Rapid Evolution in Logistics Is Evolving Hiring Needs

The logistics industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, and accounts for around 8% of GDP. In an uncertain world, the pandemic, globalized economy, and increased demand for goods is leading to developing trends that are shaping not only who logistics companies must hire, but how they hire.

In this article, we outline seven emerging trends in logistics and how they affect hiring in the industry.

1.    E-Commerce Logistics

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to online consumerism. According to research published on Business Wire, e-commerce logistics are forecast to be worth almost $55 billion by 2025.

Logistics companies should hire for experience and expertise in e-commerce. This includes customer-facing staff with the skills to negotiate and resolve disputes, as well as good time management and planning skills.

2.    Elastic Logistics

Shifts in both consumer demand and how consumer purchase goods are likely to continue to evolve and remain volatile. This means that logistics companies should be prepared to react quickly to changing market dynamics, especially in rapid shrinking and growth of temporary workforces to meet production and demand needs.

3.    Automation of Warehouse Processes

In the drive to reduce costs and improve flexibility of service provision, we expect the industry to increase the pace of its investment in warehouse automation. Pick-and-place technologies like robotics, automated storage and retrieval, and automated guided vehicles are shaping the way that warehouses work.

As warehouses become automated, they should be able to fill orders faster and be more agile toward customer needs. However, this will not necessarily lead to a reduction in employee numbers. What will change is the skills that companies will hire for, and the type of roles required to be filled. For example, warehouse staff are likely to need higher levels of computer knowledge and be better problem solvers. As more automation is acquired, companies are also likely to need higher numbers of maintenance staff, with specific skills in robotics and computerized systems.

4.    The Internet of Things

As automation increases, the Internet of Things (IoT) will allow companies to control more from a central location. Data will be streamed from outlying equipment and distribution centers. At the heart of this is embedded software. To enable this, it is likely that logistics companies will invest more heavily in their IT capability, or place greater emphasis on outsource capacity.

5.    Tackling Employee Turnover

Warehouse operations have traditionally suffered from high employee turnover. As the logistics environment evolves, such employee attrition cannot continue – hiring, onboarding and training is a costly process.

We should expect companies to focus more on quality of permanent hires and experience of outsourced services and temporary employees. It is also likely that employers will boost training and development to deliver more rewarding career paths and greater autonomy of work to their employees.

6.    Last-Mile Delivery

Increasingly, people are living in cities – especially with urban sprawl making cities bigger. As we continue to focus on faster delivery and environmental issues, how we move goods from warehouse to buyer efficiently (and through congested traffic) will continue to evolve. Last-mile delivery initiatives will increase. This is especially true of perishable products.

This will result in distributed workforces (including outsourced delivery capacity). HR capacity must be boosted to remain on top of these needs.

7.    Motivating Constant Improvement

Encapsulating all the above, logistics companies must seek to constantly improve their operations, streamlining processes and working more efficiently as human teams in increasingly automated, high-pressure environments.

Business leaders should engage their employees in this process of improvement, continually seeking ideas to optimize working processes and reduce waste. Companies should therefore employ and train managers who have more open mindsets, as well as hire staff who are devoted to help their employer improve what they do and how they do it.

What Do These Logistics Trends Mean for You?

The future may be uncertain, but it is exciting. To maximize your potential, and the potential that current trends promise, it is simply not possible to treat hiring as a separate function within the business.

The trends we have highlighted will impact all levels of your business. It is crucial to hire and have access to the skills and qualities your logistics business needs to drive it forward.

As you develop new ways of working and staffing, don’t neglect the connection between trends in the industry and the key employees who will drive your success. For you staffing needs, contact ACG Resources today.