let’s look at some ways you can attract them. Below are three necessary steps to give you the best chances of attracting workers.
There’s no denying that Logistics & Supply Chain involves a lot of hard work and long hours, and as such, offering a competitive salary is crucial. Just recently, KLLM Transport services in the US increased their employees’ salary by almost 33%, their biggest raise in 60 years.
To be sure you’re offering a competitive salary, make sure you do market research and look at competitors to check compensation packages are in line with industry standards and reflect the value of the roles you’re recruiting for.
Once you’ve decided on a competitive salary, you’re going to want to post it in your job ad. Although many recruiters stay away from that to avoid internal disputes, research has shown that job ads with salaries posted get twice the number of applications as job ads that don’t.
On top of that, by being open about what the salary is, candidates can see for themselves how you match up against competitors. If you don’t want to list an exact salary, try advertising a salary band. That way you’re minimising the chances of candidates dropping off before the applications even begun.
Pay Attention to Company Culture & Benefits
Creating a good company culture can be one of the main differences between you and a competitor. A recent article by Business News Daily concluded that company culture is a top priority in 2023 for many candidates.
An interesting company benefit that’s attractive to Logistics workers is company pension. Now, that might not be surprising giving the average age of Logistics workers in the UK.
Highlighting a positive company culture and comprehensive benefits package can significantly improve your employer brand. Candidates are more likely to be drawn to organisations that offer a supportive and inclusive work environment.
Ben Lyons, Senior Operating Director of Logistics at Michael Page further commented that “it’s crucial for employers in the logistics space to develop a strong Employee Value Proposition.”
Streamline the Recruitment Process
A lengthy and complicated recruitment process can put off potential candidates, especially in Logistics & Supply Chain, which typically tends to have very fast turnaround times. According to Workable, the US & Canada has a time to hire of just a week for Logistics, Transport & Supply Chain employees. The global average is 12 – making it one of the fastest industries around when it comes to hiring time.
Because of that, if your hiring process is longer, you’ll risk losing out on most potential candidates. Workers in this industry are used to fast hiring, sometimes doing freelance/contract work at a few days’ notice.
So how do you make sure your application process is user-friendly and efficient, whilst reducing the time from application to hire? Simple. By introducing automations into your hiring process.
There are now plenty of tools out there to help you do this. From automating your job advertising and candidate filtering, to streamlined background checks and candidate communications. This is especially useful if you’re hiring a high volume of candidates, saving your recruiters’ valuable time.
How to Retain Current Logistics Employees
Now that we’ve looked at the most common challenges and ways of attracting candidates to Logistics, let’s look at the next most important thing. Retaining workers.
Establishing a Quick and Efficient Onboarding Process
Almost 70% of employees in the Logistics, Supply Chain & Transport sector work non desk jobs. Which means the Hiring Managers and Recruiters in this sector, need to be able to onboard new hires remotely. And they need to be able to do it quickly and efficiently.
A well-structured onboarding process should provide them with the necessary tools, training, and information to do their jobs to an excellent standard.
With a recruitment system designed for the needs to remote hiring , you can hire and onboard much faster and with less work. Features like contract e-signing, digital offers, regular candidate communications can all be done through an all-in-one system.
Workers in Logistics & Supply Chain need easy access to information (including safety rules & regulations) and who to call if they have a problem. Introducing new hires to managers and the team (even if remotely) goes a long way.
Focus on Employee Engagement
Engaged employees are more likely to stay loyal to the company. By creating opportunities for employee feedback, recognition, and involvement in decision-making processes, you increase engagement levels and make employees feel seen and heard.
Having a clear process for this helps, as well as constant communication. Should problems come up, being available and open to suggestions to doing things differently is key. By listening to employees, you show that you trust and value them, as well as encouraging a good work-life balance, which is often a complaint with Logistics & Supply Chain workers.
Identify Potential Development and Growth Opportunities
Show commitment to employee growth by providing training and development programs. Offering a clear career path and promoting from within can help increase employee loyalty and motivation.
In Logistics, that can be yearly training allowances to upskill. You could pay for license renewals, offer discounts for new training courses, warehouse certificates, the list goes on. Not long ago, a PwC report found the lack of training and growth opportunities to be one of the biggest challenges in the Logistics. By offering that, you can stand out from the competition.
Hiring in Logistics isn’t easy. Companies need to keep their recruitment processes updated and innovative to keep key workers. Recruiters can overcome these challenges by offering competitive salaries, promoting a positive company culture, and streamlining their recruitment and onboarding. If you pay attention to market trends and use strategies to deal with the industry’s unique challenges, your company will stand out as an employer of choice.
During peak seasonal periods, you’ll want to stand out even more. That’s why we’ve put together the Seasonal Hiring Guide to help. Simply download for free today!