How the pandemic sparked a transportation job interview boom
Nationwide border closures coupled with increased demand for medical supplies, e-commerce deliveries and online grocery stores have pushed the transportation industry to its limits.
Almost two years after the first declarations of the pandemic, the cracks are starting to appear and they are deeper than ever.
According to the skills forecast of the Transportation and Logistics Industry Reference Committee, more than 80 percent of employers reported skill shortages for heavy vehicle drivers and drivers in general.
In addition, Infrastructure Australia is the first Infrastructure Market Capacity Report found that the demand for skills in the transport, utilities and construction infrastructure sectors is 48 percent greater than the supply.
However, meeting this demand would require annual growth of 25 percent over the next two years, more than eight times the projected annual growth rate of 3.3 percent.
As companies desperately seek to fill positions and make the Australian transport industry run as efficiently as ever, industry leaders have stepped up their recruitment efforts.
In fact, HireVue’s hiring data shows that the number of interviews conducted by the transportation industry in November increased by a colossal 201.9%, more than any other vertical.. The interview boom reflects an urgent need to attract and retain talent within the industry.
Breathing new life into the transport industry
The transportation industry encompasses roles that span road, rail and sky and neither component could function without the other.
According to the Australian Industry Standards Transportation and Logistics Outlook, the average age of a trucking industry worker and train driver is 47 and 48, respectively. Without new life, new ideas and new skills brought into the industry, innovations will slow down and the effects will be felt throughout the industry.
This does not mean that there should be more workers in their twenties than in their forties – on the contrary – the sweet spot for an optimal work environment is diversity. Not only the diversity of age, but also of gender, culture, race and neurology.
Diversity is the best problem solver because it makes knowledge from all walks of life accessible in a working environment. The more diverse a business, the better its problem-solving ability, and the more successful the business, the better the quality of talent it attracts – and the cycle continues.
Paving the way for the next generation
Scott Morrison’s announcement that the Australian government will offer a new national driver apprenticeship to young people will go a long way in tackling the issues of the aging and overburdened trucking workforce.
By giving young Australians the opportunity to gain skills and build highly valued careers at low cost and without the need to go to higher education, the industry will undoubtedly reap the long-term benefits. .
In addition to the government’s initiative to close the skills gap for truckers, industry leaders are taking matters into their own hands to ensure their companies continue to attract top new talent, with LINX Cargo Care Group recently launching a pilot program, LINX FastTrax, to train up to 30 youth in the NSW Hunter area.
How to close the gap in 2022
One of the biggest hurdles for the transportation industry in 2022 will be attracting Gen Z talent to diversify teams. However, the first step in attracting them is knowing where to find them in the first place.
Generation Z is the first generation considered to be âdigital nativeâ. They grew up on social media and blend the digital and physical worlds like never before. As a result, Gen-Zers now expect increasingly advanced uses of technology from the organizations they relate to, especially their employers.
Successful businesses will need to master the digital experience by implementing tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and workflow platforms to keep up with an increasingly tech-savvy workforce.
Hiring managers should also prioritize a digitally-driven model even after the pandemic is over by incorporating HR technologies such as game-based assessments to ensure an impartial hiring process.
As we move to hybrid remote work on a more permanent basis, virtual hiring will remain crucial to the hiring process and technology will be central to the decision-making process.
As interviews are booming in the transportation industry, filling the gaps with the right talent will depend on business and government working together to educate the next generation of transportation workers.
By creating opportunities to diversify teams, attract the next generation, and harness technology to meet candidates where they are, the transportation industry will emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever and ready to take on the world.