Why Applying for Any Role in the Logistics and Shipping Sectors Isn’t Always the Best Strategy

Logistics Made Easy lmerecruitment | 24th May 2023

According to the leading employee review website, Glassdoor, employers receive an average of 250 CVs for every open role. What does this mean? Good candidates can get lost in a deluge of applicants. *

Shocking, right? But wait. There’s more.  Statistically speaking, only a handful of applicants—typically between four and six—are actually qualified for the role they’re applying for. (Statistic can be changed if inaccurate.)

This causes headaches for recruiters. The sheer volume of applications means that employers struggle to match the ideal candidate to the role they’re recruiting for. This unfortunate trend transcends the logistics and shipping sectors and is ubiquitous across countless industries around the world.

Worse still, applying for roles that they’re not quite suited to and then, almost inevitably, being rejected can demoralise candidates, putting a psychological millstone around their neck and making it all the more difficult to find that ideal opportunity.

Think about it. Let’s say you’re an experienced transport operator. You’re looking for a new job and see there’s a vacancy for a junior transport operator in your local area. You apply. Even get an interview.

What questions do you think you’ll be asked? Well, it’s a knocking bet that, at some stage of the interview, you’ll be asked why you, an experienced transport operator, are applying for a junior position.

It’s not always the best strategy to apply for every role you can do.

The “Apply for Every Role” Trend

So far, we’ve been a bit oblique. Indirect. Skirted around the issue. We know. So, let us be clear. There is a blossoming recruitment trend. One that’s not limited to the logistics and shipping sectors but is evident across countless sectors.

On the surface, the “apply for every role” culture is symptomatic of a competitive job market, a challenging economy, and future uncertainty. Think about it, candidates who’ve got bills to pay, a family to support, or debts to service may adopt a “beggars can’t be choosers” attitude. After all, after one month of unemployment, candidates may be able to absorb the cost using some of their savings. Three, six, heck, even twelve months without a regular payslip, and you may be in trouble.

In a survey of 2,000 people publicised at the end of March 2023, 34% of UK workers are living month to month, payslip to payslip. That’s more than a third, or 9.88 million, of the 32.95 million people in employment in the UK. What’s more staggering is that the same survey found that 56% of people in the UK would not be able to afford groceries if they were to lose their job today. *

Statistics like these make it easy to understand the influx of applications sent to employers advertising a vacancy. And these statistics represent the portion of the population currently employed.

Let’s look at the headaches the “apply for every role trend” causes.

Falling victim to pre-screening

Any recruitment process can be significantly improved by optimising candidate screening and proactively engaging recruiters capable of managing all stages of the recruitment process to ensure that preferred candidates advance through the process.

This isn’t difficult. Something as simple as having clear and concise definitions on job specs may deter candidates who are highly unlikely to be shortlisted from applying.

The solution to this

Pre-screening questions focused on required skills and knowledge are the most obvious way to not waste employers and candidates’ time. In the end, that’s what it’s all about. Not wasting your time as a candidate or an employer’s time.

Candidates will recognise that there’s no point in applying for any role they see because they won’t be able to answer the pre-screening questions and therefore pass the candidate screening test.

LME knows how to optimise candidate screening by optimising the candidate screening process. We won’t waste anyone’s time.

Are the candidates even qualified?

Now onto the nitty-gritty. The “apply for every role” culture has been proven to have one decidedly negative impact on recruitment: a slowdown in decision-making at all stages of the hiring process. Why? HR teams are left grappling with an overload of unqualified applicants applying for vacancies.

In a survey of more than 1,100 recruiters, managers, and HR professionals conducted by video interviewing platform Spark Hire, 73% of respondents said that their biggest challenge in the hiring process was a lack of qualified applicants.

The result? 84% of hiring teams are actively looking to shorten the time it takes to hire new candidates.

This problem has really been exacerbated by the proliferation of new, innovative technology, something that has characterised almost everyone’s professional life in the last two decades. Hardware, software, and a multitude of platforms, including the widespread use of social media, have made it so much easier for candidates to find and apply for roles.

For instance, gone are the days of the late 1990s when handwritten job applications were painstakingly written and posted, aptitude assessments were completed when candidates already had a foot in the door, and, of course, every interview was face-to-face.

It could be said that technological innovation has sped up some elements of the recruitment process. But it has also slowed down the hiring process, something that the “apply for every role” culture has contributed to.

The solution to this

Operators in the logistics and shipping sectors need to leverage ways to streamline their recruitment processes. But before anything else, make sure of the candidate’s qualifications. For instance, if you’ve not undertaken forklift operator training, it’s a safe bet that you won’t be shortlisted for a forklift driver role.

