Andy Leeson delves into the attributes that make the ideal operational temporary worker

Andy Leeson delves into the attributes that make the ideal operational temporary worker

19.4.2024 | Recruitment

Attributes that make the ideal operational temporary worker

Andy Leeson from A&S Recruitment shares his insights.

Proud to hold contracts with both the Port of Felixstowe and PD Ports for the supply of temporary employees, Andy Leeson is A&S Recruitment’s expert in matching candidates to the host of temporary positions held on its books.

A senior consultant at Felixstowe-based A&S Recruitment for the last 3 years, Andy explains more about working as a temporary employee: “The role of a temporary worker does not suit all.  That said, many of our candidates thrive on taking on short-term positions within the port environments we support.”

Always searching for a range of experienced candidates to fill positions such as reefer operatives, tractor drivers, forklift drivers, examination warehouse operatives and more, Andy looks for specific characteristics in all those candidates he puts forward.

“Those who opt for temporary positions often possess specific vital attributes that make them well-suited for this work.

“The ability to be flexible is critical. Temporary workers must adapt quickly to changing environments, tasks, and the culture of the organisation in which they find themselves working. While the job title may be the same, companies work in very different ways, so temporary staff must quickly learn new skills and processes to hit the ground running.

“Those candidates that demonstrate resourcefulness are always in high demand. Companies are looking for workers who can find creative solutions to what is expected of them and showcase their self-reliance and ability to work autonomously. Ports are bustling 24/7, and our clients don’t have the time to hand-hold temporary workers.”

The first day in a new job is always daunting, but temporary workers experience this time and time again. “Embracing a temporary working lifestyle means that you’re always the ‘newbie’ and are greeted with an expectation that you can dive straight into the job at hand. Seamless integration into an already fit-for-purpose team requires second-to-none communication skills, networking competence and time management skills.  Turning up late never makes a good impression.

A&S Recruitment, which has held the contract to supply temporary staff to the Port of Felixstowe for the last ten years and is delighted it has been renewed for a further three, signed an agreement to provide temporary to permanent workers with PD Ports in August last year.

“Whilst hugely proud of our reputation for providing candidates to the region’s shipping and logistics sector, our standing in the industry directly equates to the calibre of temporary and permanent candidates we put forward to clients. This means that, regardless of the duration of their employment, temporary workers must demonstrate professionalism at all times – whether in their work ethic, interactions with colleagues or adherence to company policies and standards.”

If you would like to learn more about temporary positions available through A&S Recruitment, Andy Leeson can be contacted at andrew@aandsrecruitment.com

Image credit: Mike Bowden

A&S reflects on the role of AI in logistics and the supply chain

A&S reflects on the role of AI in logistics and the supply chain

19.3.2024 | Recruitment

A&S Reflects on the role of AI in logistics and the supply chain

A&S Recruitments’ Becky Crevald details how this transformative technology is becoming ubiquitous in keeping Britain moving.

In this edition, A&S Recruitment shares with Porttalk how the sector has become a key adopter of artificial intelligence (AI).

Becky Crevald, executive search consultant at A&S says: “The UK’s shipping and logistics industry is at the forefront of embracing artificial intelligence to enhance efficiency, safety, accuracy and sustainability.

“But since we departed from the EU, the subsequent configuration of its trade policy, and the upsurge of reliance on remote-based services due to the pandemic, technology’s groundbreaking role in moving our transport and logistics infrastructure forward has never been more pertinent.”

Here, Becky details how this transformative technology is becoming a ubiquitous component in the task of keeping Britain moving.

“AI systems are pivotal in tracking, picking, packing, routing, and physically handling freight and cargo. However, their ability to analyse vast amounts of historical data also means that the data can be used to optimise inventory levels. The ability to anticipate supply chain disruptions ahead of time is a game-changer for logistics companies looking to make informed decisions and plan their operations more effectively.

