We could have a long discussion about the uncertainty of the transport and logistics business in the age of automation and how the adoption of new technologies will disrupt it in the future. But the real threat to the transport business is not inflexibility or an inability to implement rapid changes in response to customer demand.
The real challenge on the horizon is a lack of talent. There would be no transportation and logistics business without the people behind it. Cars can be easily bought and automated lifting and packaging system technology can be adequately improved – but who will have the know-how to manage all the associated business operations?
The industry is constantly growing, and the possibilities transport and logistics companies to boost business, forward more freight, satisfy more clients, and enter new markets are limited primarily by a lack of human resources to execute all the necessary tasks. There are plenty of HR tricks and hacks to attract the best talents in the market or nurture new talents within an enterprise – as multinational transport and logistics provider AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG is constantly doing – but where can you find more of the right people that your company needs? This human resources problem will only get worse with time.
THINK WIDER = THINK WISER
The advice of AsstrA’s HR managers is to deploy global talent strategies, not only local ones. Effective recruiting strategies include training new employees locally but searching for them worldwide.
“In order to stay competitive in the logistics business, you must ensure that your team contains the brightest minds in the market and they don’t want to leave. As an HR manager, you know that good talent acquisition is not just about simply posting job openings online. At AsstrA we have developed a strong talent integration system: when headhunting we search for potential candidates worldwide and after we find someone we ensure their smooth integration into our business operations. If we see leadership potential in employees, we train them ourselves. We invest in their desired skills and do not worry that an expert we have brought up inside the company may leave one day – which is a common concern among other employers. In our experience, the more you give an employee, the more your business gets in return,” says Elena Evdokimenko, HR Director at AsstrA.
Talent management is one of the top three most important global trends for modern companies integrating advanced technology into their strategic and operational business solutions. No wonder: it is commonly accepted that one hard working, problem-solving, creative, and ambitious employee is worth ten less productive, less motivated and less skilled employees. The hunt for supply chain talent sometimes can seem like a game of hide and seek as top performers, especially Millenials or Generation Zers, are more likely to hop from job to job. Titles and salaries are not their top priorities: career, personal development opportunities, and working environment are what very often attract young talent – more so even than money.
“Our research revealed that salary is no longer the most important job satisfaction factor in our company. Opportunities to grow one’s career and a friendly atmosphere are bigger concerns than financial expectations as logistics salaries even out across the segment. Also, we observed during ongoing newcomer surveys and exit interviews that “friendly colleagues” is the number one reason candidates choose to work at AsstrA,” comments Ms. Evdokimenko.
MORE INTEGRATED GLOBAL HR OPERATIONS
As AsstrA’s HR team noticed, supply chain companies are experiencing difficulties integrating global HR and talent strategies. Doing so would effectively help improve local operations and talent strategies, support faster business growth in new markets, and accommodate local skills, mentalities, and cultures.
For transport and logistics companies like AsstrA, talent mobility within the company helps execute a globally integrated HR strategy and drive better business results. It is faster and easier to integrate new employees and align existing human resources with market demand. Within AsstrA, the rotation of employees among the multinational’s offices, departments, and positions is encouraged so as to realize the potential of both personal and business development. Allocating team members from one region to another often helps fill talent gaps and keep business running smoothly.
“As a rapidly growing business, AsstrA is entering new markets and opening new offices every year. Of course, you cannot staff a new office entirely with new employees – you need to ensure that clients receive high-quality services from experienced staff. That is why mobility within the company is so important. We encourage our employees who are willing to relocate to strive for the best results in their domestic markets. Then, to ensure growth opportunities in foreign markets, the hardest working and most ambitious specialists are often invited to relocate and lead new branches in developing markets. We have many employees who did in fact relocate from one country to another and have distinguished themselves as successful leaders. They received promotions, respect, and many social bonuses in addition to an opportunity to change their lives completely,” adds Ms. Evdokimenko.
GLOBALLY OPTIMIZED IS THE NEW BLACK
An internationally integrated talent strategy involves a combination of centralized, unified standards and highly trained experts in their respective fields. The optimization of HR and talent management procedures can begin with implementation of a collaborative technological platform to support global HR development within a company. Also, it is necessary to encourage existing talent to learn from business partners and even competitors in local markets in order to determine what works, what doesn’t, and which new practices are worth investments.
And as a final and important piece of advice, to optimize supply chain business talent management it is worth investing in the training of internal HR specialists. Such market-leading talent managers follow the newest trends and community insights and can put them to work for your business.