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While some uncertainty may shroud Canada’s economic rebound, companies are once again on the hunt for talent. With this in mind, firms in the transportation and logistics industry need to ensure hiring and interview processes are able to...


While some uncertainty may shroud Canada’s economic rebound, companies are once again on the hunt for talent. With this in mind, firms in the transportation and logistics industry need to ensure hiring and interview processes are able to adapt to the shifting economic times, or risk losing out on talent.

While a weak economy presents a large talent pool of typically over-qualified candidates, a strong economy presents a smaller talent pool of candidates, many of which can entertain multiple job offers.  Although some believe that the talent pool is deep today, it is actually quickly getting shallow and the transportation and logistics industry needs to know how to swim in these changing waters. Think real estate: Attractive homes (qualified candidates) receive multiple offers in a strong market, so offers that either take too long or bid too low simply lose out.

Facing high operating costs, continual advancements in technology, along with health, safety and environmental challenges, the transportation and logistics industry is already a highly competitive marketplace. In order to survive under these circumstances, companies need to ensure the right individuals are placed in the right positions.

There are numerous, tactical steps companies can immediately put into place to adapt their recruiting practices in the post-downturn market:

 Move faster and maintain communication: Companies with hiring processes that move at glacial speed simply lose out on talent. Even if a hire decision has not been made yet, keeping up simple communication with candidates, such as updating them on the status of their application will show potential employees that you are serious about hiring.

  1. Treat candidates like potential clients: Talk about the company with an enthusiasm that would make a potential candidate want to work there. Sell your services, firm and industry the same you would approach and respect a potential client. Interviewers are walking billboards for a company, so an interviewer that shows up late or lacks respect for a candidate, risks damaging the firm’s reputation. Any negative experience a candidate has can then be easily broadcast to large networks of colleagues through channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
  1. Consider flexibility in compensation packages: Candidates have the ability to shop around in a strong market, so standards in terms of pay and benefits need to be raised. When it comes to what might appeal to each potential candidate, remain flexible in possibly offering them package options specifically suited to their needs. “Work-life balance” now strikes a chord with many, and pure monetary compensation is often no longer enough. Creating a personalized approach will not go unnoticed.
  1. Identify the qualities of your candidate: In order to make a hire in a timely-manner, companies must be able to identify the key qualities of an ideal candidate. Having a solid grasp on what to look for in a new hire can mean the difference between securing a hire and losing them to a competitor.
  1. Consider outside help: Sifting through piles of resumes and screening candidates to find those who may or may not be qualified for the job is a time-consuming and laborious process. This is where a recruiting agency can come in to ensure quality candidates are presented and that processes are moving fast enough.

Like with most other vulnerabilities in business, forecasting and planning ahead is essential. A deeper analysis of a company’s overall staffing structure will help identify potential vulnerabilities and solutions towards succession planning and staff shortages. With the amount of strong talent out there now, firms can begin securing key hires to sustain the growth that shippers and carriers have been seeing in recent months using some of the outlined strategies.

Dan Brown brings international, national and local expertise to his role at Summit Search Group BC (www.summitsearchgroup.com/bc/) as a specialist in recruiting for the industrial and business-to-business sectors. Dan can be reached at dbrown@summitsearchgroup.com.


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