“But it’s not just on land where AI makes a difference. For port and shipowners, the technology also brings many benefits. From predictive maintenance, vessel routing and navigation (AI systems can consider factors such as weather conditions, sea currents, traffic congestion, and fuel consumption to recommend the most efficient and safe routes for ships) and port operations management, this technology is making positive change, cost savings and improving turnaround times.

“Driving up and down the A14, it’s impossible to miss the multitude of warehouses that have sprung up over recent years, but how often do we stop to think how AI technology is transforming these storage facilities into state-of-the-art environments, in which AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) are an everyday part of life. With AMRs undertaking tasks such as picking, packing and sorting, cobots also work alongside human workers. But AI’s benefits aren’t just related to the warehouse floor – AI algorithms can continue improving inventory management by predicting demand, optimising stock levels and identifying slow-moving or obsolete items.

“In today’s global economy, communication between various stakeholders is critical to getting the job done. And, of course, AI is playing its role in improving communication across the supply chain. AI natural language processing (NLP) can help streamline data entry processes, reduce manual effort and promote faster and more accurate communication. Today’s supply chains involve many participants, many of whom speak different languages and AI-powered language translation tools can facilitate seamless communication. But did you know there’s even something called sentiment analysis? Here, NLP algorithms analyse text data to gauge the sentiment and emotions expressed by stakeholders within the supply chain. By monitoring sentiment, companies can identify potential issues or concerns early on and take proactive measures to address them, fostering better relationships and reducing conflicts. And love it, or hate it, it is here to stay.

“The above just touches the surface in detailing the progress AI has already made in changing the face of UK logistics. The areas I’ve focused on reflect those aspects of the industry in which we match candidates with employers.

“While it may sound like ‘Big Brother’ and 1984, AI is not just a digital tool. It’s a mindset shift, just as controversial as the Industrial Revolution would have felt in the late 1890s. But in order for the logistics sector to evolve and remain competitive, I’m a firm believer that AI will take us forward while not making humans redundant. Rather, it will become the force that drives innovation and promotes future growth and efficiencies.”

Image: Becky Crevald

The role of Continuing Professional Development in logistics

The role of Continuing Professional Development in logistics

21.2.2024 | Recruitment

The role of Continuing Professional Development in logistics

Training for today’s logistics industry is critical, no matter your role.

With Continuing Professional Development (CPD) a vital component in ensuring your skill sets remain relevant within the ever-changing logistics sector, Becky Crevald, A&S Recruitments’ Executive Search Consultant, shares the importance of ongoing learning and development in the workplace. 

She says: “It is paramount that logistics professionals undertake to enhance their skills, knowledge, and expertise throughout their careers. With the logistics landscape changing almost beyond recognition in the last ten years, CPD must be considered a working lifelong commitment.

“An essential aspect of CPD in logistics is the integration of emerging technologies. From automation and robotics to advanced data analytics and AI, employees must be proficient in utilising these tools to optimise supply chain processes. CPD programs focusing on new technological advancements enable individuals to navigate digital transformation and integrate their knowledge into their day-to-day responsibilities.  

“And whilst it’s easy to think we’re all too busy to take time out of the office, understanding and adapting to evolving supply chain dynamics also requires attending workshops, conferences and training sessions. Attending such events delivers knowledge, skill enhancement, and development and exposes colleagues to industry trends and insights. And can be hugely motivating and inspiring.

“Ultimately, embracing CPD is all about taking charge of your professional journey, ensuring relevancy, and fostering a mindset of continuous growth. It also makes you a hugely compelling candidate looking to take the next step on your career ladder.”

With a host of CPD courses offered by logistics associations, a good starting point is to check out the CPD Certification Services section on transport. 

New Year – New Look for A&S Recruitment

New Year – New Look for A&S Recruitment

23.1.2023 | Recruitment

New Year – New Look for A&S Recruitment

With many happy to see the end of 2023 and hoping that this year brings more optimism and growth potential to the economy, A&S Recruitment has been reviewing its business operations. 

