in a rapidly evolving logistics sector, professional growth and feelings of accomplishment motivate workers  

Many companies have transformed during the pandemic, while others have simply witnessed changes in demand. The logistics and supply chain sector has done both. The business of moving things has seen both ups and downs during the past year, and with so much uncertainty ahead, more volatility can be expected. 

Some sectors of the logistics business, however, are expanding rapidly as digitalization transforms businesses more quickly than ever before. The demand for last-mile services – from a distribution center to a consumer’s home, for example – has been explosive during the lockdown as buyers shift their shopping habits. Already, e-commerce was transforming the logistics industry, but COVID-19 simply put this shift on steroids in a short period of time. Now, as the need for drivers, logisticians and other associated roles rise, companies from a variety of industries will need to enhance their attraction strategies to keep up.

The challenge of recruiting supply chain and logistics professionals for these roles span a wide variety of skills and education, so creating a single set of employee value propositions (EVP) is difficult. What attracts drivers and loaders may be different from the factors that matter to warehouse managers and AI specialists. Just like many other businesses, the logistics sector is undergoing a transformation in services and operations. That means companies will have to compete with not only each other, but other sectors as well.  

the appeal of a growing industry

Throughout the pandemic, a series of unexpected market developments have disrupted the logistics sector, but one thing is clear – it is a service that’s more essential than ever. With demand rising faster than the global economy – the global logistics industry is expected to rise 7.2% CAGR by 2027, according to one research report – the race to secure the best talent at these companies is guaranteed to heat up.

With a healthy sector ahead, workers are likely to have a myriad opportunities, especially as the industry is expanding in novel ways. The rise of connected devices, the use of machine learning and AI to automate planning, and the growth in last-mile services are all indicators of an evolving business. And workers with skills in many of these emerging areas will demand compelling EVPs from prospective employers. In fact, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, the sector is experiencing a surge in job opportunities.

Because the sector is undergoing so much change, one way in which employers can attract logisticians and supply chain professionals is through offering upskilling opportunities. The growing use of technology – whether robots at warehouses, software to expedite planning or even drone delivery to fulfil consumer demand for more rapid turnaround  – means workers will look to employers to help them remain relevant in the industry and gain skills that can advance their careers.

According to the Journal of Business Logistics, while the industry is facing talent scarcity and challenges around HR management practices, it has not demonstrated an especially adept competency when it comes to talent development in response to the future of the business.

By demonstrating they are committed to providing continuous learning and upskilling opportunities, logistics businesses and others in need of these skills provide a compelling incentive to workers choosing new employers and sectors. Especially among high-knowledge workers, the opportunity to learn new technologies, applications and other tools will help them remain highly marketable in the digitalizing global economy. In recent years, specialties such as block chain and data analytics have become essential knowledge for advancing careers in this field, and companies investing in these developing areas may be well-positioned to attract experienced supply chain professionals.

investments in technology rise

Another way in which companies can attract more highly skilled, high-quality professionals is through their technology investments. According to Forbes, many logistics firms are now “becoming software and data companies.” This means to become employers of choice, they will need to demonstrate how they are transforming into the kind of agile innovators that so many talented professionals are flocking to. 

The 2020 Randstad Employer Brand Research survey of working-age adults showed that in the fast-moving consumer goods sector – for which logistics is a critical function – workers in this industry say companies that use the latest technologies are very appealing to them. In fact, this factor is among the top 5 most important considerations when it comes to employer brand appeal. 

Other ways to attract logistics and supply chain professionals is through a positive talent experience. The 37th Logistics Management Magazine survey showed that the factor most impactful on job satisfaction is achieving a feeling of accomplishment (cited by 57%), followed by good work benefits and job security (both 46%). These indicators show that they value these qualities even more than a good salary (cited by 44%). This data offers logistics employers clearer guidance on what their workforce seeks in a career and what will help retain them in the future.


Read our latest Randstad Employer Brand Research report to understand what are the factors that generally attract logistics and supply chain professionals to prospective employers.