25 January 2022

National skills shortage heightens war for talent

Submitted by Sizo Kaise

With ecommerce booming during the pandemic and supply chain disruptions caused by congestion in global trade lanes, skilled workers in the logistics industry are in increasingly short supply. And despite the country’s record-high unemployment levels, the situation in South Africa is largely the same, making attracting and retaining top talent a key priority for businesses seeking to maintain profitability and deliver maximum value to clients, says DHL Supply Chain Africa Chief Executive Officer Paul Stone.

These trends, further fuelled by a new wave of demand as economies reopen and businesses seek to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, have given rise to heightened competition between companies for skilled and experienced workers.

“Employer branding is, therefore, a growing strategic concern for successful companies in South Africa and around the world, which hinges on the success of human resources policies and management in building a positive, productive organisational culture that is able to attract and retain top talent,” says Stone.

“I am therefore particularly proud to announce that DHL Supply Chain South Africa has been recognised as a Top Employer for 2022 by the Top Employers Institute. I believe this recognition will cement our position as a leading brand and strategic partner within the logistics sector.”

Top Employer accreditation

Established more than 30 years ago, the Top Employers Institute is known as the global authority on recognising excellence in the field of People Practices. The Top Employers Institute programme certifies organisations based on the participation and results of their HR Best Practices Survey. The survey covers six HR domains consisting of 20 topics, including people strategy, work environment, talent acquisition, learning, well-being, and diversity and inclusion.

Despite this being only its first year of entry with the South African subsidiary, DHL Supply Chain placed tenth in the country – a particularly noteworthy achievement given the unprecedented pressure and disruptions experienced by the logistics sector during the pandemic, explains Stone.

“Our business offers world-class systems and processes, but without a doubt, it is our people that set us apart. It’s the basic science of good business – by ensuring that we remain at the forefront of best practice in terms of our human resources policies and programmes, we are able to offer clients the benefits of an engaged, high-performing workforce.

Marlene Badul, Head of Human Resources (HR) for DHL Supply Chain Africa, adds that the Top Employer accreditation reflects the phenomenal success of the new practices and programmes introduced over the past two years.

“For example, we’ve placed a great deal of emphasis on innovation in recent years, increasingly invested in artificial intelligence and new technologies with the aim of automating processes to boost efficiency. This includes introducing electronic or robotic stock-counting and rolling-out SmartOps as a resource planning tool. We are continuously searching out new tools which will enable our staff to execute their work more effectively,” Badul says.

“As a business, we firmly believe that our people are our greatest asset in delivering results for our clients and maintaining our reputation for service excellence. Being a Top Employer means that our employees can take pride in knowing that they work for a leading national employer with sound HR policies and well-defined culture and values, while our clients can rest assured that they are partnering with a service provider of choice,” concludes Badul.