Cargo Live: Discussing the Talent Challenge

In a special edition of Cargo Live, we discussed the challenges faced by the industry when it comes to attracting talent to work in logistics, and what it takes to retain talent.

This episode featured IAG Cargo’s Head of Marketing & External Communications Matthew Gardiner discussing the topic with Chief Operating Officer of Air Freight at CEVA Logistics Peter Penseel, Managing Director at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Tanya Joseph, Managing Director of RTITB, Talent in Logistics Laura Nelson and Senior Operating Director at Michael Page Logistics Ben Lyons.

We’ve rounded up a few key takeaways from the panel discussion.

Matthew Gardiner, IAG Cargo’s Head of Marketing and Communications kicked off ‘Discussing the Talent Challenge’ commenting on recent data that showed that 65%* of people are looking for a job that provides a greater sense of purpose than their current role.  

“The good news is, if candidates are looking for employment with a purpose, we as an industry provide that. Logistics and cargo, we keep the world moving,” said Matthew Gardiner, Head of Marketing and Communications. “As an industry, if we are to attract the best and brightest talent, we need to be better at highlighting the importance of what we do.”


Watch the full episode below.

Chief Operating Officer of Air Freight at CEVA Logistics Peter Penseel said:

“Managing talent retention properly starts with the senior leadership of any company. If you want to attract or maintain strong employees, you have to put time and effort into creating development plans for them in a company. Communicating to young people at schools and universities is also key, spreading the word that this is a great industry to join, and giving tangible examples of how career paths can be established. If employees have the opportunity to speak at university open days, or colleges around the world and make them aware that there are career possibilities in logistics, the appeal will grow.”

Managing Director at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Tanya Joseph said:

“Delivering purpose is an important part of successful business. It’s about living and breathing that sense of purpose, if it’s a central theme of your business then that can attract excellent people that want to stay, customers that will be loyal and profits too. We know that businesses that are purpose-driven not only elicit passion and commitment from their people but they outperform in financial margins, by 42 per cent according to a recent EY report. Increasingly employees want to feel valued: it’s about people feeling that they’re contributing to a greater good. What can the logistics business do to show prospective applicants how the sector has kept us afloat during the pandemic, for instance? We need to demonstrate why working for a logistics company will make them feel better about how they serve world and feel a sense of pride in what they do.”

Managing Director of RTITB, Talent in Logistics Laura Nelson:

“Research that we’ve conducted with drivers asked “what do you want from your employer, and what would make you stay with them or leave?” In the UK, we’ve seen huge incentives for drivers to join a different employer within the sector, for instance, but the resounding feedback was that they wanted to be rewarded and recognised for their efforts with a long-term commitment. Features such as income protection, critical illness cover, higher pension contributions, so features that contribute to a better, more secure way of life for them. In particular, drivers wanted their management to understand the challenges they face and for them to have empathy for the difficult environment that they work in.”

Senior Operating Director at Michael Page Logistics Ben Lyons said:

“The logistics industry as a whole is significantly higher profile than it was before the pandemic. People are much more aware of how the industry had to support and keep societies going during lockdowns. It’s more in the news than it ever has been, so there’s an opportunity for air cargo to build on that profile and let younger generations know how critical the industry is and what an important and rewarding career it can provide as a result. A lot of the challenges come from people not being aware of the opportunities available to them, and I think that is partly due to a lack of educational qualifications geared towards the sector. It’s an industry that many people largely fall into, and once they’re there, they realise what a fast-paced and exciting career it can be.”

Could logistics be the right career for you? Take a look at the latest opportunities and roles at IAG Cargo