Building a top logistics business means having a skilled workforce. Spotting talent with the right skills and experience to succeed in top logistics organisations can be challenging, so employers need to know what to look for.
Logistics is a broad sector which encompasses various key functions. Some of these key functions include;
- Supply systems
- Health Services
- General Engineering
- Non-material Support Activities
Depending on the specific function at hand, the key logistics employee skills will vary.
However, with these functions in mind, here are 10 of the key skills for logistics every workforce needs.
1 - Innovation
The best logistics teams consist of workers who are innovative. Workers who can think outside the box and come up with fresh new strategies are a key part of any top logistics workforce.
Often in engineering, ingenuity is essential in finding the right solutions that will allow operations to function as effectively as possible.
The innovative employees within a business will be the ones leading it into the future.
Innovative employees can be identified by their proven experience finding unique solutions to challenges, as well as demonstrating their ability to think outside the box.
2 - Adaptability
The best employees are highly adaptable. They can adjust and evolve the way they work to match the organisation at hand. Having a skilled team is only beneficial if the team members can adapt to new conditions as they are presented. If a team can’t do this, they’ll soon find that their strategies and processes will become outdated and ineffective. Logistics as an industry encompasses a wide range of environments.
Logistics workers are bound to experience a number of new environments and situations, so being highly adaptable is a must. Employees who are skilled in adaptability can also revise their work process where necessary to align with the current market and trends. This can prove invaluable for a business to keep up with the ever-changing market.
3 - Organisation
Quality organisational skills are necessary to maintain order and ensure processes flow smoothly throughout the business. This very much applies to the transportation area of logistics where tight organisation is required to ensure cargo is transported and delivered safely and on time. The quality of a logistics’ organisation’s transportation function is business-critical.
4 - Teamwork
The actions your team members take have a knock-on effect, which can lead to an organisational nightmare. Having a team full of workers who are individually skilled is one thing, but the real value lies in teams of people who function together, not just on their own. This is worth keeping in mind when hiring new workers. Looking for candidates who fit well into your existing team as well as being a high-quality individual is the key to assembling a quality, teamwork-driven division.
However, it’s all about the balance. Look for candidates with evidence of both personal and team accomplishments, as you don’t want people who use their team as a crutch. You may find that workers with an over-reliance on their team struggle to achieve results on their own.
5 - Customer Service
For more customer-orientated areas of logistics, the ability to interact with customers and provide them with what they want is invaluable. People in customer-facing roles should be friendly and outgoing, with a strong understanding of what their business’s customers want. Furthermore, employees with customer-service skills are aware of their own abilities and their company’s resources. They can use this knowledge to manage customers’ expectations and think critically to find solutions to challenges their customers or clients are facing.
Keeping customers and clients happy is necessary to ensure a steady flow of business, as well as to reinforce a positive reputation for your brand.
6 - Critical Thinking
Logistics can often involve quick thinking and decision making on a day-to-day basis, so the ability to think critically and evaluate situations is key for team members.
People who can apply critical thinking to their everyday role avoid simply going with the flow. They weigh up the situation at hand as well as the costs and benefits of potential decisions. This leads to a forward-thinking team who can confidently tackle challenges and solve problems in a sensible manner.
Critical thinking skills also include the ability to keep a cool head in potentially stressful situations. Work in the logistics industry can often present challenging situations where decisions need to be made quickly. In situations like this it’s sink-or-swim for those involved, so keeping a level head to evaluate the situation is critical.
7 - Negotiation
The best logistics teams include quality negotiators who can tender the best deals. Quality negotiators can save their business a lot of money and provide the most benefit when discussing new deals with clients and suppliers.
Good negotiators are best spotted in the interview stage. The salary negotiation process is a great stage for candidates to demonstrate their negotiation skills, so touching upon salary or schedule during interviews can be useful. Good negotiators will speak with cool confidence, they’ll justify their statements whilst taking yours into account to come to a reasonable agreement.
8 - Software Skills
To create a team that can remain competitive in a tough market, the ability to keep up with the latest technology is a must.
Technology advances very quickly, the importance of technology and software in the logistics industry can’t be understated. The implementation of the latest tech in a logistics business can be the difference between leading the market and falling behind competitors. As such, it’s essential that you build a team of workers who have strong experience working with the latest technology in logistics. These employees should have the ability to stay abreast of the latest tech and adapt to new software when needed.
To spot these skills, search candidate CVs for evidence of relevant experience with specific software, especially software that’s integral to your business’s operations. Though people have the ability to gain knowledge of new technology, the experience of using it is invaluable.
9 - Planning and Execution
It goes without saying that the planning and execution of strategies is an essential function in logistics organisations. Top workers are able to plan effectively, devising strategies that can be feasibly executed given the time and resources available.
Planning and execution skills are especially important during an organisation’s peak times. In busy, business-critical periods, having a workforce who can plan and execute key operations quickly and successfully is essential.
During the hiring process, be on the lookout for candidates who have held planning-orientated roles in the past. In particular, look for candidates who have taken the lead and successfully planned and executed large logistical projects.
10 - Communication Skills
Communication skills are essential in every facet of logistics. Poor communication in a logistics team can lead to wrong decisions, missed deadlines, and unhappy clients. The consequences of bad communication in a team could result in a loss of business, with clients deciding to jump to competitors for their needs.
This ties in directly to teamwork skills, as teamwork and strong communication go hand-in-hand. But communication doesn’t just apply to the team. In logistics, vendors and clients also need to be communicated with effectively to keep things running as smoothly as possible. This includes aspects such as deal-brokering, negotiation, and organisation (as mentioned previously). Essentially, the industry runs on clear communication.
Communication is about more than just talking - listening is vital too.
Strong communication skills should come across in a candidate’s CV, as well as during the interview process. Employers should keep an eye out for candidates who can confidently create discussion, as well as addressing all the questions asked in a clear and concise way.
How Can You Find Candidates With These Skills?
To identify and attract top candidates who possess these skills for logistics, quality job advertisements are key.
The very best candidates won’t apply to poor adverts. They apply to attractive postings by businesses they trust, adverts offering unique opportunities and strong benefits. Advertisements that lack employer branding will fail to attract many of the best candidates and often result in the need to advertise the role.
Look for CVs that outline specific experiences demonstrating these skills.
The best candidates aren’t always on the biggest job boards, though. Often they can be found on smaller, specialist job boards. The reality is, you can never really know which job boards the best candidate for you can be found on. As such, it’s best practice to advertise on a variety of job boards, both general and specialist, in order to get the best exposure.
Through our job advertisement service at Hiring Wizard, we ensure your advertisements are well optimised, branded with your company name and logo, and posted in all the right places. All for the same cost as a single job ad on one of the main job boards.