Employers need to efficiently collect information on frontline workers’ needs and requirements to recruit and retain them, says Dan Johnston, chief executive officer and co-founder of WorkStep.
In many ways, Johnston says, it's a great time to be a frontline supply chain worker. “There's an abundance of opportunities. Obviously, these roles, especially in the skilled trades and in trucking are in high demand, and pay is on the rise.” And such workers are in the driver’s seat. “Frontline supply chain workers are looking for more than just job opportunities and pay. They're looking for career growth, for opportunities to advance within their companies. They're looking to have a voice within their organization that is heard by the leadership. They're looking, of course, for safe working conditions and for a sense of team.”
It’s imperative that employers understand what matters to the workforce. For instance, scheduling flexibility may be driving their decision to stay or leave. “We're seeing many of our customers adopt flexible scheduling methodologies, but that comes at a cost of complexity to manage and ensure you have the right people with the right skills in your buildings or in your trucks at the right time. There's always a trade-off there.”
Labor shortages exist everywhere, including in the supply chain world. Johnston says, “The supply chain talent market has really been incredibly strained over the last three years, and honestly it wasn't easy to hire for these roles before [the pandemic] either. There is a boom in demand for this talent and supply is struggling to keep up, which makes it hard to hire. What the most forward-thinking supply chain employers are doing is thinking if it's a war for talent out there, how do I keep and grow the talent that I have so that I need to compete less for new talent in the marketplace?”
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