Focus sits down with Ben Lyons, Senior Operating Director, Michael Page Logistics to find out more about the reasons behind its commitment to CILT’s Awards for Excellence.
Can you introduce yourself and Michael Page?
I’m Ben Lyons, a Senior Operating Director at Michael Page. I lead the UK logistics professional recruitment division, where we have around 25 consultants specialising in logistics across the country. Prior to joining Michael Page, I worked at DHL in various operational roles.
How long have you supported CILT?
We at Michael Page have been proud partners of CILT for over 10 years and have had the honour of sponsoring the Diversity award for the past five.
What does Michael Page get out of the relationship with CILT?
CILT is a highly established partner to the logistics industry and it’s important to us that we play an active role in supporting its work. Our membership and annual sponsorship gives us unparalleled access to exciting awards, events and advice. Our consultants also benefit from access to information on the latest news and trends within the sector.
Why was Michael Page motivated to sponsor the CILT awards?
We feel it’s important to recognise the contribution of people who deliver exceptional performance within the industry and we want to support the process of recognising those who go above and beyond.
What challenges has Michael Page identified in logistics and transport recruitment for 2022?
It’s been a turbulent couple of years for the industry and the aftershocks will still be felt throughout the year ahead as we establish life post-Covid. One challenge we’ve already noticed is that, due to an online shopping boom post-pandemic, there’s been a significantly higher than average take up of warehouse space. The issue with this is that the supply of labour into the industry is static, and, if anything, has reduced due to a shortage of EU workers post-Brexit. Business will be considering how to mitigate the financial impact of this problem – whether that’s getting rid of under used space or implementing a mass recruitment drive.
In addition, there is a shortage of suitably qualified management professionals in all areas across the UK. This is made even more problematic by the increase in counteroffer activity from organisations looking to retain management level staff, meaning that we’re seeing little movement in this area.
One of our more positive predictions for 2022 is that any skills around customs will become increasingly in demand due to the impact of new EU/UK trading rules, so anyone with these skills will be in a strong position when job hunting this year.
What is Michael Page doing to mitigate these challenges and help assist companies in their search for new talent?
At Michael Page, we have the benefit of over 20 years’ experience recruiting in the logistics space, so our recruiters are able to share their knowledge and expertise and fully support clients on their hiring journey. To help mitigate the challenges our customers are facing in the current landscape, we work with them to design a bespoke recruitment and selection process, fully tailored to their needs, that enables them to attract the best talent. As part of this, we advise them on how to effectively promote their employer brand across both social media and traditional advertising in order to attract new candidates.
In addition, we have just published our 2022 logistics salary guide, where we benchmark salaries for logistics jobs at all levels in order to help employers with setting salaries that will attract talent.
What are you most looking forward to at the Awards this year?
The chance to (hopefully) interact with industry peers and new talent face to face again!
What advice would you give to senior staff in the logistics and transport industry who are looking to recruit new talent?
Naturally, different organisations require different advice, but speaking broadly, it can be really useful for hiring managers to implement a structured interview process that is consistent for all candidates. Make sure that candidates have access to a comprehensive job description and up to date information about the organisation, take the time to talk to them about how your company is going to help them learn new skills and develop their career.
When it comes to the interview process, at the moment the broad expectation is that most first stage interviews will be done via video call so that candidates can work around their commitments. However, I believe that doing a face-to-face interview at some point throughout the process can be really valuable so that the candidate can gauge the atmosphere of their potential new place of work, and so that both parties can get a feel for whether they are the right fit.
Why is it important for Michael Page to sponsor the Diversity Award specifically?
Increasing the level of diversity in the logistics industry is something that we, as a business, feel very passionate about, which is why we have sponsored this award for the past five years. In order to thrive, we need talent from all backgrounds to feel comfortable joining the logistics industry, whether that’s a school leaver or someone looking to change careers in later life. Diversity of thought is key to solving skills challenges in the sector, and that’s only possible if it’s made to feel accessible to all. One specific area that the entire industry is working to try and address at the moment is increasing the number of females in logistics roles. It’s still a relatively male dominated space, but progress is certainly being made.
To find out more about sponsoring the CILT Awards for Excellence, contact Lucy Hemmings, Events Manager, CILT. E: email@example.com.