The recruitment specialist has created a clear and defined vision for embracing 2024 and beyond. Here, Amanda Harrold shares the new look of A&S Recruitment.

“Having been in the logistics recruitment for longer than I care to think about, and with A&S Recruitment’s 20th anniversary coming up next year, our strength is undoubtedly in the relationships we foster with our client companies and those candidates looking for new opportunities, or those looking to join to the sector.

“And whilst our reputation is for supporting those looking for on-the-ground positions in the transport, warehousing, commercial and shipping sectors, we’re delighted to announce that we have launched an executive, senior management and sales recruitment division to support companies across the industry.

“And with the new division, we’re delighted to announce Becky Crevald’s appointment. Joining A&S with a remit to develop and run the new division, Becky brings a background which includes over 25 years of sales training and management experience. Well known to everyone here at A&S, Becky has worked alongside me in a business advisory capacity over the years, enabling her to hit the ground running and offer additional insight and value to our clients.”

Amanda continues, “Having taken the strategic decision to join the UK Warehouse Association last year, we are keen sponsors and supporters of Generation Logistics. This means our partnerships with local colleges and universities are not just about looking good on paper. We are actively working with young talent to offer our clients an ongoing stream of trainees. As an industry that bursts with potential and offers a whole host of career opportunities, we must support youngsters to understand that the sector is not all about driving trucks.”

Last but not least, A&S Recruitment is diversifying and adding a new string to its bow. Amanda continues: “Very excited about this new venture; we are using our existing recruitment skills to create a new division to support the education/sports and leisure sector.

“Having created a bespoke solution for a new client that has already saved them time and money in their own in-house resourcing, the project highlighted that our ability to understand and fulfil a client’s recruitment needs is a skill that can be transferred across sectors. Andy Leeson has taken on responsibility for heading up the division, and we’re keen to see where it may take us. Getting off to a great start we have filled a number of roles across Suffolk, Essex and Kent and with the amazing feedback from our initial client we have also secured an additional contract with a neighbouring business.”

On a mission to continue to offer the value and service that its clients have come to expect, expanding, growing and sometimes thinking outside of the box are very much part of A&S Recruitment’s plans for remaining relevant and ahead of the recruitment curve.

Further information about A&S Recruitment can be found at www.aandsrecruitment.com

 Image, L-R: Amanda Harrold and Becky Crevald.

Is recruitment part of your business plan?

Is recruitment part of your business plan?

12.12.2023 | Recruitment

Is recruitment part of your business plan?

Amanda Harrold of A&S Recruitment explains why recruitment should form an integral part of your 2024 business objectives.

Getting Strategic with Recruitment

With 2024 just around the corner, Amanda Harrold of A&S Recruitment shares with Porttalk readers how to integrate recruitment into your 2024 business objectives.

She says: “All too often recruitment is left off the business objective agenda. Addressing staffing requirements purely on a one-person-out, one-person-in basis ensures the organisation remains hostage to the available talent pool. However, suppose a change in mindset is adopted, and recruitment is considered a key element in developing next year’s plans. In that case, a proactive recruitment strategy replaces previous and not always successful knee-jerk staffing tactics.”

To put strategic recruitment on your company’s radar, Amanda shares her insights:

  1. Understand Business goals.

Identify the specific business goals for 2024, for example, revenue targets, expansion plans, product launches or market penetration. Then, analyse your workforce needs.  Determine how your current workforce aligns with these objectives and where talent is required to drive these goals forward.

  1. Align Recruitment Strategies.

Pinpoint the skills and expertise required to achieve your business objectives and then develop a recruitment plan focused on acquiring talent that directly contributes to these needs. At this point, if possible, anticipate future talent gaps (maybe the need for maternity cover, for example) and projected growth, and always watch the industry landscape changes.

  1. Employer Branding and Messaging.

Ensure that your recruitment messaging and employer branding reflect the company’s mission, values, and objectives for 2024. This attracts candidates who resonate with your business’s direction.

