Air Cargo Newsdesk

Grubby image scares new recruits away from logistics

Grubby image scares new recruits away from logistics

A GLOBAL shortage of skilled recruits is fast becoming a major challenge that is threatening the on-going stability and development of the air logistics and related industries, writes Nigel Tomkins.

It is a serious defect that most companies in the sector are systematically ignoring, experts insist.

The problem is being fuelled by the public perception that the logistics industry is one that involves trucks, cargo sheds and ‘dirty hands’ manual work, they say.

Too often, logistics-related recruitment processes fail because of a company’s poor brand image and it is no wonder recruitment processes are not working, particularly when recruiters simply don’t even respond to job applications.

Even if they don’t make the grade, potential recruits need to know the truth and are likely to post such a negative experience on social media sites (which can spread like wildfire), and that will do nothing but further damage the employer’s brand.

According to research, candidates who have suffered such a negative experience will share their stories 64 per cent of the time. In other words, more than half of the candidates who have a poor or very poor experience will share it with others online.

A negative employer brand will lead to a decrease in the number of quality candidates. Sadly, failure to even respond to applicants is rife in the air cargo industry.

Transport and logistics experts are to address these and other recruitment deficits at the UK’s Multimodal 2019 seminar, which is taking place from 18-20 June of this year. Now in its 12th iteration, Multimodal claims to be the UK’s largest logistics and transport exhibition – which covers every sector of the industry.

New recruits think logistics is about trucks and sheds

The challenge of attracting, retaining, and developing the next generation of industry professionals in the face of a growing skills shortage in the logistics industry will feature in a series of workshops and panel discussions at the event.

“We need to challenge the view that the logistics industry is about trucks and sheds and show young people that it’s fast-paced, dynamic, and ripe with opportunities for personal growth and career development,” insists Ian Nichol, head of logistics at Career Ready, a UK charity which links employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people.

“In order to stay on top of the recruitment game, we will be looking at what practical measures logistics companies can take to improve recruitment of new staff and develop them so that they stay in the industry,” he adds.

Day three of the free-to-attend show at the Birmingham NEC is dedicated to seminars exploring practical solutions to attracting new talent through apprenticeships, school outreach programmes and community networking.

“Multimodal is partnering with National Careers Week to create opportunities for companies and industry organisations to connect with schools and colleges to increase opportunities within the industry,” adds Robert Jervis, logistics portfolio director at organiser Clarion Events.

Clarion has decided to dedicate an entire day to the topic of recruitment, development, and retention of new staff, “to give employers the opportunity to hear directly from recruitment experts on how to successfully get the next generation involved in the logistics and transport industry,” he says.

The event’s programme will also include a workshop with Carl Hobbis, the training development manager at the British International Freight Association (BIFA), who will talk about apprenticeships, best-practice tips for attracting, retaining, and developing early talent, and how these actions benefit employers and recruits.

“Last year, we launched the ‘NextGen Logistics Network’, a group aimed at creating support and development initiatives across the different industry sectors, and this year the NextGen panel will explore the challenges and benefits experienced by transport and logistics’ newest members,” Clarion’s Jervis adds.

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