Navigating the Great Resignation: How Shippers Can Bridge the Logistics Talent Gap

After a year like no other, professionals across industries are reconsidering what they want from their careers. This period of reflection has spurred what some experts are calling the “Great Resignation,” with a record 4 million people in the U.S. quitting their jobs in April 2021.

The effects on employee recruitment and retention are far-reaching—and the logistics sector is certainly not immune. In fact, even before the pandemic, shippers were grappling with significant labor shortages, with one report indicating that for every six supply chain job openings, there was only one qualified candidate available. As companies work to rebuild their supply chains, securing and retaining qualified logistics talent while keeping costs low will prove a major barrier.

Finding logistics talent: A perennial problem

One of the biggest challenges for logistics teams, with or without a global pandemic, is recruiting. In a fast-paced sector with rapidly evolving technology, regulations, and customer expectations, it can be difficult to find talent that already has the necessary experience and skills for the job.

Additionally, the pandemic fundamentally changed the way people work. Many experts expect remote work to become standard—and many professionals prefer being remote. While some industries can adapt to meet these changing needs, many entry- or mid-level jobs in logistics require an in-person presence, which may make it even harder for companies to attract great talent for their logistics department.

Onboarding and training: A long ramp-up to success

Even if companies manage to successfully hire new logistics talent, onboarding and training these individuals is an expensive process that requires time and effort from everyone involved.

Whether or not new hires have prior experience or relevant qualifications, they’ll still need to get up to speed with company-specific protocols and processes. They may also need training around the specific tools and software the shipper uses unless they’ve used them before.

What’s more, as one generation of employees reaches retirement age, critical institutional knowledge is at risk of being lost. As the industry continues to change, many new hires are starting from square one, without the context and insights that more experienced peers might be able to provide.

Employee retention: Competition heats up

With logistics talent in short supply, retaining staff is an increasingly complex issue for many companies. Even if employees enjoy their job and feel their employer takes care of them, will that be enough to make them stay if a more lucrative offer comes along?

Offering more flexibility can help—if not around where they work, then at least around when. But as more employees push for flexible work options, they may become the norm rather than a differentiator.

Solving the logistics talent gap

Hiring, onboarding, training, and retaining logistics talent will always pose a significant challenge to shippers—and the Great Resignation has only made things worse. Without taking swift action, many companies may soon find themselves struggling to manage day-to-day operations, let alone achieve bigger picture goals.

Outsourced logistics management services can help. At CTSI-Global, our expert staff can take over some or all of your logistics functions—from appointment scheduling to event management and beyond. We can augment your existing team, filling any skills gaps you might have and bringing a wealth of knowledge and insights gleaned from over 60 years in the logistics game. And if you later hire more full-time staff, we’ll always be on hand to help you scale up and down as demand fluctuates.

Don’t fall into the talent chasm. Contact us today.

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