CrimsonXT’s Automation Division help industry leaders in Warehouse Automation and Intralogistics source the best talent to supercharge their business. Our team recently had the pleasure of speaking at 2023’s Supply Chain and Logistics Expo, where they shared ways that HR, talent acquisition and hiring managers at supply chain and logistics firms can look to successfully find and onboard great talent. Read on for a quick rundown of what was said…



Our team of expert consultants have placed over 100 candidates in warehouse automation and intralogistics roles across North America and Europe in the past three years. This means that we’ve seen up close the evolving opportunities and challenges faced by different types of firms across this immense market.

We’re all more than aware of the challenges facing the industry right now. From recession, supply chain issues and high interest rates to a shortage of talent, there’s lots out of our control. However, talent attraction is something we CAN do something about, and I’m going to give you some ways to set yourself up for success in this area.


Get innovative with your talent sources

When starting out hiring a new role, most of us go out seeking a ‘purple unicorn’ – or a perfect candidate. We spend four months searching for someone who ticks every box, we have no luck and by that time the gap in our team’s resource is costing more and more. There isn’t an abundance of perfect talent so we need to think outside the box to fill the need more quickly.

The first thing I would advise is looking at what skills are absolutely core to the position, and what skills you could be flexible with. What abilities can be developed or trained up over time? Can you look into a training scheme to build up the necessary skills?

Secondly, I would recommend considering what adjacent or allied industries might have more potential candidates with the transferrable skills required to meet your needs. A client partner recently came to us for support after struggling for three months to find project managers with very specific experience working large complex automation projects and getting absolutely nowhere. We helped them analyse the core skills required and in just two weeks provided them with a shortlist of 20 candidates for interview. The difference? We looked at candidates with relevant transferable experience, but in adjacent industries such as oil and gas or automotive.

The client had their candidates on board in six weeks from project kick off, all by opening up the vacancy to people outside the industry.



Get good at managing hybrid workforces

I’m sure you’ll be sick to death of hearing about our ‘post-Covid’ world and all the changes it has made to the modern workplace. However, there have been big shifts that we need to adapt to and there’s plenty of ways that they can play in your favour.

The biggest change here is that hybrid working seems to be here to stay. 75 per cent of employers have a hybrid working model now, and 97 per cent of employees don’t want to return to the office full-time. Some of us are more excited about this than others, but regardless, the companies that thrive going forwards are going to be the ones that get good at getting the best out of their hybrid workforce.

Crucially, offering more flexible working arrangements gives you access to tons more talent. A colleague of mine was recently partnering with a firm who had a vacancy unfilled for over 18 months. Despite their best efforts, their team were unable to source a candidate within budget who lived in a commutable location and were willing to be on site full time. After they opened up the position to accommodate hybrid working, we were able to fill it for them in less than a month, with an ideal candidate who met every one of their requirements.



Make your company one that people want to work for

As we’ve seen, more and more employees are looking for companies that don’t just pay well but also suit their values and lifestyle.

But, as much as lots of people are looking to move for greener pastures, many are realising that moving roles won’t always be an easy fix. I spoke with a candidate the other week who hit the nail on the head and said, “People are realising the grass isn’t greener on the other side, and need more convincing to move between competitors”. This means, if you want to get better at attracting the best talent directly from your competitor, it’s your turn to sell.

This is where the importance of your employer brand comes in. In recruiting we sometimes call it your ‘Employer Value Proposition’ but it’s basically anything and everything that makes yours an attractive firm to join. Three big components of this include ensuring your compensation and benefits are competitive, creating an environment of clear growth and development opportunities and getting really good at communicating why your firm is a great place to be.

There are still great people out there who would be a great fit for your role, they just need to be reached, and well communicated with.



One last thing to mention: lots of our clients learn a ton about the perception of their business, their team and their colleagues from working with us, because candidates are far more candid about a firm’s reputation and their interview experiences with a third party. It’s a well known Bezos quote, “Your brand is whatever people say about you whenever you’re not in the room”. It can be super useful to know what that is so that you can learn from it.


Thanks for reading. If you have any questions about hiring within the warehouse automation and intralogistics industries, I’d love to hear from you.