Operations outlook: How to find the right job

by Victoria Jones

A recent study by Descartes shows that 75 percent of supply chain executives in the warehousing industry are facing difficulties in hiring and meeting demand. So, how do you land the ideal job? What are employers looking for?

Victoria Jones is a Logistics and Inventory Specialist at Tyers Foods.

Dave Macdonald, president and owner at Better Together Group, uses a three-pillar staffing model called “The Three Is” in his recruitment agency. It stands for Integrity, Intensity and Intentionality.

“Integrity is the baseline for every employee hire; the problem is people often lie about whether they have integrity or not,” Macdonald explained in an interview. “Intensity is the second pillar, and it is best described as the fire that burns inside of someone, the passion to do the work. But intensity alone can be problematic. Intentionality is the final pillar and can be described as the roadmap for where you want to go with your intensity,” Macdonald said.

But what does that all mean when it finally comes down to an interview? Tom Pauls, managing director at SCL Search, has been in the recruiting industry for over 20 years.

“The industry has changed over the past 20 years in the sense that hiring managers used to be more willing to settle with someone with minimal experience. Clients are more selective with a list of must-haves that has really grown,” Pauls said. “They are looking for the best of the best and are not willing to pay a finders fee for someone who is not a good fit.”

Pauls recommends keeping your resume basic and simple, avoiding preset templates. “In logistics we look for quantifiable accomplishments and look for resume substance over how it looks. Things to make sure you include are your location, at least the city you live in, we want it to be obvious what you do for work. Logistics coordinator positions, for example, exist in trucking, air and ocean, LTL, FTL, asset, and non-asset based, we can’t tell just from your job title,” he said.

He also recommends applying to jobs that are a match: “A pet peeve of most recruiters is that 99 percent of applicants are not even in the ballpark for the jobs they are applying for. We tend to look for someone who may possess the skills already that match the open jobs we have, rather than waiting for someone to apply.” Pauls notes that he rarely posts jobs online and refers rather to a proprietary database that is made up of past applicants and word of mouth referrals.

Macdonald shares this sentiment and commented that he doesn’t invite people to interview any longer, but would rather sit down and have a conversation.

“Most of the industry is doing the opposite of what I am doing,” he said. “The industry is looking to screen humans out, I want to screen humans in, without AI, without KPIs. I can’t do anything more than give candidates an opportunity, but we cannot give opportunity to everyone. Employers are looking for the strongest and best candidates.”

I am reminded of my own experience. Pauls had my resume on file from a previous job I had applied for. He took the opportunity and reached into his database to reconnect and discuss the position with me, which, I’m happy to say, worked out for the both of us, as I was awarded the position I have now with Tyers Foods International.

Matthew Zarzycki is currently looking for a job and is using recruiting agencies, as well as direct job searching. “There is never harm in casting a wider net and having greater visibility,” he said.

When he is looking through job openings he is doing the research before applying. “I do it based on the company and their reviews in their work environment and culture. There are lots of hidden gems out there. I stay clear of multiple posting positions that are hiring for all levels, those usually indicate a lack of direction.”

For anyone who is currently on the job hunt, Zarzycki recommends going to events. “Get out and go to events like the CITT events that are within the network, they might not be offering jobs, but they might know someone who is. The more you go meet people, the higher your chances are.”

Zarzycki also advised job seekers to remember that you are for more supported by those around you than you think. “I have had previous competitors reach out to me and offer support. Don’t try to grind through tough times, reply on your support network and don’t be shy to ask for help.”

Pauls strongly recommends honesty during the interview process. “Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. If the job you are applying for is a match, call the hiring manager and talk to them. Most people who know the job is not a right fit don’t call the manager,” he said.