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Christmas in August

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Posted on 5/08/2016 by Kerry O'Neill

While everyone else is looking forward to a (hopefully!) hot summer and watching the Olympics on TV with their feet up, Logistics professionals are deep in planning for the retail Peak season already.

With the Black Friday and Christmas looming in the distance, retailers are planning in earnest for the busiest time of the year. With last year’s sales surpassing £3.3 billion, and worth over 50% of the year’s profits, its vital the season runs smoothly.

In our previous blog “Can you Peak too soon?” we talked about forecasting, planning and resource, but what about hiring?

As a recruitment consultancy specialising in procurement, buying, supply chain and logistics, we are already working with our account clients to resource the best talent for their peak plans. So if you haven’t already started, now is the time to start thinking about people requirements. After reviewing existing capacities and forecasts for the coming peak, its time to look at your existing team with a view to see how much they can flex to cope with the increased demand. Following on from this comes the need to assess what additional skills are needed to help your team maximise results.

With employment at an all-time high and July’s ONS data showing that unemployment dropped to 4.9%, companies requiring interim & contract logistics and supply chain professionals need to tackle the difficulties of attracting and hiring the best talent head on to ensure everything is in place before the start of the season.

To achieve this end, its worth considering the following:

  • There is fierce competition in the current “Skills Gap” market – its essential you start looking for the best talent early to get a head start on other businesses trying to bag the same candidates.

  • Consider carefully how your employer brand is projected online & on social media to create the best impression to potential employees.

  • Publicise your peak season hiring requirements extensively on all social media channels including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook & Instagram.

  • Make sure you are clear about your peak people requirements and what their roles will be, so they can add most value and you can recruit exactly to your brief.

  • If recruiting through a third party, make sure they are clear on your requirements and timescales from the outset.

  • Plan your recruitment process well ahead – booking out days in advance for your interviewing processes. Businesses can lose out on the best candidates simply because the interviewing process isn’t fast enough.

  • For major peak projects, consider hiring specialist project contractors – these type of professionals will use their extensive experience & existing industry networks to your advantage.

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