Building Tomorrow’s Workforce – Supply Chain & Logistics Conference 2012

The opportunity to work with inspiring leaders is rare, but I had the opportunity to sit on a fantastic panel of industry leaders at the Supply Chain & Logistics Conference in Brisbane. What a panel with Hayley Gibbs from Transpacific industries group, Greg Muscat from DP World, Bree Pitcher from Stanwell Corporation, Paul Kahlert from All Purpose Transport (WINNER of the Training, Education and Development award) and finally Louise Perram Fisk from Transform (WINNER of the Industry Excellence Award). And what a fantastic topic – 5 Steps to building tomorrow’s workforce through a multi-generational view. The 6 leaders at the panel focused on:
1. Attracting multi-generational talent
2. Recruitment for the future
3. Retaining top talent
4. Onboarding
5. Branding your business for talent attraction

It was such a great discussion and the panel put so much work into sharing their knowledge and thoughts, that I thought it would be powerful to share the highlights in my blog and which I am sure you will gain a lot of valuable information and tips.

1. Attracting multi-generational talent
• Treat all employees or potential employees as individuals regardless of our generation / gender / age etc.
• Gen Y want to be developed and challenged by good leaders, and want to see how their work contributes to the bigger picture. However, amongst Gen Y’s more broadly, they certainly don’t all want the same things! We think there are some key points that seem to appeal across most generations, i.e. fit between personal values (whatever they may be) and company values.
• A welcoming and supportive work environment
• What you put in is what you get out and a willingness to spend the time coaching and developing – allocation of mentor, emphasis on training and development
• Opportunity to learn about the business, what makes it tick and where my role fits in – we think down the track this helps with loyalty as people feel like they are contributing to the business
• Leadership -Leaders who lead by example and challenge and inspire their teams to grow and improve
• Treat your people as individuals… don’t assume they fit a stereotype – engage, engage, engage

2. Recruiting of the Future
• Be proactive in sourcing the talent that you require, i.e. If you want to employ more female truck drivers, you might need to take it upon yourself to widen the talent pool by including full licensing/training as part of your offer.
• Gen Y is certainly active in social media, so recruitment into the future should continue to focus here if targeting that audience. This may mean we unfortunately lose touch with face-to-face networking interactions; hence “head-hunting” is becoming more of an online thing as opposed to networking.
• Ensure the PD (position description) correctly reflects the role;
• Graduate programs should utilise university based placements not school based;
• Behavioural based interviews should be used when sourcing candidates;
• Cultural/team fit is just as important as a technical fit and needs to be assessed as part of selection;
• Security and ongoing development key to sourcing good candidates; and
• Ensure manager of that role is involved in the recruitment process.
• Make talent spotting a core requirement for all people in your business, all the time.

3. Retaining Top Talent
• Think of your people as your competitive advantage.
• Retain top talent / high potentials by talking to them and understanding them as individuals, what motivates them, what frustrates them, and what it takes to keep them engaged… Then foster an environment that challenges and supports them.
• Ensure you have high calibre leaders who “walk the talk”, are committed to empowering people and can understand the importance of effective communication and collaboration.
• Use the valuable data collected from Exit Interviews to establish a picture of why people are leaving your business.
• Encourage and provide the individual with challenging and developmental activities and tasks – you may need to give them a little push once in a while!
• Capability building needs to happen quickly, constant thirst for knowledge and professional development, don’t let things stay stagnant otherwise boredom sets in and individuals become disengaged
• Voices and opinions need to be heard, don’t discriminate by age or experience treat suggestions on their merits and create an environment where people feel comfortable in sharing their opinions
• Recognition for positive contributions and celebrate successes
• Organisational and team culture very important, again leaders who lead by example in these areas
• Organisation that ‘moves with the times’ positive about the future and always looking for opportunities to improve
• Organisation that embraces flexibility and technology – flexible work hours, use of technology
• Make them valued, recognised and challenged in a learning environment

4. Retaining Top Talent
• Take a genuine interest in every candidate and employee (as you would a customer), understanding that every interaction is moulding his or her view of your business.
• Throughout the entire process, ensure new employees have the resources they require, and ensure regular and open communications.
• Also apply onboarding techniques to internal promotions/transfers during transition!
• Onboarding needs a formal process, but the experience of how and what happens is what will retain them.
• Consider an onboarding coach or buddy
• Great link to some ideas! – http://blogs.hbr.org/hmu/2008/02/rapid-onboarding-at-capital-on.html
• Great book on onboarding! – http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Onboarding-Programs-Energizing-Orientation/dp/0071736794/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1346035740&sr=8-2&keywords=onboarding

5. Branding your Business for talent attraction
• Brand your business in a way that is appealing to the specific talent pool you want to attract, as this is your future labour pipeline.
• Define a genuine Employee Value Proposition supported by the Executive, which is an accurate reflection of day-to-day reality.
• Raise awareness of your business and EVP by investing in an online/social media presence and attending careers expo’s etc. Don’t assume the general public knows your business and the types of opportunities available.
• Think of employees and potential employees as customers – are you selling them an attractive product?

Thank you all for a fantastic conference and being part of a wonderful panel of leaders – with fantastic tips on attracting, engaging and retaining Talent today!
If you have anything you would love to share with us, please email me at sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with you to keep your workmates safe!

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616


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