The global pandemic has radically changed the way companies manage their inventory and purchases. As the demand and supply of goods and services dipped due to lockdowns and border closures, the disruptions to manufacturing firms have created ripple effects that were experienced globally. 

Indeed, the logistics and supply chain industries have also been significantly impacted by these knock-on effects. Logistics companies have to constantly change their schedules and resources to accommodate the volatile environment while ensuring a safe working environment. 

impacts of covid 19 on logistics
impacts of covid 19 on logistics

Nonetheless, the logistics industry  certainly has the potential to thrive in the next normal. According to a Research and Markets study, the gradual uptick in global business sentiment and rising demand for essential commodities will drive the global logistics market worth $3.2 billion in 2021, from $2.7 billion in 2020.

The same trend is also playing out in the Asia Pacific region. Singapore, which has cemented its position as a global logistics hub amid the COVID-19 crisis, is poised to see further growth from the sector. Correspondingly, the logistics market in Hong Kong SAR is expected to make a solid post-pandemic recovery and in Malaysia, it is set to be one of its top performing sectors in 2021. 

cost-efficient HR strategies in logistics 

Despite the positive outlook, the logistics industry is not quite out of the woods yet. To survive in the current unpredictable environment and leverage new opportunities that have arised from the pandemic, HR processes need to be as efficient and reliable as possible.

Here are six ways how engaging with a dedicated HR services partner can help you achieve these goals and meet your current HR and logistics challenges. 

1. take HR work off your hands

Many SMEs in the logistics sector lack a dedicated HR department. This means that a single employee in the company could be responsible for all HR tasks, from recruitment to training, payroll to administrative work. This might even be on top of their day-to-day operations, managing revenues and expenditures, and the many other processes involved in running a business.

If this sounds like your situation, you will stand to reap immeasurable benefits from outsourcing some of your most urgent and time-consuming workforce-related tasks to an experienced HR services partner as a way to expand your resources without spending too much money. 

Outsourcing will help reduce your workload and stress levels as well as free up more time for you to focus on other vital jobs that are needed to keep your business going. 

2. cost and time efficient solution

Keeping costs under control is always a top priority for SMEs. While working with a dedicated HR services provider might seem unnecessary, especially for a job that you can do, it can bring more cost savings than you may expect. HR services providers like Randstad Malaysia have the know-hows as well as dedicated and innovative resources that can actually help you get the job done quicker and better

time management in logistics
time management in logistics

Optimising your human capital processes through a professional HR services provider can help you manage time and save money by:

  • Reducing overtime costs as you’ll be freed of additional and/or administrative work 
  • Avoiding high talent turnover rates through better alignment of candidate expectations as well as a more seamless identification and onboarding process
  • Minimising productivity loss especially when existing staff are absent or on leave 
  • Leveraging contracting talent whenever you have short-term workforce needs for more flexible cost control

3. flexibility and agility

To succeed in the new normal, your HR and workforce planning processes have to be both flexible and agile. Whether you’re scaling up to meet a sudden increase in demand or reducing capacity during seasonal or unexpected lulls, your organisation needs to be nimble enough to respond to the corresponding workforce requirements.

Having a flexible HR workforce plan can help you thrive in this environment. By working with a specialist HR partner, you can experience the true benefits of an integrated workforce which includes both permanent and contracting professionals. They have in-depth knowledge and insights about the latest market trends to provide well-researched consultation on how you should re-configure your workforce to remain competitive and build your long-term human capital. 

Not only do they help you source and screen candidates, but HR services providers also have a suite of tools such as online timesheets and centralised HR portals for payrolling and leave management to relieve you from standard administrative work. 

4. quick delivery

There will be times when you are presented with unforeseen, one-off opportunities that you would need to respond quickly to leverage them. This isn’t always easy when you’re shouldering the full responsibility for your firm’s HR function without any external help.

If you have an immediate need for staff - whether on a permanent or contracting basis - outsourcing key tasks will be effective. The HR service provider can support you in identifying, interviewing and onboarding candidates. This will  help you speed up the process so that you can gain productivity on your logistics, deliver efficiently,  and avoid losing exceptional talent to competitors who are more agile and responsive.

5. digital employee engagement 

The physical distancing requirements imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have made remote working a reality. Employees are using technology tools to maintain contact with one another as well as to manage processes and deadlines. 

However, as economies gradually reopen, many firms will be looking to revert to their previous working arrangement - in the office

digitalise solution in logistics industry
digitalise solution in logistics industry

This is because smaller businesses in the logistics industry might not be equipped with the right digital resources to enable remote working. For example, some logistics SMEs still maintain that certain aspects of their work have to be performed on-site as it is one of the most hands-on jobs across the world. Most workers in Asia also prefer to have face-to-face meetings as these hold more value and help further deepen partnerships. 

However, it may not be possible to have the entire workforce return to the office full-time after this pandemic, and this is not purely because of safety reasons. After working remotely in the past year, many employees surveyed have expressed a strong desire for flexible work. Most have adapted to the new normal and experienced the benefits of flex work, and hence there are expectations of employers to continue offering the option of working from home, so that they can get to spend more time with their family and cut their commuting time.  

Employers should consider offering hybrid work options to their employees if they want to attract and retain great talent. However, there is no one-size-fits-all model that applies to all logistics firms. It all depends on the status of your digitalisation roadmap, your management style and your employee’s ability to work independently. Your organisational culture - which is the glue that holds everyone together - should also be reconstructed to meet the demands of the new reality. To curate the right hybrid work model that works for your organisation, HR professionals will need to start speaking with employees to find out their concerns and expectations. 

6. strengthen your employer brand

Specialised HR consultants provide companies more than just recruitment and contracting services to in-house HR professionals. Companies that partner with independent HR services agencies typically receive a dedicated team of experienced HR consultants that bridge the gap between candidates’ expectations and the company’s current understanding of what their candidates need.

how does hr attracts talents
how does hr attracts talents

As the first point of human contact between the employer and candidate, recruiters are a key representative of your employer brand. An exclusive partnership with a recruitment agency will hence ensure consistency, comprehension and clarity in the way your employer brand is being communicated and promoted to external audiences.

Randstad conducts the world’s most comprehensive Employer Brand Research that captures the workforce sentiments towards key employee value proposition factors from employees and job seekers. Employers who work with Randstad will have data-driven and industry-specific insights that will drive their ability to attract and retain the best logistics talent. 

finding the right balance 

Our global tech and touch ambition is enshrined in our brand identity - human forward. We ultimately seek to be a trusted human partner to our clients, as we support people and organisations in realising their true potential. At the same time, we recognise the immense benefits of today’s technology, which allows us to power our passion for people and offer best-in-class experience to our clients, candidates and employees. 

Connect with us to recruit top talent for the diverse roles in the logistics industry. 

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