Here’s why logistics companies need to ‘sell’ their roles to jobseekers

Here's why logistics companies need to 'sell' their roles to jobseekers
The principle of employers ‘selling’ their jobs to candidates isn’t new. When I started my recruitment career in Telford back in the early 90’s, lots of electronic manufacturing companies had recently moved into the area – taking advantage of available land, good motorway links and an available workforce. However, when labour demand started to outstrip supply, companies had to think differently about how they attracted talent.

I remember speaking to these companies about where and how they should advertise their roles, in order to reach new candidates; how they could showcase their first class facilities in their adverts; and how they could ensure their communications were appealing to people who wouldn’t have previously considered a career in the sector. 25 years on, and these same basic employer brand principles still apply today. Yet many firms continue to get it wrong.

What do jobseekers want to hear?

Nowadays, my time is spent developing workforce solutions for the logistics sector. It’s an industry with crippling skills shortages, which had led to immense competition for talent. Drivers, in particular, are in extremely high demand – and they know it. They often have multiple job offers on the table at the same time, so they can afford to be choosy and pick the one that works best for them. As a result, it’s never been more important for logistics organisations to sell their roles effectively. Yet many logistics employers continue to struggle with how to do this.

I think one of the main challenges logistics employers face is getting the message right. All too often, they focus their messaging¬†on their corporate brand, not on what it’s really like to work there. In short, their communications are centred on what they think their candidates want to know, not what they actually want to know. For example, drivers often look for roles with long contracts, good routes, a choice of different shifts, and depots that have easy access. Lots of organisations offer some – or all – of these. However, very few mention this as part of their communications with jobseekers.

How should you reach them?

Another reason why I believe logistics employers struggle to sell their roles to candidates is because they’re not reaching out to them in the right way. They’re not aligning their attraction efforts to the different routes to market jobseekers take – traditional sources vs. digital platforms.

It may come as no surprise to find that a significant proportion of the logistics workforce relies on word of mouth to find new jobs. They’re particularly prevalent in the heavy goods arena, but you’ll find them other areas of the workforce too. They won’t go onto your website; they won’t follow you on Facebook; and they certainly won’t be at your careers fair. If they’re looking for a new role, they’ll call on their friends, family, colleagues, and recruiters they’ve previously worked with. Tapping into these networks to showcase why someone should work for you isn’t easy. But it’s critical, if you’re going to secure the best in-demand talent.

Building trust online

The candidates that do utilise digital platforms in their job search are turning the tables on employers. They’re using online channels – like social media, employer review websites and forums – to tell other jobseekers what they think about their current and past employers. So, if they don’t think your employer brand reflects what it’s actually like to work for you, they’ll make sure other jobseekers know. So honesty is the best policy. Many employers overreach and try to make their company seem perfect when developing their employer brand. However, in today’s digital age, this can actually cause more harm than good.

Our research found that more than half of jobseekers consider employer brand to be more important today than it was five years ago. For the logistics sector specifically, competition for talent is growing. So it’s critical that they communicate with candidates properly, to ensure they can secure the talent they need.

That’s where Manpower can help. We understand candidate preferences and behaviour inside-out, so we know how to make your vacancies stand out from the crowd. If you’d like to discuss any of these topics in more detail, please feel free to contact me directly on Stuart.Bailey@manpower.co.uk.


To find out more about our expertise in warehouse and logistics recruitment and workforce planning, visit manpower.co.uk/warehouse-and-logistics or email us at warehouseandlogistics@manpower.co.uk