Recruitment woes

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A majority of companies find it hard to recruit suitable people to management roles in logistics, a survey conducted by Logistics Manager has revealed.

Although the sample was too small for detailed statistics a number of trends were apparent.

The most commonly cited reason for recruitment difficulties was that logistics has a poor image. This was closely followed by the fact that people don’t know about the industry, and unsocial hours. Other factors mentioned included: poor working conditions, low pay, general lack of competent people with common sense and practical approach, and the pace and pressure of the job.

A significant majority said they preferred to recruit good managers who understood the business and who could be taught logistics rather than qualified logisticians.

When it came to the core skills looked for, three factors came out top: industry knowledge, inter-personal skills, and communication skills. Factors such as technical logistics skills and product knowledge came lower down the list.

Perhaps surprisingly, very few asked for a degree in logistics though, for some, a CPC was important. One respondent said: “A logistics degree is nice but a good attitude and decent levels of intelligence are also important” while another said he looked for a “well-rounded knowledge of the industry from the ground up as opposed to educational qualifications.”

Very few of the respondents said their companies had a clear career development path for logisticians and equally few offered any in-house logistics training.

One SME said it had not recruited at management level for a logistics job for more than 10 years. “It is unlikely that there would be more than one role for a logistician at management level in the foreseeable future so there is no obvious career path within the company except to a general management role.”

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