Supply chains are suffering from a lack of both truck drivers and warehouse workers. According to Supply and Demand Chain Executive, while robots are a rising force in warehouses, most work is still done by humans, and a recent Deloitte survey says attracting supply chain talent is 36% more difficult today than it was five years ago. An older workforce (median age 44.2) doesn’t help retention figures; those employees could soon retire or change industries.
Warehouse workers are demanding more benefits and higher pay, which is creating a competitive environment. They also want a career path, more job security, better safety, a more pleasant work environment, and respect for their rights. The shortage of truck drivers eased a bit in 2022 after pay increased by an average of 10.9% in 2021, along with sign-on bonuses and additional incentives. However, that still left a huge number of vacancies–almost 78,000.
This is a temporary improvement. It’s predicted that, as with warehouse workers, truck drivers are aging out of the workforce, but freight demand will keep growing. This means almost 1.2 million new drivers will be needed in the next decade just to replace retiring or departing drivers.
There are several causes for the talent and retention shortage. Higher pay and better working conditions help, but supply-chain leaders must still manage their talent pipeline. According to Warehouse.ninja, the best supply chain management recruitment and retention strategies include:
- Post your jobs where your competitors post
- Post your jobs on suitable sites with a targeted audience, such as warehousegig.com, where you’ll likely find higher quality, experienced candidates
- Use social media to post your jobs
- Create referral incentives
- Make the job application process simple
Per recruitics.com, you’ll gain an edge over your competition by using multiple channels, highlighting benefits, and being authentic. And according to Ryder’s Voice of the Truck Driver report, showing appreciation for how tough the job is can help attract well-qualified warehouse workers.
You’ll also want to build a talent pool that serves as a pipeline for future talent. Recruiters Lineup notes effective ways to build a talent pool include:
- Looking at candidates you previously passed up: They may not have had the skills you needed then or decided to go with another company. Give them another glance.
- Ask employees for referrals: Why pay for ads if you don’t have to? Ask your current employees if they have a qualified friend or family member you might be able to recruit now or in the future.
- Network: Attend high-school job fairs and industry events.
Retention in any industry comes from fair compensation, work/life balance (a main complaint from truck drivers), and respect.