  1. Strategic Talent Acquisition.

Constantly optimise your recruitment channels to target the specific talent required to fulfil your business objectives. Strategic recruiting requires various messages to be disseminated through the company’s social media, professional networks or to your specialised recruitment agents. It also goes almost without saying that fostering diversity in your talent acquisition increases the potential for a fresh perspective and innovation.

  1. Metrics and measurement.

Set KPIs related to recruitment aligned with your business objectives. Examples include time to hire, quality of hire or retention rates. The effectiveness of your recruitment strategies should be constantly assessed against these KPIs. Remember, they’re not cast in stone, so they can be adjusted and refined to improve outcomes.

  1. Cross-Team Collaboration.

Foster collaboration between HR, hiring managers and department heads. Ensure everyone understands the business goals and is contributing to identifying talent needs and recruitment strategies. Those responsible for recruiting can only succeed if the brief they are provided with reflects the total requirements of the position.

  1. Create a Feedback Process.

Create a feedback loop between HR and other business units to gather insights on how recruited talent contributes to achieving business goals. This information can then be used to refine future recruitment strategies.

Amanda concludes: “By integrating recruitment efforts directly into your business objectives, you can ensure that hiring strategies are purposeful, targeted and supportive of the company’s growth and success in 2024.”

The Challenges of 2023

The Challenges of 2023

28.11.2023 | Recruitment

The Challenges of 2023

In Porttalk this week, Amanda Harrold shares her thoughts on the logistics recruitment landscape and how, as a local company, A&S Recruitment has been doing all it can to encourage young people to consider the industry as an exciting, diverse and financially rewarding career.

Having faced the frustrations of a lack of drivers, the ramifications of Brexit and a host of other issues in 2022, this year has brought new challenges to the logistics sector with declining container volumes, rate drops and faltering demand.

In Porttalk this week, Amanda Harrold shares her thoughts on the logistics recruitment landscape and how, as a local company, A&S Recruitment has been doing all it can to encourage young people to consider the industry as an exciting, diverse and financially rewarding career.

Amanda says: “The 2023 financial downturn has significantly impacted the warehousing and logistics sector, triggering a series of challenges and shifts within the industry, including employers’ reluctance to take on new staff members and those in work opting to stay rather than look for new opportunities.

“Companies operating within warehousing and logistics may face pressure to streamline operations, reduce expenses, and optimise their supply chains. This potentially involves reevaluating warehouse locations, renegotiating contracts with suppliers and logistics partners, and implementing more cost-effective technologies and processes. These adjustments also lead to workforce reductions, which in turn means an excess of qualified candidates and employers’ unwillingness to offer the inflated salaries previously required to attract the right talent.

“The challenge of addressing diversity and inclusion across the sector is ever-present and needs to be overcome. Whilst some progress has been made, the industry must prioritise creating a more inclusive environment that attracts diverse talent pools.

“Overcoming biases and stereotypes while actively promoting diversity initiatives is crucial for recruitment strategies, and companies must implement policies that foster inclusivity and equal opportunities to attract and retain a broader range of talents, all of which will  strengthen the industry in the future and ensure varied perspectives and skill sets.”

Constantly adapting to the changes and challenges of the industry and aiming to keep ahead of the curve, A&S Recruitment has been busy this year partnering with local colleges and Suffolk University to help support future talent and showcase the opportunities in the sector, which essentially’ keeps Britain moving’.

Amanda continues: “Regionally, there is an appetite in schools and colleges to learn more about the sector’s potential. Attempting to remove the perception that logistics is all about being a truck driver, we are talking with colleges about including logistics as a subject on the curriculum to explain the full range of opportunities – from IT to warehouse to HR and more.

“2023 has been unexpectedly difficult for many, but the talk is that by quarter two of 2024, we should start to see an uplift within the sector. Fingers crossed.”