Not sure how to make sure your recruitment process doesn’t get bogged down with unqualified or unsuitable applicants? Contact LME to help you accelerate the recruitment process. From matching the right candidate to the right role using the candidate’s ethos. Experience. Skillset. Personality. Ambitions.

From a single C-suite hire to a department-wide strategy, LME will work with you to encourage a seamless, swift recruitment process.

The problem of skill shortages

Now, having a compromised recruitment process, one that, due to its infrastructure, runs at a snail’s pace, can be rather troublesome for employers. There’s no denying this. But there’s more. Something else is contributing to the “apply for every role” culture.” Something that you may find quite surprising: the lack of skills, especially digital skills.

Now, before you dismiss this, arguing that we live in an era of never-before-experienced technological innovation and even reliance, Facebook alone still has close to 3 billion users, despite enduring a few years of negative publicity. *

A recent study conducted by Amazon Web Services and Gallup of more than 30,000 professionals across 19 countries found that 72% of businesses have digital vacancies. 68% of businesses find it challenging to hire the talent they need. *

As eye-opening as these statistics are, what’s equally insightful is that addressing the digital skills shortage could raise the annual GDP in the UK by £67.8 billion.

But why is there a skill shortage? Planned obsolescence caused by evolving digital needs. Expense learning and development subscription plans, which only large, blue-chip businesses can access, and two-thirds of the private UK workforce is employed by a start-up or SME. *

COVID-19 rapidly accelerated online migration. Ever since, businesses have been rushing to catch up, with required skills outstripping qualified talent.

The solution to this

Finding the right candidate for the right role is a start. Imagine you need to fill a vacancy. Let’s say you need a sales executive to work in the shipping sector. Someone experienced. Who understands shipping and logistics. Can work under pressure and meet tight deadlines. Who has good IT skills, especially Microsoft Office. Are you going to hire a sales ledger clerk? Doubtful.

You need to leverage the services of a recruiter who can identify a stellar candidate. Someone with the experience, the skills, and the ethos to be a real asset to your business Someone with a good balance of skills and personal attributes and a good track record

One candidate who ticks a few of the boxes but not all of them probably isn’t going to be head and shoulders above the competition. If a candidate’s CV doesn’t demonstrate all the requisite skills and experience, that candidate isn’t going to be contacted for an interview. Applying is a waste of time.

Operators need a recruiter who can sift through all the “almost but not quite” CVs and present businesses with a strong list of five candidates (the candidate number can be changed if inaccurate) with the skills, experience, and personal attributes to excel in the role.

This is exactly what LME will do: present your business with only stellar candidates.

Too many steps in the hiring process

Imagine employers receiving an avalanche of applications for one particular role from candidates who have just applied to any role. The time to hire is already longer than you wanted. Now factor in the recruiting steps.

  • Gather and review CVs
  • Shortlist preliminary candidates
  • Interview candidates (maybe online, maybe in person)
  • Set successful candidates a task
  • Interview candidates for a second time (maybe online, maybe in-person)
  • Shortlist finalists
  • Final stage interview
  • offer stage, and hopefully acceptance!

Sounds like a lot, right? Too many, even. Well, depending on the role, candidates will progress through these stages.

But here’s the catch: according to a 2022 US Benchmarking Report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, only 42% of candidates will complete the recruitment process from application to offer.

This means that 58% of candidates will drop out throughout the hiring process. Now, of course, this is a generalisation, not reflective of specific industries and roles; C-suite hires are likely to see the process through to the end, for instance. However, what’s clear is that a long, drawn-out process increases the chances of disengaging preferred candidates.

The result? Employers could find themselves back at square one.

The solution to this

It’s obvious. Streamline the hiring process. Don’t expect candidates to invest four, five, six, or more hours researching, completing, and participating in your recruitment process. Sure, C-suite hires may expect this level of detail from a recruitment process. Warehouse operatives, not so much.

Cut out unnecessary parts of the recruitment process. For instance, it’s doubtful a trainee transport operator will need to demonstrate knowledge of benchmarking datasets, but they may have to demonstrate good communication skills, experience multi-tasking, and some knowledge of the transport sector.

The bottom line? Be sure to consider career levels and expected skillsets when hiring. Have a robust, efficient hiring process. Like LME can offer your business.

Choose the best strategy

Taking a scattergun approach to recruiting has never worked. This is true for both businesses and candidates. Success depends on a honed approach with a clear goal: to find the right candidate for the right job.

If you’re a candidate, really think about your skills, experience, and what you really want from your next role. Then get in touch with LME.








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